I have no horse in this race. Just butting in since I think I may help with communication gaps that appear to be happening.
I believe what Greg is alluding to with the football metaphor is that the different types of very unique, Aro-lineage specific robes and decorations make it seem that matters of dress and appearance have been perhaps over emphasized. In the Nyingma lineage in general, people are used to some specific dress according to lineage, some may be for doing tsa lung yogas only and kept secret.. some for elaborate ceremonies like drupchens or wangs. But usually there are not very different elaborate types of robes to be worn just for tsoks -- other than the general zens of common to the wider Nyingma lineage, not hats, etc. The level of public photographs of all these different types of robes specific to your lineage gets really confusing to people familiar with the established and wider-known lineages, and people begin to think maybe it is about showing off, and about fashion. If these robes were kept more hidden, and were not on such public display, worn walking around and in various publicly presented photos, maybe no one would be poking fun in the first place. But I think Greg is getting at that he thinks it's been taken a bit far, and apparently some, like him, find it to be taken to the point of absurdity.
Thank you for your explanation. Yes I think I did miss Gregkavarnos's point.
The pictures of the Aro lamas wearing elaborate embroidered robes are formal portraits on our websites. No one actually walks around wearing them. What they generally wear is the usual ngakpa zen & white shamthab. I have seen photographs of Tibetan lamas wearing elaborate robes; I even have a photograph of the Dalai Lama wearing the Dorje Zahorma hat. This sort of costume is far from unique to the Aro gTér.
Of course, this questioning or judgmental gaze must go hand-in-hand with a skepticism of the validity of the lineage. Because I don't think he or anyone else here who is sincerely practicing would go around poking fun at the robes of a terma lineage they believed was truly authentic.
I know. But, as I said in my first post in this thread, I don't think ridiculing sincere practitioners is a useful way to express skepticism.
Actually, as Dharma practitioners we shouldn't really be judging others too much at all, but examining ourselves for our own faults.
As for myself, regarding your lineage I can't say I confidently know either way. I don't feel comfortable making the assumption that the terma is a fraud, or a mistaken vision, or on the other hand deciding that it is the real deal. I don't know enough about it other than speculation and hearsay, and no Lamas I know have ever denounced it outright publicly or privately to my knowledge, nor have any voiced support or recognition. I do have a Dharma brother that used to be a student of your teacher though, and left to find a widely esteemed Nyingma Lama to study deeply with. He seemed to feel it was night and day, and that what he had been practicing was certainly not authentic Dharma. But that is one man's opinion, alas. As for me, I am happy to practice in the Dudjom lineage which I have great faith and confidence in, and which is widely revered by all the great masters, not speculate on one which I am uncertain of.
That sounds extremely reasonable & fair-minded.
I truly wish that it is authentic Dharma, and practicing it will lead you and others to full liberation as quickly as possible. I hope it is not a false path as many seem to think. But please don't be surprised or saddened either that it's eccentricities (from the elaborate multiple wardrobes to the lack of comprehensive tsok sadhanas or sadhanas in general, etc.)when contrasted with the established terma traditions will provoke incredulity and even some chiding.
I don't have a problem with people expressing their opinions & I don't wish to argue with anybody about anything.
I hope this helps, and may your practice bear fruit.
Thank you, & the same to you.