Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby heart » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:49 am

Shemmy wrote:The vows were invoked while the empowerment was being given, that we would be faithful to the lama and keep the samayas at the cost of our life. I feel the teacher is excellent, just a little less practically oriented than I would like, with not much explanation about how to practice/apply teachings.

The sadhana was the medium length Kater Dorsem from the Dudjom Tersar, and I feel the sadhana is easy and and powerful, I have practiced a lot of types of meditation, Buddhist and non-Buddhist and I am very inspired by the practice. It seems just the thing to do after doing my ngondro.


You seem to have received everything in a very traditional way, no need to have doubts. The reason why the samaya isn't explained in greater detail I think is because it can make people obsess with rules instead of enjoying the practice. In particular if you are a beginner. When you have devotion, compassion and continuously do the practice with great joy you will keep the samyas automatically.
There are a huge amount off material on the Dudjom Tersar and Vajrayana available on the internet and as soon as any Lama come to Thailand to teach, like Pakchok Rinpoche, you can resolve any questions that you have. Dudjom Tersar contains a huge amounts of teachings, it will keep you busy for the rest of your life.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby MrDistracted » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:41 am

Hi Shemmy

I thought you might like to know that the advice that Dungsey Thinley Norbu Rinpoche gave before his death was to practice Vajrasattva. Lama Tharchin (who is a great Dudjom Tersar lama in the US) has asked that we continue with Vajrasattva as an ongoing practice and practice Vajrasattva especially intensely on March 3rd, which is the day of the cremation.

You might have seen this and know all this, but I thought it is quite relevant and timely, so thought i might chime in. :smile:

Have you seen this site? http://www.vajrayana.org/
Last edited by MrDistracted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Tilopa » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:04 am

heart wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:Kriya Tantra empowerments I have attended have no such requirements or relationships.
There are a particular sets of samayas for all Tantric vehicles, also Kriya Tantra.

But not necessarily tantric vows. According to Berzin the Gelug, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions confer the tantric vows with an empowerment for any practice from either of the two higher classes of tantra - yoga or anuttarayoga while the Nyingma tradition confers them with any practice from one of the four higher tantra classes - yoga, mahayoga, anuyoga, or atiyoga.(http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html)

Empowerments from lower classes of tantra require taking the Bodhisattva vows and whatever other committment the lama gives.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby heart » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:32 am

Tilopa wrote:
heart wrote:There are a particular sets of samayas for all Tantric vehicles, also Kriya Tantra.

But not necessarily tantric vows. According to Berzin the Gelug, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions confer the tantric vows with an empowerment for any practice from either of the two higher classes of tantra - yoga or anuttarayoga while the Nyingma tradition confers them with any practice from one of the four higher tantra classes - yoga, mahayoga, anuyoga, or atiyoga.(http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html)

Empowerments from lower classes of tantra require taking the Bodhisattva vows and whatever other committment the lama gives.


There are particular samya vows in Kriya Tantra. You can read about it in Jamgon Kongtrul's "Buddhist's Ethics" starting on page 231. There are various sets of 14 vows or 30 vows according to different systems. Commitments is an other thing and they might or might not be given at an empowerment. Samyas are always given.

/magnus
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:39 pm

HHDL's Deity Yoga talks about the vows in Kriya on pg. 70-76. It's a bit unclear. It says Kriya doesn't require the "Tantric Pledges" only HYT does, but Kriya requires the Bodhisattva vows and the "Tantric vows". I have no idea what the difference is but the vows are taken from a three page quotation of the Susiddhi Tantra and they seem to be different from the 14 and 8 Tantric vows found elsewhere. Basically, don't eat meat, salt, red beans, garlic, or onion. Keep secret things secret. Hold the Bodhisattva and Eight Lay vows. Don't show off or be full of desire.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:46 pm

heart wrote:
Tilopa wrote:
heart wrote:There are a particular sets of samayas for all Tantric vehicles, also Kriya Tantra.

But not necessarily tantric vows. According to Berzin the Gelug, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions confer the tantric vows with an empowerment for any practice from either of the two higher classes of tantra - yoga or anuttarayoga while the Nyingma tradition confers them with any practice from one of the four higher tantra classes - yoga, mahayoga, anuyoga, or atiyoga.(http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... edges.html)

Empowerments from lower classes of tantra require taking the Bodhisattva vows and whatever other committment the lama gives.


