Shamanic Buddhism?

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Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:43 am

Hello all. I have been walking around the edges of the Dharma for years now, only recently stepping in and testing the waters out. My reiki/shamanism teacher practices Tibetan Buddhism and goes to India to receive empowerments and such, so I feel she is fairly "legit". I am forever the spiritual experimentalist,flitting about finding what fits for me and leaving behind the parts that don't. My experiences with Buddhism have been mostly extremely positive.

I recently did a Vipassana retreat, and while the technique was absolutely glorious and I definitely plan on sitting again, I enjoy a bit more "play" in my practice. I walk the shamanic path as well, and one of my most potent healing tools has been the Tonglen practice that my teacher taught me while we were working together on a friend undergoing a serious spiritual crisis. I enjoy chanting the mantras very much and the little bit of visualization that I have done utilizing Quan Yin and Tara and Vajrayogini has been very powerful to me. The last few days I seem to have been developing a direct relationship with Buddha as a spirit guide! This has been very interesting and manifested especially strong in two connected instances today.

Earlier today I was in the backyard hanging out for a spell while the dogs did their potty thing, and I noticed the acorns all over the ground. I was immediately hit with a strong sense of Buddha's presence in a joking, comforting way, along the lines of "Got your back, kid. See my hats all over the ground in front of you?"

A few hours later I was in the exact same spot, in a foul mood because I was having major difficulties in my yard work. I am at my mothers house for the holidays and was trying to help her out by blowing all of the leaves in the yard into a pile. There was so many of them and they were rather damp, and the blower seemed to be barely doing anything. I was getting rather angry and the thought came into my mind " Would I be this angry if I were doing this for God himself? For Buddha?" and once again I noticed the acorns. I cynically thought "Maybe this Buddha consciousness is just comforting me, preparing me for the experience of emptiness/ the void, and just taking it easy on me because I am so afraid of the no-self concept" and as I pondered this I felt for a split second the vastness between my thoughts, a glimpse of the clear- mind, Rigpa I believe it is called in TB? This experience rather than being frightening was deeply comforting, and I truly felt the presence of Buddha in my consciousness, loving me and holding me like a baby.

Long story short, I am very intrigued now. I admit I do have immense difficulty with authority and tradition, but I am very curious about any classical Buddhist thought in regards to more shamanic pathways of experience. Are there any great masters I could read who speak of developing direct relationships with the Bodhisattvas as spirit guides in a traditional shamanic sense? I did chant and partially learn a short Medicine Buddha mantra this morning, learning it to chant it in a distance healing for a friends father who was in a coma, and I am wondering if these techniques are that powerful to bring me into this state. Sorry for my scattered post, my brain does not always work in a linear fashion.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:09 am

Hi GaiaTree, nice to meet you :hi: You may look into Chod You need a teacher for the empowerment, there many good teachers out there. If you are interested I am sure someone here can direct you towards one. This is my favorite practice.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:00 am

GaiaTree wrote:A few hours later I was in the exact same spot, in a foul mood because I was having major difficulties in my yard work. I am at my mothers house for the holidays and was trying to help her out by blowing all of the leaves in the yard into a pile. There was so many of them and they were rather damp, and the blower seemed to be barely doing anything. I was getting rather angry and the thought came into my mind " Would I be this angry if I were doing this for God himself? For Buddha?" and once again I noticed the acorns. I cynically thought "Maybe this Buddha consciousness is just comforting me, preparing me for the experience of emptiness/ the void, and just taking it easy on me because I am so afraid of the no-self concept" and as I pondered this I felt for a split second the vastness between my thoughts, a glimpse of the clear- mind, Rigpa I believe it is called in TB? This experience rather than being frightening was deeply comforting, and I truly felt the presence of Buddha in my consciousness, loving me and holding me like a baby.
I recommend you use a rake. A task becomes infinitely easier when you have and use the correct tool.
"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: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Snovid » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:09 am

I am from Poland I use google translator I do not know English
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:54 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
GaiaTree wrote:A few hours later I was in the exact same spot, in a foul mood because I was having major difficulties in my yard work. I am at my mothers house for the holidays and was trying to help her out by blowing all of the leaves in the yard into a pile. There was so many of them and they were rather damp, and the blower seemed to be barely doing anything. I was getting rather angry and the thought came into my mind " Would I be this angry if I were doing this for God himself? For Buddha?" and once again I noticed the acorns. I cynically thought "Maybe this Buddha consciousness is just comforting me, preparing me for the experience of emptiness/ the void, and just taking it easy on me because I am so afraid of the no-self concept" and as I pondered this I felt for a split second the vastness between my thoughts, a glimpse of the clear- mind, Rigpa I believe it is called in TB? This experience rather than being frightening was deeply comforting, and I truly felt the presence of Buddha in my consciousness, loving me and holding me like a baby.
I recommend you use a rake. A task becomes infinitely easier when you have and use the correct tool.

