Dr. Reginald Ray

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:07 pm

Rael wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Please, see for yourselves: http://www.soundstrue.com/podcast/reggi ... ra-master/



are these things you say he says true to what he said...


.


I am both paraphrasing and logically deducing the import of things he said. That's why I gave the link, context is everything and perhaps someone else will get something else out of the interview. I am open to other perspectives on it. But I don't think I've misrepresented anything. If I have please correct me.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:51 am

Adamantine wrote:Actually, I finally made the effort to search around for the original interview in question. However, there were so many radio interviews of him at that same approximate time, because he was promoting his new book-- I discovered one I hadn't heard

Thanks for taking the time to find and post this interview.

Adamantine wrote:after listening to this one I am far more skeptical of what this man is teaching.

Interesting in that I am far less skeptical about what he is presenting. It's really quite honest and open and I think it's in keeping with what CTR was getting at. I've personally heard similar things from Ani Pema Chödrön, who was also a student of CTR.

Adamantine wrote:he contradicts the entire notion of Nirmanakaya.

No he doesn't.

Adamantine wrote:in this interview he flatly and clearly denies that he believes in rebirth.

No he doesn't.

Adamantine wrote:I don't think he can be looked at as an authentic Dharma teacher, at least from the Vajrayana tradition.

I think I can understand how you may arrive at such a conclusion. Ray is talking about something that is far less orthodox than the boxed and packaged Tibetan Buddhism that is commonly presented. But this doesn't contradict the visionary message of the mahāsiddhas.

Adamantine wrote:How could he be upholding the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and at the same time say Guru Rinpoche's teachings on the 6 Bardos are bogus? How could he be holding the lineage of Naropa, when he says that the 6 yogas of Naropa(one being Bardo yoga, one being Phowa) are bogus? It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.

I don't think he's characterizing the bardo teachings as "bogus" at all. The bardos are profound. It seems to me that he is acknowledging this profundity and the fact that the most profound bardos -- such as the chikkhai bardo, the chönyi bardo, and the sidpai bardo -- are communicated in an archetypal and symbolic fashion. And these archetypal symbols are not the property of any particular lineage or religious tradition. Awakening can't be institutionalized. And there are many counter-forces inhibiting institutionalized religious traditions from being able to maintain that which cannot be systematically recorded and taught in any sort of predictable framework. This doesn't mean that it's impossible, just not assured. Even practicing dzogchen tögal is no guarantee of realizing the profundity of this practice during this life.

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:30 am

Geoff, I fully accept that you disagree with my analysis that he is agnostic about rebirth, and denies Nirmanakaya. However, it seems crystal clear to me, so if you care enough you will transcribe his statements about 'enlightenment' being total death, and nobody in any tradition knowing at all what happens after death, and explain how you are interpreting his statements.


Yeshe D. wrote:I don't think he's characterizing the bardo teachings as "bogus" at all. The bardos are profound. It seems to me that he is acknowledging this profundity and the fact that the most profound bardos -- such as the chikkhai bardo, the chönyi bardo, and the sidpai bardo -- are communicated in an archetypal and symbolic fashion. And these archetypal symbols are not the property of any particular lineage or religious tradition. Awakening can't be institutionalized. And there are many counter-forces inhibiting institutionalized religious traditions from being able to maintain that which cannot be systematically recorded and taught in any sort of predictable framework. This doesn't mean that it's impossible, just not assured. Even practicing dzogchen tögal is no guarantee of realizing the profundity of this practice during this life.

Geoff


First off, not only did he not say any of the things you state above, -- he doesn't imply them either anywhere in the interview. If you think he does, please quote him. I believe everything I interpreted from his statements are pretty direct, not far at all from what he is actually stating. What you are saying here takes interpretation to a whole new level of creativity. If he had been lucid enough, and believed everything you are stating above about the bardo, he could have said it himself with clarity. But he didn't, and what he said is so far from how you have interpreted it I can't even begin to imagine how you got there. You must be especially fond of this man to give him so much leeway.

