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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:07 pm 
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Caz wrote:
I appreciate they may reinforce one and other but how is it necessary to study Lamdre in order to improve your understand of Guhyasamaja or Dzogchen, Surely if one accomplishes the results of one perfect clarity and understand will come naturally regarding the rest ? :buddha1:


Such accomplishment is rare. Studying all teachings impartially improves our chances for realization because it improves our prajñā.

Further, we never know what circumstances we will be born in. If we are familiar with all teachings, and make a connection with all teachings, then we have more opportunity and it will be easier to study and practice in the future. For example, even if we want to be a Kagyu in life after life there is no guarantee.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Study is one thing. Practice is another.

Study is about concepts, conceptual understanding. As long as one recognizes the limitation of conceptual mind, it's wonderful to study widely, broadly...for any practitioner.

But in terms of practice, no one can practice everything, even if one is locked in strict retreat, 24/7/365 for life. That's not to say one can't practice somewhat widely, either--in fact, most lineages these days maintain practices from several lineages--even those that argue exclusivity to some degree. If one truly understands the sources of one's practices, one can't help but drop sectarian exclusivity, in my view. In any case, it's good to focus on a small number of practices at a time, I don't think anyone would dispute that. HHDL is said to practice 7 different Yidam sadhanas daily...that may seem like a lot, but compare it to the variety of yidam practices for even one deity, much less all the popular yidams....

In general, any practice that denigrates another lineage, teacher, or practice, should be questioned. But there is one practice in particular which HHDL has identified as "divisive" in nature, and if one studies broadly, one will quickly see why. Ironically, those that actively preach a more exclusivist position, denigrating one or another tradition, are often those that were forged syncretically from a variety of earlier lineages.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
Caz wrote:
I appreciate they may reinforce one and other but how is it necessary to study Lamdre in order to improve your understand of Guhyasamaja or Dzogchen, Surely if one accomplishes the results of one perfect clarity and understand will come naturally regarding the rest ? :buddha1:


Such accomplishment is rare. Studying all teachings impartially improves our chances for realization because it improves our prajñā.

Further, we never know what circumstances we will be born in. If we are familiar with all teachings, and make a connection with all teachings, then we have more opportunity and it will be easier to study and practice in the future. For example, even if we want to be a Kagyu in life after life there is no guarantee.

M


True we have no Idea what circumstances we shall be born in best to make the most of what you have now, After all there is a commonality of progressing through the Bodhisattva grounds and paths through to No more learning, So it doesn't really matter what tradition you do it in as they all take you to the same place but with slightly different presentations. Not being sectarian is a great Idea we wouldn't be very good Buddhists if we couldn't rejoice in the practice of others could we ? There was a great demonstration of this when all the Lama's came as refuges to India all working in harmony to benefit one and other,They've left an excellent legacy and built up their own tradition while maintaining respect and harmony for one and other. :namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Caz wrote:
True we have no Idea what circumstances we shall be born in best to make the most of what you have now, After all there is a commonality of progressing through the Bodhisattva grounds and paths through to No more learning, So it doesn't really matter what tradition you do it in as they all take you to the same place but with slightly different presentations. Not being sectarian is a great Idea we wouldn't be very good Buddhists if we couldn't rejoice in the practice of others could we ? There was a great demonstration of this when all the Lama's came as refuges to India all working in harmony to benefit one and other,They've left an excellent legacy and built up their own tradition while maintaining respect and harmony for one and other. :namaste:

We are all one, why fight ourselves?

Likewise with humans in general.

Kevin

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:09 am 
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I think it is no coincidence that the greatest and most impressive lamas of history studied broadly in different traditions. Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, the Dalai Lamas, The Karmapas, Gampopa, Lama Tzongkhapa - these great masters looked at a broad corpus of literature. Now surely they did have to make some decisions in terms of their daily practices, where their focus would lie. But they did so after having a broader knowledge of the various sectarian philosophies.

Here at Sera the monks who only study the yig-cha, monastic manuals of their college, who do not devote much time to the Indian treatises and who never look into the opinions of lamas from the other monasteries, are considered to be doing the "bare minimum'.

HH Dalai Lama on a recent visit exhorted the monks to focus on the Nalanda texts themselves, as a Lama's commentary was only one interpretation. Similarly, he said they should investigate themselves what Lama Tzonkhapa said, not what one of the commentators said he said. And then, to look into the forerunners of Tzongkhapa, like Sakya Pandita.

