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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:17 am 
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Your main concern should be whether the group you choose is going to deliver authentic dharma teachings to you as their main and indeed only priority. I don't know very much about either of these two organizations but it's plain that a good deal of their energies go into maintaining their distinct identities. They are brands in the modern sense (unlike Drikung vs Drukpa Kagyu, for instance, or Sakya vs Nyingma) and at least some of your interaction with them will involve identity politics of some kind - as is proved by the fact that you've (sensibly) asked this question before joining either group.

This is my personal opinion so it's worth nothing at all, but I believe that one interaction with a great teacher will set you up better than decades of attendance at a run of the mill centre.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Jinzang wrote:
Both Trungpa Rinpoche
and Ole Nydahl thought that Tibetan Buddhism needs to be adapted to be
accessible in the West. Both changed it in their own ways, Other Kagyu
teachers have been more conservative. There's a nasty argument in the
Karma Kagyu over who is the real Karmapa. Ole Nydahl sided with one
claimant and Trungpa Rinpoche's organization eventually sided with the
other, though it stayed neutral in the controversy for a good
bit.

I wouldn't like to think that i would have to side with one group or another due to political pressure

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:25 pm 
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martin123 wrote:
Jinzang wrote:
Both Trungpa Rinpoche
and Ole Nydahl thought that Tibetan Buddhism needs to be adapted to be
accessible in the West. Both changed it in their own ways, Other Kagyu
teachers have been more conservative. There's a nasty argument in the
Karma Kagyu over who is the real Karmapa. Ole Nydahl sided with one
claimant and Trungpa Rinpoche's organization eventually sided with the
other, though it stayed neutral in the controversy for a good
bit.

I wouldn't like to think that i would have to side with one group or another due to political pressure


Martin, if you are a beginner in the Dharma I wold suggest going to every Dharma center near you and seeing how much you enjoy going there, and take classes in basic Dharma. There is no commitment there. I did so at Shambhala Centers, and it was very valuable. Start practicing regularly. In so doing, you will develop your qualities as a student, and become a good vessel to receive more and more profound teachings. But,eventually, in order to be a Vajrayana student, you will need a serious commitment to an excellent lama that is not only highly qualified, but with whom you feel a personal connection. Faith and devotion are big words, but--at minimum--you will need to trust your lama a lot and feel a connection to him or her. It is best to see him or her at least once a year in person. In addition to that it is important to have access to people who can answer the raft of questions you will have constantly at first about details--such as a senior student or lama affiliated with your guru, either by phone or email or in person, during the interval between visits with your guru (assuming he or she travels extensively.) Famous lamas are not necessarily better than lesser known lamas.

The main lama for the Shambhala center is the Sakyong, who is a qualified guru. Trungpa Rinpoche has been gone along time. The Sakyong is who you would eventually want to meet and evaluate, it doesn't really matter that Trungpa Rinpoche thought about some other lama long ago. I'm not sure about Nyedahl's center, but I think the Karmapa he is affiliated with is the guru there... you would want to meet and evaluate him and Mr. Nyedahl, not the 16th Karmapa or some other long-gone guru. But, don't stop there, over time meet a lot of lamas and pray that you meet your guru or gurus and it will be obvious when you do.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:37 am 
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Jinzang wrote:
Both Trungpa Rinpoche and Ole Nydahl thought that Tibetan Buddhism needs to be adapted to be accessible in the West. Both changed it in their own ways, Other Kagyu teachers have been more conservative. There's a nasty argument in the Karma Kagyu over who is the real Karmapa. Ole Nydahl sided with one claimant and Trungpa Rinpoche's organization eventually sided with the other, though it stayed neutral in the controversy for a good bit.

