On Aro gTér

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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:29 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Alex Hubbard wrote: :namaste:
PS Sorry for the expletives, but it is the only way Iets me really express exactly how "down" this gets me.


While I agree generally with you Greg - are you not overreacting a little. Aro gter is hardly Diamondway. No?
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:It's like the Osho crowd: You want to have an orgy? Have an orgy! Why (try to) justify it by saying it is a (pseudo) spiritual trip?


Apropos of Osho... didn't the fellow who started the Flaming Jewel group train initially and for a long time with Rajneesh? just to be clear, this is the Osho we're talking about:

http://www.oregonlive.com/rajneesh/

***

The relationship between Flaming Jewel & Aro gTer has never been clear to me. Are they separate organizations who sometimes (or used to ) practice together? Affiliates? Former-affiliates?
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Alex Hubbard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:45 pm

Dear Alex,

If I wanted a topless woman to serve me beer I would just go to a strip club. At least the women there are being paid to show me their breasts and not just being jived with the (same old sexist) pseudo-spiritual b*llsh*t you just dished me up. What do you reckon the men were wearing at the aforementioned tsog?

It's like the Osho crowd: You want to have an orgy? Have an orgy! Why (try to) justify it by saying it is a (pseudo) spiritual trip?

So is that what we use Buddhism for? To justify our need to play "dress up" and perv on some "cleavage"?

Sad. Really f*ck*ng sad!



Dear Greg,

I think maybe I didn't make myself clear enough, sorry for the misunderstanding.

When we practice dharmakaya display during tsog or during an empowerment, it's both men and women, not just the women who are naked (and not everybody, as I mentioned, it's a choice). I'm not sexist. As for assuming that this practice is pseudo-spiritual b**ls**t there are, as I tried to convey, some precendents within vajrayana for nudity. For example in Tsultrim Allione's Women of Wisdom Maching Labdron is found naked (up a tree in fact) by some folks and Allione explains this with the following: "The naked state of mind in its awareness of itself, not clothed with confusion, is sometimes expressed by a yogini's or yogi's literal nakedness. This also expresses going beyond conventional limitations... Machig has gone from a child prodigy to a naked yogini, who has gone beyond the constrictions of collective imperatives." p.213.

Now, although I wouldn't claim to have 'gone beyond' as Machig had, within the context of tantric practice we do, of course, attempt to 'bring the result into the path', so nakedness is certainly not an attempt to justify objectifying anyones body, whether female or male. Nor do the men 'want a topless woman to serve them' as you put it, this is a tsog practice, and afterall women can enjoy men's bodies as well, besides, it's not as though being a sexual predator is the default setting for men, I can be naked around someone and not be turned on or lurid.

Another reference to nakedness as a practice can be found in Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje's Mahamudra, the Ocean of Definitive Meaning where it states "The practice of action has five aspects... For the yogic awareness discipline one stays - accompanied by a consort - in villages, the naked body only decorated with the six bone ornaments."


Anyway, sorry to have been the cause for upset.

All the best,
Alex.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:33 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:While I agree generally with you Greg - are you not overreacting a little. Aro gter is hardly Diamondway. No?
Very true. Ole has not made up his own termas yet and Diamond Way is under the auspices of the Karma Kagyu lineage, so, yes, they are not the same.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:36 pm

Jikan wrote:Apropos of Osho... didn't the fellow who started the Flaming Jewel group train initially and for a long time with Rajneesh? just to be clear, this is the Osho we're talking about: http://www.oregonlive.com/rajneesh/
It certainly is the Osho we are talking about. As for the Flaming Jewel founder, in Greece we say: "apples fall from apple trees", so the association comes as no surprise to me.

Where's a face palm smiley when you need one?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:47 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Knotty Veneer wrote:While I agree generally with you Greg - are you not overreacting a little. Aro gter is hardly Diamondway. No?
Very true. Ole has not made up his own termas yet and Diamond Way is under the auspices of the Karma Kagyu lineage, so, yes, they are not the same.
:namaste:


Yes but Ngakpa Chogyam is not, AFAIK, a racist or screwing as many of his followers as he can. He's not doing anything like the harm that Ole is doing to individuals. I haven't yet heard of people being mistreated in Aro gTer. I would also argue that Ole's actions have been more damaging to the lineage he claims to represent than NC's "termas".

