Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:29 am

One of the real threats to Vajrayana is it's "crass commericalization." Another threat to Vajrayana would be the incorporation of sectarian politics, and practices which promote such views. It's important to understand the roots of one's own personal lineage and practices, to understand where they come from, and to have confidence that they are the unmistaken Dharma. Just as an example, it's probably best to rely on Wisdom Protectors who are directly related to one's personal practices, and whose antecedents can be found in the Tantras of those practices themselves.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Rael » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:30 am

conebeckham wrote:One of the real threats to Vajrayana is it's "crass commericalization." Another threat to Vajrayana would be the incorporation of sectarian politics, and practices which promote such views. It's important to understand the roots of one's own personal lineage and practices, to understand where they come from, and to have confidence that they are the unmistaken Dharma. Just as an example, it's probably best to rely on Wisdom Protectors who are directly related to one's personal practices, and whose antecedents can be found in the Tantras of those practices themselves.



I see where crass commercialization would come off as ...well crass....lol...

But isn't worse to keep all this stuff to your selves and forbid by law any one joining in from the outside...

unmistakable Dharma is out the window today....

so much is said to have been said by the buddha...or given to us by the Buddha...

it doesn't matter though...

Vajrayana is vajrayana and if you got the right set physiological channels and chakras in your mind you can do it....

just do the thing....get a teacher who will tell you everything he isn't supposed to....try to see if the Dali Lama knows His credentials ..like He is authenticated Rinpoche or better still His Tullkuness is a definite thing....

and go for it....


if you build it They will come


you do stuff to yourself and They will aid you.....

easy peasy....
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:59 am

Tsongkhapafan wrote:
Yeshe wrote:
Tsongkhapafan wrote:It's not exactly Freesangha here, is it? :lol:
I trust that you have now read and understand my poor attempts at explaining exaclty how someone unprepared for Tantric Vows may be sucked into evem greater commitments which appear to be inviolable but are actually fabricated sectarianism. This sort of thing is a threat to the survival of Vajrayana. Hopefully here, through the ToS, we can help ensure that harmful practices are not disseminated.


Wow, it's the thought police here. I'm glad I'm free to choose my practices and what I can talk about.

The real threat to Vajrayana, and Buddhism in general, is using politics to change Buddhist traditions for the purposes of gaining control. Real sectarianism is banning spiritual practices for political reasons. In short, the biggest threat is politically motivated 'Buddhism'.

I can step back into the background now, have fun.


I regard certain organisations as being the greatest threat to Vajrayana in the West through the preaching of false dharmas and the cultivation of messianic cults rather than freedom of practice across all the traditions which share a common Buddhist motivation.

I am able to receive teachings and empowerments from any school, which IMHO enhances the understanding on which I may base my free thinking. Free thinking is not enhanced by the limiting of input to one guru's words.

Should a senior teacher in such a cult take empowerments from, say, the Nyingma, he would be sacked. Banning practices for political and commercial reasons is a fair description of an organisation which insists on the propitiation of a particular personal Dharmapala, which insists that disciples sign contracts to study (only the guru's) books, and which cultivates a persecution mentality. As with all cults, you know when the programming is successful as the victims feel they want to stay, to defend, that only this path is right - and that they must focus on it to the exclusion of non-cult friends and family. I hardly need to point to cases which indicate where this may lead.

I think I've written all I can within ToS about the reasons why such a cult may undermine the efforts of other Vajrayana schools in the West (on topic I hope), and why discussing them in detail here can end up giving oxygen to them. If I've danced around the fire and come a little too close to the flames, please forgive me.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:27 pm

conebeckham wrote:One of the real threats to Vajrayana is it's "crass commericalization." Another threat to Vajrayana would be the incorporation of sectarian politics, and practices which promote such views. It's important to understand the roots of one's own personal lineage and practices, to understand where they come from, and to have confidence that they are the unmistaken Dharma. Just as an example, it's probably best to rely on Wisdom Protectors who are directly related to one's personal practices, and whose antecedents can be found in the Tantras of those practices themselves.
Hey, whoa there young man! Crass commercialisation!? You are forgeting the number one rule of this world we live in: You get what you pay for! What are yah, some kindda anarcho-commie-liberal-leftist-democrat!? Quick someone call the CIA, there's a free thinker running loose in the house. :spy:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:42 pm

I think Tibetan Buddhism will do very well in the U.S. and Europe. This topic reminded of a quote on the book Interpreting Amida: History and Orientalism in the
Study of Pure Land Buddhism
that was reviewed by Professor Charles Jones:

...why is it that the Jodo Shinshu, the religion in question,
has received far less attention and serious study than its rivals in the
religious scene?

