Siddhartha's Intent

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Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:31 am

If anyone here knows about the Siddhartha's Intent group, could you please describe it Wikipedia-style? For example, approximately how many people are involved in it? What are their main practices? Where is the group headquartered, and how is it organized? Are there any controversies about it? It's hard to find anything except their own websites, and these are aimed at people who are already members.

I'll start:

Siddhartha's Intent (founded 1989) is an international network of Nyingma dharma centers under the direction of the Bhutanese lama and film director Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (b. 1961). The organization supports a number of educational and translation projects, and other charitable activities.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby MrDistracted » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:02 pm

Hi

Siddhartha's Intent http://www.siddharthasintent.org/ is kind of the umbrella for Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's teaching activities.
The website was created to be a resource, providing information about Rinpoche's schedule, transcripts of his teachings and a community forum.

There is a news letter also called the Gentle Voice which has its own website now http://www.gentlevoice.org

However with the founding of his Dharma Gars in Europe http://www.dharmagar.com/ , America http://dharmagarnorthamerica.org/ and possibly soon (early 2012??) in Asia the Siddarthas Intent website may become obsolete. I believe there are plans to build a new site and to restructure things.

However for now it is still running and there are many transcripts of Rinpoche's teachings on the site...you may have to register, which is easy anyway, much like on this site.

He has a centre in India called Deer Park http://www.deerpark.in/ A look at this site will give you more of a flavour of Rinpoche's non-sectarian approach.

You might want to look at the Khyentse Foundation's website aswell to get more info about Rinpoche http://khyentsefoundation.org/

Also the film 'Words of My Perfect Teacher' gives an insight into Rinpoche's style....and also why it is difficult to nail down information about him and his activity in a 'Wikipedia' style

I believe Rinpoche is going to be shooting his new film this winter in Sri Lanka, so might not be teaching so much for a while.


Controversies? I've looked at the other 3 posts you've posted today and you seem to ask about controversy alot. If you are looking for it you will find somewhere, I'm sure. But none that I have heard of, and certainly none that I would take seriously...Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is as authentic and courageous and kind as they come, is held in high regard by many lineage holders and in my mind he is Manjushri in person. But if you are genuinely interested in his teachings, you will need to see that for yourself. If you are interested in muck-raking you probably won't.



I hope this helps.
Last edited by MrDistracted on Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Paul » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:49 pm

MrDistracted wrote:Controversies? I've looked at the other 3 posts you've posted today and you seem to ask about controversy alot. If you are looking for it you will find anywhere, I'm sure. But none that I have heard of, and certainly none that I would take seriously...Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is as authentic and courageous and kind as they come, is held in high regard by many lineage holders and in my mind he is Manjushri in person.


Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is an incredible, incredible teacher and I really wish I can meet him before I die.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:55 am

I've read his websites. There are many things they simply don't reveal, but that his students would probably know. I had hoped that some would post here. For example, I know that they have something called "Dharma Gar" (now a ten-year, part-time version of the three-year retreat, except not done as a retreat), but have no idea what practices are done in it. The community forum is being phased out, apparently in anticipation of moving to a new website.

"Criticism" is a common Wikipedia category. And anyway, who wants one-sided information? Criticism is a good thing. (Speaking of which, I hope his next movie is more like The Cup than Travelers and Magicians.)
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Zenda » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:02 am

You should read some of the Gentle Voice articles and listen to the podcasts on the main SI site and on the Khyentse Foundation site. That will give you a sense of things, I think. If you're really interested, try to attend a teaching with him in person.

What is it exactly that you're trying to find out? You say that there are things that the websites don't reveal... What are you looking for?
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby MrDistracted » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:15 am

Hi

Regarding your question about Dharma gar:

"The idea is that we will take the entire curriculum that people generally practice in a traditional 3-year and 3-month retreat, and we’ll divide it into 10 years. People will practice for 2 hours every day, so that after 10 years, they will have completed ngöndro, guru practice, deva or deity practice, dakini practice and probably other practices like mahasandhi, dzogpachenpo, mahamudra and so on. I am also thinking to incorporate the practice of the Eight Chariots."
– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The SI website is still running at the moment and you will find contact details of instructors that Rinpoche has appointed around the world. Although i think the 'ask an instructor' forum on the community page has been taken down now.


Siddartha's Intent is not a group like you might think, like a sangha that meets at such and such times. It is more an umbrella organisation for Rinpoche's teachings. So it is difficult to give any kind of flavour of it as a group. It exists as a resource. The centres it incorporates consist of monasteries in Tibet, shedras in India, retreat centres in Australia and Canada, so it's all pretty diverse. As are Rinpoche's students.

