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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:

So you are saying he reached the third vision himself? Or isn't that necessary to be able to guide people through the visions?

/magnus


I don't know. I don't know Lama Drimed personally.

I have friend of mine who did an 8 year retreat under Chagdud Tulku focusing on thogal. But I don't think he got past the second vision himself.

It took Kunzang Dechen Lingpa seven years to reach the third vision in strict retreat.

N


I have heard that generally the Dzogchen masters only authorize people to to teach Dzogchen if they have reached the third vision. And, of course, he or she is someone who is a suitable teacher. Scholars shouldn't teach from books about what they have not experienced for themselves.

Although I do not know him personally, I think we should all assume that, since Chagdud Tulku named him his Dzogchen heir, Lama Drimed is a very high level Dzogchen practitioner. I would think this whould be encouraging for those of you who practice Dzogchen because he did not do three year retreat until after Chagdud Tulku passed. However, I hear he was unbelievably diligent in practice... and of course he was officially recognized as a tulku as well.

I'm a ngondro practitioner myself.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:25 pm 
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I have met this couple after they completed 9 years of retreat near Chagdud Gompa in Northern California. Their teacher is (was) Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. They are authentic practitioners, of that I am sure. They even abandoned successful high profile careers in the art world to do retreat, all the way from Ngondro to Thodgyal practice. What their realization level is I cannot judge since I cannot judge that. But they did do retreat and practiced and would meet and check with their lama regularly until he left this world . In any case, westerners doing 9 years of solitary retreat is a rare enough thing to deserve some respect.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:37 pm 
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ismael wrote:
I have met this couple after they completed 9 years of retreat near Chagdud Gompa in Northern California. Their teacher is (was) Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. They are authentic practitioners, of that I am sure. They even abandoned successful high profile careers in the art world to do retreat, all the way from Ngondro to Thodgyal practice. What their realization level is I cannot judge since I cannot judge that. But they did do retreat and practiced and would meet and check with their lama regularly until he left this world . In any case, westerners doing 9 years of solitary retreat is a rare enough thing to deserve some respect.


But according to themselves they did that retreat together in a mud-hut they built themselves, isn't that correct? This and the fact that they would "check in" with their teacher makes me doubt that this was a proper retreat, at least according to what I have been taught about retreat.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:05 am 
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heart wrote:
ismael wrote:
I have met this couple after they completed 9 years of retreat near Chagdud Gompa in Northern California. Their teacher is (was) Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. They are authentic practitioners, of that I am sure. They even abandoned successful high profile careers in the art world to do retreat, all the way from Ngondro to Thodgyal practice. What their realization level is I cannot judge since I cannot judge that. But they did do retreat and practiced and would meet and check with their lama regularly until he left this world . In any case, westerners doing 9 years of solitary retreat is a rare enough thing to deserve some respect.


But according to themselves they did that retreat together in a mud-hut they built themselves, isn't that correct? This and the fact that they would "check in" with their teacher makes me doubt that this was a proper retreat, at least according to what I have been taught about retreat.

/magnus


This couple lived in a hole in the ground for years, if you are talking about the Olds. They were mainly students on Lama Drimed. Now, they don't even mention him in their books, and are no longer Buddhist. They have kind of invented their own religion (albeit an interesting one.) They did not even respect their past samaya enough to keep confidential what was given them in confidence. So, who would have one been considered role models... are now models of he worst kind of disciples.

That being said, Magnus... where I come from, checking in with your lama is not only proper, but usually necessary while in retreat.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:04 am 
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Yudron wrote:
heart wrote:
ismael wrote:
I have met this couple after they completed 9 years of retreat near Chagdud Gompa in Northern California. Their teacher is (was) Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. They are authentic practitioners, of that I am sure. They even abandoned successful high profile careers in the art world to do retreat, all the way from Ngondro to Thodgyal practice. What their realization level is I cannot judge since I cannot judge that. But they did do retreat and practiced and would meet and check with their lama regularly until he left this world . In any case, westerners doing 9 years of solitary retreat is a rare enough thing to deserve some respect.


But according to themselves they did that retreat together in a mud-hut they built themselves, isn't that correct? This and the fact that they would "check in" with their teacher makes me doubt that this was a proper retreat, at least according to what I have been taught about retreat.

/magnus


This couple lived in a hole in the ground for years, if you are talking about the Olds. They were mainly students on Lama Drimed. Now, they don't even mention him in their books, and are no longer Buddhist. They have kind of invented their own religion (albeit an interesting one.) They did not even respect their past samaya enough to keep confidential what was given them in confidence. So, who would have one been considered role models... are now models of he worst kind of disciples.

That being said, Magnus... where I come from, checking in with your lama is not only proper, but usually necessary while in retreat.