She (his wife) immediately responded, Maybe it just wasn't different enough
from what they already knew. Maybe it wasn't exotic enough.


I know it seems like a shallow statement, but it seems dead on. Tibetan Buddhism is alien enough to tap the interest of those brought up in a Judeo-Christian background to the ardent atheist. Also the Dalai Lama embraces the use of technology like Social Media to provide Buddhist teachings, and it seems like this could be further implemented by the Karmapa.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:45 pm

conebeckham wrote:.......I believe Sakyas are strictest in terms of limiting the number of students who can take empowerment at the same time,


Yes, I recall it being limited to 25 people at a time for the VY blessing.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:48 pm

Yeshe wrote:I regard certain organisations as being the greatest threat to Vajrayana in the West through the preaching of false dharmas and the cultivation of messianic cults rather than freedom of practice across all the traditions which share a common Buddhist motivation.

I am able to receive teachings and empowerments from any school, which IMHO enhances the understanding on which I may base my free thinking. Free thinking is not enhanced by the limiting of input to one guru's words.

Should a senior teacher in such a cult take empowerments from, say, the Nyingma, he would be sacked. Banning practices for political and commercial reasons is a fair description of an organisation which insists on the propitiation of a particular personal Dharmapala, which insists that disciples sign contracts to study (only the guru's) books, and which cultivates a persecution mentality. As with all cults, you know when the programming is successful as the victims feel they want to stay, to defend, that only this path is right - and that they must focus on it to the exclusion of non-cult friends and family. I hardly need to point to cases which indicate where this may lead.

I think I've written all I can within ToS about the reasons why such a cult may undermine the efforts of other Vajrayana schools in the West (on topic I hope), and why discussing them in detail here can end up giving oxygen to them. If I've danced around the fire and come a little too close to the flames, please forgive me.


:good:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Astus » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:03 pm

mr. gordo wrote:I know it seems like a shallow statement, but it seems dead on. Tibetan Buddhism is alien enough to tap the interest of those brought up in a Judeo-Christian background to the ardent atheist. Also the Dalai Lama embraces the use of technology like Social Media to provide Buddhist teachings, and it seems like this could be further implemented by the Karmapa.


Being alien is not enough and can be even counter-productive. It should not be forgot that Tibet has been a part of Western esotericism since the 19th century or even before as a mystical land. There is also the recent history of Tibet that a large number of the population fled from the country and now they are oppressed by the Communists - this whole brings up Western concepts of freedom and the evil enemy of that. There's also the image of Tibetans being a spiritual, peaceful people living close to nature which again resonates with old Western ideas. It's just another thing how neo-pagan movements are growing in numbers and that goes quite well with the magical features of Vajrayana. Thus it is an already existing mythology that Tibetan Buddhism can build on. How Tibetan Studies is a common part of oriental curricula in universities is another positive factor.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:01 pm

I blame The Champions'! :

http://thechampionsfan.homestead.com/

To be fair, I should also blame Lobsang Rampa. LOL :)

I wonder if interest in whatever is 'occult' (hidden) is a constant interest or one which is cyclical in terms of the number of people engaged in the spiritual quest in the West.

Certainly the Theosophical Society and Olcott was part of one such revival, then we had the 1960's and we now have a whole raft of intrest in the ''occult', and Vajrayana may well be a part of that superficial interest due to its ritual nature and secrecy.

Maybe those periods are simply an indicator of each new generation, perhaps following public figures of their time such as the Beatles or Mad Donna.

Of course, just mention'Tantra' and some people may have a completely different image in their minds!

Anyone embarking on the Vajrayana due to a superficial attraction and attachment to a mistaken view will soon either change that view or leave, except in those dangerous organisations which prostitute the ritualistic and Vajrayana for their own ends.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Rael » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:50 pm

Yeshe wrote:I blame The Champions'! :

http://thechampionsfan.homestead.com/

To be fair, I should also blame Lobsang Rampa. LOL :)

I wonder if interest in whatever is 'occult' (hidden) is a constant interest or one which is cyclical in terms of the number of people engaged in the spiritual quest in the West.

