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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:42 am 
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About as geographically isolated from members of my community as one can get, I was despairing a bit recently, one of many times over the past few years since I moved 2,574 km from anywhere. I found myself wishing again that I had a trusted friend with whom I could collaborate, someone who is without doubt in the 2nd statement of GD sense of the word.

In doing this, I remembered a story that ChNN has told about his uncle Togden Ogyen Tendzin. Reading it last night inspired me to relate the story and throw this question out there:

"Is there anyone reading this who is able, and willing, to walk with me to Sengchen Namdrag?"

For whatever reason, at this time and in this "place" that isn't a place I have a feeling something good will come from asking.

I'm not Togden Ogyen Tendzin, obviously, nor do I expect a Togden to respond. I have confidence that there are more "good practitioners" in the west than some might think. The principle in the story is an important one, and in my case right now, the need is the same as it was long ago.

From ChNN's "An Oral Commentary on Longchenpa's Precious Ship"

"Adzam Drugpa said: "Now you go back to your country, and there is a rock called Sengchen Namdrag", a famous rock that is considered a holy place ... You go on this rock, and there is a cave called the cave of Vairochana. You go there and stay in a long retreat for some years, until I call you to return to me.

Then my uncle agreed to go there. But before he left, Adzam Drugpa said: "You must go back to your country with one of my disciples". And then Adzam Drugpa sent one of his disciples, a Togden, a good practitioner, to accompany and stay with my uncle. So they left, my uncle and the Togden. Normally, if people go straight from Adzam Drugpa's place to my uncle's country, it usually takes four or five days. If you were to go very, very slowly, then it might take ten days, at the most twelve days, but no more than that. But then that Togden disciple of Adzam Drugpa was a practitioner of Chod. Every day he was going around to special places. One day he said: "Oh there is a cemetary; we shall go there," and then he would do some practice in the cemetary. And then on another day, he said, "Oh, there is a forest; we shall do some practice there". In this way, they went everywhere and it took more than three months to reach my uncle's place.

But there was really great meaning in this. Because every day the Togden was walking with my uncle and talking with him, nor really teaching formally, but always talking about anything. Slowly, slowly, talking, talking for many days, they finally arrived at the rock and by then my uncle had perfect knowledge of contemplation.

Then they did a retreat, and after one or two years, Adzam Drugpa called them to come back and when my Uncle returned, Adzam Drugpa asked him many things. He was very satisfied and said to my uncle: "Oh, your practice and understanding is perfect".


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:10 am 
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Location: kent
This is the most important Question but i think this is not the right place to ask such a question .
I am saying this from personal experience.

Whenever i sought to understand things related to natural state some people here would just advice me to talk to a teacher.
And i think this is the best advice.

So i think regardless of the distance ,whether you are on Mars ,Hell or Planet Earth you have no choice but talk to a teacher.

You might be lucky though...Someone might say "I will instruct you".
Things like that are posssible as we can see from the story above:
experienced practitioners who have themselves cleared their doubts with their teacher and then they are able to improve understanding in the less experienced.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:44 am 
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Location: Southern Oregon
I must second what alpha has said.

Still, I think you'll find that the practitioners who tend to frequent this forum are on the whole very earnest, well-intentioned, positively-minded people who are also walking this path and who are good people to talk to and bounce ideas off in the manner one would converse with a peer and friend on the path. While such a medium is not likely right for fundamentally working through one's doubts in terms of GD's statement--even though I don't doubt some here very probably have some true knowledge--it's still great and helpful to have companions on the path who one can relate to and converse with. I can also say that many a conversation here prompted me to do further Dharma study on topics I knew little about, or made me aware of things to discuss with my gurus and teachings to request from them, etc. And if nothing else, this forum has provoked me to think through assumptions and understandings at times that I might have otherwise left less well examined.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:48 am 
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CapNCrunch wrote:
About as geographically isolated from members of my community as one can get, I was despairing a bit recently, one of many times over the past few years since I moved 2,574 km from anywhere.
How marvelous! It must be like being on retreat 24/7. Such privacy and silence!

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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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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:53 am 
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CapNCrunch wrote:
"Is there anyone reading this who is able, and willing, to walk with me to Sengchen Namdrag?"


