Dr. Reginald Ray

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:17 am

Pero wrote:
Chaz wrote: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.


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.


Chaz, I'm sorry but I think this is a very, very wrong view. And I think Adamantine was a bit off too. It's not mere blessings, but actual realization. So in other words, if you see your teacher as the Buddha, you will achieve the realization of the Buddha. If you see your teacher as a mere samsaric being your realization will only be samsaric as well. I have never heard or read that it is ok to view your Vajrayana teacher as an ordinary being, ever. And it is not about placing the teacher on a pedestal either. These are very wrong ideas which I suggest you discuss with your teacher because you probably won't believe me and IMO it's actually something very important.


From Patrul Rinpoche's The Words of My Perfect Teacher:

"Better than meditating on a hundred thousand deities
For ten million kalpas
Is to think of one's teacher for a single instant.


This is especially true in this particular vehicle, the heart essence of the natural Great Perfection, the vajra core-teaching. Here it is not taught that the profound truth should be established on the basis of analysis and logic, as is the practice in the lower vehicles. Nor is it said that common accomplishments should be used in order to finally obtain supreme accomplishment, as in the lower tantras. The use of the illustrative primal wisdom of the third empowerment to introduce true primal wisdom is not stressed, as it is in the other higher tantras. What is taught in this tradition is to pray with fervent devotion and complete faith to a supremely realized teacher whose lineage is like a golden chain untarnished by any variance with the samayas, to rely on him alone and to consider him to be a real Buddha; in this way, your mind will merge completely with his. By the power of his blessings being transferred to you, realization will take birth. As we have quoted before:

Innate absolute wisdom can only come
As the mark of having accumulated merit and purified obscurations
And through the blessings of a realized teacher.
Know that to rely on any other means is foolish.


This is the Dharma I try to practice. This is in accord with everything I've been taught by my own Lamas. If others here disagree or have been taught something else that's fine but I don't think there's much more for me to contribute in that case.

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:33 am

Ah sorry, I misunderstood a bit what you meant by blessings. Thanks for that fine quote. :smile:
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: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:58 am

Pero wrote:Ah sorry, I misunderstood a bit what you meant by blessings. Thanks for that fine quote. :smile:


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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:12 am

Chaz wrote: 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".

.


Here's another passage from Patrul Rinpoche's WoMPT:

"By not examining a teacher with great care
The faithful waste their gathered merit.
Like taking for the shadow of a tree a vicious snake,
Beguiled, they lose the freedom they at last had found.


After examining him carefully and making an unmistaken assessment, from the moment you find a teacher has all the positive qualities mentioned
you should never cease to consider him to be the Buddha in person.
This teacher in whom all the attributes are complete is the embodiment of the compassionate
wisdom of all Buddhas of the ten directions, appearing in the form of an ordinary human simply to benefit beings. . . .

So that such a true teacher may skilfully guide the ordinary people needing his help, he makes his everyday conduct conform to that of ordinary people. But
in reality his wisdom mind is that of a Buddha, so he is utterly different from everyone else. Each of his acts is simply the activity of a realized being attuned to the nature of those he has to benefit. He is therefore uniquely noble. Skilled in cutting through hesitation and doubt, he patiently endures all the ingratitude and discouragement of his disciples, like a mother with her only child."
Last edited by Adamantine on Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:43 am

Chaz wrote:Well, I choose to not make a distinction at all. I don't care what other's believe about rebirth. I don't care what others teach about rebirth. I do think that to make such a huge deal about it is pointless, absurd and a complete waste of time.



And a couple short excerpts from this same profound text, this one is listing the qualities of a proper Vajra guide:

"Having experienced for himself the nature of reality, he himself should be liberated. The well being of others should be his sole concern,
his heart being full of compassion. He should have few preoccupations, for he has given up any clinging to the ordinary things of this life. Concentrating on
future lives, his only, resolute thought is for the Dharma.
Seing samsara as suffering, he should feel great sadness, and should encourage the same feeling in others."

And a bit further down, in a list of qualities to avoid, in the category Teachers like a millstone made of wood. He lists:

"Even if they have studied, reflected and meditated a little, they did so not with any pure intention of working for future lives but for more mundane reasons- like preventing the priestly fiefs of which they are incumbents from falling into decay. As for training disciples, they are about as well suited to fulfilling their proper function as a millstone made of wood."
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby tobes » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:00 am

mr. gordo wrote:
tobes wrote:
I like this: what is dharmic and what is adharmic? Who get's to decide?

