words to the west

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: words to the west

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:23 pm

Adamantine wrote:
The western Buddhists I know respect sublime persons and they do beleive in teachers.


That is because you don't hang with the right crowds, I'd say...


Actually I don't know any western Buddhists who have been practicing a while who don't respect sublime persons and don't believe in their teachers.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4101
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: words to the west

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:36 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:Coming to the West to finance their projects and then disappearing never to be seen again, or just very rarely, while leaving a bunch of deeply hurt students was common practice, sadly. No wonder people are more careful now.



I have not had this experience, I've heard of some of this, but truly believe it is the exception, not the norm. It's just that people are very vocal about their negative experiences, and it drowns out all the quiet people who feel lucky and blessed by their connection to their teachers. This kind of manipulation is the norm of samsara, and we live in the degenerate age, so it is to be expected.. in any field. I can honestly think of more than a few questionable American teachers who milk their students dry off the top of my head, but only one Tibetan one comes to my mind...

Guys who do that are not well known lamas, as you imagine. Sometimes the joke says that in the monastery they were the cooks. In the west, great lamas. Sad.
I think it happens less often in the present, gladly.
User avatar
Dechen Norbu
 
Posts: 2798
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby Adamantine » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:38 pm

kirtu wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
The western Buddhists I know respect sublime persons and they do beleive in teachers.


That is because you don't hang with the right crowds, I'd say...


Actually I don't know any western Buddhists who have been practicing a while who don't respect sublime persons and don't believe in their teachers.

Kirt


Well I've seen plenty that develop negative views
and distance themselves from their own Vajra Masters
for no compelling reason at all... This is a recurring theme
showing how casually they view samaya, and how little true devotion
was ever there. These people all look like perfect devotees until
that time comes. It's easy to play a role. And that's just the Vajrayana Buddhists
I'm thinking of. (As N pointed out, the interviewer herself was one such,
who abandoned TNR as her Guru and hopped over to Zen...more important context
to understand his remarks in) There's plenty of others that are anti-guru in general,
which is what TNR was responding to: the so called American Buddhist
movement which was more or less meant to be a hierarchy-less
Buddhist consensus of American peers...
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: words to the west

Postby heart » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:
heart wrote:But Namdrol, the so called "American Buddhists" are arrogant and think they know the Dharma better than the Tibetans and this interview was directed at them.



Really? Who are these so called "American Buddhists"?


Modern Buddhists, Protestant Buddhist, call them whatever you want. We have discussed them before and you dislike their attitude just as much as I do. Lot of them here in Sweden.

Also the whole world consider the Americans more arrogant than any other country in the world in political matters.
/magnus



Don't confuse the actions of a small corporate controlled faction controlling our government with the American people. Thanks.

N


Of course I don't, the American people I met while traveling through the States in the end of the 70's and beginning 80's surprised me as very generous and kind. I had a great time, sure would like to come back one day. Lots of Americans have the heart in the right place but these people doesn't seem to be in power.

/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
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2935
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby heart » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:55 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:I had the good fortune of never meeting such situation myself. All the teachers I have and had are great beings in my opinion.
I'm used to travel more than one thousand km to get teachings. Few of my teachers visit Portugal. They visit Europe and that's good enough for me. Namkhai Norbu spends enough time in Spain and Italy. For me this is a great fortune. If you know a little about me by now, you should know I'm not expecting any teacher to drop in my backyard. I always had to travel a lot to get teachings and I don't mind the slightest. Sometimes it is just financially complicated.

I'm glad you never heard of cases as those I describe. Unfortunately I can't say the same. Teachers that come from Tibet, gather a few bucks and then disappear or stay away for years to the point of their students needing to find a different teacher. It's sad and it happens. As you say, perhaps they don't become rich, but euro or dollar (or previous central and north European currency) has great value in India, Nepal and Tibet.

So Magnus, I would appreciate if you could avoid speculation about my "personal bitterness". It's none of that. I provided a fair appreciation based on reliable information. Perhaps the mesmerizing effect I talked about previously didn't ware off as much as I thought after all. :roll:


Sure Dechen, it just seems you been bringing this up a few times and I have no idea what you are talking about so I wondered if it might be personal. Still I don't understand if the issue is that they are not proper teachers or that they didn't come back to west. I had a chat with Chokling Rinpoches wife Dechen once and she said that it was hopeless to make great Lama's plan ahead. She said almost everything was done on inspiration when the right auspicious signs appeared.

