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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Alex,

This is all interesting, but honestly, the inner tantric/HYT samayas of all the Nyingma and Sarma systems all come down to the same point: maintaining the view of the three vajras. From that point of view, any differences in the letter of these samayas between HYT systems is merely on an outer level; the spirit of the commitments is the same. At their essence, the samayas of each of these systems are all serving the function of facilitating awareness of the 3 vajras, and all practitioners of Anuttarayoga have this commitment whether monk, nun, ngakpa/ma, naljorpa/ma. It makes no difference. This is all the more so when we get into Dzogchen and Mahamudra territory.

Also, both Nyingma and Sarma tantras have many versions of prescriptions for adornment with various examples of fearless heruka attire, etc., at a certain advanced stage on the path of the two stages, so there's nothing new under the sun except some outward variation on the same essential points of conduct.


Pema Rigdzin,

yes to all of that. Except to say that perhaps it may be the case that 'It makes no difference' would only be true when looking at things in 'their essence' as you say, and I guess I was addressing more the specifics of the available practices in terms of ordination and vow holding. For example, it seems likely that some of the outer level specifics are available precisely so that differently minded individuals can utilise them to access the inner level essence of practise according to their own disposition. If that's the case then such differences are actually of vital importance if only because they provide inspiration to a broader number of people. Who's to say that if the outer level distinctions were abandoned as many people would be interested (not that you suggested such a thing)?

One of the interesting things about changing outer appearance in relation to vows is of course that such a change is accompanied by the adoption of particular views in relation to practice and so forth, depending on what the item represents. Sometimes people suggest that putting on a shawl can't change anything or shouldn't be relied upon to change anything, and of course that's true but only to an extent I would say. If one wears something, or is instructed to wear something, as part of a living tradition and as a specific practice, then one does so within a framework which employs oral commentaries and instructions which accompany the adoption of different appearances (or the non-adoption of different appearances), and so the outer level alteration isn't an isolated thing but a richly interdependent symbol capable of encouraging the practitioner into a new perspective, and that is true perhaps even more so if a vow is included as a part of the change.

All the best,
Alex.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Alex,

You may be right. My main point in this thread has been to refute the idea of ngakpas being higher or somehow intrinsically more advanced than monastics (or vice versa, if anyone were to posit such a position) in the Nyingma tradition. We're basically all just people who are making use of whichever of the "84,000" Dharma teachings suit us.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:50 pm 
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Alex Hubbard wrote:
One of the interesting things about changing outer appearance in relation to vows is of course that such a change is accompanied by the adoption of particular views in relation to practice and so forth, depending on what the item represents. Sometimes people suggest that putting on a shawl can't change anything or shouldn't be relied upon to change anything, and of course that's true but only to an extent I would say. If one wears something, or is instructed to wear something, as part of a living tradition and as a specific practice, then one does so within a framework which employs oral commentaries and instructions which accompany the adoption of different appearances (or the non-adoption of different appearances), and so the outer level alteration isn't an isolated thing but a richly interdependent symbol capable of encouraging the practitioner into a new perspective, and that is true perhaps even more so if a vow is included as a part of the change.

The robes of Lord Buddha are actually the mother of all protective amulets, and they have numerous other magical qualities inherited down through the generations, so they are not just garments. Furthermore, deities immediately recognise them and react accordingly. I don't think that little white loincloths have quite the same effect. ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:53 pm 
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Alex Hubbard wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Alex,

and so the outer level alteration isn't an isolated thing but a richly interdependent symbol capable of encouraging the practitioner into a new perspective, and that is true perhaps even more so if a vow is included as a part of the change.

All the best,
Alex.


It's a double-edged sword. Robes and ornaments can also increase pride on the wearers' part, unless everyone wears them. And even if there is no pride on the wearers part, observers can assume all kinds of things about the wearer.

For example, one of my lamas wants all of us to wear a striped sen at all gatherings. A new person came to an event when he was there, and was bitterly angry that someone had accidentally whipped her while donning her sen, and assumed that that woman was just full of ego about her sen. I explained that that person probably just got hers on that very day, and doesn't know how to wear it yet, and that Rinpoche wanted us all to wear it. In the blink of an eye, the complainer had bought a sen and was was walking around, so joyful looking.

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche is ambivalent about the ngakpa attire. He'll saw different things on different days. First of all, women did not wear that attire in the part of Tibet he was from, so--it's okay if we do, but a well-fitted chuba (unusual!) is probably slightly preferred by him. Secondly, the "hidden yogin" who does not draw any kind of attention to him or her self is the highest model of conduct in the Dudjom tradition, so it's good to dress inconspicuously. Rinpoche himself almost got himself thrown out of Shechen monastery once, when he visited as a tourist, because he had dressed like a workman that day so he could circumambulate the stupa without being identified as a lama.

The chodpa in our tradition does need to carry 10 necessary articles, but such persons in the West have been known to shrink down the tsaklis of those items and laminate them and carry these with them, with the lama's agreement.

On other days, LTR considers designing a sen that everyone could wear.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:28 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Yudron wrote:
Yes, one will encounter the view that monasticism is lower path for a serious practitioner, and thereare arguments to be made for and against that...

What would be the arguments in favor of this view?


Tantra is the swift path to liberation and enlightenment and being a monastic keeps one from fully participating in HYT (i.e. consort practice) and is a drain on a practitioners time.

The first argument can even be said to originate from Atisha.


Following up a bit with an article from earlyTibet.com - this article is about a Mahayoga liberation ritual text with an appendix of sorts detailing monastic vows. The author speculates that the negotiation between higher tantra and monasticism began a full century before Atisha's seeming proscription in "Lamp for the Path".

Kirt

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Yes, I think this article was very interesting http://earlytibet.files.wordpress.com/2 ... _2008a.pdf

/magnus

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