Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

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Könchok Thrinley
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Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Hi,

my friend (yes, really a friend) has few months back started engaging with gelug lama and sangha connected with that lama and found out that the style the teachings is presented in fits him. He actually find it more effective for him than ChNN's teachings too. It really seems that he has a strong connection with that lineage. So he has asked me for advice how to do it so he can focus more on his gelug practices without breaking samayas with ChNN whom he has followed for few years now. I quite frankly didn't know. I just told him the general: keeping presence (which he will have to develop either way) + guruyoga and he should be fine + maybe stopping by for a puja from time to time.

Anyway it got me thinking. How does one "leave" (I do not mean really leaving but lack a better word) a teacher whose transmission he/she founds valuable, however does not want to develop more since there are teachers more suited for the person? Are there any practitioners that have received transmission from ChNN but found other teachers more important? How do you keep the commitments to do ati gy, etc?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
Motova
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Motova »

Miroku wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:23 pm Hi,

my friend (yes, really a friend) has few months back started engaging with gelug lama and sangha connected with that lama and found out that the style the teachings is presented in fits him. He actually find it more effective for him than ChNN's teachings too. It really seems that he has a strong connection with that lineage. So he has asked me for advice how to do it so he can focus more on his gelug practices without breaking samayas with ChNN whom he has followed for few years now. I quite frankly didn't know. I just told him the general: keeping presence (which he will have to develop either way) + guruyoga and he should be fine + maybe stopping by for a puja from time to time.

Anyway it got me thinking. How does one "leave" (I do not mean really leaving but lack a better word) a teacher whose transmission he/she founds valuable, however does not want to develop more since there are teachers more suited for the person? Are there any practitioners that have received transmission from ChNN but found other teachers more important? How do you keep the commitments to do ati gy, etc?
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by chimechodra »

Miroku wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:23 pm Are there any practitioners that have received transmission from ChNN but found other teachers more important?
From the few retreats I've been at, tons. As long as they do some sort of guru yoga every day (it does not need to be Ati Guru Yoga, but why not, it's so simple), they are maintaining all of their samayas, and it is totally fine for them to study with the Gelug lama as well. I'm pretty sure I've seen ChNN encourage this, even, that people figure out what works for their own circumstances and apply those specific teachings. As long as the Gelug lama is not a gyalpo worshipper, there should be no conflict. Also, don't forget ChNN's strong relationship with the Dalai Lama.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Tenma »

Miroku wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:23 pm Hi,

my friend (yes, really a friend) has few months back started engaging with gelug lama and sangha connected with that lama and found out that the style the teachings is presented in fits him. He actually find it more effective for him than ChNN's teachings too. It really seems that he has a strong connection with that lineage. So he has asked me for advice how to do it so he can focus more on his gelug practices without breaking samayas with ChNN whom he has followed for few years now. I quite frankly didn't know. I just told him the general: keeping presence (which he will have to develop either way) + guruyoga and he should be fine + maybe stopping by for a puja from time to time.

Anyway it got me thinking. How does one "leave" (I do not mean really leaving but lack a better word) a teacher whose transmission he/she founds valuable, however does not want to develop more since there are teachers more suited for the person? Are there any practitioners that have received transmission from ChNN but found other teachers more important? How do you keep the commitments to do ati gy, etc?
Well, your friend can have more than one teacher. I mean, Atisha himself had 11.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

"Leaving" is not the right word here, is it?

I mean, they are not severing any ties, abandoning their commitments, etc., they are just changing the emphasis.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Tenma wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:52 pm Well, your friend can have more than one teacher. I mean, Atisha himself had 11.
Yes, definetly.
treehuggingoctopus wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:39 pm "Leaving" is not the right word here, is it?

