Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 4:59 pm

Lingpupa wrote:We are of almost one mind, as it happens.
gregkavarnos wrote:Suffice to say that the whole "three year retreat" deal has more to do with the standardisation of a monastic curriculim than the substantial or intrinsic quality of the practices themselves.

I couldn't agree more.


Well....that's PART of it, I am sure. But the three year retreat ALSO has to do with the substantial or intrinsic quality of the "practices themselves," folks. The "standardization" point is a good and a relevant one, for sure.....but....


Lingpupa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:The whole idea of the retreats seems to have originated with the back-flip that the Kagyu lineage made when it transformed from a bunch of dirty roaming yogis to gompas and shedras. The stories of the 84 mahasiddhas are testimony to that fact.

Again I second you entirely.

gregkavarnos wrote:...many of the mahasiddhas never left their day-to-day life in order to practice and reach extraordinary levels of realisation and capacity.

I know, I know, and I would be really happy if this approach was more honoured these days.


Well....the world is a different place these days. Back in "the day," heh heh.......in the time of the Mahasiddhas, things were "simpler" in many respects. And, as is said, merit was greater......until relatively recently, markets and schools didn't start until 10 am in India....people would get up before dawn, attend to their devotions, etc.

Lingpupa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:I would say that there are definitely benefits to the three year retreat: time being one of them, pressure to complete the practices, a more stable practice environment, direct daily access to a teacher, etc...

I have to quote you slightly out of sequence here, but I don't think it changes what you say. The above sentence is, I believe, almost obvious, and I expect most of us would agree with it. But you preface it with:
gregkavarnos wrote:So I am going to have to disagree that there is a glass-ceiling,


I suspect that the reason you disagree is that we have understood this phrase differently. I am not saying (or at any rate I did not intend to say) that there has to be, needs to be or should be a glass ceiling. What I wanted to say is that the tradition as we have it now tends to insert a glass ceiling, and tell students that "Well, this much you can do, as a kind of preparation, but if you want to do the Six Yogas then maybe that will come at the end of your first three year retreat, or maybe not". (I'm using the Six Yogas merely as an example, because they are well known.)

gregkavarnos wrote:But (and this, for me is the crux of the matter): is it really necessary to complete all those practices if one is not going to be a lama, or is the yidam (more than) enough?

Once again I agree entirely, although there is the question of whether its the outer version of the yidam practice, or the inner version, or the secret version, or the ultimate version or the ultimate secret version, or... Well, I'm being humorous there (or trying to be), but that kind of structure also has, I suspect, a political/institutional purpose as much as a spiritual one.


"Yidam Practice" is a vast subject, and it actually entails the stages of Creation and Completion. I think that, by and large, the TharLam, or Path of Liberation, which is the path of Mahamudra as the unity of Samatha and Vipassana, with guru yoga, can be a complete path. Ngondro is the basis of this path.

When we talk about the ThabLam, though, the Path of Means, which is the extensive and profound path of the two stages, I have to say it's the rare person who can actualize these practices without a strict and lengthy retreat. Whether one wishes to be a Lama is tangential--if one really wishes to practice the Two Stages in their complete forms, and especially the Completion Stage practices, retreat is a requirement.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri May 24, 2013 5:10 pm

conebeckham wrote:Well....that's PART of it, I am sure. But the three year retreat ALSO has to do with the substantial or intrinsic quality of the "practices themselves," folks.
So what you are saying is that practices, when practiced within the traditional retreat, are qualitatively different to the exact same practice when they are practiced outside of a retreat??? :shrug:
Well....the world is a different place these days. Back in "the day," heh heh.......in the time of the Mahasiddhas, things were "simpler" in many respects. And, as is said, merit was greater......until relatively recently, markets and schools didn't start until 10 am in India....people would get up before dawn, attend to their devotions, etc.
Why was merit necessarily greater? I am sure there were plenty of demeritorious action going down back in the "old days". People shagging other peopless wives, stealing, killing, getting intoxicated, etc... Sure, things may have been simpler, but with the correct degree of diligence/discipline somebody living in the modern world can also apply themselves in the same manner.
-if one really wishes to practice the Two Stages in their complete forms, and especially the Completion Stage practices, retreat is a requirement.
Without going into "unnecessary" details, can you please explain why?
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9514
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 5:20 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Well....that's PART of it, I am sure. But the three year retreat ALSO has to do with the substantial or intrinsic quality of the "practices themselves," folks.
So what you are saying is that practices, when practiced within the traditional retreat, are qualitatively different to the exact same practice when they are practiced outside of a retreat??? :shrug:


