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 Post subject: New Comer
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:44 am 
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Greeting to all,
I am new to Buddhism and very much interested in Vajrayana but as nowadays working in SUDAN there is no Dharma center here. So just for beginning I have bought the book “Liberation in the Palm of your Hand” and doing practice according to the text of Lamrim and also doing the practice of Yidam Chenrezig from the book gently whispered by Kalu Rinpoche.

But again I am doing it without proper guidance and initiation is it right? How can I improve my practices as I can get leave only next year. So should I keep doing the Lamrim practice and Chenezig practice or I shall wait to get the proper initiation (next year if I could find someone).

Can somebody help me to take some guidance from any learned Lama and next year can you suggest where should it be better to go for proper guidance as I will be in India and thinking to go Kuppan Monestry in Nepal to 1 month Lamrim retreat

Please guide me what shall I do as I am totaly novice for Buddhism.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:36 pm 
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Hi! :hi:

I haven't read that book by HE Kalu Rinpoche but the most important thing would be to practice the Four Thoughts That Turn the Mind From Samsara: precious human birth, impermanence, karma and the sufferings of samsara. Generate the mind of Bodhicitta as much as possible - the intention to gain enlightenment for the sake of all beings throughout space and time and then actualize that as you can by actually helping people when you can. They you can do Atisha's refuge prayer practice while visualizing all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in front of you and with you leading all sentient beings in human form in the prayer and visually imagining that yourself and all beings are doing prostrations.

As for the deity visualization, see what Kalu Rinpoche wrote in that book. People shouldn't visualize themselves in esoteric deity forms until they have had empowerment and instruction from a lama. You can visualize Chenrezig in front of you through and do the practice that way just like he was in front of you on a higher throne. Doing this will be very effective in developing and deepening love and compassion and creating auspicious interconnections.

So one way of integrating all of this is to do this in a meditation session by contemplating the Four Thoughts, then doing Atisha's efuge Prayer, then generating Bodhicitta and dedicating your meditation to save all beings from samsara and then doing the Chenresig practice and then dedicating the merit for all beings to attain perfect enlightenment. Actually I'm sure that the sadhana in the book includes these exact steps (and it has some form of refuge prayer for sure).

Atisha's Refuge Prayer is:
SANG-GYE CHO DANG SOG CHE CHO NAM LA
CHANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NEY KYAB SU CHI
DAG GEG JIN SO JIN PAY SO NAM CHI
DROL LA PEN CHER SANG-GEY DRU PAR SHOG

I don't read Tibetan but this is usually translated as
In the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha I take refuge until enlightenment is won
By the merits of giving and the other perfections
May I attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings

Giving and the other perfections refers to the six perfections of
giving, morality, patience, perseverance, meditation and wisdom (the last two are often listed as concentration and meditation).

Lam rim (at least most of Lam rim and maybe all of it) is intended to be practiced progressively and while it is better to receive it from a lama directly your circumstances don't permit that right now. But keeping reading and practicing the Lam Rim would be excellent (is this Pabonka's "Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand" ?).

Kirt

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:36 am 
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Hi Kirtu,

Thanx for your informative reply.

Kalu Rinpoche has given all the necessary part of the the Chenrezig Sadhana.

Yes, the Lamrim book is of Pabango Rinpoche, very detailed and informative, just worry if this is ok to practice just by reading the book without the guidance of a Master.


Regards


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Quote:
Yes, the Lamrim book is of Pabango Rinpoche, very detailed and informative, just worry if this is ok to practice just by reading the book without the guidance of a Master.


Unfortunately I don't have that book available as I'm getting ready to leave my apartment.

However most of the instruction is just mind training - maybe all of it in that book is mind training. Any of the contemplations and meditations that do not involve generating yourself as a deity can be practiced. It would be best to receive the teaching directly from a lama and you should make plans to do this when you can but the basic teaching can be practiced. What topics are you concerned about?

Phabongka Rinpoche gave this teaching to large groups of people around Tibet. He would definitely have given initiations as part of this but still the basic mind training teaching can be practiced by anyone. That's why it was published. To help people begin basic Tibetan Buddhist training from a Gelug perspective.

Kirt

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Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:37 pm 
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In my opinion, (and many will disagree) the most powerful and practical teachings available in print are found the Dalai Lama's book "Healing Anger". I think it is an excellent starting point. I also recommend Shunryu Suzuki's books. Between these two teachers, it is certain the student will be steered into a warm, kindly and compassionate path.

