Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:34 am

Emptiness can be seen without having been explored intellectually. Just because the label shunyata is not applied does not mean that the *intention* of the the teachings on shunyata are not discovered.

Lots of traditions have the concept of service without desire for anything in return-- for example the nishkama karma yoga of the Bhagavad Gita. The four brahma viharas are not exclusive to Buddhism either.

It's wonderful to have devotion in the liberating power of the Buddha Dharma. I am not so sure it's good to make categorical statements about other philosophies simply because they don't share the same labels. I am really not sure that it makes much of a difference how good one is with words when dealing with the ineffable.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

Pema Rigdzin
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:45 am

Karma Dorje, it's widely acknowledged that emptiness can be realized through Dzogchen and Mahamudra without any intellectual analysis. Outside of that, though, I cannot see what causes exist to lead one to discover even so much as the full extent of the Buddhist view of emptiness conceptually, much less its realization, without analysis, contemplation, and meditation since no other tradition aside from Bon speaks on the topic as explicitly and with as much emphasis as Buddhism does. Most humans aren't even drawn to a yogic or even spiritual life, apart from approaches aimed at making samsara more palatable (which is an entirely understandable aim, I'll admit), and so searching for actual liberation isn't even on most people's radar. This is even probably true to some extent for many Buddhists. I suppose anything might be possible, but with human rebirth alone being the long shot it is, not to mention how hard it is to gain liberation through practicing Buddha Dharma, I really can't fathom why anyone would push the "not everyone needs to study and practice; some can just float along and figure it out themselves somehow" angle.

I do think the sentiment tends to come from a pure place of wishing all people well, believing in the qualitative universality of our true nature and potential, and not wanting to be elitist or exclusive and support a "my way's the only true way" attitude. But as much as I support all that--and as much as I recognize that attachment to "one's path as supreme" can be a dense obstacle--I also have to admit that I don't see anything in any paths but Buddhism and Bon that describe as accurately how and why samsara and sentient beings come about, what their true nature & potential is, or how to reveal that true nature and reverse samsara. And nobody has explained how and why that belief of mine is incorrect. Just pointing out that altruism and some mundane meditational states corresponding to ethereal samasaric realms are not the exclusive province of Buddhism is not gonna cut it because those are not the actual criteria for liberation and total realization.

Namgyal
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:04 pm


Yudron
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Yudron » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 pm

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

CrawfordHollow
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:20 pm

The Shantideva I am thinking about was a Madhyamaka scholar as well as a bodhisattva. Maybe you had someone else in mind?

Namgyal
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:20 pm


CrawfordHollow
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:12 pm

It is said that Shantideva was a scholar and master of debate but did show this to the other monks. Thinking he was a simpleton, they requested a teaching from him in an attempt to mock and embarass him. He asked them if they wanted to hear a commentary or a new teaching, this is when he displayed his true powers and insight and expounded the Bodhisattvacharyavatara. He already had a vision of Manjushri long before this. This is off-topic and the stuff of legend at that. The point being is that Shantideva had a deep and profound understanding of the Buddhist cannon, he just kept his knowledge a secret. His faith and devotion were matched by the power of study, contemplation, and meditation. You can read about this on http://www.khandro.net and other places.

Andrew108
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:30 pm

The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

Namgyal
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Namgyal » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:44 pm


CrawfordHollow
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby CrawfordHollow » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:20 pm

OK,

I'm not looking to prove you wrong or anything. There are many examples of great practitioners who obtain knowledge without putting in years of study, Mipham and Jigme Lingpa come to mind. It just seemed like an extreme position to say that these masters obtained realization without having "a clue to the meaning of emptiness." I apologize if I misinterpreted you.

ChNN has spoken of this. He talks about how out of pure devotion many Tibetans would go through much hardship and danger in order to meet him and obtain a blessing. When he tried to teach them though, often they would not be interested, as they were only interested in a blessing. He seems to be very critical of this. I personally think that faith and devotion is a vital part of the path that is missing in many Western practitioners. It is not easy for people to really have the devotion and pure vision in a guru that is the lifeblood of Vajrayana- especially when they only see their teacher once a year or over a webcast. Faith must be balanced by understanding. A bird cannot fly without two wings. I have never met a teacher who said that it is not necessary to have understanding and knowledge.

I appreciate where you are coming from, though. I don't want you to think that I am trying to argue with you. Without devotion one will not get very far.

Troy

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:52 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

dorjeshonnu
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby dorjeshonnu » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:59 pm


Sherlock
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Sherlock » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:12 pm

I think it is better to think of devotion as continuous action rather than an emotion, as I used to. Devotion lies in your daily practice.

As for faith, I think Malcolm has said somewhere that "confidence" is a better translation. After all, if you have genuine experience of the taste of chocolate, you don't need to take the word of someone who has eaten it before on what it is like.

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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby pemachophel » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:45 pm

Of the three kinds of faith described in the Tibetan Buddhist literature, confidence (based on experience) is the third and highest kind.

:namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Namgyal
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Namgyal » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:39 am


Yudron
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby Yudron » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:11 am

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

dorjeshonnu
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Re: Contemporary tertons of Eastern Tibet

Postby dorjeshonnu » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:00 am



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