Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby yegyal » Wed May 01, 2013 7:43 am

I'm not so sure that these are things that don't exist in all forms of Buddhism.
There are 253 monks vows in the vinaya, at least in the Mulasarvastivadin vinaya followed in the Tibetan tradition, that's a lot more than the 14 tantric vows.
Is it considered a negative deed with dire consequences to harm or otherwise disparage the Three Jewels in pretty much every Buddhist tradition? Yes.
Is it considered worse to do something you've taken a vow not to do? Yes.
Are there descriptions of numerous hell realms in all forms of Buddhism? Yes.

So, again, this isn't really that different from what you find in most forms of Buddhism. Besides, it doesn't sound like Luke started this thread because he was scared of leaving Vajrayana, but more like he had grown bored of Vajrayana and needed to get that off his chest. And if I'm wrong about that, Luke, I apalogize for my oversimplification.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed May 01, 2013 8:23 am

Adamantine wrote:1.To disparage the Master
2.To transgress the three levels of vows
3.To be hostile to vajra brothers and sisters
4.To foresake loving kindness on behalf of sentient beings
5.To abandon the enlightened mind
6.To disparage one's own doctrine and those related to it
7.To divulge secrets to the immature
8.To abuse the five components which are primordially pure
9.To develop doubt in the inner doctrines of the tantras
10.To have compassion for evil beings especially those who harm the doctrine
11.To apply conceptualisation to wordless natures
12.To belittle those who have faith
13.To violate the commitments that have been undertaken
14.To disparage women, the source of discriminative wisdom


Ha! I committed all 14 of these root downfalls when I left Vajrayana many years ago. I didn't believe any of it.
May all beings be happy
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby plwk » Wed May 01, 2013 8:31 am

And you forgot the 15th one...Never ever reply to Vajrayana based threads after you leave....
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed May 01, 2013 8:36 am

plwk wrote:And you forgot the 15th one...Never ever reply to Vajrayana based threads after you leave....

I would never do that. What do you think I am? A monster?
May all beings be happy
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby plwk » Wed May 01, 2013 8:38 am

No. Just a lost goat Meh!
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby dharmagoat » Wed May 01, 2013 8:41 am

:smile:
May all beings be happy
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 8:53 am

Adamantine wrote:9.To develop doubt in the inner doctrines of the tantras ***

I don't doubt the inner tantras. They are very effective Buddhist methods when practiced correctly. I simply don't want to practice them, and and to be honest, I don't think most of my regular practices were "inner tantra" stuff, since I am still very much a beginner.

Adamantine wrote:Of course, your ego will naturally find kinship with opinions that mirror the choices it's already made. But since you asked publicly, and I heard your question, then it is my responsibility as a Vajra brother to tell you the straight truth. Don't kid yourself that following your doubts about Vajrayana and your teacher, and making big decisions to abandon the practices he instructed you in without even the courtesy of consulting with him about it: --that this will be something you can do and still maintain your samaya. The only way it could work is if you asked your Lama with deep respect and he gave you his blessing to practice Zen for a while. Otherwise, I don't see how you can avoid a downfall. Once you've taken tantric vows you're embedded in an intimate web of interdependance with your Lama and the mandala of his retinue and the other disciples who have taken initiation with you, and with your Lama in general. Once you begin to break vows it will have an affect on all of them. This is a basic truth, not fear mongering. It is a basic of understanding of karma, cause and result.

I understand. Thanks for giving me this information. You are right: I should talk to my lama. After all, he has never told me anything which was not wise in the past. My fears are just my own mental creations.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 9:04 am

yegyal wrote:So, again, this isn't really that different from what you find in most forms of Buddhism. Besides, it doesn't sound like Luke started this thread because he was scared of leaving Vajrayana, but more like he had grown bored of Vajrayana and needed to get that off his chest. And if I'm wrong about that, Luke, I apologize for my oversimplification.

It was more pent-up feelings of frustration than of boredom, but I can't totally deny a boredom component in all of this. And there is also a financial component: Why continue travelling a few times a year to do something which I am no longer inspired to do?

I don't pretend to be any kind of "model Buddhist." I am just a normal Buddhist guy who happened to get involved in all this stuff.

I hope that everyone out there will choose the Buddhist path that is right for him/her.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby yegyal » Wed May 01, 2013 9:11 am

Luke wrote:
I hope that everyone out there will choose the Buddhist path that is right for him/her.


Me too.
Best of Luck
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby muni » Wed May 01, 2013 9:14 am

gregkavarnos wrote: view to cling to


When there is clinging there is view....in the dream head. Not in vast nature.

The importance of trust in guidance is crucial. Teaching-phenomena should not turn by habits in another object to cling too.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 9:50 am

Here is another translation of the 14 tantric vows. I think that just about everybody, except for highly realized masters are attached to the five skandhas in some way (vow #8) and are therefore breaking this vow.