Certainly the Theosophical Society and Olcott was part of one such revival, then we had the 1960's and we now have a whole raft of intrest in the ''occult', and Vajrayana may well be a part of that superficial interest due to its ritual nature and secrecy.

Maybe those periods are simply an indicator of each new generation, perhaps following public figures of their time such as the Beatles or Mad Donna.

Of course, just mention'Tantra' and some people may have a completely different image in their minds!

Anyone embarking on the Vajrayana due to a superficial attraction and attachment to a mistaken view will soon either change that view or leave, except in those dangerous organisations which prostitute the ritualistic and Vajrayana for their own ends.


lol...lobsang rampa...you just dated yourself....

i read all his books....
i don't think he wrote anything that was detrimental to the student...most people that read him are pretty nice people...

He sparked a generation into lending their time to the Tibetan Myth....at the very least....

for what ever ...i believe he was part and parcel to the turning of the Dharma Wheel.....

i'm 55....i did the whole TM thing...back in the early 70's it was hard to find stuff in Montreal to" do"....lol...

i recall meeting my first Indian ...it went like this....

"Are you a Hindu?"
"Yes">>> to which i thought i just found a living breathing teacher of everything i needed and wanted....

"so you know about meditation and stuff"

"Yes"
"What do you do?"

he went on to explain he recently immigrated to Canada and was looking for work blah blah.....

I thinking it was language thing i insisted
"no i mean what do you do !!!, like meditation , yoga have you ever been to a Temple"
"No I don't meditate and i have been to temples from time to time"

Shocked , dejected!!!!! what is this person.....

"what do you mean , are you a Hindu?"

"Yes, I am"

"and you know about Hinduism???"

the man looking quite strange at this young white kid

"Yes i do , somewhat'

"I don't get it, you are born in India where you can know and do all this stuff and you don't"

there was no internet back then...everything was so rare to find.....

my innocence was legendary.....

But i do believe lobasng babes was part of the West's introduction...He kept us focused on the Prize...
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:03 pm

Rael wrote:
lol...lobsang rampa...you just dated yourself....

i'm 55....i did the whole TM thing...back in the early 70's it was hard to find stuff in Montreal to" do"....lol...



Guilty as charged (56). And another Genesis fan. LOL :)
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Luke » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:34 pm

I haven't really been following all the discussion in this thread, so I'll just go back to the OP's original question.

J-Bird wrote:Thought I would encourage a discussion the progress of Vajrayana (Specifically Tibetan Vajrayana) in the west.
It seems like there could be a justifiable concern that the explosion of interest in Tibetan buddhism seen in the last 50 years is now on the decline. I have noticed that many practitioners, while staying with the path, have moved over to other traditions, or have adopted more secular manifestations of traditional Tibetan lineages.

What do you think?

I think Tibetan Buddhism has already "stuck" in the west. Some people may have been attracted to it just as a fad, but there are still surprisingly many westerners who have practiced it for a long time and who wouldn't think of abandoning it.

Much more needs to be done, though. We need to create communities of lay Buddhists and we need to have more Buddhist monasteries in the west. We also need more Buddhist organizations to do more community service and to take a more active role in their communities, instead of just hiding.

So to me the question is no longer "Will it stick?" but is instead "What can we do to make it stick better?"

It also seems to me that new Nyingma and Sakya Buddhist centers are still being opened around the world. This wouldn't be happening if Vajrayana were dying out...

May Mantrayana flourish in the west!
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Rael » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:42 pm

Yeshe wrote:
Rael wrote:
lol...lobsang rampa...you just dated yourself....

i'm 55....i did the whole TM thing...back in the early 70's it was hard to find stuff in Montreal to" do"....lol...



Guilty as charged (56). And another Genesis fan. LOL :)


shall we talk ...a salamander scurries into flames to be destroyed....

the lamia....my my what are they....
AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

I see everything as Dharma....everything...it's interwoven if you will into the whole thing....

in any case this place affords me a place to think about stuff it's hard just to find someone in the moment to bounce it off...

it's well run ...it has obviously people that are smarter than me and can force me to think what i say....and i say that honestly....

great lil crowd here....

here some Genesis Dharma for the masses....lol....

