Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

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Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Namgyal » Sat May 18, 2013 1:39 pm

Bon and Buddhism are different religions. You should never mix them together. All your teachings must come from Bonpo Lamas, and due to the scarcity of centres you will have to travel. Samatha meditation is however universal, and you can learn it almost anywhere. My advice would be to study at a Theravada centre, because its far enough away from Bon to avoid confusion. Explain to the monks that although you are not a Buddhist you have great respect for Buddhism, and simply wish to learn meditation.
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Lhasa » Sat May 18, 2013 2:33 pm

Here is the Bonpo youtube link for Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. He has teachings and meditations so you can get a feel for how the Bonpos do it.
I would also call that center before you go. Bonpos are not always 'welcome', so you might want to call and share what you want, before you show up.
You could also call Ligmincha or the other Bon Centers you can find online and ask for help.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ligmincha
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Namgyal » Sat May 18, 2013 3:13 pm

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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Namgyal wrote:Bon and Buddhism are different religions.


Well, the modern expression of Bon has a lot of Buddhist influence and the core Dzogchen teachings appear to be pretty much identical. I know people that "mix", they don't seem to have been zapped into fire and brimstone. Most notable, the great Rimé master and terton king Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo: "He was an authority on all the different teachings of Buddhism in Tibet, as well as the pre-Buddhist Bön teachings. Shunning sectarian bias, he encouraged his students to appreciate the profundity of all the existing traditions. This approach became known as Rimey, or the nonsectarian approach." http://khyentsefoundation.org/about/lineage/
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat May 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Namgyal wrote:Bon and Buddhism are different religions.


I know lots of students of ChNN and Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche who'd disagree. Their teachers don't complain the aformentioned students practice both Nyingma and Bon - nor have they ever criticised such an attitude in the least. Or so I've been told.
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Namgyal wrote:Of course, folk can do whatever they like (e.g. Unitarian Universalist Buddhist-Paganism) but from the perspective of orthodox Buddhism it is definately not okay. Apart from the obvious problem... 'I take refuge in Miwo...wait no, I take refuge in...', there is also the fact that some deities are mutually exclusive. If you put the Virgin Mary next to Tara on your shrine it will not double your good fortune, instead it will double your ill-fortune.
For my part, I view Bon as a non-Buddhist 'rishiyana' which has copied and incorporated large amounts of Dharma. Bonpos are spiritual practitioners who follow a path that is almost identical to Buddhism, so we should treat them as cousins and good friends.
:namaste:


Well my own Lama felt this way, and I heard he was not pleased when visiting a Dzogchen Community center because it had pictures of Bonpo Lamas and possibly other images on display. However, I prefer not to ignore the sentiments of great masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, or even Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and rather examine them and try to fathom their understanding. I believe Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo Rinpoche even had a Bonpo name.
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat May 18, 2013 4:24 pm

Adamantine wrote:possibly other images on display


Huh? You mean 'other damning images on display'? Could you elaborate, please? My imagination is running riot. :stirthepot:
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Namgyal » Sat May 18, 2013 5:10 pm

Adamantine wrote:the sentiments of great masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, or even Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and rather examine them and try to fathom their understanding

Please post some information about these 'sentiments', in particular any quotes which assert that it is okay for Buddhists to 'pick-and-mix' from Bon deities and practices.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat May 18, 2013 6:59 pm

.
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Re: Diamond Way Buddhist Center

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 7:05 pm

Namgyal wrote:
Adamantine wrote:the sentiments of great masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, or even Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and rather examine them and try to fathom their understanding

Please post some information about these 'sentiments', in particular any quotes which assert that it is okay for Buddhists to 'pick-and-mix' from Bon deities and practices.
:namaste:


Well, I don't have any references on hand, but maybe others will fill in. I doubt it is a "pick-or-mix" thing, but more likely the general view of the Rimey movement: practicing each lineage and/or transmission independently, according to it's own logic and system and seeing the value it holds from it's own basis path and fruit. Of course, only the great masters could do this with a great variety of lineages and practices, however, I am sure an average practitioner is able to pull this off with a couple. If the Bonpo Dzogchen is valid, which many Buddhist masters have said, then it is still Dharma, whether or not it is associated directly with Shakyamuni Buddha. Of course, mixing up practices from different lineages (assuming I am understanding what you mean by "mixing") isn't appropriate even within the same lineage. You must begin, proceed, and end each practice according to it's own form and not mix together two different practices.