Sure, it's kinda silly and a massive ego trip but also pretty transparent and, from the little I've heard, not exactly about to bring the Nyingma lineage to its knees.

Can't see why it pushes your buttons so much. There's much more out there worth getting angry over.

As regards Osho - I've always found former students of his a bit weird - generally still living in the fantasy world that attracted them to Rajneesh in the first place.
Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it - Mark Twain.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:53 pm

Alex Hubbard wrote:Dear Greg,
...
Anyway, sorry to have been the cause for upset.

All the best,
Alex.
Dear Alex,

The continued justifications do nothing to relieve my distress.

Naked ascetics go naked ALL THE TIME. Graveyard living yogis wear (only) the six bone ornaments ALL THE TIME. It's not a once-a-month Halloween party for practitioners the likes of Machig Labdron. It's not like she slipped back into her Chanel two-piece womens suit and Gucci pumps after the party. These guys here do not have chinos, polo shirt and loafers stashed behind a bush to wear after the parade is over.

naga saddhus.jpg
naga saddhus.jpg (48.59 KiB) Viewed 955 times


So let's get real here.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby sdw » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:09 pm

Jikan wrote:The relationship between Flaming Jewel & Aro gTer has never been clear to me. Are they separate organizations who sometimes (or used to ) practice together? Affiliates? Former-affiliates?

They are separate sanghas who used to sometimes practice together and then went their separate ways.


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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Jikan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:13 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Naked ascetics go naked ALL THE TIME. Graveyard living yogis wear (only) the six bone ornaments ALL THE TIME. It's not a once-a-month Halloween party for practitioners the likes of Machig Labdron. It's not like she slipped back into her Chanel two-piece womens suit and Gucci pumps after the party. These guys here do not have chinos, polo shirt and loafers stashed behind a bush to wear after the parade is over.


Are we sure this description corresponds to the situation we're discussing? I've had very little contact with the Aro folks, but they certainly don't strike me as exurbanistas in chinos. Their leader, remember, is into cowboy kitsch, knife collecting, and other rural forms of display... forms of presentation that would be eccentric at best or even threatening to a cocktail party of MBAs.

Am I misunderstanding your position?
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:20 pm

Jikan wrote:Are we sure this description corresponds to the situation we're discussing? I've had very little contact with the Aro folks, but they certainly don't strike me as exurbanistas in chinos. Their leader, remember, is into cowboy kitsch, knife collecting, and other rural forms of display... forms of presentation that would be eccentric at best or even threatening to a cocktail party of MBAs.

Am I misunderstanding your position?
Yup. I was not referring so much to the type of clothing they wear after their naked tsog (though I don't know how far off I am, not really having encountered many working class western Buddhists in my life), I was more referring to the fact that they have clothes which they will wear after role playing the naked yogi/yogini for a couple of hours. For real naked ascetics it is not a role play, it's not a hobby, it's not a trend, it's not a fad or a lifestyle experiment, it is their life.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:56 pm

Astus wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:But let's cut straight to the point here; are you saying that lineages do not mean squat?


Not exactly. As the four reliances say, rely on the Dharma and not the person. While the Buddhist community survived millennia, specific lineages spanning centuries unbroken is usually a legend. I haven't studied the history of Tibetan Buddhism, nor have I seen many scholarly works on the subject of lineages, but in Zen - where lineage is a central concept - when properly researched it becomes obvious that history is more complex than myths want to tell us. It doesn't mean religious stories are useless, but to me lineage is no proof of one's teaching's authenticity. If the teaching is OK it doesn't matter who teaches it.


The Kagyu lineage actually has a clear historical ties to Tilopa. Some have tried to speculate that Marpa never met Naropa, but even if he only studied with a student of Naropa, the lineage is unbroken. It has been in danger of being broken at times, but managed to stay alive.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:58 pm

Astus wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:How do we judge if it is okay if it has not come down to us via a (supposed) lineage of OK practitioners or, at the very least, from a currently living realised teacher?


How do we measure another person's realisation? By his words and actions. That is something observable for us. How do we test the realisation of dead people we hear stories about? We can't. What we can do about people in the stories is either believe it or not. But does our belief validates the person who claims connection to the people in the stories? Yes. The difference is that either we believe someone because we are familiar with the person's actions and words, or we believe someone because we believe the stories he tells us about others. So how does a lineage actually helps us discerning genuine teachers from fakes?


