Dr. Reginald Ray

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:11 am

Adamantine wrote:
Why would Ray not teach his students the contents of his well regarded publications?


I have no idea Geoff, that is indeed the question at hand. it seems like something shifted dramatically in just a few short years. But there is certainly a large contradiction between many things he's saying in absolutes in these recent interviews and much of his earlier work.

I don't see a large contradiction. I don't see him denying karma or the postmortem continuum of consciousness. I see that he is promoting all of his previous Buddhist publications, and also some of his recorded teachings on duḥkha, the four noble truths, and the five precepts, etc., from his years of leading Dathüns, as well as the published works of Trungpa Rinpoche. He has even boxed and packaged a collection of his and CTRs books as a "Sūtrayāna Study Set."

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:38 am

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Why would Ray not teach his students the contents of his well regarded publications?


I have no idea Geoff, that is indeed the question at hand. it seems like something shifted dramatically in just a few short years. But there is certainly a large contradiction between many things he's saying in absolutes in these recent interviews and much of his earlier work.

I don't see a large contradiction. I don't see him denying karma or the postmortem continuum of consciousness. I see that he is promoting all of his previous Buddhist publications, and also some of his recorded teachings on duḥkha, the four noble truths, and the five precepts, etc., from his years of leading Dathüns, as well as the published works of Trungpa Rinpoche. He has even boxed and packaged a collection of his and CTRs books as a "Sūtrayāna Study Set."

All the best,

Geoff


While I admire your perseverance, I am quite surprised you still have not been able to notice any contradictions between huge generalizations and absolute statements he has made in these interviews and more subtle and detailed writing and teaching work years prior. If he is still marketing published work from the past, this doesn't mean that it doesn't contradict what he is stating in the present. That tact of argument doesn't hold any water at all. If people want to buy those books, he will sell them, why not? He seems to appreciate the tradition, he just is discarding what he feels is irrelevant, and keeping what he likes-- modernizing it, or new-ageifying it, or whatever it is people like to do with Buddhism to make it unrecognizable and still keep the Buddhist label. He doesn't outright deny postmortem continuum of consciousness, that is correct- but he now leaves it completely open ended and vague though- enough to encompass a Christian heaven, a Greek or Zorastrian underworld, a Hindu moksha, a Wiccan summerland, etc. while at the same time invalidating all of them, since he states clearly that he feels ALL religions' claims to knowledge of afterlife will turn out to be bogus. And this obviously includes Buddhism. So he is denying he believes in cyclic existence, transmigration through the 6 realms, etc. and we have already discussed that karma as Buddhists (not New Agers) understand it is completely unintelligible without these. In stating that nobody knows, he is also as a natural consequence denying that the Buddha was omniscient, and telling us that none of the highly realized Siddhas of India or Tibet had developed any special abilities to see into their previous or future incarnations. He is either denying outright, or positing an explicitly skeptical view about a huge portion of the traditional Vajrayana teachings on these things. I am going to stop repeating these points over and over, if you refuse to acknowledge them that is your right, but it appears to be a very willful refusal to face the facts of the situation.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jnana » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:06 am

Adamantine wrote:While I admire your perseverance, I am quite surprised you still have not been able to notice any contradictions between huge generalizations and absolute statements he has made in these interviews and more subtle and detailed writing and teaching work years prior.

Well, I don't consider Reggie Ray's opinions to be of any significant importance. I also don't consider it necessary to attempt to refute what he is doing. As I've already indicated, what is needed at this point in time is Western teachers who are not putting their own opinions ahead of the teachings. And contrary to what our friend Tamdrin has concluded, there are definitely Western teachers who are quite traditional and not promoting controversial opinions or practices. I know some of them myself. IMO what is also needed at this point in time is a strong foundation of what could be called Atiśa style mainstream Indian Mahāyāna Dharma, complete with ordained monastic saṃgha fully supported by lay donors.

All the best,

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:23 am

Yeshe D. wrote: As I've already indicated, what is needed at this point in time is Western teachers who are not putting their own opinions ahead of the teachings. And contrary to what our friend Tamdrin has concluded, there are definitely Western teachers who are quite traditional and not promoting controversial opinions or practices.


