More Trungpa talk

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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Konchog1 » Tue May 28, 2013 5:13 am

dzogchungpa wrote:Both.
Well, it's my opinion. It isn't something that I know.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 5:19 am

Konchog1 wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Both.
Well, it's my opinion. It isn't something that I know.

OK. May I ask why it is your opinion?
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Konchog1 » Tue May 28, 2013 7:36 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Both.
Well, it's my opinion. It isn't something that I know.

OK. May I ask why it is your opinion?
Well, in Secret Mantra you reach a point where everything can used to improve your level of realization. So, there is no fault for such individuals in drinking, breaking celibacy, or each killing. But, that is one of reasons why many things about Secret Mantra are kept secret, even within Secret Mantra. Because people can fool themselves into thinking they are just like Ra Lotsawa just because they have some minor attainments. Then they act wild and go to hell. It's like the story of . . . Rudra? (the story about the hedonist who kills his guru and vajra brother)

But then compare the number of past masters like Virupa or Gandrapa to the numbers of masters like Tsongkhapa or Sakya Pandita. If wild behavior is the sole sign of attainment, then it follows that most past "masters" are frauds. This isn't true, so my reasoning is that people like Atisha could be wild, but chose not to. In case people try to imitate their behavior and not their realizations.

I take back the "ever" though. That isn't true.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby mandala » Tue May 28, 2013 3:26 pm

ttnyc wrote:And thankfully, Venerable Palmo refused Trungpa's advances. If she would have given in to them, maybe we would have lost a very great teacher. This is the danger in this type of self-indulgent behavior of Trungpa. Ven. Palmo was young but thankfully of sound character and apparently with already developed ethical discipline.


It's interesting though, I recall an interview with Pema Chodron about Trungpa where she points out that (as a nun, not a layperson as Ven Palmo was at the time of the above) Trungpa always encouraged her to be very strict with her vows (including celibacy) and really hammered home to her the importance of the sangha representing the dharma with their actions and appearance.

What sticks with me the most was Pema talking about how she used to think everything he did was to benefit others. Then, after his death, she could also say that ok, maybe he was a madman and didn't do everything to benefit others.. that she had gotten to a point where she could say she didn't know, and didn't know WHO he was really, but that it didn't change her devotion because he'd changed her life.

And that astounds me, it's such a tricky thing.. as evidenced by any discussion on Trungpa (and other teachers), views are usually polarised.
It's commonly students defending one extreme end, and ex-students/on lookers claiming the exact opposite.
And maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle, but who really knows?
I guess what's important is the heart of your own experience, but not being closed to the option that things may not be as they seem...

:spy:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue May 28, 2013 5:16 pm

Speaking of Trungpa, apparently this:

http://www.siddharthasintent.org/2013/02/the-rain-of-wisdom.html

is going to be webcast live, which should be interesting.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby ttnyc » Wed May 29, 2013 7:01 pm

mandala wrote:What sticks with me the most was Pema talking about how she used to think everything he did was to benefit others.

I've heard her say this too. Pema Chodron's teachings have clarity and resonance for my mind that few other teachers have ever had. I feel so much gratitude to her - and I realize she was trained by Trungpa in her early years as a nun. When I'm at a very low point, I go to recordings of Pema Chodron because I know that's where I'll find great clarity, wisdom, insight. I know I will get from her something profound that will help me through the difficult point.

Maybe the strong polarization of views about Trungpa is just a matter of personal experience/karma - what triggers certain people and doesn't so much trigger others. For some reason, I feel very protective of those who might be hurt/influenced by the sexual mischief of others - or any weakness in ethical discipline (alcoholism, etc). This is something that easily gets me riled up. And really, I see how it can influence a community negatively. Pema Chodron is how I met the Dharma. I still feel her teachings resonate with me more than any other teacher. But I can't be a member of Shambhala because of Trungpa - because of the behavior I feel was unethical but was allowed. When will the next Trungpa come along - and will the behavior of that person be allowed by the organization?

