Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

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Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

Hi guys, so as my question goes: can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one lineage? So although I feel a very special connection to H.E Garchen Rinpoche, but I also love H.H the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as well as H.H the Karmapa Lama and H.H the Sakya Trichen. Do I have to have one root guru or can I have several? And can I receive teachings from all lineages or do I have to choose one as my main lineage and have the others as complimentary?

Thank you! :thanks:

Tashi Delek :namaste:
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Ayu
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Ayu »

If anybody ever tells you to read only from one teacher and do not look what other's are saying, please then give them a wide berth.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Tlalok »

Only culty weirdos will insist you stick to one teacher at the expense of others. CHNN described the Root Guru as acting like a "key" who's wisdom "unlocks" understanding from all other gurus. There are also many Buddhists who venerate all the teachers that you mentioned without challenge. There are some philosophical distinctions between the various schools represented, and its good to learn how they differentiate themselves from one another.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rim%C3%A9_movement although note that HHDL is also an ardent proponent of the Rime view.

There's a lot to be said for building a deep understanding of how one school approaches the dharma so you have a concrete idea of goal, path, fruition before you start studying other schools, however.
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

Ayu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:17 pm If anybody ever tells you to read only from one teacher and do not look what other's are saying, please then give them a wide berth.
Yup, agreed! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

Tlalok wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:06 pm Only culty weirdos will insist you stick to one teacher at the expense of others. CHNN described the Root Guru as acting like a "key" who's wisdom "unlocks" understanding from all other gurus. There are also many Buddhists who venerate all the teachers that you mentioned without challenge. There are some philosophical distinctions between the various schools represented, and its good to learn how they differentiate themselves from one another.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rim%C3%A9_movement although note that HHDL is also an ardent proponent of the Rime view.

There's a lot to be said for building a deep understanding of how one school approaches the dharma so you have a concrete idea of goal, path, fruition before you start studying other schools, however.
Thank you. I’m 100% onboard with the Rimé movement. :group:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

Thanks for your replies guys! :cheers:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

Here’s an interesting article on the topic of the Root Guru from Samye Ling: https://www.samyeling.org/buddhism-and- ... root-guru/

“ What is the difference between a Tsawe-Lama and any other Lama or teacher?
You can learn, or should be able to learn, something from any Lama; indeed from any person and every situation. However, you will learn more from your Tsawe-Lama than from any other. The contact will be deep and will last for the rest of this life. It may have lasted for many lifetimes already and the connection will probably continue for many lifetimes to come. "Tsawe-Lama" is sometimes translated as "spiritual friend" or "spiritual guide" because he or she will be your main guide along the path of Dharma.”
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

Think of it as a Sangha.
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by karmanyingpo »

[email protected]@ wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:55 pm Hi guys, so as my question goes: can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one lineage? So although I feel a very special connection to H.E Garchen Rinpoche, but I also love H.H the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as well as H.H the Karmapa Lama and H.H the Sakya Trichen. Do I have to have one root guru or can I have several? And can I receive teachings from all lineages or do I have to choose one as my main lineage and have the others as complimentary?

Thank you! :thanks:

Tashi Delek :namaste:
Having multiple teachers is not bad! However some people (LIKE ME) tend to fall for new and shiny things (at least things that are new and shiny TO ME) and spread myself abit thin rather then sticking to what is familiar and old and deepening with that...... This can be a form of spiritual materialism and there is surely value to deepening experience with one path instead of branching out too much and having a shallow "jack of all trades" type deal. I am not accusing you of anything because I don't have the capacities to peer into your mind LOL but I am just sharing what has been my own experience. .. I try to moderate myself but it can be hard. On the other hand I know that even though I have not fully addressed or dealt with my own issue with this yet, perhaps even with this fault I have still benefited somewhat from my branched out practice since time spent on Dharma even if it is a bit overly spread out is probably still better than time spent totally distracted in samsaras persuits... But I have also tried not to let myself run buck wild and reign it in at least somewhat LOL

KN
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Tata1 »

You can receive teachings from anyone you like and your root Guru is something you discovery, not something you choose
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by pemachophel »

:good:

It may take you (it probably should take you) several years at least to realize who your Root Guru is.
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Tata1 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:10 pm You can receive teachings from anyone you like and your root Guru is something you discovery, not something you choose
:good:

We don't have total control over our lives, nor complete understanding of our personalities and situation.
So it's not always immediately clear which school, which teacher, which practice, will reach our heart and take root.