/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
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2935
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby Adamantine » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:59 pm

heart wrote:I had a chat with Chokling Rinpoches wife Dechen once and she said that it was hopeless to make great Lama's plan ahead. She said almost everything was done on inspiration when the right auspicious signs appeared.

/magnus


This is exactly what I've observed as well.... it does not make life easy for the disciples or attendants though, that's for sure!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: words to the west

Postby heart » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:00 pm

Adamantine wrote:
heart wrote:I had a chat with Chokling Rinpoches wife Dechen once and she said that it was hopeless to make great Lama's plan ahead. She said almost everything was done on inspiration when the right auspicious signs appeared.

/magnus


This is exactly what I've observed as well.... it does not make life easy for the disciples or attendants though, that's for sure!


No :smile:

/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
User avatar
heart
 
Posts: 2935
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby ngodrup » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:43 pm

I would remind the debaters that the point in providing the link
of Lama Tharchin's comments is that Dungse Rinpoche was not
prejudiced. He scolded both eastern and western practitioners. ;)

Much of what has been said bears no resemblance to the actual teachings
of these teachers. They both have made many American and European
lineage-holders. There are qualified many Lamas of Western ethnicity
some of whom were enthroned by Dungse Rinpoche. Others whom he
respected were enthroned by other lamas (including his father).

The fact remains, there are some ex-monks, pan-Buddhist, meditators
who call themselves Buddhists -- who are intent on creating a distinctively
"American Buddhism" after their own culturally conditioned perspective.
In other religious contexts they are called culture vultures.
ngodrup
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby Adamantine » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:39 pm

:good:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: words to the west

Postby muni » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:40 am

Detached generosity, genuine love and concern for liberation, by that a warning how it should not run but to respect for the sake of ones own liberation what is been thaught so long. Rinpoche wasn't teaching out of suspicious mind or goal oriented, should say empty knowings' pure love.
muni
 
Posts: 2735
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: words to the west

Postby tobes » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:59 am

Namdrol wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Namdrol wrote: but I am neither and eternalist nor a nihilist.



Yup I wouldn't peg you as either. . . but this isn't really about you... I mean there's not too many of you around.



I guess I object to the persistent stereptyping of Americans by Tibetans.


I think you're bang on on this.

I would add: also the unthinking acceptance and perpetration of that stereotype by Americans/westerners......a kind of subtle but still pernicious orientalism, where only 'those exotic Asians' with their colourful rituals and genuine authentic Buddhist skin and blood can know and practice dharma properly.

It's a really bogus move: in the moment of reifying Buddhism and 'authentic' Buddhist teachers, one condemns oneself to having lesser capacities and potentials.

:anjali:
User avatar
tobes
 
Posts: 985
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Re: words to the west

Postby tobes » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:04 am

ngodrup wrote:
The fact remains, there are some ex-monks, pan-Buddhist, meditators
who call themselves Buddhists -- who are intent on creating a distinctively
"American Buddhism" after their own culturally conditioned perspective.
In other religious contexts they are called culture vultures.


Right - but isn't this more or less the history of Buddhism?

Wouldn't you say, for example, that Zen is distinctly Japanese, and Nyingma is distinctly Tibetan?

:anjali:
User avatar
tobes
 
Posts: 985
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Re: words to the west

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:25 am

tobes wrote:I would add: also the unthinking acceptance and perpetration of that stereotype by Americans/westerners......a kind of subtle but still pernicious orientalism, where only 'those exotic Asians' with their colourful rituals and genuine authentic Buddhist skin and blood can know and practice dharma properly.

It's a really bogus move: in the moment of reifying Buddhism and 'authentic' Buddhist teachers, one condemns oneself to having lesser capacities and potentials.

:anjali:


dude, you're bang-off... you're clearly not reading the posts with clarity but with a great deal of muddied projections. Nobody here has said anything to imply that only Asians can practice dharma, quite the opposite. I think it's a given anyone spending a great deal of time and effort practicing Dharma has conviction in their own potential and capacity. However, we have a cultural conditioning that often conflicts with practice and teachings. That should be fairly obvious, it certainly has been an obstacle to my own practice at different times.

As has already been pointed out, both TNR and Lama Tharchin have spent the last half of their lives teaching Westerners, mostly Americans.. if that does not communicate to you confidence in our capacities, then you're intentionally being dense. What's more, as ngodup mentioned they have both enthroned Western Lamas, and shown great respect to others.

Your above thesis is pure hogwash.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: words to the west

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:46 am

Adamantine wrote:As has already been pointed out, both TNR and Lama Tharchin have spent the last half of their lives teaching Westerners, mostly Americans.. if that does not communicate to you confidence in our capacities, then you're intentionally being dense.


