Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators
Tsering927 wrote:The most important transmissions are mind to mind.
pemachophel wrote:I didn't say it's necessary. It is beneficial. Since you haven't had the opportunity to taste this particular "chocolate," there's no way to really convince you. What you say about Guru Yoga is, theoretically, true. However, being live in the Guru's presence makes it all so much easier. At least that's my experience.
In terms of your second point, I was actually referencing something that Tulku Sang-ngak Rinpoche said last January during a drubchen at Rigdzin Ling/Chagdud Gompa. He Himself was saying how He would often feel confident about a practice until He was on the cushion alone in retreat and then some detail He had never thought about before suddenly needed clarification. This struck a chord with me since I have had this experience several times during retreats. However, I had in mind fairly complex Mahayoga practices with lots of details. If the practice is simple, then sure, maybe no questions on how to do it.
Pero wrote:What I was wondering in my previous post is why do you think it is easier for us in person? So much easier that it is practically necessary to be in his presence for it, even though in theory it shouldn't be.
JKhedrup wrote:I see Geshe la pretty much every day as we work together. I was very fortunate after studying Tibetan to be assigned to a geshe who I could develop faith in and not only work well with but also see as a "virtuous friend". When the time comes, I would feel comfortable taking empowerments from Geshe-la.
Before I started this work, I would see my teachers maybe 2-3 times a year, though sometimes for long stretches of a month or two. With teachers like HHDL and HH Karmapa, once a year usually, when I'm living in the west. And then "see" usually means attend a teaching, not so much interaction (though 2 years ago with HH Karmapa that was still sort of possible for me. I imagine it has changed by now, as he develops more and more students).
deepbluehum wrote:My take is for Sarma style, lama contact is pretty much indispensable. Especially with Kagyu. The "practice blessing lineage" has so many pithy quirky methods that require the right timing, and screwing around with your head a bit and breaking down structures. It's a little different with Dzogchen. There's more independence there, especially with ChNN's style. F2F contact won't add much, IMHO, although I'm sure it's amazing. Methods like Thogal are pretty straight forward and not mysterious.
Yudron wrote:deepbluehum wrote:My take is for Sarma style, lama contact is pretty much indispensable. Especially with Kagyu. The "practice blessing lineage" has so many pithy quirky methods that require the right timing, and screwing around with your head a bit and breaking down structures. It's a little different with Dzogchen. There's more independence there, especially with ChNN's style. F2F contact won't add much, IMHO, although I'm sure it's amazing. Methods like Thogal are pretty straight forward and not mysterious.
My Nyingma lamas screw around with my head plenty.
I have been off line for a few years, and it is interesting to see that you came back to the Tibetan tradition from the sojourn in the Theravadin tradition.
Yes, it really took seeing the Buddhist world to be able to make a decision about where I wanted to root myself. That being said, I would recommend spending time in a Theravada country as something valuable for anyone who is interested in monastic life.
I learned a lot of things about the Vinaya and about anapanasati that I still use in my practice. The time I spent in Thailand made me feel more grounded as a monk, and I think helps me serve Geshe better in that I now feel comfortable in monastic life. Before due to not knowing Tibetan and the lack of monastic flavour at Vajrayana centres in the West, I didn't real know what I should do or how I should train as a monk.
But now with my Thailand experience, the Tibetan language, and the position of attendant/translator, I definitely feel as if I am of some use. And for me, that is important because I always wanted to be a monk who provided service to people and engaged with them, rather than a retreatant on high mountain peaks.
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Pero wrote:What I was wondering in my previous post is why do you think it is easier for us in person? So much easier that it is practically necessary to be in his presence for it, even though in theory it shouldn't be.
I know this was addressed to Chophel, but I'd like to give my 2 cents on this:
I think it has to do with the difference in circumstances between being alone in one's shrine room or otherwise away from one's teacher and being in one's teacher's presence. In general, when we're around other people, it tends to be a lot more dynamic experience than being alone. Everything from the mere presence of others, to what they're doing, how they're doing it, what vibes they're giving off, what they'r wearing, etc. plus how we're interpreting all this stuff sparks mental experiences--perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. All those things can be catalysts to recognize the natural state if we have some presence when they occur, but maybe if it's our friends we're around, we're distracted and not even thinking about our practice. Maybe we've gotten carried away.
When the other person is our guru who we have a strong connection with and who we're confident has concrete realization of his own nature, maybe we're feeling inspired, in awe, and present... If we have a real connection with our guru, that's likely to be the case, right? And for some reason, we often feel those things much more strongly in person than if we're seeing our guru remotely or simply thinking about him. So the experiences are generally much more dynamic in person and open us up while we're present and may practically carry us into instant presence... or at least spark the creative aspect of our nature that spontaneously brings about some new understanding about something. Does that make sense?
Sally Gross wrote:I'm a relatively new student of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Apart from webcasts, there is little prospect that I will ever actually be able to see him face to face unless he visits Cape Town: possible, but not overwhelmingly likely. Health and financial constraints currently rule out travel abroad in order to see him. There is a very real day-to-day connection through Guruyoga, though, and contact through the webcasts; and who knows what the future might hold?