Anyway, I don't choose to dabble in Bon and it may be confusing for others who do, who are Buddhists, however some people may have significant karma with both and find it mutually enriching. I won't be the one to make any grandiose claims about what is and is not appropriate for everybody.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat May 18, 2013 7:09 pm

As for the opposite opinion... :stirthepot:

"There are some people who claim to be practitioners and scholars yet see nothing wrong in dabbling in Bon or barbarian dharma to curry favour with others, gain a big following, or help themselves out when they meet with difficulties. They are being two-faced about taking refuge; they have evicted taking refuge from their mind-streams and cast themselves out of the ranks of Buddhists.

Some people say, 'A bit of Buddhism, a bit of Bon,' but these is no reason why the Bon teachers, their dharma or their adherents should be worthy enough to be refuges; the three do not have all the required qualities, that is, having abandoned all faults, and so forth. Their dharma is not even a means of reducing delusion. They claim their sangha is based on the pratimoksha vow but their vows do not have the lineage.

Bon is not a refuge for Buddhists; it is not worthy of being a refuge. All the same, Buddhists and Bonpos say things to each other out of attachment or hostility, and this hardly makes for honest debate. It vital that you should know the sources of the Bon religion. [such as reading Tukaen Dharmavajra's The Mirror on Eloquence]"

-Liberation in the Palm of your Hand pg. 415
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Adamantine » Sat May 18, 2013 7:26 pm

Konchog1 wrote:-Liberation in the Palm of your Hand pg. 415


Well he was also outspokenly sectarian, anti-Rimey, and anti-Nyingma, so I don't put much weight into his views on Bon considering.

From Wiki:
"Pabongka Rinpoche was at times at odds with the 13th Dalai Lama over Pabongka's supposed antagonism toward the Nyingma lineage."
According to academic David Kay "As the Gelug agent of the Tibetan government in Kham (Khams) (Eastern Tibet), and in response to the Rimed movement that had originated and was flowering in that region, Phabongkha Rinpoche and his disciples employed repressive measures against non-Gelug sects. Religious artifacts associated with Padmasambhava – who is revered as a "second Buddha" by Nyingma practitioners – were destroyed, and non-Gelug, and particularly Nyingma, monasteries were forcibly converted to the Gelug position."
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat May 18, 2013 7:41 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:-Liberation in the Palm of your Hand pg. 415


Well he was also outspokenly sectarian, anti-Rimey, and anti-Nyingma, so I don't put much weight into his views on Bon considering.

From Wiki:
"Pabongka Rinpoche was at times at odds with the 13th Dalai Lama over Pabongka's supposed antagonism toward the Nyingma lineage."
According to academic David Kay "As the Gelug agent of the Tibetan government in Kham (Khams) (Eastern Tibet), and in response to the Rimed movement that had originated and was flowering in that region, Phabongkha Rinpoche and his disciples employed repressive measures against non-Gelug sects. Religious artifacts associated with Padmasambhava – who is revered as a "second Buddha" by Nyingma practitioners – were destroyed, and non-Gelug, and particularly Nyingma, monasteries were forcibly converted to the Gelug position."
That's an Ad Hominem. You're talking about him, but haven't discussed his quote.

As he said, we shouldn't react to other views out of attachment or hostility, but instead honestly debate and consider both sides' arguments.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby mutsuk » Sat May 18, 2013 8:36 pm

Some of Phabongka's works show a terrible hostility to whatever is not Geluk, he is everything but a reference for tolerance, not to speak about his shukden bias. He also forgot that Tsongkhapa and mNyam-med Shes rab rgyal mtshan exchanged praises. What you also don't know Kongchog is that Bonpos recite on a daily basis a prayer (the 'bde-rgyal-ma") to Shes rab rgyal mtshan that was authored by Tsongkhapa. His Holiness Dalai Lama took Refuge in Bon, received the ZZNG transmission and, just like the 5th of his incarnation, recognize Bon as a fifth tradition.

kirtu wrote:NOTE: I have taken the unusual step of editing a post directly. On Dharma Wheel we should avoid accusing one another of sectarianism.

