Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:50 pm

I have been practicing Vajrayana for about five years: 2 years with one lama and then 3 years with another lama I had a stronger connection with. I had some good experiences with both groups and I learned a lot, but somehow my heart is no longer in my Vajrayana practice. I don't practice ngondro anymore: not because I find it "boring"--no, I find ngondro to be as interesting as any other tantric meditation--but simply because my heart is no longer in it.

I like my lama, but I don't have unshakeable faith in him. I like some Tibetan things, but I am not as fascinated by Tibetan culture as many other Tibetan Buddhists are. I have no interest in going to empowerments anymore (although I'm happy to have received the ones I did receive in the past).

I am beginning to think that the more direct style of Zen might be a better fit for my personality.

Have any of you tried Vajrayana, but then decided that it wasn't for you?
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:21 am

My introduction to dharma practice (now more than half of this lifetime) was vajrayana, but at times I am more drawn to zen, sometimes to mahayana pureland, sometimes to theravada. I think dharma practice is a lot more elastic than we want to acknowledge. It is because as we become a little bit more aware, what the different paths offer connects with us in different ways. But I don't think one really ever outgrows one for another. Not too often anyhow. So, don't be surprised if after getting absorbed in zen, vajrayana takes on a new significance for you, and you come back to it, maybe realizing that you never actually leave. I have left it and come back a few times. So many rebirths in one lifetime.

One of may favorite Zen Teachers, Daehaeng Kun Sunim, refers to fundamental nature, Juingong, and always teaches that whatever is going on, you just throw it into that. So, all of the changes that we go through in life, just throw it into buddha nature:
“Believe in your foundation, Juingong, and entrust it with everything that confronts you. Then go forward while observing and
experimenting with what you experience. All things constantly change every instant, so there is nothing to cling to. By entrusting everything to your foundation, every aspect of your daily life can become part of your practice."

more...
http://www.hanmaum.org/eng/2007new/kun_ ... hings.html
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.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby plwk » Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:51 am

This thread has some.
There's also another user from the sister site that shall not be named who in chat shared that even though refuge was taken under a Rinpoche and subsequently after more study, especially the Nikayas, Theravada was the final 'home'.
In real life, I got to know one who was so fed up and disillusioned with the bickering over the 2 Karmapas that he switched over to Chán.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:34 am

If you want to get to the beach,
is it better to start in the middle of the ocean
or in the middle of the island?
The two ways are complete opposites of each other
and each one will take you in the opposite direction
yet they both end up at the same place
so, the path that is right for you
really depends on your starting point.
.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:40 am

Luke wrote:I have been practicing Vajrayana for about five years: 2 years with one lama and then 3 years with another lama I had a stronger connection with. I had some good experiences with both groups and I learned a lot, but somehow my heart is no longer in my Vajrayana practice. I don't practice ngondro anymore: not because I find it "boring"--no, I find ngondro to be as interesting as any other tantric meditation--but simply because my heart is no longer in it.

I like my lama, but I don't have unshakeable faith in him. I like some Tibetan things, but I am not as fascinated by Tibetan culture as many other Tibetan Buddhists are. I have no interest in going to empowerments anymore (although I'm happy to have received the ones I did receive in the past).

I am beginning to think that the more direct style of Zen might be a better fit for my personality.

Have any of you tried Vajrayana, but then decided that it wasn't for you?



Wouldn't Dzogchen be the logical choice at that point?

I started with Zen..at least in practice, but was always attracted to Therveda..I thought for a long time that I was an "austere" person - turns out not so much.I moved to Vajrayana purely based on the suspicion that I was wrong and that the aesthetic trappings would motivate me more, I don't know..there's a point where it's hard to figure out whether it's our heart, or our fickleness moving us towards new stuff..and whether there's even really a difference between the two. I don't think it's weird to make decisions based on surface stuff though, sometimes that is the stuff that motivates you.

