Dharma Transmission

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Blackthorne
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Dharma Transmission

Post by Blackthorne »

What is Dharma Transmission? Is it similar to the Christian idea of apostolic succession where legitimate teachers trace their heritage back to a famous teacher or even the Buddha?

Thank you
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WesleyP
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by WesleyP »

A transmission from Teacher to Student.
Blackthorne
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Blackthorne »

How does one find a teacher or better yet how does one find a tradition or path to receive dharma transmission?
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Blackthorne wrote: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:56 am How does one find a teacher or better yet how does one find a tradition or path to receive dharma transmission?
You can start with Google.
Where do you live?
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3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
Blackthorne
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Blackthorne »

Let me rephrase the question since the default answer on this forum is often "use the search function" or "Google it."

How did you come to the school of Buddhism you now profess and how did you find your teacher?
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justsit
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by justsit »

It's been a long strange trip. I'd been nosing around Buddhist books for years, had never met a real live Buddhist. Auspiciously, a friend gave me a gift of a meditation CD, right around the time I saw a TV documentary about Tibetan Buddhism that literally made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I decided to try meditating every day for a month and see what happened. Long story short, I ended up visiting a dharma center about 1 1/2 hrs. away, and gradually became more involved. Eventually I found my teacher, after attending quite a few dharma events with various lamas. Again, it was a gift video that helped me make my choice.

I came from a Christian background; it was difficult to shift gears and let go of preconceived notions of how "religion" works. There is no Buddhist "Bible," no catechism, no Pope per se, no nice list of Thou Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots, no creator God. In the West, there are often no local dharma centers, and teachers may only come through once a year or less. It's a very different paradigm, much more fluid.

Take your time, don't try to rush into things. Read a lot - Buddhism is equally as diverse as Christianity; for example, Theravada and Vajrayana are as different as Evangelicalism and Catholicism. Visit several centers, if you can. At some point you will find a good fit. Research the teachers; don't jump in too quickly.
TrimePema
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by TrimePema »

Blackthorne wrote: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:39 pm Let me rephrase the question since the default answer on this forum is often "use the search function" or "Google it."

How did you come to the school of Buddhism you now profess and how did you find your teacher?
It just happens. When you look, you find it. It might be convoluted due to obstacles...

I first decided I wanted to take refuge and bodhisattva vows and then almost immediately after I met HH Sakya Trichen who gave me refuge and bodhisattva vows. The Sakya path was largely inaccessible to me at that time resource-wise and I always felt more in tune with Ka-Nying and Dzogchen so later when I wanted to go deeper I ended up practicing Dudjom tersar. HH Sakya Trichen is a re-emanation of one of Dudjom Lingpa's sons. It's funny.
Simon E.
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Simon E. »

My first teacher was a guest speaker at the university Buddhist Society. I got lucky.
Last edited by Simon E. on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TrimePema
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by TrimePema »

Blackthorne wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:44 pm What is Dharma Transmission? Is it similar to the Christian idea of apostolic succession where legitimate teachers trace their heritage back to a famous teacher or even the Buddha?

Thank you
What you are describing is the concept of lineage, which has to do with transmission. A lineage is a line of transmission from master to student. What is transmitted? The direct, experiential knowledge of the actual state of reality, which is "passed" from master to student in the sense that the student reveals it within themselves on the basis of the teachings the master gives.
SteRo
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by SteRo »

Blackthorne wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:44 pm What is Dharma Transmission?
It is resonance in the context of the Dharma which is beyond words and other symbols.
There is symbolic Dharma that is words or other symbols like gestures, body movements or other visible or audible signs and the like and Dharma that is meaning. From symbols like words different meanings may arise in recipients. But in the context of Dharma Transmission the meaning expressed by the sending source causes resonance in the recipient due to correspondence between meaning sent and meaning "understood" (metaphor because it is beyond conceptual understanding).
Blackthorne
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Blackthorne »

Great replies, thank you. In my area we have a meditation group but it's a mixed bag of traditions including wicca and native spirituality.
Simon E.
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Simon E. »

Blackthorne wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:10 pm Great replies, thank you. In my area we have a meditation group but it's a mixed bag of traditions including wicca and native spirituality.
Avoid.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.
TrimePema
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by TrimePema »

Blackthorne wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:10 pm Great replies, thank you. In my area we have a meditation group but it's a mixed bag of traditions including wicca and native spirituality.
just practice on your own.
TrimePema
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by TrimePema »

TrimePema wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:10 pm
Blackthorne wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:10 pm Great replies, thank you. In my area we have a meditation group but it's a mixed bag of traditions including wicca and native spirituality.
just practice on your own.
There are a lot of ways to get online support. Dharma Sun, Samye Institute, Dudjom has online portals, Tergar....
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Blackthorne wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:10 pm Great replies, thank you. In my area we have a meditation group but it's a mixed bag of traditions including wicca and native spirituality.
If you haven't already, look here: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/

Tends to be a lot of groups around that aren't immediately visible. As TrimePema said, there are also lots and lots of opportunities for online teachings and learning these days.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Blackthorne wrote: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:39 pm Let me rephrase the question since the default answer on this forum is often "use the search function" or "Google it."

How did you come to the school of Buddhism you now profess and how did you find your teacher?
The Buddha's famous quote in the Dhammapada is a good, easy to remember guideline:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
Some teachings and practices will seem to help you in your particular life better than others. So it's a process of exploration and experimentation, too.
The number 84,000 is often used for how many teachings the Buddha gave, so each sentient being can be reached.

If I'm not mistaken, we both have a background in Christianity.
If you felt moved by teachings on love, have a look at the Four Immeasurables and bodhicitta.

It took me maybe eight years to more or less settle on a school and practice. The time I spent in different schools gave me great appreciation for how vast and compassionate the Buddha's teachings are, and some insight into my strengths and weaknesses.

What I would tell myself starting out is to keep your curiosity, keep your kind heart, and stay close to the sources of refuge (Three Jewels) :smile:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
Blackthorne
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Re: Dharma Transmission

Post by Blackthorne »

Thank you all for the advice. I'm going to sit a while, read Dogen and come back in a few weeks.
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