I'm saying that, in order for them to be practiced, you have to be in retreat, pretty much. Maybe not a "Three Year Retreat," per se.....

gregkavarnos wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Well....the world is a different place these days. Back in "the day," heh heh.......in the time of the Mahasiddhas, things were "simpler" in many respects. And, as is said, merit was greater......until relatively recently, markets and schools didn't start until 10 am in India....people would get up before dawn, attend to their devotions, etc.
Why was merit necessarily greater? I am sure there were plenty of demeritorious action going down back in the "old days". People shagging other peopless wives, stealing, killing, getting intoxicated, etc... Sure, things may have been simpler, but with the correct degree of diligence/discipline somebody living in the modern world can also apply themselves in the same manner.
conebeckham wrote:if one really wishes to practice the Two Stages in their complete forms, and especially the Completion Stage practices, retreat is a requirement.
Without going into "unnecessary" details, can you please explain why?


Because extended focus, and no distractions, are essential factors in bringing these practices to completion.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 5:36 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Well....the world is a different place these days. Back in "the day," heh heh.......in the time of the Mahasiddhas, things were "simpler" in many respects. And, as is said, merit was greater......until relatively recently, markets and schools didn't start until 10 am in India....people would get up before dawn, attend to their devotions, etc.
Why was merit necessarily greater? I am sure there were plenty of demeritorious action going down back in the "old days". People shagging other peopless wives, stealing, killing, getting intoxicated, etc... Sure, things may have been simpler, but with the correct degree of diligence/discipline somebody living in the modern world can also apply themselves in the same manner.


I see I didn't address this point, above....

So, my answer: It is possible that some can, indeed. But.....many of the Indian Mahasiddhas also went off to retreat, before they returned to "society" and their "jobs."
Marpa may have been a "Gentleman Farmer" but he also did retreat practice, after obtaining teachings, before heading back to Tibet and the farm.
And no need to speak of Milarepa, eh? Or most of the Kagyu forefathers.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri May 24, 2013 6:09 pm

conebeckham wrote:I'm saying that, in order for them to be practiced, you have to be in retreat, pretty much. Maybe not a "Three Year Retreat," per se.....
I agree. I just do not like this idea that happens to be prevalent in Kagyu circles of "no retreat, no enlightenment". I have met enough people that have done (more than one three year) retreat that seem no closer to enlightenment than my crochety neighbour.
Because extended focus, and no distractions, are essential factors in bringing these practices to completion.
Again I agree 100%.
And no need to speak of Milarepa, eh? Or most of the Kagyu forefathers.
Well, after Milarepa the Kagyu lineage changed its tack quite drastically. Whether the change was for the better or... I cannot really judge, but it was a drastic change.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9514
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 6:24 pm

I personally think the Kagyu lineage broadened it's sweep....instead of "changing it's tack."

I think there is room enough for the approaches of both extensive retreat practice, and merging the practice with "everyday, normal life." And at some point, I think these must unite-or, rather, the retreat practitioner should be able to "re-enter" society. The stories of our lineage bear this out--it's a "test" of one's progress, actually. But I think retreat is still a requisite condition, for certain practices, in order to bring about "results," for certain people. Certainly not all people. I will never say that all people need to practice Tummo, or Dream Yoga, or Illusory Body, or the stages of Vajrayogini/Varahi, etc. But for those who are drawn to such practices, the discipline and commitment of retreat are mandatory.

