Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:30 am

If Dzogchen means "knowledge of our true nature", then was there knowledge of our true nature before Garab Dorje? Of course there was, but there was no "Dzogchen". Were there beings who realized our true nature? Certainly, but they never heard the word "Dzogchen". Namkhai Norbu speaks of the knowledge of Dzogchen on other planetary systems: surely they don't call it "Dzogchen". So if all that is constant in Dzogchen, pre-Dzogchen and other-planetary-system-Dzogchen is knowledge of our real nature, then why the neurotic attachment to the word "Dzogchen", the Tibetan cultural phenomena of "Dzogchen", including the language, the customs, the Tantric superstitions, and all the rest of it? What is important is the knowledge of our true nature, and anything that aids in that realization is helpful, be it Dzogchen, Phenomenology, or some Dutch kid who seems to have arrived at some interesting insights. At this point I have no patience for closed-mindedness, and that includes proponents of any conceptual system who insist that their pet conceptual system is THE ONLY WAY TO TRUTH.

How can anyone actually claim with a straight face that our real nature is somehow the property of the historical phenomena of Dzogchen, to be bestowed on us only by that system? Can you think of anything more absurd? If the Dzogchen tradition is how you are introduced to your real nature, then fine, but don't be so immature as to think that only the Tibetan cultural phenomena called "Dzogchen" can be the way to that realization. Unless that is, you are willing to broaden the definition of "Dzogchen" to mean simply "knowledge of our real nature" REGARDLESS of what jargon it is expressed in or where the knowledge comes from.

PS I'm not saying the kid is Maitreya, just that I find his rap interesting, and its dumb to reject it out of hand simply because he doesn't pay lip service to your pet system.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Jnana » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:41 am

gad rgyangs wrote:At this point I have no patience for closed-mindedness, and that includes proponents of any conceptual system who insist that their pet conceptual system is THE ONLY WAY TO TRUTH.

How can anyone actually claim with a straight face that our real nature is somehow the property of the historical phenomena of Dzogchen, to be bestowed on us only by that system? Can you think of anything more absurd?

Lama Shang:

    I have specifically described the gradualist individual,
    but there are countless classes of individuals:
    There are those who must progress through the vehicles from the beginning;
    there are those for whom a rough training will suffice;
    and there are those who have no need to train.

    There are those who obtain the empowerment without receiving it;
    there are very many who have not obtained the empowerment even though they have received it;
    there are those who have both received and obtained the empowerment;
    there are those who have neither received nor obtained it;
    there are those who have the primordial possession of the empowerment.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Dronma » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:05 am

Much ado about nothing... :shrug:
What is exactly the point of this topic?
Everyone to accept Mr Massaro as a Dzogchen Master or as an enlightened youngster? :bow:
There are millions like Mr Massaro out there...... :juggling:
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Jinzang » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:45 am

If you find something useful in Massaro's teaching, great, I'm glad you find it inspiring. I also have been inspired by reading Hindu and Neo-Advaita teachers. If you are wondering where his realization stands compared to other Buddhist teachers, first it is difficult to judge the realization of another and it's impossible just from what they write or say. And second, comparisons are odious, there's no point trying to figure out whether the Dalai Lama or Karmapa has the greater realization, to use one silly example.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby padma norbu » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:21 am

Anders Honore wrote:
padma norbu wrote:It's funny to me when young guys become gurus. Did he get famous through YouTube or something? I see at least 50 people in the retreat photo on his website. At $70 per person per day, he's probably not really raking in the bucks, so I'm willing to believe it's a labor of love and he's really trying to help people... but, lol @ the idea he's figured it all out and we should be looking to him for advice. If he levitates and radiates colored lights, that's a different story....


How is age an obstacle to him having it all figured out?


gad rgyangs wrote:Joshu said "If I meet a seven-year-old girl who is more accomplished than me, I want to learn from her; if I meet a seventy-year-old man who is less accomplished than me, I would like to teach him."


How to answer without being a completely offensive dickhead? Hmmm....

