Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tantra

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Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tantra

Postby sbl » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:20 pm

I was reading "The Flight of the Garuda" by Keith Dowman, and was interested in a line from 'Emptying the Depth of Hell' by Guru Chowong. In one passage, the guru writes:

"Atone in the spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni."

In the footnote, Dowman explains it thusly, including what I take is the original Tibetan(?):

"Bha ga, yum gyi mkha' " : the sky is a euphemism for the vagina in Tantra; they share a lack of fixed dimension.

Would anyone care to explain or give an opinion on this analogy? I am not interested in terms of my own enlightenment, I merely find the metaphor to be intriguing, and would like to know more about the meaning behind it. An excerpt from the first half of this work is found at the bottom of this page: http://www.keithdowman.net/books/fg.htm
Unfortunately, the quoted line is not shown.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby conebeckham » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:52 pm

Emptiness and Qualities. The sky is empty, like space, but luminous-this represents a "cognizant" quality. Things appear, or can appear, because of the lack of boundary or "dimensionlessness" of the sky...and also due to the "luminosity" of the sky, they can be "cognized."

The Bhaga is like the sky, in it's "dimensionlessness," it's "Emptiness," as well...it is also the "birthplace." It is also the source of all Dharmas, and the source of Bliss. I'll leave it at that, but will say that, in general, this is a very common metaphor in Highest Yoga Tantra in general.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby sbl » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Thank you for the response, though I'm not sure I understand.
Put crudely, I suppose one can think of Bhaga (or a woman's sex) as a "hole." However, I don't understand the conception of it as a "void," akin to the formlessness of the sky. Can you explain this concept further?
Am I wrong to think of Bhaga as analogous to a woman's sex? If it is, then I do not think of a woman's sex just as emptiness, but what surrounds the emptiness as well. Perhaps your use of Bhaga is different than my understanding?
Maybe yoni refers more to the "feminine aspect" than to anything concrete?
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:29 pm

it's a poetic metaphor, written by men, and having its origin in the psychological phenomena of "men are born from a vagina and spend their whole lives trying to get back into one."
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby conebeckham » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:46 pm

Ha!

There's a movement out there about embracing and promoting the sacred nature of the Yoni, which is distinctly anti-patriarchal, and I say, more power to them! But there's some truth in your joke, I think, "gad rgyangs."

As for "explaining the concept" further...no, I can't, really. I suppose one could say the eseential quality of a womb is that it "contains," and therefore that there are "boundaries," so to speak. Anatomically speaking of course this is the case. Looked at from that angle, the "space" which is contained ceases to be the important factor....but I think you have to think about the space, and the potential for expansion (literally) of the boundaries, as well as the fact that the space is the locus of gestation, and is primordially inseperable with the ability to "create bliss."
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby gad rgyangs » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:17 pm

also, since conventional reality is metaphorical anyway, yes, in some sense the yoni, as the "origin" of the manifestation of bodies in this dream, is a metaphor for all origins, large and small, up to and including the "ultimate" origin: the ground of being, (gzhi).
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby sbl » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:16 pm

Ok thank you, I appreciate both of your responses.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:15 am

gad rgyangs wrote:...metaphor for all origins, large and small, up to and including the "ultimate" origin: the ground of being, (gzhi).


Off topic (and not to nitpick ha) but, since the four extremes arise out of grasping and ignorance, technically the ālaya (kun gzhi) is the 'ground of being' (and the ground of the other 3 extremes as well). The basis (gzhi) is free from extremes. Just seems like notions of being (and origination in general) are symptoms of ignorance... when fully integrated with the basis (gzhi) one is free of ignorance and therefore 'reality' is known to be unborn and non-arising.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby oldbob » Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:17 pm

:good: :good: :good: Many excellent posts.

http://books.google.com/books?id=CfHPbs ... CEQQ6AEwAw

If you scroll down you will find that this book preview has the quote in context.

"How meaningless are the projections of above and below.

In the celestial matrix that has no height nor depth.

What foolishness to dualize high and low.

Atone in the spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni."

The key point is that any projected dualistic conceptual framework of yoni / not yoni, or bliss / not bliss, or atonement / not atonement, or transmission / not transmission, or Buddha / not Buddha, or ETC. / not ETC. is "foolishness / not foolishness," and is totally overcome / subsumed, in the state beyond ANY notion of dualism / not dualism, here symbolized by the "spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni," / not the spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni.

Homage to the spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni / no homage to the spaciousness of the dimensionless yoni. From the point of view of the dimensionless yoni, there is nothing to say / not say.

Yet everything is said quite properly. This is the dimension of the dimensionless yoni!

Amazing!

Ah!

