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How often do you see your Teacher?
Several times per week 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
Once a week 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
A couple of times per month 8%  8%  [ 3 ]
Once a month 5%  5%  [ 2 ]
A couple of times per year 30%  30%  [ 12 ]
Once a year 23%  23%  [ 9 ]
Once every couple of years 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
Once every several years 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
My Teacher has died 13%  13%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 40
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:42 pm 
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pemachophel wrote:
So now my questions are:

1. Has the teaching methodology we have evolved in the West where foreign-born Rinpoches spend a weekend in a particular city only once per year (or less) and the "rank and file" hardly ever get to spend personal f2f time with their Teachers taken a wrong turn? IOW, is it really working for the majority of students?

(Sorry if this is a provocative question, but I'm not convinced.)

2. If your answer is yes, we have, willy nilly, evolved a inapt teaching methodology, what, if anything, can be done about it?

If people want to discuss how this teaching methodology came about historically as a way of beginning to suggest alternatives, that's fine with me.

:namaste:


Man many years I was sure this would never work (meeting the Guru once a year) but to my surprise I must say that I now feel it is possible as a methodology to a certain point, which was what my Guru said all the time.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Magnus,

Good to hear.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:14 pm 
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heart wrote:
You should invite him, he might come. I think that would be great for you.

/magnus


Thank you, Magnus :anjali:

The sole Vajra brother I know in Cape Town and I have been talking about this. Rinpoche has been here once already, and would probably welcome the opportunity to teach here again. I would also like to see the formation of a group, as the seed of a Gar. What concerns me in this regard is not a physical centre -- at least, not at this stage -- but the living stones of a local Dzogchen community of practitioners who meet periodically for collective practices. With that as a basis, who knows what might develop.

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Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati


Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.

- Visuddhimagga XVI, 90


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:39 am 
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Sally Gross wrote:
heart wrote:
You should invite him, he might come. I think that would be great for you.

/magnus


Thank you, Magnus :anjali:

The sole Vajra brother I know in Cape Town and I have been talking about this. Rinpoche has been here once already, and would probably welcome the opportunity to teach here again. I would also like to see the formation of a group, as the seed of a Gar. What concerns me in this regard is not a physical centre -- at least, not at this stage -- but the living stones of a local Dzogchen community of practitioners who meet periodically for collective practices. With that as a basis, who knows what might develop.


My suggestion is to see if you can get together a group of 5-10 people that are interested in inviting him (not necessary practitioners) and just do it, if Rinpoche come it will be much easier to find the a group that could be a "seed of a gar". This is my own experience with similar matters.

/magnus

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- Longchenpa


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:04 am 
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pemachophel wrote:
So now my questions are:

1. Has the teaching methodology we have evolved in the West where foreign-born Rinpoches spend a weekend in a particular city only once per year (or less) and the "rank and file" hardly ever get to spend personal f2f time with their Teachers taken a wrong turn? IOW, is it really working for the majority of students?


This is an important question. I had regular face to face contact with my guru for 20+ years. He spent 40+ years in retreat over his 70 year long life and really just came out to give us teachings and then returned to retreat. I believe regular face-to-face contact is essential to developing one's character. I for one find my capacity for self-deception and hubris to be boundless. When Rinpoche was alive, he could cut through that with a single look or joke. While there is no doubt that mixing one's mind in guru yoga is very effective in developing wisdom, one can also go wildly off in the wrong direction without someone to correct you. I have met a number of students recently that have never had face to face relationships with a teacher. There is no question that they are very sincere and devoted to the path. Unfortunately, I think the results are somewhat mixed as they have had to make due with little supervision and put together their working assumptions piecemeal. There is definitely a tendency to self-satisfaction on the one hand, or almost debilitating lack of confidence on the other. While I have also encountered both of those in a close sangha with lots of access to the teacher, it was much less pronounced.

I think the current lama tours are better than nothing but hardly optimal. So much of the transmission occurs informally! My belief is that we need to have local mahasiddhas that are intimately involved with our culture and lives. Without that, I don't think Dharma will ever really take root here. Satsang is indispensible.

pemachophel wrote:
2. If your answer is yes, we have, willy nilly, evolved a inapt teaching methodology, what, if anything, can be done about it?


It's hard to say how this can be remedied outside of having a couple generations of Western mahasiddhas pass on their realization to students who then also teach. I think that ChNNR's approach of focusing on what teachings can be integrated with the current Western lifestyle is an important step in the right direction, but I am not certain that large institutions are necessarily the best way forward. I can't help but think that many Tibetan lamas don't see much of a future in the West for the pure Dharma teachings outside of a very small number of diligent practitioners. I think that those of us that have benefitted from a close relationship with gurus have to reach the goal and then similarly take responsibility for a sangha of our own. Short of that, we must simply work with the current situation as honestly as possible.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:57 am 
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:good:

/magnus

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- Longchenpa


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:55 pm 
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I see my teacher often during meditation.

But I clicked on "once a month", because that's how often I see him physically.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Karma Dorje,

I agree with Magnus, "good post." I think regular face-2-face contact with the Teacher is extremely important. The Teacher's job is to show us all our flaws, to make us uncomfortable, to cut our ego down to size, and, ultimately, to obliterate it. You're not the only one with limitless self-deception, and a good Guru cuts through the crap with, as you say, a single look. It's also the Teacher's job to push us past our self-imposed limits, to make us do what we wouldn't if left to our own devices. That's why so many monlams end with the prayer, "May I never be separated from my Guru."

I also agree that we need to find a way to foster small groups interacting closely and over long periods of time with Realized Gurus, whether Asian or Western. Please hurry up!

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm 
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every moment


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:35 am 
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pemachophel wrote:
Karma Dorje,

I agree with Magnus, "good post." I think regular face-2-face contact with the Teacher is extremely important. The Teacher's job is to show us all our flaws, to make us uncomfortable, to cut our ego down to size, and, ultimately, to obliterate it. You're not the only one with limitless self-deception, and a good Guru cuts through the crap with, as you say, a single look. It's also the Teacher's job to push us past our self-imposed limits, to make us do what we wouldn't if left to our own devices. That's why so many monlams end with the prayer, "May I never be separated from my Guru."

I also agree that we need to find a way to foster small groups interacting closely and over long periods of time with Realized Gurus, whether Asian or Western. Please hurry up!

:namaste:
Is there not a danger due to ego games with this? Lord Tsongkhapa quotes Geshe Bo-do-wa twice in the Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v1 pg. 87 tib pg. 49 as saying "We present-day followers do not value the teachings at all, but only value the guru's assigning status to us as demonstrated by each cup of tea that the guru gives to us. This is a sign of our deep corruption. [...] Therefore, practice for a long time at a moderate distance."

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-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:23 pm 
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As far as i can tell CNNR doesnt think that meeting him f2f is a requirement or necessary.
Unless you need instructions on yangti or togal or other situations where your physical presence is required......

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Alpha,

I hope He is right. Time will tell. However, even as a student of ChNNR, I know I need a Teacher I can be with f-2-f from time to time. If one hasn't had a prolonged, close personal relationship with a Teacher, it's hard to convey the benefits. If you can make it work without that, that's wonderful.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:

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