Agreed on both counts

IMO what is also needed at this point in time is a strong foundation of what could be called Atiśa style mainstream Indian Mahāyāna Dharma, complete with ordained monastic saṃgha fully supported by lay donors.


This certainly would only be a positive development.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:11 pm

Group Hug now everyone :group: :smile:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:16 pm

Adamantine wrote:Hi Chaz, since you do smoke pot, it sounds a bit like THC inspired paranoia is hitting you right now.


I know you don't mean it that way, but that remark is just plain insulting to the intelligence.

Relax my friend. Just to further qualify my 'presumably', there is a precedence for the use of certain special plants in Vajrayana apparently: for instance,


yes, to be certain, but as a rule we don't discuss such things openly. You don't see people trading Dutsi recipes on line and that's because it simply isn't done. It's one aspect of the esoteric nature of Vajrayana.

The truth is you and I have no idea whatsoever as to what Reggie is doing down in Crestone. To even speculate on the use of halucinagenics is dangerous ground to tread. All you're drawing in weak inferences that amount to nothing but could easily be taken and spread as statements of fact. In this kind of society that is likely to be seen in a negative light.

I am sure that if anyone starts hurling absolute condemnations or accusations of these things the mods will take quick action.


It's been my experience that things won't work that way. Remember we're dealing with someone who has been declared as adharmic by the almighty Namdrol. In much the same way the Lineage That Cannot Be Named is disparaged on boards like this one, the same is happening to Ray here. We can say whatever we want about him because he is beyond the pale. He has killed a sacred cow. The chances of mods shutting the thread down is, because of that, next to nill. That's why asked about how to access admins or the owner.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:26 pm

Chaz wrote:It's been my experience that things won't work that way. Remember we're dealing with someone who has been declared as adharmic by the almighty Namdrol. In much the same way the Lineage That Cannot Be Named is disparaged on boards like this one, the same is happening to Ray here. We can say whatever we want about him because he is beyond the pale. He has killed a sacred cow. The chances of mods shutting the thread down is, because of that, next to nill. That's why asked about how to access admins or the owner.


The mods, admins, founders or owners do not kowtow to Namdrol. If they feel this thread violates the TOS, they will close the thread.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:34 pm

Yeshe D. wrote:
Adamantine wrote:While I admire your perseverance, I am quite surprised you still have not been able to notice any contradictions between huge generalizations and absolute statements he has made in these interviews and more subtle and detailed writing and teaching work years prior.

Well, I don't consider Reggie Ray's opinions to be of any significant importance.


They aren't. Reggie is a good teacher and his Sangha is growing but he's not really that big a deal.


I also don't consider it necessary to attempt to refute what he is doing.


Yes. It's pointless to try.

As I've already indicated, what is needed at this point in time is Western teachers who are not putting their own opinions ahead of the teachings. And contrary to what our friend Tamdrin has concluded, there are definitely Western teachers who are quite traditional and not promoting controversial opinions or practices. I know some of them myself.


Same here.

The thing is, it's a free country. People can teach whatever they like and call it whatever they want and our laws protect them as they should. Reggies teaches nothing that breaks any laws and based on my read corresponds nicely with the 4 Seals of the Dharma so apart from the fact that he has his own perspective on matters such a rebirth there's really not much to say on the matter or about the man.

IMO what is also needed at this point in time is a strong foundation of what could be called Atiśa style mainstream Indian Mahāyāna Dharma, complete with ordained monastic sangha fully supported by lay donors.


I think you're right. One thing that's lacking in the west is a strong monastic tradition. What there is out there is more like an excercise in renunciation than an instiution that could be used to teach and guide the lay Sangha. It would a tough row to hoe, as they say, to create institutions like that. Monastacism is suffering in the West generally. People are unwilling or unable to support such organization. Like it or not money does turn the Wheel of Dharma.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:01 pm

Chaz wrote:Reggies teaches nothing that breaks any laws and based on my read corresponds nicely with the 4 Seals of the Dharma so apart from the fact that he has his own perspective on matters such a rebirth there's really not much to say on the matter or about the man.