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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:00 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:...metaphor for all origins, large and small, up to and including the "ultimate" origin: the ground of being, (gzhi).


Off topic (and not to nitpick ha) but, since the four extremes arise out of grasping and ignorance, technically the ālaya (kun gzhi) is the 'ground of being' (and the ground of the other 3 extremes as well). The basis (gzhi) is free from extremes. Just seems like notions of being (and origination in general) are symptoms of ignorance... when fully integrated with the basis (gzhi) one is free of ignorance and therefore 'reality' is known to be unborn and non-arising.


I stated what Tibetan term I am meaning by "ground of being". You may prefer to translate it differently, but thats why its good to give the Tibetan, so there is no confusion about what is being referred to.

like notions of being (and origination in general) are symptoms of ignorance


the presence of the here and now is undeniable. I call that being, you can call it whatever you want.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby oldbob » Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:39 pm

Yes! Exactly correct!

This is the ONLY true name:

"you can call it whatever you want."

:smile:


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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:24 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:...metaphor for all origins, large and small, up to and including the "ultimate" origin: the ground of being, (gzhi).


Off topic (and not to nitpick ha) but, since the four extremes arise out of grasping and ignorance, technically the ālaya (kun gzhi) is the 'ground of being' (and the ground of the other 3 extremes as well). The basis (gzhi) is free from extremes. Just seems like notions of being (and origination in general) are symptoms of ignorance... when fully integrated with the basis (gzhi) one is free of ignorance and therefore 'reality' is known to be unborn and non-arising.


I stated what Tibetan term I am meaning by "ground of being". You may prefer to translate it differently, but thats why its good to give the Tibetan, so there is no confusion about what is being referred to.

like notions of being (and origination in general) are symptoms of ignorance


the presence of the here and now is undeniable. I call that being, you can call it whatever you want.


True! Valid points. As long as the Tibetan term is there it doesn't matter, I agree with that... To each their own :smile:

I miss the old gad rgyangs - Malcolm discussions btw... They were so good
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby In the bone yard » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:33 pm

sbl wrote:Thank you for the response, though I'm not sure I understand.
Put crudely, I suppose one can think of Bhaga (or a woman's sex) as a "hole." However, I don't understand the conception of it as a "void," akin to the formlessness of the sky. Can you explain this concept further?
Am I wrong to think of Bhaga as analogous to a woman's sex? If it is, then I do not think of a woman's sex just as emptiness, but what surrounds the emptiness as well. Perhaps your use of Bhaga is different than my understanding?
Maybe yoni refers more to the "feminine aspect" than to anything concrete?


Enlightened masters have said the only way to enter the path is via action mudra, unless it is achieved at death.
The training requires the highest displine which is to refrain from any loss of seed, with the intention of achieving states of higher concentration of mind (void as its been called) via moral conduct and devotion.
If you are a fortunate one, then the path is achieved. There is no comparison without the path.

Often you might see a buddha with breasts or female characteristics, symbolizing unity of man and woman.
Worldly beings consider it impossible to live without woman, to not feel whole without the missing attribute (female).
Enlightenment (fulfillment of the path) fulfills this void. Which is why you might see a buddha with female characteristics.
The male is compassion, female is wisdom.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby T. Chokyi » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:04 am

In the bone yard wrote:
Enlightened masters have said the only way to enter the path is via action mudra, unless it is achieved at death.


No.

If you want to think that way that is up to you, but Garab Dorje the pith Dzogchen master did not say this, and further, since this is the Dzogchen forum, action mudras are not taught as being "the only way to enter the path" by Dzogchen masters. The base, path, and fruit in Dzogchen does not have to do with having to enter this path by relying on a consort (live action mudra), or waiting to achieve this "entrance" at death, or for that matter, just to cover the bases, joining with a consort in Sambhogakaya as Je Tsongkhappa reportedly did because he didn't take one during his lifetime (for varied reasons). If you want to take a consort then you would learn these practices when they are taught by Khenpos or Lamas, and it is taught in detail, for example not to long ago in Vermont by Drikung Lamas, this was taught in great detail, this is a practice, but in Dzogchen this isn't the point, everything you learned in tantra including taking an action seal is a secondary practice, and does not have to do with the heart of the Dzogchen teachings concerning what is the base, path, and fruit of Dzogchen.

In the bone yard wrote:If you are a fortunate one, then the path is achieved.


No, Dzogchen path isn't achieved because you are a fortunate one who got a consort.

In the bone yard wrote:There is no comparison without the path.


