Greetings and Request for Guidance

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

cd347 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:17 pmThere appears to be no clear path to direct introduction to rigpa from a teacher, however, which is clearly the next step. Many of the teacher websites listed in various threads here are posting webcasts for specific teachings, but none appear to be offering direct introduction explicitly. Is it just a case of turn up and chance that it'll happen?
Well, If I might offer a suggestion:

Few genuine teachers decide to give DI online. One is Garchen Rinpoche (https://garchen.net/annual-events/), and you are fairly certain to get DI (alongside liberating instructions) from him in the form of the fourth empowerment, whenever he gives a wang. The next one is in September: https://garchen.net/annual-events/#tara He is a legend, and he should be: much, much recommended. Also, his institution is entirely scandal-free, all the practice materials are available in pdfs for free, no questions asked, etc, etc.

Should you need to back it (or any other DI you receive) with a more structured approach, you cannot go wrong with Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's sons:

https://dharmasun.org/tte/
https://learning.tergar.org/

There are still, thank goodness, many amazing Dzogchen teachers alive, several of them visiting the West regularly -- but since Covid-19 is upon us, internet access may well be all you have for a few years.
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
javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by javier.espinoza.t »

cd347 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:17 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:03 pm not at all. read literaly: if you mix the points of view you'll get confused asap.

you can practice shrvakayana while having dzogchen view, but you cannot practices dzogchen while upholding shrvakayana view. shrvaka view is contained in dzogchen view, so you can go that way. i just mention this so you don't waste time -years maybe- trying to hold things together and end up noticing this very important point.
Thank you. This is precisely the kind of discourse that makes investigation of Dzogchen seem appropriate. There appears to be no clear path to direct introduction to rigpa from a teacher, however, which is clearly the next step. Many of the teacher websites listed in various threads here are posting webcasts for specific teachings, but none appear to be offering direct introduction explicitly. Is it just a case of turn up and chance that it'll happen?
no, direct introduction the teacher knows how to give, you don't need to know how; but not any teacher can point out to you where to look, there might be a procedure, a method, but empty method if the teacher is not a true vidyadhara. the path to direct introduction is the vidhyadhara himself, or herself (gender doesn't matter for this).

vidyadharas lives continuously and have established, remained, in the state of buddhahood, this are buddhas gifted with a very special skill developed in some degree.

for entering the path -of atiyoga, dzogchen- one need to have accumulated the merits, the renounciation essential understanding (not having hunger for the world), have developed the right motivation and action (being a boddhisatva, yes), born in the right circumstance (made your way to a rebirth where teaching and transmission is alive) and the karmic connection, otherwise it doesn't happen; but that doesn't mean that you actively cannot look for that karmic connection to the transmission.

imo, many people recive transmission, but don't even notice; and furthermore they even take care of this seed for liberation afterwards. when you find a vidhyadhara you look well, because everything he or she does is the actual teaching, this is a very different way than the renounciation one.
fckw
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by fckw »

cd347 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:09 pm Thank you for this thoughtful submission. The question is whether or not Dzogchen practice leads to deeper realisation than Theravada does. Dzogchen itself seems to suggest that this is the case, for example when Longchenpa claims that it is "the pinnacle of spiritual approaches". It is also said in many places that Vajrayana contains both Theravada and Mahayana, and also that each turning of the dhamma wheel represents an improvement.
This debate has been going on in one way or another for many generations. It's unlikely we will settle it here in this forum. In very brief: As to the emptiness side of things there is no difference in the achievement of a buddha realized through the way of therevada in comparison to a buddha realized through the way of dzogchen. How could it be different?

If you believe dzogchen is a superior vehicle than therevada, then by all means, go and switch traditions! If you think dzogchen is a deviation or downfall from the original buddhist tradition (after all, the historical buddha did not teach dzogchen other than in some legends that are retro-fit to justify the addition of dzogchen to the Buddhist curriculum) then by all means stick to therevada buddhist practices. Both are wonderful paths.

