Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

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Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Karma Jinpa » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:05 am

If one has the empowerments for deities such as Dorjé Phagmo, and gurus-as-yidams such as Milarepa and Karma Pakshi, but no particular textual transmission, what does one do?

In some cases there is detailed instruction from the very lama who gave the empowerments, but in book form (and therefore, while it was originally transmitted orally, it is now somewhat indirect as a teaching transcript).

Is it possible that lung was given with the wang without it being the obvious speed reading? And what if one is unsure what type of empowerment they received (e.g. wang, jenang, etc.)?

:shrug:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby conebeckham » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:14 am

Try to get the Tri and the Lung from a qualified teacher, that's obvious, right?

In general, though, we get these empowerments from great masters when we can....but the teachings aren't given, because quite frankly most people won't practice.

From the "orthodox" Karma Kagyu POV, it's usual that one completes ngondro, prior to engaging in the La Drups of Mila, Pakshi, etc. and it's often the case that Phagmo is restricted to three year retreat. It's sometimes taught, in various forms, outside of retreat, or in quasi-retreat situations. I have been taught based on the short daily "Gyunkhyer" which is at the end of Kamtsang Ngondro, after receiving the empowerment, and was able to practice based on that text....but it wasn't until I committed to do the full practice, in and out of strict retreats over a long period, and after quite a bit of other practice, that the full Tri was given. It's quite huge, frankly, and not something undertaken lightly.

But some teachers will give, for instance, Pakshi instructions, and people can do that as part of their daily recitation.....it depends very much on one's teacher, and one's relationship with the teacher.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby conebeckham » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:05 am

Re-reading your question, a couple other points: in my experience the Lung is always explicitly identified, though some practices can be done after merely joining a Lama who is doing them-for example, I was taught that one could do Riwo Sangcho after performing it with one's teacher once...but that's a bit different than a lung.

It's also not strictly necessary, in our lineage, to have the Lung prior to practicing; but one must have the guru's authorization. That's the key thing. But we should strive to get the lungs, and it never hurts to ask.

Also, technically, Milarepa practice isn't really "Guru-as-Yidam."
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Karma Jinpa » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:32 am

Yeah, asking for all the necessary components of any practice one intends to do from one's guru goes without saying. That's the ideal, without a doubt. I'm really asking as a matter of practicality since some of us have teachers who aren't always accessible because of:

1) distance---many of us, especially in the "West," have lamas who aren't local, whether they be in another state in the U.S., or in another country (e.g. India, Nepal, Tibet); though I've heard that often Tibetans had lamas in other provinces of Tibet, and a traditional view was that this may be a blessing in disguise so that we don't come to see the guru as ordinary.

2) old age & health---some (especially the ones who were in their teens, twenties, and older before exile) are getting old and passing into parinirvana, as we saw this past week most keenly; others are unable to travel so much due to illness or concern that they may be susceptible or put themselves in jeopardy with stress of travel; in cases like Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, it's both.

3) lack of tech saavy---many, but not all, of the vanishing vanguard of older lamas don't really know how to use the electronic devices or the internet that has made communication so much easier for most of us, or simply choose not to...

4) lack of precedence---many lamas are leery of the use of new technology being integrated into the traditional teacher-student relationship and how it functions; opinions on whether wang & lung can be given online run the gammut from "there is no precedent for this in our tradition, so seek out a lama in person who can give these" (Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche), to "wang can't be given except in person, but lung is ok" (Dalai Lama), to "both are ok given the right intention and the motivation of bodhicitta" (ChNNR & H.E. Garchen Rinpoche), and all points in between.


To their credit, many lamas have no issues with any of these things and are quite readily available. Lama Karma Drodhul (KKR's nephew) and Drupon Thinley Ningpo come to mind for me off the top of my head. This seems to be more the younger generation, however...


As for the mistake regarding the Milarepa LaDrup not being a Guru-as-Yidam practice, mea culpa. It should be quite obvious by now that I haven't been at this for very long---just a few short years---whereas some of you folks have been studying, contemplating, and meditating longer than I've been alive (for this particular go on the ferris wheel of Samsara, at least)!

