Institutional Buddhism

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby practitioner » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:58 pm

Greg wrote:The point is though, Shambhala is for all practical purposes no longer a Kagyu community, for better or for worse.


The Shambhala group in my town has a large Kagyu refuge tree hanging in their shrine room. If a student wants to do ngondro (granted most don't) they do Kagyu ngondro. True there are no pictures of the 17th Karmapa but there are many of Trungpa and the 16th together. Their teacher is very upfront about the fact they are part of Karma Kagyu. Sure it is not traditional but to say they no longer Kagyu is surely overstating the reality.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:10 am

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Uttarakuru, as Mipham surely conceived it, is not this planet.


So in your view, Mipham is telling Khenpo Kunpel that they will reunite in a celestial or pure realm? Or perhaps an impure realm just not on the planet? I thought that traditionally all four continents were on this planet surrounding Mt. Meru?

Kirt



Well, you just tell me where Mt. Meru is on this planet.

The fact is, Uttarakuru is not something accessible for us, according Kosha cosmology, unless you are a siddha.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Greg » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:20 pm

practitioner wrote:
Greg wrote:The point is though, Shambhala is for all practical purposes no longer a Kagyu community, for better or for worse.


The Shambhala group in my town has a large Kagyu refuge tree hanging in their shrine room. If a student wants to do ngondro (granted most don't) they do Kagyu ngondro. True there are no pictures of the 17th Karmapa but there are many of Trungpa and the 16th together. Their teacher is very upfront about the fact they are part of Karma Kagyu. Sure it is not traditional but to say they no longer Kagyu is surely overstating the reality.


Students who want to do ngondro now do the ngondro written by SMR called "The Primordial Rigden: The Magical Heart of Shambhala." You would have to specifically ask for the Kagyu ngondro and even then there would be a lot of pushback before you would be allowed to do it, if at all.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:26 pm

Malcolm wrote:Well, you just tell me where Mt. Meru is on this planet.
Just south of Kyrgistan (Utarakuru, Northern Kuru).
:namaste:
PS "Stewart", "practitioner" and "Greg", it really doesn't matter what they do in Shambhala, does it?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Clarence » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:05 pm

Greg wrote:Students who want to do ngondro now do the ngondro written by SMR called "The Primordial Rigden: The Magical Heart of Shambhala." You would have to specifically ask for the Kagyu ngondro and even then there would be a lot of pushback before you would be allowed to do it, if at all.


So, what do they practice in Shambhala?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:14 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Well, you just tell me where Mt. Meru is on this planet.
Just south of Kyrgistan (Utarakuru, Northern Kuru).
:namaste:
PS "Stewart", "practitioner" and "Greg", it really doesn't matter what they do in Shambhala, does it?



Yes, according to Ptolemy, the northern nomads on the central Asian steps were called Kurus -- and I can see, how Kyrgistan could have derived ultimately from Kuru.

However, I don't think the Pamirs = Meru is going to make anyone happy.

:)
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Stewart » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:27 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Well, you just tell me where Mt. Meru is on this planet.
Just south of Kyrgistan (Utarakuru, Northern Kuru).
:namaste:
PS "Stewart", "practitioner" and "Greg", it really doesn't matter what they do in Shambhala, does it?


well, yeah....it does actually, because that's what we were talking about! Shambhala is a Buddhist institution after all....mount meru, and it supposed location however, isn't.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:51 pm

I threw out the Ju Mipham thing as an example of institutionalism, not to start a debate on whether Shambhala is Kagyu or not.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Clarence » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:52 pm

So, what are they practicing these days?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Greg » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:38 pm

Clarence wrote:
Greg wrote:Students who want to do ngondro now do the ngondro written by SMR called "The Primordial Rigden: The Magical Heart of Shambhala." You would have to specifically ask for the Kagyu ngondro and even then there would be a lot of pushback before you would be allowed to do it, if at all.


So, what do they practice in Shambhala?


The ngondro above, then a sadhana involving Gesar and the Rigden written by CTR and other practices from that cycle.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:41 pm

i thought i was perplexed in the other thread... lesson to not come out of my retreat... christ...

there is an interesting intellectual conflict here. one group-- "A"-- suggests that dzogchen, as direct knowledge of one's true nature, is trans-religious and trans-philosophical. another group-- "B"-- suggests that dzogchen, as direct knowledge of one's true nature, is the pith essence of all of buddhism.

on the surface, since "A" and "B" agree that dzogchen is the yoga of direction knowledge of one's true nature, that the main difference is methodology.

i can understand camp "A" having the view of being anti-intellectual and anti-religious. your drukpa kunleg's type of spirit. i can grok that vantage point. i remember getting teachings from one of my teachers on the theksum nedek and figuring while i had him, i'd ask some questions about some other practices other lamas gave me. his response: why would you want to do those things? didn't you listen?