You will always find individuals stressing that their own chosen path is the "pinnacle" of anything. Does that make it any truer? Of course only for the followers of those individuals, others will simply not share the same view. My personal view is that yes, there is some truth to the claim that dzogchen is "superior" to therevada. But it's not so easy to grasp why, certainly not for the reasons most dzogchen practitioners without experience in any other tradition often naively (or ideologically) tend to believe. At some point the gradualist view of practice applied within therevada starts being in your way, and on those level of practice the non-gradualist view of dzogchen, in my opinion, starts showing its superiority in didactical terms. However, most practitioners actually don't get exactly to those lofty levels anyway. Most dzogchen practitioners don't get there because they commonly lack a teacher who follows their practice closely and corrects the exceedingly subtle errors in terms of view and meditation. And most therevada practitioners don't get there for various other reasons, among them an artificial identity of being a practitioner in the first place. If at some point the practice does not reach a level of only staying in the view then you'll simply never get there.

What you really should not do is trying to apply the view of one tradition onto the other. I have have practiced in both traditions, and I just tell you from experience that initially I was quite confused having come from therevada regarding dzogchen practice, because for quite some time I mistakenly applied a therevada view onto the dzogchen teachings and simply missed some crucial points. Don't do that, that's all the advise I want to give here.
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DechenDave
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

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treehuggingoctopus wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:06 pm
Few genuine teachers decide to give DI online. One is Garchen Rinpoche (https://garchen.net/annual-events/), and you are fairly certain to get DI (alongside liberating instructions) from him in the form of the fourth empowerment, whenever he gives a wang. The next one is in September: https://garchen.net/annual-events/#tara He is a legend, and he should be: much, much recommended. Also, his institution is entirely scandal-free, all the practice materials are available in pdfs for free, no questions asked, etc, etc.
So that retreat will definitely include an empowerment? It only says retreat for now...
Tata1
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by Tata1 »

cd347 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:09 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:56 pm
cd347 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:49 am

Dukkha/dukkha-nirodha.
ime, that you should keep.

one is like a vase, you pour liquid inside and keep it intact. if you mix with another you screw it both.
I certainly value the presentation of Theravada that I've realised. Are you suggesting that exploring Dzogchen is a bad idea?

fckw wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:45 pm What is important to understand from a didactical (rather than ideological) perspective is the difference how both the therevada and dzogchen lineages are approaching teaching and learning.

The therevada approach is like a teacher who starts from the very scratch, introduces the basics, then builds upon them more and more until, after a long time, you get a more or less complete picture. In dzogchen the teacher initially (figuratively speaking) shows you a postcard of how everything works together. Then, with this in mind, you start working towards that. The teacher sometimes again shows you the high-level picture, which helps you along the way until you have mastered all the subjects along the way.

A different example is assembling a puzzle with many pieces. The therevada approach is you pick some random piece and try to find a suitable neighbour piece that you put together. Only after some time you start seeing what the overall picture is. The dzogchen approach is someone first shows you a foto of the whole target picture, then you start assembling the pieces together. You still have to do all the work. But every now and then someone shows you the whole picture again. That, without doubt, speeds up the process a lot.

To make things more complicated though: the practice and subjective meditative experiences are very different. Therefore, the advice not to mix the system holds true. You should decide to either practice one or the other, but not both at the same time. And even if you do, then don't mix up the view of one system with the view of the other system. They are not really compatible.
Thank you for this thoughtful submission. The question is whether or not Dzogchen practice leads to deeper realisation than Theravada does. Dzogchen itself seems to suggest that this is the case, for example when Longchenpa claims that it is "the pinnacle of spiritual approaches". It is also said in many places that Vajrayana contains both Theravada and Mahayana, and also that each turning of the dhamma wheel represents an improvement.

Malcolm wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:41 pm Yes. In fact, the reason we are in samsara now is that we did not recognize the primordial state, the ye gzhi, aka the primordial basis, to begin with. If we have not recognized it on our own yet, how are we going to recognize it now? Dzogchen tantras are univocal in asserting that one must rely in a guru, and without one, we cannot recognize our own basis independently. There is no such thing as a self-arising Dzogchen teacher, other than Garab Dorje, and he was an emanation of the Buddha.
Thank you for responding, Acarya. It appears that the obvious next step in my investigation is to receive direct introduction to rigpa. If anyone has any advice as to how to go about this I'm all ears. I attended livestreams with both Lama Surya Das and Lama Lena yesterday but there were no clearly announced pointing out instructions.