Whether the method causes bliss and the realization of dharmakaya Buddha Vajradhara.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:03 pm

Astus wrote:Greg,

Do you know of any research on lineages in Tibetan Buddhism?

In some Zen communities they regularly recite their lineage. There are volumes on lineages and transmission stories, something very typical of Zen you may say, from what the so called koans come. Do their regular repetition and written documentation make it immediately true? No. Just as royal dynasties become extinct, so do spiritual lineages. But that doesn't necessarily mean the end of the kingdom/tradition. As with all living things, human enterprises also go through changes, death and rebirth.

Interestingly, Tibetan practice lineages are not as strict as Zen, since as you say, it needs to go back only to the person who created the practice itself. And that can be anyone from centuries ago or someone from the same century. That is, if a living teacher starts teaching a new method, there is no lineage behind it yet, making it perfectly valid to spread new techniques without any lineage behind it.


There is a text called the Golden Rosary. It details the history of the Drikung Kagyu.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Alex Hubbard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Alex Hubbard wrote:Dear Greg,
...
Anyway, sorry to have been the cause for upset.

All the best,
Alex.
Dear Alex,

The continued justifications do nothing to relieve my distress.

Naked ascetics go naked ALL THE TIME. Graveyard living yogis wear (only) the six bone ornaments ALL THE TIME. It's not a once-a-month Halloween party for practitioners the likes of Machig Labdron. It's not like she slipped back into her Chanel two-piece womens suit and Gucci pumps after the party. These guys here do not have chinos, polo shirt and loafers stashed behind a bush to wear after the parade is over.

So let's get real here.
:namaste:



Greg,

chinos and loafers is it? Hmmm, jeans and brogues are more my thing :smile: Well, I think you misinterpreted what I was saying about nakedness in vajrayana. I wasn't attempting to say that wearing nothing in tsog was equivalent to charnel ground yogis, but simply that there is precedent within vajrayana for nakedness as a practice.

In regards to the practice of sometimes wearing no clothes and sometimes wearing them there is precedent for this within vajrayana too. I mentioned the sambhogakaya bone ornaments, as they are often worn on special occasions within many lineages, such as during empowerments. In Tibet these were generally worn over the clothes, although as the text by the Karmapa demonstrated this is not always the case. So in terms of sambhogakaya display these are sometimes worn and sometimes not, the same goes for dharmakaya display. Below is a quotation from A Saint in Seattle which shows that sometimes - for example during a dzogchen transmission - nakedness is required or requested, presumably because of the connection between nakedness and the naked nature of mind, and also the expression of this naturalness within yidams such as kuntuzangmo/po. It isn't the case that the nakedness was requested permanently by Khenpo Gangshar for it to be useful as a practice, it served a purpose only for the practice session:

"Khenpo Kangshar was there, giving his disciples a direct introduction to the nature of mind . . . During these teachings, the master suggested that the students remove their garments. Everyone except Dezhung Rinpoche and one senior lama of the karma Kagyü tradition, the Sangyay Nyenpa Trulku (the brother of Dilgo Khyentse), did so. The master had at first turned to Dezhung Rinpoche and politely suggested “If you wouldn’t mind just removing your robes . . . ” Dezhung Rinpoche removed his upper shirt and sat waiting, and this was enough for Khenpo Kangshar. Later Dezhung Rinpoche said, “If he had given me a further direct command, of course I would have obeyed.” Dezhung Rinpoche had studied the Guhyagarbha Tantra under Khenpo Kangshar the previous year and viewed him as the Buddha. He could not disobey his order." p.214.

Apart from this whether or not Machig Labdron went around naked all the time once she became a realised yogini I really don't know, is that the case anyone? A sort of contemporary example might be that of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche who was sometimes naked and not at other times. Whether this was to do with his practice or not I couldn't say for sure, though he did wear long hair and kept his fingernails long because he believed (perhaps unusually?) that to cut them is a breakage of samaya, so it seems that his relationship to his body in his practice was a strong one. Does anybody know of Rinpoche's stance on his own nakedness?

All the best,
Alex.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:13 pm

Greg,

Do you know of any research on lineages in Tibetan Buddhism?
The Lineage of Diamond Light - Crystal Mirror series - Volume V traces a whole bunch of various Nyingma lineages.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:18 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Alex Hubbard wrote:Dear Greg,
...
Anyway, sorry to have been the cause for upset.

All the best,
Alex.
Dear Alex,

The continued justifications do nothing to relieve my distress.