Rinpoche is a generous teacher and there are so many of his teachings freely available in different formats from an introduction to shamatha to weeks of discourse on the Uttaratantra, why not have a look at those? That is the best way for you to gauge for yourself whether his style suits you and whether you connect with his teachings. And a more wholesome approach than soliciting for other peoples opinions. In my opinion.

You seem to want an answer to something without asking the question :smile:
What is your motivation? I see that you are asking questions about another lama on the Gelug forum. If it's to assess the authenticity of these teachers, I would approach some senior lamas, in the case of DJKR you could perhaps ask the office of HH Sakya Trizin or HH Dalai Lama to vouch for him, or any senior Nyingma lama, or Tenga Rinpoche perhaps. If you have a genuine interest in assessing these teachers with a view to receiving teachings from them, then asking for negative criticism over the internet is not an auspicious start to that relationship. Again, in my opinion.

If you have other motives, well, shit-stirring in Dharma circles is hardly original, ingenious or rewarding as a pursuit .


All the best.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:02 am

What is it exactly that you're trying to find out? You say that there are things that the websites don't reveal... What are you looking for?


Well, to begin with, how many followers / students does he have? What languages do they speak? Which deity practices do they do? (The Dharma Gar paragraph copied above refers to them, but does not say what they are.)

I found this site like, yesterday and used the opportunity to ask questions I'd been wondering about since the demise of e-sangha, but had no where else to ask. Tsem Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche are similar in some ways, e.g. in their attempts to modernize or adapt their presentation of the dharma to a globalized audience. I don't think it's unreasonable of me to seek out dissenting voices, when the main source of information about either of them is their own propaganda. Perhaps it is wicked of me, but if there are criticisms, I would like to learn about them in a timely fashion.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby MrDistracted » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:13 pm

Hi Sergei

Rinpoche has students from all over, and I really don't know how many he has. I suspect only he knows that.

I appreciate and respect you needing answers to your questions, and they are valid questions. I find 'propaganda' and 'dissenting voices' rather strange terminology, though.

Regarding DJKR's attempts to modernise and adapt his presentation to a modern audience, yes, he has a certain 'iconoclastic' style. I have no doubt that has somewhere, sometime upset someone. He might be popular and charasmatic, but he is no 'people pleaser'.
However, when it actually comes to the core teachings he is very traditional, I would say, from my experience.
His teachings are adapted in delivery, but certainly not watered down.
A case in point would be that he gave teachings recently in LA on karma, called 'The Chicken and the Egg'. It was a teaching presented in an untraditional way. But during the teaching he made quite clear his discomfort with 'modern' Buddhists rejecting or shying away from topics such as rebirth and karma.


So yes, there is adaptation in presentation but no compromise in meaning. It is this ability of his to deliver complete teachings in his own style that leaves me in no doubt that he manifests in some way Manjushri's wisdom. But that is not the sort of sycophancy you (nor he) wants to hear :smile:

Good luck with your search. I do feel that regardless of what ever info you do find, positive or negative, the bottom line is the only thing that matters is what his teachings mean to you. You are the only one who can be effected by this, not Rinpoche, not his students, not the Dharma, only you....so I hope your search to find critical information is beneficial to you.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Zenda » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:33 pm

Hi Sergei.

I see... Rinpoche has hundreds if not thousands of student from all over the world. He teaches mainly in English with translators. (He's taught in China, France, South America, Germany, and many othe places.)

The practices vary according to the student. There was a student manual (which is currently being revised). If I remember correctly, the practices include shamatha/vipassana, four thoughts that turn the mind, four seals, etc. Many people practice the Longchen Nyinthig ngondro (a manual for which is available on the site for those who've received permission to practice this).

Rinpoche's tradition is Rime or nonsectarian. He holds the Khyentse lineage and the practices associated with that (among others, so I've heard.). I don't have information about specific practices but you could check out Dudjom Rinpoche's book on the Nyingma school.

You might try contacting SI and asking one of the instructors your questions. (A list of instructors can be found on the community site.) They'll be able to help...

Hope this is helpful...

Good luck!
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:51 am

Thank you both. BTW the "Ask an instructor" feature has been discontinued.

I find 'propaganda' and 'dissenting voices' rather strange terminology, though.


By "propaganda" I mean information intended for wide distribution, for the purpose of persuading people to adopt a particular viewpoint or set of viewpoints. Most religious websites would fit this description--they are designed with a view to promoting the religion, not analyzing it in a neutral way (as a newspaper would). By "dissenting voices" I mean views which do not accord with those presented in the propaganda. (Too much sociology...?)

On deities and practices: In the case of Kechara, it is easy to learn that their main practices are Je Tsongkhapa, Vajrayogini, and the protector deity Setrap. In the case of SI, they are....what? Guhyagarbha? The "Eight Chariots" essentially refer to the founders of all the Tibetan practice lineages. I understand the Ris med connection, but...surely they cannot be practicing everything, there has to be some focus.