I mean, they are not severing any ties, abandoning their commitments, etc., they are just changing the emphasis.
Yeah, that is better wording. What I think he might be finding weird is that suddenly instead of doing GY+SoV he feels more interested in doing sex session guru yoga even tho the former is easier.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

chimechodra wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:54 pm From the few retreats I've been at, tons. As long as they do some sort of guru yoga every day (it does not need to be Ati Guru Yoga, but why not, it's so simple), they are maintaining all of their samayas, and it is totally fine for them to study with the Gelug lama as well. I'm pretty sure I've seen ChNN encourage this, even, that people figure out what works for their own circumstances and apply those specific teachings. As long as the Gelug lama is not a gyalpo worshipper, there should be no conflict. Also, don't forget ChNN's strong relationship with the Dalai Lama.
Yes, it is definetly okay. I personally think that having an experience with other teachings makes ChNN shine brighter. What he told me he feels is a kind of slight guilt that he realizes the great value of ChNN's dzogchen teachings, yet wants to practice lamrim way more.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

i think main point is having total realization.

as i get it, when ChNN says's things like "don't limit yourself" it's precisely about dharma application. one should do what's necesary to get in the knowledge, that's all.

probably through his time among gelugs he will understand some things, have some experience, etc

so no guilts, no need to reject either :shrug:
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

Miroku wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:21 am
chimechodra wrote: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:54 pm From the few retreats I've been at, tons. As long as they do some sort of guru yoga every day (it does not need to be Ati Guru Yoga, but why not, it's so simple), they are maintaining all of their samayas, and it is totally fine for them to study with the Gelug lama as well. I'm pretty sure I've seen ChNN encourage this, even, that people figure out what works for their own circumstances and apply those specific teachings. As long as the Gelug lama is not a gyalpo worshipper, there should be no conflict. Also, don't forget ChNN's strong relationship with the Dalai Lama.
Yes, it is definetly okay. I personally think that having an experience with other teachings makes ChNN shine brighter. What he told me he feels is a kind of slight guilt that he realizes the great value of ChNN's dzogchen teachings, yet wants to practice lamrim way more.
Ah, so that where the word "leaving" comes from.
Of course, one may want to practice lamrim or somesuch precisely because one realises the incredible value of Rinpoche's teachings. A scenario which probably many of us are rather familiar with.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:03 am Of course, one may want to practice lamrim or somesuch precisely because one realises the incredible value of Rinpoche's teachings. A scenario which probably many of us are rather familiar with.
I am sorry I might not be in a good form, but I do not quite get your point. Would you care to help my understanding with different wording or explain? :smile:
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

I will try :-) Rinpoche gives DI but it is up to us to actually "get it," if we do not "get it" straightaway. Even if we do, we have to familiarise ourselves with the state, stabilise it, etc. Both in order to "get it," and in order to develop our familiarity with the state, we are expected to do whatever gets the job done (actually, he expects us to do whatever it takes to overcome any obstacles we encounter on the path, often reminding us that we must not let ourselves fall into limitations, i.e., that we remain honest with ourselves and do exactly what the path requires us to do at the time).

Now if in your friend's case Ati Guruyoga/SoV are not enough, then, well, they are not enough. In order to work with Rinpoche's transmission they have to find a practice which is effective and which they are at least comfortable with (if it is a Vajrayana practice that features GY then it is already a 100% success, nothing to be added, right? Gelug, Sakya, Jonang, Kagyu, Nyingma, Bon -- it is quite irrelevant where it comes from, is it not?)

On a not entirely unrelated note, are you attending HE Garchen Rinpoche's Warsaw retreat?
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:12 am I will try :-) Rinpoche gives DI but it is up to us to actually "get it," if we do not "get it" straightaway. Even if we do, we have to familiarise ourselves with the state, stabilise it, etc. Both in order to "get it," and in order to develop our familiarity with the state, we are expected to do whatever gets the job done (actually, he expects us to do whatever it takes to overcome any obstacles we encounter on the path, often reminding us that we must not let ourselves fall into limitations, i.e., that we remain honest with ourselves and do exactly what the path requires us to do at the time).

Now if in your friend's case Ati Guruyoga/SoV are not enough, then, well, they are not enough. In order to work with Rinpoche's transmission they have to find a practice which is effective and which they are at least comfortable with (if it is a Vajrayana practice that features GY then it is already a 100% success, nothing to be added, right? Gelug, Sakya, Jonang, Kagyu, Nyingma, Bon -- it is quite irrelevant where it comes from, is it not?)

