Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Malcolm
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

pemachophel wrote:Sometimes it's almost as if Tibetan Buddhism is a business and empowerments are the product, with Lamas coming to the West mainly to raise money for their monasteries back home.
Tibetans made the same observation about Indians. Not much has changed in a thousand years.
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Adamantine
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Adamantine »

Malcolm wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Sometimes it's almost as if Tibetan Buddhism is a business and empowerments are the product, with Lamas coming to the West mainly to raise money for their monasteries back home.
Tibetans made the same observation about Indians. Not much has changed in a thousand years.

Well that must be a good sign that the transmission lineage is intact! :cheers:

Though the Indian masters must have been better businessmen,
since they managed to get bags of gold and modern Lamas maybe an envelope with $21 tops. . . :tongue:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
Malcolm
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

Adamantine wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Sometimes it's almost as if Tibetan Buddhism is a business and empowerments are the product, with Lamas coming to the West mainly to raise money for their monasteries back home.
Tibetans made the same observation about Indians. Not much has changed in a thousand years.

Well that must be a good sign that the transmission lineage is intact! :cheers:

Though the Indian masters must have been better businessmen,
since they managed to get bags of gold and modern Lamas maybe an envelope with $21 tops. . .
Depends on the lama, what he is selling, and where.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
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Grigoris
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Grigoris »

WARNING
Amusing anecdote follows:

This time last year I organised for Loppon Ogyan Tanzin Rinpoche to come to Greece and give the Throma Nagmo empowerments, etc... Anyway, I, as the marvelous organiser I am :tongue: , kept contact with some of the participants. As the time approached for organising this years seminar/retreat one of the participants asked if we could request that Rinpoche gives the Orgyen Norlha (Guru Rinpoche as Dzambhala).

"Sure!" I said. "If you want the specific practice, you can also help me with the initial expenses as well. I could do with the help."
Anyway, he started on some excuses that he was having a hard time financially right now, etc...

"No problem! You can help me with some of the organisational stuff." I replied.

Last year I was living and working in the northern part of Greece at the time, far away from Athens, and last year somebody helped find the space. I didn't see the space until the night before the retreat and had to set up an altar, prepare photocopies, etc... after spending the night in a bus crossing half of Greece. This year I am back home in Lesbos, a 12 hour boat trip to Athens.

Anyway, he started on some excuses that he had familial obligations, didn't have enough time and...

I pointed out to him that the cause of wealth is generosity and that if he was unwilling to give time, energy or money for a (wealth) teaching that he requested, how did he expect the practice to solve his problem? Needless to say, I did not organise a retreat this year.

Generosity (and this does not refer solely to money) does not require empowerments, specific practices, retreats, etc... People tend to look for solutions outside of the range of their ability when in reality the solutions are in their hands.

Another friend of mine asked me to do puja for him to help him with some financial issues. I agreed to do so but informed him that if he truly wants solutions that he should engage in charity/volunteer work for the underprivileged. He pledged to make donations to Dharma activities once his issue was resolved and engaged in charity too. Surprise... Surprise... His issue was resolved (no thanks to me).

If you want outcomes you have to generate causes and generating causes does not have to be something "magical", it can be as simple as helping your elderly neighbour take out their trash.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by pemachophel »

"So then, would the root and secondary tantric vows, as described on this website (https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... ntric-vows) be applicable to such an empowerment?"

Seeking Wisdom,

IMO, yes. I don't see how you can have the benefits of empowerment without the vows and obligations that go along with that.

However, a couple of weeks ago, a visiting Lama came to our center and gave two "empowerments" which had been advertised on line as such -- empowerments. But when He was actually giving them, including to some people who had never come to any Tibetan Buddhist event before, He hesitated to call them empowerments and instead called them "blessings." I took this to mean He understood the problem of giving actual Vajrayana empowerments to people who have A) not purposively taken Refuge and Bodhisatva vows and who B) don't understand and consciously accept Vajrayana samayas. So it seemed as if He was trying to allow people to have it whatever way they could accept. He definitely was reticent to use the word "empowerment" and backed up more than once to substitute the word "blessings."