Hmmm, maybe I should ask Stephen Batchelor to be my guru!

Mr. Distracted, I am prepared to consider praise as well as criticism (and do not think you sycophantic by any means). The thing is, praise is only meaningful or credible if criticism is possible. For example, it is often said that the Thai people love their king, and perhaps they do, but since it is illegal to criticise him, we can never really know.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Josef » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:16 am

Sergei wrote:
What is it exactly that you're trying to find out? You say that there are things that the websites don't reveal... What are you looking for?


Well, to begin with, how many followers / students does he have? What languages do they speak? Which deity practices do they do? (The Dharma Gar paragraph copied above refers to them, but does not say what they are.)

I found this site like, yesterday and used the opportunity to ask questions I'd been wondering about since the demise of e-sangha, but had no where else to ask. Tsem Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche are similar in some ways, e.g. in their attempts to modernize or adapt their presentation of the dharma to a globalized audience. I don't think it's unreasonable of me to seek out dissenting voices, when the main source of information about either of them is their own propaganda. Perhaps it is wicked of me, but if there are criticisms, I would like to learn about them in a timely fashion.

Dzongsar Khyentse is quite traditional actually. He is a pretty orthodox Nyingma/Sakya lama when you get down to it.
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:25 am

I was not aware of the Sakya connection. Is this because of Ris med, or is it more than that? (There are a lot of Nyingma / Kargyud dual-identified lamas around, but I haven't heard of this combination.)
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Josef » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:32 am

Sergei wrote:I was not aware of the Sakya connection. Is this because of Ris med, or is it more than that? (There are a lot of Nyingma / Kargyud dual-identified lamas around, but I haven't heard of this combination.)

Its a fairly common combo. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal Rinpoche have very strong Sakya connections as well.

Dzongsar is a Sakya monastery and was the seat of Dzongsar Khyentse's previous incarnation.
This combination goes back to the founders of the Rime movement:
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (Sakya)
Chokyur Lingpa (Nyingma)
Jamgon Kongtrul (Kagyu)
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby MrDistracted » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:39 am

I'm sorry Sergei. I think I owe you an apology, I have been mean to you in my presumptions. I have been out of line.

Regarding practices it's difficult to be specific because Rinpoche will give individual students different practices.

That said, I think it would be a fair generalisation to say that he orientates towards his own lineage, the Khyentse lineage. And often at public teachings he will give the oral transmission of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's concise Longchen Nyingtik ngondro, and then, if they wish to practice it, students can request a copy of his instructions to it from Siddartha's Intent.....or it's now published within a book by Courtland Dahl.

I have heard him give a lot of philosphical teachings using commentaries by Sakya Lamas. He did his traditional philosophical training at Sakya college. He has taught the Sakya text 'Parting from the Four Attachments' alot.

He also often says how much he admires Jamgon Kongtrul Lodo Thaye, there are teachings available on his commentary of Kongtrul's 'Calling the Lama from Afar', which may be of interest to you.

He has been giving the Dudjom Tersar empowerments ( he is Dudjom Rinpoche's grandson and Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's son) in California and also in Spiti. I think he is returning to Spiti next year to complete the empowerments and I think he completed giving them in August this year in California.

While he holds many, many lineages including Thangtong Gyalpo's lineage. I think it would be a fair generalisation ( but a generalisation nevertheless) to say he gives practices mainly from the Khyentse lineage, by which I mean the practices and termas of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Khyentse Chokyi Lodo. He was also one of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's close students.

The questions for instructors facility is down on the SI website, but you should still manage to find contacts of email addresses on it.


http://www.siddharthasintent.org/teachi ... edule.html This might give you an idea of the public teachings he's given over the last year. There was a schedule list that goes way back which I wanted to find to give you more of an idea....but I can't find it now

All the best
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Re: Siddhartha's Intent

Postby Sergei » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 pm

Not at all, in fact you've been very helpful.

Does SI and/or the Khyentse lineage in general identify a particular yidam, guru, and dakini? I had always assumed that Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal would figure into it, but perhaps they are following Sa sKya practices like Hevajra...?

The usual format for three-year retreats seems to be to begin with ngon dro (if this has not been done already) for perhaps a year, then proceed to...well, one program has a series of Mahayoga practices, another has six months of shamatha and six of vipasyana--intermediate studies, we might say. Apparently some conclude with Dzogchen or Mahamudra, while others introduce these at the very beginning. I had assumed that Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's Dharma Gar programs would follow a similar structure, though in view of his usual emphases I would not be surprised to find "basic" texts like Shantideva represented. Unfortunately they seem very secretive about this aspect, and their websites are closed to outsiders.
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