I am no Zen expert by any means, but i'm not sure how leaving Vajrayana for something like Soto for instance would do much for you other than moving to a different set of visuals and quieter more austere ritual. Zazen, zazen and more zazen..which if you practice "just sitting" you have kind of already been doing, right?

That sounds like i'm denigrating Zen, i'm not..just saying, really I think a question like this is about teachers and people that motivate you rather than traditions that do. I mean anyway, it's not like you can't be inspired by or listen to other traditions right?

Anyway, boredom sucks..but some say it's a kind of clarity.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:09 am

Tibetan culture? Karmapas?

What does any of that have to do with Vajrayana?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:35 am

Konchog1 wrote:Tibetan culture? Karmapas?

What does any of that have to do with Vajrayana?


I think the concern is that representatives of Vajrayāna might not always display the qualities they say their teachings are supposed to produce.

Hagiographies and contemporary propaganda about various people lead many to think these are people above the fray and really advanced, even enlightened.

Then you see all the politics and nonsense, and have to wonder if they're just as human as you are.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:00 am

Indrajala wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:Tibetan culture? Karmapas?

What does any of that have to do with Vajrayana?


I think the concern is that representatives of Vajrayāna might not always display the qualities they say their teachings are supposed to produce.

Hagiographies and contemporary propaganda about various people lead many to think these are people above the fray and really advanced, even enlightened.

Then you see all the politics and nonsense, and have to wonder if they're just as human as you are.
Personality cults are not taught in any sutra, tantra, or shastra. Therefore, there is little to no benefit in them. Try the teachings for yourself and see if they work as promised.

This is the Dark Age. The teachings are aging. Look to the past. Traditional Hagiographies are all that's needed for inspiration.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:20 am

Konchog1 wrote:Personality cults are not taught in any sutra, tantra, or shastra. Therefore, there is little to no benefit in them. Try the teachings for yourself and see if they work as promised.


Okay, but the teachings are encased in a Tibetan culture which indeed has personality cults plus "Dharma empires". For beginners, especially people without much background knowledge of Buddhism and history, they'll inevitably confuse culture and the core teachings, especially when they read about guru devotion. A Tibetan teacher might also naturally teach Tibetan culture as an extension of their Buddhism, and their students might want to do things his way, so out come the kata scarfs, Tibetan outfits and momos.

As I said, for some it can be disenchanting and disappointing to see people who have done retreat, studied extensively and hold titles behaving in a very human and petty way. They are the representatives who beginners look up to. If even after many decades of "practice" and study they still behave like you or me, then what's the point of even trying?


This is the Dark Age. The teachings are aging. Look to the past. Traditional Hagiographies are all that's needed for inspiration.


We're not that far into the kaliyuga just yet.

Those hagiographies are largely fictional and not reflective of reality for most people today. I think they can be inspiring, sure, but the bar is set a bit too high for a lot of folks.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:36 am

Indrajala wrote:Okay, but the teachings are encased in a Tibetan culture which indeed has personality cults plus "Dharma empires". For beginners, especially people without much background knowledge of Buddhism and history, they'll inevitably confuse culture and the core teachings, especially when they read about guru devotion. A Tibetan teacher might also naturally teach Tibetan culture as an extension of their Buddhism, and their students might want to do things his way, so out come the kata scarfs, Tibetan outfits and momos.
True, but studying the core texts and holding them to be authoritative fixes all that.

Indrajala wrote:As I said, for some it can be disenchanting and disappointing to see people who have done retreat, studied extensively and hold titles behaving in a very human and petty way. They are the representatives who beginners look up to. If even after many decades of "practice" and study they still behave like you or me, then what's the point of even trying?
Even with Secret Mantra, Enlightenment usually takes a couple lives. I hope I attain Enlightenment in this lifetime, but I'm not expecting it.

Indrajala wrote:We're not that far into the kaliyuga just yet.
Yes. It will get worse.

Indrajala wrote:Those hagiographies are largely fictional and not reflective of reality for most people today.
There is no smoke without fire. Many of them are completely possible. Santipa, Luipa, and Kangkalipa for example.