Mandala, I agree that what's important is the heart of one's experience and things may not be as they seem. I'm only speaking from my own feelings/experience (and yes, karma) - I feel I can't fully follow this great teacher because of the association with what I consider very unethical behavior by one of her teachers. I wonder how many others maybe were turned off completely to Buddhism by his behavior? That's what worries me more than anything regarding this topic.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby wisdom » Wed May 29, 2013 7:21 pm

ttnyc wrote:
greentara wrote:It's easy to preach when words come easily, but most difficult to live up to.

I very much agree. And thankfully, Venerable Palmo refused Trungpa's advances. If she would have given in to them, maybe we would have lost a very great teacher. This is the danger in this type of self-indulgent behavior of Trungpa. Ven. Palmo was young but thankfully of sound character and apparently with already developed ethical discipline. A lot of people don't yet have these qualities at such a young age. Think of the people who must have followed suit in Trungpa's indulgent behavior because of his elevated status as teacher. Our teachers are the living embodiment of the Buddha. When they make the choice to become teachers, they take on the responsibility to behave with great ethical discipline - as an example to their students. Yes, they're human - but living a life of such self-indulgence as Trungpa is really reprehensible in my opinion - because of the potential to lead others down a wrong path (even if the teacher is wise and strong enough to stay on the correct path himself).


I am not a student of Trungpa, but I enjoy his works. I think he shows us an important thing. Which is that if you read his works, what he says, what he teaches, its in accordance with the Dharma. This is of course just my opinion. Then you look at his actions and one might think "how could a person doing such things also be enlightened? how could they also be a Dharma teacher?". If we look at westerners we will find this type of self indulgent behavior rampant amongst people of all classes, ages, sexes, and religious backgrounds.

In essence, he came to the west then acted like the very westerners that he was teaching. Many of the westerners from that era of Dharma were part of the 60's/70's, hippies, drug users, advocates of "free love" meaning lots of sex. They were seeking personal and spiritual freedom through freedom in actions, and he gave them a path to personal freedom through freedom from the self. If he mirrored the actions of the people he taught, he showed us that even someone with apparently hedonistic tendencies can follow the path of Dharma, teach it, benefit by it, and help others benefit as well. This is because there is truly a Dharma teaching and teacher for every type of sentient being in all of the realms and for all classes of beings. Doing this he probably gave many self indulgent westerners hope that they could practice and benefit from Dhrama. If he had come over here with some high and mighty, pure and chaste attitude, telling everyone that their actions were wrong and so forth, then he would have polarized himself against the very people he was trying to connect with and perhaps his message would not have been as strong and the transmission of Dharma into the west would have been adversely effected.

Of course, ultimately, who can know such things? What really matters is our own conduct.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby heart » Wed May 29, 2013 7:40 pm

:good:

/magnus
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby ttnyc » Wed May 29, 2013 7:46 pm

wisdom wrote:he came to the west then acted like the very westerners that he was teaching.

Interesting. I was thinking this very thing. And yes, I'm sure behaving like the students he was teaching helped them relate to him.
Well one thing I'm very grateful to him for is introducing Pema Chodron to the Dharma. What insight he must have had to see what a great teacher she would become.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby mandala » Thu May 30, 2013 3:15 pm

ttnyc wrote:[ I feel I can't fully follow this great teacher because of the association with what I consider very unethical behavior by one of her teachers.


That's a real shame. I agree, Pema Chodron is a wonderful teacher.. at a very dark time in my life her book "When things fall apart" really hit home for me in a powerful way.

But here's the thing - the end of the bit you quoted of me went on to say... "that she had gotten to a point where she could say she didn't know, and didn't know WHO he was really, but that it didn't change her devotion because he'd changed her life."... So, I'm wondering if there is a way that you can view Trungpa's influence on Pema as maybe being pivotal to the insightful teacher she is today?