The great Garchen Rinpoche, at a series of empowerments in L.A. a couple of years ago, also discussed this issue. He talked about the commitments and the dangers inherent in failing t keep those commitments. He said He had thought a lot about whether it is good to give empowerments to all-comers. At the end, He decided that the potential benefits out-weighed the potential dangers -- meaning Enlightenment in this, the next, within eight, or within a maximum of 16 lifetimes. However, at least one Lama I have studied with said that "guarantee" depended on at least the bare minimum of keeping samaya.

As a corollary of this, somewhere on line I once read something by a Lama who said that, if all people wanted was a no-strings-attached blessing, then that's what they should ask for, not an empowerment. Sorry I don't remember what Lama said that and where it is on line.

All that being said, I believe the Lama Who is giving the Lama Norlha empowerment you referred to is Lama Sonam and He is a really, really, really good and authentic Lama. So I am not in any way criticizing Him. I'm more talking about the bind we find ourselves in here in the Kaliyuga where everything, including the Dharma, is degenerating.
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Malcolm
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

pemachophel wrote:
The great Garchen Rinpoche, at a series of empowerments in L.A. a couple of years ago, also discussed this issue. He talked about the commitments and the dangers inherent in failing t keep those commitments. He said He had thought a lot about whether it is good to give empowerments to all-comers. At the end, He decided that the potential benefits out-weighed the potential dangers -- meaning Enlightenment in this, the next, within eight, or within a maximum of 16 lifetimes. However, at least one Lama I have studied with said that "guarantee" depended on at least the bare minimum of keeping samaya.
Correct, if you do not maintain samaya, the max 16 lifetime promise is a no go.
As a corollary of this, somewhere on line I once read something by a Lama who said that, if all people wanted was a no-strings-attached blessing, then that's what they should ask for, not an empowerment. Sorry I don't remember what Lama said that and where it is on line.
This is a comment made frequently by ChNN. He maintains there is no such thing as an empowerment "given as a blessing." All empowerments, he maintains, come with commitments. And since all empowerments contain refuge and bodhicitta ceremonies, it is impossible to give someone an empowerment who has not taken refuge.

I'm more talking about the bind we find ourselves in here in the Kaliyuga where everything, including the Dharma, is degenerating.
With respect to this, Kunzang Dorje (1130-?), the author of the Vajra Bridge Longed commentary, was relating the fact that his teacher, Dzeng Dharmabodhi (1052-1168) was a direct disciple of Phadampa Sanggye. Dzeng met Phadampa when he was eighteen, and spent a year and a half with him. With respect to the surprising amount of material in Zhi byed, Kunzang Dorje stated it was impossible for Padampa to have actually said that much since he primarily taught with symbols and did not chatter very much with people, or give teachings with many words. With respect to that, Kunzang Dorje states. "All Dharmas are weakened through popularity," meaning the more popular a teaching is and the more widespread it becomes, the weaker its benefit. Such observations should temper our evangelical zeal, especially with respect to Vajrayāna cycles.
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dzogchungpa
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by dzogchungpa »

Malcolm wrote:Kunzang Dorje states. "All Dharmas are weakened through popularity," meaning the more popular a teaching is and the more widespread it becomes, the weaker its benefit.
Well, maybe, but I don't really see how that could be established.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Kunzang Dorje states. "All Dharmas are weakened through popularity," meaning the more popular a teaching is and the more widespread it becomes, the weaker its benefit.
Well, maybe, but I don't really see how that could be established.
It is established through the authority of many masters in all traditions, and in fact is the primary justification for the Terma tradition: i.e., that as termas are promulgated more widely, their blessings weaken correspondingly. It is for this reason that so many transmissions were "gcig brgyud" transmissions, transmissions restricted to one recipient.
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dzogchungpa
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by dzogchungpa »