Well, put it this way, he has not said a single thing in his videos or quoted in this thread or that I have seen on his website which is not something that I, too, would have said in 9th grade. I am now almost 40 and I realize how empty words can be, especially these kind of words. Like I said, if he can levitate or display something else utterly miraculous, that's a different story. All I see is a kid who thinks he's got it all figured out. Relative to your average jackass, he's ahead of the game, but so what?
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:47 am

padma norbu wrote: At $70 per person per day, he's probably not really raking in the bucks, so I'm willing to believe it's a labor of love and he's really trying to help people... but, lol @ the idea he's figured it all out and we should be looking to him for advice. If he levitates and radiates colored lights, that's a different story....


padma norbu wrote: Like I said, if he can levitate or display something else utterly miraculous, that's a different story. All I see is a kid who thinks he's got it all figured out. Relative to your average jackass, he's ahead of the game, but so what?


Are there any living masters who have supposedly attained siddhis like that? I'm just curious for off topic's sake... I haven't heard of any but I'm generally out of the loop. And also not to throw a wrench in the works but levitation and siddhis of that sort wouldn't necessarily mean one was fully realized in a dzogchen sense or anything. Powers may just be a sign that one has done certain practices very thoroughly. That being said they would certainly be quite a remarkable case!
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:01 am

gad rgyangs wrote:If Dzogchen means "knowledge of our true nature", then was there knowledge of our true nature before Garab Dorje? Of course there was, but there was no "Dzogchen". Were there beings who realized our true nature? Certainly, but they never heard the word "Dzogchen". Namkhai Norbu speaks of the knowledge of Dzogchen on other planetary systems: surely they don't call it "Dzogchen". So if all that is constant in Dzogchen, pre-Dzogchen and other-planetary-system-Dzogchen is knowledge of our real nature, then why the neurotic attachment to the word "Dzogchen", the Tibetan cultural phenomena of "Dzogchen", including the language, the customs, the Tantric superstitions, and all the rest of it? What is important is the knowledge of our true nature, and anything that aids in that realization is helpful, be it Dzogchen, Phenomenology, or some Dutch kid who seems to have arrived at some interesting insights. At this point I have no patience for closed-mindedness, and that includes proponents of any conceptual system who insist that their pet conceptual system is THE ONLY WAY TO TRUTH.

How can anyone actually claim with a straight face that our real nature is somehow the property of the historical phenomena of Dzogchen, to be bestowed on us only by that system? Can you think of anything more absurd? If the Dzogchen tradition is how you are introduced to your real nature, then fine, but don't be so immature as to think that only the Tibetan cultural phenomena called "Dzogchen" can be the way to that realization. Unless that is, you are willing to broaden the definition of "Dzogchen" to mean simply "knowledge of our real nature" REGARDLESS of what jargon it is expressed in or where the knowledge comes from.

PS I'm not saying the kid is Maitreya, just that I find his rap interesting, and its dumb to reject it out of hand simply because he doesn't pay lip service to your pet system.


No one who has any knowledge of the natural state is saying, or has ever said, that knowledge of our true nature is a mere word or epithet, or the property of some system.

And you're right, anything that aids in realizing the natural state is helpful. But not just anything and everything aids in realizing that state. How could it? That is what is truly absurd. If just anything at all could enable one to realize the natural state, regardless of whether it is connected to knowledge or to ignorance of that state, then there would be no samsara--or at least a lot less samsaric beings. But, in fact, knowledge of the natural state is very precise, so the way to realize it must be equally precise. There are countless ways to bring about the discernment between ordinary mind and rigpa, but they are not arbitrary--they're very precise because they are connected directly to that knowledge. Many other ways are connected instead to ignorance of the natural state, therefore they cannot hope to directly realize it. Maybe you and me will disagree about which is which, but what do you care about my opinion or that of those "orthodox Dzogchenpas" that agree with me? What bearing does it have on you? The only thing that matters is you getting authentic knowledge for yourself. Later, through the culmination of that knowledge, you can guide others who need and wish for it.

Now, to answer one of your questions, if there is someone out there that gained precise knowledge of the natural state and transmits that, then regardless of what world system or time or culture they're from, they have gained knowledge of the Dzogchen state and they are transmitting Dzogchen. Or, we can reverse the situation: if they live in a place and time where the natural state is referred to instead as "the state of Chop Suey," and the corpus of precise ways extant in that time and place for discerning between ordinary mind and Chop Suey is also called Chop Suey, then even us Earth people practicing the natural state here on Earth would be practicing Chop Suey. Even if the outer form of preliminary practices for discovering Dzogchen or Chop Suey appear different, as long as they are connected to the same knowledge and principles, they are exactly the same path.

