Shamanic Buddhism?

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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:49 pm

I don't think that anybody has really adequately defined shamanism yet, before engaging in recommending "shamanic buddhist" practices.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:05 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:I think that anybody has really adequately defined shamanism yet, before engaging in recommending "shamanic buddhist" practices.


Per my understanding :
Introduction

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.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby GaiaTree » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:41 am

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.



you have piqued my curiosity for sure! I usually like to operate in the realms of blissy light and rainbow unicorn farts but this sounds right up my alley. Thank you so much for sharing!! I am searching out a lama/master to sit with, I think this technique could be masterfully used in some lava tubes I know of on the Island of Hawaii that have some gnarly spirits hanging out in them, they are burial grounds with some bones in them and I have thus far stayed away since seeing the skulls, but I might go back just for this purpose if I can receive the proper empowerments. :anjali:

EDIT: from that article "All down through history, women have been spiritual leaders in the Chöd tradition." that helps. I am trying to have as few male teachers in my practice as possible.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:58 am

GaiaTree, there are some very good Vajrayana male and female teachers. I am sure someone knows some good teachers where you live. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people here on this site with excellent teachers. I'm not one of those knowledgable people, I have good teachers though but they are here on the mainland, I am sure if you ask someone will give you links to help you find one, male of female. You find who you can sync with, sometimes it will not feel comfy cozy, it's a heart connection. :thumbsup:
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:57 am

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 :
Introduction

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 article does not define shamanism, it defines chod.

The Oxford dictionary defines Shamanism in the following way: A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

Hoppál, Mihály defines Shamanism as: a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.

Neither of these definitions relates to chod, which is basically a practice based on the Prajanaparamita teachings on emptiness. The practitioner utilises terrifying places and circumstances in order to realise the emptiness of all phenomena and the manner in which the mind (via projection) creates our environment. Now there are practices within lujin that are related to healing, divination and even affecting weather patterns, but these are not done through the mediation of spirits but by a realisation of emptiness (dependent origination).

There is no channeling involved. The closest thing in the Tibetan mileu related to the abovementioned definition are oracles. But one does not train to become an oracle, one does not wake up one day and say: "Hey, that looks kind of cool, I think I will practice that!" There isn't like an oracle training college/gompa that one signs up at. Oracles are not made, they are born.

Check out this video.



Unfortunately it is being used by followers of the gyalpo to support their cause, but it is a rather good documentary nonetheless.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Snovid » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:09 pm

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

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:09 am

I saw a documentary on the Naxi. The script they use is amazing. the documentary closed with a priest doing a practice. He played music and sang during the practice reading off a rolled up pictographic manuscript that was easily over two metres long. It looked incredible. The script is not hieroglyphic, it is composed of actual pictures.

Naxi priests.jpg
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Naxi script.jpg
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:21 am

Seems that the Naxi managed to preserve the pre-Buddhist Bon culture due to their isolated geographical location.
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:00 am

SD the reason I included Chod because of what I've read, so many people who say Chod is a combination of shamanism and Buddhism. I agree with what you said but with exceptions from my own experience and what others have said. To me and many others Chod is very shamanistic and many others disagree, that's fine with me. I've read the arguments pro and con so I am not going to debate very much.

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.

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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby reddust » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:14 am

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.]

Khondro Net with lots of good links
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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:24 am

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?"


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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby pueraeternus » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:34 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Are you sure you aren't a squirrel?


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If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Shamanic Buddhism?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:36 am

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.]
Now that, if true, is VERY interesting indeed!
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