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Kunzang Dorje states. "All Dharmas are weakened through popularity," meaning the more popular a teaching is and the more widespread it becomes, the weaker its benefit.
Well, maybe, but I don't really see how that could be established.
It is established through the authority of many masters in all traditions, and in fact is the primary justification for the Terma tradition: i.e., that as termas are promulgated more widely, their blessings weaken correspondingly. It is for this reason that so many transmissions were "gcig brgyud" transmissions, transmissions restricted to one recipient.
Well,-what about ChNN's authority? Presumably he doesn't think that making Dzogchen popular will weaken its benefit, does he?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

dzogchungpa wrote:
Well,-what about ChNN's authority? Presumably he doesn't think that making Dzogchen popular will weaken its benefit, does he?
He often mentions that if people do not keep their samaya, it will damage the teachings. When you make teachings more popular, more people with broken samaya come into contact with them, etc. You do the math.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Adamantine »

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Well,-what about ChNN's authority? Presumably he doesn't think that making Dzogchen popular will weaken its benefit, does he?
He often mentions that if people do not keep their samaya, it will damage the teachings. When you make teachings more popular, more people with broken samaya come into contact with them, etc. You do the math.

Yes but what is the math happening in the minds of wisdom masters like ChNN, Dudjom Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, HHDL,
Karmapa, etc. who decide that giving large public transmissions—even some globally webcast ones—have benefits that outweigh the pitfalls?
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
Malcolm
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Malcolm »

Adamantine wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Well,-what about ChNN's authority? Presumably he doesn't think that making Dzogchen popular will weaken its benefit, does he?
He often mentions that if people do not keep their samaya, it will damage the teachings. When you make teachings more popular, more people with broken samaya come into contact with them, etc. You do the math.

Yes but what is the math happening in the minds of wisdom masters like ChNN, Dudjom Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, HHDL,
Karmapa, etc. who decide that giving large public transmissions—even some globally webcast ones—have benefits that outweigh the pitfalls?
That is a good question, and one I am not prepared to answer for them. All I can tell you is what I have found in classical literature on the subject. For example, ChNN pointed out that Longde practitioners ceased attaining rainbow body at a certain point in time because of broken samayas in the lineage. And of course, I have no idea if any present day Longde practitioners are going to attain rainbow body either, even though ChNN's revival of Longde in Longsal is a very important development. All we can expect, as practitioners of recent terma cycles, is that the samayas in these lineages are pure and thus the teachings will be very, very effective for their practitioners.
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dzogchungpa
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by dzogchungpa »

FWIW, I just read this passage from the section on thogal in "Natural Liberation" last night:
These advanced Great Perfection teachings were not designed for people who don't even have any sense of refuge. So why am I offering this as a public teaching? There are a number of great, contemporary lamas who say the time has now come to make these teachings public. Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche, His Holiness Jigmey Phuntsok, and His Holiness Orgyen Kusum Lingpa have stated that now is the time when the teachings on the six transitional processes should be taught openly. Karma Lingpa himself, the lama who revealed these teachings initially, also wrote a prayer that these teachings may flourish in the final era of degeneration and people's behavior is incompatible with Dharma. Thus, the time for these teachings to become public is now.
(Gyatrul Rinpoche is speaking here.)
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by TharpaChodron »

All that being said, I believe the Lama Who is giving the Lama Norlha empowerment you referred to is Lama Sonam and He is a really, really, really good and authentic Lama. So I am not in any way criticizing Him. I'm more talking about the bind we find ourselves in here in the Kaliyuga where everything, including the Dharma, is degenerating.
Yep, Lama Sonam is a genuine and wonderful teacher (and my Lama, as well). I am certain the teachings and empowerments offered by Lama Sonam are done with the intention of truly helping sentient beings.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Soma999 »

Maria Sabina, a healer using mushrooms in Mexico also said the power of the sacred mushrooms decreased beacause so many people went to the ceremony with a quality of intention that is quiet low. I feels it's more the ceremony which lost power (the resonnance of the intention of the ceremony was reduced), but this idea is quiet interesting.