Wearing Retreat Robes as a "Badge," though, or creating "requirements of curriculum" isn't the point (unless you're talking about institutional integrity, instead of realization). I agree that retreat, on it's own, is no guarantee of realization. Unfortunately, it can serve as just another prop for the ego.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri May 24, 2013 6:26 pm

conebeckham wrote:Unfortunately, it can serve as just another prop for the ego.
...sigh...
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9514
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri May 24, 2013 6:32 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I'm saying that, in order for them to be practiced, you have to be in retreat, pretty much. Maybe not a "Three Year Retreat," per se.....
I agree. I just do not like this idea that happens to be prevalent in Kagyu circles of "no retreat, no enlightenment". I have met enough people that have done (more than one three year) retreat that seem no closer to enlightenment than my crochety neighbour.
Because extended focus, and no distractions, are essential factors in bringing these practices to completion.
Again I agree 100%.
And no need to speak of Milarepa, eh? Or most of the Kagyu forefathers.
Well, after Milarepa the Kagyu lineage changed its tack quite drastically. Whether the change was for the better or... I cannot really judge, but it was a drastic change.


The 3-year curriculum is a relatively modern invention, but extended retreat to accomplish results of completion stage practice has always been the rule since the Vajrayana dharma came to Tibet. That doesn't mean that anyone who does a 3-year retreat is enlightened, as we all know... but I can't think of very many advanced practitioners that have't done a significant amount of retreat in their lifetime.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
~Arthur Carlson
User avatar
Karma Dorje
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 6:34 pm

Sigh, Indeed. :shrug:

Of course, one doesn't need the robes or retreat certificate to prop up one's ego with Dharma. This is a tangential comment to the original question posed in this thread, by the way.

Speaking plainly to the Original Post: If you're interested in Karma Kagyu practices--whether it's Mahamudra and the Path of Liberation, or The Two Stages and the Path of Means, or both--the Guru is essential. In particular, if you're wishing to engage in the Path of Means, you'll need a teacher who has experience and the authorization to teach that path. I do not believe Diamond Way will suit that purpose.
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Konchog1 » Fri May 24, 2013 7:42 pm

Glasswalker wrote:Opening a can of worms here I feel ;)

Thanks everyone for your feedback. This does lead me back to step one in my thinking. If you would please indulge me further guys n gals?

So we are saying that
1 even though some of the practices, nGondro and Guru Yoga on the karmapa is legit,
-some of the explanations given by Ole on these is not quite so legit.
i.e. that nGondro is all one needs as that will actually activate channels, for example.

2 There is controversy in his legitimacy.
-to me this is one of the dodgy parts. I am a qualified lifecoach and I know --exactly-- how easy it is to have an audience and make people feel a specific way and make them feel like they are part of something great. A charismatic leader who is used to have 100 people in an audience can make anyone feel like they have been empowered. I for one believe that something genuine is happening when an empowerment happens. if the person doing the empowerment doesn't have the full blessing of the lineage to be able to do the empowerment, hasn't actually mastered the practice into which empowerment happens... thats like a random person doing a claying on of hands and claiming you are now a sufi, versus a sheik who has memorised the entire quoran and has done millions of prostrations and has visions of an angels doing it. OK wrong system, but you get me?

- I have also come across footage of people standing in line infront of him for blessings. Not during an initiation, just generally. I have never seen anything like this in a tibetan context. Whats up with that?

3 Diamond way only contains part of the karma kagyu stuff and a lot of westernised/streamlined things
-same thing here. After the meditation we did a sanskrit mahakala song. There were no visualisations just pure singing. I asked about it and was told that "because the energy has been built up over thousands of years we can connect to the dhammapala without needing to visualise we can just connect to it by song" this didn't sit right with me.

4 For me Bodhicitta is 80% of the reason I want to do this at all.
-The meditation we did had one line which was kind of an implied bodhicitta and there was no dedication of merit at the end. Again, this was implied. I am not a "legit" practictioner, but I have done a few years worth of Tara, Menla and Vajrasattva Sadhanas and the Guruyoga done on the Dzogchen online community and the one in the diamond way center was extremely streamlined and felt a bit out. Kinda like walking into a whitepainted protestant church after being used to orthodox incenceladen Greece.... ;)

4 I should look for a lama, not a sangha. true that.
-But guys, how do I do that without being the outsider who has x years of other experience running around? The only Lama I have any experience of is HH Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche over the webcasts and he seems very legit. However there is no way he will be my Lama ;)
My serious plan was to do that retreat in Switzerland. Chod sits right with me (it was one of the things mentioned in Neels magic and mysticism in tibet I read when I was a wee boy) So maybe I start there, take refuge with the Lama doing the course and see where that goes?
-Would you suggest I go around to a few centers and .... hang around? i am out of my depth here.

