Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:I think we should feel free to make generalized comments about Tibetan lamas too.


Especially if they're not Tibetan but Bhutanese ;)
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:39 pm

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I think we should feel free to make generalized comments about Tibetan lamas too.


Especially if they're not Tibetan but Bhutanese ;)



DKR is Tibetan. He may have been raised in Bhutan, but he is from an ancient aristocratic Tibetan family.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:46 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:This whole thread has convinced me that DKR is right about the understanding of non-duality of even seasoned Western Buddhists.



Frankly, I have doubts that seasoned Tibetan practitioners, including tulkus, necessarily understand nonduality.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby futerko » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:50 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:This whole thread has convinced me that DKR is right about the understanding of non-duality of even seasoned Western Buddhists. There is such a yawning gulf in viewpoints from the cold universe posited by some and my own personal experience, I can only marvel that we can listen to the same teachers and come away thinking that we have each understood. This thread has been tremendously illustrative of the power of a Buddha's speech.


Interestingly, you can find the same gulf in Buddhism too.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Pero » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:53 pm

smcj wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If there is meaning to life, as I said above, it is only because that meaning is imputed upon it.

This is an existential/nihilistic perspective. The emotional complexities that result from it are what the lamas call "loong", and are a great impediment to the efficacy of our practice. Believing we live in a cold merciless meaningless universe where the only meaning is what we impute on it is a fundamentally frightened way to live.

Actually it's precisely the opposite. Because people are afraid they try to find meaning in life. And funny enough this is what DKR also thinks. Or at least he did about 20 years ago when he taught in Slovenia (who knew haha). Perhaps back then he was one of those Buddhists who didn't understand non-dualism and now one of those that do? :shrug:

Dzogsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Meditation in Action - the skill of enlightened wariorship, Ljubljana 1995 wrote:To impartially observe one's life, with an impartial spiritual posture is the essence of Buddhism. Why do we always search for faith? Why can't we have that kind of impartial mind and spirtual posture? We search for faith and a certain solution, ideology; we dream about a final relief of problems that we have. Why do we have such spiritual posture or direction? Because there is a basic insecurity in us. To pinpoint this basic insecurity we have to think more. Man in this world has always asked himself: "Who am I?" He tried to answer this great question: what is life, what is the purpose of life? That is why various religions exist, science, technology... The reason why man is still not satisfied is this: with all of that we are trying to build our security. The basic insecurity that is within us is the doubt of our existence.
...

(my translation from Slovenian)
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I think we should feel free to make generalized comments about Tibetan lamas too.


Especially if they're not Tibetan but Bhutanese ;)



DKR is Tibetan. He may have been raised in Bhutan, but he is from an ancient aristocratic Tibetan family.


Afaik he was also born in Bhutan and is he not also a Bhutanese citizen? But anyway, I just wanted to hint that we all generalize and sometimes overgeneralize.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:The point I was making was that making the leap from "Western Buddhologists don't believe Buddha taught Mahāyāna (which is effectively what DKR is talking about) to "This is why I doubt the understanding of seasoned Western practitioners". He making a very specious cultural argument, when all is said and done.


I am making exactly the same statement and last time I looked I was a westerner. Not because DKR or anyone else says so but because it makes sense to me.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:26 pm

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
Afaik he was also born in Bhutan and is he not also a Bhutanese citizen? But anyway, I just wanted to hint that we all generalize and sometimes overgeneralize.



The Drukpas (Bhutanese) consider themselves ethnically different than Tibetans, despite sharing a very similar language. DKR's mother is Bhutanese, so I guess you could say he is half Tibetan, half Bhutanese.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:29 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The point I was making was that making the leap from "Western Buddhologists don't believe Buddha taught Mahāyāna (which is effectively what DKR is talking about) to "This is why I doubt the understanding of seasoned Western practitioners". He making a very specious cultural argument, when all is said and done.


