Adamantine wrote:Well then Chaz, we'll have to agree to disagree.
I'm ok with that ...
have a different understanding. I'm basing mine
on the Dharma I've received from my teachers...many of them
who all agree on points I've put forth.
You're not alone. My understanding wasn't found at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.
We all have different teachers and those teachers, if they're worth anything at all, will teach each student according to their individual capacity and inlcinations.
It also accords with
my own intuition. Regardless of your view that it's ok
to go to tantric level teachings or empowerments with individuals
that you see as fundamentally ordinary samsaric people, -why
would you want to?
because they have something to offer. I see all teachers as samsaric beings. They may have realization beyond my own, but that doesn't make them anything more or less than what they are.
There's a combination of method and wisdom we need
to assume even as students, we still have this responsibility at this level.
It is said, if you see your teacher as being at the level of a dog, you'll get
the blessings of a dog. If you see them as a Buddha, you'll receive the blessings
of a Buddha.
I'm wel;l aware of the teachings you refer to. I think they come from Jamgon Kongtrul, but could be wrong. You don't have to view your teacher any of those ways. There may be blessings associated with different views of the Guru, but you don't have to make a decision as to which way you choose to view the guru. It's up to you.
I was talking about this very thing with our sangha's director of practice the other day. He was a student of Trungpa Rinpoche's. he aggreed that one of the primary reasons that so many of his students continue with strong practice today is because they didn't place the Vidyadhara on a pedestal he didn't deserve. he was, in the end, a painfully human being. He was subject to all the same shortcomings and downfalls that we all are subject to - in that regard he was as samsaric as anyone else. He was no more a fully enlightened being than you or I. Yet, he possessed a nearly inhuman degree of presence and wisdom. That is what made him so attractive to so many people. He was "real".
But to make the judgement that
I missed out, was foolish not to go , etc. is itself foolish. How can you know
what my experience would have been? The only reason I could have missed out
on anything is indeed if Ray is a pure lineage holder and a realized master in his own right.
You may be right, but I think I'll stick to my guns. It was foolish. You should have gone to see him. The next chance you get, you should go to see him. If you're within a day's drive from Crestone, you should go there and and see him.
However, you don't even have enough faith in that to take him as a Vajra master
yourself so you seem to be confused about these things.
Nope, no confusion, just a lack of certainty that has yet to find resolution. That kinda blows. You'd think that in 5 years I'd have had an opportunity to get that all straightened out, but no. Even though on the Dharma Ocean mail list I always seem to miss teachings, or have conflicting schedule, or not enough $$ for tuition or some shit like that. Really bad Karma where it comes to Reggie. At any rate I was able to reunite with my guru - it just wasn't Reggie.
I see Reggie's teaching on rebirth as being about the importance of those teachings relative to the needs of sentient beings. What I get from him is that's it's not as important as others make it out to be and that seems to have created some unneccessary and unfortunate drama. I don't see him saying that rebirth is incorrect as a dharma teaching. I tend to aggree with him. I think there are far more important things for a student to be concerned with than a belief in rebirth. "Beliefs" tend to produce obstacles to the path - they try to solidy the Dharma and reduce its spaciousness. Rather than confront a student's beliefs unnecessarily, the wiser course is to focus the student on matters of practice. Beliefs can and often change with time. A student who is successful in practice often develops the confidence that allows beliefs to change. There's nothing to be gained in pushing it.
I don't think we need to
discuss my personal decision any more, or your judgement of it. If I made a mistake it was
probably in writing about it here, not in the actual decision not to go.
No, you should have gone. Any time you have a chance to hear a good teacher teach the Dharma you should avail yourself. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to all sentient beings. You don't have to agree with the teacher 100% to benefit from their teaching.