Indrajala wrote:I think they can be inspiring, sure, but the bar is set a bit too high for a lot of folks.
People like Tilopa and Tsongkhapa practiced for many lifetimes until the one in which they became famous. There is no reason readers cannot think "If I practice, I will become like them."
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:59 am

Indrajala wrote:As I said, for some it can be disenchanting and disappointing to see people who have done retreat, studied extensively and hold titles behaving in a very human and petty way. They are the representatives who beginners look up to. If even after many decades of "practice" and study they still behave like you or me, then what's the point of even trying?

Some sanghas may be like that, but I want to be clear that my lama's long-time western students are very kind and inspiring people (although most of them don't know much about Buddhist philosophy), and his sangha runs very efficiently and ethically. Actually, I like the people a lot there, but it this sangha is also a bit far away from me.
In any case, even if I really like the people, it's more that I just don't enjoy the process of practicing Vajrayana. I don't enjoy tantric meditations because I don't have much ability at them: I am lousy at memorizing Tibetan texts and I am lousy at visualizing complex images. And I am often in the situation that I'm practicing meditations and pujas which I don't understand fully. Faith alone isn't enough to sustain me.

plwk wrote:This thread has some.
There's also another user from the sister site that shall not be named who in chat shared that even though refuge was taken under a Rinpoche and subsequently after more study, especially the Nikayas, Theravada was the final 'home'.

Thanks for that link! As the person in that thread describes, it's the feelings of guilt which can make it hard to leave Vajryana. One is supposed to think that one's guru is the most important person in the the entire universe, yet here I am thinking of leaving him... and he has been very kind to me on top of all this... but yet, I don't feel that I can ever be what he thinks I should be...

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Wouldn't Dzogchen be the logical choice at that point?

Perhaps, in theory, but I am not crazy about the local Dzogchen group, and I don't feel like engaging in more travel to find yet another lama. And still with Dzogchen, one needs yet more empowerments, pointing out instructions, more rituals, etc. Whereas I just want a simpler path which is not dependent on gurus and empowerments.

I also already feel separated from most mainstream people mentally, and practicing a religion which is full of secret mantras and secret rituals which I can't tell any ordinary people about just increases my sense of separation from ordinary people. I want to practice a type of Buddhism which I can share with other people and discuss openly.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I am no Zen expert by any means, but i'm not sure how leaving Vajrayana for something like Soto for instance would do much for you other than moving to a different set of visuals and quieter more austere ritual. Zazen, zazen and more zazen..which if you practice "just sitting" you have kind of already been doing, right?

I understand your perspective, but I think that you are thinking from the standpoint of adding things (i.e. "Which sect has more stuff?" More different philosophies, more meditation techniques, etc.). Whereas I am thinking more from the standpoint of removing stuff (getting rid of lots of magical rituals, getting rid of a complex guru and empowerment system, getting rid of guilt and secrecy, etc.) Also, I find doctrines of "non-doing" and "non-thinking" and being in harmony with daily life and nature very appealing (if one were to accuse me of being a lazy dharma practioner, I wouldn't object strongly... lol).

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Anyway, boredom sucks..but some say it's a kind of clarity.

Well, perhaps it's more aversion and depression than boredom. In any case, I'm not complaining. A lot of people have never had the good fortune to meet very knowledgeable Buddhist teachers. I am grateful for the things I have experienced so far. I am just trying to figure out my new path.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:06 am

Konchog1 wrote:True, but studying the core texts and holding them to be authoritative fixes all that.


Maybe, but if your guru is Tibetan a lot of what he says and does will reflect his Tibetan cultural background rather than the texts.

I mean the whole tulku system is Tibetan and forms a key component to the organizational structure, yet reading the core texts you might not think it so necessary. Nevertheless, Tibetan masters generally support or at least follow along with it.

