Electronic Dzogchen

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Electronic Dzogchen

Postby mindyourmind » Mon May 30, 2011 2:02 pm

The thread on the, um, superiority of Dzogchen has again brought this question to the fore in my mind. It is probably an unfair question, but here goes in any event.

I am a Kagyu practitioner, hard at work on my ngondro :stirthepot: and Kagyu is going places here in my country, ie South Africa. Nothing to complain of, thank you.

I do however remember from the days of searching for a suitable path around here that I found out that there are a few Dzogchen practitioners in SA, and that they read the prescribed books and "attend" the webcasts.

Now my question is really this : can one really be said to be practicing a path as sophisticated as Dzogchen via book and webcast? I really do not mean this in a disparaging manner, and my question is really not so much to do with Dzogchen as "Practicing X via books and webcasts". Surely it is a question of degree : use these tools as far as they will go but somewhere along the line one will have to get actual face-to-face teachings / transmissions?

I am quite comfortable with practicing an advanced Buddhist path via these tools up to a point, but then the actual teacher will need to take over at some stage ... or am I being too old-fashioned?
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 30, 2011 2:04 pm

mindyourmind wrote:
Now my question is really this : can one really be said to be practicing a path as sophisticated as Dzogchen via book and webcast?



Yes.
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby mindyourmind » Mon May 30, 2011 2:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:
Now my question is really this : can one really be said to be practicing a path as sophisticated as Dzogchen via book and webcast?



Yes.


Would the student not reach a stage where s/he would have to get person-to-person teachings?
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 30, 2011 2:41 pm

mindyourmind wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:
Now my question is really this : can one really be said to be practicing a path as sophisticated as Dzogchen via book and webcast?



Yes.


Would the student not reach a stage where s/he would have to get person-to-person teachings?



Define "person to person".
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby mindyourmind » Mon May 30, 2011 2:47 pm

Namdrol wrote:

Define "person to person".


I'm aware that a webcast could qualify as "person to person", it just seems quite ...unusual.

And btw, my apologies, Namdrol (and others) you seem to have answered all of my questions in the Dzogchen Community of CNN thread. I will go and read that :namaste:
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Mon May 30, 2011 2:50 pm

How does a live webcast differs from a record, if at all?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
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“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon May 30, 2011 2:53 pm

I had a good laugh when I read the title of this topic! :lol:
It's not Dzogchen that is electronic, neither it's practice. When I read it I thought I was going to be told about someone who claimed making a machine that when used would enhance or perform Dzogchen practice (a bit like electric prayer wheels). It sounded something like that.

The electronics involved only allow you to hear your teacher. The vocal cords and air, or pen and paper were the traditional means.Then, in big assemblies Lamas started to use microphones and speakers. The voice goes in, transformed in an electric signal, and it's again translated into sound when exiting the speakers. So what are we discussing really? The size of the wire?

Today we have other means that fulfill the same role shouting and microphones performed in the past, technology that allows more students to listen good teachings. Obviously, one can write to ChNN, go to retreats and approach him if necessary to clarify doubts. Perhaps one must be more selective with one's doubts, instead of approaching the lama to feed one's ego, show a little wisdom, or what have you, as I many times see people doing. Some don't actually have real questions which arise from of practice. They just want to approach the lama and show interest and study, hanging around a bit to feel previledged and so on and so forth, thus their reasons being quite different. This is not so easy in DC. In a way, it ends up working like a sort of a filter, where you really need to choose what questions should you ask and why. Even so I've heard that there are times when people waste Rinpoche's time with pointless questions he usually answers over and over again in his webcasts.

One gets the answers one needs in DC, don't worry and they allow practice perfectly. And the electronic part... it's just like a mic with speakers, the advantage being that you also have video and the wires go round the world. So you can always be listening to your teacher, you can ask him questions, you can listen to replays, you can read booklets and books, see Dvd or listen to CD about pretty much everything he teaches and so on and so forth. Plus, if you have financial possibilities, you can always travel and meet him as he visits a lot of places. It's a tremendous diversity of supporting methods, my friend. The electronics only help.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Mon May 30, 2011 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 30, 2011 2:55 pm

Astus wrote:How does a live webcast differs from a record, if at all?



A recording is not alive.
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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Dechen Norbu » Mon May 30, 2011 2:58 pm

In a live webcast you have simultaneously the intention to teach from the lama and the intention to receive the teachings from the students. In a record such is not simultaneous.
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby mindyourmind » Mon May 30, 2011 3:00 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:I had a good laugh when I read the title of this topic! :lol:
.


