Nyingma Refuge Tree

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Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby sangyey » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:45 am

I have a question about the Nyingma Refuge Tree visualization. From my understanding Buddha sits on the branch that faces out towards you and Guru Rinpoche sits on the top branch. Does the visualization then put Guru Rinpoche at a higher level then the Buddha on the tree?
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby heart » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:47 am

sangyey wrote:I have a question about the Nyingma Refuge Tree visualization. From my understanding Buddha sits on the branch that faces out towards you and Guru Rinpoche sits on the top branch. Does the visualization then put Guru Rinpoche at a higher level then the Buddha on the tree?


The refuge tree in the Nyingma is very dependent on the cycle of practices that one approach, there is no standard tree. In the trees I have seen the Buddhas (not only Shakymuni but headed by him) are on Guru Rinpoches left, the Bodhisattvas are on the right. More or less on the same level. But Guru Rinpoche is more prominent and central in the refuge tree. This is the same as in the Kagyu refuge trees were Dorje Chang have the prominent central place. This symbolize the central and prominent role the Guru have in Vajrayana practice.

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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby ground » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:59 am

Here is one type (bottom of page) including a link to the chart explaining the figures.

http://bodhicittasangha.org/lang-en/bud ... ma-lineage


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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:16 pm

The refuge tree in the Nyingma is very dependent on the cycle of practices that one approach, there is no standard tree. In the trees I have seen the Buddhas (not only Shakymuni but headed by him) are on Guru Rinpoches left, the Bodhisattvas are on the right. More or less on the same level. But Guru Rinpoche is more prominent and central in the refuge tree. This is the same as in the Kagyu refuge trees were Dorje Chang have the prominent central place. This symbolize the central and prominent role the Guru have in Vajrayana practice.


Thank you Magnus. In Patrul Rinpoche's WOMPT the visualization was something like Guru Rinpoche on the central branch, 8 great Bodhisttva's on the right branch, Buddha's closest Shravaka disciples on the left, Dharma texts on the back branch, and Buddha Shakyamuni on the front branch. I wasn't sure as if Guru Rinpoche is on the central branch it would seem like it would have to be elevated over the front branch. I wasn't sure if this was the correct way to visualize this or if all the 5 branches are somewhat on an even plane.

Thank you TMimgyur for the link.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby MrDistracted » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:49 pm

Hi

If you are practicing the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro, which WOMPT is specifically a commentary on, then the link TMingyur provided shows the correct visualisation for the Refuge tree.

If it's not, I've wasted a lot of my time.... :smile:
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby sangyey » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:25 pm

Okay, yeah. Just not sure if Guru Rinpoche depicted on the central branch is elevated over the front branch with Shakyamuni. I'm not sure how else you would be able to visualize Guru Rinpoche if both the central and front branches are level as it would seem that the front branch would obstruct the view of the central branch.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby catmoon » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:49 am

Isn't it more important to have a vivid and stable visualization than to get the right Buddha on the right branch? Just the fact that there are different versions of the Refuge Tree seems pretty suggestive.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby dakini_boi » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:58 am

Yes, I think to make the visualization work, if Shakyamuni is on the front branch, he would have to be lower in the visualization. I think I understand where you're going with this. . . you don't need to feel that you're being disrespectful by placing Shakyamuni lower in your visualization - all beings in the refuge tree are equally enlightened, equally sources of refuge. But for the space-bound deluded consciousness, we need to relate to enlightened "beings" through space and concepts, so the easiest way to visualize masses of Buddhas is somehow filling up space, which means that inevitably some will be higher or lower in reference to one another. But even the protectors at the bottom are fully enlightened sources of refuge.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby Adamantine » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:33 am

Yes it's pretty much the same in the Dudjom Tersar refuge tree.. regarding the locations.. FYI according to pith instructions and if I recall correctly as it says in the ngondro commentary "A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar" you can just focus the visualization on Guru Rinpoche alone high in front of you as containing the essence of the whole refuge tree, of all enlightened sources of refuge, most importantly the root Guru/s. So if this is the case, it becomes clear that these sources of refuge are all inseparable from the Guru, taking the form of Guru Rinpoche, and so any sense of dualistic thought about preference of location or hierarchy is not so important. Of course, if you do the visualization in it's entirety try to follow the given locations, but don't get too caught in worrying about it!
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby heart » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:49 am

sangyey wrote: I wasn't sure if this was the correct way to visualize this or if all the 5 branches are somewhat on an even plane.


