Permission to practice: prerequisites?

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Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Starglade » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:54 pm

Forgive this very, very basic question, but I have been practicing on my own for some time now and have only recently found a local group with which I want to begin working.

This weekend, there will be a Permission to Practice given for Palden Lhamo. As I have not formally taken refuge with this group, but have done so on my own with the help of texts from FPMT, would I be allowed to attend? I don't want to step in where I shouldn't be going. I've emailed them about it, but I am unsure if the address is a "live" mailbox (where someone will actually see anything that's sent to it) or a "send-only, do-not-reply" (there's no indication either way on the email I received about the programs).

I look forward to hearing from some of you, any of you, one of you . . . :namaste:
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby mudra » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:58 am

I guess I saw this way too late! In general refuge is taken with a lama or some kind of preceptor who is qualified.

Any kind of tantric initiation, be it a Wangchen (full initiation w permission to do self visualization etc) or a Jeynang (subsequent permission in a class of tantra) requires: refuge, boddhisattva vows, and for HYT tantric vows all from qualified preceptors.

So how did it go anyway?
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Chaz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:10 am

Starglade wrote:Forgive this very, very basic question, but I have been practicing on my own for some time now and have only recently found a local group with which I want to begin working.

This weekend, there will be a Permission to Practice given for Palden Lhamo. As I have not formally taken refuge with this group, but have done so on my own with the help of texts from FPMT, would I be allowed to attend? I don't want to step in where I shouldn't be going. I've emailed them about it, but I am unsure if the address is a "live" mailbox (where someone will actually see anything that's sent to it) or a "send-only, do-not-reply" (there's no indication either way on the email I received about the programs).

I look forward to hearing from some of you, any of you, one of you . . . :namaste:


It's difficult to say whether or not you'll be allowed to attend the empowerment under the circumstances you describe. You'll really need to find out from the group in question either by contacting the teacher directly, or a senior student in the Sangha.

Taking Refuge Vows with the particular group may not be important, but formal vows, somewhere, may be. The only way to know is to contact the group, so keep at it.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Starglade » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:13 am

Chaz wrote:


Thank you both for responding.

I actually just received a reply from a member of the staff, who indicates that I can indeed take the permission to practice. "Deer Park activities are not limited to students" and if there were prerequisites, they would be mentioned in the info (which there were none called out).

Saturday could prove very interesting for me indeed.

:namaste:
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:57 pm

Starglade wrote:
Chaz wrote:


Thank you both for responding.

I actually just received a reply from a member of the staff, who indicates that I can indeed take the permission to practice. "Deer Park activities are not limited to students" and if there were prerequisites, they would be mentioned in the info (which there were none called out).

Saturday could prove very interesting for me indeed.

:namaste:


It is strange to attend a permission for a Dharmapala if you have not first received a major intitation into a deity practice like Kalacakra, Yamantaka, etc. Generally, speaking, you would not normally be allowed to attend such a permission without such an empowerment as a prerequisite. You might want to inquire again.

N
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Josef » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:15 pm

Namdrol wrote:
It is strange to attend a permission for a Dharmapala if you have not first received a major intitation into a deity practice like Kalacakra, Yamantaka, etc. Generally, speaking, you would not normally be allowed to attend such a permission without such an empowerment as a prerequisite. You might want to inquire again.

N

Agreed.
Whats the point in receiving permission to practice a Dharmapala when you dont even have the means to communicate with them?
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:48 pm

Shiiiiit....! It took me three years of busting my lamas chops before he gave the lung for our dhrmapala practice! Just the lung!
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:53 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Shiiiiit....! It took me three years of busting my lamas chops before he gave the lung for our dhrmapala practice! Just the lung!
:namaste:



That's all you really need for most dharmapala practices.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:That's all you really need for most dharmapala practices.
Being an alanalytical/intellectual type I like to hear explanations of the symbolism, visualisations, mudra, etc... of any practice. Of course the lung is enough for one to practice but (and with translations of dharmapala texts being rare as Buddhas teeth in the tradition I practice) I don't like my practice to be merely making melodic vocal sounds and pretty gestures.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby conebeckham » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:12 pm

Starglade-

I'd recommend that you ask about whether refuge vows will be bestowed prior to the event. If so, you should take them--there's absolutely no sense in obtaining a "permission to practice" Palden Lhamo, or any other Vajrayana practice, prior to having taken formal refuge. Also, If I were you, I would ask, explicitly, if prior Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment is required in order to receive this "permission to practice." Unfortunately, I have known of past events where such requirements were given by the Lama, but not clearly communicated beforehand--which can be an off-putting experience. As others have noted, Palden Lhamo is a dharma protector, and one normally needs a prior Tantric Empowerment to supplicate Dharma Protectors.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Starglade » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:18 pm

conebeckham wrote:Starglade-

I'd recommend that you ask about whether refuge vows will be bestowed prior to the event. If so, you should take them--there's absolutely no sense in obtaining a "permission to practice" Palden Lhamo, or any other Vajrayana practice, prior to having taken formal refuge. Also, If I were you, I would ask, explicitly, if prior Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment is required in order to receive this "permission to practice." Unfortunately, I have known of past events where such requirements were given by the Lama, but not clearly communicated beforehand--which can be an off-putting experience. As others have noted, Palden Lhamo is a dharma protector, and one normally needs a prior Tantric Empowerment to supplicate Dharma Protectors.