I think this needs to be seen in perspective.
The candidate that CTR's organisation sided with was born in 1985. Just one year before CTR died.
So HE did not express a view.
I never heard CTR mention Lama Ole. I am not saying he didn't or that the friction was not there..but it did not inform much of the day to day business of CTR and his students.
Things are always more complex, and in other ways more simple , than our discussions online reduce them to.
For example without wanting to be in breach of the TOS I can say that I was a long time student of CTR and/but, my gut tells me that its the other guy.
:namaste:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:50 pm 
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conebeckham wrote:
Though my own bias, to be clear, is for more "orthodox" centers......
Ditto!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:37 pm 
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cone referred to his 'bias'.
Your exclamation mark indicates something far less ambigious.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Isn't it amazing how much somebody can read into a simple exclamation mark? :smile:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Under certain circumstances...yes it is.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:40 pm 
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you are a good guy Simon !


What did you read into my exclamation mark ? :soapbox:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:39 pm 
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That you are very perceptive.. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:03 pm 
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Yudron wrote:
The main lama for the Shambhala center is the Sakyong, who is a qualified guru. Trungpa Rinpoche has been gone along time. The Sakyong is who you would eventually want to meet and evaluate, it doesn't really matter that Trungpa Rinpoche thought about some other lama long ago. I'm not sure about Nyedahl's center, but I think the Karmapa he is affiliated with is the guru there... you would want to meet and evaluate him and Mr. Nyedahl, not the 16th Karmapa or some other long-gone guru. But, don't stop there, over time meet a lot of lamas and pray that you meet your guru or gurus and it will be obvious when you do.
I think there is a problem especially with big groups that you often only meet the main guru when they come to give an empowerment. This makes investigating a lama before making a samaya committment to them rather difficult.

Regarding samaya, I think it is not a good idea to take empowerments from lamas that are not connected in some way with one's main lama. This is even more the case when the lamas in question are in conflict in some way.

Investigating a lama and finding out who their conflicts and connections are with is a good idea before taking any kind of empowerment. It could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:59 am 
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michaelb wrote:
I think there is a problem especially with big groups that you often only meet the main guru when they come to give an empowerment. This makes investigating a lama before making a samaya committment to them rather difficult.

Regarding samaya, I think it is not a good idea to take empowerments from lamas that are not connected in some way with one's main lama. This is even more the case when the lamas in question are in conflict in some way.

Investigating a lama and finding out who their conflicts and connections are with is a good idea before taking any kind of empowerment. It could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Well that would rule out every single Karma Kagyu lama since they are all, by mere fact of being part of the Karma Kagyu lineage, involved in a conflict. It would also rule out every single Gelugpa lama too. I think you would need to investigate how personally involved/invested they are in some sort of conflict. But even this is not a sign that they are unqualified to give empowerments. There are many lama that are personally involved in the aforementioned conflicts that are superb Vajra Masters. This is samsara after all, and sentient beings are deluded. So I guess it would be more important to investigate their qualifications and whether they maintain their samaya or not.

Let me give a more concrete example: The vast majority of my teachers had Lama Gendun Rinpoche as their guru. When the whole Karmapa issue kicked off he advised his students that, according to his knowledge, Karmapa Thaye Dore was the correct candidate. So the great majority of Gendun Rinpoches students followed the advice their guru gave them. If one was to assess them according to worldly political criteria... If one was to assess them on the basis of guru devotion...

Does this make them fit or unfit for receiving lung, tri and wang from? :thinking:

Not so simple really, is it?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:44 am 
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Nydahl has at some point fallen out with almost ever Karma Kagyu Lama, including Shamar Rinpoche, so taking Trungpa's reputation for "unconventional" beahviour it wouldn't be an implausible hypothesis.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:03 am 
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Sherab Dorje wrote:
Well that would rule out every single Karma Kagyu lama since they are all, by mere fact of being part of the Karma Kagyu lineage, involved in a conflict.