Of course, but normally you don't leave the retreat boundaries unless very necessary and neither do you live with your wife during retreat, at least the way I been taught. This is more like some kind of semi-retreat. That is fine with me to but it is a different thing. It seems very popular these days to abandon Buddhism, some even consider it a sign of realization. I think it is all a bit sad actually.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:54 am 
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Not at all, the method he used, the jhanas, he found by accident when he was a boy.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Visions can be rigpa's appearance if one is resting in rigpa. Otherwise, they are karmic. The appearances of five colors is the linchpin between samsara and nirvana. Just because visions arise doesn't mean de facto the practitioner is resting in rigpa. Visions are helpful to a practitioner because they are reflections of one's pure, uncontrived nature. But one could still impute biases upon the visions and then they are the cause of six realms, five poisons, etc. See Circle of the Sun's discussion of visions as rigdang vs. lungdang, depending on whether one is resting in trekcho.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Sherlock wrote:
Not at all, the method he used, the jhanas, he found by accident when he was a boy.

I think I posted this in the wrong thread.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:33 pm 
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heart wrote:
It seems very popular these days to abandon Buddhism, some even consider it a sign of realization. I think it is all a bit sad actually.

/magnus


I think that this is what happens when one doesn't have close proximity to a realized guru for an extended period, particularly during the early part of one's dharma career. One can fall prey to one's own interpretations not only of the texts themselves, but also of what the teacher is saying. This is perhaps the greatest problem that I see with the current trend of Internet-based transmission. It's quite possibly better than nothing, but I think it presents real pitfalls to practitioners that fancy themselves intellectuals. They don't have the luxury of a guru that will argue with them, pop the bubble of their inflating ego and set them back on the path.

Of course, I am not one to advocate that Buddhism is the only path to enlightenment but certainly if one discards one's practice (of whatever tradition) mid-stream because one thinks one has "arrived"... that's a catastrophe. As the Ashtavakra Gita says,

"The moment a fool gives up his spiritual practices, he falls prey to fancies and desires."

Those that I have seen that would rather drink wine and watch TV than do ngondro aren't very impressive by any measure. It's hard to see how we will really establish dharma here without those that work tirelessly not just for their own benefit, but for that of all beings. Maybe it's unfair, but I find something a little disingenuous in those that use statements from the teachings about how compassion is intrinsic to emptiness to excuse them from doing any of the hard work of taming their minds by training in loving kindness. Regardless of whether this is doctrinally correct, in my experience they are almost invariably worse company.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:02 am 
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Uncle Ngakpa Magnus, it is not inappropriate in a non-monastic Nyingma retreat for couples to do long term retreat together. We have had, and do have, married couples in retreat together at our facility. This was certainly sanctioned by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

That being said, I don't know how cloistered this couple was. We have an isolated formal group three year retreat facility, and I think the situation at Rigdzin Ling is different.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:00 am 
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Yudron wrote:
Uncle Ngakpa Magnus, it is not inappropriate in a non-monastic Nyingma retreat for couples to do long term retreat together. We have had, and do have, married couples in retreat together at our facility. This was certainly sanctioned by Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.

That being said, I don't know how cloistered this couple was. We have an isolated formal group three year retreat facility, and I think the situation at Rigdzin Ling is different.


Dear Auntie Naljorpa Yudron, if there is a retreat leader I think this is pretty common situation in the west, although very unusual in Tibet. But I guess you follow the normal tradition to refrain from sex during extended retreat? Living alone with your wife/husband/partner might make that more or less impossible I think, and certainly all Tibetans would think that. That including the fact that they probably would have to break the retreat boundaries to go and see their teacher, unless his house was close and included within the retreat boundaries, make me feel like it was a kind of semi-retreat the Olds had.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:36 am 
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I prepared a Ganacakra offering with my body and possessions, and rendered it to Guru Rimpoche with this petition:

Venerable Lord of Orgyen, Skull-Garland Skill,
Stem of the Mysteries, Vajradhara,
Your vast generosity is beyond gratitude;
Whatsoever will give you joy
I swear to give you heedless of body or life.
Please grant me the final initiation,
The Word Empowerment of Dzokchen -
Let the Guru confer the Fourth today!

'The time is not ripe for you to practise the effortless method of Ati,' Guru Rimpoche replied. 'Persist in your practice on the path of the mahayana mysteries. Now, girl, without a consort, a partner of skilful means, there is no way that you can experience the mysteries of Tantra. It is rather like this: if a pot is unfired it will not bear usage; in an area without wood a fire will not burn; if there is no moisture to sustain growth it is useless to plant a seedling. So go to the Valley of Nepal where there is a sixteen-year-old youth with a mole on his right breast, who is an emanation of the Buddha Hero Hayagriva called Atsara Sale. He has wandered there from Serling in India. Find him, and make him your ally, and you will soon discover the realm of pure pleasure.'