I wonder what exactly you mean by that question...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:38 pm 
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trevor wrote:
CapNCrunch wrote:
"Is there anyone reading this who is able, and willing, to walk with me to Sengchen Namdrag?"


I wonder what exactly you mean by that question...


He is looking for a mentor to work with in a close relationship.

The most realistic way is to move to the location where the teacher is in addition to working with senior students. If not, at least move to a location where the Sangha there has very knowledgeable senior students.

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:28 pm 
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Quote:
moved 2,574 km from anywhere.


I think in the future-- might be cause to form a gar for the remote, the travelers, and the lone wolves, a virtual gar. It could be called Akashagar, gar of the ether. Like any idea, its a lot of work for someone to do to get it right. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:53 pm
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Of course I'm not asking for advice or anything of the sort on this thread, including how I should "vet" someone if they should respond.

I'm not looking for a teacher. I have one, but He has many students. As ChNN often says, it's important, especially for someone in my situation, not to be passive - but to be active and to try my best to understand. This is an effort for me to move forward.

I hesitated in asking. I've wrestled with this literally for years before deciding to post this on a web forum - but there simply is no other way I'm aware of for asking something delicate with such narrow parameters, and reaching enough people to have a chance of getting a response. As evidenced by the traffic here, a lot of people read this Dzogchen forum. In spite of the odds, I only need one good response, in private, to accomplish what I'm looking for. So why not try?

I thought that the story I shared beautifully illustrated the point Namkhi Norbu Rinpoche makes re: collaboration among practitioners. In the story, his uncle Togden Ogyen Tenzin, is a relatively new practitioner and someone who later concretely demonstrated profound realization. He had the opportunity to first have his intellectual view clarified, then to discuss his practice w/ a seasoned practitioner. Upon doing this, everything fell into place quickly for him.

I'm not saying that I have Togden Ogyen Tenzin's capacity or anything of the sort. Quite the opposite. I'm not in any way making a comparison other than to say I need some help based on the principle the story was told to illustrate.

Mr. G - It is simply impossible for me to relocate at this point. Circumstances are what they are. But my feeling is that it's not necessary either. If someone who is willing (beyond doubt), able, and patient could spend a bit of time getting to know me via modern communication, I'm certain that it would be of immense benefit to me in my situation just by my having the opportunity to talk to them.

I may bump into someone the next time I go to see my teacher and interact w/ the community, but this hasn't happened yet on over 1/2 dozen occasions. Many of the people who I meet on retreat are relatively new themselves.

I have already approached everyone I could think of after careful consideration, but so far those in a position to help in this way are incredibly busy - or, in the case of one very close friend who is an amazing practitioner with real capacity, they are simply unable to explain things and work with me in this way. Not everyone with capacity is able to directly help others. Although anyone associated with this person is helped, just through her capacity of practice.

Insofar as I understand things, the principle in Dzogchen is understanding first. Practice follows, development and stability follows - but first one must be beyond doubts both intellectually and experientially.

Look - if nothing comes of this, I won't be any worse off than I've been for the past few years. But by doing this in a sincere way I feel that I'm at least being active and using the circumstances available me to do my best.

I'm open to suggestions via PM if someone has another idea, given the facts as I've explained them. Maybe someone is in a similar situation geographically and they found a solution. The PM route makes for a boring thread, but obviously what I'm asking is something delicate, which is why it's taken me this long in the first place.


Last edited by CapNCrunch on Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:52 pm 
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Quote:
How marvelous! It must be like being on retreat 24/7. Such privacy and silence!


It is truly an incredible place. There is ample opportunity for complete privacy and silence, ideal for practice. However, first there has to be something, a basis, to develop.

In my former life, I spent many years completely deluding myself, given my specific conditioning. I will never do that again, which is why I must be certain I'm moving in the right direction.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:29 pm 
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CapNCrunch, in some way we are all more or less isolated.
Even in big cities, like the one I live, the communication is very rare and difficult.
Maybe because the rhythm of modern life is extremely fast, and people (even practitioners) do not have the time or the energy to share and collaborate together.
So, the ideal does not exist anywhere!
I think it depends on the personal karma....
But I have an idea, instead of waiting for someone to reply to your invitation, why don't you try to communicate with some people from Dharma Wheel who may you recognize them as more familiar to you?

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"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
~ Padmasambhava ~


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