The great thing about the teachings about death, rebirth, and the bardo- or the 'in-between'- is they function as a map. A map is always abstracted from the actual three-dimensional location, because it is a crude way of communicating. But because one has studied the language and the symbols, one can read the map and has an idea of how to get to the destination in the actual 4-dimensional journey. The bardo teachings are our map. This was given to us out of the great kindess of Guru Rinpoche, and it has been elaborated on by other great masters who actually do remember their bardo experiences, just like great practitioners can remain completely aware through the stages of deep-sleep and dreaming, and recall it all, whereas most ordinary people can not. Ray is saying this is not true, that no one knows this information, or recalls it. This explicitly contradicts his own Tsawai Lama, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who in his commentary on the Bardo Thodol states:

"How do we know that these things actually happen to people who are dying? Has anyone come back from the grave and told us the experiences they went through? Those impressions are so strong that someone recently born should have memories of the period between death and birth; but then as we grow up we are indoctrinated by our parents and society, and we put ourselves into a different framework, so that the original deep impressions become faded except for occasional sudden glimpses. . . . There is the conflict between body and consciousness, and there is the continual experiences of death and birth. There is also the experience of the bardo of dharmata, the luminosity, and of the bardo of becoming, of possible future parents or grounding situations. We also have the visions of wrathful and peaceful divinities, which are happening constantly, at this very moment. If we are open and realistic enough to look at it this way, then the actual experience of death and the bardo state will not be either purely a myth or an extraordinary shock, because we have already worked with it and become familiar with the whole thing."
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:05 am

Yeshe D. wrote:I think I can understand how you may arrive at such a conclusion. Ray is talking about something that is far less orthodox than the boxed and packaged Tibetan Buddhism that is commonly presented. But this doesn't contradict the visionary message of the mahāsiddhas.


I think this betrays your bias in how you're interpreting Ray. I personally find that with my teachers, within the lineage I practice, there is nothing boxed and packaged, --but it is very traditional. The tradition is the container for the essence of the lineage, which is the living realization passed from master to student over generations. Without the container, the contents will not remain. I enjoyed Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's metaphor for the Dharma and how it takes the shape of the different containers it is poured into-- the Indian's raw clay cup- the Tibetans ornate metal and jeweled cup, the Japanese finely glazed and perfect ceramic tea-cup, or perhaps the American's paper-cup. But the liquid, the water, always remains the same, perhaps tasting or smelling ever so slightly of the cup. I have a feeling you believe that Ray is trying to just pour from the ornate metal cup into the paper-cup. However, it seems to me that with Ray at this point, and other Western teachers who are attempting similar things, the content is actually not remaining the same. It is being mixed up, with kool-aid, with coffee, with moonshine, maybe even with some ayahuasca. And I believe this is a degeneration, and will lead people in the wrong direction. I believe what is actually being boxed and packaged is a presentation of the Dharma that caters to the already established beliefs and biases rampant in our alternating Nihilist-Eternalist culture, in order to appeal to a wider and wider audience. However, sheer numbers are not what is going to effectively cause the Dharma to flourish here.. pure practitioners following pure teachers who are presenting the true teachings are what is going to effectively cause Dharma to finally flourish here for the benefit of all. People putting what they are taught into practice, doing serious retreat, and keeping pure lineage. This is not a proselytizing tradition, but it is one that takes purity very seriously. Purity of perception, purity of logic, purity of the lineage, purity of the teachings, and purity of samaya. I am quite tired of Western teachers or their supporters referencing the Mahasiddhas as a way to support their rogue breaks with their own lineages. If they are truly following the path of the Mahasiddhas then start displaying those siddhis, otherwise it is just a lot of pretense.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:28 am

Adamantine wrote:I can't even begin to imagine how you got there. You must be especially fond of this man to give him so much leeway.

I don't know Reggie Ray, and have never met him. I'm not a part of the Shambhala community either. However, I do know Ani Pema. And while I don't have any idea of her take on what Ray is doing, I can see some general correlations, especially regarding path without goal, and the reminder to not solidify the teachings, etc. And given that they were both senior students of CTR, this doesn't surprise me at all.

Adamantine wrote:The great thing about the teachings about death, rebirth, and the bardo- or the 'in-between'- is they function as a map. A map is always abstracted from the actual three-dimensional location, because it is a crude way of communicating. But because one has studied the language and the symbols, one can read the map and has an idea of how to get to the destination in the actual 4-dimensional journey. The bardo teachings are our map.