Hah. Little part I left out, I DID end up using a rake, but the rake was not much more effective than the blower, being as it was small and skimpy. That my tool was small greatly contributed to my distress. :namaste:

thank you other posters for actually answering my question :) Bon is intriguing to me for sure, I will look into it! There is such a huge wealth of information on Vajrayana and TIbetan Buddhism to be digested I don't even know where to start. Looking like I am going to have to ask my teacher to introduce me to her teacher next time she takes a trip to India. For now I am reading all I can and chanting, praying, meditating, allowing the spirit of the Bodhisattvas to teach me directly in the manner I have described above. Direct Revelation is the only way I will believe anything and it seems to me to be that theres plenty of it for me here in the Dharma :)
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:37 am

GaiaTree wrote:thank you other posters for actually answering my question :)
I did answer your question.
"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: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Seishin » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:44 pm

You may prefer Shugendo, which is a fusion of various East Asian traditions and has a great element of spirit worship.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shugend%C5%8D
http://shugendonow.com/
http://www.youtube.com/channel/HCnALsUirkabM
http://www.shugendo.fr/en

Best of luck,
Gassho,
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:05 pm

Intriguing, but asceticism is not my trip. I live and move in the world, albeit a fringe "new age" community version of it.... I am finding great comfort in many of the "standard" Tibetan/Vajrayana practices and feel like I can use them alongside my shamanic practice. Slightly heretical maybe but I am not here to uphold tradition or hierarchy. I admire the "Crazy Wisdom" masters I have been reading about the most, although I would not choose to drink alcohol or be extra promiscuous as I believe both of those things are negative to the spiritual advancement. I am of the opinion that all structure and rules are made to be tested, broken, rewoven.

Sherab, I must admit I am highly enjoying your snarky tone. Do you speak to people in your physical reality life in this way? If so, I would probably alternately be really annoyed with you and secretly admiring you :namaste:
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Seishin » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:19 pm

Fair enough, though I wasn't implying you should become an ascetic, but rather you might find some of their practices and beliefs beneficial. :smile:

Gassho,
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:34 pm

GaiaTree wrote:Sherab, I must admit I am highly enjoying your snarky tone. Do you speak to people in your physical reality life in this way? If so, I would probably alternately be really annoyed with you and secretly admiring you :namaste:
The task is gathering the scattered leaves (suffering) into a single pile (liberation from suffering). The leaf blower and the small rake (wrong methods for liberation) are incapable of gathering the scattered leaves (overcoming suffering). What is needed is for you to assess how you will gather the leaves (wisdom) and the procurement of a large and sturdy leaf rake (correct method) in order to make the pile a reality (final liberation).

Like I said: "I did answer the question." ;)
"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: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:11 pm

Irrelevant reply to (a now) deleted post.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:16 pm

Seishin wrote:Fair enough, though I wasn't implying you should become an ascetic, but rather you might find some of their practices and beliefs beneficial. :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin

Ahh, forgive me for jumping to conclusions. I am a bit frazzled by the full moons recent habits of making it impossible to get more than a few hours of sleep a night. I will be giving them a fair shake <3

Sherab Dorje wrote:
GaiaTree wrote:Sherab, I must admit I am highly enjoying your snarky tone. Do you speak to people in your physical reality life in this way? If so, I would probably alternately be really annoyed with you and secretly admiring you :namaste:
The task is gathering the scattered leaves (suffering) into a single pile (liberation from suffering). The leaf blower and the small rake (wrong methods for liberation) are incapable of gathering the scattered leaves (overcoming suffering). What is needed is for you to assess how you will gather the leaves (wisdom) and the procurement of a large and sturdy leaf rake (correct method) in order to make the pile a reality (final liberation).

Like I said: "I did answer the question." ;)


Thank you! I knew you were trying to be helpful, I just got on the defensive right off the bat, as I am so apt to do when talking in spiritual matters. I have been defending my "divine madness" style of behavior and belief system for a while now from rabid fundamentalists of all shades, so I am very quick to put my "shields up!" even when it is not required. Thank you for the breakdown. I knew as I was undergoing the experience there was even more of a lesson to it than I was currently seeing.


Sorry for the deleted post, I wanted to explain myself a bit more fully and should have just edited. For anyone curious I had made a reference to receiving help from the Bodhisattvas in my last post. It still stands! I feel like the Bodhisattvas/Elohim whatever we deign to call them have me on speed dial and love to stand right outside of my perception gently poking and prodding me with humor and challenges and gifts.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Jikan » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:27 pm

If there's any form of practice that could be described as simultaneously shamanic & Buddhistic, then Shugendo is probably it.