On a not entirely unrelated note, are you attending HE Garchen Rinpoche's Warsaw retreat?
Thank you! I will show this to him. I think he will find it most helpful. :)
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by LolCat »

I went through something similar and I wish I had seen a topic like this or had started one myself a few years back.

I received direct introduction back in 2015, but nothing really clicked for me for a long time after that, so eventually I just did Ati Guru Yoga mechanically a couple of times a day, and started looking for other teachers and practices with a trace of guilt in my heart. Till date I still haven't received any vajrayana transmissions from other teachers, except for the lung for Longchen Nyingthig ngondro and if you count it, nature of mind teachings online from Garchen Rinpoche (I did go through recordings of Garchen Rinpoche's transmissions even before receiving the DI, but eh, I think there was a big debate here whether it counts or not).

I only did shamatha, immeasurabled and vipashayana for a while, and started with the ngondro last year. As time went on I started noticing some differences when I did the Ati Guru Yoga, even though I had basically given up on it at that point. As I practiced more and more, things started making more sense to me and I started having more confidence in the teachings. These days when I do DC practices it is anything but mechanical and I have complete confidence in them.

It would have helped a lot if I had joined a community and been more active in it, maybe if I had physically attended a retreat or two, but I didn't get the opportunity.

Not sure if this would help your friend and not saying it would work out the same way for him, but just putting it out there there.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Ignorant_Fool »

LolCat wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:28 pm As time went on I started noticing some differences when I did the Ati Guru Yoga, even though I had basically given up on it at that point. As I practiced more and more, things started making more sense to me and I started having more confidence in the teachings. These days when I do DC practices it is anything but mechanical and I have complete confidence in them.
Just want to say that my own experience with ChNNR thus far is very similar to this. For a few months after receiving DI, I didn't like doing GY as I wasn't drawn to it as much. I especially found the SoV quite strange and didn't like it at all. I was focused on some of the secondary practices that Rinpoche transmitted. Ironically, through these practices, I realised just why they are called secondary. I slowly came to appreciate the simplicity and directness of GY.

The more I do it, the more profound it gets. I sometimes get a little emotional thinking about it. I must have some merit to have received this from Rinpoche ...
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

Ignorant_Fool wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:11 pmI slowly came to appreciate the simplicity and directness of GY.

The more I do it, the more profound it gets. I sometimes get a little emotional thinking about it. I must have some merit to have received this from Rinpoche ...
Nothing greater in the whole wide world.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche
chimechodra
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by chimechodra »

Just wanna third what the last few posters are saying. AGY and SoV definitely didn't click in the beginning, but these practices are profound and subtle. Overtime you come to see just how amazing they are, but it definitely takes a while for many of us like myself.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by PeterC »

One cannot “leave” a teacher from whom one has recevied samaya, in the sense that a relationship will always exist provided. (This excludes cases where perhaps the teacher was a completely unqualified fraud and there was never any samaya in the first place.)

You can however seek instruction from anyone else you choose and/or choose not to seek further instruction from the original teacher. The only basic requirement is to maintain the samaya you have received. Everything else is up to you. There’s no karmic demerit from, shall we say, vajra infidelity, and indeed it’s hard to find any great practitioner of the past that did not have multiple teachers.

The other reason why you shouldn’t think about it as ‘leaving’ is that you may one day return to the practices you received from the first teacher. You never know.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Sherab »

Miroku wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:17 am Yeah, that is better wording. What I think he might be finding weird is that suddenly instead of doing GY+SoV he feels more interested in doing sex session guru yoga even tho the former is easier.
:rolling: Sorry can't help noticing the typo. Can't unnotice it now.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Sherab wrote: Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:45 am
Miroku wrote: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:17 am Yeah, that is better wording. What I think he might be finding weird is that suddenly instead of doing GY+SoV he feels more interested in doing sex session guru yoga even tho the former is easier.
:rolling: Sorry can't help noticing the typo. Can't unnotice it now.
Hah! Hopefully it isn't a Freudian slip. :D
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: Leaving a teacher (ChNN)

Post by Kelwin »

Advice I got from a teacher when I was in a similar situation:

'You are not leaving your old teacher, you are expanding from your previous experience. Make sure you include everything with a pure view, and you're fine.'
'I will not take your feelings seriously, and neither will you' -Lama Lena
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