Yes, I agree. And I don't find any major conflict between the bardo teachings and what Ray is trying to communicate from his own experience. Do I agree with everything Ray is saying and the style of presentation? No, I don't. I think that the traditional teachings can be preserved and transmitted in toto, and all interpretation should be subordinate to the actual teachings. Is Ray going too far in his interpretation of vajrayāna? Maybe. But I think he's also asking some relevant questions.

Adamantine wrote:Ray is saying this is not true, that no one knows this information, or recalls it.

I really don't think this is what he is getting at, but he can speak for himself.

Adamantine wrote:I believe what is actually being boxed and packaged is a presentation of the Dharma that caters to the already established beliefs and biases rampant in our alternating Nihilist-Eternalist culture, in order to appeal to a wider and wider audience.

I have the same concerns.

Adamantine wrote:However, sheer numbers are not what is going to effectively cause the Dharma to flourish here.

Of course.

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:19 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
I don't find any major conflict between the bardo teachings and what Ray is trying to communicate from his own experience.

Adamantine wrote:Ray is saying this is not true, that no one knows this information, or recalls it.

I really don't thing this is what he is getting at, but he can speak for himself.


Here is a direct transcription of what he says starting at 35:10 of the interview. Ray:

"But I feel, when I die, that's going to be the biggest surprise of all. And I look forward to it. And I'm quite certain that all the things that all the Religions say are basically going to turn out to be bogus. But one thing I do feel is that we are on a journey, and we came from somewhere, and we're going somewhere. But that journey is not determined. It's open-ended. And nobody knows anything about it. Nobody actually knows anything about our life. Nobody can tell us what our life is going to be moment to moment. And if we think somebody can tell us, then we have turned off most of what we are. And we've lost touch with the total openess and uncertainty and excitement of being alive. So religions, when they provide answers they're not helpful. When they teach us that there are no answers, but there's ways to find out and discover and experience our lives, then they're being helpful. Buddhism at it's best, gives us the methods and practices to really open up the intense and limitless mystery or our life, moment by moment."

He speaks in a charismatic way, with well chosen words. He seems like a really nice guy, and I believe he must have had some deep experiences with meditation. And you may agree with him even on some of these points, but I don't think there is any way you can deny that these statements also blatantly infer that the teachings on the 6 Bardos are worthless: that Guru Rinpoche, Naropa, nor any of the lineage masters had any idea about after-death, rebirth, purelands, etc. And that negates a huge chunk of Vajrayana methods and practices-- methods and practices he must have been taught by Trungpa Rinpoche and HH 16th Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse and others. Teachings on Bardo, on Phowa, on Tsa lung, on Dream Yoga-- they are all interconnected and based on the same principles.. and they are primary methods of completion stage practice. Teachings even about Karma are inseparable from cycles of death and rebirth, alaya, etc. It is said that one needs two wings of a bird to fly: relative and ultimate. Guru Rinpoche himself said that "My View is as vast as the sky, but my attention to actions and their effects is as fine as barley flour." I also think it was him that said "Don't lose the View in neurotic obsession over Karma- but don't lose attentiveness towards Karma in the View". It seems to me from the authoritative statements made by Reggie quoted above, that the balance is uneven. Relative practices should not be completely discarded, the maps are there for a reason, and they are not bogus, they are helpful. Once one arrives at the destination, a map might no-longer be useful. It does seem that Reggie is through implication stating that he is at a level of realization to decide what the masters of the lineage did and did not know. Even in Dzogchen literature there are great details about how sentient beings unraveled from pristine innate gnosis to dualism leading to the perception of the various realms of sentient beings in cyclic existence.
Last edited by Adamantine on Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:28 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I can't even begin to imagine how you got there. You must be especially fond of this man to give him so much leeway.

I don't know Reggie Ray, and have never met him. I'm not a part of the Shambhala community either. However, I do know Ani Pema. And while I don't have any idea of her take on what Ray is doing, I can see some general correlations, especially regarding path without goal, and the reminder to not solidify the teachings, etc. And given that they were both senior students of CTR, this doesn't surprise me at all.


I 100% understand what you are referring to regarding the dangers of solidifying the teachings. And any master of Dzogchen or Mahamudra such as Trungpa Rinpoche would naturally be savvy about communicating this risk in various ways to their students. But Trungpa, like all other great masters of Dzogchen and Mahamudra that I know of, warned people of this precisely in the context of giving the teachings. So we can trust that there was good reason to give the teachings in the first place. Trungpa worked tirelessly to teach every aspect of the path, in the context of all the vehicles. My teachers do the same. At the highest levels, we must not grasp at anything. But if we burn the map before we even leave the driveway, before we've even looked at it, then there will be little chance of even getting to our destination at all.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:20 am

Adamantine wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Adamantine wrote:It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.