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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Jikan » Sat May 18, 2013 8:42 pm

Adamantine wrote:Well my own Lama felt this way, and I heard he was not pleased when visiting a Dzogchen Community center because it had pictures of Bonpo Lamas and possibly other images on display. However, I prefer not to ignore the sentiments of great masters such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, or even Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and rather examine them and try to fathom their understanding. I believe Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo Rinpoche even had a Bonpo name.


My understanding is that Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche appreciates the Dzogchen transmission in Bon, and the yogic achievements of some Bonpo practitioners. Rainbow bodies... Further, a repeated theme in his teachings is the equation of limitations with dualism and dualism with samsara. Of what use are arbitrary limitations to a Dzogchen practitioner? They're the opposite of useful.

So there's a real disagreement between the Rime movement and Dzogchenpas such as ChNN on one side, and the position represented in this thread by, say, Pabonka.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat May 18, 2013 9:36 pm

And when did I ever say that I agreed with Phabongkha Rinpoche?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Caz » Sat May 18, 2013 10:09 pm

mutsuk wrote:Some of Phabongka's works show a terrible hostility to whatever is not Geluk, he is everything but a reference for tolerance, not to speak about his shukden bias. He also forgot that Tsongkhapa and mNyam-med Shes rab rgyal mtshan exchanged praises. What you also don't know Kongchog is that Bonpos recite on a daily basis a prayer (the 'bde-rgyal-ma") to Shes rab rgyal mtshan that was authored by Tsongkhapa. Your sectarian approach to anything that is not Geluk is totally blinding you and contradicts HH the Dalai Lama's opinion on the subject. His Holiness took Refuge in Bon, received the ZZNG transmission and, just like the 5th of his incarnation, recognize Bon as a fifth tradition. Please moderators, can you at least remind Kongchog of respect for others and to keep his outdated opinions for the Geluk section of the forum.... This is such a shame...


Wait are you saying Dalai lama Takes refuge in Bon ? :shock:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby mutsuk » Sat May 18, 2013 10:13 pm

Caz wrote:[Wait are you saying Dalai lama Takes refuge in Bon ? :shock:

Yes, he went to Dolanji, received Refuge vows from the Abbot (Lungtok Tenpai Nyima) and received an enormous amount of transmissions, including Dzogchen teachings (ZZNG among others), as well as tantric and sutric teachings. There are pictures of this. Come on guys, this has been discussed for ever on e-sangha and elsewhere years ago.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby Caz » Sat May 18, 2013 10:18 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Caz wrote:[Wait are you saying Dalai lama Takes refuge in Bon ? :shock:

Yes, he went to Dolanji, received Refuge vows from the Abbot (Lungtok Tenpai Nyima) and received an enormous amount of transmissions, including Dzogchen teachings (ZZNG among others), as well as tantric and sutric teachings. There are pictures of this. Come on guys, this has been discussed for ever on e-sangha and elsewhere years ago.


Wow :jawdrop:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: Buddhism & Bon: Practicing Both at Once?

Postby yegyal » Sun May 19, 2013 1:15 am

I don't know much about Khyentse Wangpo's Bon involvement, but Kongtrul was certainly involved with this tradition, escpecially as a child when he was known by the Bon name Tenyi Yungdrung Lingpa. I believe this is one of the reasons that he is considered an emanation of the translator Vairocana, who was also involved with both traditions.
Nevertheless, to compare Bon and Buddhism is kind of like comparing a very specific kind of apple that grows only in one place to every other kind of apple or pear that grows anywhere else in the world as if they were a singular group. A more reasonable comparison is to look at the similarities between Bon and the Nyingma, which are very closely related. Are they different traditions? yes. Do they have common ground? Lots of it. Do they share teachers and lineages? At times they do. In fact, there are Nyingma texts that are used by the Bonpos after having merely replaced the word "chos" with "bon". There's also a collection of instructions of Dudjom's Throma cycle that was being spread among the Bonpo, that was just recently edited to remake a "buddhist version" of the teachings. So these traditions often overlap. Of course, they're different, but so are the Nyingma from Sarma schools. And you'll find the same types of arguments about mixing those as you find here about practicing both Bon and Buddhism.
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