I was hoping to raise a smile or two :smile:
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Mon May 30, 2011 3:02 pm

Namdrol,

So technically it is OK to have a recorded teaching, right? Then books are practically the same.

DN,

Intention is quite an internal thing, I don't see how its simultaneity has any relevance. Plus there is always a delay in transmission, even if just a few seconds.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 30, 2011 3:11 pm

Astus wrote:Namdrol,

So technically it is OK to have a recorded teaching, right? Then books are practically the same.

DN,

Intention is quite an internal thing, I don't see how its simultaneity has any relevance. Plus there is always a delay in transmission, even if just a few seconds.



You can have a recorded teaching -- but you cannot receive transmission from a recording.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Pero » Mon May 30, 2011 3:14 pm

Astus wrote:Intention is quite an internal thing, I don't see how its simultaneity has any relevance. Plus there is always a delay in transmission, even if just a few seconds.

There's a delay if you sit in person right next to the teacher too.

Anyway, having received teachings and empowerments both in person and through webcast I can tell you there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission that I could see.
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Astus » Mon May 30, 2011 3:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:You can have a recorded teaching -- but you cannot receive transmission from a recording.


That's why I ask what the difference is between a live webcast and its record. If no transmission is possible through a record what makes the live one special? IIRC there were video cassettes used before online transmission. But even if the teacher simultaneously takes part without being seen or heard by the student, how is that relevant to those sitting in front of a screen?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby padma norbu » Mon May 30, 2011 4:09 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:You can have a recorded teaching -- but you cannot receive transmission from a recording.


That's why I ask what the difference is between a live webcast and its record. If no transmission is possible through a record what makes the live one special? IIRC there were video cassettes used before online transmission. But even if the teacher simultaneously takes part without being seen or heard by the student, how is that relevant to those sitting in front of a screen?


I think the point is that there is a transfer of more than sound and visual data. This brings a question to mind: do we think it would be impossible to receive transmission if you were blind and deaf?
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Mon May 30, 2011 4:26 pm

Pero wrote:
Anyway, having received teachings and empowerments both in person and through webcast I can tell you there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission that I could see.


Because you already had identical, but direct, transmission before ...
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Mon May 30, 2011 4:28 pm

Pero wrote:There's a delay if you sit in person right next to the teacher too.


... it's just your own delay, not a principe !

Sönam
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Pero » Mon May 30, 2011 6:41 pm

Sönam wrote:
Pero wrote:
Anyway, having received teachings and empowerments both in person and through webcast I can tell you there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission that I could see.


Because you already had identical, but direct, transmission before ...

What?

... it's just your own delay, not a principe !

I was talking about sound.
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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Malcolm » Mon May 30, 2011 6:53 pm

Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:You can have a recorded teaching -- but you cannot receive transmission from a recording.


That's why I ask what the difference is between a live webcast and its record. If no transmission is possible through a record what makes the live one special? IIRC there were video cassettes used before online transmission. But even if the teacher simultaneously takes part without being seen or heard by the student, how is that relevant to those sitting in front of a screen?


The recording merely served to synchronize the teacher and student in time.

The live webcast means everyone is participating at the same time. And please, let's not get into silly discussions about network latency and so on.

N
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Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Electronic Dzogchen

Postby Sönam » Mon May 30, 2011 7:35 pm

Pero wrote:
Sönam wrote:
Pero wrote:
Anyway, having received teachings and empowerments both in person and through webcast I can tell you there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission that I could see.


Because you already had identical, but direct, transmission before ...

What?

... it's just your own delay, not a principe !

I was talking about sound.


simple, that was the discussion ...

Astus said : "How does a live webcast differs from a record, if at all?"

Namdrol answered : "A recording is not alive" and DN added : "In a live webcast you have simultaneously the intention to teach from the lama and the intention to receive the teachings from the students. In a record such is not simultaneous"

so at that point the discussion was not on the sound, but transmission (intention), what is "in" the sound or "behind" the sound

The Astus answered (to DN) : "Intention is quite an internal thing, I don't see how its simultaneity has any relevance. Plus there is always a delay in transmission, even if just a few seconds." ... so at that point it is not supposed to be about sound, but about transmission


then you came with : "There's a delay if you sit in person right next to the teacher too. Anyway, having received teachings and empowerments both in person and through webcast I can tell you there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission that I could see.

so ...

if there is a delay in transmission, also when you sit near the teacher ... it's just your own delay, not a principe !

and

if there is absolutely no difference regarding transmission (not sound) ... it's because you already had identical, but direct, transmission before


is it clearer or should I comment :smile:

Sönam
Last edited by Sönam on Mon May 30, 2011 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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