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Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:42 am
by avatamsaka3
Hi all, I found a course called "Shamatha, Vipashyana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen" from Alan Wallace. It looks really comprehensive. I'm wondering if, after listening to it, I could then begin to practice Dzogchen. I'm not clear on what kind of authorization or empowerment I might need.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:07 pm
by PSM
As these are recordings, I would assume that you would need the direct introduction from Lama Alan in person or via webcast. He's a good teacher, so it would be worth it.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:11 pm
by Norwegian
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:42 am Hi all, I found a course called "Shamatha, Vipashyana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen" from Alan Wallace. It looks really comprehensive. I'm wondering if, after listening to it, I could then begin to practice Dzogchen. I'm not clear on what kind of authorization or empowerment I might need.
You need to receive direct introduction first, in order to practice Dzogchen, from a qualified teacher of Dzogchen.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:23 pm
by avatamsaka3
Where can the direct introduction from him be found then? We won't be meeting in person anytime soon.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:30 pm
by PSM
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:23 pm Where can the direct introduction from him be found then? We won't be meeting in person anytime soon.
Many lamas are doing this online. I've not seen Lama Alana do it live online, but that doesn't mean he hasn't/won't be.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:38 pm
by javier.espinoza.t
PSM wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:30 pm
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:23 pm Where can the direct introduction from him be found then? We won't be meeting in person anytime soon.
Many lamas are doing this online. I've not seen Lama Alana do it live online, but that doesn't mean he hasn't/won't be.
avatamsaka3, imo, you should put your effort in receiving this in person and make sure that the individual who gives this is a Vidyadhara, a Buddha. Maybe Mr. Wallace is or maybe not, i don't know, so you should try to meet him first, try to inspect him, examine him, etc.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:39 pm
by avatamsaka3
Nothing like that is available in my area, sorry. All the dharma centers here are closed anyway. Not my decision.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:02 pm
by Grigoris
Shamatha and Vipashyana are Sutra/Sutta pracitces. I would start with these and then once I hit the Mahamudra and Dzogchen part...

You will find that as you build merit through the practice, things that may have right in front of your nose and you were unaware of will become apparent. Teachers will appear. Etc...

For years I lived on this island thinking that there was no Dharma anywhere nearby and then I found out from my teacher in Athens that there is a Buddhist retreat center in the north of the island run by a Gelug teacher.

Karma vipaka is a bitch sometimes. :smile:

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:16 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
Someone asked a similar question about Alan’s Wisdom Experience classes recently, IIRC the official answer received was something like “get direct introduction from Alan or Another teacher, but you can practice this”. So basically seek out introduction, but you can do the practices.

If it’s a wisdom course you can ask the question directly to make sure.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:50 pm
by PSM
Daniel Aitken sometimes posts here about Wisdom's online courses. Maybe he can help.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:19 pm
by avatamsaka3
So basically seek out introduction, but you can do the practices.
So no direct introduction first if I intend to get it eventually?

No, the course I'm looking at has nothing to do with Wisdom.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I wonder if it's possible to get this introduction in the form of a letter. I do have a way of communicating with someone in the east who is very well known and highly regarded. Not sure if they're in the right lineage.

Re. shamatha practice... that's what I'm focusing on these days. Seems like Dzogchen would be a nice next step, but maybe it's not in the cards right now.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:38 pm
by Norwegian
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:19 pm
So basically seek out introduction, but you can do the practices.
So no direct introduction first if I intend to get it eventually?

No, the course I'm looking at has nothing to do with Wisdom.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I wonder if it's possible to get this introduction in the form of a letter. I do have a way of communicating with someone in the east who is very well known and highly regarded. Not sure if they're in the right lineage.
Direct introduction cannot be given by way of letter. It is an active collaboration between a student and a qualified teacher of Dzogchen, live in person or by way of live web stream.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:23 pm
by avatamsaka3
Collaboration... got it.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:16 pm
by avatamsaka3
I think I might just take the course and take notes from it, but not practice Dzogchen/Mahamudra. When I'm able to find a good teacher who's willing to give direct transmission to me, then I can put things into practice.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:46 pm
by javier.espinoza.t
avatamsaka3 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:16 pm I think I might just take the course and take notes from it, but not practice Dzogchen/Mahamudra. When I'm able to find a good teacher who's willing to give direct transmission to me, then I can put things into practice.
yep.

look, the problem with doing practices and reading about dzogchen without having the experience of being introduced to the knowledge is that one can make so many phantasies and ideas and then convince onself of then and that one "knows"... and then one closes oneself like a clam.

so keep being open, being interested. always fresh like a new practitioner.

maybe that can be of use.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:08 pm
by SteRo
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:42 am Hi all, I found a course called "Shamatha, Vipashyana, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen" from Alan Wallace. It looks really comprehensive. I'm wondering if, after listening to it, I could then begin to practice Dzogchen. I'm not clear on what kind of authorization or empowerment I might need.
Do whatever appears appropriate to you. Either you abandon dukkha or you don't abandon it. If the latter then you know that you have not drawn appropriate conclusions.

Re: Question about course

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:57 pm
by Simon E.
javier.espinoza.t wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:46 pm
avatamsaka3 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:16 pm I think I might just take the course and take notes from it, but not practice Dzogchen/Mahamudra. When I'm able to find a good teacher who's willing to give direct transmission to me, then I can put things into practice.
yep.

look, the problem with doing practices and reading about dzogchen without having the experience of being introduced to the knowledge is that one can make so many phantasies and ideas and then convince onself of then and that one "knows"... and then one closes oneself like a clam.

so keep being open, being interested. always fresh like a new practitioner.

maybe that can be of use.
Well said.