I have been reading all of your responses with great interest.

I also went to the FPMT website, where I found a copy of a daily Palden Lhamo practice in e-book format, listed under the heading "Not requiring empowerment" and available, therefore, to the general interested public.

There seem to be some major contradictions here. I will continue inquiring at Deer Park for specifics to make sure of things before I make that drive. Thank you all, again.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Josef » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 pm

Starglade wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Starglade-

I'd recommend that you ask about whether refuge vows will be bestowed prior to the event. If so, you should take them--there's absolutely no sense in obtaining a "permission to practice" Palden Lhamo, or any other Vajrayana practice, prior to having taken formal refuge. Also, If I were you, I would ask, explicitly, if prior Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment is required in order to receive this "permission to practice." Unfortunately, I have known of past events where such requirements were given by the Lama, but not clearly communicated beforehand--which can be an off-putting experience. As others have noted, Palden Lhamo is a dharma protector, and one normally needs a prior Tantric Empowerment to supplicate Dharma Protectors.


I have been reading all of your responses with great interest.

I also went to the FPMT website, where I found a copy of a daily Palden Lhamo practice in e-book format, listed under the heading "Not requiring empowerment" and available, therefore, to the general interested public.

There seem to be some major contradictions here. I will continue inquiring at Deer Park for specifics to make sure of things before I make that drive. Thank you all, again.

Its certainly possible that they offer the practice without a prerequisite.
Its odd because it would be pretty ineffective without having previously received a major empowerment.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Chaz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:49 pm

Starglade wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Starglade-

I'd recommend that you ask about whether refuge vows will be bestowed prior to the event. If so, you should take them--there's absolutely no sense in obtaining a "permission to practice" Palden Lhamo, or any other Vajrayana practice, prior to having taken formal refuge. Also, If I were you, I would ask, explicitly, if prior Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment is required in order to receive this "permission to practice." Unfortunately, I have known of past events where such requirements were given by the Lama, but not clearly communicated beforehand--which can be an off-putting experience. As others have noted, Palden Lhamo is a dharma protector, and one normally needs a prior Tantric Empowerment to supplicate Dharma Protectors.


I have been reading all of your responses with great interest.

I also went to the FPMT website, where I found a copy of a daily Palden Lhamo practice in e-book format, listed under the heading "Not requiring empowerment" and available, therefore, to the general interested public.

There seem to be some major contradictions here. I will continue inquiring at Deer Park for specifics to make sure of things before I make that drive. Thank you all, again.



No, there are no contradictions. Misunderstanding perhaps, but no contradiction.
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:24 pm

Starglade wrote:I also went to the FPMT website, where I found a copy of a daily Palden Lhamo practice in e-book format, listed under the heading "Not requiring empowerment" and available, therefore, to the general interested public.

There seem to be some major contradictions here. I will continue inquiring at Deer Park for specifics to make sure of things before I make that drive. Thank you all, again.



They have all kinds of practice text listed on that page that seem not to require empowerments, but in fact most of them do.

N
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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: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Starglade » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:

They have all kinds of practice text listed on that page that seem not to require empowerments, but in fact most of them do.

N


This is what I mean when I say "there seem to be contradictions." The FPMT site (which is all I have had to work with, until discovering Deer Park--and which I trusted, given its--lineage, for lack of a better word) indicates one thing, answers from practitioners here seem to indicate another. That, to me, is a contradiction--or, as Chaz said, at the very least a misunderstanding.

I have emailed Deer Park again with a request for specific answers about formal refuge-taking and prerequisite empowerment, and am waiting for further responses/clarifications. Thank you all, yet again. I appreciate your patience.

K
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Re: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:32 pm

Starglade wrote:
Namdrol wrote:

They have all kinds of practice text listed on that page that seem not to require empowerments, but in fact most of them do.

N


This is what I mean when I say "there seem to be contradictions." The FPMT site (which is all I have had to work with, until discovering Deer Park--and which I trusted, given its--lineage, for lack of a better word) indicates one thing, answers from practitioners here seem to indicate another. That, to me, is a contradiction--or, as Chaz said, at the very least a misunderstanding.

I have emailed Deer Park again with a request for specific answers about formal refuge-taking and prerequisite empowerment, and am waiting for further responses/clarifications. Thank you all, yet again. I appreciate your patience.

K


Sure, usually when you take a dharmapala inititation, you have comittments to make offerings on a daily or monthly basis.

Also, generally, as we mentioned, one usually needs to have received a highest yoga tantra empowerment.

But, these things are also at the discretion of the teacher.

N
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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: Permission to practice: prerequisites?

Postby Starglade » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:28 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Sure, usually when you take a dharmapala inititation, you have comittments to make offerings on a daily or monthly basis.

Also, generally, as we mentioned, one usually needs to have received a highest yoga tantra empowerment.

But, these things are also at the discretion of the teacher.

N


I have heard back again from the coordinator at Deer Park, and I will not be attending tomorrow's permission. After my situation was better explained she consulted with the lama-in-residence on my behalf, and as I was beginning to suspect (thanks to all of you), for my benefit it would be better not to attend this session.

I thank you once again for all your assistance and willingness to listen to a newcomer's question.

K
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