The 14 Vajrayana Precepts
We are considered to have broken our samaya or tantric commitments if we:
1. Show disrespect for the Guru in body, speech, or mind
2. Having no regard for the rules laid down by the Buddha
3. Condemn and/or create problems with one's Vajra brothers and sisters
4. Abandon love for sentient beings
5. Relinquish Bodhicitta due to difficulties
6. Slander the scriptures of Mahayana and Vajrayana
7. Transmit tantric teaching without having the proper empowerment and credentials
8. Abuse and/or foster attachment to the five skandhas, ie. world of appearances
9. Harbor skepticism or doubt about the doctrine of Emptiness
10. Maintain ties to beings with cruel intentions towards Buddha and his teachings
11. Indulge in accomplishments forgetting the purpose of Vajrayana practice
12. Fail to transmit authentic Dharma
13. Fail in performance of tantric ritual practices
14. Despise/or condemn Women

http://www.khandro.net/TibBud%20_vajrayana.htm
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby muni » Wed May 01, 2013 10:12 am

Luke wrote: fears are just mental creations.


:good:

Since we are mistakenly used to see the cause of our problems outside of our mind.

A teaching said something like: we should only fear our mistaken mind, nothing others is there to fear.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 10:49 am

But I think what a lot of this discussion illustrates is that the average Vajrayana practioner rarely spends much time thinking about the teachings of the historical Buddha because he or she already has so many other issues and concerns which are unique to Vajrayana (samaya issues, planning which empowerments or retreats to attend next, thinking about their lama's teachings, reading the writings of other lamas in their lineage, etc.). Often in Vajrayana, Buddha Shakyamuni seems like little more than a background image.

Although to be fair, the view in Vajrayana is that all the deities symbolize elightenment and that one's lama embodies all the qualities of the deities and the Buddha.
But whether one agrees with this approach or not depends on one's personality and mindset.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Simon E. » Wed May 01, 2013 12:37 pm

I think it also depends on their history Luke.
Many of us did not stumble across the Vajrayana primarily. We came across it in the process of exploring Buddhism.
I think many western Vajrayana students are intially drawn by the idea of Shakyamuni.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 01, 2013 2:34 pm

Let's see if I am understanding the conversation at this point: are people saying that Vajrayana is not the idea/teachings of the Buddha?

Where lies the difference between the Yidam and the Buddha?
"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: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Simon E. » Wed May 01, 2013 2:51 pm

That is not not what I was saying Greg..although rereading my post I expressed it badly.
I was questioning Luke's assumption that Shakyamuni Buddha does not feature in the foreground for Vajrayana students.
I think it Shakyamuni Buddha that draws many westerners to Vajrayana.
I guess if you are raised in a Vajrayana household Shakyamuni might be a kind of constant background leitmotif and your focus will be on certain Yidams and teachers. Just speculating there.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 3:08 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Let's see if I am understanding the conversation at this point: are people saying that Vajrayana is not the idea/teachings of the Buddha?

Hmm, that's an interesting question, and one which I'm really not qualified to answer.

Is it your belief that every single word in the Tantras was written by the historical Buddha?

I guess when I attended Vajrayana lectures, I usually felt quite disconnected from the historical Buddha because, in my view, the issues being discussed were almost always about other masters or deities. Perhaps this disconnect is another thing which I found depressing.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 01, 2013 3:52 pm

Luke wrote:Hmm, that's an interesting question, and one which I'm really not qualified to answer.

Is it your belief that every single word in the Tantras was written by the historical Buddha?
Do you think that every single word in the Sutta and Sutras were spoken by the historical Buddha?

Are the words of Nagarjuna not Buddhist because they were not spoken by the Shakyamuni Buddha? The Platform Sutra?
I guess when I attended Vajrayana lectures, I usually felt quite disconnected from the historical Buddha because, in my view, the issues being discussed were almost always about other masters or deities. Perhaps this disconnect is another thing which I found depressing.
I also initially found it "disconcerting" so I asked one of my lama to give me a sadhana for the Budddha Shakyamuni. He obliged by giving me the lung and tri for a practice written by the Sharmapa Mipham Chokyi Lodro (which he wrote when he was just 15 years old) and now I have a specific practice for Buddha Shakyamuni which I do every New Moon.
"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: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed May 01, 2013 4:05 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I also initially found it "disconcerting" so I asked one of my lama to give me a sadhana for the Budddha Shakyamuni. He obliged by giving me the lung and tri for a practice written by the Sharmapa Mipham Chokyi Lodro (which he wrote when he was just 15 years old) and now I have a specific practice for Buddha Shakyamuni which I do every New Moon.

You're a survivor, man! :thumbsup:
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed May 01, 2013 4:09 pm

For me that stuff is all pretty well explained with ideas like the nine vehicles and whatnot. It's not the path for everyone, but from what I understand it all seems pretty well-grounded in Sutra to me, in fact it's supposed to only be practiced if it IS grounded in sutra.

You might as well say Mahayana is not the teachings of the historical Buddha (and strictly speaking it's not, obviously Mahayana understanding of the Buddha goes beyond Shakyamuni the historical figure.) since so many texts happen with all kinds of beasties and mystical beings around, and obviously are not strictly historical. You could make similar arguments about ANY Mahayana practice, just like some of the more fundamentalist types do.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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