:namaste:


tobes,

May I ask how you define what is dharmic and adharmic?


Well, I certainly don't think I get to decide.

If pushed to give a definition of adharmic, I would say something like: "unwholesome actions which stem from the assumption that actions do not produce consequences."

But then, we've had long and interesting threads here where people have given brilliant and well founded arguments that causality is an illusion.

Am I to call them adharmic, just because their well established position is not in accord with my definition?

Or am I to realise that my definition is just that: a fairly arbitrary statement which does not come close to covering all points of view?

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:42 am

tobes wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:
tobes wrote:
I like this: what is dharmic and what is adharmic? Who get's to decide?

:namaste:


tobes,

May I ask how you define what is dharmic and adharmic?


Well, I certainly don't think I get to decide.

If pushed to give a definition of adharmic, I would say something like: "unwholesome actions which stem from the assumption that actions do not produce consequences."

But then, we've had long and interesting threads here where people have given brilliant and well founded arguments that causality is an illusion.

Am I to call them adharmic, just because their well established position is not in accord with my definition?

Or am I to realise that my definition is just that: a fairly arbitrary statement which does not come close to covering all points of view?

:namaste:


Adharma is a sanskrit word, basically meaning that which doesn't accord with the law- could be used to mean illegal in a worldly sense, or in the sense that it is contrary to the natural law. I think in the case of the Buddhadharma, it refers to that which is contrary to the true nature of things. . . as revealed by those who are omniscient and have compassionately tried to communicate this truth to us. I think it is pretty universally understood among Buddhists that denying rebirth is obviously adharmic, because not only does that contradict all the many recorded teachings of the historical Samyaksambuddha of our time and place, but if you do edit it out of Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings then they begin to lose sense.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:56 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Chaz wrote:Well, I choose to not make a distinction at all. I don't care what other's believe about rebirth. I don't care what others teach about rebirth. I do think that to make such a huge deal about it is pointless, absurd and a complete waste of time.



And a couple short excerpts from this same profound text, this one is listing the qualities of a proper Vajra guide:

"Having experienced for himself the nature of reality, he himself should be liberated.


Ok, as valuable as the rest of your post was, you should have stopped right there.

The chances of finding such a teacher is nigh unto impossible, if not completely so. If a proper teacher must be that, then the rest of the quailifications are pointless to consider because the first condition, liberation, is so insanely difficult of find and determine.

In any event, I'd prefer a teacher who's still rooting around in the muck of samsara with the rest of us mere mortals. Easier to relate to someone like that. I guess I don't see myself living in a Pure Land right now. Maybe next time around - Dewachen and Sukhavati sound like wonderfull places and being taught the Dharma by a Bodhisattva that has completed the paths and bhumis would be ....... well ....... pretty cool(?).

But hey, if you've found a teacher that fits that description, then I rejoice in your good fortune and merit and may all beings benefit.

So, I must bow to your assertions regarding not attending a teaching by Reggie Ray. I can attest to him not being liberated, so for you to go and hear him teach would have been a complete waste of time, regardless of his position on rebirth.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:06 pm

Adamantine wrote:I think it is pretty universally understood among Buddhists that denying rebirth is obviously adharmic

I've yet to see any explicit statement by Ray saying that he denies rebirth.

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:38 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I think it is pretty universally understood among Buddhists that denying rebirth is obviously adharmic

I've yet to see any explicit statement by Ray saying that he denies rebirth.

All the best,

Geoff


I don't think that it makes much of a difference; as a public teacher of Dharma, at a Vajrayana level- giving empowerments-- even if he didn't explicitly say outright that there is no transmigration -by publicly implying on a radio show that it is irrelevant in the scope of teaching Buddhism functions as a type of denial. He says that it isn't useful because it takes the focus away from this life. Well, as you can see clearly from the Patrul Rinpoche quotes above, as well as Dzongsar Khyentse's teaching on Parting From the Three Attachments- this is precisely why it is important.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Rael » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:37 am

Adamantine wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I think it is pretty universally understood among Buddhists that denying rebirth is obviously adharmic

I've yet to see any explicit statement by Ray saying that he denies rebirth.

