Discussing About One's Guru Openly

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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby heart » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:09 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
heart wrote:The mistake is to talk in a forum about the private instructions you receive from your teacher, not mentioning your teachers name.

If someone wants to mention their teachers name(s), that is fine. If someone doesn't, that is fine too. I think it is prudent on an internet forum to keep things as objective as possible, which includes not disclosing too many autobiographical details.

All the best,

Geoff


Not sure what objectivity got to do with mentioning your Guru's name? I haven't tried to force Luke or you to disclose your teachers names, or have I? You do as you please.

/magnus
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Ogyen » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:31 pm

Luke, I am thrilled for you. One day a teacher will give me the lung and practice. *sigh* It's a matter of merit and readiness. When the time is ripe, the right teachers appear.

PS. Remember this one thing, and I think you will be fine. Superstition is the enemy because it is the castle ignorance builds. There is nothing wrong with revealing your teacher I don't think unless: specifically instructed by your teacher NOT to (never heard of this one), OR if you are someone who could reflect poorly on your teacher (who honestly thinks THEY are the ones who reflect badly, lol).

The teacher's understanding should be well beyond superstition and as dear Magnus says, it's seeing ordinary for what it is.

The only reason we hesitate to reveal anything is because we think, what if this truth hurts me and comes back to bite me later. When you are transparent, accountability isn't a frightening thing, because you see, it's what gives you connection to other people too... you are most centered when you are not the center, if that makes sense.

To share with you, I have struggled finding a teacher now for near 2 years. I have WONDERFUL practioners around me. A Rinpoche contacted me personally to tell me I'm valued and needed. Imagine my shock as I was ready to give up in this search for a teacher. But the Rinpoche would not have contacted me had I not been open about who I am and what I seek. I did not tell him what I seek, I simply was transparent, and that warmth radiated and he gave warmth back. That is the lesson I took from it, nothing more.

Warmth and kindness are the heart of being human.

I know I'm making a mess at explaining this, but basically I'm saying, the moment you feel a slight fear in the gut, just remember, superstition is the enemy. The truth is desperately needed. Never fear, you did nothing wrong. And if you did, congratulations, you just learned something very valuable. You are the only one who can know how your decision was made, with fear or tranquility.

I'm very excited for you, and I feel a little bit on this journey with you just reading about it.

:heart:
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Silent Bob » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:18 pm

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's organization has a 160+ page ngondro manual that was transcribed from his teaching several years ago and is available as a download. Click "publication request" and explain in the comments box that you have your lama's permission to do the ngondro.

http://www.siddharthasintent.org/teachi ... anual.html

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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Jnana » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:12 pm

Ogyen wrote:The only reason we hesitate to reveal anything is because we think, what if this truth hurts me and comes back to bite me later. When you are transparent, accountability isn't a frightening thing, because you see, it's what gives you connection to other people too.

Vajrayāna is not a public Dharma. Prudence concerning publicly discussing one's vajrayāna practice on an internet forum -- in terms of abhiṣekas, vajrayāna gurus, yidam practices, and protectors -- has nothing to do with superstition, fear, or transparency. It's the privacy build into the system. And yes, this can be extended to include the beginnings of preliminary practices even if one hasn't yet received abhiṣeka. Even moreso in Nyingma and Kagyu lineages where direct introduction can be given outside a formal abhiṣeka ceremony.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Chaz » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:01 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Luke wrote:At this point, I am not comfortable revealing that on this forum.

There's nothing wrong with that. It's actually quite prudent. I remember one time on another forum, a member posted something his teacher had said to him in a private interview, only to have it criticized and picked apart by other members.



I'm with you on this. Considering the very real possibility that the teacher may be subjected to serious disrespect by other members, I tend to refrain mentioning my guru even in the most general of ways. When I do, I usually take care to share stuff that I expect to be 100% non-controversial. The recent treatment of Reggie Ray in a separate thread is what I'm talking about and that sort of thing happens a lot on other forums as well as this one. I can't stand by and allow my guru to be publicly pilloried in such a fashion and I wouldn't be inclined to be very polite bout it. If you disrespect my guru, I become your worst effing nightmare. That might not be the most enlightened conduct on my part, but it is what it is.

Knowing that, I prefer to not talk about him at all.

I think many things our teachers pass on to us should be shared with others, but in the kind of atmosphere you find on Buddhist boards makes such revelations are ill-advised.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:31 am

Yeshe D. wrote:Vajrayāna is not a public Dharma. Prudence concerning publicly discussing one's vajrayāna practice on an internet forum -- in terms of abhiṣekas, vajrayāna gurus, yidam practices, and protectors -- has nothing to do with superstition, fear, or transparency. It's the privacy build into the system. And yes, this can be extended to include the beginnings of preliminary practices even if one hasn't yet received abhiṣeka. Even moreso in Nyingma and Kagyu lineages where direct introduction can be given outside a formal abhiṣeka ceremony.