Magnus if you have any advice for scandinavia, I'm all ears. pm me ?

Geographically I am ok to travel to UK/Scandinavia/Netherlands/Belgium/Germany but the centers where I am are low on resident Lamas....

5 If I'm into the yoga and tantric layperson trip then kagyu or Nyigma Lama is what I need to go for
-so which european groups are legit?
-I wonder if it would be useful to create a thread similar to the one on the kagyu forum for each school, outlining the "modus operandi" of each school as it were?
-My gut feeling is not to "collect" empowerments, yet it seems that it is very difficult to know which school/guru/lama works for one without occasions to meet them/try them?

Thanks so much for the responses this far. I hope I am not too vexing. This is really helping to get my bearings!
Overview of Buddhist Tantra pg. 66 says:
From the Drop of the Great Seal:

When the master first fully empowers the disciple
And then reveals the great secret,
The definitive vessel is produced.
Without empowerment there are no attainments,
Just as there is no butter to be squeezed from sand.

If one confers empowerment without
The oral transmission and divine confidence,
Immediately after death,
Even a master possessed of siddhi
Will go with his disciples down to hell.

Therefore, with all effort one should strive
To receive empowerments from a qualified guru.
You should read Asvaghosa's Fifty Stanzas on Guru Devotion, particularity the section on the Guru's requirements.

Lining up for blessings isn't extremely unusual, but it is rare. And could be a sign of a ego game by the Guru (which is likely why teachers seem to avoid such situations). Lining up for blessings isn't an issue. The issue is why Ole permits it.

Singing is normal. The Kagyu have singing as a part of their teachings (Milarepa's songs for example). But, again, the explanation given for the song is bizarre.

Bodhicitta and dedication prayers are not present in all Sadhanas, but always must be done. Therefore, many teachers add them or make them more explicit. Those prayers are never removed.

Chod requires a pretty good grasp of emptiness. Go for it, but start practicing emptiness now.

Take your time and ask everyone lots of questions. This is important.
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
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri May 24, 2013 8:12 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Lining up for blessings isn't extremely unusual, but it is rare.
It is neither rare nor unusual. It is actually pretty common and run-of-the-mill.
And could be a sign of a ego game by the Guru (which is likely why teachers seem to avoid such situations).
Could be, could just be a blessing, right?
Lining up for blessings isn't an issue. The issue is why Ole permits it.
The issue is why he permits receiving a blessing? Why would that be an issue?
Singing is normal. The Kagyu have singing as a part of their teachings (Milarepa's songs for example). But, again, the explanation given for the song is bizarre.
Singing? You mean chanting the praise? In most cases the singing (the song) is the explanation for the visualisation. I have never seen a sadhana stopped so that the visualisation can be explained. You are meant to do the visulaisation during the chanting. As for the "bizarre" explanation, there is nothing bizarre about it. It is quite a common explanation. Being (merely) present during a practice as a means to receive blessing.

Exactly which tradition do you practice in Konchog1?
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9514
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 8:56 pm

Well, there's "Singing" and then there's "chanting."

Many moons ago I attended an evening practice session with Diamond Way folks. They recited a short "Mahakala liturgy" after the "3 Lights Meditation" which was done via listening to an audiotape of Ole. I believe that is what the OP is referring to as the "singing"--the chanting of the Mahakala liturgy, after the tape-recorded "guided meditation."

That short liturgy, I now know, is called the "MaDakMa" and is basically a short supplication and offering to the Karma Kagyu protectors, principally Mahakala Bernagchen and Palden Lhamo. It's part of the larger "daily practice" of Mahakala in our tradition, though it's often done on it's own as a "bare minimum" recitation requirement....in Tibetan it is part of the genre known as "Solka," or "requesting blessings." There is, indeed, visualization involved, but those sorts of details would only be available to someone with initiation and commitment to the practice, I think. I honestly don't know if the Diamond Way folks have that sort of transmission, or if they maintain that recitation merely based on the instruction of Ole.