There are particular samya vows in Kriya Tantra. You can read about it in Jamgon Kongtrul's "Buddhist's Ethics" starting on page 231. There are various sets of 14 vows or 30 vows according to different systems. Commitments is an other thing and they might or might not be given at an empowerment. Samyas are always given.

/magnus


'may be' not 'are'. I have received many Gelug empowerments and apart from Refuge none had vows of any kind except for HYT where Bodhisattva and Tactic Vows were taken.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Shemmy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:31 am

heart wrote:
Shemmy wrote:The vows were invoked while the empowerment was being given, that we would be faithful to the lama and keep the samayas at the cost of our life. I feel the teacher is excellent, just a little less practically oriented than I would like, with not much explanation about how to practice/apply teachings.

The sadhana was the medium length Kater Dorsem from the Dudjom Tersar, and I feel the sadhana is easy and and powerful, I have practiced a lot of types of meditation, Buddhist and non-Buddhist and I am very inspired by the practice. It seems just the thing to do after doing my ngondro.


You seem to have received everything in a very traditional way, no need to have doubts. The reason why the samaya isn't explained in greater detail I think is because it can make people obsess with rules instead of enjoying the practice. In particular if you are a beginner. When you have devotion, compassion and continuously do the practice with great joy you will keep the samyas automatically.
There are a huge amount off material on the Dudjom Tersar and Vajrayana available on the internet and as soon as any Lama come to Thailand to teach, like Pakchok Rinpoche, you can resolve any questions that you have. Dudjom Tersar contains a huge amounts of teachings, it will keep you busy for the rest of your life.

/magnus

Yeah that makes sense then that they didn't explain anything about the samayas, if doing the practice wholeheartedly will do the job for you. Most people at the retreat were blissfully unaware of such things as keeping samaya, so there was no need to address it. I on the other am full of half baked understandings of things I've read here and there.

Interestingly, since the retreat, I have noticed a sharp drop in tendencies to do certain things such as wanting to drink beer or wine, suddenly there is ambivalence or even a feeling of not wanting to do it when I am invited by co-workers or friends. So, maybe the samaya are starting to kick in.

Thanks for tipping me off on that and for your perspective on all that, Magnus, it is really so helpful.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Shemmy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:45 am

MrDistracted wrote:Hi Shemmy

I thought you might like to know that the advice that Dungsey Thinley Norbu Rinpoche gave before his death was to practice Vajrasattva. Lama Tharchin (who is a great Dudjom Tersar lama in the US) has asked that we continue with Vajrasattva as an ongoing practice and practice Vajrasattva especially intensely on March 3rd, which is the day of the cremation.

You might have seen this and know all this, but I thought it is quite relevant and timely, so thought i might chime in. :smile:

Have you seen this site? http://www.vajrayana.org/


Yes, he passed away during our retreat on Vajrasattva. Apparently our Lama was quite close Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, so thanks for the heads up on that March 3 date, it seems it might be especially good to practice long and hard on Vajrasattva on that day.

Yes, I have seen the Vajrayana Foundation's site, and hope I have the good luck to meet Lama Tharchin some day. I used to live in Santa Cruz for many years and still have a lot of friends there, so it may well happen, as I am likely to go back for a visit.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Shemmy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:54 am

Nangwa wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:If specific vows were not mentioned and you did not have the intention to take them, well...

For beginners most empowerments (nowadays) do not contain any formal vows (samaya).

Just do your practice, have faith in the teacher and everything will be just fine! :twothumbsup:

And, in general, every time you receive a teaching from a lama you make a conection anyway, this does not mean you have samaya with the teacher though.

A teacher is one thing, but a root guru is a completely different deal!
:namaste:

Good advice Greggybaby.

Yes, thanks for your insightful, very useful posts both of you. The common root tantric vows look like what I ought to bear in mind until I can get ahold of a copy of H.H. Dudjom's, "Perfect Conduct."
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby heart » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:56 am

Blue Garuda wrote:
heart wrote:
There are particular samya vows in Kriya Tantra. You can read about it in Jamgon Kongtrul's "Buddhist's Ethics" starting on page 231. There are various sets of 14 vows or 30 vows according to different systems. Commitments is an other thing and they might or might not be given at an empowerment. Samyas are always given.


/magnus


'may be' not 'are'. I have received many Gelug empowerments and apart from Refuge none had vows of any kind except for HYT where Bodhisattva and Tactic Vows were taken.