Visualize them on the same plane if it feels better. Everything in the refuge tree are supreme sources of refuge.

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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby TenzinDorje » Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:51 pm

Dudjom Tersar is quite simple. Excellent reference is Cascading Waterfall of Nectar, Thinley Norbu.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby Adamantine » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:44 am

TenzinDorje wrote:Dudjom Tersar is quite simple.


The Dudjom Tersar is inconceivably vast--

I am assuming what you meant is "the short Dudjom Tersar ngondro is quite simple".

Actually, the long or elaborate Dudjom Tersar ngondro is not so simple, but in either case the refuge tree is the same in both.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby TenzinDorje » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:34 pm

Yes. short Dudjom Tersar refuge tree. Referenced in "Cascading Waterfall of Nectar."

Adamantine wrote:
TenzinDorje wrote:Dudjom Tersar is quite simple.


The Dudjom Tersar is inconceivably vast--

I am assuming what you meant is "the short Dudjom Tersar ngondro is quite simple".

Actually, the long or elaborate Dudjom Tersar ngondro is not so simple, but in either case the refuge tree is the same in both.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:49 am

I just searched this subject in curiosity when I saw the image on the internet as I was reading up on some other questions on my mind.

Image

Is this depicting Samantrabhadra, Vajrasattva and Nirmanakaya Buddha Shakyamuni on a branch sticking out the farthest forward (Three Jewels?). Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum(?) and Mahakala behind the three buddha's mentioned earlier? If I am correct, what is this significance of the oldest buddhas in front and Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum in a bigger picture behind in the center? I am assuming that Mahakala is the sentinel of Buddhism?

I may have totally misread this photo and would like to know if anyone can tell me this paticular significance of this image of the Nyingma Refuge Tree.

Thank you,
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:57 am

Distorted wrote:I just searched this subject in curiosity when I saw the image on the internet as I was reading up on some other questions on my mind.

Image

Is this depicting Samantrabhadra, Vajrasattva and Nirmanakaya Buddha Shakyamuni on a branch sticking out the farthest forward (Three Jewels?). Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum(?) and Mahakala behind the three buddha's mentioned earlier? If I am correct, what is this significance of the oldest buddhas in front and Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum in a bigger picture behind in the center? I am assuming that Mahakala is the sentinel of Buddhism?

I may have totally misread this photo and would like to know if anyone can tell me this paticular significance of this image of the Nyingma Refuge Tree.

Thank you,
- Distorted

I can't see your image. Even when I go to the url http://bodhicittasangha.org/images/stor ... getree.png I don't see anything.
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:12 am

Not sure which one you think is Mahakala....the version of Mahakala represented here, from Longchen Nyingthik, is Gonpo Maning, and he is situated in the bottom room, second from your left (Guru Rinpoche's right)...between standing Tseringma on the far end and Rahula.

Perhaps you're mistaking a yidam figure as a "Mahakala?"
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:15 am

Here's Dudjom Tersar refuge tree:
Image
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby conebeckham » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:16 am

Here's Palyul Refuge tree:

Image
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:27 am

Ok, Thank you

I am going to let this go for now. I am pretty confused, I am going to let this come in time.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Nyingma Refuge Tree

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:48 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Distorted wrote:I just searched this subject in curiosity when I saw the image on the internet as I was reading up on some other questions on my mind.

Image

Is this depicting Samantrabhadra, Vajrasattva and Nirmanakaya Buddha Shakyamuni on a branch sticking out the farthest forward (Three Jewels?). Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum(?) and Mahakala behind the three buddha's mentioned earlier? If I am correct, what is this significance of the oldest buddhas in front and Guru Rinpoche/Yab-Yum in a bigger picture behind in the center? I am assuming that Mahakala is the sentinel of Buddhism?

I may have totally misread this photo and would like to know if anyone can tell me this paticular significance of this image of the Nyingma Refuge Tree.

Thank you,
- Distorted

I can't see your image. Even when I go to the url http://bodhicittasangha.org/images/stor ... getree.png I don't see anything.

Seems like the site is back up.
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