Studying Nyingma

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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby ngodrup » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:27 am

Sangyey,

What is written here, by username, is generally accurate and good. It is extremely important
to remember that the Nyingma tradition is not homogenous at all, nor does it have a centralized
authority. On top of that, Tibet is itself a large country with a very small population, so it has
very thin population density. One does not necessarily have one and only one teacher, and one
does not travel for days or months even to check on things with one's guru. When asked for
advice Nyingma Lamas will often say something to the effect of "listen to your own wisdom-
mind in this matter." Certainy not in all cases, but self-reliance does have an important place.
But on the other hand, illiteracy was high. so disciples couldn't just read texts whenever they
felt like it. They were given practices, they completed them, then went to check with a qualified
Lama-- especially one's teacher or a trusted vajra brother. Accurate and correct guidance is essential.

Ok, here's one qualm. Unername says:

"Firstly nyingma.com is an incognito site of aro which is a western guy claiming to be a terton
without any lama supporting that claim. Nyingmas know very well the grave dangers of false
tertons as detailed by Padmasambhava. However the famous beautiful letter of late Nyushol
posted with good intentions of Hayagriva is well known. "

Ownership of Nyingma.com is completely beside the point. I do not know who owns it. But,
although Aro Ter is controversial, one thing is certain-- the 'head lama" does not say he's a
terton, he has never made this claim. I have met him in person. I mistakenly read something
he said as implying he was, but he was quite clear in saying in person "I'm not a terton." Since
he does not say he's a terton, confimation as one by lineage holders is not necessary. I am not
debating the merits of the Aro Ter itself, its sources, validity or absence thereof. It is correct
one must proceed carefully and not just take the opinions of 'the masses.' I'm simply saying
don't jump to conclusions or adopt positions based on sweeping generalizations.
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby username » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:58 am

1- I never met the Aro guy but that is not what he tells his close followers. If someone puts up a picture of a lama and claims to be in that lama's lineage and after the lama objects to his activities, sends a lawyer's letter threatening him but keeps using his photos/name on the numerous websites (and other lamas who tried to stop him and cut him off too, last one of a long list was the late Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche), then I would say the reverse is ture: he has to prove what he says, not the great lamas who told him off.
2- Why does he not put out a general public statement saying he is not a terton as this has been going on for years and years? Same with flaming damstig (or whatever it is called) by his western friend and strategic ally?
3- Why hide the fact that nyingma.com is an Aro site???
(BTW when originally outed on esangha, the site owner who is one of his close men didn't deny it.)
4- Off topic!
BTW Aro was named as a fake terton/terma to come by Dudjom Rinpoche decades before the guy became what he is IIRC. False tertons are extremely serious karmic matters and to be kept away from.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Zenda » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:59 am

My prior post about what is safest has been deleted. Apologies for any confusion or misinformation...
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby heart » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:43 am

ngodrup wrote:
Ok, here's one qualm. Unername says:

"Firstly nyingma.com is an incognito site of aro which is a western guy claiming to be a terton
without any lama supporting that claim. Nyingmas know very well the grave dangers of false
tertons as detailed by Padmasambhava. However the famous beautiful letter of late Nyushol
posted with good intentions of Hayagriva is well known. "

Ownership of Nyingma.com is completely beside the point. I do not know who owns it. But,
although Aro Ter is controversial, one thing is certain-- the 'head lama" does not say he's a
terton, he has never made this claim. I have met him in person. I mistakenly read something
he said as implying he was, but he was quite clear in saying in person "I'm not a terton." Since
he does not say he's a terton, confimation as one by lineage holders is not necessary. I am not
debating the merits of the Aro Ter itself, its sources, validity or absence thereof. It is correct
one must proceed carefully and not just take the opinions of 'the masses.' I'm simply saying
don't jump to conclusions or adopt positions based on sweeping generalizations.