If you're insisting that someone be a maverick and go their own way, I'm fine with that, but in the context of Vajrayāna it might not be so easy if you depend on a lineage and cultural matrix within which you obtain your desired teachings.

One problem I have seen all around Asia is that a lot of people think of their culture as Dharma, when it really isn't. If you tell them otherwise they'll give you some answer about how it cultivates some good quality, whereas they're just attached to their cultural practices.

Now, granted, being overly critical and antinomian can be a cultural quality of the west, but discerning Dharma from culture has become very important in our present day where there are much cultural interactions occurring.

Even with Secret Mantra, Enlightenment usually takes a couple lives. I hope I attain Enlightenment in this lifetime, but I'm not expecting it.


That kind of reasoning doesn't help people feeling disillusioned with some form of Buddhism.


There is no smoke without fire. Many of them are completely possible. Santipa, Luipa, and Kangkalipa for example.


Okay, if you want to believe that your eyeballs will fall out of your head for thinking a bad thought about your guru...
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:18 am

Indrajala wrote:Maybe, but if your guru is Tibetan a lot of what he says and does will reflect his Tibetan cultural background rather than the texts.

I mean the whole tulku system is Tibetan and forms a key component to the organizational structure, yet reading the core texts you might not think it so necessary. Nevertheless, Tibetan masters generally support or at least follow along with it.

If you're insisting that someone be a maverick and go their own way, I'm fine with that, but in the context of Vajrayāna it might not be so easy if you depend on a lineage and cultural matrix within which you obtain your desired teachings.

One problem I have seen all around Asia is that a lot of people think of their culture as Dharma, when it really isn't. If you tell them otherwise they'll give you some answer about how it cultivates some good quality, whereas they're just attached to their cultural practices.

Now, granted, being overly critical and antinomian can be a cultural quality of the west, but discerning Dharma from culture has become very important in our present day where there are much cultural interactions occurring.
The texts are truthful, the cultural practices are helpful or unhelpful.

Yes, it is hard for a beginner to know to difference between culture and Dharma. Therefore, beginners should study and thus know the difference.

That kind of reasoning doesn't help people feeling disillusioned with some form of Buddhism.
Luke is talking about Secret Mantra though.

Okay, if you want to believe that your eyeballs will fall out of your head for thinking a bad thought about your guru...
I don't understand this statement's relevance to what I said. Will you rephrase it please?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:21 am

I understand your perspective, but I think that you are thinking from the standpoint of adding things (i.e. "Which sect has more stuff?" More different philosophies, more meditation techniques, etc.). Whereas I am thinking more from the standpoint of removing stuff (getting rid of lots of magical rituals, getting rid of a complex guru and empowerment system, getting rid of guilt and secrecy, etc.) Also, I find doctrines of "non-doing" and "non-thinking" and being in harmony with daily life and nature very appealing (if one were to accuse me of being a lazy dharma practioner, I wouldn't object strongly... lol).


Well, perhaps it's more aversion and depression than boredom. In any case, I'm not complaining. A lot of people have never had the good fortune to meet very knowledgeable Buddhist teachers. I am grateful for the things I have experienced so far. I am just trying to figure out my new path.



I hear ya, i'm not trying to be discouraging or offer some kind of unsolicited advice either, especially being a Vajrayana newb myself. Just spit balling because I find it interesting that we seem to be on opposite sides of the fence, me "getting bored" (maybe not the fairest choice of words - not trying to trivialize it) with Zen and looking for something else.

The "addition vs. subtraction" thing is interesting, for sure in theory I wanted to subtract, but I found it did not click with my personality..maybe you are the opposite. To be fair though, Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings are full of non-doing and non-thinking concepts, I personally did not find Shikantaza much different from Shamatha/ Vipassana other than that the two are taught as a seperate deal at the Tibetan center. Of course there i no talking and lots of bowing lol, so if that's what one likes... I fully admit I just went with what really made me think I would get up in the morning for it - it sounds trivial but really this seems like good motivation.