I think the same standard applies in modern education,really. If I am studying at a university and only use the school's texts books, or quote from a few sources, without investigating the other opinions, citing them and integrating them, my essays and presentations would be considered below par.

Let's take Atisha as an example. He held the Madhyamika Prasangika view. His teacher Serlingpa (Suvarnadvipi), did not. Now, if he had the outlook "I will only go to the teachers upholding the view of my (Middle Way) tradition", he would have missed out. Because although he considered Serlingpa to hold a so-called "lower view" of emptiness, he said he was the kindest teacher because it was through his instructions that he was actually able to give rise to bodhicitta.

For myself, the teachings I have received from the Theravada and Kagyu traditions have contributed greatly to my ability to understand, study and translate Gelugpa teachings. It also means that when people from other traditions mention particular views or masters, I don't draw an embarassing blank, as I used to.

The institutional loyalty on which some masters insist for me is a little bit suspect. Because in a university if a professor said "You should only read books by so and so"... he would be censured.

A true master is not threatened by their students learning with others. Fortunately my teachers have always given me that freedom. Focus is one thing, bias is another.

If Lama Tzongkhapa had not studied with a broad variety of masters, would he have been able to produce the vast corpus of literature that he did? If Gampopa had not studied with the Kadampa teachers as well as Milarepa, would he have produced his magnum opus "Jewel Ornament of Liberation". Would Jamyang Kongtrul Lodro Thaye have been able to revive a true and integrative practice tradition that was failing?

History tells us again and again that far from diluting Buddhism, syncretism actually vitalizes it, reinvigorates it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Good Post^
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:20 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
If Gampopa had not studied with the Kadampa teachers as well as Milarepa, would he have produced his magnum opus "Jewel Ornament of Liberation".


Everyone forgets that Gampopa was a Nyingmapa to begin with, and that Nyingma remained influential on him all his life.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:22 pm 
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JKhedrup wrote:
Focus is one thing, bias is another.


And understanding the difference, letting go of bias, takes great skill... :thanks:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:
If Gampopa had not studied with the Kadampa teachers as well as Milarepa, would he have produced his magnum opus "Jewel Ornament of Liberation".


Everyone forgets that Gampopa was a Nyingmapa to begin with, and that Nyingma remained influential on him all his life.


Do you have a source for this?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:40 pm 
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:popcorn:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:50 pm 
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I'm interested to hear this, as well...but I do understand that Gampopa was a physician, married with children, prior to becoming a (Kadampa) monk. I think he was born into a Nyingma family, and I believe he had some Nyingma teachers, and studied Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara (and maybe Hevajra as well?) prior to becoming ordained. I think he studied Guyhagarbha Tantra, as well, if I recall....

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:45 am 
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I think one of the benefits of taking teachings from all lineages is that one gets to see the bigger picture and is able to realise that one's own lineage and the issues that affect it is not the be-all and end-all of Vajrayana Buddhism. Also, it helps us to hold a wider view on matters such as root gurus, yidam practice, ngondro, etc. Even if we subscribe to one lineage's teaching on any given matter, we should still understand that this is not the only view nor even the regular or common one.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:21 pm 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:
If Gampopa had not studied with the Kadampa teachers as well as Milarepa, would he have produced his magnum opus "Jewel Ornament of Liberation".


Everyone forgets that Gampopa was a Nyingmapa to begin with, and that Nyingma remained influential on him all his life.


Do you have a source for this?



Yes, his biography.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
Do you think Tibetan non-sectarianism would ever expand outside of the realm of Tibetan Buddhism?

As in, making use of Theravada or East Asian traditions?

With so much literature being translated into English, this could be immensely helpful to Tibetan Buddhists. For example, a lot of Indian literature only survives in Classical Chinese translation. Much has been and is being translated into English, which any Buddhist could readily make use of.

I'm not sure that TB can withstand the kind of critical deconstruction of its lineage mythologies and hagiographies that have occurred in East Asian Buddhism & Pāli Buddhism. And without this it seems that TB is likely to remain stuck in a 14th century worldview with teachers making claims of superiority based on spurious assumptions while the rest of the modern Buddhist world moves on.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Jnana wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Do you think Tibetan non-sectarianism would ever expand outside of the realm of Tibetan Buddhism?

As in, making use of Theravada or East Asian traditions?

With so much literature being translated into English, this could be immensely helpful to Tibetan Buddhists. For example, a lot of Indian literature only survives in Classical Chinese translation. Much has been and is being translated into English, which any Buddhist could readily make use of.

