Thanks for being willing to discuss my "lama drama" with me.
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Exactly. And besides, in Vajrayana, even if one has undergone the requisite training and attained the ability to properly confer empowerments, one doesn't just take it upon oneself to do that; one is instructed to do that by one's guru.
Interesting. The thing is that a Tibetan lama comes to gives empowerments who has the same root guru as my lama, so they are like "Dharma brothers." This Tibetan lama always acts as if my lama is the senior student and talks about how good my lama is. If my lama is indeed the senior student of his Tibetan lama, shouldn't he be the one giving empowerments? Maybe the Tibetan lama is giving them just for cultural reasons? However I have to add that this Tibetan lama is a tulku and was trained at Tsurphu Monastery when he was younger.
My lama's Tibetan guru is now very old and sick and he will probably die in a few years. Could this be what my lama is "waiting for"?
It might be that he is trying to keep the lineage chains as short as possible. Why insert himself in the chain if his teachers are still alive?
Actually, the teachers who visit our centers are not his teachers as far as I know. They are just good lamas who accepted his invitations.
Jangchup Donden wrote:
Just because he doesn't give empowerments doesn't mean he isn't an excellent source of information, teachings and advice. If he's bringing other teachers to give empowerments -- that's because he views them as Buddhas, and you might want to think about taking one of them on as your Guru. But again here, you really should thoroughly observe that teacher so you can really trust them as a qualified Vajrayana guru.
A few of these visiting teachers would indeed make great gurus; however, the question is one of access.
Most of these great lamas just give public teachings to many people at which I only have the chance to ask one question--if I'm lucky. I would like a root guru which I'd have more personal access to. I don't want a root guru who I could never have a personal audience with. And I don't know what their schedules are or how likely it is that they will return. For example, right now one of these lamas (who is a great Drikung yogi) is now in another three-year retreat and is presently inaccessible. His final instructions before leaving were, "Practice Ngondro and Nyungne well." I've done some Nyungnes, but it irritates me that I am not able to follow the first part of his instructions.
A final thing which adds to my distrust is all these beliefs my lama and sangha have about early Hungarians being Buddhists. Possibly this could be true, but it's not something I will believe blindly like my other sangha members do. I feel these issues create distractions from the core teachings of Buddhism sometimes.
I cringe every time I hear my lama start a story by saying, "Two Hungarians were riding to see Shakyamuni Buddha...." I'm open-minded, but I would need to see some solid proof before I believe such theories. I've never heard any Theravada scholars mention Hungarians. Such things are another reason why I feel uneasy with this lama.
My primary devotion is to the Three Jewels (and to a root guru, when I find one). Anything else is just extra.