dzogchungpa wrote: Yudron wrote:
Jeff, you should do some research about this center, or any center you get involved in. You may like the American lama there, but you should know that -- although they appear to now be doing traditional practices in connection with Tibetan lamas -- in the past his center was centered on unconventional practices that he believed to be his own "Shakyamuni Heart" revelation. There are many authentic centers of Tibetan Buddhist practice in New England, I suggest taking some time and checking out all lamas and centers and see if that one is where you feel most comfortable, and search on the web and talk to people who have been connected with Tibetan Buddhism for 15 or 20 years about their knowledge of the lamas involved.
What's the deal, Yudron? I've never heard of this guy.
There is a long history there, and I've heard a lot of stories. Since I have no personal experience, I will not pass them on. Many of his students have moved on to be great students of other lamas, such as Chatral Rinpoche, so he does attract serious minded people.
I do suggest that those serious minded students who are interested in Dzogchen really do not limit themselves by location and, if at all possible, search out a great respected Dzogchen Master that they can see in person once or twice a year, and in addition have mentors who speak English fluently -- such as lamas, yogis and yoginis who have been practicing seriously for 15, 20 or more years. In the U.S., people in New York State, New England, and Washington, Oregon, and California, have a wealth of authentic lamas and centers to rely on. For middle class Americans, it is possible to travel domestically to a retreat a couple of times a year. Relying primarily on internet connection with a qualified lama you will never meet is better than nothing.
In addition, newcomers should know that Dzogchen and Mahamudra are very similar, and therefore they may be interested in a Kagyu lama as well.