Holy Mother of God
You've got to go faster than that to get to the top
Dirty old mountain all covered in smoke
She can turn you to stone
You better start doing it right
Yes you better start doing it right
All right

You're halfway up and you're halfway down
The pack on your back keeps turning you around
Throw it away, you won't need it up there, and remember
You don't look back whatever you do
Yes you better start doing it right.
All right
Yes you better start doing it right


------
Take a little trip back with father Tiresias,
Listen to the old one speak of all he has lived through.
I have crossed between the poles, for me there's no mystery.
Once a man, like the sea I raged,
Once a woman, like the earth I gave.
But there is in fact more earth than sea.


:popcorn:
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:07 pm

That's what a Charterhouse public school education gets you! Classical mythological references!

Peter Gabriel is a highly intelligent guy whose message may be lost as 'the sheep remain inside their pen, though many times they've seen the way to leave'.

I hope the Vajrayana has many more powerful Western supporters who convey the message through music and poetry - I feel we need more contemporary exemplars as well as Shantideva etc.

I just hope Mad Donna doesn't turn Buddhist and buy a Tibetan child. Eek!
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Rael » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:33 pm

Yeshe wrote:
I just hope Mad Donna doesn't turn Buddhist and buy a Tibetan child. Eek!


ok we all know about the fake lol....

that one made me actually howl....

hey Joni Mitchell did some cool stuff let me fetch....
here's one about Kundalinni...lol...it was the 70's>"God goes up the chimny like childhood santa claus

Anima rising
Queen of Queens
Wash my guilt of Eden
Wash and balance me
Anima rising
Uprising in me tonight
She's a vengeful little goddess
With an ancient crown to fight

Truth goes up in vapors
The steeples lean
Winds of change patriarchs
Snug in your bible belt dreams
God goes up the chimney
Like childhood Santa Claus
The good slaves love the good book
A rebel loves a cause

I'm leaving on the 1:15
You're darn right
Since I was seventeen
I've had no one over me
He says "Anima rising
So what
Petrified wood process
Tall timber down to rock"



-------and -----
Out on some borderline
Some mark of inbetween
I lay down golden in time
And woke up vanishing


No one knows
They can never get that close
Guesses at most
Guesses based on what each set of time and change is touching
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby swampflower » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:27 am

Ha ha, I became interested in Vajrayana when I saw those delicious Dakinis!
Talk about degenerate, ha ha.
Seriously though,Will it stick?
That is a silly question.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby swampflower » Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:30 am

Rael wrote:
Yeshe wrote:


hey Joni Mitchell did some cool stuff let me fetch....
here's one about Kundalinni...lol...it was the 70's>"God goes up the chimny like childhood santa claus



Hey I better check my Joni collection. What is the name of that song?
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Rael » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:53 am

swampflower wrote:
Rael wrote:
Yeshe wrote:


hey Joni Mitchell did some cool stuff let me fetch....
here's one about Kundalinni...lol...it was the 70's>"God goes up the chimny like childhood santa claus



Hey I better check my Joni collection. What is the name of that song?


google her album hissing on summer lawns...
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:23 am

Pero wrote:
Don't you think it's true if it's not joined with (a) completion stage? Or do you think that creation stage without completion is not really creation?


According to SOME definitions, the boundary between Creation and Completion is whether or not a practitioner has been able to bring the winds to abide in the Central Channel.....

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "completion stage"--I know, and love, Tulku Urgyen's writings--and especially his stress on the inseperability of the two stages.....and, of course, there's precedent for this position in many texts and from many teachers.

But there's also a way of practicing where the two stages are viewed separately, and completion is subsequent to creation......after all, if they are EXACTLY the same, why differentiate them?

So, perhaps it's good to be clear about what we mean by Creation and Completion.
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Re: Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) : Will it stick ?

Postby Pero » Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:23 pm

conebeckham wrote:But there's also a way of practicing where the two stages are viewed separately, and completion is subsequent to creation......after all, if they are EXACTLY the same, why differentiate them?


Right, that's what I was thinking.

So, perhaps it's good to be clear about what we mean by Creation and Completion.


For me, creation is generating oneself as the deity. Completion in my mind usually invokes the image of tsa lung practices, and also Mahamudra or Dzogchen, which is more like how TUR uses completion.
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