I am making exactly the same statement and last time I looked I was a westerner. Not because DKR or anyone else says so but because it makes sense to me.

/magnus



Yes, I see, so you are asserting you can only understand the meaning of the concept of nonduality in Mahāyāna sutras if you adopt the dualistic standpoint that they were uttered by the historical Buddha sometime about 450-400 years BCE. Right?

If I didn't know you better, I would say that this was a very fundamentalist sentiment.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The point I was making was that making the leap from "Western Buddhologists don't believe Buddha taught Mahāyāna (which is effectively what DKR is talking about) to "This is why I doubt the understanding of seasoned Western practitioners". He making a very specious cultural argument, when all is said and done.


I am making exactly the same statement and last time I looked I was a westerner. Not because DKR or anyone else says so but because it makes sense to me.

/magnus



Yes, I see, so you are asserting you can only understand the meaning of the concept of nonduality in Mahāyāna sutras if you adopt the dualistic standpoint that they were uttered by the historical Buddha sometime about 450-400 years BCE. Right?

If I didn't know you better, I would say that this was a very fundamentalist sentiment.


:smile: I am not really saying that, am I? I just think it makes sense that, no matter when they were written down, they reflect a teaching taught by the Buddha. As I said earlier I don't either see any proof that this isn't the case.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:53 pm

heart wrote:
:smile: I am not really saying that, am I?


It seems so.

I just think it makes sense that, no matter when they were written down, they reflect a teaching taught by the Buddha.


Maybe, probably not in any literal, historical sense.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:I just think it makes sense that, no matter when they were written down, they reflect a teaching taught by the Buddha.


Maybe, probably not in any literal, historical sense.


Well, there are no Buddhist scriptures at all from the time of the Buddha. I just think one hearsay might be as valid as an other hearsay.

/magnus
Last edited by heart on Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:14 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:I just think it makes sense that, no matter when they were written down, they reflect a teaching taught by the Buddha.


Maybe, probably not in any literal, historical sense.


Well, there are no Buddhist scriptures at all form the time of the Buddha. I just think one hearsay might be as valid as an other hearsay.

/magnus


All histories are constructed. The only difference between them is the agenda.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:30 pm

Really difficult to say something about the agenda, isn't it? Unless you are talking about the agenda of the western scientist that created the evolution theory of hinayana -> mahayana -> vajrayana, because those guys really had an agenda. They were all Christians and they clearly disliked mahayana and despised vajrayana.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:00 pm

heart wrote:They were all Christians and they clearly disliked mahayana and despised vajrayana.


Which century are you talking about? This is certainly not the case with writers like Davidson and so on.

The notion of the evolution of Mahāyāna Buddhism and then Vajrayāna is based on text critical research.

What is more amusing about your assertion is that classical Indian Buddhist historians of the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh century take great pains explain why there is a sudden appearance Vajrayāna in India concocting all kinds of wild schemes from Vajrasattva in an iron tower in South India (Amoghavajra and Co in China) to the account of King Dza (Nyingma, but based on Indian antecedents) to the Sakya accounts found in 12th century Presentation of the General Divisions of Tantra, not to mention the earlier and well known account of the recovery of Prajñāpāramita from the Nāgā kingdom under the ocean by Nāgārjuna.

You see, Indians themselves acknowledged from an early period in the common era that Mahāyāna also "suddenly appeared".

Text critical scholars like Davidson, etc., are trying to work out the evolution of these texts because they were pointed to in that direction by what the texts and classical commentaries themselves reveal about the origins of these later canons.

It is just too ungenerous to modern scholars like Gregory Schopen and so on to accuse them of some strange Christian biases.

BTW, the first victim of Christian text critical scholarship was the bible itself.

But text critical scholarship, while not the end all and be all of interpretation of what these texts mean, is very useful in understanding where these texts come from. But sadly, people conflate the two, assuming that if some scholar is correct about say, the Chinese origins of the Heart sutra (Nattier's theory), that therefore, somehow the Heart Sutra becomes less meaningful as a protective charm against non-humans.

