Cap'n, ask around to people who had either large retreat "direct introduction" or webcast. Ask them if they experienced the non-dual Rigpa.
Jax - I have been to many retreats as you describe. Without exception they are wonderful experiences. The experiences that I've had with my Teacher and vajra kin are amazing and ongoing - like living waters that sustain me. And this process happens perfectly in the very environment you're saying is lacking. I am not deceiving you in telling you this.
I don't have to ask the question that you suggest, because the connection is there, and obvious. The transmission is alive and always working to the degree that I'm able to be open to it. Although each person has their own karma, capacity and conditions, I see the understanding and embodiment of my Teacher's wisdom constantly reflected in his students and our community. I just plain disagree with what you're saying.
In Tibet the populace came to Dzogchen masters for a "blessing", they weren't seriously engaged as practitioners (per Norbu). Real practitioners met in private for the Tsal Wang and other forms of "direct introduction".
This has nothing to do with the size of the groups, or the way the teachings are traditionally presented - Please stay focused on this as it is the reason you give for your decision to teach.
What you are talking about refers specifically to the capacity of individuals - which is what it is, based on their karma and conditions. Everyone is different.
Rinpoche does speak of Tibetans seeking blessings but this has nothing to do with the size of retreats or the process of direct introduction in the traditional way as you suggest.
Rinpoche said just *today* in a teaching in Australia, that there are Tibetans that they aren't able to even sit still and really listen. They get a blessing or a protection cord, maybe a mantra - and they go away satisfied. Tibetans aren't the only people who can act like this - people from all cultures can.
It's a question of the *capacity* of the individual. However, Rinpoche also said just today, that even when he has talked directly, one on one with a person of the kind of capacity you refer to among Tibetans, (or westerners) that it is of no use. They simply lack the ability to benefit from the Teachings.
When a teacher with ChNN's capacity and perfect understanding of causes and conditions says that he's unable to help or work with someone who is lacking capacity, are you seriously suggesting that you or some other "senior student" is able to do better? I just don't get this.
Westerners who seek out the Dzogchen teachings given all of the competing noise and options in this day and age, have some kind of connection to teachings, or they couldn't enter the path. This is also said and I know you've heard this many times - so given this, the teachers today do their best to work with student of varying capacities.
Regardless of the capacity and qualities of the Teacher, if the student is not ready, they can't be helped by Dzogchen. If this weren't the case, and a Teacher could actually liberate a student just by spending time with them one-on-one, then just use your mind and think of the result!!
Samsara would be emptied in a few generations. Each student a teacher worked with one-on-one would invariably become completely realized, and then work with many more - and voila... Teachers always do their best!
But the fact is, it's not as you say. You assertion that people "just don't get it", even if it were true, has to do with capacity and not the circumstances of the teachings. I have to be completely honest when I say that someone who thinks that they can improve on this process and leap-frog their Teacher really makes me wary of their claims of being a teacher. This is not based on anecdotes or some intellectual idea - it's based on my own personal experience and understanding - Since you've made this leap, please explain why - as your reasons, as I've explained, don't satisfy me. I sincerely want to understand - although I'll admit that at this point I find your position suspect based on the reasons you've given thus far - I'm open to hearing whatever you have to say.
I think that since you've made this decision, and you have Vajra Kin here, that you are responsible to explain precisely why - because this can affect us too! If your reasons don't jive, are you even *open* to the idea that you might be mistaken? If not, then why?
You need almost daily contact with a teacher until the retreat practice is completed as well as afterward. I know many people , for many years... As Tenzin Wangyal said "only about 1% of disciples will recognize actual rigpa". To me that id unacceptable, it's not that difficult when one on one instruction is available easily, lineage or not
I'm not sure about what you're attributing to Tenzin Wangyal, but even if it's true - his saying that 1% will understand doesn't include the caveat that your decision to teach hinges on - i.e. this idea that students are missing out b/c they go to "large" retreats and don't have constant one-on-on access to the teacher, or to someone like you - who has assumed the mantle.
This is again, a matter of capacity. Where does Tenzin Wangyal say that the 99% miss the point due to the fact that students don't have access to a teacher one-on one? Where does he say that it is due to the conditions that he teaches in? Where does he say that it's due to tradition? It's about capacity, bro.
Rinpoche addresses this constantly. There is a prescribed method for dealing with the circumstances we find ourselves in today - With webcasts, large gatherings etc. - Your anecdotal assertions that it's not working *could* be perceived to be self-serving given the fact that I'm a much newer student than you are yet I've heard Rinpoche lay this process out time and time again - he has addressed the issue of access to the teacher, and the necessity of teaching students of varying capacity in larger groups many, many times.
YES, senior students play a vital role in this. I have personally benefited and experienced first hand the benefits of collaborating and learning from a vajra brother or Sister - and this process is ongoing. I can also contact my teacher as long as he is alive.
Then there is the other aspect of "contact" with the teacher that I see no reason to even talk about in detail - but its the most important aspect, and this is always available to the serious student.
My honest opinion is that students who set themselves up as teachers without following the path laid out by their teacher, risk causing serious problems for themselves and in turn, their "students".
Senior students have the same capacity if they have really "recognized".
Well, as far as I understand it Jax, there is a lot more to being a teacher than simply recognizing the basis.
The Tibetans have a saying that is equivalent to the Christian parable of the mote and the beam. It's not possible to help someone else unless you have true capacity and the qualities of realization are present and functioning - the ability to use skillful means and to really understand the students you're working with.
I am completely satisfied through my personal experience that my Teacher has this kind of capacity and these qualities. They are reflected perfectly to the tiny degree that I'm able to experience and partake of them. I have absolutely no doubt about it. Are you claiming to have similar capacity? If so, then let the lesson of Geshe Michael Roach apply. When he claimed to be on the path of seeing or whatever realization he claimed, his teachers suggested that he should establish faith in his students and those who were following the situation - If you're not familiar with this history, I'd encourage you to check it out and see the standard that we're talking about.
If you feel you have this capacity and these qualities, then I can't really say anything to that - but I can say that these qualities, for me, have a certain flavour and signature. If your students see these qualities in you and are satisfied, then so be it - but I disagree that someone is automatically qualified to teach b/c they have "really recognized" as you say. This is simply the jumping off point - Remember Garab Dorje? *This* is precisely why we have the tradition and lineage - so the collective experience of thousands of years can be brought to bear in each unique situation for each person on the path.
I submit that the Christian idea that "by their fruits ye shall know them" also applies to the process of choosing a teacher. I've seen so much incredible fruit (and a few nuts
) in the process laid down by the very Teacher that you seem to be hell bent on "improving" on that I wholeheartedly, and sincerely disagree with your idea that this is broken and must be fixed, by you.
I can only ask you to carefully consider what I've said and see if it has any merit. I have to constantly question my motivation b/c I'm a self-serving and conniving monkey by nature, but in this case I feel my motivation is pure in asking you to consider right now whether or not the reasons you've given to support your decision to teach is your true motivation. Only you can answer that, really. Everyone else has to look at the fruit and decide for themselves.