***Edit: I did not know about this older thread. Thanks to Greg for moving things around. My comments I guess are just a revival of this stuff, then.***
How does this apply/not apply to Dharma Wheel? I think a lot of this was written with facebook in mind, but Dharmawheel is public. Anybody can find in search results the comments we have made in our threads.
I post this partly because some folks on this forum who have received very profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings are really open about what they've been taught and use those profound teachings as ammunition in many different strains of discussion about all sorts of Buddhist doctrinal and practical issues. I'm worried because these sometimes these comments may not come across as their writers intend.
Because of their profundity and nonduality, they sometimes seem to cast aside much of conventional Buddhist teachings, even other nondual ones. To the outsider, the statements I've been reading might sound nihilistic, non-Buddhist, sectarian, or worse. They may also seem to be really judgmental or dismissive of the Sravakayana and even about the causal path of the Bodhisattvayana.
I know some basics about Buddhism and I'm a highly trained writer, but I myself have misinterpreted several statements recently and thought that a member of the forum was disparaging the Bodhisattvayana from some lofty Maha Ati tower--however, I was way off-base. Regardless, if I was so confused and reactionary, how much more so the general public? It's my fault that I was reactionary and ignorant--I'm just saying that I feel really uncomfortable as a Dzogchen student when I see some of these statements that I just don't think it's appropriate to say in an open forum. I'm saying it seems like people aren't thinking of the grand scope of their audience. It's not a private, quiet talk between two or three Buddhist scholars of different lineages who know one another well; it's always something like:
Viewing this thread: Adamantine, Nilasarasvati, Yegyal, Jikan, 1 robot, and 19 guests
Who the hell are these 19 guests???
I'm not sure how to avoid this dynamic on a board where we are all trying to discuss and converse about the vast range of yanas and teachings...I'm really trying to elicit people's responses here. I know we all share in common the desire to be conscientious and compassionate in this strange electronic space.
Im willing to be the idiot, i'll respond.
There are no perfect circumstances anywhere. No matter what is said or done, there will always
be the possibility of misinterpretation. Even if perfect secrecy were able to be maintained always and everywhere, that too
could be misinterpreted by those who do not understand the teachings. This is the nature of samsara.
So what to do? You relate with the circumstances that are actually present. Not imagined circumstances, or hypothetical circumstances, or possible circumstances, but actual circumstances. And that includes all the unknowns. Unknown people, unknown observers, unknown and misunderstood Buddhist teachings. All of it.
The reality is we do not live in a closed world anymore. Perhaps, at one time, Tibet and even Bhutan were closed societies. They are not anymore.
Once, while traveling in India with another woman, we were invited to lunch with a group of engineers. They wanted to show us a bridge they were building and being the sociable ladies that we were, we accepted the invitation and went off to lunch with them. During lunch, they bragged about how the previous year the had hosted a group from New Zealand, etc. Clearly, they enjoyed these events.
But after lunch, when we were walking around outside, admiring the bridge, etc., one of them asked me privately, "How did you know we were 'okay' as a group of men to have lunch with? How did you know that we weren't some of the awful men that are in India?"
Now this was an interesting question to me. Clearly, he was concerned about our welfare and was wondering about these "western women" and how they made decisions. My answer was pretty simple, "When you are not protected all the time, then you learn how to make these kinds of decisions."
You cannot protect human beings (or secrets) endlessly. It cannot be done. Of course, there will be mistakes, setbacks, errors, etc. And this is all a part of learning. Join the human race. The open human race.
We do our best. As long as our best includes heart, well, thats the best we can do. Being a control freak doesn't work anymore. And that's the way it is.
All the best to you and to control freaks everywhere!