Or chod, depending on one's definition of shamanism.

If you look at it historically, shamanic practice has involved a significant degree of austerity. I don't think it's entirely accurate to oppose shamanism to asceticism; there are ascetic qualities to shamanic practice (fasting, refraining from sleep, exertion, and so on).
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:16 pm

yeah, i do undergo some semi-ascetic practices as part of my work, and I definitely am into fasting for the cause. I just glossed over and assumed I would have to go live on mountain to participate hehe. I can be rather short sighted and have a very short attention span, labelled as "adhd" as a child.... my monkey mind is especially challenging in meditation, but good in that I got fed up with its incessant chatter alot sooner than some more normalized folks might have been.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Lindama » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:34 pm

Thanks, Snow. This looks like a great book. Yungdrung Bon goes back 18,000 years according to Lama Khemsar and it pre-dates reiki in it's healing practices. I've always had a heart connection with Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche since I accidentally discovered his book, his commentary on that, actually: Heartdrops of Dharmakaya. ofc, these practices are not taught in a weekend...

I'm out of my league here, but could yiddam practice be seen as shamanic?

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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Luke » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:36 pm

Hi Gaia Tree,

Welcome to Dharma Wheel. You might enjoy the books "Chenrezig: Lord of Love" and "Tara: The Feminine Divine" by Bokar Rinpoche (Chenrezig is the Tibetan name for Kwan Yin [Avalokitesvara]). In these short books, Bokar Rinpoche explains some profound ideas about deity meditation very kindly and simply.

http://www.namsebangdzo.com/Chenrezig_t ... p/5205.htm
http://www.namsebangdzo.com/Tara_The_Fe ... p/5896.htm

It's important not to think of Buddhist deities as being ordinary gods (like Greek gods, Hindu gods, etc.). Their real meaning is deeper and more complicated. Ultimately, they are identical to the true nature of our minds which is currently covered by our negative emotions and habits. These books aren't about anything shamanic, but since you expressed interest in these Buddhist deities, it would probably help you if you understood more about them.

Good luck with your spiritual path. :buddha2:
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Snovid » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:41 pm

"Some people fear that in Buddhism there is no God.
In fact, in Buddhism there are many gods
but none of them is considered like only one." - Chogyal Namkhai Norbu-

"Every nation and region of the earth has its old gods and spirits / angels / daimons.
They are the sacred energy of your Earth.
With them you should seek the understanding and from them you should expect help." - Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

I've always had a heart connection with Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche since I accidentally discovered his book

Yes
It's a shame that not one of his books have been published in Poland yet
I am from Poland I use google translator I do not know English
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:47 pm

GaiaTree, we, that is my sangha received Chod empowerment and instruction from our teacher when he came to town (Chicago). We practiced together in our homes or my offices conference room and individually on our own within the comfort of our home. You don't have to go out into the wilds, you can practice in your home or backyard. I kind of like to go to scary places because I am afraid of the dark to the point where I close my closet door and I don't like to think about what's under my bed when I am in the dark. I know a silly fear, I don't buy into it but the little fear is still there, been there since I was a kid.

Regarding scary wild, haunted places for practice, I've gone to the depths of Wacker Street in Chicago, three levels deep to the root of the skyscrapers where the street people live and delivery service people work, totally dark old deserted car parks full of dusty old human poop and garbage left from old meals. Reminds me of the charnel grounds and I've done practice there. Seriously challenged my fear of the dark but nothing happened! I left food for the street folk as well as the unseen beings that live there after I finished. I walked to work every day under Wacker for 5 years and it was always scary, dark, street people seemed dangerous. After doing Chod a couple times down there in the dark I wasn't so frightened and I made friends with most of the street folk as well. They took care of me and I took care of them. I kind of miss them now, they were so honest about their lives, I've moved back to my home state 3 years ago. I like to go camping so I practice Chod in the woods here in Oregon. Because I am afraid of the dark the practice has a lot of energy for me and challenges my scaredy-cat ways. My fear over my silly imagination has really been dissolved by this practice. I haven't seen any ghosts, or tree spirits, things like that yet, but I am open to the experience if it does happen. I practice mostly alone now, but in the beginning I always practiced with my group. There are levels to this practice, from very simple to very complicated, you pick what you are comfortable with. I think this practice will help you work with those unseen beings you talk about.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby smcj » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Regarding scary wild, haunted places for practice...

If I ever get to Poland I'm doing Chod in a former concentration camp--unless I chicken out.
Last edited by smcj on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:52 pm

smcj wrote:If I ever get to Poland I'm doing Chod in a former concentration camp--unless I chicken out.


I would love to go with you :heart:
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