but camp "A"'s position doesn't seem to be anti-religious as it claims that people of all faiths can practice dzogchen, which i would admit that they can, based on the words of my own teachers. one can't say that religion is immaterial and even detrimental to dzogchen practice and simultaneously cast a pan religious attitude. what's odd is that while claiming to be pan religious and ecumenical there is also a vibe that's anti-buddhist re traditional institutional buddhism.

camp "A" doesn't seem to be anti-intellectual either as there certainly do seem to be some very definite social and political ideas about institutional versus non-institutional dzogchen and so on.

i don't get it.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:45 pm

xylem wrote:i thought i was perplexed in the other thread... lesson to not come out of my retreat... christ...

there is an interesting intellectual conflict here. one group-- "A"-- suggests that dzogchen, as direct knowledge of one's true nature, is trans-religious and trans-philosophical. another group-- "B"-- suggests that dzogchen, as direct knowledge of one's true nature, is the pith essence of all of buddhism.

on the surface, since "A" and "B" agree that dzogchen is the yoga of direction knowledge of one's true nature, that the main difference is methodology.

i can understand camp "A" having the view of being anti-intellectual and anti-religious. your drukpa kunleg's type of spirit. i can grok that vantage point. i remember getting teachings from one of my teachers on the theksum nedek and figuring while i had him, i'd ask some questions about some other practices other lamas gave me. his response: why would you want to do those things? didn't you listen?

but camp "A"'s position doesn't seem to be anti-religious as it claims that people of all faiths can practice dzogchen, which i would admit that they can, based on the words of my own teachers. one can't say that religion is immaterial and even detrimental to dzogchen practice and simultaneously cast a pan religious attitude. what's odd is that while claiming to be pan religious and ecumenical there is also a vibe that's anti-buddhist re traditional institutional buddhism.

camp "A" doesn't seem to be anti-intellectual either as there certainly do seem to be some very definite social and political ideas about institutional versus non-institutional dzogchen and so on.

i don't get it.


So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:59 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?


nothing vexes me. i can't get my mind around what's being discussed so i'm trying to clarify. from what i can call i'm 50% camp "A", 50% camp "B" which doesn't promise to have a good outcome.

-xy
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:42 pm

xylem wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?


nothing vexes me. i can't get my mind around what's being discussed so i'm trying to clarify. from what i can call i'm 50% camp "A", 50% camp "B" which doesn't promise to have a good outcome.

-xy


That's because this thread was split off from another thread and given this title by a mod. Refer to my op for context.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:55 pm

xylem wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?


nothing vexes me. i can't get my mind around what's being discussed so i'm trying to clarify. from what i can call i'm 50% camp "A", 50% camp "B" which doesn't promise to have a good outcome.

-xy


I can only speak for myself. I certainly don't find any anti-buddhist sentiment in "camp A". There is a lot of criticism of the feudal structure of Tibetan society and corruption in the monastic institutions. I think most everyone does a substantial amount of Buddhist practice. It is because of a love of Dharma that I hope we don't bring Tibetan innovations like the tulku system to the West. The dharma flourished in India for two millennia without it.

I am not pan-religious. I do think that in order to help beings to wake up we should engage them wherever they are, not insist that they join one's team before you give them the goods. That seems somewhat mercenary to me. From the point of view of enlightenment, all conceptual viewpoints are provisional. Some may be clearer, some may have better methods for integrating realization, but ultimately the defining factor of their usefulness is whether one can steer beings with different propensities towards greater compassion and wisdom through them. Do you really think the bodhisattvas compassion only extends to Buddhists? Would it not at least be theoretically possible that they are emanating as all kinds of teachers of every different kind of religion?

I am not anti-intellectual. What is being rejected is narrowness of interpretation not the very act of interpreting. One should certainly be able to critique social institutions of any flavour if they do not measure up to contemporary ethical and democratic values. How else do we adapt to a changed and rapidly changing society? Why should we turn our backs on what is good in our own society simply because we are engaged with a philosophy and praxis from another country?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:10 pm

where's the OP?

Malcolm wrote:
xylem wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?


nothing vexes me. i can't get my mind around what's being discussed so i'm trying to clarify. from what i can call i'm 50% camp "A", 50% camp "B" which doesn't promise to have a good outcome.

