JKhedrup wrote:It is not the idea itself that I have the aversion to but Tara's behaviour as I have seen in her videos and heard from her students. I have been approached via email from 2 people connected with her who doubt her claims simply because her behaviour with her students is not very compassionate. I also have heard enough Westerners faking Tibetan accents during my years in idea to recognized affected mispronunciations when I hear them. And, I have never heard Tara speak Tibetan, which, if she really has "downloaded" the consciousness of Domo Geshe, she should be able to do perfectly. (Of course it wouldn't be a perfect indication, but it would be moving in the right direction).
To be honest I am surprised at how people are prepared to accept her claims at face value, but maybe she has a charisma that I just don't connect with and others do.
Thanks JKhedrup. I think these observations of personal behavior are indeed bad indicators. As I recall however, bad behavior is not absent in the behavior of saints or arhants or bodhisattvas or even tulkus! Now I personally was turned off by the photograph on her book cover; her smirkish smile told me volumes about the difficulties I would have if I met her personally and attempted to interact with her. That I find troubling, but only mildly so.
I do not in fact take her claims at any value at all. I suppose some reading this thread will suspect me of being her shill, but I wouldn't recommend anyone take personal teachings from her much less ordination or discipleship. I don't recall ever being asked for my opinion from anyone taking a guru before though so....
The one redeeming feature that I can say of her is that her book touched me rather profoundly as Dharma books go. For that I am grateful to her. Have I been mislead by her? I doubt it, since I read many books I do not agree with and do not fear being misled by them. Reading that book led me into new territory in my capacity for renunciation based on a clearer view of emptiness. Some of her comments seemed to be "fillers" but in fact she was following Chandrakirti's Twenty Emptinesses pretty closely. I don't know, but I don't think the authenticity of her lineage or the absolute truth of her words has ever been a criterion of mine, not for her, not for anybody.
The Sadhu Rampuri who described his experience of receiving the transmission of, or being possessed by, the consciousness of his teacher -- and a whole retinue of gurus, speaking of lineage -- still retained his own personality and basic sense of control over his mind and body. I do not know that he became fluent in the languages (many) that his guru had mastered. I do not know enough about his apparently real phenomenon to say that this is a qualifying test of the authenticity of the transmission. Perhaps, very likely, it is something much more subtle than that which unfolds over time.
If something like that had happened to me, I suppose I would be in the same boat that she seems to be in. So, you're still controlled by kleshas; but you have this spiritual master in your mind with you; I don't think the guru is interested in being returned to sender; checkmate! Go crazy girl and do whatever your guru tells you to, that's what you signed up for. Apparently!