The problem is that Western people of a fundamentalist bent shy away from taking text critical scholarship seriously precisely because of our cultural tendency to interpret texts teleologically (which is a Christian, indeed a very western trait inherited from Plato, etc.), a tendency we have deeply inherited from the generally Hegelian theory of history (into which Tibetan narratives predicated on the role of the Imperial period personalities like Padmasambhava and so on play nicely) that we follow.

So when we are confronted with early narratives like that in the 'Bum nag, the sBa bzhed, etc., where Padmasambhava has a human father and mother, we reject these in favor of wildly contradictory later accounts of Padmasamabhava's life story because our teachers don't like the idea that Padmasambhava had a human father and mother.

In the end, there are certain Buddhist trends and narratives, especially in Vajrayāna, that play very nicely into our very Western habit of fundamentalism in thought and deed.

This is ironic, because Mahāyāna teachings often completely deconstruct so called Hinayāna teachings, just as Vajrayāna deconstructs the Mahāyāna path and Dzogchen deconstructs Vajrayāna.

We have all these Buddhist teachings deconstructing each other, and yet we have all these Buddhists, both Asian and Western, hell-bent on keeping the whole thing bound together with spit, twine and duct tape. Honestly, it is pretty funny to me.

M
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Clarence » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Many people with entrenched biases are not stupid.

Yes, and DJKR is not one of them.


We will agree to disagree.


The question I find interesting is whether or not you believe someone can be realized without having abandoned his prejudices and biases? Of course, you will ask what level of realization I am talking about but I don't know much about all the possible levels so I will leave it to you to incorporate that in your answer (if you feel like answering the question). :-)

Many thanks as usual...
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:29 pm

Clarence wrote:
The question I find interesting is whether or not you believe someone can be realized without having abandoned his prejudices and biases?


Sure. Even Buddha had prejudices and biases. It's very obvious when you read the Pali canon, for example.

Buddha was a human being, he had a human brain, human sense organs and all the limitations of a human body (birth, aging, sickness and death). He was accused of sexual improprieties and all kinds of other faults. He watched his entire clan be murdered and enslaved and did nothing about it (if that does not demonstrate to one that Buddha found life empty of meaning, nothing else will). Rahula was hugely disappointed in him until Rahula decided to follow the Dharma himself.
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Clarence » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:38 pm

So then after death those prejudices and biases fall away?

BTW, this (meaning the idea that realized people can still have normal human behavior and biases and prejudices) would truly mean that from the outside one can never know if someone is realized or not?
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:52 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Clarence wrote:
The question I find interesting is whether or not you believe someone can be realized without having abandoned his prejudices and biases?


Sure. Even Buddha had prejudices and biases. It's very obvious when you read the Pali canon, for example.

Buddha was a human being, he had a human brain, human sense organs and all the limitations of a human body (birth, aging, sickness and death). He was accused of sexual improprieties and all kinds of other faults. He watched his entire clan be murdered and enslaved and did nothing about it (if that does not demonstrate to one that Buddha found life empty of meaning, nothing else will). Rahula was hugely disappointed in him until Rahula decided to follow the Dharma himself.


Suddenly it's become a most interesting thread. :coffee:
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Poorbitch » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:Sure. Even Buddha had prejudices and biases. It's very obvious when you read the Pali canon, for example.

Buddha was a human being, he had a human brain, human sense organs and all the limitations of a human body (birth, aging, sickness and death). He was accused of sexual improprieties and all kinds of other faults. He watched his entire clan be murdered and enslaved and did nothing about it (if that does not demonstrate to one that Buddha found life empty of meaning, nothing else will). Rahula was hugely disappointed in him until Rahula decided to follow the Dharma himself.


one more scholars who falls in the darkness of materialism and false assumptions about the buddhas . So predictable :coffee:
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