Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

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conebeckham
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby conebeckham » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:37 pm

A couple things:

Dungse Tinley Norbu Rinpoche is a provocative teacher. I find his statements, as quoted, thought-provoking, for sure...but I don't take offense. His statements are valid, as generalizations, in my opinion.

I agree that throwing the "race card" issue into this discussion can be inflammatory, but I think reasoned minds must admit that there is an element of this at play, at least in some situations, and with some people. I also think there's a "Cultural Imperialism" at play.....specifically here in the USA, where "rugged individualism" and self-reliance are seen as defining national traits. Like any generalization, there are many sides to consider....but the main thing is not to jump immediately into a reactionary defense.

It would be interesting to see what DPR says about those statements of Dungse Tinley Norbu Rinpoche, wouldn't it?

Again, few of us have read the book under discussion but we've created our own discussion, based on our preconceived (and sometimes reactionary) idea of what DPR's saying. This is okay, even though I myself find it somewhat comical. But the issues we're discussing have been "out there" for some time....in fact, there's a thread about "Western Buddhism" and I've seen that same notion crop up on every board I've ever participated in.

I practice sadhana, and I chant in Tibetan, having studied the language enough to understand the gist of what I'm saying, though this is an ongoing process for me. I am traditional in my practice, following the practices and methods that have been passed down to me by my teachers. I take the time to learn the melodies, the liturgical order, the mudras, the musical techniques, the tormas....everything. These constitute the container. The Dharma itself is there, and, in a sense, it is inseparable from the container.

In other words, the communication and practice of the path MUST take some sort of cultural form. Even what some may call "Stripped down" Dharma still conforms to a certain kind of cultural milieu.

I grant that some students are attracted by the exoticism of the container itself. This is a gross sort of materialism. Magnus ( I think it was?) talked also about a more subtle kind of Spiritual Materialism, which Trungpa was dealing with as well...

We'd do well to understand that young Tibetan monks learn their liturgies by heart, and often don't understand what it is they've learned, until it is explained to them later on, prior to retreat. The Bhutanese, in fact, use Tibetan--a language similar to theirs, but again, there is, let's just say, "incomplete comprehension" about what they're chanting, until it is specifically taught.

I understand, and sympathize, with those who see the so-called "cultural trappings" as a sideline, or a distraction, from the point--and the Lamas do too--as my Teacher said recently during a Druppa we were engaged in, "no one is getting enlightened by banging the cymbals and drums, you know"--

But I have little patience for those who wish to create their own, "American" or "Western" Dharma Traditions without thoroughly learning the traditions that already exist. Genuine Western Dharma Traditions will evolve, over time, and will develop....it's my feeling they can't be "forced" or "created" by individuals, unless those individuals are thoroughly grounded in an existent tradition in the first place. And even then, it's a tough row to hoe.....look at Trungpa's comments about scrapping his whole institution and framework near the end of his life. Fortunately, I think that framework has grown, and morphed, a bit, and continues to evolve. Contrast this with Flaming Jewel or some of the obviously-contrived stuff that's out there.....or even with well-meaning, and traditionally-inspired, developments like Yogi Chen's.

So....it will be interesting to read DPR's book....in the meantime, I'll continue to sit on my cushion, gaze at my thangkas, burn my incense, recite in Tibetan, and count my mantras on my mala.....the practice itself, after all, is more important than all the conceptualizing about how it should be, at least for an ignoramus such as myself with no results to show.


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Chaz
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Chaz » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:38 pm


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Chaz » Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:44 pm

One thing I think we oftentimes loose sight of, is that with many of these "foreign" teachers (not just the Tibetans), they teach the Dharma and practice the way they were taught. There's nothing "wrong" in what they teach and how they teach it its just how they roll (in the common vernacular). Some try to go beyond all that into what they think might be more culturally relevant with varying levels of success. They don't always get it right, but at least their trying.

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:20 pm

"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:29 pm

"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:22 am

Last edited by Tilopa on Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:32 am


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:02 am


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:39 am

"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Pero » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:15 am

Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:23 am


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:41 am

"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Jnana » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:13 pm


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby heart » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:29 pm

"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

Tilopa
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:47 pm


Tilopa
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:51 pm


Pero
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Pero » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:53 pm

Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Tilopa
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby Tilopa » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:57 pm


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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:22 pm

Minor point perhaps...

Cultures are adaptations to circumstance. They are collectively the actual result of attempts by societies to adapt to circumstances of life in the most effective means. That is they are attempting to bring happiness to peoples. But as circumstances vary so do cultures.

As such cultures may differ but neither may be better nor worse. If we take one culture and impose it upon another peoples whose culture has evolved by differing circumstance, we could say that culture is inferior to this other. But we cannot do so. The evolving of a culture is always the product of the circumstance of interaction with the circumstance of other cultures.

One stand alone culture never exists. The moment we introduce a aspect of another culture to another the circumstance of the first and second have changed. So both are not what they were and never can be. They have both changed though perhaps minutely.

So cultures can not be in such terms as better or worse described. They are mechanisms of adaptation not solid objects.

A note on tantra....I am certainly no scholor, but tantra and any other things in Tibetan Buddhism though not specifically delinated in every aspect by the Teacher Buddha are certainly considered to be evolved from the initial teachings. It is not a case of another enlightened teacher just being produced and then teaching some other things. These things of tantra are considered to be present in some form in the initial teaching and elaborated by others who may be enlightened.

As a example..... Bon though holding very many exactly similiar tantric methods and means is not consdiered by many Tibetans to be a form of Buddhism. As Bon derives in its inception not from the teacher Buddha but from another enlightened master. So it is not considered by many to be called rightfully Budfdhism, as Buddhism refers in this day and time to not any Buddha but to the teacher Buddha who was born 2500 years ago. This does not in this consideration disallow other enlightened masters and their views but to be Buddhism it must evolve essentially from the teacher Buddha. The elements of tantra may be found in his words and intetion.

Tibetan Buddhist schools derive lineage wise from the teaher Buddha not another, though many others are present refered to and hold influence.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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conebeckham
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Re: Rebel Buddha: On The Road To Freedom

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:51 am

A copy of this book has been given to me, so I will read it and report back...perhaps we can actually discuss the book, then, eh? :smile:


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")


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