Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

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Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:43 pm

In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:20 pm

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby ngodrup » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:02 am

Beautifully put. Lama Tsogkhapa's thinking is very different.
Not right or wrong. Worth exploring, debating, contemplating,
but not accepting *only* on face value.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby tomamundsen » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:57 am

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:10 am

tomamundsen wrote:Is there a specific section that pertains to this discussion?

It's just to show more of DJKR's appreciation of Tsongkhapa. I haven't actually read it yet. :smile:
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Simon E. » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:02 am

Also Tibetans and westerners differ in their response to dissonance.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby mandala » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:36 pm

Thanks JKhedrup, and Dzogchungpa for the interesting read - I love his sense of humour.

Here's a bit that stood out to me, regarding renunciation and depression:

This is important one. EVEN THOUGH you have renunciation mind,if your renunciation mind is not accompanied by bodhicitta - your renunciation, not only is not a path to the enlightenment, it will only become a cause of depression!
I had a long conversation with my, one of my teachers, Nyoshul Khenpo, NyoshulKhen Rinpoche, one of the great Dzogchen masters. The conversation was actually quite interesting. But it can be, you know like it can almost like really mmm, veryeasy to be misunderstood.

Once we were having tea and ...... we were talking about because I was reading a Japanese novel..... Anyway like him so our conversation you know led to many Japanese authors like, there‟s another one called Yasunari Kawabata. Anyway they all committed suicide; right, you all know that.
So Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche was saying, kind of like shocking he said - he said the mind-state of those who wish to commit suicide is very admirable. That was the thing he said. It was kind of like shocking for me to hear.

He said something very profound, I think. He said if you really think deep, every one of us would like to commit suicide. Because life is just SO SHALLOW AND MEANINGLESS; it‟s just, just completely what do you call it? Pointless and empty. But most of us we don‟t even think of committing suicide because we‟re completely blissed out by the fact that tomorrow, you know, it will be fixed.

People who are completely depressed and really wishing to, you know end their lives they have thought and thought and thought; and they have reached to this level where they are completely desperate. So that much fault of the samsara, so tospeak, they know. But what went wrong with them, this is Nyoshul Khen Rinpochesaying, is because they have no way out. So they‟re completely dead-end. And we,this is how he ended the conversation, we, the follower of Shakyamuni, we are blessed by a way out - so there is no reason to commit suicide.

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Alfredo » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:21 am

That last quote is quite disturbing.

I admire DJKNR's openness to Tsongkhapa. However, it seems that Tibetan tradition discourages the notion that Tsongkhapa (or any other great figure) might have been wrong about anything--even when he disagrees with himself! I wish it were possible to say (for example) that Tsongkhapa's systemization of Indian Buddhist philosophy is too procrustean by half, but obviously very fruitful in reinvigorating Tibetan Buddhist thought.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:25 am

Alfredo wrote:That last quote is quite disturbing.

Why do you find it disturbing?
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Alfredo » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:35 am

Khen Rinpoche is quoted as saying that "the mind-state of those who wish to commit suicide is very admirable." This strikes me as psychologically unhealthy.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:38 am

Alfredo wrote:Khen Rinpoche is quoted as saying that "the mind-state of those who wish to commit suicide is very admirable." This strikes me as psychologically unhealthy.

Maybe you don't understand why he thought it was admirable.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Alfredo » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:02 am

Oh, I realize that for him it was probably an expression of spiritual devotion (disgust with samsara, etc.), but this kind of talk can be dangerous. (I mean that it is unhealthy for other people.)
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:51 am

Alfredo wrote:However, it seems that Tibetan tradition discourages the notion that Tsongkhapa (or any other great figure) might have been wrong about anything--even when he disagrees with himself!


Yes, I also often wish Tibetans were a bit more decisive. Especially since I'm German and we Germans are extremely anal about truth and logic and deciding whether theses and theories are either true! or not!.

I try to explain this to myself not only with the cultural background of Asian diplomacy, but also with some inherent features of Buddhist philosophy: Since the experience of emptiness is beyond all concepts, every attempt to philosophize about the true nature is, strictly speaking, necessarily wrong. The Buddha's first reaction after reaching enlightenment was to remain silent because he knew this realization was beyond the scope of conceptualization. Therefore every attempt to conceptualize Buddhist philosophy is in itself necessarily wrong and "only" a stumbling attempt to help sentient beings. From this point of view it seems only natural to take up a bit of a relativistic account and view Buddhist schools as different medicines who help different types of people.

