Ngawang Drolma wrote:
There were no prerequisites required to attend the teaching? Is it possible that you missed that part of the announcement?
I double-checked the poster. You are correct. It said that receiving a Vajrasattva Empowerment from this lama was a prerequisite (I have received a Vajrasattva empowerment from a different visiting lama, however). I didn't realize this at the time, and no one mentioned anything when I bought my ticket. The atmosphere was so casual. When one of the lama's students heard that I was a member of my sangha, he didn't ask whether I had had any type of empowerment; he was simply very happy that I was there. Also, since I'm in a foreign country, I sometimes inadvertently make mistakes.
I'm not sure if the lama even gave the empowerment during the time he was teaching at my Buddhist center. Usually when visiting lamas come to our center, they teach things which my sangha members can benefit from. I suppose in this case, we were simply letting another sangha host an event in our building which we couldn't really learn anything from.
I think this was just a misunderstanding. Since I don't yet know much about these things, I emailed a member of my sangha whether she thought I should go or not even though I couldn't attend this visiting lama's earlier teachings because I was working. She told me that I should definitely go, so I went, assuming that she knew what is going on because she has been practicing for a very long time (but knows nothing about Dzogchen). I think there was a failure of communication between our two sanghas. This is possibly why I saw so few of my sangha members at these teachings.
To this visiting lama's credit, he did give a free teaching about love and compassion on one day, but I couldn't go there on that day.
Anyway, I've already discussed the general issues I wanted to discuss. I didn't want this to turn negative, so I'll say no more about this matter. Any negativity which I observed might simply have been in my own mind.