Now, you think there's people out there spontaneously gaining that precise knowledge all by themselves and teaching from that knowledge in a way you're more comfortable with so it will be easier for you to precisely uncover that knowledge for yourself? Be my guest, follow them one-pointedly and gain concrete knowledge of the natural state that way. Remove all your doubts and go on confident in liberation. If you feel that their knowledge is of the natural state and the methods they teach are connected to, and therefore will reveal, that knowledge within yourself? Go for it. What do you care what we "Dzogchen" bozos think, say or do? Maybe you go where you feel most comfortable to gain concrete knowledge for yourself and then come back and directly reveal to us our narrow-mindedness and other limitations. While you go off and investigate all the systems of this world one by one to prove that your egalitarian hunch was correct--that other systems too are connected to knowledge of the natural state rather than ignorance of that state--there's no need to be bothered if I prefer to just cut to the chase and keep going directly to the heart of the matter for myself through a path that I feel through my own experience definitely works.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby xabir » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:19 am

Bentinho Massaro's realization is actually common outside among non-Buddhists, Advaitins, etc. It is Thusness Stage 4 but not the realization of anatta/emptiness: Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment. It is what I call substantialist non-dualism. i.e. Bentinho Massaro teaches a truly independently existing Awareness which is inseparable from all forms/experiences. It is no different from the teaching of the Atman/Brahman.

If you want to compare Bentinho Massaro with Dzogchen, you might as well also compare with all the other neo-Advaitins and Advaitins of this age which are countless. (example: Tony Parsons, Jeff Foster, Adyashanti, Greg Goode, Scott Kiloby, Rupert Spira, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Ramesh Balsekar, Atmananda Krishna Menon and countless others)


p.s. I really like what Namdrol has to say here:

http://www.atikosha.org/

Rig pa
The most important word in the intimate instruction section (man ngag sde) of the teaching of the great perfection is "rig pa". It is a word that has no effective equivalence in English, and within the last few years many translators have ceased to try and translate it at all when it is used as a noun in great perfection teachings and not as a verb (where it means "to know").

Today while translating a section from the Self-originated Self-arisen Original Purity revelations of Rigzin Godem (1337-1409), I came across a definition given by Padmasambhava that I feel is instructive for those with some doubts as to what "rig pa" is. He states:

“Rig pa” does not follow delusion after deluded appearances are consciously known (shes par rig) to be false

The operative term here is "consciously known" or "shes par rig". Rig pa is in fact a specific type of knowledge. Nevertheless, the word "knowledge", like the word "awareness", is a word too fraught with other connotations to be used to accurately translate the term "rig pa" in this context.

These days there is a real danger of people conflating Dzogchen teachings with the teachings of other so-called "non-dual" traditions such as Advaita, Kashmir Shaivism and so on. It is important to understand that "rig pa" is not some sort of over-arching uber-consciousness like the cit of sat cit ananda in Vedantic teachings.

Instead, rigpa is just the accurate knowledge of our own state, that deepens as we become more accustomed to the Dzogchen view.

Rigpa II
One can have many misunderstandings about rigpa. For example, on the internet the other day, I saw a definition of rigpa that is very strange indeed:

I'm defining rigpa as consciousness without dualistic thought.


This sort of idea is very prevalent among those with no training in Dzogchen, in the "tradition" of those who conflate the so-called non-dualist traditions together, based on mere reading of texts in translation.

Now, depending on whether this consciousness without dualistic thought is defined as fundamental and over-arching, or unique and personal, we have the distinction between Hindu Vedanta and the mind-only position of Indian Buddhist Cittamatrins. It could even be the svasamvedana of the Buddhist logicians, the non-conceptual self-knowing mind.

Such definitions of vidyā above bear no resemblance to the definitions of vidyā stated by Indian masters such as Vimalamitra. He defines vidyā very simply:

...acute because of moving, subtle, and apparent, vidyā is knowing, clear and unchanging

Further, in another text Vimalamitra writes:

The nature of the mind is not free from traces, so it is called “mind”. That knowledge of the dharmakāya as empty is called “vidyā". That also gives rise to recognition of great clear emptiness. Remaining in that stage is called “wisdom”. Remaining without concepts, free from the errors of lethargy, agitation and so on, is called “dharmakāya”.