Seriously, according to himself he rediscovered a complete cycle of practices discovered originally by Aro Lingpa (a person that by the way never existed). It is described very clearly on the Aro website called Approaching Aro. So it is not a sweeping generalization that he consider himself a terton no matter what he says to you.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:32 am

Also, I have not read this one (yet) but I am confident it will be perfect for what you need--


The Buddhist Path: A Practical Guide from the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Path-Practical-Tradition-Buddhism/dp/1559393556/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby sangyey » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:25 pm

Do Nyingmapa's generally consider themselves either Suatantrika- Svatantrika Madhyamaka or Yogachara-Svatantrika Madhyamaka?
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby username » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:27 am

Some Nyingmas might agree with Tsongkhapa on his attacks on Bhava though most don't care. Tsongkhapa had lots of conflicting new ideas himself and managed sometimes to go to both extremes philosophically too but his efforts bore great practical fruit as the Gelugs are ultiamtely saying the same thing as the other three schools. Most Nyingmas (who are into this stuff that is, khenpos) agree with Sakyas that all this is ho-hum and the old Indian schools ultimately were saying the same thing also as far as the fundamentals are concerned despite word plays and sophistries. They were probably all upaya for the time, and good practice too in Nalanda etc., even if many didn't realize it then. Even Vasu calmed down and changed into a quiet practitioner as he matured as I am sure most big names in the fights did quietly too in the end even if not recorded, probably. All Nyingmas agree that concepts are needed to progress on the path but enlightenment (Vidya) is beyond philosophy or fighting various extinct windmills appearing as monsters. Nyingmas and Kagyus epmphasize things become clearer with practice too, as well as with word fights.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby ngodrup » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:48 pm

Yes, indeed. between study and practice, we prefer practice.

What's Nyingma view? We concur generally with Rangzompa, Longchenpa,
Jigmed Lingpa, Dodrupchen Tenpe Nyima and Mipham. Especially Rangzom
and Longchenpa antedate Je Tsongkhapa and Mipham bases his thinking
on these two. We hold that these extremely subtle distinctions are predominately
academic and bear little relevance to practitioners, as practice will clarify view.

Direct perception doesn't require reason or syllogisms to support it; it is what it is.
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby sangyey » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:03 pm

Thank you for the clarifications.

After looking at 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' text it seems like the outer and inner preliminaries are a major component to practice?

Also, I just recently received the Bodhisattva Vow's from my teacher but my teacher did not really elaborate on them too much except for one root vow and said that the ceremony can sometimes be more elaborate. I am wondering what exactly the vows mean for Nyingma's. I looked in the 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' but there wasn't too much of an elaboration. Im terms of practice and everything I would really just ask my teacher but I am wondering in a general sense what the Bodhisattva vows mean for Nyingma's? I remember reading for Gelugpa's that there are aspirational and engaged vows such as the 4 dark and light practices and 18 root and 46 auxiliary vows but I don't know if Nyingma's practice that as well?

Thank you.
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby sangyey » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:45 pm

Thanks for the book recommendations as well. I ordered some of the books from amazon today and look forward to reading them.
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby username » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:37 pm

This emphasis on schools is not a real thing for Nyingmas as their greatest masters studied all schools and practiced others too. Also there is not much emphasis on categories a la ontology and scheme of things nor phenolomonolgy in a very restricted defined way that excludes all else. There are many ways for many circumstances, near infinte in the cosmos due to the kindness of numerous buddhas. The whole point is that wondering what the basics are which is great. Refuge and two bohicittas and four thoughts that turn the mind away from samsara. In a sense the inner meanings of the highest methods of Dzogchen are in them or even in just the four noble truths of Shakyamuni. Honestly, if we just contemplate these sincerely as the main points not just philosophical categories or the counters used in ngondro or details of tantric rituals. Of course those are needed as fuel for the fire too but the point is seeing with the light not at it blinding oneself.