What is Jetsün Mila seen as in that practice, then? Based on the empowerment, I (apparently wrongly) assumed that he was taken as a form of the deity. Then again, there are empowerments for Phowa and such, so I guess I should've realized...
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby conebeckham » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:14 am

Karma Jinpa-

No worries. Sorry if my words came off strong; I was trying to be as objective as possible. In particular, Mila is a guru, it's an "In Front" visualization, with oneself as Yidam......whereas Pakshi LaDrup is quite different.

My best advice is, when a Lama is given the Wang for any practice, if you can ask, during question and answer sessions, to ask for the Lung, for yourself and everyone else. Often, the Lama will oblige the group, if he has the text. Or, set up a short interview with the Lama, if possible, and ask at that time.

With regard to Tris, though, it's a bit harder....frankly, it's a difficult situation when Lamas give Wangs without the corresponding explanations and transmission, but some practices are quite complex, and require a long time to explain. And often they are not given until prerequistes are met--so it's best not to worry too much about these things, and count yourself fortunate to have gotten blessings when you did.....as long as you have a practice to engage in, it doesn't matter so much.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby practitioner » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:00 am

In my experience in the Kagyu establishment here in the US, often the Rinpoche (Lama Norlha, Kenpo Karthar, etc) will give the actual empowerment for a deity or practice and then let lamas who have studied under them (3 yr retreat) give the lung and tri (which is incredibly important).
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:05 am

Most times they will give you the lung for the mantra and the root prayer when you get the wang. If this is the case then you just take refuge, generate bodhicitta, do the root prayer as many times as you wish, then the visualisation together with the mantra, then dedicate and go off to drink a beer and watch some tv. :tongue:

If you unsure whether you received the lung or not then just go ask a local lama for the lung (at the very least) of the mantra and prayer.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby untxi » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:11 pm

Generally, getting the wang, lung and tri for a practice is a little difficult to miss, and if one is in communication with one's root or main teacher, it's very clear what one should be practicing-- or at least emphasizing.

I guess my question is why one would want to practice something that one has no instructions for? I'm not sure what that would look like.

I'd point out that many Drikung lamas, such as Lho Ontul Rinpoche, Drupon Thinley Ningpo RInpoche, HE Garchen Rinpoche may give wangs without lung and tri, but there is a context to that. There are teachings on the practices that have been recorded and archived, and this has intentionally been done so for the benefit of students who have the empowerment. It's also implicitly understood that one would engage in the practices in the context of a student-teacher relationship, and that as one progresses in those practices, one would receive individual instructions and guidance. The questions you ask about white Tara practice the day you get the wang are different than the ones you might ask after doing 1M mantras.

That's certainly not the case with every an all lama in every and all tradition.

I think should also be understood that one can practice in different contexts. I received Dorje Phagmo from HE Garchen Rinpoche by webcast. I am comfortable doing some mantra, but I'm not comfortable engaging in the sadhana without further instructions.

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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Karma Jinpa » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:52 pm

All good points. This is something I've wondered about for myself at various points on the path, but is not really a primary concern for myself per se. My guru made it pretty clear that I should be focused on doing ngondro, so all the deity sadhanas and such will have to wait. This isn't a bad thing, because ngondro is profound and a complete path, rather than a hurdle or something to rush thru to get to the juicier parts. Realizing that is a big step for me, personally.

I don't know if it has happened to anyone else, or if it's just my failing as a practitioner with lots of ego to cut thru, but for a while there I was guided more by my deluded intuition and jumping from sadhana to sadhana, or mixing the opening prayers, sadhanas, and closing prayers of the various lineages I'm connected to by my various lamas. I realize now how potentially disastrous that was, and just how much I need a guru's guidance. Why reinvent the wheel and risk not realizing the enlightened state when you can follow a defined path that's worked for centuries or millennia?

This dawned on me when I read the interviews in the first few pages of Judith Hanson's translation of The Torch of Certainty:

What role does the guru play in guiding an individual through practice of the Four Foundations before, during, and after completion of the practices? What is the nature of the guru-disciple relationship?

TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: (...) Commitment to your guru and his teachings is very necessary; it gives you some guidelines for your life. Without that commitment you might begin to make up your own version of the Dharma, your own edition of the teachings, and sooner or later what you will get back is just your own ego version of the teachings. So the idea of commitment here is total surrendering, complete surrendering. You don't edit your own version of the Dharma anymore.


Thankfully I have found a guru whose instructions my egoic mind is willing to totally submit to, and the path has been made clear. That said, perhaps this thread may provide some help or guidance, bringing benefit to others. This was the intent.
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby SuryaMitra » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:43 pm

I find it very rear, to receive Wang, Lung and Tri at once, from the same lama... Actually it happened to me only few times, recently In Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France, where Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche gave Wang, Lung and Tri of four armed Chenrezig, according to Royal Tradition of Sontsen Gampo :smile:
Usually though, you have Wang from one lama, then If you are lucky, Lung from another, and if you have really good karma/ luck , then you can get Tri as well :tongue:
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby supermaxv » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:41 pm

Karma Jinpa wrote:This dawned on me when I read the interviews in the first few pages of Judith Hanson's translation of The Torch of Certainty:

What role does the guru play in guiding an individual through practice of the Four Foundations before, during, and after completion of the practices? What is the nature of the guru-disciple relationship?

TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: (...) Commitment to your guru and his teachings is very necessary; it gives you some guidelines for your life. Without that commitment you might begin to make up your own version of the Dharma, your own edition of the teachings, and sooner or later what you will get back is just your own ego version of the teachings. So the idea of commitment here is total surrendering, complete surrendering. You don't edit your own version of the Dharma anymore.


Thankfully I have found a guru whose instructions my egoic mind is willing to totally submit to, and the path has been made clear. That said, perhaps this thread may provide some help or guidance, bringing benefit to others. This was the intent.


Good points. I do find that far too many people on the internet are trying to "edit their own version of the Dharma" when it comes to vajrayana, but I deeply sympathize with those who wish to follow the path but don't have access to a guru and teachings.

I let my egoic mind get out of control earlier this year after receiving a deity initiation from a high Sakya lama (just the wang) that didn't have an associated practice text to go along with it (besides the short daily prayer sheet that was handed out), and I was intensely googling and bugging the lamas and monastery about if there was a more complete sadhana available for study / practice to no avail. It didn't make sense to me, why would there be an empowerment (and it wasn't an obscure one) without a practice sadhana?!? A few weeks ago I randomly found a copy at the monastery store and eagerly snatched it up before I realized that it was (a) really long, (b) really complex, (c) not a daily practice , and (d) a returned copy with some confused notes scribbled in the margins from someone who was probably in my exact state of mind a few weeks earlier.

:oops:

I took a deep breath and realized I still have a lot of ego to cut through. Since then my motivation and daily practice has intensified almost exponentially.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby cataractmoon » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:21 pm

"Devotion is the seat of meditation."

One can attain Mahamudra through Vajrasattva Practice in your Ngondro or any Yidam, including empowerments you may already hold, such as Chenrezig. This has been my experience.

Practice on!
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Malcolm » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:37 pm

supermaxv wrote:
Karma Jinpa wrote:This dawned on me when I read the interviews in the first few pages of Judith Hanson's translation of The Torch of Certainty:

What role does the guru play in guiding an individual through practice of the Four Foundations before, during, and after completion of the practices? What is the nature of the guru-disciple relationship?

TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: (...) Commitment to your guru and his teachings is very necessary; it gives you some guidelines for your life. Without that commitment you might begin to make up your own version of the Dharma, your own edition of the teachings, and sooner or later what you will get back is just your own ego version of the teachings. So the idea of commitment here is total surrendering, complete surrendering. You don't edit your own version of the Dharma anymore.


Thankfully I have found a guru whose instructions my egoic mind is willing to totally submit to, and the path has been made clear. That said, perhaps this thread may provide some help or guidance, bringing benefit to others. This was the intent.


