Who is my root lama? Please help!

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Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby solfugid36 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:17 am

Recently I have been working on the Drikung Kagyu FiveFold Mahamudra sadhana which I received transmission for in July. There is a lot of emphasis on guru devotion and guru yoga but I am not quite sure if I even have a root guru. I have received empowerments and training from two Drikung Kagyu teachers but never had the opportunity to work one on one with them for an extended period of time. So my question is this, who is Vajradhara for people who do not have a root lama? Could he be the lama you have taken refuge with but do not have the opportunity to work closely with? Could he be a future lama that you have not met yet? Could he be a teacher from the past like Milarepa or Lord Jigten Sumgon? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby Punya » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:32 am

This discussion might help viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6857
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby heart » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:34 am

solfugid36 wrote:Recently I have been working on the Drikung Kagyu FiveFold Mahamudra sadhana which I received transmission for in July. There is a lot of emphasis on guru devotion and guru yoga but I am not quite sure if I even have a root guru. I have received empowerments and training from two Drikung Kagyu teachers but never had the opportunity to work one on one with them for an extended period of time. So my question is this, who is Vajradhara for people who do not have a root lama? Could he be the lama you have taken refuge with but do not have the opportunity to work closely with? Could he be a future lama that you have not met yet? Could he be a teacher from the past like Milarepa or Lord Jigten Sumgon? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


It is easy. Have Milarepa or Lord Jigten Sumgon or the master who gave the empowerment until you find the master who help you recognize the natural state (ordinary mind). Then you know.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:27 am

Or Vajradhara, the primodial Lama.
"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: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby kirtu » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:34 pm

Your root lama is the lama who gave you empowerment (usually Highest Yoga Empowerment) although the true root lama is the lama who introduced you to the nature of mind.

Another approach is to combine both the lamas you physically took teaching from and all the lamas and gurus of the lineage into a single form represented by Vajradhara.

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby CrawfordHollow » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:14 pm

This is funny.

I just recieved the Fivefold Mahamudra empowerment this past weekend and I asked Drupon Trinley Yeshe Rinpoche nearly the same question. I asked Rinpoche how it is possible to have the guru devotion neccessary for guru yoga if you only see your lama once or twice a year. Or even if you have only even met your lama once. Rinpoche, who was in America for the first time, taught with remarkable kindness and wisdom. He basically said that it does not matter. He said that the main thing was to have pure vision and view your lama as the Buddha. He also said that it could be the case that if you saw your lama everyday that you could actually start seeing faults in him or her, and that there was a danger of focusing on these faults and you could start seeing the lama as ordinary. I thought that this last point was very interesting. He also said that we need to keep the lamas in our hearts always, even if we have only met them once.

So I would say that you do have a root lama. I would suggest perhaps starting each meditation session with a short contemplation on how extremely fortunate you are to have been able to connect with these teachings and recieve this empowerment, which really empowers one to practice the whole Buddhist path of the Great Vehicle. Stop using your mind so much and open up your heart, the blessings are there. There is the story of the hook, where the blessings of the Buddhas are out there, but it is our devotion that must "hook" them in. Guru yoga is an amazing practice if you really do it with an open heart. In the Fivefold system, the guru yoga is what allows one to realize the nature of your mind.

Who did you recieve the empowerment from anyway?

I hope this helps. It helped me.

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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby randomseb » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:31 pm

Failing anything else you could always go for Padma Sambhava, aka Guru Rinpoche, as your visualized guru. He has some very interesting texts about Mahamudra style concepts and the clear light of mind, which might make you feel more of a connection to him for that type of practice.. Such as "The Method of Realizing Nirvanna Through Knowing The Mind", which you can find freely on the net.

Here's a tiny sample:
There being no thing upon which to meditate, no meditation is there whatsoever.
There being no thing to go astray, no going astray is there if one be guided by
memory. Without meditating, without going astray, look into the True State, wherein
self cognition, self knowledge, self illumination shine resplendently. These, so
shining, are called the Bodhisattvic Mind.
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby Beatzen » Fri May 10, 2013 8:17 pm

I am not a practitioner in a tibetan context, but my humble attempt at understanding what a root guru might be is such as this:

(particularly @ 2:20 during the video)


This "introduction" actually happened to me in the context of a student/teacher relationship, he was himself a disciple of Prem Rawat Maharaji, and a Doctor of Philosophy and also of Divinity, who fueled my interest in buddhism. Ironically it happened after he recited a Koan of sorts. I've been hooked ever since.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby dakini_boi » Wed May 22, 2013 3:48 am

solfugid36 wrote: So my question is this, who is Vajradhara for people who do not have a root lama? Could he be the lama you have taken refuge with but do not have the opportunity to work closely with? Could he be a future lama that you have not met yet? Could he be a teacher from the past like Milarepa or Lord Jigten Sumgon? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!



Yes Yes Yes, all of these things and more. The lama is ultimately the nature of your mind, and anything in apparent reality that helps you to realize that nature. You have received empowerments from two human beings, and you have simultaneously received empowerment from all the enlightened masters in the lineage. So you definitely have a root lama, don't doubt that. Samaya is two-way - you agree to practice until completion, and they agree to help liberate you. How fortunate! So you may regard Vajradhara as a being from the past, present, future, the unmanifest nature of your mind along with its boundless compassion, and/or all of these at once. Noticing how suffering arises as the mind tries to solidify this or that, giving rise to doubt, is an excellent lesson in how samsara is perpetuated, so learn well! :heart:
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby alpha » Wed May 22, 2013 9:37 am

According to CNNr the root lama is the one who introduces you to your nature and through that introduction you discover and recognize your nature.

No other lama-whoever they are and regardless of how many empowerments and instructions you received from them-can be your root guru, unless of course if through one of their instructions or initiations you discover your own nature.
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Re: Who is my root lama? Please help!

Postby heart » Wed May 22, 2013 11:28 am

alpha wrote:According to CNNr the root lama is the one who introduces you to your nature and through that introduction you discover and recognize your nature.

No other lama-whoever they are and regardless of how many empowerments and instructions you received from them-can be your root guru, unless of course if through one of their instructions or initiations you discover your own nature.


All Lamas I know say the same thing exactly.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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