Just thinking about what is written on the pages of The Words of My perfect Teacher in deep ways for years is the main practice and path and the rest of rituals and studies are necessary means and way stations. Ultimately leading to finding who is doing the reading and thinking, which is the goal as we are often told. What is a person? Or karma or samsara or suffering? Or rebirth? We never think about these and mistakenly take them as given basics we have understood well. If we had understood these truly, we would have been enlightened.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby sangyey » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:19 am

Okay, okay, okay......is there a stanza somehwere about laughing at illusory appearances? :tongue:
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby username » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:52 am

There is the laughter of Samantabhadra text and Sound of Dakini Laughter Chod from Longchen Nyingthig is a good practice.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Kunzang » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:54 am

Adamantine wrote:Also, I have not read this one (yet) but I am confident it will be perfect for what you need--


The Buddhist Path: A Practical Guide from the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Path-Practical-Tradition-Buddhism/dp/1559393556/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

Image


Actually you have read it. It's the 3rd edition of a book that changes names each time its published. 1st edition was Light of the Three Jewels and the 2nd edition was Opening to Our Primordial Nature.

Speaking of the Khenpos, has anyone read any of their shedra series?
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby heart » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:56 am

sangyey wrote:Okay, okay, okay......is there a stanza somehwere about laughing at illusory appearances? :tongue:


"Since everything is but an apparition, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter"
-Longchenpa
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Adamantine » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:18 am

Kunzang wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Also, I have not read this one (yet) but I am confident it will be perfect for what you need--


The Buddhist Path: A Practical Guide from the Nyingma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Path-Practical-Tradition-Buddhism/dp/1559393556/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

Image


Actually you have read it. It's the 3rd edition of a book that changes names each time its published. 1st edition was Light of the Three Jewels and the 2nd edition was Opening to Our Primordial Nature.

Speaking of the Khenpos, has anyone read any of their shedra series?


Oh that's weird then because Opening to Our Primordial Nature is still on sale on Amazon so anyone could easily order both, wrongly assuming they are separate texts.. that seems odd, are you sure?
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Kunzang » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:41 pm

Adamantine,

Yes, it's the same. Use the "click to look inside" option, and scroll down to the publishing information; also looking at pages that are available for preview, it's the same text.

Every time it gets reprinted, I keep looking to see if "my" chapter was added. This book is based mostly on talks the Khenpos gave in Tennessee back in the late 80s. They would come about three times a year back then. We'd tape their teachings and then transcribe them vebatim; then Michael and Ann would edit. The talk I transcribed is maybe not general enough for this book; it was at the beginning of the retreat on a Friday night and KPSR talked about the true meaning of retreat.
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby Adamantine » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:45 pm

Kunzang wrote:Adamantine,

Yes, it's the same. Use the "click to look inside" option, and scroll down to the publishing information; also looking at pages that are available for preview, it's the same text.

Every time it gets reprinted, I keep looking to see if "my" chapter was added. This book is based mostly on talks the Khenpos gave in Tennessee back in the late 80s. They would come about three times a year back then. We'd tape their teachings and then transcribe them vebatim; then Michael and Ann would edit. The talk I transcribed is maybe not general enough for this book; it was at the beginning of the retreat on a Friday night and KPSR talked about the true meaning of retreat.


Ok thanks for the info! I did at one time co-own the Opening to-- book until I lent it and never saw it again. It's a great book. I wonder why both versions would be available new under different names, it does make it confusing. It is a great introductory book for those new to Vajrayana Dharma so I understand the newer title, the other title may seem more obscure for beginners. Thanks for the clarification!
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Re: Studying Nyingma

Postby sangyey » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:02 pm

That's one of the books I picked up from amazon. I look forward to reading it.

I was reading White Lotus and WOMPT and they were talking about approach and accomplishment practices. I am wondering what these generally mean. Is it something that you could regard as being a practice like approaching single pointed meditation and perhaps accomplishing it or something like that? Is this a terminology used to describe Nyingma practices?

I also wanted to ask what color lotus Guru Rinpoche is usually depicted or visualized seated on? Is it a red lotus?
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