But can I really convince myself of this? :thinking:
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:19 am

I actually like the "Asian diplomacy", it makes for smoother relationships in many cases (though in others it becomes a stumbling block).

I also think that post-Occupation we are beginning to see a new era in Tibetan religious discourse. An understanding that a respect for scholars outside one's own tradition leads to greater co-operation and better chances of survival for all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Thankfully the fundamentalism that sometimes expressed itself in the form of violence in the past seems to have fallen out of favour for all but a few remaining die hard groups (who seem generally to be more entrenched in Western countries than in the Tibetan diaspora).
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:44 pm

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:
I try to explain this to myself not only with the cultural background of Asian diplomacy, but also with some inherent features of Buddhist philosophy: Since the experience of emptiness is beyond all concepts, every attempt to philosophize about the true nature is, strictly speaking, necessarily wrong. The Buddha's first reaction after reaching enlightenment was to remain silent because he knew this realization was beyond the scope of conceptualization. Therefore every attempt to conceptualize Buddhist philosophy is in itself necessarily wrong and "only" a stumbling attempt to help sentient beings. From this point of view it seems only natural to take up a bit of a relativistic account and view Buddhist schools as different medicines who help different types of people.



Yes, this is very well-put. I don't think it's Khyentse is being diplomatic, I think he truly appreciates the diversity of Buddha's teachings. If you look at all the views and precepts across all the yanas in any school of Tibetan Buddhism, there is ample opportunity to find contradictions - but that is what makes Buddha Dharma so rich and sophisticated, IMO.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Alfredo » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:08 am

I'm sure that DJKNR does appreciate the diversity of Buddhist teachings. People in his Dharma Das or Dharma Gar courses can expect to be assigned readings from well outside of the Tibetan Buddhist orbit. The downside to this is that even though he has had some Western education, and is aware of critical scholarly approaches to Buddhism (I have heard him criticize them back), his version of ris med engages in more or less the same sort of special pleading as other sectarian movements, and cannot withstand scholarly criticism.
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:10 am

Alfredo wrote:I'm sure that DJKNR does appreciate the diversity of Buddhist teachings. People in his Dharma Das or Dharma Gar courses can expect to be assigned readings from well outside of the Tibetan Buddhist orbit. The downside to this is that even though he has had some Western education, and is aware of critical scholarly approaches to Buddhism (I have heard him criticize them back), his version of ris med engages in more or less the same sort of special pleading as other sectarian movements, and cannot withstand scholarly criticism.


Why don't you give us an example of this "special pleading" Alfredo? I have no idea what you are talking about.

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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby Alfredo » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:41 am

Here's the quote I was thinking of:

[...] I've been talking with a lot of--a few, a few scholars in Oxford. They're very good, really good! Very good. There are many so-called Buddhist professors, or Buddhist experts, and they strongly oppose reincarnation. They don't believe that nonduality is taught by the Buddha, and stuff like that. Very good. It's a very educational for me. [smiles, audience laughs] I would just yesterday talked about--someone I had actually only heard the name, but never really learned anything about...him. Um, Karl...Karl Popper. Karl Popper? So... Also, in Oxford I was told that they're studying Buddhism "objectively." That's very interesting. [smiles, audience laughs] So this is all disorienting for me because [stammers] I had to switch my mind back to the Buddhist mind, so to speak, in order to talk about...this.

