conebeckham wrote:I think most "lay teachers" don't wear the true monastic robes, they wear robes that, on first glance, may appear to match the monastic robes. The Shentab skirt, and the vest, etc., would be appropriate for monks, IMO, but I have no problem with "lay teachers" wearing maroon lower garment (shamgyur) and zen, etc. "Lay teachers" are still to be distinguished from "non-teachers" I would think....?
I also don´t mind if they wear monastic or "monk-like" dress, they can wear anything, but for the general public, this is confusing.
conebeckham wrote:And I think "Inner Tantra" is suitable for monks, up to a point. Many great Lamas have commented on how the monastic vows and tantric samaya can be kept in harmony, and I see no problem ...Atisha may have said that, but Ngari Panchen and others have a different view.
I am not sure what sources Ngari Panchen used as his basis, and also maybe from the point of anuyoga this is fine. But in Samvara and Hevajra etc. in the original way of transmission of these tantras, the practitioners were required to bring consort in order to receive secret empowerment. Which obviously members of monastic sangha could not do. The only exception were bodhisattvas who have achieved bhumis, that is why there were a handful of mahasiddhas who were monks, since there is no mistake in prajna, they could bring a consort to be symbolically present at the empowerment. Later this was replaced with visalisations, tsakli etc. Also for example Gampopa proposed to use milk instead of alcohol for the monastic recipients of anuttaratantra empowerment. So Tibetans modified these things in order to fit with Kadampa doctrine.
I think that monastic sangha is relevant and important, but I would like to see vajrayana go back to its roots. First of all I would not permit general public to receive these teachings the way it is now. My sentiment is that it should really be more serious and much more hidden and secret. Secondly I see a role of monastic sangha in preserving outer tantra practices and sutra studies and philosophy. These things could be taught to general public and in many cases I think that they would have been much more beneficial for the confused "tantric" practitioners than the actual practice of tantra. As for highest tantra and inner tantras, these would be taught to serious lay practitioners who would undergo regular retreats - for example half year in half year out, or some kind of semi-retreat setting for a whole life, but during the process of such training everything would be included, all the aspects of secret mantra in the way that they were practiced in India and Odiyana, if these could be rejuvenated, refreshed and reconstructed. Instead of complicated sadhanas with loads of prayers, simple Indian style sadhanas would be taught. I think this would have great benefit. Anyways this is just my sentiment, so basically a namtog and nothing to be taken seriously.