What "path"... you define Dzogchen path by Tantric practices. There are the three statements of Garab Dorje and he didn't have a fourth statement saying "find an action seal, a living consort, or by not doing that your path won't be able to be called "the absolutely no comparison path"...so getting into your nature, discovering that, then remaining in that without doubt, stabilizing that is what Dzogchen masters teach, and nobody heard a master like CHNNR say you needed a living consort to do that. Nobody heard that this was mandatory for everybody to really enter the path.

In the bone yard wrote:Worldly beings consider it impossible to live without woman, to not feel whole without the missing attribute (female).


No, some worldly beings who are male don't feel that way at all, and some of those guys don't want a woman, some of those guys want a guy friend.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi T.,
I was responding to the original post (...Tibetan passage regarding Tantra).
It doesn't bother me but I understand, that is why they made so many different categories.

I think Jamgon Kongtrul made a movement about this because of all the fighting that was done which is like the fighting against different religions.
For example when people die, something may or may not happen depending on their school of Buddhism? No, I don't think that's the case. He practiced Mahamudra or he practiced Pure Land, I don't think it will effect his death because he practiced one way and not the other. Both are correct, and neither is wrong.

Also, teachers come from different schools. It may not be that the teachings (or teachers) are that much different, but maybe understanding is not the same for everyone.
I am wrong many times! So you could have a teaching but different interpretations of that teaching. Like people trying to figure out the Bible.

We have to be carefull, all of us, because high level teachings aren't meant to be listened to intellectually but everybody tries to.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby T. Chokyi » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:12 pm

In the bone yard wrote:Hi T.,
I was responding to the original post (...Tibetan passage regarding Tantra).
It doesn't bother me but I understand, that is why they made so many different categories.

I think Jamgon Kongtrul made a movement about this because of all the fighting that was done which is like the fighting against different religions.
For example when people die, something may or may not happen depending on their school of Buddhism? No, I don't think that's the case. He practiced Mahamudra or he practiced Pure Land, I don't think it will effect his death because he practiced one way and not the other. Both are correct, and neither is wrong.

Also, teachers come from different schools. It may not be that the teachings (or teachers) are that much different, but maybe understanding is not the same for everyone.
I am wrong many times! So you could have a teaching but different interpretations of that teaching. Like people trying to figure out the Bible.

We have to be carefull, all of us, because high level teachings aren't meant to be listened to intellectually but everybody tries to.


http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?t=8562

I see you already discussed this topic.
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby In the bone yard » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:52 pm

T.,
Yes sir we did.
I felt I was doing more harm than good so I took absence.

People are protective of their beliefs, and social media makes all discussion difficult.
You can't feel or see the person's energy you are talking to. I don't think we are meant to socialize this way but it is growing and growing.
It is sometimes difficult determining true intentions and many use anonymity for agendas, and it doesn't make for an even playing field.
I don't use my real name either so I'm just as bad!

I like to discuss Dharma but with open mind. I know a few fellows who go to church every Sunday and they know and recite Bible passages often, but their character doesn't reflect much goodness.
So they know a lot but there's not much practice. It looks silly but we all have problems in our lives and we are all trying the best we can.

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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby sbl » Thu May 16, 2013 4:41 pm

Hello everyone, and thank you for your contributions.
I apologize for harping on this quote, but now that I have a feel for the metaphor used, would someone be kind enough to explain the use of the word "atone" here? Is it used in the karmic sense?
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby conebeckham » Thu May 16, 2013 4:47 pm

"Atone" is somewhat like "repentence."

From a Dzogchen POV, this is a profound statement about the nature of atonement, confession, repentence. And the nature of what is being repented...as well as the repenter. Nothing more can really be said about it.........if you understand the "dimensionless yoni."
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Re: Question on a line from a Tibetan passage regarding Tant

Postby Astus » Thu May 16, 2013 5:17 pm

This topic is somewhat related to the passage in question (repentance and emptiness): Purification of Karmic Obscurations Thread.

Regarding the consort statement - sorry for bringing Mahamudra here -, Tilopa's poem says that in case one fails to follow the Mahamudra instructions, one can do the other anuttarayoga practices of breath and karmamudra. In Dowman's translation:

"If the mind is dull and you are unable to practice these instructions,
Retaining essential breath and expelling the sap of awareness,
Practising fixed gazes - methods of focussing the mind,
Discipline yourself until the state of total awareness abides.

When serving a karmamudra, the pure awareness
of bliss and emptiness will arise:
Composed in a blessed union of insight and means,
Slowly send down, retain and draw back up the bodhichitta,
And conducting it to the source, saturate the entire body.
But only if lust and attachment are absent will that awareness arise."


On the other hand there is Saraha:

"Obsessed with the joys of sexual embrace
The fool believes he knows ultimate truth;
He is like someone who stands at his door
And, flirting, talks about sex."
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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