Should everything be secret ? I met different teachers holding quiet (sometime) opposite view. One is quiet famous, transmits everything openly (he is not "buddhist") and not only the teachings widen, but also gain in efficiency...

What i feel is secret and sacred are close words. What is sacred is also very intimate, very profund, it's like a pure jewel full of nectar, which needs to be taken care of with great attention. It's even more necessary when there is a lineage and sacred bonds.

That does not mean keeping everything for oneself, but giving to everyone what each is capable of digesting and appreciating. The gospels say "don't throw your pearls to swine". And it's so true. If you give something so sacred, so deep, so intimate to someone who speculate with it, compare it with bullshit stuff, don't keep it inside his or her heart, it reduces the efficiency of the technic for the one who received it, but also this is a loss of energy for the one who shared it. That's why some teacher forbid students to argue over some subjects. Because then people feel exausted and when they go back to their practice, they feel something is lacking, like if something subtle evaporated. One needs then to practice solitary, keep it secred, and the nectar generated then condensate again.

It's the same with loving someone. If you say all the time and describe, analyse with everyone your feelings, auscultate them, speak of them on the market, speak and argue to prove they are right, using for arguments intimate moments that concerns only the two of you, you introduce something not so good in the energy of your relationship.

What someone experience, what he "awoke to efficiency" by feeding it with his or her experiences and practice is full of energy, full of nectar. If you show it everywhere to people who don't respect it, it lost its luster. But if you show it to people who themself will also add of their sacred intention, their sacred attention, it will feed the power of - not the technics - but what is around the technics, the energy whichs makes it alive.

One teacher said "shoud i do a ceremony to empower a specific object ?" and this teacher got the answer "the way you used it and considerate it, full of respect and of awareness of what it is and what it represents empowered the object, more and more. No ceremony is required".

It's also the same with cards - like tarot - some people use. Normaly it should not be manipulated by other people in certain circonstances, to keep its energy pure.

For some objects, it's even more strict : it should not be *seen* by people, and even when one authorised look at it, it should be done intentionnaly.

Some sacred fire also have the same restrictions. The moment one look the fire it should be done with a specific quality of intention, or someone should not even look at the fire. It's not the case for every homa.

So it's also a matter of energy. The sacred vibrate with love, with silence (which silence ? The silence of the "low mental" which destroy everything). It's like a seed which needs to be kept inside the soil of the heart, and not shown to everyone indiscriminantly.

Still, keeping things secret don't also necessarily keep the energy powerful. It depends the context. I won't go into much details, but in some places, there is a lot of secrecy, but for the wrong reason. Not to keep the energy pure. But to keep power over people. And then, even if it is secret, it losts the purity of intention, and the power decrease because the resonnance, what radiates the intention, also diminish. Power comes from unity. When someone lost the purity of intention, he lost also some power, some efficiency for his or her practice.

It's not a question of being "authorised" like i got a diploma or i don't know what, but to vibrate with what the ceremony really is. If one use sacred ceremony, to unify with one's divine nature, with commercial motivation only, and not with the thought of helping someone first and foremost, it strongly reduces the quality of intention.

Everytime a ceremony is performed with pure intention, that is pure love (that is what one is supposely to do by taking refuge and generating boddhicitta), the ceremony gains in power.

It's also like a talisman. If someone really consecrate powerfully a talisman, it needs to be fed. So if someone don't use it correctly, and don't feed it with his or her way of living, the power of the talisman decrease. But is the person feeds by his way of living, thinking, feeling the talisman, by his consideration, it gets empowered more and more. And one great way to reduce the power of the talisman is to show it to everyone on the market explaing what it stands for. Then people say "oh, it's bullshit", "i have the same", "i would do things differently", "my religion is better than yours", "did you do ngondros ?"... and how then the most finer energy which are protects by pure intention and silence can survive in such noise ? If people holds the same thoughts, but you don't show the "face of the talisman", even if they see it and think what they want, it will do nothings.