Matt J wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:42 pm What's your lineage?
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa.

heart wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:33 pm I think it is candice o'denver.

/magnus
It was an open meeting in Lama Candice's sangha that I attended, yes. To be clear, my only lineage is Theravada.
Lama Lena always gives pointing out instructions when she gives dzogchen teachings. They dont necessary have to be announced. Just follow along the instructions at the moment they are being given .
I dont know about that green tara stream tho, because thats tantra and i wasnt there.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

DechenDave wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:32 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:06 pm
Few genuine teachers decide to give DI online. One is Garchen Rinpoche (https://garchen.net/annual-events/), and you are fairly certain to get DI (alongside liberating instructions) from him in the form of the fourth empowerment, whenever he gives a wang. The next one is in September: https://garchen.net/annual-events/#tara He is a legend, and he should be: much, much recommended. Also, his institution is entirely scandal-free, all the practice materials are available in pdfs for free, no questions asked, etc, etc.
So that retreat will definitely include an empowerment? It only says retreat for now...
Well, I know no more than you do. I will rephrase: if the Tara retreat features a wang, then the wang will in all likelihood feature DI and probably liberating instructions as well.
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
PeterC
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by PeterC »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:03 am
DechenDave wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:32 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:06 pm
Few genuine teachers decide to give DI online. One is Garchen Rinpoche (https://garchen.net/annual-events/), and you are fairly certain to get DI (alongside liberating instructions) from him in the form of the fourth empowerment, whenever he gives a wang. The next one is in September: https://garchen.net/annual-events/#tara He is a legend, and he should be: much, much recommended. Also, his institution is entirely scandal-free, all the practice materials are available in pdfs for free, no questions asked, etc, etc.
So that retreat will definitely include an empowerment? It only says retreat for now...
Well, I know no more than you do. I will rephrase: if the Tara retreat features a wang, then the wang will in all likelihood feature DI and probably liberating instructions as well.
I would expect it would include that. But to digress a little on this point. Having received direct introduction or its equivalent does not mean one should go out and buy a library of Dzogchen texts and practice whatever one wants. One could, with the appropriate reading transmissions, but one would be much better advised to practice according to the instructions of HEGr, which in any case are excellent.

I know you didn't raise this issue, but someone reading the thread might get that idea.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

PeterC wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:59 am
treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:03 am
DechenDave wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:32 pm

So that retreat will definitely include an empowerment? It only says retreat for now...
Well, I know no more than you do. I will rephrase: if the Tara retreat features a wang, then the wang will in all likelihood feature DI and probably liberating instructions as well.
I would expect it would include that. But to digress a little on this point. Having received direct introduction or its equivalent does not mean one should go out and buy a library of Dzogchen texts and practice whatever one wants. One could, with the appropriate reading transmissions, but one would be much better advised to practice according to the instructions of HEGr, which in any case are excellent.
Oh, absolutely.

My point was, while one must find a genuine teacher one really connects with, it will probably take more than a while (especially in our Covid-19-plagued wasteland), so it would be good to start with what is absolutely reliable, and somehow travel from there on. There are so many Jaxes out there these days... But of course it is absolutely crucial to have a teacher whose instructions one totally trusts and follows and whom one can regularly access to ask practice-related questions. No combination of books could ever replace that.
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
PeterC
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by PeterC »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:33 am Oh, absolutely.

My point was, while one must find a genuine teacher one really connects with, it will probably take more than a while (especially in our Covid-19-plagued wasteland), so it would be good to start with what is absolutely reliable, and somehow travel from there on. There are so many Jaxes out there these days... But of course it is absolutely crucial to have a teacher whose instructions one totally trusts and follows and whom one can regularly access to ask practice-related questions. No combination of books could ever replace that.
Completely agree. And really everyone who can receive teachings from HEGr should do so as soon as possible while he’s still with us.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

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PeterC wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:48 amAnd really everyone who can receive teachings from HEGr should do so as soon as possible while he’s still with us.
That was, actually, the other reason why I suggested Garchen Rinpoche. :spy:
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
cd347
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by cd347 »

Thank you everyone for your kind attention. Your words have given me much to reflect upon. I feel confident about the route forward.

I only have one remaining question.