I have never heard that one should keep one's teacher secret from any of my teachers. The only time I've seen a mention of the secrecy about the Guru was in Zurchungpa's Testament and this is what it says:

Apart from in exceptional circumstances,
To be deliberately secretive about your teacher while extolling
your own virtues leads to a breach of samaya.
- Zurchungpa
(italics are Shechen Gyaltsab Rinpoche's commentary)

There might, on occasion, be an important reason for concealing the
identity of our teacher, but if we do so simply because the teacher is a very
humble person, or a wandering hermit, or because he is not a very learned
scholar, and we extol our own qualities, boasting about the different teachings
we have received and now hold, this will lead to a breach of samaya,
as will showing contempt for our teacher.
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche commentary

Just in case, I'm not saying that this is the case here for anyone, just that this is the only place I know that mentions anything relating to the secrecy about ones teacher. But then I haven't read many Tibetan Buddhist books.

Chaz wrote:I can't stand by and allow my guru to be publicly pilloried in such a fashion and I wouldn't be inclined to be very polite bout it. If you disrespect my guru, I become your worst effing nightmare. That might not be the most enlightened conduct on my part, but it is what it is.


Interestingly just recently my own teacher and Tibetan Buddhism in general were being insulted on a forum (or at least that's how I perceived it) and I became kind of angry. I was thinking of posting something in return but then started wondering if that would be in accordance with what my teacher is teaching and came to the conclusion that it probably wouldn't be. Consequence of that wondering was also asking why am I getting so upset. I realized it's because I have a big attachment to Tibetan Buddhism and especially my teacher. So I ended up not posting anything and just let it go.
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.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Jnana » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:16 am

Pero wrote:I have never heard that one should keep one's teacher secret from any of my teachers.

I didn't say that there is a prohibition forbidding a student from mentioning his or her vajrayāna gurus. I said that prudent discretion is appropriate. If one chooses to mention names, that's fine. If one chooses not to, that's fine too. But Vajrayāna is not a public Dharma, and talking publicly about any aspect of one's vajrayāna practice on an internet forum may not be a prudent decision.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:35 am

Yeshe D. wrote:I didn't say that there is a prohibition forbidding a student from mentioning his or her vajrayāna gurus. I said that prudent discretion is appropriate.


Right, sorry.

If one chooses to mention names, that's fine. If one chooses not to, that's fine too.

But Vajrayāna is not a public Dharma, and talking publicly about any aspect of one's vajrayāna practice on an internet forum may not be a prudent decision.


Sure.
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.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby heart » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:01 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Pero wrote:I have never heard that one should keep one's teacher secret from any of my teachers.

I didn't say that there is a prohibition forbidding a student from mentioning his or her vajrayāna gurus. I said that prudent discretion is appropriate. If one chooses to mention names, that's fine. If one chooses not to, that's fine too. But Vajrayāna is not a public Dharma, and talking publicly about any aspect of one's vajrayāna practice on an internet forum may not be a prudent decision.

All the best,

Geoff


For sure you should never reveal private Vajrayana instruction anywhere. But about the Gurus name I suggest that you take a good look at Peros quotes from Dilgo Khyentses book so your reason is not one that leads to a Samaya break.

About being prudent on internet forums I think it is a good idea. I learned the hard way myself that it is a very bad idea to talk about to private instructions or decisions online.

/magnus
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby ground » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:18 am

Pero wrote:I realized it's because I have a big attachment to Tibetan Buddhism and especially my teacher. So I ended up not posting anything and just let it go.


Great!
I feel as if this kind of "attachment thing" is something "inherenty" fostered by the "tibetan system".


Kind regards
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Re: Discussing About One's Guru Openly

Postby plwk » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:52 am

so moral of the story iz.....
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:19 am

TMingyur wrote:
Pero wrote:I realized it's because I have a big attachment to Tibetan Buddhism and especially my teacher. So I ended up not posting anything and just let it go.


Great!
I feel as if this kind of "attachment thing" is something "inherenty" fostered by the "tibetan system".


I don't know, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as it doesn't control your actions.
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.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby ground » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:07 am

Pero wrote:I don't know, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it as long as it doesn't control your actions.


"action" is the one thing, anger the other. No unwholesome action following anger is good. However as long as there is the arising of anger ... certainly nothing the "tibetan system" can be blamed for that is why I called it "fostering" ... it is more related to the means ... anyway just my personal feeling ... and feelings are delusive ;)

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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby muni » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:40 am

Luke wrote:
heart wrote:Who is your teacher?

At this point, I am not comfortable revealing that on this forum.

Perhaps it was foolish of me to create this thread at all.

No any need to tell names, other than to feed our grasping to labels, Luke.

Whether we percieve famous ones, ordinary ones, is all own mind.
Last edited by muni on Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Luke » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:43 am

I want to thank whichever moderator had the insight to split this part of my thread off from the rest.

heart wrote:Whatever makes you happy. I have no problem saying who my Guru is, Tulku Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, and I don't think that anyone thinks that everything I say is something I picked out of his mouth.

I wish you and your Guru the best.

I didn't mean to be unkind earlier. I'm just paranoid about the internet because I've seen the discussions in so many forums get so negative so quickly. I don't trust most people in real life, let alone on the internet.