I don't believe that Reggie is teaching a Vajrayana lineage at all.

Perhaps our friend Reggie is deliberately moving in a direction away from "traditional" Buddhist thought and teaching and forging his own path.



Also: from his (Dharma Ocean) website: "The mission of the Dharma Ocean Foundation is to embody, unfold, and widely offer the unique path to enlightenment taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, creating a living continuity of the practicing lineage in our time. "

It also says he leads month long Vajrayana training intensives, and his students are doing "Dharmasagara Ngöndro". And they practice the monthly tsok feasts: "The Vajrasangha is open to students who, having acquired a sufficient body of practice and study experience, have proceeded to complete Dharma Ocean’s annual Vajrayana Training Intensive. The Vajrasangha meets throughout the year for ngöndro and feast practice. On occasion, this community also gathers under the guidance of Reginald Ray and other Dharma Ocean teachers."

So it is clear he is presenting himself as a Vajrayana teacher.

http://www.dharmaocean.org/default/inde ... n/lineage/
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: The Crystal and the Way of Light - Blog Post by Namdrol

Postby Adamantine » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:57 am

Chaz wrote:
Ray isn't alone in his assment you know. I know of a high ranking Lama in the Kagyu lineage that said the same thing on a Buddhist Geeks webcast about a year ago. And I'm not talking about some college kid who just left a three-year retreat either. The guy as the word "Rinpoche" in his name, so it's pretty safe to assume the guy knows what he's talking about.



I also like to think that I really couldn't go up against Reggie on this matter. He know's the Dharma far better than I. You too. I'd wager Malcom as well.

What you might do is contact Reggie yourself. Get it straight from the horse's mouth. Go to Buddhist Geeks and listen to Ponlop Rinpoche's comments. There's only something like 4 interviews so you shouldn't have any trouble finding the 'cast. If memory serves, it would be the third interview (chronologically).


This is the link: http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2008/06/bg ... -are-they/ and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is not saying the same thing as Reggie is, by any stretch. He is simply encouraging people who may have resistance to the idea of rebirth, that since they can not prove it is not true, to prepare just in case-- and in the meantime the same Dharma practices concerning Karma and compassion and love will bring them more happiness in this very life anyway. He jokingly quotes Woody Allen “I do not believe in an after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.” – Woody Allen" :D
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby udawa » Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Actually, I finally made the effort to search around for the original interview in question. However, there were so many radio interviews of him at that same approximate time, because he was promoting his new book-- I discovered one I hadn't heard, and after listening to this one I am far more skeptical of what this man is teaching. He states that that there is no final Awakening, such as the Buddha himself experienced, where one's karmic seeds and obscurations are exhausted and what is left is a state of omniscience.. Not to mention the three kayas, etc. He more or less said that if you theoretically achieved something like that you would be dead-- so he contradicts the entire notion of Nirmanakaya. Then when explicitly asked about 'after-death', he clearly states that no religion or tradition knows what happens-- that he thinks whatever is said is bogus, etc. So yes, in this interview he flatly and clearly denies that he believes in rebirth. He reveals himself as a total agnostic, not any different from Batchelor. Not only that, implicit in his statements is that Shakyamuni Buddha didn't know, Guru Padmasambhava didn't know, none of the tulkus throughout history ever consciously reincarnated or had recollection of their past lives, -and his own teacher Trungpa Rinpoche was writing B.S. commentary about The Tibetan Book of The Dead which is itself just a fanciful fabrication. In short, he is making it up as he goes along, has no confidence in the lineage masters, and as such I don't think he can be looked at as an authentic Dharma teacher, at least from the Vajrayana tradition. How could he be upholding the lineage of Guru Rinpoche and at the same time say Guru Rinpoche's teachings on the 6 Bardos are bogus? How could he be holding the lineage of Naropa, when he says that the 6 yogas of Naropa(one being Bardo yoga, one being Phowa) are bogus? It's fine to call himself a spiritual teacher and say whatever he wants, but I can't see how he could possibly be legitimately passing on a pure Vajrayana lineage that he doesn't have any confidence in.