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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:24 am 
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@Catmoon
Thanx catmoon for advice and I will sure look for this book of HH Dalai Lama. And as far as I know Shunryu Suzuki's is related to ZEN for sure his teaching will be wonderful but willn't it be good to follow pure vajra foundation if I will want to follow the path of Vajrayana.

@Kirtu

My main concern is with the tantric visualization of the detail merit field with tantra deity and Buddha and all Guru as Lama Panonga has described in the refugee chapter. Is it ok to practice this without proper guidance and initiation?

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:16 am 
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rajroshi wrote:
@Catmoon
Thanx catmoon for advice and I will sure look for this book of HH Dalai Lama. And as far as I know Shunryu Suzuki's is related to ZEN for sure his teaching will be wonderful but willn't it be good to follow pure vajra foundation if I will want to follow the path of Vajrayana.

Regards



Yup he's Zen through and through. But our Zen friends have a lot to offer. The books are not very doctrinal so I don't think there will be any interference. I think they would be beneficial to any Buddhist.

Breadth of learning is important. Everything is connected. If you find the writers boring and irrelevant, don't torture yourself, but do take a look and see. I don't do things the Zen way, but I hope one day to be as kind as these teachers. And that relates directly to becoming a bodhisattva, doesn't it?

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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:07 am 
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@Catmoon

Nice post and I accept that all are connected and for sure we always get something very valuable whenever we read any book of a Master.

Thanks for nice advice.


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:27 am 
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rajroshi wrote:
My main concern is with the tantric visualization of the detail merit field with tantra deity and Buddha and all Guru as Lama Panonga has described in the refugee chapter. Is it ok to practice this without proper guidance and initiation?


No because in general you would not be introduced to the tantric deities on the front petal without an initiation. However different traditions do treat this somewhat differently. Actually if you leave them out (except you could keep Avalokiteshvara and Tara there) then there won't be a problem. Ideally refuge tree visualization should be introduced by a lama. You could email the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (http://www.fpmt.org) about this since you are studying Phabonka and may visit Kopan and see what Lama Zopa or a Gelug lama affiliated with then says.

Kirt

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:36 am 
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@Kirtu
Thanx for your valuable advice I am trying to contact there.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Following up on kirtu's excellent posts here:

You can and should keep the Chenresig mantra going as often as you can. Put some conviction in it. You don't need any kind of initiation to sing OM MANI PEME HUNG while washing the dishes.

What kind of work do you do in Sudan? That's a very fertile context for practicing mani mantras.

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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Jikan wrote:
Following up on kirtu's excellent posts here:

You can and should keep the Chenresig mantra going as often as you can. Put some conviction in it. You don't need any kind of initiation to sing OM MANI PEME HUNG while washing the dishes.

What kind of work do you do in Sudan? That's a very fertile context for practicing mani mantras.


Agreed. In a lot of ways saying OM MANI PEME HUNG with a heart filled with Bodhichitta (the desire to free all beings everywhere from suffering) is the most profound dharma.


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:38 am 
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Thanks to all for replying.

Here in Sudan, I am working in UN as an IT Engineer. So what type of affect it can make to practices, I am eager to know.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:50 am 
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rajroshi wrote:
Thanks to all for replying.

Here in Sudan, I am working in UN as an IT Engineer. So what type of affect it can make to practices, I am eager to know.

Thanks


An excellent question. I will have a try at answering.

This mantra focusses the mind on compassion, and that carries forward into daily life. But simply paying attention to the nature of compassion one becomes more likely to act compassionately.

This mantra brings peace into the heart, and that reduces anger.

It is a skilful tool. If the habit is formed of saying a few mantras scattered through the day, then compassion will be kept at or near the front of the mind.


I'm sure others can add much more. For instance, acting on compassion has large karmic consequences.

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 Post subject: Re: New Comer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:47 am 
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Hi Rajyoshi,

I would also recommend shinay and lojong practices.

I haven't read this book, but it looks good:
http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Lojong-C ... 199&sr=8-1

But I have read Traleg Rinpoche's book "Mind at Ease" and that was excellent and had many basic meditations described in it which the reader could try.

I'd also recommend reading Shantideva's "Bodhicaryavatara." Most great Tibetan lamas give teachings about this text.
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/x/nav ... 05749.html

Also, if you want an overview of the entire Kagyu path to enlightenment, you should read "The Jewel Ornament of Liberation." It may seem rather dry at times, but the fact that it's a "road map" to enlightenment makes it interesting.
http://www.amazon.com/Jewel-Ornament-Li ... 094&sr=1-1

Good luck,

Luke


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