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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:39 am 
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I would appreciate some comments on something that I have noticed during the various DC webcasts. There seems, to me at least, a near concerted effort at not displaying overt Buddhist symbols, say for instance a statue of Sakyamuni, pictures or statues of any of the lineages or lineage holders, just any of the symbols that we have come to expect in say a more general teaching presented by any of the Tibetan schools. I've seen more Buddhist symbols, incense and paraphernalia at a Zen retreat than at a DC webcast :smile:

I am of course generalizing, and I am sure that there are the odd exception.

If my perception is correct, why is this so, do you think? I am aware of the conventional wisdom that tells us that Dzogchen is both part of and also beyond Buddhism, that it is more than a religion and so on, but I for one would like to see these teachings sometimes being presented in a slightly more traditional setting.

Does the DC purposefully present itself in this way? Is it an effort to come across as secular, non-Buddhist? Is it maybe skillful means to attract as large an audience as possible?

None of these comments should be seen as criticism in the slightest, it is merely my personal observation, and quite possibly an inaccurate one at that.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:15 am 
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I think it's likely more so that the camera is simply trained on ChNN, so you don't get to see much of his surroundings. Also, some of the webcasts in the last year seem to have taken place at centers that are relatively new and are still being developed. Even still, when the camera has panned off of ChNN, I've often seen a small shrine with a Shakyamuni or Padmasambhava statue and the 8 outer offerings (can't remember if I've seen amrita, rakta, and torma). And if you look at pictures of ChNN's principal centers you'll definitely see lots of lineage and deity iconography.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:04 am 
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If I refere to the very few teachings I was physically present, the place is quite "zen" (for the external form), only a statue of Guru Rinpoché or Namkhas are present. But it's for me clear than Dzogchen has no need for heavy references ...

Sönam

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:06 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
but I for one would like to see these teachings sometimes being presented in a slightly more traditional setting.


When Vidyadharas presented teachings, they rarely did so in elaborate temples and shrines. Garab Dorje for example taught in a charnel ground, not in an elegant temple. I doubt very much he had a statue of Shakyamuni.

So what could be more traditional than that?

That said, at most teachings there is a streamlined shrine with a statue of Buddha or Guru Rinpoche with water offerings, candles, incense and torma -- as PR just mentioned it is generally off camera.

But according to ChNN -- the only thing that is really essential in a shrine for a Dzogchen practitioner is a candle or light and incense (as an offering to the protectors, etc.). In my case, also I have a few symbols in our practice room room, peacock feather, crystal, melong, small stupa, statue of Guru P, small thankga of Drollo. Very, very simple and sparse.

Often ChNN mentions that in this day and age it is important not to draw attention to oneself. So for example he says it is sufficient to have a white A in a thigle of five colors framed like an art print on one wall (with candle and incense burner nearby). Then this seems to ordinary people, non-practitioners like art.

So ChNN says it is important not to make oneself a target. We do not need to show anyone we are practitioners. We do not need to have any statues of Buddha, Padmasambhava, etc. at all. Of course if we have the possibility to have a more elaborate shrine, than it is fine. But it is completely unnecessary.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:59 pm 
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I for one prefer a clean look.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
I for one prefer a clean look.


i am kind of the same.
my so called shrine is a board on which i pinned various deity images to help with visualization during tun or any other DC practices.And at the base of this board i have 2 candles and incense.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:45 pm 
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This is in the Dzogchen forum, so please forgive a little Gelugpa story, which I hope is relevant:

I have a shrine at home with images and rupas, rows of offering bowls etc.

A few months ago I assisted a Gelugpa Lharampa Geshe in helping some people remove harmful spirits from their home.

My Tibetan language skills are dreadful, but I understood that for 2 hours or so he was visualising many forms and actions, the only exception being an offering, which I carried, to be followed by the spirits to a crossroads etc.

My point is simply that advanced practitioners simply do not need images, offering bowls and rupas and that the presence of these objects is for the disciples, not for the Guru or any Buddha.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:06 pm 
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alpha wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
I for one prefer a clean look.


i am kind of the same.
my so called shrine is a board on which i pinned various deity images to help with visualization during tun or any other DC practices.And at the base of this board i have 2 candles and incense.


Nah, I like my teachings with all the gold and brocade you can pile on, incense, flowers and more colour than at a Liberace concert, a true tarted-up show, bells and whistles, statues and thankas in and on every surface, and then some. :buddha1: :buddha1: :buddha1:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Blue Garuda wrote:

My point is simply that advanced practitioners simply do not need images, offering bowls and rupas and that the presence of these objects is for the disciples, not for the Guru or any Buddha.


So there are no disciples at these webcasts? :thinking:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:13 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:

My point is simply that advanced practitioners simply do not need images, offering bowls and rupas and that the presence of these objects is for the disciples, not for the Guru or any Buddha.


So there are no disciples at these webcasts? :thinking:


MYM, if you look at pictures of retreats, there is always a shrine the necessary things, rupa, stupa, dharma text, and offerings. In Merigar, there is a more elaborate shrine, but still by comparison it is sparse by normal Tibetan Buddhist standards. ChNN cannot carry a shrine with him everywhere, and moreover, many times the retreats are in public venues because they can be quite well attended, sometimes 1000 people or more. So it is a little impossible to go over the top with elaborate thrones and so on on the road. ChNN likes to travel light.