Can you elaborate on the statement in bold? Presumably B=Brilliant and S=Superb? What exactly is a 'fanciful fabrication' here? Are you suggesting it is Trungpa Rinpoche's commentary, or Karma Lingpa's terma?
Edwards: You are a philosopher. Dr Johnson: I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
udawa
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:40 pm

Adamantine wrote:I don't think there is any way you can deny that these statements also blatantly infer that the teachings on the 6 Bardos are worthless

As already indicated, I don't agree with everything Ray says. Fortunately I don't have to. He's obviously approaching some quite profound subjects from a different angle. And some of his more provocative statements will limit the effectiveness of his message. This is not the most skillful use of language. But I don't think he's saying that the bardo teachings are "worthless." It seems to me that he's saying the practice is more important than belief, and that the view of groundlessness is more essential than conventional view. Focusing almost exclusively on these aspects isn't mainstream, but it isn't entirely novel or unprecedented either.

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:44 pm

Adamantine wrote:that Guru Rinpoche, Naropa, nor any of the lineage masters had any idea about after-death, rebirth, purelands, etc.

It's helpful to have an understanding of the historical, developmental context of the teachings attributed to Guru Rinpoche and Nāropa, et al, to add historical context to narratives of visionary revelation and faith-based claims of transmission purity, etc. For example:

The Funerary Transformation of the Great Perfection by David F. Germano.

Architecture and Absence in the Secret Tantric History of the Great Perfection by David F. Germano.

The Great Perfection: A Philosophical and Meditative Teaching of Tibetan Buddhism by Samten Gyaltsen Karmay.

Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan traditions of the Buddhist poet-saint Saraha by Kurtis R. Schaeffer.

Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement by Ronald M. Davidson.

Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture by Ronald M. Davidson.

Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India by Roger R. Jackson.

All the best,

Geoff
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:20 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:I don't think there is any way you can deny that these statements also blatantly infer that the teachings on the 6 Bardos are worthless

As already indicated, I don't agree with everything Ray says. Fortunately I don't have to. He's obviously approaching some quite profound subjects from a different angle. And some of his more provocative statements will limit the effectiveness of his message. This is not the most skillful use of language. But I don't think he's saying that the bardo teachings are "worthless." It seems to me that he's saying the practice is more important than belief, and that the view of groundlessness is more essential than conventional view. Focusing almost exclusively on these aspects isn't mainstream, but it isn't entirely novel or unprecedented either.

All the best,

Geoff


I appreciate your view on this Geoff. You bring a good alternative way to look at how and what he is trying to communicate. But you are absolutely right- his use of language is not at all skillful. And yet, he is highly educated, so why is that so? It took you one sentence to add a conditional and balance his statements and place them in a context that actually could be helpful to people on the path. But it seems he is intentionally not doing that. He is making many absolute statements. And that to me doesn't just seem provocative, it seems misleading. But if others can really get something out of him as a teacher without falling totally to the extreme of Nihilism, and in that case if the stream of lineage is flowing through him purely, then I rejoice that there is another fountainhead of relief for the suffering of sentient beings. But there are many prophecies about the degeneration of the teachings in our age, and I think Mr. Gordo put it well earlier in this thread when he said
if Dharma is to flourish in the West, we should take great care in analyzing those that claim attainments when they counter sutras and insights of siddhas of the past.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:36 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:that Guru Rinpoche, Naropa, nor any of the lineage masters had any idea about after-death, rebirth, purelands, etc.

It's helpful to have an understanding of the historical, developmental context of the teachings attributed to Guru Rinpoche and Nāropa, et al, to add historical context to narratives of visionary revelation and faith-based claims of transmission purity, etc. For example:

The Funerary Transformation of the Great Perfection by David F. Germano.

Architecture and Absence in the Secret Tantric History of the Great Perfection by David F. Germano.

The Great Perfection: A Philosophical and Meditative Teaching of Tibetan Buddhism by Samten Gyaltsen Karmay.

Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan traditions of the Buddhist poet-saint Saraha by Kurtis R. Schaeffer.

Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement by Ronald M. Davidson.

Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture by Ronald M. Davidson.

Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verse from Buddhist India by Roger R. Jackson.