-xy


That's because this thread was split off from another thread and given this title by a mod. Refer to my op for context.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:13 pm

xylem wrote:where's the OP?


viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8318
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:40 pm

karma dorje-la

a friend directed me to these threads. i jumped in as i saw two different view points that i felt were not only compatible with each other, the traditional ka-nying system of theory and praxis, and my own personal practice.

the difference: many voices in the thread seem to think these viewpoints are incompatible.

no conflict from me my friend. look to the thread to find your conflict. or look to yourself.

my root lama has said explicitly one doesn't need to be a buddhist to attain liberation. he has also repeatedly commanded us to always look to mind's nature. he said we have to shit and piss, so meditate then. there's no excuse. he repeatedly says that if one rests the mind in love and mindful awareness, it is a complete deity practice. at the same time he leads drubchens and traditional three year retreats. he gives wangs and commentaries on sadhanas. he teaches the two stages. he gives precepts. he always teaches the mahayana sutras and lo jong, and invites panditas to come and teach higher texts. he does this all from the highest non dual view. there's no conflict. if a particular disciple doesn't want to take a wang, recite mantras, practice tsa lung, do sadhanas, make offerings, complete ngondro, WHATEVER- they don't. no problem. no conflict. bonpos, christians, athiests, pagans, christians in the sangha. no problem. the only samaya: bodhicitta and look to your mind's essence.

-xy

Karma Dorje wrote:
xylem wrote:
Karma Dorje wrote:So what you are saying is that you can't find a convenient category to put a viewpoint (or more properly group of congruent viewpoints) in, so it vexes you? Isn't this exactly the point of your so-called camp "A"?


nothing vexes me. i can't get my mind around what's being discussed so i'm trying to clarify. from what i can call i'm 50% camp "A", 50% camp "B" which doesn't promise to have a good outcome.

-xy


I can only speak for myself. I certainly don't find any anti-buddhist sentiment in "camp A". There is a lot of criticism of the feudal structure of Tibetan society and corruption in the monastic institutions. I think most everyone does a substantial amount of Buddhist practice. It is because of a love of Dharma that I hope we don't bring Tibetan innovations like the tulku system to the West. The dharma flourished in India for two millennia without it.

I am not pan-religious. I do think that in order to help beings to wake up we should engage them wherever they are, not insist that they join one's team before you give them the goods. That seems somewhat mercenary to me. From the point of view of enlightenment, all conceptual viewpoints are provisional. Some may be clearer, some may have better methods for integrating realization, but ultimately the defining factor of their usefulness is whether one can steer beings with different propensities towards greater compassion and wisdom through them. Do you really think the bodhisattvas compassion only extends to Buddhists? Would it not at least be theoretically possible that they are emanating as all kinds of teachers of every different kind of religion?

I am not anti-intellectual. What is being rejected is narrowness of interpretation not the very act of interpreting. One should certainly be able to critique social institutions of any flavour if they do not measure up to contemporary ethical and democratic values. How else do we adapt to a changed and rapidly changing society? Why should we turn our backs on what is good in our own society simply because we are engaged with a philosophy and praxis from another country?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:51 pm

ok. that's all reasonable. hmm... :zzz: what now?

man, that's a lot of drama stirred in four weeks. that's all sure been taken in some different directions.

--xy

Karma Dorje wrote:
xylem wrote:where's the OP?


http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8318
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby xylem » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:36 am

pondering this more... malcolm's comments are entirely reasonable. i can't see diverging opinions coming from this.

one doesn't have to be a dzogchenpa to hold the view that excessive study of the lower yanas is pointless. jowo rinpoche (atisha) felt all the study of epistemology and logic geshes and khenpos throw themselves into in dialectical study was pointless. my current root teacher is very open in his admission of having never philosophical tenets, largely because prison interrupted his studies. another of my main teachers was very open in his admission that he didn't study the five treatises of maitreya. he said to go find a khenpo for such details.

i'd also agree that some madhyamaka is helpful. my late root teacher said the same thing. i find it useful for dealing with some of my own neurosis, and it's useful for analytical meditations that support dzogchen practice like nang jang (i'm not saying they're the same for the record).

i can see knowing the grounds and paths of the sutra and tantra paths being useful so that one can contextualize the differences between the three cycles of dzogchen and mahamudra, or dzogchen and the other inner tantras. one of my teachers said that even if one's practice is focused on one view, one practice, one vital point-- it's still useful to have exposure to other systems so that one doesn't have a sense of conflict in one's mind about other dharmas. one can then also bring the pith of those teachings into one's own practice.

i really like malcolm's point about integrating dzogchen into everything. in my last interview with my late teacher, he said the same thing. i brought some meditational experience to him and he said: ok, now do that all the time in all situations. there's a sense of playfulness that helps with this for me.

there can be no objection to saying that a traditional rigorous buddhist education is essential to be a yogi, as the historical record is full of counter examples.

so, i'm yet even more puzzled... :thanks:

-xy


xylem wrote:ok. that's all reasonable. hmm... :zzz: what now?

man, that's a lot of drama stirred in four weeks. that's all sure been taken in some different directions.

--xy

Karma Dorje wrote:
xylem wrote:where's the OP?


viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8318
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