Well they could have been following Guru Rinpoche and trying to save the world from being overrun by the rakshas living on Cannibal Island (North America and Europe).

Excerpts from White Sail ... and part two of the video. And more White Sail.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4101
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: words to the west

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:07 am

tobes wrote:I would add: also the unthinking acceptance and perpetration of that stereotype by Americans/westerners......a kind of subtle but still pernicious orientalism, where only 'those exotic Asians' with their colourful rituals and genuine authentic Buddhist skin and blood can know and practice dharma properly


Agreed. And yes, it's still pretty popular a view - in some places, I'd say it's still the default setting (often combined with the Hollywood-style visions of Tibet, the land of happiness, freedom and realized practitioners; a "wish-I'd-been-born-in-the-Himalayas" kind of thing).
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
User avatar
treehuggingoctopus
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:26 pm
Location: Mudhole? Slimy? My home, this is.

Re: words to the west

Postby tobes » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Adamantine wrote:
tobes wrote:I would add: also the unthinking acceptance and perpetration of that stereotype by Americans/westerners......a kind of subtle but still pernicious orientalism, where only 'those exotic Asians' with their colourful rituals and genuine authentic Buddhist skin and blood can know and practice dharma properly.

It's a really bogus move: in the moment of reifying Buddhism and 'authentic' Buddhist teachers, one condemns oneself to having lesser capacities and potentials.

:anjali:


dude, you're bang-off... you're clearly not reading the posts with clarity but with a great deal of muddied projections. Nobody here has said anything to imply that only Asians can practice dharma, quite the opposite. I think it's a given anyone spending a great deal of time and effort practicing Dharma has conviction in their own potential and capacity. However, we have a cultural conditioning that often conflicts with practice and teachings. That should be fairly obvious, it certainly has been an obstacle to my own practice at different times.

As has already been pointed out, both TNR and Lama Tharchin have spent the last half of their lives teaching Westerners, mostly Americans.. if that does not communicate to you confidence in our capacities, then you're intentionally being dense. What's more, as ngodup mentioned they have both enthroned Western Lamas, and shown great respect to others.

Your above thesis is pure hogwash.


Sorry Adamantine, I wasn't referring to the thread per se. I was responding to Namdrol's assertion that Tibetan teachers often make very reductive stereotypes of Americans/westerners (well, he only said Americans, but I would argue both).

And, that many westerners tend to adopt that stereotype, which has damaging implications on their practice.

Also, to be quite honest, there is some field work backing this up, so I would say that it is a tentatively established thesis, and not hogwash at all.

:anjali:
User avatar
tobes
 
Posts: 985
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:02 am

Re: words to the west

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:11 pm

kirtu wrote:
Well they could have been following Guru Rinpoche and trying to save the world from being overrun by the rakshas living on Cannibal Island (North America and Europe).

Kirt


Then they were a few centuries much too late. Fait accompli.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10187
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: words to the west

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:13 pm

tobes wrote:
And, that many westerners tend to adopt that stereotype, which has damaging implications on their practice.

:



Thankfully we have ChNN, who completely avoids this type of stereotyping.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10187
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: words to the west

Postby mañjughoṣamaṇi » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:45 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tobes wrote:I would add: also the unthinking acceptance and perpetration of that stereotype by Americans/westerners......a kind of subtle but still pernicious orientalism, where only 'those exotic Asians' with their colourful rituals and genuine authentic Buddhist skin and blood can know and practice dharma properly


Agreed. And yes, it's still pretty popular a view - in some places, I'd say it's still the default setting (often combined with the Hollywood-style visions of Tibet, the land of happiness, freedom and realized practitioners; a "wish-I'd-been-born-in-the-Himalayas" kind of thing).


Image

Me baad!
སེམས་རྣམ་པར་གྲོལ་བར་བྱའི་ཕྱིར་བྱམས་པ་བསྒོམ་པར་བྱའོ།
“In order to completely liberate the mind, cultivate loving kindness.” -- Maitribhāvana Sūtra
mañjughoṣamaṇi
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:26 pm

Re: words to the west

Postby ngodrup » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:28 pm

More to the point, and humorously so, I was present when
H. H. Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche was asked:

"What is the difference between a Tibetan Lama and a Western Lama?"

His oft quoted response was

"Of course, everybody knows...
a Tibetan Lama has a moon-like face
and a Western Lama has a face like the Rocky Mountains!"

There was much laughter, and I cannot remember for certain,
but it seems that he stated further that in terms of inner qualities
there was no difference at all.
ngodrup
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Nyingma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

>