The "3 Lights Meditation" is, of course, the "Guru Yoga of the 16th Karmapa," adapted by Ole for use in his centers.

Now, traditionally both of those practices are "liturgical" and would be chanted. the visualizations and instructions would have been transmitted previously to the student, and the liturgy would act as a guide for the meditation practice. Singing, on the other hand, is a part of the lineage--the "songs," or Dohas, are a different class of materials than liturgy, though. "Dohas" are songs of "realization," and they are often "sung" during group practices.....there are also "Tsok Songs" which may be sung, as well.....

Our primary exponent of "singing" was and is Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, who often used dohas to teach. There are many examples of these dohas, translated into English and other Western languages, set to what I will call "cowboy melodies"--they're really quite wonderful and instructive. He loved to instruct groups of students to "sing a song!"
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Konchog1 » Fri May 24, 2013 9:34 pm

conebeckham wrote:Our primary exponent of "singing" was and is Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, who often used dohas to teach. There are many examples of these dohas, translated into English and other Western languages, set to what I will call "cowboy melodies"--they're really quite wonderful and instructive. He loved to instruct groups of students to "sing a song!"
That was the name! I like this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC9M2XogJ6I

Are any of the English versions online somewhere?
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
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby conebeckham » Fri May 24, 2013 10:28 pm

May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby cataractmoon » Mon May 27, 2013 6:11 pm

I have no idea where you live, so I cannot provide clear input. However, I would not choose a lineage based on geographical location. I'd choose one based on the teacher. I live in the United States; therefore, I chose a solid, established, credible, outstanding vajra master, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, as the person for whom I trust for empowerments, advice on practice, etc. He works at KTD Woodstock New York, and there are affiliation centers (KTC) across the United States. I traveled to Dallas to take refuge. I traveled to Wichita, Kansas to receive instructions from Khenpo Karthar. And, I have traveled to Woodstock, New York for bodhisattva vows.

I'd say slow down. You mention so many practices. How does one achieve liberation through so many practices? Khenpo Karthar's brother is doing a lifelong retreat just on the Chenrezig practice. (I'm not sure which Chenrezig practice he does.)

As far as channels and tummo are concerned, my experience is that without the right motivation and bodhichitta, one may be attached to the energy instead of the idea behind Buddhism: free from attachment and liberation from suffering.

May you find a useful practice and benefit all beings!
cataractmoon
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:52 pm

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Glasswalker » Tue May 28, 2013 9:51 am

I have had some excellent info from everyone on and offlist. I took some of it to heart and went back the other day. Last I went in "naked" this time with the knowledge that you guys have gven me.

The night was Classic guruyoga on 16th karmapa, then singing the mahakala song, no translation or visualisation unless one has the wang.

Noticed a few awkward things that I wanted to check with vayrayana people. (remember I have 4 years of theravada experience which is different)
1 The mantra Karmapa chenno ="Embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas, take heed of me."
however the explanation given was something along the lines of it being specifically the 16th karmapas energy we call upon. This doesn't feel quite like the stuff described in ~ ("Consciousness Transference," Auspicious Tales of HH the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in "Insights & Outtakes," Tricycle Magazine, Winter 2004.)

2 One fellow asked a question after the karmapa guru yoga sadhana about the sadhana.
Great Seal transmission

Now, all three lights enter us at the same time. Clear light fills our head, red light our throat and blue light our heart center. Thus we obtain the essential state of the Great Seal.

While receiving the lights, we may use the mantra KARMAPA CHENNO. It means power of all Buddhas work through us. We repeat it loudly or inwardly.

KARMAPA CHENNO, KARMAPA CHENNO, KARMAPA CHENNO, ........ (repeat mantra as long as you wish)

Completion Phase

In front, Karmapa's golden form and his Black Crown dissolve into rainbow light. It falls on us, is everywhere and all form disappears. There is now only awareness, with no center or limit.

Pause

Thoughts and phenomena are the free play of space.