Sorry Greg. I meant that one probably shouldn't take empowerments from lamas in conflict with one's main lama, or have samaya with lamas in conflict with each other. For example taking empowerments from HH Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche would not be a problem and they have connections and are not in conflict, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea to then take empowerments from Sharmar Rinpoche, for example.
Regarding the Gelug issue, HH Dalai Lama said that anyone can do whatever they like, but if they practice things he has said are harmful they also should not take teachings and empowerments from him as it would harm their samaya and shorten his life. When taking an empowerment we say to the lama that whatever they say, we will do. If you say that to two lamaswho are saying quite different things there is a problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:27 am 
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michaelb wrote:
Sorry Greg. I meant that one probably shouldn't take empowerments from lamas in conflict with one's main lama, or have samaya with lamas in conflict with each other. For example taking empowerments from HH Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche would not be a problem and they have connections and are not in conflict, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea to then take empowerments from Sharmar Rinpoche, for example.
Why (and here I am not wanting to enter into a discussion of who is the "right" Karmapa or not, but just to understand the reasoning behind your statement)?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:59 am 
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My wife's Root Guru is Thrangu Rinpoche . Her teacher is the Sakya/Kagyu Lama Jampa ( who also sees Thrangu Rinpoche as one of his main teachers ) . They fall each side of the apparent divide.
She has received almost identical advice from both. ' Do your practice, do not dwell in aversion to anyone. Trust the lineage '.
Despite blandishments from the students of both to take sides she has decided to honour all.
I suspect that she may have taken the path quietly chosen by many.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:04 pm 
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i would say that following contradictory advice leads to problems. Also, it can harm one's relationship with one person to be close to someone who is working to undermine them.
But given what Simon said, I've changed my mind. I think honouring all is the best way. However, if your lama tells you not to take teachings from another particular lama, if you value your relationship to them, it is best to do wha as they say.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:36 am 
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Sherab Dorje wrote:
If one was to assess them according to worldly political criteria... If one was to assess them on the basis of guru devotion...

Does this make them fit or unfit for receiving lung, tri and wang from? :thinking:

Not so simple really, is it?

Ole Nydahl I don't know.

If certain empowerments must not be given when one got already other certain empowerments which can give conflicts for the practicioner, I am sure a Vajra Master will protect the student and explain to be careful. If the Master is percieved as a teacher, part of our samsara, we get teachings from a sentient being. By our deep trust in the teachings, this changes. (Don't rely on the personality...; the 4 reliances)
Indeed how one assess is by own mind. For me, a Guru doesn't judge rather is protecting.
This means not by a mundain unbrella in the rain.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:03 am 
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Hi martin,
you can give tries in both. It's not the matter of comparing, wherever you feel good for yourself, that is best. I could not enjoy DW here in Australia as sensed feeling of a cult. I have no idea about Shambala.


martin123 wrote:
ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
illusionsgame wrote:
Stop
thinking so much and go sit. It is irreverent to your practice. Think
of suffering. Go sit.


How can you say so? Who are you, to speak to Martin like that? His
teacher? Certainly not. You don't know anything about the background of
this question, do you? Maybe Martin is looking for a teacher, and maybe
he is ckecking out if DW or Shambhala is the right place for him. Even
if he's only asking out of curiosity, you still don't have the right to
forbid him to do so.

You are supposed to check a teacher for up to twelve years, and one
method of checking a potential teacher is to ask others what they know
about him. There is nothing wrong about this question.

I'm sorry, if this post sounds pretty aggressive, but hell, dude (or
dudette), you are trying to forbid somebody to ask a question.
What are you thinking?

Hi RAR,thats exactly my reason for asking,im considering which group to visit, DW or Shambala,so im curious about there founders and their relationship to each other

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:04 pm 
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martin123 wrote:
My sources could be inaccurrate,im just concerned about studying with a group that has a vendetta against another.



I have seen an interview on video where Mr. Nydahl uttered some very unbodhicitta stuff in a very emotional way about people he claimed he never ever wanted to see again. He said it in a way that he really meant it. Which is clearly breaking the bodhisattva vow.

That might be understandable from a human POV and of course an acceptable decision if he was some worldly friend, but would be enough for me personally to avoid him as a dharma teacher.


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