Well, Jamgon Kongtrul says there are. I am to lazy to write the complete list of vows here, but there is a set of 14 that seems to originate from Atisha and a set of 30 that orginate from Susiddhi. However there seems to be some particular ideas in the Gelug tradition about this that would explain what your teachers said http://books.google.se/books?id=P1G9PwC49rkC&pg=PA155&lpg=PA155&dq=samaya+vows+in+kriya+tantra&source=bl&ots=_z9wveuCMo&sig=Ptm3MBhCwhIyZ4f5fTv0IzYs9Rw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MSAmT6r2NIn-4QSV45X6DA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=samaya%20vows%20in%20kriya%20tantra&f=false. But for sure there are.

/magnus
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:08 am

"The root of Vajrayana practice is the samaya. Many of my senior disciples know about that, but there may be some new disciples, and so the samaya, the root of samaya or the actual samaya, is love, and that love is... a bond that keeps us connected throughout many lifetimes. "That is a bond between disciples and disciples, and lamas and disciples, and so forth. If we do not let this bond pass, if we do not interrupt this bond of love, which is the samaya, then from lifetime to lifetime in the future we will meet again and benefit and help each other. "For others, if we cut that samaya, that bond of love with each other, then we can only harm each other in the future. "And so the samaya between disciple and disciple and disciple and lama is very precious and important. It is necessary that we observe this samaya and not allow it to be interrupted--also because throughout all time we have had this positive samaya.

That is why in this lifetime, sharing the connection of practicing the Vajrayana together, and in order to benefit each other again and again in the future, it is important that all of us observe our samaya, that we do not give rise to anger and jealousy toward each other. And, as it is taught in the tantras, if we observe our samaya, then we will obtain the highest siddhis within seven lifetimes."

-Garchen Rinpoche
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:52 am

I recently received an Empowerment during which we vowed to keep the Samaya, however the Lama didn't explain the Samaya so I asked about the Samaya and was told there was none. Perhaps its the same with your Empowerment, if the Lama didn't explain the Samaya there wasn't any.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby MrDistracted » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:49 pm

Konchog1 wrote:I recently received an Empowerment during which we vowed to keep the Samaya, however the Lama didn't explain the Samaya so I asked about the Samaya and was told there was none. Perhaps its the same with your Empowerment, if the Lama didn't explain the Samaya there wasn't any.



hi Konchog

I don't know about your empowerment and lama, I shouldn't speculate.
But I have noticed that sometimes root samayas and specific commitments get lost in translation.
That is to say I think that some lamas when they give empowerments assume people understand the 14 root samayas and assume that people receiving the empowerment will try their best to keep them. And thinking that, they then assume when they are asked whether there is samaya to keep that the student is asking about specific commitments which the lama may or may not choose to give, such as for example to do the sadhana daily or to recite the mantra three times daily etc.
If there are no specific requirements, the lama then answers 'no' which is then interpreted by the student as meaning there is no samaya commitment at all.

I really don't know about your situation, but I have a feeling this misunderstanding happens sometimes.
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:21 am

MrDistracted wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I recently received an Empowerment during which we vowed to keep the Samaya, however the Lama didn't explain the Samaya so I asked about the Samaya and was told there was none. Perhaps its the same with your Empowerment, if the Lama didn't explain the Samaya there wasn't any.



hi Konchog

I don't know about your empowerment and lama, I shouldn't speculate.
But I have noticed that sometimes root samayas and specific commitments get lost in translation.
That is to say I think that some lamas when they give empowerments assume people understand the 14 root samayas and assume that people receiving the empowerment will try their best to keep them. And thinking that, they then assume when they are asked whether there is samaya to keep that the student is asking about specific commitments which the lama may or may not choose to give, such as for example to do the sadhana daily or to recite the mantra three times daily etc.
If there are no specific requirements, the lama then answers 'no' which is then interpreted by the student as meaning there is no samaya commitment at all.

I really don't know about your situation, but I have a feeling this misunderstanding happens sometimes.
Yeah, that's possible
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Very confused about samaya and an empowerment

Postby heart » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:06 am

Konchog1 wrote:I recently received an Empowerment during which we vowed to keep the Samaya, however the Lama didn't explain the Samaya so I asked about the Samaya and was told there was none. Perhaps its the same with your Empowerment, if the Lama didn't explain the Samaya there wasn't any.


In the West they think that practice commitment is the same thing as Samaya. There is always Samaya in an empowerment but not always practice commitments.

/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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