Reflect on these five sentences. By reflecting on them, one will have a clearer idea of what one's vidyā is.

.......



And in his comments reply to me:

This person has confused the Trika non-dual view with Dzogchen.

The mind that is the all-creating king, as Norbu Rinpoche makes clear, is the mind that does not recognize itself, and so enters into samsara, creating its own experience of samsara.

All conditioned phenomena are a product of ignorance, according to Dzogchen view, and so therefore, everything is not real. The basis of that ignorance is the basis, which is also not established as real.

In Dzogchen, everything is unreal, from top to bottom. The basis, in Dzogchen, is described as being "empty not established in any way at all". If the basis is not real, then whatever arises from that basis is not real.

In Dzoghen, dependent origination begins from the non-recognition of the state of the basis, when this happens, one enters into grasping self and other, and then the chain of dependent origination begins.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby xabir » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:22 am

A great article about the experiential realization of anatta: A Zen Exploration of the Bahiya Sutta

@giragirasol - and yes the results experienced during meditation when we stop investigating and let go of clinging that what has been seen as an illusion does match the traditional description of Rigpa. It first come for a brief moment, until it eventually becomes the only game in town. This is no surpize, since the Dzogchen teachings are basically about seeing the fruit (of mainstream Buddhism) as its ground (view) and the path (practice).

But here one should clearly mention that there is absolutely no inherently existing "Awareness" that is felt as existing separately from "phenomena arising witghin awareness", which would be Advaita Vedanta and maybe Kashmir Shaivism, but not Dzogchen. The Dalai Lama was very clear about that and insisted on the fact that Dzogchen can lead people astay if they lack a clear understanding of no-self, emptiness, co-dependent origination, interdependence, etc., recommending the in-depth study of Longchenpa with a solid background rooted in Tsongkapa's Lam Rim or other similar treaties.

...

The suggestions that I have received were to acquire 'right view'. The mind needs to acquire some form of conceptual model that allows it to accept the possibility of its own non-abiding ungraspable empty nature. Right view is therefore required to facilitate the shift of perspective from "I am Awareness, everything is in me" to "nothing whatsoever is me or mine, all dharmas are empty".

A good start would be Walpola Rahula's classic "What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada". It can be completed by "The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modern Chinese Master" by Ven. Yin-shun. A great autoritative summary of the Mahayana path. Then, based on a solid understanding of the core insights of Buddhism, Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's "Clarifying the Natural State" (if still in print, or anything from the same great 16th century yogi) will be the best introduction to the Mahamudra and indirectly to the the sem-de series of Dzogchen.

The logical progression is therefore:

- Advaita Vedanta
- Pali Buddhism
- Mahayana Buddhism
- Mahamudra, Dzogchen

If we skip Pali and Mahayana Buddhism and jump directly to Mahamudra or Dzogchen, the risk is to interpret Mahamudra or Dzogchen as a Buddhist version of pop-neo-advaita, equating emptiness and rigpa with awareness.

This is very common nowadays and some Western lamas seem to encourage this trend to water-down the Dzogchen teachings, as always in order to appeal to a larger public. Business is business.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:36 am

everyone seems so sure they know just whats what: "oh, it just that" "oh its no different from this 'lower' view" "oh its just vedanta" "oh its pop advaita". it must be comforting to have everything all classified, pigeon-holed, so that one's own view is so obviously the highest, and everything has been explained by one's pet system, so that no real investigation is needed. :rolling:
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:39 am

Damn xabir just came with the heat! Y'all don't wanna see da heater. :tongue: And the plot thickens...
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:18 am

gad rgyangs wrote:everyone seems so sure they know just whats what: "oh, it just that" "oh its no different from this 'lower' view" "oh its just vedanta" "oh its pop advaita". it must be comforting to have everything all classified, pigeon-holed, so that one's own view is so obviously the highest, and everything has been explained by one's pet system, so that no real investigation is needed. :rolling:


Oh, maybe you're right. Maybe I just latched onto Dzogchen randomly as my "pet system" without having studied, contemplated, and meditated other systems, non-Buddhist and Buddhist, for years prior to Dzogchen. Maybe I don't have concrete reasons, arrived at in light of my own concrete experience, that make me certain Dzogchen touches on something other systems can't quite.