Naked ascetics go naked ALL THE TIME. Graveyard living yogis wear (only) the six bone ornaments ALL THE TIME. It's not a once-a-month Halloween party for practitioners the likes of Machig Labdron. It's not like she slipped back into her Chanel two-piece womens suit and Gucci pumps after the party. These guys here do not have chinos, polo shirt and loafers stashed behind a bush to wear after the parade is over.

naga saddhus.jpg


So let's get real here.
:namaste:


Greg, in the old days of tantra, householders, not ascetics held kulas, where the feast was accompanied by ceremonial sex. I can't go into detail about what really goes into that. But I'm guessing it would shock you. Topless women is nothing. These aro people don't have the lineage of secret practices. If they did no one would be talking about it on the Internet. Secrets may only be kept by trusted people. Making real vajra siblings and consorts isn't easy. If you are with really trusted people, of course, there are secret methods. It has to be with people you don't mind being naked around, who want to be free of pretensions. Anyway, these days, if you have a real lineage, the wisdom dakinis will accomplish these things with you in dreams.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:43 pm

deepbluehum wrote:Greg, in the old days of tantra, householders, not ascetics held kulas, where the feast was accompanied by ceremonial sex. I can't go into detail about what really goes into that. But I'm guessing it would shock you. Topless women is nothing.
Shock me? Do I look like some sort of puritanical prude to you? I mean, really! If you believe that my problem with topless women serving beer has to do with the shock value of the subject matter... Again, the tantric practitioners of old were not "weekend warriors". It was not a hobby for them, with a bit of tit thrown in for commercial appeal and sensationalism.
Anyway, these days, if you have a real lineage, the wisdom dakinis will accomplish these things with you in dreams.
These days, those days and in days to come!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:Greg, in the old days of tantra, householders, not ascetics held kulas, where the feast was accompanied by ceremonial sex. I can't go into detail about what really goes into that. But I'm guessing it would shock you. Topless women is nothing.
Shock me? Do I look like some sort of puritanical prude to you? I mean, really! If you believe that my problem with topless women serving beer has to do with the shock value of the subject matter... Again, the tantric practitioners of old were not "weekend warriors". It was not a hobby for them, with a bit of tit thrown in for commercial appeal and sensationalism.
Anyway, these days, if you have a real lineage, the wisdom dakinis will accomplish these things with you in dreams.
These days, those days and in days to come!
:namaste:


I don't judge people based on what they look like. I don't know these Aro people if they're weekend warriors and hobbyists or not. You know, everyone has their own place on the path. Even the tantra lite ceremonies have their place in the path. Tantric matters come from a very different culture. The Buddhists and yogic practitioners of today need these introductory sorts of experiences. In the future, there might be a stable ground from which to grow these tantric kule. Or it will be recognized that these sorts of unprofessional ceremonies are the dregs, things from the bygone era, and the secret tantric practices may really be a thing of the past. And it's okay, because in the practice every secret practice is completed in dreams.
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Re: On Aro gTér

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:33 pm

I know I might get shot down for this, being a Gelugpa and all. But I do think there is something to be said for being grounded in Sutra first before embarking on tantra. I know for example these days HH Karmapa seems to be on board with this approach as well. I remember at the Monlam he said as a preliminary for retreat people should study the Ornament of Clear Realization and Sublime Continuum, for example.
Perhaps beings in these degenerate times are more likely to misunderstand tantra than in the past.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think it is the most powerful vehicle. But if people aren't suited to it strange things seem to happen.
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: On Aro gTér

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:00 am

I do not believe that tantra or the tantric approach is the problem, especially if one has a qualified teacher to lead them on the path. I believe it is the way that certain elements of tantra have been used to sell (pseudo) spirituality. If you do a web search on the term tantra (for example) you get a wiki article first, then a youtube video entitled "What is Tantra Sex?" showing two people "dry humping" and then a sacred-texts.com link. No small wonder then, that sterile hybrids recourse to having topless women serving beers in order to draw in the crowds.

S-A-D. Sad!

Ngondro accumulations are tantric practice too. But it is hardly a catchy advertising ploy: "Come and practice mysterious tantra. Spend years accumulating 100's of 1000's of mantra and, if you are lucky, we might give you a yidam practice (which you have to do 100's of 1000's of mantras for again)".

It's not exactly going to make the punters trample each other to death in their bid to partake in the frenetic action.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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