Pero wrote:I have never heard that one should keep one's teacher secret from any of my teachers. The only time I've seen a mention of the secrecy about the Guru was in Zurchungpa's Testament and this is what it says:

Apart from in exceptional circumstances,
To be deliberately secretive about your teacher while extolling
your own virtues leads to a breach of samaya.
- Zurchungpa
(italics are Shechen Gyaltsab Rinpoche's commentary)

There might, on occasion, be an important reason for concealing the
identity of our teacher, but if we do so simply because the teacher is a very
humble person, or a wandering hermit, or because he is not a very learned
scholar, and we extol our own qualities, boasting about the different teachings
we have received and now hold, this will lead to a breach of samaya,
as will showing contempt for our teacher.
- Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche commentary

That's interesting. I think it just goes to show that any action can be done both skillfully and unskillfully.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Luke » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:08 am

Ogyen wrote:Luke, I am thrilled for you. One day a teacher will give me the lung and practice. *sigh* It's a matter of merit and readiness. When the time is ripe, the right teachers appear.

Google is also one hell of a matchmaker between lama and student. I would have never even have known about my current lama unless I had done a search on Google and found his sangha's website.

Just so I don't make things sound as if they were completely heavenly, I want to mention that I went through a lot of suffering on my journey to see my Guru. I had to endure extremely cold weather, difficult relatives, various illnesses, and my own negative emotions which were reactions to all these things on my way to see him. So I faced obstacles, but thankfully, none of them were great enough to stop me from seeing him.

I hope you find the teacher you're looking for, Ogyen. I think it helps to recite mantras of key deities/founding lamas in the tradition you're interested in. For example, I'd been attending Guru Rinpoche teachings and empowerments for a while and often recited Guru Rinpoche's mantra. If you're interested in Gelug, you'd probably want to think about Tsongkhapa all the time, etc.

Ogyen wrote:To share with you, I have struggled finding a teacher now for near 2 years. I have WONDERFUL practioners around me. A Rinpoche contacted me personally to tell me I'm valued and needed. Imagine my shock as I was ready to give up in this search for a teacher. But the Rinpoche would not have contacted me had I not been open about who I am and what I seek. I did not tell him what I seek, I simply was transparent, and that warmth radiated and he gave warmth back. That is the lesson I took from it, nothing more.

Oh, I'm open and transparent--just not on internet forums! I emailed my lama a letter describing myself and my previous Buddhist experience before I saw him. I think this helped save time when I actually saw him because he already knew who I was and what I was looking for.

As in dating, you first have to have the courage to ask.

For me it all came down to one nerve-wracking moment when, after months of emails and preparations, I was finally sitting face-to-face with a great Tibetan lama in a private meeting and staring into his deep, dark eyes.

"So?" he challenged/questioned me rather sternly without revealing any emotion (perhaps to test me?). When the magnitude of the situation really hit home for me, my voice began to shake and I became quite nervous, but I mustered up the courage to ask his permission to begin Ngondro anyway.

If had not requested to begin Ngondro and expressed my deep interest in the Nyingma teachings to my lama, then I most likely would not have been permitted to begin Ngondro.

Believe in yourself and go for it!
:heart:
Last edited by Luke on Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discussing About One's Guru Openly

Postby muni » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:15 am

Remain the less among all to break imagined wall, see all as perfect mothers in open heart, Guru Yoga is main practice. Some words of a simple monk based on teaching from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche La.

Mind percieves a Teacher as ordinary, other as a kind one, other as whatever based on own habits, and then there are those who immediately prostrate in full lenght.

Rejoice.
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Re: Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

Postby Pero » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:48 pm

TMingyur wrote:"action" is the one thing, anger the other. No unwholesome action following anger is good. However as long as there is the arising of anger ... certainly nothing the "tibetan system" can be blamed for that is why I called it "fostering" ... it is more related to the means ...


Without the arising of anger there is one less thing with which to practice with.
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: Discussing About One's Guru Openly

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:42 am

TMingyur wrote:Edit: FYI: Off topic posts have been split off from this thread:

Beginning Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro!

- mr. gordo

heart wrote:Who is your teacher?


I would like to advise to never reveal one's teacher publicly. Why? Own wrongdoing that becomes known or every nonsensical talk one is unable to refrain from may cast a cloud over the teacher in the eyes of others. The teacher may be an arya who may benefit others, oneself may be only ordinary.


Kind regards


To go back to the OP, I also don't advertise who my guru is. My concern is if I say things out of ignorance it might reflect poorly on her. It's bad enough if it reflects poorly on me! :D

But I can also understand the flip side of this. When others write things that seem off-base to me, I would never assume it's necessarily the responsibility of the spiritual friend. So I may be a little self-conscious in my behavior.

I'm addressing the OP here as well as sharing my own personal experience.

Best wishes,
Laura
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Re: Discussing About One's Guru Openly

Postby Heruka » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:20 am

plwk wrote:so moral of the story iz.....


morality is realitive?
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