But if you like that sort of thing, his throne in Merigar, his main seat is beautiful.

:-)

N

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Yes, I'm not really serious about any of this, before I get shouted at :smile:

I'm more poking fun at my own love of garish Vajrayana displays that show more gold than Fort Knox and the Kardashians together.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:20 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
alpha wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
I for one prefer a clean look.


i am kind of the same.
my so called shrine is a board on which i pinned various deity images to help with visualization during tun or any other DC practices.And at the base of this board i have 2 candles and incense.


Nah, I like my teachings with all the gold and brocade you can pile on, incense, flowers and more colour than at a Liberace concert, a true tarted-up show, bells and whistles, statues and thankas in and on every surface, and then some. :buddha1: :buddha1: :buddha1:


In Merigar, all the surfaces of the Gompa are painted -- all the deities are on the ends of the beams supporting the roof, and the ceiling is painted with the Song of the Vajra and the mantras of the Twenty Five Thigles. On the moulding between ceiling and wall are beautful murals of the important masters of Dzogchen in Bon, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug as well as major tertons, and the above his own throne is a mural of the thirteen primordial masters of Dzogchen from Nangawa Dampa down to Shakyamuni Buddha and Garab Dorje, as well as Samantabhadara and Vajrasattva.

But because most of the walls are floor to ceiling glass, there is no wall space for Thangkhas.

In the Tsegyalgar Gompa we have all these huge Thangkhas of Ekajati, Guru Rinpoche and three roots, Garab Dorje and Thirteen Primordial, Masters Gomadevi and so on.

So it is all based on circumstances.

N

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:21 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Yes, I'm not really serious about any of this, before I get shouted at :smile:

I'm more poking fun at my own love of garish Vajrayana displays that show more gold than Fort Knox and the Kardashians together.



Yup, Neuveau Riche Dharma.

A temple outfitted by Carmella Soprano.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:


In Merigar, all the surfaces of the Gompa are painted -- all the deities are on the ends of the beams supporting the roof, and the ceiling is painted with the Song of the Vajra and the mantras of the Twenty Five Thigles. On the moulding between ceiling and wall are beautful murals of the important masters of Dzogchen in Bon, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Gelug as well as major tertons, and the above his own throne is a mural of the thirteen primordial masters of Dzogchen from Nangawa Dampa down to Shakyamuni Buddha and Garab Dorje, as well as Samantabhadara and Vajrasattva.

But because most of the walls are floor to ceiling glass, there is no wall space for Thangkhas.

In the Tsegyalgar Gompa we have all these huge Thangkhas of Ekajati, Guru Rinpoche and three roots, Garab Dorje and Thirteen Primordial, Masters Gomadevi and so on.

So it is all based on circumstances.

N[/quote]


Sigh ......

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:47 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:

My point is simply that advanced practitioners simply do not need images, offering bowls and rupas and that the presence of these objects is for the disciples, not for the Guru or any Buddha.


So there are no disciples at these webcasts? :thinking:


I think maybe I did not explain myself well. I don't differentiate between disciples attending in person or on-line in this context.

I meant that the Guru may not need these object, whilst disciples often do. If they are in your own room, a gompa, or in the room from which a webcast is made, they are still 'present' and have the same function.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:02 pm 
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Blue Garuda wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:

My point is simply that advanced practitioners simply do not need images, offering bowls and rupas and that the presence of these objects is for the disciples, not for the Guru or any Buddha.


So there are no disciples at these webcasts? :thinking:


I think maybe I did not explain myself well. I don't differentiate between disciples attending in person or on-line in this context.

I meant that the Guru may not need these object, whilst disciples often do. If they are in your own room, a gompa, or in the room from which a webcast is made, they are still 'present' and have the same function.


Understood. Now can they please put one little Buddha statue next to Rinpoche :tantrum:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:40 pm 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:
I think maybe I did not explain myself well. I don't differentiate between disciples attending in person or on-line in this context.

I meant that the Guru may not need these object, whilst disciples often do. If they are in your own room, a gompa, or in the room from which a webcast is made, they are still 'present' and have the same function.


Understood. Now can they please put one little Buddha statue next to Rinpoche :tantrum:


hahaaa.... :twothumbsup:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:13 am 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Understood. Now can they please put one little Buddha statue next to Rinpoche :tantrum:


Haha, now I know you're just joking and making light of your expectations, so I'm just teasing when I remind you that the Buddha who is our principle focus as Vajrayana and Dzogchen practitioners is the guru who's on the throne giving the transmission and the Buddha that is one's own nature. :tongue:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:00 am 
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mindyourmind wrote:
Understood. Now can they please put one little Buddha statue next to Rinpoche :tantrum:


Just to make you VERY happy this morning:

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:04 am 
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Kilaya. wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:
Understood. Now can they please put one little Buddha statue next to Rinpoche :tantrum:


Just to make you VERY happy this morning:

Image



Now, was that so difficult :anjali:

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