All the best,

Geoff


You could say everything we know about social histories are faith based. We must have faith that either the written recorded information we use as a basis for belief was truthful when it was originally written down, or we must have faith that the oral history as it was passed down was both initially truthful and finally not adulterated along the way until it finally reached us. For instance, we may use a fragment of a preserved letter from a king to a distant minister as a basis of deciding that a particular event happened at a particular time in history. However, the letter may have been written as a complete fiction, to deceive the minister, who was perhaps secretly a traitor and had been discovered. One thousand years later the entire context has been lost, so we read a fragment and assume this confirms our take on history as the absolute and only correct version. This is somewhat the basis for some scholar's approaches. This is just an example. I haven't read all of the texts above, but I have read Davidson and while there are interesting points he brings up he is obviously bias to begin with- as many contemporary scholars are- towards searching, finding, and including whatever information he can find that suits his particular thesis. What is left out however, may speak volumes more about what was included. Regardless, it is no hidden thing that there have been many rogues throughout the centuries of Vajrayana transmission-- and it is quite possible that there have been many corrupted lineages. This is the reason that the Terma teachings have always been considered so precious- because once they are freshly revealed from hiding they are pure of the various samaya breakages which may have degenerated the efficacy of many earlier Vajrayana streams.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Rael » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:00 am

this whole issue reinforces a thought i have had from time to time.

the teachings and the teachers are just format...the practice and what you experience is the what really matters.

This Ray guy might have inspired people and turned off people...sooo ...no big whoop ...we're all adults here and should realize its about the results not the conversations...

i think some like myself want only authenticated teachers and proven old school teachings and methods...

But in todays world it seems there is a market for other variance on the proven old school ways...

I would love to know what is really Buddha's teaching and what is made up as we go in the name of Buddha...

I feel hugely burned by the Lotus sutra and when i see someone here mention it it causes me to :techproblem:
Love Love Love
User avatar
Rael
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:36 pm

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby tobes » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:16 am

Adamantine wrote:
Here is a direct transcription of what he says starting at 35:10 of the interview. Ray:

"But I feel, when I die, that's going to be the biggest surprise of all. And I look forward to it. And I'm quite certain that all the things that all the Religions say are basically going to turn out to be bogus. But one thing I do feel is that we are on a journey, and we came from somewhere, and we're going somewhere. But that journey is not determined. It's open-ended. And nobody knows anything about it. Nobody actually knows anything about our life. Nobody can tell us what our life is going to be moment to moment. And if we think somebody can tell us, then we have turned off most of what we are. And we've lost touch with the total openess and uncertainty and excitement of being alive. So religions, when they provide answers they're not helpful. When they teach us that there are no answers, but there's ways to find out and discover and experience our lives, then they're being helpful. Buddhism at it's best, gives us the methods and practices to really open up the intense and limitless mystery or our life, moment by moment."


I don't really have a strong position on this debate, but if that is the strongest statement Ray makes which constitutes the charge of being adharmic, then I think it's a pretty ridiculous charge.

All he's saying there is that the phenomenology of our own experience is only given to ourselves; and that it contains a richness, multiplicity and potentiality which far eludes categorisation ~ be it in religious doctrines or otherwise.

I think that that kind of standpoint is very much in harmony with the Kagyu lineage. Many of the Kagyu mahasiddha's were renowned for being anti-institutional, and for rejecting the dogmas of religious orthodoxy for the freedom and spontaneity of mahamudra.

Tilopa says: "The followers of Tantra, the Prajnaparamita, the Vinaya, the sutras and other religions - All these, by their texts and philosophical dogmas, will not see the luminious mahamudra."

If he was around now, on internet forums everywhere, people would say: Heretic! Adharmic! Denying Buddhism!

Actually, those kinds of things were said at the time too....

On the question of rebirth, Ray seems to be simply admitting that since he is presently alive, he doesn't actually know what will happen. Here knowing is synonymous with experiencing. Would it be more 'dharmic' if he lied and said that he did know perfectly well what will happen?

:namaste:
User avatar
tobes
 
Posts: 983
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:11 am

tobes wrote:
On the question of rebirth, Ray seems to be simply admitting that since he is presently alive, he doesn't actually know what will happen. Here knowing is synonymous with experiencing. Would it be more 'dharmic' if he lied and said that he did know perfectly well what will happen?