Pause

Activity phase

Now, our surroundings, this world and all worlds appear, perfect and pure


the fellow asked: when do we meditate on emptiness?
the guy leading the meditation said: we don't meditate. you are meant to stop meditate.
Fellow: Ok. I mean: at what stage in the visualisation practice does everything dissolve into nothing?
Leader: you don't visualise, Lama Ole calls it bring to mind
etc

this continued on for 10 minutes, where this guys was desperately trying to get help about it all so he finally asked whether sunyata is meant to be experienced just before the mantra or after and whether there is anything in the visualisation that will help him realise this.
It falls on us, is everywhere and all form disappears. There is now only awareness, with no center or limit.
"how do I go from the visualisation of the rainbow light to this"
The leader was tying knots on himself because he simply didn't have the vocabulary to deal with the question and explain it it and then ended up with: you will realise when you have a teacher.

Maybe I am too much of an academic and influenced by gelugpas.... bt seriously... so I pulled out my kindle and showed the guy a book by a a very knowledgeable classically trained Lama, which has a really nice few pages explaining the thing. I was told that its not appropiate and that "its not how we work in this tradition. it has to come through practice"....

surely a Geshe, writing for the public knows what he is doing?

This kindoff made me think of what someone said further up that Ole doesn't like when his students visit other Lama's.


Another thing:
conebeckham wrote:
Sigh, Indeed.

Speaking plainly to the Original Post: If you're interested in Karma Kagyu practices--whether it's Mahamudra and the Path of Liberation, or The Two Stages and the Path of Means, or both--the Guru is essential. In particular, if you're wishing to engage in the Path of Means, you'll need a teacher who has experience and the authorization to teach that path. I do not believe Diamond Way will suit that purpose.


My gut feeling tells me you are right, but do you mind qualifying why? I would like this thread to be useful for other people who have the same questons as me as well in future.

Regarding retreats and the glass ceiling.

Could we talk more about this please?
Generally speaking, Vajrayana prides itself on being the fast way . Now, a friend of mine, whose mom and he himself works in a vajrayana tradition that is at least as controversial as diamond way, if not more. They have had a very pleasant experience and have received the teachings they needed at every stage fairly regularly. My friend has received empowerments and teachings in completion stage and winds etc so they seem pretty "juicy" to me?
So do you mean there is a glass ceiling in Kagyu or that lamas generally don't give one on one good instruction except to people who have done 3 years 3 month 3 day retreats?
Glasswalker
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 12:38 am

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 28, 2013 11:03 am

Glasswalker wrote:2 One fellow asked a question after the karmapa guru yoga sadhana about the sadhana...
All this encounter shows is that the specific "teacher" guiding the meditation had no idea what they were talking about. The rest is you jumping to (possibly unfounded) conclusions.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9514
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Lingpupa » Wed May 29, 2013 12:42 pm

It's probably time this thread went to sleep. I particularly want to thank Cone for what he said, which was a corrective to a couple of rash statements of mine. But, one or two points:
Glasswalker wrote:1 The mantra Karmapa chenno ="Embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas, take heed of me."

Well, that's not what it says. It is true that the Karmapa is (like quite a few other important teachers) sometimes said to be an emanation of Chenrezi, but if we accept the "take heed of me" for the "chenno", then it says "Karmapa, take heed of me". I think that should be fairly obvious. This can be said while thinking of, for instance, the present Karmapa, but in the context of your description, it is the 16th Karmapa that is meant.

I don't have access to Tricycle Magazine, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

Much of what then follows does show, as Greg says, that the person leading this process had little or no idea what they were doing. I hope it does not come across as excessively cynical if I expressly wonder whether this has anything to do with the no-less-than 630 centres that Ole's movement claims to have.

Nevertheless, to take their side for a moment, you say:
Maybe I am too much of an academic and influenced by gelugpas.... bt seriously... so I pulled out my kindle and showed the guy a book by a a very knowledgeable classically trained Lama, which has a really nice few pages explaining the thing. I was told that its not appropiate and that "its not how we work in this tradition. it has to come through practice"....
surely a Geshe, writing for the public knows what he is doing?