For some, it's like getting married: you still have friends, but you live in one home, and trust one person in a unique way.
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
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by PeterC »

[email protected]@ wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:55 pm Hi guys, so as my question goes: can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one lineage? So although I feel a very special connection to H.E Garchen Rinpoche, but I also love H.H the Dalai Lama, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, as well as H.H the Karmapa Lama and H.H the Sakya Trichen. Do I have to have one root guru or can I have several? And can I receive teachings from all lineages or do I have to choose one as my main lineage and have the others as complimentary?

Thank you! :thanks:

Tashi Delek :namaste:
Honestly people obsess far too much over the root guru. I would have done much better personally if I hadn’t spent any time worrying about it at all, and had just followed the common sense rule of if a teacher is helping you, receive more teachings from them.
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by karmanyingpo »

明安 Myoan wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:32 pm
Tata1 wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:10 pm You can receive teachings from anyone you like and your root Guru is something you discovery, not something you choose
:good:

We don't have total control over our lives, nor complete understanding of our personalities and situation.
So it's not always immediately clear which school, which teacher, which practice, will reach our heart and take root.

For some, it's like getting married: you still have friends, but you live in one home, and trust one person in a unique way.
Maybe this is me... Spouse: Nyingma. New friends that are getting closer: Bon. One home. lol. I think it is okay as long as your practice is not too scattered and there is some level of consistency depth and a connection to an authentic linege.

KN
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

This thread renews my faith in DharmaWheel.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Lingpupa »

[email protected]@ wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:54 pm "Tsawe-Lama" is sometimes translated as "spiritual friend" or "spiritual guide" because he or she will be your main guide along the path of Dharma.”
This article is credited to Khentin Tai Situ Rinpoche, so I hesitate to contradict what are allegedly his words, but this is terminologically misleading. "Spiritual friend" or "spiritual guide" are common, and afaik perfectly good, translations of kalyānamitra. That term in the proper context gives the "spiritual friend" a higher status than you might guess from the simple word-translation - he or she is a teacher, guide, mentor, or preceptor. That is, therefore, not really the same as a lama except in a rather loose sense, and not *at all* the same as a tsawai lama.
All the best
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Cinnabar »

I practiced exclusively in one tradition of Tibetan Buddhism for a decade.

Then I met teachers in another tradition who were very important to me. One I’ve studied with 20+ years now.

I lost half of my dharma friends from the first tradition. They said I had broken my samaya. I had gone to a degenerate tradition with wrong views. That my new teachers were degenerate, fake.

Of course that was fellow American converts. Not the lamas. They all know each-other...

Then with my new dharma friends, they would say to me how good it was that I gave up the first dharma tradition. This tradition was better. The previous dharma not that deep, not that profound. The previous teachers nothing special.

Of course that was fellow American converts, not the lamas. And not all my new dharma friends. Just enough to make me uneasy.

But I didn’t give up anything. Trade one for another. Upgrade or downgrade. I just added a new bit to my practice.

It was the best experience of my life re practice. But I’m sharing this because your dharma siblings will torture you to death over crossing lineages. At least mine did.
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

FiveSkandhas wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:09 am This thread renews my faith in DharmaWheel.
That makes me very happy! Although I’m new here, I can see that this forum is filled with knowledge, wisdom and experience.

Taski Delek :namaste:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by [email protected]@ »

pemachophel wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:52 pm :good:

It may take you (it probably should take you) several years at least to realize who your Root Guru is.
Brilliant! In the meantime I’ll take teachings from the Lamas that I feel closest to. Online for now :coffee:
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Re: Can you just be a Buddhist without having to be loyal to just one branch?

Post by Tongnyid Dorje »

RIME is very nice thing BUT... well I consider myself to be rime in that sense, that I value every buddhist tradition and do not look down at any. I also read books from different tradition and teachers. But I can not imagine I can practice it all. I simply dont have that much time. So, I believe its good to be firmly rooted in one tradition and way of practice but also to find inspiration in other traditions. May be its possible to add some small sadhanas to daily schedule from other traditions if you are missing something in your own. But I would avoid of practicing today some nyingma, tomorrow some gelug, next day little bit of sakya...I dont believe it will lead anywhere.

:namaste:
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