Rune Lacroix wrote:
Jikan wrote:In this tradition, is it considered acceptable practice to generalize personal advice given from one's teacher to all that teacher's students?
I don't know. But i don't think so.
Though i personally have perfect trust in Jes Bertelsen as a dzogchen teacher, it would, in my opinion, be interesting with a more general statement on the subject, from someone very close to Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and not involved with Jes Bertelsen (like i am).
I think your position overall is a reasonable one.
To be fair to you and your friends, here's why I asked that particular question. It had to do with the example given before of a teacher giving a particular piece of advice to a student that was taken to mean that such advice should be taken by all. Let me explain through an example:
I was experiencing certain problems in my meditation many years ago. I asked my teacher. She gave me some advice that helped me, but seemed unconventional for the context (this was a Zen center): 1. Go eat, eat, and eat some more. Eat all the foods you like, and eat a lot. Do not skip dessert. 2. Stop drinking this Japanese tea we serve you. 3. Go have some fun. Now, in my case, this was very good medicine, but I am sure you would agree that not everyone who was in the room should take this advice for themselves (some were obese, some were sleepy, and so on).
My point is that we should not assume that if a teacher tells one student to carry on as he or she has been doing, that the teacher is authorizing everyone to do the same. I have even heard some teachers dismiss some students who have poor attitudes or are not suitable at that time to go away and study something else (in the US we say "go take a hike!") or in other instances go to a mental health professional if they are disturbed. This does not mean that psychotherapy is Dharma or that a particular psychotherapist is a lineage holder, but that the person hearing these instructions needed psychiatric help.
Finally, even though I said I would hold my tongue on Bertelsen, I would like to say that it's a wonderful thing he is encouraging people to find out about the teachings of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and the Chokling Tersar. I hope all his students study Tulku Urgyen's writings and biography with great care, get all the instructions and transmissions they need to practice well, and then practice well to attain the fruit of the path in this lifetime. For all our benefit.
Great River Tendai Sangha: a Tendai Buddhist community in Alexandria, Virginia, USA (near Washington, DC):