So, having received my Guru's prophetic injunction, with a golden begging bowl and a pound of gold dust, I set out alone for the Valley of Nepal.

(Initiation and Instruction pp 39-44)


The above being said^, as long as there is no loss of Bodhicitta, Ojas, the 'Pure Part' or Pure Essence (Bodhicitta that is from the perspective of Tibetan Medicine and Tantrayana); sexual contact between female and male should be fine for just about any retreat (unless of course one's Guru says otherwise specifically).

However there could be other reasons why the Olds aren't necessarily trustworthy sources regarding Tögal (I don't know the whole situation with them though)....


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:51 am 
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Although it has been said that sexual contact should be avoided during specific types of Long Life Chulen retreats (whereas some other types of Long Life retreats may actually be enhanced by sexual contact); so I could see why sexual contact might not be recommended during Thögal retreats.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Lhug-Pa wrote:
I prepared a Ganacakra offering with my body and possessions, and rendered it to Guru Rimpoche with this petition:

Venerable Lord of Orgyen, Skull-Garland Skill,
Stem of the Mysteries, Vajradhara,
Your vast generosity is beyond gratitude;
Whatsoever will give you joy
I swear to give you heedless of body or life.
Please grant me the final initiation,
The Word Empowerment of Dzokchen -
Let the Guru confer the Fourth today!

'The time is not ripe for you to practise the effortless method of Ati,' Guru Rimpoche replied. 'Persist in your practice on the path of the mahayana mysteries. Now, girl, without a consort, a partner of skilful means, there is no way that you can experience the mysteries of Tantra. It is rather like this: if a pot is unfired it will not bear usage; in an area without wood a fire will not burn; if there is no moisture to sustain growth it is useless to plant a seedling. So go to the Valley of Nepal where there is a sixteen-year-old youth with a mole on his right breast, who is an emanation of the Buddha Hero Hayagriva called Atsara Sale. He has wandered there from Serling in India. Find him, and make him your ally, and you will soon discover the realm of pure pleasure.'

So, having received my Guru's prophetic injunction, with a golden begging bowl and a pound of gold dust, I set out alone for the Valley of Nepal.

(Initiation and Instruction pp 39-44)


The above being said^, as long as there is no loss of Bodhicitta, Ojas, the 'Pure Part' or Pure Essence (Bodhicitta that is from the perspective of Tibetan Medicine and Tantrayana); sexual contact between female and male should be fine for just about any retreat (unless of course one's Guru says otherwise specifically).

However there could be other reasons why the Olds aren't necessarily trustworthy sources regarding Tögal (I don't know the whole situation with them though)....



:twothumbsup:
The key-point is "the loss of Boddhicitta, or Pure Essence", guys!
At least, it is what I heard from my guru just today..... ;)
The sexual contact between female and male is sacred, however it needs very high capacity by both Tantric partners.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:11 pm 
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All this fuss over a bunch of eye floaters.

:pig:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:14 am 
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Magnus,

"I think this is pretty common situation in the west, although very unusual in Tibet." I'm not so sure about this. The current Pora Tulku, Paltrul Rinpoche, was recognized as a tulku after he was an adult and already married. He did his three-year retreat along with his wife.

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:45 am 
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Retreats are just an arbitrary invention of Tibetan monasticism.

Do you think the Vajrayana founders, the 84 Mahasiddhas, went on freaking retreat?

Unless you are a monk, you don't need to adhere to monastic stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:53 am 
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Yes, I think the Mahasiddhas went on "freaking" retreat. After all, it says so in the accounts of the Mahasiddhas.

Retreat is not merely "monastic."

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:56 am 
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conebeckham wrote:
Yes, I think the Mahasiddhas went on "freaking" retreat. After all, it says so in the accounts of the Mahasiddhas.

Retreat is not merely "monastic."



Yeah but I think they were banging chicks and all sorts of things.

Certainly not a monk style isolation retreat that gets you a loppon degree.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:54 am 
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JohnRammy wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
Yes, I think the Mahasiddhas went on "freaking" retreat. After all, it says so in the accounts of the Mahasiddhas.

Retreat is not merely "monastic."



Yeah but I think they were banging chicks and all sorts of things.

Certainly not a monk style isolation retreat that gets you a loppon degree.


You do little to advance your argument with such posts. Even in ordinary society, this is disrespectful of women. How much more so when discussing the dharma which exalts women as the embodiment of the Perfection of Wisdom. Very curious approach.

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