I'm not sure that TB can withstand the kind of critical deconstruction of its lineage mythologies and hagiographies that have occurred in East Asian Buddhism & Pāli Buddhism. And without this it seems that TB is likely to remain stuck in a 14th century worldview with teachers making claims of superiority based on spurious assumptions while the rest of the modern Buddhist world moves on.


That's indeed true that East Asian Buddhism as well as Theravada have made ample headway in analysing their own traditions and adapting themselves to changing circumstances in the modern day. I think the equivalent analysis is happening in Tibetan Buddhism, though it might be limited largely to non-Tibetans (i.e., westerners). I know in all of East Asia many natives have taken to dissecting their own traditions of Buddhism, particularly in Japan, but is something of similar capacity occurring within Tibetan Buddhist traditions from within?

Why do you say though it might not withstand critical deconstruction?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:35 pm 
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Despite what we westerners conceptualize according to latest theoretical trends or even old superseded French theories from the 60's, TB masters & mistresses from various ethnicities & all TB schools have been producing many siddhis & some rainbow bodies & above all realizations of their true nature of mind which effortlessly helps sentient beings of many world systems from the day Padmasambhava introduced Vajrayana in Tibet to this very day & future as prophesied & have always incorporated into their teachings & practices the subset of lower vehicles & yanas as a norm by default. HHDL is a good example of giving those lower level teachings & yanas regularly as well as Rime non-sectarian higher teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni & other realized beings whose lineages he has made famous worldwide for the first time in human history.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
That's indeed true that East Asian Buddhism as well as Theravada have made ample headway in analysing their own traditions and adapting themselves to changing circumstances in the modern day. I think the equivalent analysis is happening in Tibetan Buddhism, though it might be limited largely to non-Tibetans (i.e., westerners). I know in all of East Asia many natives have taken to dissecting their own traditions of Buddhism, particularly in Japan, but is something of similar capacity occurring within Tibetan Buddhist traditions from within?

The only Tibetan teacher that may have even come close thus far has been Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Huseng wrote:
Why do you say though it might not withstand critical deconstruction?

Well, if this reply is any indication, it cannot withstand any criticism:

username wrote:
Despite what we westerners conceptualize according to latest theoretical trends or even old superseded French theories from the 60's, TB masters & mistresses from various ethnicities & all TB schools have been producing many siddhis & some rainbow bodies & above all realizations of their true nature of mind which effortlessly helps sentient beings of many world systems from the day Padmasambhava introduced Vajrayana in Tibet to this very day & future as prophesied & have always incorporated into their teachings & practices the subset of lower vehicles & yanas as a norm by default. HHDL is a good example of giving those lower level teachings & yanas regularly as well as Rime non-sectarian higher teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni & other realized beings whose lineages he has made famous worldwide for the first time in human history.

Even faith in the context of the Abrahamic religions doesn't require accepting these kinds of triumphalist assertions and hagiographies.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Jnana wrote:
The only Tibetan teacher that may have even come close thus far has been Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.


This is a little off-topic: I like his teaching style and what he is doing with Nirtatha and its programmes. However, the Nalandabodhi english liturgy is a little strange. In general sanghas that adopt english liturgies haven't really produced beautiful verses, like the graceful ones produced by the Chinese when they adopted Buddhism.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:22 pm 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Jnana wrote:
The only Tibetan teacher that may have even come close thus far has been Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.


This is a little off-topic: I like his teaching style and what he is doing with Nirtatha and its programmes. However, the Nalandabodhi english liturgy is a little strange. In general sanghas that adopt english liturgies haven't really produced beautiful verses, like the graceful ones produced by the Chinese when they adopted Buddhism.


Erik Pema Kunzang tells me he is redoing many translations so that they are possible to sing in English, it is a huge work.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:29 pm 
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heart wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Jnana wrote:
The only Tibetan teacher that may have even come close thus far has been Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.


This is a little off-topic: I like his teaching style and what he is doing with Nirtatha and its programmes. However, the Nalandabodhi english liturgy is a little strange. In general sanghas that adopt english liturgies haven't really produced beautiful verses, like the graceful ones produced by the Chinese when they adopted Buddhism.


Erik Pema Kunzang tells me he is redoing many translations so that they are possible to sing in English, it is a huge work.

/magnus


Wonderful. I hope they eschew the monotonous drone that really sounds bad in English. Something poetic. But not Vogon poetry.

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