Now who's got everything pigeon-holed and filed away neatly in intellectual, assumptive boxes?

Edit: you know what though, this whole conversation is nothing but a colossal waste of time. Life is short; we may die at any moment. I've found the system that works for me and I have no doubts about that. You'd be better served just figuring out through your own experience what best works for you and gain some certainty in that and just get on with. If you truly can and do end up gaining and/or stabilizing knowledge of the natural state that's pointed to in Dzogchen by following some "non-Dzogchen" system, then I sure as hell won't be mad atcha. One thing is absolutely certain, though: none of this comparative path bickering is gonna result in anyone stabilizing knowledge of the natural state. If some people think Dzogchen is unique and supreme and you don't, who cares? If some believe only Dzogchen deals directly with rigpa but you can determine that some other path does too,what does it matter so long as we're all on some path that enables knowledge of the natural state?
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:07 am

What other systems have thögal? Goose egg.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:52 am

padma norbu wrote:I see at least 50 people in the retreat photo on his website. At $70 per person per day



$3500 ($70 x 50 people) per day is a pretty good racket. A labor of love indeed.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby xabir » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:53 am

gad rgyangs wrote:everyone seems so sure they know just whats what: "oh, it just that" "oh its no different from this 'lower' view" "oh its just vedanta" "oh its pop advaita". it must be comforting to have everything all classified, pigeon-holed, so that one's own view is so obviously the highest, and everything has been explained by one's pet system, so that no real investigation is needed. :rolling:
I have done my own investigation, so I can recognise what others said by my own knowledge.

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/ ... urnal.html
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:56 am

gad rgyangs wrote:when he says "the awareness through which I can say that "I am aware of this sense of self'" this is basically a knowledge of the basis, and therefore, rigpa. (IMO)


Pity.

N
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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:03 pm

Dronma wrote:Much ado about nothing... :shrug:
What is exactly the point of this topic?
Everyone to accept Mr Massaro as a Dzogchen Master or as an enlightened youngster? :bow:
There are millions like Mr Massaro out there...... :juggling:


I hope so. Whether he is there 'in a dzogchen sense' or not, it would be awesome if there were millions like him who undertake the pursuit of spiritual happiness to such a degree.

One gets the impression that if a Bodhisattva should emanate here in this saha world, be realised and start teaching, he would never be recognised as one by Buddhists unless he did so under a Buddhist banner using Buddhist terminology.

I have no idea whether he is or not, fwiw. I only read a few of his pieces and saw short clips. Not enough to judge.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:26 pm

Pursuit spiritual happiness or making such pursuit (his and that of others) into a fantasy sided by a business.
My take, not always shared, is that when some people feel disappointed with samsara they turn their attention for a way out. If instead of a real path they find those "feel good" neo advaitan" or, broader, "new agish" self tailored paths, they just dress samsara with a new mask, one much harder to recognize and remove. So they waste a life thinking they are doing what they aren't.
It's like a drug. Even though it makes you feel good, it damages your health. The problem with these fantasist paths is that. While you think you're going somewhere, you stay exactly where you are, stuck in a golden cage instead of freeing yourself. If you take the cage for a palace, you may even like it there and the consequences of this may extend beyond one single lifetime, which is saddening.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby Stewart » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:32 pm

Apart from the whole 'self appointed guru bs', he's also extremely tedious, It's excruciating to listen to, not helped by the permanent, inane grin. There's a video on you tube of him and some British guy (who has also 'figured it all out') sitting in Amsterdam talking complete gibberish, it embarrassing.
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Re: Bentinho Massaro - Is he there in a dzogchen sense?

Postby MrDistracted » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:37 pm

samdrup wrote:Apart from the whole 'self appointed guru bs', he's also extremely tedious, It's excruciating to listen to, not helped by the permanent, inane grin. There's a video on you tube of him and some British guy (who has also 'figured it all out') sitting in Amsterdam talking complete gibberish, it embarrassing.


In a coffee shop?
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