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:33 am But of course it is absolutely crucial to have a teacher whose instructions one totally trusts and follows and whom one can regularly access to ask practice-related questions.
How does one establish such a relationship? There is nothing like it offered on the various websites of the masters and I imagine that thousands of practitioners are seeking precisely this.
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DechenDave
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by DechenDave »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:03 am
DechenDave wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:32 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:06 pm
Few genuine teachers decide to give DI online. One is Garchen Rinpoche (https://garchen.net/annual-events/), and you are fairly certain to get DI (alongside liberating instructions) from him in the form of the fourth empowerment, whenever he gives a wang. The next one is in September: https://garchen.net/annual-events/#tara He is a legend, and he should be: much, much recommended. Also, his institution is entirely scandal-free, all the practice materials are available in pdfs for free, no questions asked, etc, etc.
So that retreat will definitely include an empowerment? It only says retreat for now...
Well, I know no more than you do. I will rephrase: if the Tara retreat features a wang, then the wang will in all likelihood feature DI and probably liberating instructions as well.
Gotcha.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

cd347 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:50 pm Thank you everyone for your kind attention. Your words have given me much to reflect upon. I feel confident about the route forward.

I only have one remaining question.

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:33 am But of course it is absolutely crucial to have a teacher whose instructions one totally trusts and follows and whom one can regularly access to ask practice-related questions.
How does one establish such a relationship? There is nothing like it offered on the various websites of the masters and I imagine that thousands of practitioners are seeking precisely this.
Well. Believe it or not, but Garchen Rinpoche does have regular Q&A sessions -- he is given a bunch of questions sent to him via e-mail, Ina translates, he replies. Of course, not every question gets answered. You can also contact his khenpos. If you participate in Tergar courses, then you can talk to your senior instructors (or not-so-senior lamas. Students of Mingyur Rinpoche or Tsoknyi Rinpoche will know infinitely more than I do). This is what is possible right now, when most events are online.

Not sure anything like that can be pulled off with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, who in this context exemplifies the traditional, and, I would add, by far the best (probably not for everyone) approach: You attend a retreat with him, in person. While the retreat lasts you ask the organisers to arrange a brief personal interview. Rinse. Repeat.

The ideal solution (for many of us, at least) would be to find an accessible teacher with a very small sangha, so that whenever there is an event, you can pester him or her however much you like. But it takes years to build a proper relationship with your teacher, of course, especially if they are Tibetan. Trust is a slow growing plant.

The traditional advice given to anyone interested in Vajrayana (which includes Dzogchen) is this: start by sampling as many teachers/teachings as possible. This stage is quite feasible even as the pandemic lasts.

Btw, I forgot to add: there are Vajrayana teachers frequenting DW. Some of them teach Dzogchen.
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
cd347
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by cd347 »

treehuggingoctopus wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:09 pm Well. Believe it or not, but Garchen Rinpoche does have regular Q&A sessions -- he is given a bunch of questions sent to him via e-mail, Ina translates, he replies. Of course, not every question gets answered. You can also contact his khenpos. If you participate in Tergar courses, then you can talk to your senior instructors (or not-so-senior lamas. Students of Mingyur Rinpoche or Tsoknyi Rinpoche will know infinitely more than I do). This is what is possible right now, when most events are online.

Not sure anything like that can be pulled off with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, who in this context exemplifies the traditional, and, I would add, by far the best (probably not for everyone) approach: You attend a retreat with him, in person. While the retreat lasts you ask the organisers to arrange a brief personal interview. Rinse. Repeat.

The ideal solution (for many of us, at least) would be to find an accessible teacher with a very small sangha, so that whenever there is an event, you can pester him or her however much you like. But it takes years to build a proper relationship with your teacher, of course, especially if they are Tibetan. Trust is a slow growing plant.

The traditional advice given to anyone interested in Vajrayana (which includes Dzogchen) is this: start by sampling as many teachers/teachings as possible. This stage is quite feasible even as the pandemic lasts.

Btw, I forgot to add: there are Vajrayana teachers frequenting DW. Some of them teach Dzogchen.
Wonderful advice. Thank you.
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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Greetings and Request for Guidance

Post by treehuggingoctopus »

cd347 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:18 am Thank you.
Welcome, and good luck!
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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