I don't think you necessarily have to be a fan of Pema's teachers, in order to have a connection or devotion to her. I guess I just feel that if you have a heart connection for a Lama, then don't let your dislike for their own teacher's perceived behaviors stand in the way (unless of course she also displays the same behavior!). I apologise if I'm sticking my nose up in your business :P

Ages ago I read "Dragon Thunder" by Trungpa's wife about her life with him. It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen & I couldn't put it down. But it did also put into perspective, as Wisdom posted, about the culture in the west in the 60'/70's.. people simply didn't have exposure to sangha & Buddhism like today and Trungpa fit into the crowd to appeal to the lifestyle of the 'seekers' of the day, plenty of whom were more interested in free love, drugs & rock'n'roll. It was pretty radical times for the first Lamas coming to the west.

You asked when will the next Trungpa come along & will their behavior be tolerated - I can't imagine another Trungpa in today's society.
I think the needs and culture of students are so different now and we've been introduced to sangha and a broad range of schools, systems and teachers over the last 30-40 years.
There's been other scandals along the way, in all different traditions... importantly, some adjusting to the boundaries of what an appropriate "student - Guru" relationship are and a much greater openness in recent times about speaking up and exposing fraud and abuses within dharma centres.

I do understand your concern about people being turned off dharma, there are plenty of unscrupulous 'teachers' about but there's also the interwebs to bring them to light.

:namaste:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 30, 2013 8:05 pm

I have to say that "Dragon Thunder" was really extremely interesting, although there was maybe just a bit too much about dressage. Still, I think everyone who is interested in the Trungpa phenomenon should read it.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:34 am

One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:48 am

I'm not sure if its an anything-but-Chogyam-Trungpa-Rinpoche-thing. :shrug:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby practitioner » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:44 am

Greg wrote:One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?


I'm not a student of CTR but I personally know many ordained monks and nuns in the Kagyu lineage. From my experience the Kagyupas (both Tibetan and Western) generally take an anything but casual approach to the vinaya and tend to be very traditional/conservative in their approach to the Dharma in general.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Lingpupa » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:08 am

practitioner wrote:
Greg wrote:One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?


I'm not a student of CTR but I personally know many ordained monks and nuns in the Kagyu lineage. From my experience the Kagyupas (both Tibetan and Western) generally take an anything but casual approach to the vinaya and tend to be very traditional/conservative in their approach to the Dharma in general.


Same here. I know a couple of Lamas of Trungpa's vintage, both of whom married western women in due course, and both of whom were at great pains to (very nervously, by one account) get permission from the Karmapa to give their vows back before breaking them.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby smcj » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:25 am

Greg wrote:One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?

If karmamudra is perform correctly no child is produced.
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby heart » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:38 am

Greg wrote:One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?


It is a tulku thing, all lineages the same. Some openly, some very hidden.

/magnus
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:17 pm

smcj wrote:
Greg wrote:One thing I've wondered - VCTR fathered his first kid in 1962, which was six or seven years before he gave back his bhiksu vows, and he was sexually active from age 13.

Is that a karmamudra thing, or do Kagyupas take a casual approach to vinaya in general?

If karmamudra is perform correctly no child is produced.
I've heard that karmamudra by itself breaks celibacy according to some sects, and not according to others. I wonder what the Kagyu opinion is.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby honestdboy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:56 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I have to say that "Dragon Thunder" was really extremely interesting, although there was maybe just a bit too much about dressage. Still, I think everyone who is interested in the Trungpa phenomenon should read it.


Thanks for the book recommendation! I am now reading "Dragon Thunder," and it is extremely interesting except for sections on the writer's family background that I skimmed through. It is interesting that Akong Rinpoche and Trungpa Rinpoche took such different paths in the west. Trungpa's method of becoming similar to his students and then leading them in the right direction reminds me of a strategy I recently studied in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). :reading:
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Re: More Trungpa talk

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:28 am

Yes, they really had quite a falling out it seems:
http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/the-conmanship-of-akong-tulku-chogyam-trungpa-1977/
although I believe they reconciled later.
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