Am I to assume that this was a gelug explanation of emptiness? It has to be said that some of their views about how insight into emptiness is to be cultivated are, shall we say, idiosyncratic. Mixing them with the views of other traditions could be confusing to anyone but a very widely informed expert.

You then mentioned the issue of what I called a "glass ceiling". I can only speak on the basis of my own experience, which is not as wide as that of some, but is not tiny either. (I've been around the scene for almost 40 years. My "Avatar" doesn't look like me at all, I should stress, she just happens to have almost the same name. I was never that pretty, and am by no means that young!)

In my limited experience, which has mainly been gathered in Kagyu circles but with strong dash of Nyingma, there are some lamas, who may be quite well known and loved, who do very little other than the "be a nice person, be nice to your family, be nice to your friends" kind of teaching, laced with humorous stories. There are those who encourage students to do the foundations, and who will from time to time give empowerments such as Chenrezi, Tara, Medicine Buddha and so on, along with some basic explanations. There are also those (sometimes relatively "high" lamas) who will give remarkably "high" empowerments such as Chakrasamvara to any Tom Dick or Harry who wants to turn up, but with no explanation at all and no apparent intention that students would actually undertake the practice in the foreseeable future. And of course there are some who are willing to see individual students in private and give them specific, personal instructions. In the nature of the case it is difficult to generalise about what those instructions consist of. Beyond that, a serious transmission of how to do, for instance, a Highest Yoga Tantra practice is extremely difficult to come by. Of course, there is the practical point that a thorough transmission of that sort can't be done in a matter of a few hours, so it would require a closed retreat of at least a few days, and having enough qualified students to justify that and who can attend is no easy matter.

It may be helpful to drop the word "juicy" (yes, I am guilty for introducing it) because it might be taken as denigrating other teachings, so perhaps we had better stick to specifics. Again, only from my own knowledge (and if anybody knows different, I'd be delighted to hear), I don't know of any qualified Karma Kagyu lamas who have taught, for instance, tummo outside of the long retreat setting. Of course, this is tricky, because in general students who putatively have received those teachings in a less closed context may well have been instructed never to tell anyone. So who knows?

That being said, I *have* heard of teachings of that sort having been given by Nyingma lamas in the context of a short retreat open to anyone willing to make the necessary commitments.

And the one Lama I know who teaches to small groups of people living "in the world", as the saying goes, and who lays out in advance the list of what he is willing to teach provided the students do the preliminaries and actually perform the practice (and who in fact gets very stern when people *don't* practice what they have been taught) is, again, not a Kagyu.
All the best
Alex Wilding
Benchen and Back digital edition now on Amazon - see http://tinyurl.com/78rdcoy
User avatar
Lingpupa
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:13 am

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby heart » Wed May 29, 2013 3:21 pm

Glasswalker wrote:So do you mean there is a glass ceiling in Kagyu or that lamas generally don't give one on one good instruction except to people who have done 3 years 3 month 3 day retreats?


First, westerners overemphasize methods and being present at certain very secret teachings. Methods and teachings is fine but if you don't actually apply the methods and teachings you already have you will probably never apply those fancy new methods and teachings that you get.

I know of people that got six yogas and mahamudra outside of the three-year context. Garchen Rinpoche give Chakrasamvara empowerment's and give development stage and completion stage instructions to just about anyone.

But, the main point is always to find a teacher who have the capacity and the karmic connection to point-out the nature of mind to you.

/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
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 3090
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Karma Kagyu versus Diamond way

Postby Shamati » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:15 pm

Hi.

I have no real life experience with Buddhism but have been practicing Yoga (Kundalini) while studying the western esoteric tradition/hermeticism.

But this summer I visited the Benalmadena Stupa in Spain which was built by the "Diamond Way". The impression I got from 2 "public meditations" (translated from Spanish which made it a bit harder to concentrate as effectively etc.) and speaking to the people there is that I feel that there would definitely have been room to study and practice seriously if one would display genuine interest. Overall I got a good feeling of the place.

I found that Lama Ole is a bit controversial in terms of his sex life.
The question I got from this is wether there is any importance laid on abstaining from "orgasm" for keeping the energy within Tibetan Buddhist practice??
Shamati
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:31 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Kagyu

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], ratna and 9 guests

>