Sherab Dorje wrote:I think that anybody has really adequately defined shamanism yet, before engaging in recommending "shamanic buddhist" practices.
reddust wrote: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.
The article does not define shamanism, it defines chod.reddust wrote:Sherab Dorje wrote:I think that anybody has really adequately defined shamanism yet, before engaging in recommending "shamanic buddhist" practices.
Per my understanding :
As the following essay will recount, Chöd is a special type of mysticism that unites shamanic practice with profound yogic meditation. Chöd: An Advanced Type of Shamanism
EDIT, my practice is Dzogchen so the Chod I practice is within the Dzogchen view and I follow the Rime tradition.
The Lama, whether Buddhist or Bonpo, is also profoundly engaged in healing practice. Many Lamas have been specifically trained in the practice of Tibetan medicine at a monastic college. Moreover, the most common ritual performed by Tibetan Lamas at the popular level is the tse-wang (tshe-dbang) or "long life empowerment", a kind of psychic healing that invokes and channels healing energy into the participants in the ceremony, whether they are ill or not. In many ways, the Lama and the Ngagpa have usurped in Tibetan society the archaic function of the shaman, and after the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, many cultural figures such as Guru Padmasambhava and the famous yogi Milarepa, have been assimilated to the archetype of the First Shaman. Thus it came about that the archaic shamanic techniques of the Palaeolithic have now been absorbed into the high spiritual and intellectual culture of both Buddhism and Bon in Tibet. This may be seen, for example, in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, where the Lama or the Ngakpa functions as as a psychopomp or guide for the perilous journey of the individual soul through the Bardo experience leading to a new rebirth. Or again, with the practice of the Chod rite, using visualization, as well as chanting and dancing to the accompaniment of the shaman's drum, the practitioner gains mastery over the spirits through offering to them the flesh of one's own body. In many ways this Chod ritual recapitulates the initiatory experience of shamanic initiation, with its motifs of dismemberment and resurrection. The practice of the Chod is said to be particularly effective in preventing the spread of plagues and infectious diseases. Both of these traditional Tibetan practices, the Bardo rituals and the Chod rite, represent a journey from fragmentation to psychic wholeness.
What is a Shaman?
The term shaman is a word that has been used by speakers of European languages only since the 1780s. It was adopted from Turkic and Altaic (Turkoman and Siberian) but was not well understood. As the spiritual views of less familiar cultures became better understood, it has come to be applied to any "medicine man" or "witch doctor" -- someone feared for his or her perceived ability to commune with spirits. In a categorical way, it is currently in use for almost anyone whose exceptional qualities, innate and/or learned, are used to benefit others within the context of a world view that includes several realms of existence, not only that of the visible or material reality.
It is ironic to use the word shaman to refer to a non-Buddhist practitioner because Max Weber, renowned early twentieth-century sociologist and author of The Religion of India, traced the expression to east Turkestani pronunciation of an Indian word for an aspirant to a religious order; that is shramanera, the Sanskrit for "Buddhist novice monastic" [ie, monk or nun.]
GaiaTree wrote: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?"
Are you sure you aren't a squirrel?
Now that, if true, is VERY interesting indeed!reddust wrote:It is ironic to use the word shaman to refer to a non-Buddhist practitioner because Max Weber, renowned early twentieth-century sociologist and author of The Religion of India, traced the expression to east Turkestani pronunciation of an Indian word for an aspirant to a religious order; that is shramanera, the Sanskrit for "Buddhist novice monastic" [ie, monk or nun.]