That's the crux of the thread. People don't think his teachings are in line with the 4 Seals.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:03 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Chaz wrote:Reggies teaches nothing that breaks any laws and based on my read corresponds nicely with the 4 Seals of the Dharma so apart from the fact that he has his own perspective on matters such a rebirth there's really not much to say on the matter or about the man.


That's the crux of the thread. People don't think his teachings are in line with the 4 Seals.



Actually the crux of the thread is that his teachings on rebirth don't agree with some people. I think it's fairly clear that he's ok re the Seals. I suppose you could streatch that to include just about anything, but I think he's ok. So do a lot of other people.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:57 pm

Chaz wrote:
Actually the crux of the thread is that his teachings on rebirth don't agree with some people.


I don't even think how Ray defines rebirth has been properly defined.

I think it's fairly clear that he's ok re the Seals. I suppose you could streatch that to include just about anything, but I think he's ok. So do a lot of other people.


I am unwilling to say with absolute certainty that what Ray teaches is in line with the Seals. And as there are some who like him, there are some who don't.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:29 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Actually the crux of the thread is that his teachings on rebirth don't agree with some people.


I don't even think how Ray defines rebirth has been properly defined.


That's absolutely right.


I think it's fairly clear that he's ok re the Seals. I suppose you could streatch that to include just about anything, but I think he's ok. So do a lot of other people.

I am unwilling to say with absolute certainty that what Ray teaches is in line with the Seals. And as there are some who like him, there are some who don't.


That seems very apparent and not a particularly sound basis for argument.

What is even more startling is that Rays teachings or thoughts on rebirth are a very minor issue. More important is his standing with Shambhala, the circumstance surround his split with SI and his credentials for giving Vajrayana empowerment. Nobody is talking about that, but it's far more important anything he may or may not be teaching on rebirth. The actual idea that we've wasted time on rebirth while ignoring a far more volitile anfd karmically dangerous situation is really quite pathetic.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:14 pm

Chaz wrote:That seems very apparent and not a particularly sound basis for argument.


No more sound than saying one concurs with Ray on rebirth and agreeing that Ray does not properly define it. The man has a Ph.D., I'm sure he's capable of defining words, and if not, why not?

What is even more startling is that Rays teachings or thoughts on rebirth are a very minor issue. More important is his standing with Shambhala, the circumstance surround his split with SI and his credentials for giving Vajrayana empowerment. Nobody is talking about that, but it's far more important anything he may or may not be teaching on rebirth. The actual idea that we've wasted time on rebirth while ignoring a far more volitile anfd karmically dangerous situation is really quite pathetic.


No, this hasn't been ignored at all. It's already been discussed that Ray is a self-proclaimed Vajra master and has no permission from the Sakyong to teach. I find that if Ray was less vague in how he attempts to define rebirth or enlightenment, if anything would give him greater credibility as a teacher regardless if he is a self proclaimed teacher.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:24 pm

Chaz wrote:What is even more startling is that Rays teachings or thoughts on rebirth are a very minor issue. More important is his standing with Shambhala, the circumstance surround his split with SI and his credentials for giving Vajrayana empowerment. Nobody is talking about that, but it's far more important anything he may or may not be teaching on rebirth. The actual idea that we've wasted time on rebirth while ignoring a far more volitile anfd karmically dangerous situation is really quite pathetic.



Actually the crux of the thread for me wasn't rebirth, as you'd know from reading my posts: rebirth was one issue, among quite a few, --that call into question how this man can be legitimately teaching Vajrayana Buddhism, which is a bigger issue than a simple political split with SI. The four seals in this case are a red herring- you point out that many things could be justified to fit into those seals- and perhaps through that still can be labeled as Buddhist. But we are talking about a context where someone is not simply teaching their own strain of Buddhism- they are giving Vajrayana empowerments and calling themselves a Vajra master which not only is lineage-dependent, but encompasses an entire framework of teaching that his own statements invalidate. As I already said again and again, how can he teach the 6 Yogas of Naropa in the context of abandoning transmigration? How can Bardo yoga be taught without a deep experiential understanding of the 6 Bardos? How can Phowa be taught without a deep understanding and faith in purelands? How can one have faith in purelands without having confidence in enlightenment itself, and Nirmanakaya displays of compassion? It just becomes nonsensical. And when you factor in the study of other shamanic systems of belief, then this creates an even stranger picture.