It's also the same for some experiences one can get, in dreams for exemple. One should be really careful to whom he shares it. Dreams contains energy and power, and describing it to someone is not necessarily meaningless.

A ceremony is a seed, and all those who practice it is the soil. The roots of the ceremony must receive water from the heart, that is pure love. Then, the plants grow and can give fruits to everyone. If the seeds of something sacred is mixed with everything, it is feeds with low intention.

There are a lot of samaya. But if the samaya of service, love and boddicitta is lost, everything will rotten. But even if the form is not perfect, but the pure love, the pure quality of intention is there, it can works and do wonder. This idea is not of my own, but of someone formed traditionnaly in Tibet.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Karinos »

climb-up wrote:
Karinos wrote:guys please remember we are Buddhists, not exotic Hindu. We don't practice for money or personal benefit
Ummmm,
Then why are there so many Buddhists practices for money and personal benefit? and why do tantric sadhana's work toward both the supreme and relative siddhis?

Yes sadhanas works toward supreme (ultimate goal) and if you have difficulties in reaching supreme it may help with relative. However in creche of tantric studies teachers always say to focus on main sadhana, and to do activity parts only when you complete core accumulation or accomplish main siddhi (or at least have signs).
However nowadays some practices are being advertised focusing on their relative help often forgetting about ultimate i.e. Dzambhala for money, SangyeMenla for curing sickness, White Tara to prolong life, Green Tara for fears, Dorje Gotrab for protection etc. etc. it's all mixed up.

I recall one of my Guru - Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche comments in Poland on very big crowd showing up for special White Tara long life empowerment (when on others it was half of it), he said that time - you people must remember that special blessing of White Tara practice comes only if you use your time to actually practice Dharma toward your enlightenment. In such case you may live long enough to bring all Dharma teachings to accomplishment in this very life time. It's not to have long and happy life enjoying samsara, if you don't practice Dharma, there will be no siddhi.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by pemachophel »

Common or ordinary siddhi are important for accomplishing the four activities when working for the sake of all sentient beings. One should not think of ordinary siddhi as being a second-place finish to supreme siddhi. Supreme siddhi (Realization) are for one's own benefit, ordinary siddhi are for others' benefit.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by pael »

Malcolm wrote:
pemachophel wrote:
The great Garchen Rinpoche, at a series of empowerments in L.A. a couple of years ago, also discussed this issue. He talked about the commitments and the dangers inherent in failing t keep those commitments. He said He had thought a lot about whether it is good to give empowerments to all-comers. At the end, He decided that the potential benefits out-weighed the potential dangers -- meaning Enlightenment in this, the next, within eight, or within a maximum of 16 lifetimes. However, at least one Lama I have studied with said that "guarantee" depended on at least the bare minimum of keeping samaya.
Correct, if you do not maintain samaya, the max 16 lifetime promise is a no go.
Is it possible for them to attain enlightenment with broken samaya? How long they will be in hell?
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by Karinos »

pemachophel wrote:Common or ordinary siddhi are important for accomplishing the four activities when working for the sake of all sentient beings. One should not think of ordinary siddhi as being a second-place finish to supreme siddhi. Supreme siddhi (Realization) are for one's own benefit, ordinary siddhi are for others' benefit.

Without supreme siddhi everything else is only samsaric activity and no guarantee it actually brings benefit to sentience beings :) we only hope based on lineage and teachings of great masters.
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Re: Dudjom Dzambala Practice

Post by pemachophel »

"Without supreme siddhi everything else is only samsaric activity and no guarantee it actually brings benefit to sentience beings"

Which is why every time we pray for siddhi we always pray for both supreme and ordinary siddhi. My point being that these are the same two wings of the bird as wisdom and skillful means. We need both and shouldn't denigrate or minimize the importance of either.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ
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