Good points. I do find that far too many people on the internet are trying to "edit their own version of the Dharma" when it comes to vajrayana, but I deeply sympathize with those who wish to follow the path but don't have access to a guru and teachings.

I let my egoic mind get out of control earlier this year after receiving a deity initiation from a high Sakya lama (just the wang) that didn't have an associated practice text to go along with it (besides the short daily prayer sheet that was handed out), and I was intensely googling and bugging the lamas and monastery about if there was a more complete sadhana available for study / practice to no avail. It didn't make sense to me, why would there be an empowerment (and it wasn't an obscure one) without a practice sadhana?!? A few weeks ago I randomly found a copy at the monastery store and eagerly snatched it up before I realized that it was (a) really long, (b) really complex, (c) not a daily practice , and (d) a returned copy with some confused notes scribbled in the margins from someone who was probably in my exact state of mind a few weeks earlier.

:oops:

I took a deep breath and realized I still have a lot of ego to cut through. Since then my motivation and daily practice has intensified almost exponentially.


IN Sakya, the lung for the practice is generally considered to be included with the empowerment.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby supermaxv » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:58 am

Malcolm wrote:
IN Sakya, the lung for the practice is generally considered to be included with the empowerment.


Well, yes, I've been told that, but the lamas at Sakya Monastery seem to consider the specific transmission of the lung of the practice text after the empowerment important enough to make an effort to give it at the corresponding teaching or by request by a student if they want to pursue it as a practice at home.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Lindama » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:33 am

Can someone help me out here...

This happened before I knew anything about Buddhism.... I wanted to go to a retreat with Namkai Norbu Rinpoche in 1999, I knew nothing except that I wanted to be there. I came on the third day just in time for guru yoga teaching and initiation, I knew it was my practice. Rinpoche gave empowerments for almost everything it seemed, way beyond what I knew. I saw his generosity ... he said if you ever practice, you will have the empowerment. I didn't know much but understood what he said. Just walking in the fields at Lake Tahoe, I felt and saw so much in the field of awareness and prajna. I can't remember anymore, but know it's not left me. The community and practice was unknown to me and I gravitated to a zen practice in my neighborhood. It served me very well for a while. In the middle of all that, I've been taught wang, lung, tri (teaching, practice and empowerment) for a few practices by a lama who never returned. So, perhaps my question is ... how does the empowerment serve. i know not in a traditional sense because all three are said to be needed, but how?
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby Lindama » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:48 am

and more... about two years ago, I volunteered to cook for the Red Tara empowerment for Sakya Trizin in CA, 300 people came from around the world including high lamas. I had no idea... but there I was after years in zen. Again, what to make of the empowerment which I received.... it was high church that I had never seen before. lovely, deeply felt! There was a bond.
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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby heart » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:08 pm

It is pretty simple Lindama. If you want to do one of the practices you got empowerment for you should get in contact with these masters organizations or the organization where the empowerment was given in order to learn how to actually do the practice.

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Re: Wang, Lung & Tri: the Trifecta

Postby kirtu » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:01 pm

supermaxv wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
IN Sakya, the lung for the practice is generally considered to be included with the empowerment.


Well, yes, I've been told that, but the lamas at Sakya Monastery seem to consider the specific transmission of the lung of the practice text after the empowerment important enough to make an effort to give it at the corresponding teaching or by request by a student if they want to pursue it as a practice at home.


That's pretty unusual. Almost all the time HHST, Ratna Vajra, Gyana Vajra, HE Luding Chime, etc. don't explicitly give lung. It's possible that HE Luding Khen Rinpoche gave a lung during a specific empowerment series as part of the instructions.

HH Dagchen Rinpoche also did not give lung during a combined Padmasabhava/Shitro empowerment in Vancouver but this is the only empowerment I received with him.

In general, in Sakya, a high lama gives the empowerment and then, if the empowerment is HYT, gives instructions for the sadhana. For Outer Tantra usually only very brief instructions are given if at all.

At least for laypeople in Sakya, you get the empowerment, maybe some instructions (definitely if HYT) and run with it.

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