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 Post subject: newbie kagyu question
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Hello everyone. I am new to Buddhism but would like to study in the Kagyu Tradition. I've been very impressed with some of the books I've read by various Kaygu teachers and some of the wonderful and helpful websites. However, I've also become aware of the Karmapa controversy. Please forgive me for asking such an obviously beginner's question.

From what I understand, the vast majority of Kagyu teachers and groups follow Ogyen Trinley Dorje. However the group local to me, dechen.org, follows Trinley Thaye Dorje. The lama in question is Jampa Thaye and, by all accounts that I've read, he seems to be very legitimate and reputable. I haven't come across any criticisms of his teachings or ethics.

But if I study with this group, does this mean that I am not allowed to take other teachings from lamas who follow Ogyen Trinley Dorje? ie will I be isolating myself from the rest of Kagyu Buddhism? Or is it accepted to take teachings from teachers on both sides of the dividing line as long as they are legitimate teachers?

(I am just a beginner and have no wish to disparage anyone, no matter which Karmapa they follow!) :)

Thanking you in advance for your patience with Beginner's Mind. :namaste:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:20 pm 
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It's a karma thing. It's about who in the lineage inspires you most. Don't follow a teacher or be involved with an organization just because they are close. A genuine student will meet a genuine teacher no matter what the distance involved is. But again it's all about who inspires you. Do your research.
My background is that I was, and still am, inspired by the teachings of Nagarjuna and Milarepa. My teacher embodies both of these great masters. His name is Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. I'm so fortunate to have met and taken teachings from him. He inspires me everyday. If you could ever connect with a great teacher from the Kagyu lineage like Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso then you would have a lot of good fortune.

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"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Hello,

Jampa Thaye is mainly associated with the Sakyapa tradition, but yes, he is also affiliated with Thaye Dorje.

It's really your choice, I know on other threads I have gave my 2 cents worth regarding the Karmapa situation, but in reality I really have no big problem with it....My teachers are connected to Karmapa OTD, I have met and received teachings from him too...and was very impressed. So I am comfortable in my position.

I realise for a new person approaching everything it could be daunting. Explore your options and go with what you feel is right. Where do you live?

Best wishes,

s.

Ps. If I didn't know better, I would have thought Blue Garuda was involved in this! :spy:
:tongue:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Andrew108 wrote:
It's a karma thing. It's about who in the lineage inspires you most. Don't follow a teacher or be involved with an organization just because they are close. A genuine student will meet a genuine teacher no matter what the distance involved is. But again it's all about who inspires you. Do your research.
My background is that I was, and still am, inspired by the teachings of Nagarjuna and Milarepa. My teacher embodies both of these great masters. His name is Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. I'm so fortunate to have met and taken teachings from him. He inspires me everyday. If you could ever connect with a great teacher from the Kagyu lineage like Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso then you would have a lot of good fortune.


Agreed Andrew, KTGR is quite amazing, I have received many teachings from him too. When he used to come to Samye Ling in Scotland every year I would attend to him, making/serving meals, arranging interviews...that sort of thing. I done this for many visiting teachers, but he was unique! Always had some far out task for me to do whilst serving breakfast or whatever....often involved me making a complete fool of myself!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Where are you in the world?

Please correct me, Kagyupas, if I'm wrong, but doesn't the so-called Karmapa controversy relate mainly to Karma Kagyu? Drikung, Drukpa and other schools are still very much alive. And I completely agree that you shouldn't bind yourself to a teacher just because their centre is close to where you live.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Thank you so much for your kind replies, everyone. I live in Northern England.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Northern England? That's lucky! A new Drikung centre just opened in Scotland. Sketchy details here: http://garchenuk.wordpress.com/

They're saying that Garchen Rinpoche will give yearly teachings there, which would be incredibly worthwhile.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Kagyu Samye Ling....the oldest established Kagyu centre in Europe, is in the south of Scotland, in the borders.

I lived and worked there for a number of years. The 2 Lamas there, Akong Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, are very kind and wonderful teachers.

In fact I am there now for a few days.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:40 pm 
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mountainwind wrote:
From what I understand, the vast majority of Kagyu teachers and groups follow Ogyen Trinley Dorje. However the group local to me, dechen.org, follows Trinley Thaye Dorje. The lama in question is Jampa Thaye and, by all accounts that I've read, he seems to be very legitimate and reputable. I haven't come across any criticisms of his teachings or ethics.


He is from everything I hear too.

mountainwind wrote:
But if I study with this group, does this mean that I am not allowed to take other teachings from lamas who follow Ogyen Trinley Dorje? ie will I be isolating myself from the rest of Kagyu Buddhism? Or is it accepted to take teachings from teachers on both sides of the dividing line as long as they are legitimate teachers?


I don't think you would be turned away by any Karma Kagyu teacher. I think actually this is a question for you to ask Jampa Thaye rather than an internet forum. If he sees no problem in you getting teachings from lamas who support Urgyen Trinley Dorje then you are good to go. If he doesn't think it's a good idea for whatever reason then it's up to you to decide to follow his advice or look elsewhere if that is what you think is the right thing to do.

No matter what tradition you are in, it is always a good idea to look around different sanghas and teachers to get a feel for what is out there at the start. In the North of England you are (relatively) close to the huge monastery at Samye Ling in southern Scotland, Karma Ling in Birmingham, Lama Rabsang's centre in Brynmawr in Wales, Thrangu House in Oxford, Marpa House nr Cambridge. And many other non-Karma Kagyu centres.

However, if you like Jampa Thaye's style and find his centre's welcoming and convenient for regular practice then I would not let the Karmapa controversy dissuade you. Possibly down the line, when taking higher empowerments and doing guru yoga etc., it might be more of an issue but hopefully by that time you will know yourself which path you want to take.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:31 am 
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Thank you all so much for your kind feedback.

From what I gather from your responses, the legitimacy of a genuine teacher is not impacted by the Karmapa controversy, but one should not base one's choice of a teacher on convenience or geographical location but rather seek out a teacher for whom one feels a deep resonance.

Samye Ling's website is very inspiring!

I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to all of you who took the time to respond to my query. :namaste:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:07 pm 
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Absolutely, you got it!

I would add one little thing to that: It's ok to start practicing with any legitimate teacher, even if you're not sure yet if he will be your root guru for life.

Have a good journey!
:namaste:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Thank you, Kelwin! This is very helpful! :smile:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:31 pm 
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I would try not to get too mentally worked up about the controversy. You can try and mantain pure perception of both karmapas, and there's great geniune teachers on both sides.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:34 pm 
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I actually attended an empowerment by Trinley Thaye Dorje in Manchester a few works ago with the Dechen community. Very nice people they were and the whole course was great.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:21 am 
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Jampa Thaye is a student of Karma Thinley Rinpoche, master of the Kagyu and Sakya traditions. I enjoyed reading Jampa Thaye's book "A Garland of Gold: The Early Kagyu Masters of India and Tibet." (Ganesha Press) :namaste:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:14 am 
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You can practice with teachers from both "sides" of the controversy. I do. I leave politics aside and just focus on practice, it tends to work best that way. As for karma... Your karma took you to Northern England and your karma will take you to whichever teacher you will receive teachings from. There are cads and scoundrels, saints and ascetics on both sides of the "fence" so be sure to keep your eyes open regardless! ;)
:namaste:

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