All the best,

Geoff


I don't think that it makes much of a difference; as a public teacher of Dharma, at a Vajrayana level- giving empowerments-- even if he didn't explicitly say outright that there is no transmigration -by publicly implying on a radio show that it is irrelevant in the scope of teaching Buddhism functions as a type of denial. He says that it isn't useful because it takes the focus away from this life. Well, as you can see clearly from the Patrul Rinpoche quotes above, as well as Dzongsar Khyentse's teaching on Parting From the Three Attachments- this is precisely why it is important.



ahhh so he never really said there is no such thing as rebirth....

and you want to hang the man for giving guidance on how to live this life...

like i said Jews teach reincarnation yet most don't know of it as part of their belief system...

they like this ray guy think it is more important to focus on this life...

so from what i read here it's like someone :toilet: wishes :toilet: he actually said there is no rebirth.....

well too bad cause Ray prolly knows that there is rebirth...

but like the Sokka Gakkai don't focus on it other than the Buddha's edict..

If you want to know about your past lives, look at this one..
and if you want to know your future lives, see how you live this one...

i believe thats a Buddha's edict...
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:54 am

Adamantine wrote:I don't think that it makes much of a difference

In the context of deciding whether a teacher is presenting adharma it makes a difference. Ray has explicitly taught karma and rebirth, and there is no reason to conclude that he no longer does so. I may not agree with what was expressed in that interview statement, but that doesn't rise to the level of accusation that Ray is openly promoting a heretical, nihilistic view.

All the best,

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:02 am

Rael wrote:
and you want to hang the man for giving guidance on how to live this life...



relaX ! nobody said nothin about hanging the guy!
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:22 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I don't think that it makes much of a difference

In the context of deciding whether a teacher is presenting adharma it makes a difference. Ray has explicitly taught karma and rebirth, and there is no reason to conclude that he no longer does so. I may not agree with what was expressed in that interview statement, but that doesn't rise to the level of accusation that Ray is openly promoting a heretical, nihilistic view.

All the best,

Geoff


Actually, I finally made the effort to search around for the original interview in question. However, there were so many radio interviews of him at that same approximate time, because he was promoting his new book-- I discovered one I hadn't heard, and after listening to this one I am more skeptical of what this man is teaching. He states that that there is no final Awakening, such as the Buddha himself experienced, where one's karmic seeds and obscurations are exhausted and what is left is a state of omniscience.. Not to mention the three kayas, etc. He more or less said that if you theoretically achieved something like that you would be dead-- so he contradicts the entire notion of Nirmanakaya. Then when explicitly asked about 'after-death', he clearly states that no religion or tradition knows what happens-- that he thinks whatever is said is bogus, etc. So yes, in this interview he flatly and clearly denies that he believes in rebirth. He reveals himself as a total agnostic, not any different from Batchelor. Not only that, implicit in his statements is that Shakyamuni Buddha didn't know, Guru Padmasambhava didn't know, none of the tulkus throughout history ever consciously reincarnated or had recollection of their past lives, -and his own teacher Trungpa Rinpoche was writing B.S. commentary about The Tibetan Book of The Dead which is itself just a fanciful fabrication. In short, he is making it up as he goes along, has no confidence in the lineage masters, and as such I don't think he can be looked at as an authentic Dharma teacher, at least from the Vajrayana tradition. How could he be upholding the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and at the same time say Guru Rinpoche's teachings on the 6 Bardos are bogus? How could he be holding the lineage of Naropa, when he says that the 6 yogas of Naropa(one being Bardo yoga, one being Phowa) are bogus? It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:26 am

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:53 pm

Adamantine wrote:It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.


I don't believe that Reggie is teaching a Vajrayana lineage at all. I don't believe he has any credentials. The only person that could have betsowed empowerment to do that would be the Sakyong and to the best of my knowledge that has never happened. Ray's giving pointing out instruction without the blessing of his lineage is at the heart of his split with the Shambhala mandala.

So, it may be safe to say that Reggie is something of a rogue element in the context of Tibetan-type Buddhism. He does seem to be on his own. That's not necessarily a Bad Thing, but in Ray's case I'm increasingly unsure if it's a Good Thing, either.