:namaste:


There is much much more in that interview that is at issue-- I just don't have the interest in transcribing the entire 40 minutes. . I left the link though. This is one example. And there is the other interview quoted at the beginning of this thread. And in regards to your above statement, I can't understand how you missed the sentence that I italicized and put in bold. He says clearly "And nobody knows anything about it." Right before that he said that whatever religions may say he thinks will turn out to be bogus. He doesn't explicitly say "whatever Buddhism says will turn out to be bogus" but he means it. And then "So religions, when they provide answers they're not helpful." So however you arrived at the conclusion that he is simply saying that he himself doesn't know, it is a mistaken conclusion because he is saying something quite different. Throughout the entire interview, he is making a series of absolute statements, such as there being no such thing as a final enlightenment, and if there was you'd be as good as dead if you reached it, etc. The great non-dual traditions such as Mahamudra or Dzogchen often have appeared controversial to those that are attached to the views of lower yanas, and Manjusrimitra originally approached Garab Dorje to refute him, not to study with him. However, Garab Dorje was presenting a teaching that transcended the principle of cause and effect, not one that refuted it altogether. One could say the Heart Sutra refutes not only rebirth, but birth and death as well. However, we know it is not refuting dream-like appearances, saying they do not appear. That would be ignoring the relative. There is a balance, thus "emptiness is form, and form is emptiness". Similarly, saying there is no rebirth is ignoring the relative. Saying that there are no Nirmanakaya Buddhas that revealed the pattern of ignorance, karma and rebirth and how it leads us to deeper and deeper suffering is also ignoring the relative. I already left quotes above by the great Dzogchen mahasiddha Guru Rinpoche himself regarding this being problematic.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:46 am

What's more, I think we can liken this situation to one where there is an individual who does not remember their dreams. They might assume that they don't have dreams. Another person remembers their dreams vaguely, hardly at all but in feelings and snippets. This person thinks there are dreams, but can't talk about it in detail, it's like a hunch. Another person may remember their dreams vividly, in great detail, and be able to tell stories about them. And then finally there is one more person who not only remembers their dreams, but they know they're dreaming while they dream, and can play around in the dream, defy natural laws, fly, change their shape etc. .

These can be correlated to ordinary people with full obscuration of their previous life/lives, those that have glimpses of them, those that recall in detail, and advanced practitioners who have realized the illusory nature of things, experience time differently, and see their entire stream of incarnations.

Now imagine the first person, because they could not remember their dreams, decides that whatever anyone has ever said about their own dreams is bogus. I think Reggie's comments come close to this. Because they can not remember, they don't believe anyone else can either. They doubt dreams even exist, though they think it's possible. . However, they simply don't trust anyone else.

Now one could just as easily say that they don't know because they don't have memories of their dream, they are skeptical that dreams exist but because so many people they trust have given vivid accounts of their dream recollections, they have some trust that dreams are not mere myth. If this person decided to make an absolute statement "nobody knows what happens when you fall asleep", then that is another way of saying all these people have lied about their recollections. Naturally, nobody knows what any unique individual will actually dream once they fall asleep-- but that is not what Reggie is saying.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:26 pm

Adamantine wrote:Please, see for yourselves: http://www.soundstrue.com/podcast/reggi ... ra-master/


Thank you for taking the time to find this Adamantine. I can see how one can infer that at the time of this recording, Ray does not believe in rebirth because he defines "enlightenment" as being equal to physical death. How is this not adharmic?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:32 pm

tobes wrote:All he's saying there is that the phenomenology of our own experience is only given to ourselves; and that it contains a richness, multiplicity and potentiality which far eludes categorisation ~ be it in religious doctrines or otherwise.


tobes, I know you're a sharp guy, but you're a postmodern-deconstructionist Buddhist apologist.

On the question of rebirth, Ray seems to be simply admitting that since he is presently alive, he doesn't actually know what will happen. Here knowing is synonymous with experiencing. Would it be more 'dharmic' if he lied and said that he did know perfectly well what will happen?



It would be more dharmic if he actually taught Dharma. If he hasn't attained the path where he has direct perception of rebirth, then why wouldn't he just say that the sutras state there is rebirth and leave it at that? If this his attempt at skillful means in propagating Buddhism, perhaps it is not very skillful.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Lotus108, smcj and 16 guests

>