In response to Gordo, I don't think this is about like or dislike of Ray: I actually kind of like the guy from the sense of his personality I get from the audio talks. I think he'd be an interesting person to have tea and a chat with. However, would I look to him as a Vajra master? With the current information at hand I would stay far away. And I think that is the crux of the thread, beyond like or dislike, -it is creating a framework for people to examine critically the different facets of this person's teachings and weigh them in the context of what a qualified Vajrayana teacher is ultimately responsible for teaching. We are meant to examine Vajra masters critically, for some time -12 years according to WOMPT. So perhaps these different perspectives may benefit those who may be considering study with Ray, regardless of their final decision, at least some of the traditional views on these things have been discussed and pointed to.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:36 pm

Adamantine wrote:In response to Gordo, I don't think this is about like or dislike of Ray:


My response on "like" or "dislike" was just an attempt to show how absurd it is to the real issues at hand. For me, it's about a belief in rebirth, karma and awakening, as well as how it's defined.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:39 pm

Chaz wrote:
I know you don't mean it that way, but that remark is just plain insulting to the intelligence.



No, didn't mean it that way at all..I'm sorry if you felt insulted. I edited it out of the original post.
Last edited by Adamantine on Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:40 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Adamantine wrote:In response to Gordo, I don't think this is about like or dislike of Ray:


My response on "like" or "dislike" was just an attempt to show how absurd it is to the real issues at hand. For me, it's about a belief in rebirth, karma and awakening, as well as how it's defined.


Oh I see. Then we have precisely the same concerns.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:58 am

From Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar pg 27-28 (bold/emphasis mine):

No matter what, in the general tradition of Mahayana, the mind of the Lama being relied on must be permeated with bodhicitta. In the new and old traditions of Mantrayana, there are many teachings on the various individual qualifications of a Lama. In brief, a Lama who teaches Tantra, gives transmissions, and teaches upadesha must have the treasure of the tantras, transmissions, and upadesha of the tradition of the Great Perfection, must have perfected the four rivers of descent of the lineage of actual speech in the Nyingma Vajrayana lineage, and must have the capacity to accomplish and fulfill the wishes of disciples. A Lama must especially be skilled in the meaning of the tantras of Vajrayana and in how to accomplish the four activities, and must fully contain the meaning of the developing and completion stage and upadesha, and have the signs of accomplishment of confidence. As it says in The Stages of Magical Manifestation:

One needs to find and rely on a Vajra Master who has
the eight natural qualities."
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Adamantine » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:45 am

Just attended a teaching tonight with a disciple of the "Dharma King" Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche, who was teaching on his mind ter found herehttp://www.lotsawahouse.org/heartdrops.html. He spent the entire two hours commenting on this passage alone:

Becoming attached to this life, you will lose your fortunate connection to the Dharma.

Indulging your desires again and again, your craving will only increase,

And you will never find satisfaction. Wealth, happiness, fame and praise—

To pursue them is like buying and selling in a dream. Let go of such concerns!


It was translated a bit differently than Lotsawa House's version, more like "Abandon attachment to this life" and the commentary put it bluntly that
letting go of attachment to this life is a necessary requirement if one wants to reach liberation in this life. This close disciple of KJPR felt just this idea was
so important for us to hear, and to assimilate, he elaborated on it in great detail along with stories of great contemporary Tibetan renunciate yogis who illustrated the essence of this teaching in their outward conduct.

It made me reflect again on this dialogue because I really don't see how a statement such as Ray's "And I think that incarnation, ah… reincarnation, as a literal teaching, I don’t find it helpful for anybody because it takes your focus away from this life." can be reconciled with this essential Dharma teaching.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Hello,

Chaz wrote:
Pero wrote: How is saying that Mount Meru is the center of the world a teaching on Dharma?

It's in the Abidharma, isn't it? Last time I checked that was still accepted as part of the Pali Canon.


I don't believe that Meru as the center of Jambudvīpa appears in the Pāḷi Abhidhamma at all. It appears in Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośa which is a relatively late entry into the world of Śrāvaka Abhidharma. I'm not sure if it appears in the 7 root texts of the Sarvāstivāda Abhidharma or not.

Wishing you all the best.
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