Lama Michael Conklin?

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Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby duckfiasco » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:33 pm

Hi, all. There's a local Karma Kagyu center. I know next to nothing about lineage or how to tell if a center's teachers are qualified before I spend time studying and meditating there.

I'm on the lookout because I recently found out the first center I went to is widely considered a cult, the second I spent more time at is ALSO considered a cult with a whole support forum for ex-members, one I was going to visit next week lists a controversial anti-Muslim teacher that many here on DW advise against... So I'm a bit on edge for charlatans or those whose actions are controversial to the extent that they're easily researched online or on here.

I haven't been able to find any information about the Karma Kagyu center here in Portland, Oregon online other than their website. It doesn't give much info aside from saying Lama Michael Conklin studied with Kalu Rinpoche in the '70s.

Here is the info in question: http://kcc.org/about-kcc/teachers

Thank you very much for any help in this! I had circled back to zen practice for a while because of the local priory, but a strong interest in Chenrezig practice has me looking towards the Tibetan traditions again.
Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:44 pm

There are a few things on the page that indicate to me there is a good chance he is a legitimate teacher:

In 2001, Bokar Rinpoche renewed his request that Michael be responsible for offering the annual Mahamudra instruction and retreat.


The page also indicates that they maintain connections and attend events with the lamas of the Bokar Monastery in India, the monastery of the late Bokar Rinpoche. This is also a good sign. But you might want to ask someone with a closer connection to the Shangpa Kagyu lineage for more information.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby Jikan » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:34 pm

I'm from Portland. I've visited the KCC center (lovely people there), and the program is the same as any other Shangpa Kagyu center in North America I've visited. The teacher there has a very good reputation. I would not hesitate to check it out, participate to the extent you feel comfortable, ask questions, observe carefully, and so on as you would with any center.

:cheers:
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby jmlee369 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:58 am

If you're in Portland, you could also consider Maitripa College, an FPMT center. While more than just a regular center, they do offer public teachings, meditations and pujas.
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby duckfiasco » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:30 am

Wonderful, thank you. I'll give them a visit tomorrow morning.

Thank you also for the Maitripa College reference. Portland simultaneously has lots of Buddhist centers and not many at all. I was disappointed to have to cross four off my list for the reasons I mentioned. I'll look into Maitripa as well.

:namaste:
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby Silent Bob » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:50 am

Having practiced in the Kagyu tradition for 40+ years and having a highly developed BS detector after a few disappointments, if I lived in or near Portland I wouldn't hesitate to visit KCC and feel if the vibe was a good fit for me. Michael Conklin's teaching credentials are impeccable and he's completed the traditional three-year retreat under Kalu Rinpoche; no small accomplishment.

Chris
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby Jikan » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:52 am

since we're not limiting ourselves to Kagyu centers, the Portland Sakya Center also deserves mention:

http://portlandsakyacenter.com/

Dzogchen Community is also active...

http://www.oregondzogchen.com/oregoncom ... -community

and there's the Zen Community of Oregon, Dharma Rain, Robert Beatty's group... &c.

For all that, KCC is a very good place to practice Dharma, and if I ever get a chance to move home, you'll find me there regularly.
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby ngodrup » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:39 am

I have met Lama Michael. I have no reservations.
Many of Kalu Rinpoche's students were ordained as Lamas,
many of them years after completing drupdra, as they proved
themselves as translators and "apprentice" teachers.
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby duckfiasco » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:14 pm

Thank you all again for the recommendations. I went for three hours of meditation and teachings today. I felt it was very beneficial.

I'll be returning to the center again.
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby lobster » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:14 am

duckfiasco wrote:I'll be returning to the center again.


:twothumbsup:

:popcorn:
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Re: Lama Michael Conklin?

Postby fourarmed&white » Thu May 30, 2013 5:35 pm

Even though this is an old thread I'd thought I'd give my two cents for anyone who comes across tgis thread:

You needn't worry about KCC or Lama Michael Conklin. While discussing the Nyungne retreat I had just done with my teacher we got on the subject of beliefs and views. As a friend of Lama Conklin, my teacher told me about a practice that the Lama does where he generates a certain belief or view and lives with it for a few days, just to see how it affects his perception of experience. To me the ability to adopt the views and beliefs of another person or culture expresses a very open attitude. It also gets rid of any suspicion of KCC being any sort of cult, as a cult usually starts and stops with one persons (the cult leader, or cult leaders teacher) strong beliefs and views of the world.

Not to mention any student that is ordained a Lama by Kalu Rinpoche is at the very least an authentic teacher, and the western ones (Lama Conklin, Ken McLeod) aren't trying to get rich off of the Karma Kagyu teachings. It's usually a good sign that a teacher has completed a traditional three year three month retreat, as it means they've had enough experience dealing with problems in their own practice (in Ken's case almost 8 years of intensive retreat including two 3 year ones) that they can be effective teachers.


K, Kool-Aid's been drunk, now for some non biased advice: I recommend checking out unfetteredmind.org, they have a section on how to find and develop a relationship with a teacher, just look for "teacher" in the index on the right side of the page. Www.naturalawareness.net has a section on picking a teacher too, it's in the "resources section" at the bottom I think.

The main thing to remember when looking for a teacher is that they aren't just teaching you a bunch of techniqued, they're tailoring a practice for you as an individual. Best to find a teacher that seems similar to you, because they've probably faced and overcome some of the challenges that you will face. And also, the teacher-student relationship is a mutually beneficial one, a good teacher doesn't want praise or gifts or any of the 8 worldly concerns, they want to help you find an end to your suffering. In helping you their benefit is expanding and deepening their own practice. K, enough rambling, you all probably know all this already. Since I found this page on :oops: :namaste: the first page of google I thought I'd write this for the benefit of newcomers, who might make the mistake of worshipping a man, and not the teachings. Trust the Dharma, Trust the Buddha and Trust the true Sangha.. Don't put all your faith into an imperfect human being. :offtopic:
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