He seems geuinely interested in a meeting of Buddhism (a' la Trungpa Rinpoche) with traditional Shamanistic practices. The last time I saw Reggie teach was about 5 years ago in Denver. Prior to the teaching he walked the circumference of the room and called the corners using a "shaman's drum", and sage incense. Nothoing I haven't seen before - my wife is wiccan - but not in the context of Buddhist teaching. He mentions similar stuff in that interview. I think that fusion of belief systems is inevitable - the Bon influence on Tibetan Buddhism is an example - what I saw that night was, shall we say, unexpected.

Perhaps our friend Reggie is deliberately moving in a direction away from "traditional" Buddhist thought and teaching and forging his own path. The story goes that many years ago Reggie and his wife, Lee, had a meeting with the 16th Karmapa. His Holiness is reported to have predicted that the Rays would be "the father and mother of Buddhism in the West." . Maybe that endorsement ........

Ah shit, I dunno.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Rael » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:23 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Rael wrote:
and you want to hang the man for giving guidance on how to live this life...



relaX ! nobody said nothin about hanging the guy!

hopefully your joking and are not interpreting this in the same manner as the rebirth issue...
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Rael » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:34 pm

Adamantine wrote:Please, see for yourselves: http://www.soundstrue.com/podcast/reggi ... ra-master/


Hmmmm pretty strong stuff..

so is that the shambala thing...is it coming from that...

i felt it was like some sort of movement outside the traditional Tibetan lineages...

and to be honest this was all instinctual...i know nothing about this shambala deal...

when i said hanging the guy ...it was a metaphor for trashing the person's teachings....

i'm not going to read all of the link...for i don't like it.....

am i hiding my head in the sand...

are these things you say he says true to what he said...


it's all so sordid and anti ...anti something....my instincts are shutting me down...

ooops there goes my frontal lobes.....my cerebral cortex is jammed....
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Rael » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:28 pm

:woohoo: :toilet: :woohoo:
:quoteunquote: :popcorn: :quoteunquote:
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:04 pm

Chaz wrote:
Adamantine wrote:It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.


I don't believe that Reggie is teaching a Vajrayana lineage at all. I don't believe he has any credentials. The only person that could have betsowed empowerment to do that would be the Sakyong and to the best of my knowledge that has never happened. Ray's giving pointing out instruction without the blessing of his lineage is at the heart of his split with the Shambhala mandala.

So, it may be safe to say that Reggie is something of a rogue element in the context of Tibetan-type Buddhism. He does seem to be on his own. That's not necessarily a Bad Thing, but in Ray's case I'm increasingly unsure if it's a Good Thing, either.

He seems geuinely interested in a meeting of Buddhism (a' la Trungpa Rinpoche) with traditional Shamanistic practices. The last time I saw Reggie teach was about 5 years ago in Denver. Prior to the teaching he walked the circumference of the room and called the corners using a "shaman's drum", and sage incense. Nothoing I haven't seen before - my wife is wiccan - but not in the context of Buddhist teaching. He mentions similar stuff in that interview. I think that fusion of belief systems is inevitable - the Bon influence on Tibetan Buddhism is an example - what I saw that night was, shall we say, unexpected.

Perhaps our friend Reggie is deliberately moving in a direction away from "traditional" Buddhist thought and teaching and forging his own path. The story goes that many years ago Reggie and his wife, Lee, had a meeting with the 16th Karmapa. His Holiness is reported to have predicted that the Rays would be "the father and mother of Buddhism in the West." . Maybe that endorsement ........

Ah shit, I dunno.


Correct me if I'm wrong but I understood one of the reasons for his split off was because he wasn't receiving permission to give empowerments to his students and he wanted to. I also was under the impression from things he said and other sources that after his split he was giving his students empowerments of Vajrayogini. And I recall him having an issue with the intellectual property the Shambhala International had claimed over some of these texts, such as ngondro, etc. Maybe that has changed, and he no longer fancies himself a Vajra master, but in this interview that title comes up again. So I would say, he is presenting himself as a Vajrayana lineage holder, while at the same time denying essential things that his lineage masters have taken great pains to teach on in detail. And mixing it up with shamanism seems to be another sign of something not quite right. There are plenty of Vajrayana rituals concerning the four directions, the gaurdians of the directions, the 5 wisdom dakinis that correspond to the elements and the directions, as well as the emotions and wisdoms-- the Vajrayana teachings are complete without adding new elements from shamanistic traditions.
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