Anyway this is very important subject. [long pause] If we don't talk about nonduality, then I don't think we can really talk about Buddhism at all. And nonduality's not so easy. Recently I was talking to...Indians, just Indian intellectuals. And I was even kind of...worried...that how much we Tibetans actually manage to conceive the idea of nonduality thoroughly, as much as these Indians seems to have done. It's not that easy, this nonduality, to really conceive this. Especially if are, you think like, I think, like Karl Popper's way. And if you really think that something can be observed and valued objectively, nonduality's difficult. [shifts on seat] About a year ago I met a professor in America--Berkeley University--and he told me something very interesting. He said actually, it's very important that the Tibetan lamas know the history of Buddhism, and especially the history of Buddhism in the West. And he said especially in America because, he said, that the emergence of Buddhism in the West may be, may have...it started, you know, it started with a very Descartes-like Buddhism. So it's a very dualistic Buddhism, so to speak. I can understand him, because even the most seasoned dharma practitioner in the West sometimes I do have doubt, how much they are really understanding. Of course we are not talking about actual realization of nonduality, but we are talking about intellectual understanding of nonduality. Because the concept is just not proveable. Because every logic, language, method of measurement, is dualistic. So dualistic method cannot measure and value something nondualistic. Always! And anything that cannot be proved, or anything that does not have a "manufacturing date," so to speak, I think in the materialistic world, modern world, it's all not really...it's a [struggle?], it's like a [struggle?], it really doesn't have much value in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqRyAny ... xvzM9778se (start from 4 minutes in)
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby heart » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:27 am

Alfredo wrote:Here's the quote I was thinking of:

[...] I've been talking with a lot of--a few, a few scholars in Oxford. They're very good, really good! Very good. There are many so-called Buddhist professors, or Buddhist experts, and they strongly oppose reincarnation. They don't believe that nonduality is taught by the Buddha, and stuff like that. Very good. It's a very educational for me. [smiles, audience laughs] I would just yesterday talked about--someone I had actually only heard the name, but never really learned anything about...him. Um, Karl...Karl Popper. Karl Popper? So... Also, in Oxford I was told that they're studying Buddhism "objectively." That's very interesting. [smiles, audience laughs] So this is all disorienting for me because [stammers] I had to switch my mind back to the Buddhist mind, so to speak, in order to talk about...this.

Anyway this is very important subject. [long pause] If we don't talk about nonduality, then I don't think we can really talk about Buddhism at all. And nonduality's not so easy. Recently I was talking to...Indians, just Indian intellectuals. And I was even kind of...worried...that how much we Tibetans actually manage to conceive the idea of nonduality thoroughly, as much as these Indians seems to have done. It's not that easy, this nonduality, to really conceive this. Especially if are, you think like, I think, like Karl Popper's way. And if you really think that something can be observed and valued objectively, nonduality's difficult. [shifts on seat] About a year ago I met a professor in America--Berkeley University--and he told me something very interesting. He said actually, it's very important that the Tibetan lamas know the history of Buddhism, and especially the history of Buddhism in the West. And he said especially in America because, he said, that the emergence of Buddhism in the West may be, may have...it started, you know, it started with a very Descartes-like Buddhism. So it's a very dualistic Buddhism, so to speak. I can understand him, because even the most seasoned dharma practitioner in the West sometimes I do have doubt, how much they are really understanding. Of course we are not talking about actual realization of nonduality, but we are talking about intellectual understanding of nonduality. Because the concept is just not proveable. Because every logic, language, method of measurement, is dualistic. So dualistic method cannot measure and value something nondualistic. Always! And anything that cannot be proved, or anything that does not have a "manufacturing date," so to speak, I think in the materialistic world, modern world, it's all not really...it's a [struggle?], it's like a [struggle?], it really doesn't have much value in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqRyAny ... xvzM9778se (start from 4 minutes in)



I must be stupid, I don't get what you mean. What he says make perfect sense to me.

/magnus
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Re: Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche brief comment on Je Tsongkhapa

Postby smcj » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:23 pm

I think Alfredo is using the quote to try to say that R. is anti-intellectual/anti academic:
Alfredo wrote:...even though he has had some Western education, and is aware of critical scholarly approaches to Buddhism (I have heard him criticize them back), his version of ris med engages in more or less the same sort of special pleading as other sectarian movements, and cannot withstand scholarly criticism.
(formatting mine)
Supported by R. saying that the non-dual cannot be intellectualized:
...even the most seasoned dharma practitioner in the West sometimes I do have doubt, how much they are really understanding. Of course we are not talking about actual realization of nonduality, but we are talking about intellectual understanding of nonduality. Because the concept is just not proveable. Because every logic, language, method of measurement, is dualistic. So dualistic method cannot measure and value something nondualistic. Always! And anything that cannot be proved, or anything that does not have a "manufacturing date," so to speak, I think in the materialistic world, modern world, it's all not really...it's a [struggle?], it's like a [struggle?], it really doesn't have much value in it
(formatting mine)
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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