Does it break Samaya vows, is it always anti-guru yoga action to go practice in other traditions simultaneously? I know this would not be looked at strangely by my center..but it is very ecumenical and I gather that's not the norm. I know it sounds all cheezy and "spiritual shopper" ish, but isn't the easiest way to find out by just going and sitting at some Zendos?
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:34 am, edited 3 times in total.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 am

Konchog1 wrote:I don't understand this statement's relevance to what I said. Will you rephrase it please?


You said, "There is no smoke without fire. Many of them are completely possible. Santipa, Luipa, and Kangkalipa for example."

I'm saying that we shouldn't take hagiographies literally.

Buddhists in most countries throughout history haven't really been known for keeping objective histories and biographies.
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:38 am

Luke wrote:In any case, even if I really like the people, it's more that I just don't enjoy the process of practicing Vajrayana. I don't enjoy tantric meditations because I don't have much ability at them: I am lousy at memorizing Tibetan texts and I am lousy at visualizing complex images. And I am often in the situation that I'm practicing meditations and pujas which I don't understand fully. Faith alone isn't enough to sustain me.

[...]

And still with Dzogchen, one needs yet more empowerments, pointing out instructions, more rituals, etc. Whereas I just want a simpler path which is not dependent on gurus and empowerments.

[...]

I also already feel separated from most mainstream people mentally, and practicing a religion which is full of secret mantras and secret rituals which I can't tell any ordinary people about just increases my sense of separation from ordinary people. I want to practice a type of Buddhism which I can share with other people and discuss openly.
"Refuge and bodhicitta; Buddhahood is achieved through these two alone." -Patrul Rinpoche

You should practice the Lam Rim. (Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Words of my Perfect Teacher, Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment etc.)

There are no Gurus, no pujas, no rituals, no secrecy, no visualizing.

Just progressive stages of mind changings that you do at your own pace.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:46 am

Indrajala wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:I don't understand this statement's relevance to what I said. Will you rephrase it please?


You said, "There is no smoke without fire. Many of them are completely possible. Santipa, Luipa, and Kangkalipa for example."

I'm saying that we shouldn't take hagiographies literally.

Buddhists in most countries throughout history haven't really been known for keeping objective histories and biographies.
Oh most certainly. I agree. But, most of them are somewhat within the bounds of historical fact. For example, (let's not get too off topic here) Virupa was likely a student at Nalanda and was initiated into Vajrayana by the abbot there. But its unlikely he was able to stop the sun from moving.

Furthermore, I believe that the three examples I gave are completely true. Please read them for yourself. Are they not realistic and reasonable?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:59 am

Luke wrote:I have been practicing Vajrayana for about five years: 2 years with one lama and then 3 years with another lama I had a stronger connection with. I had some good experiences with both groups and I learned a lot, but somehow my heart is no longer in my Vajrayana practice. I don't practice ngondro anymore: not because I find it "boring"--no, I find ngondro to be as interesting as any other tantric meditation--but simply because my heart is no longer in it.

I like my lama, but I don't have unshakeable faith in him. I like some Tibetan things, but I am not as fascinated by Tibetan culture as many other Tibetan Buddhists are. I have no interest in going to empowerments anymore (although I'm happy to have received the ones I did receive in the past).

I am beginning to think that the more direct style of Zen might be a better fit for my personality.

Have any of you tried Vajrayana, but then decided that it wasn't for you?

This was the OP.
I have known several.

Two who went to the Theravada. One who became a Dzogchen student and declared that he was no longer a Buddhist.
One who had a high profile on the late E Sangha and who converted to Orthodox Christianity after more than 30 years as a Vajrayana pracitioner.
I have known a whole lot who simply drifted away...
I am not sure however how this might help you make your own decision.
Simon E.
 
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:35 am

Konchog1 wrote:You should practice the Lam Rim. (Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Words of my Perfect Teacher, Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment etc.)
There are no Gurus, no pujas, no rituals, no secrecy, no visualizing.

Just progressive stages of mind changings that you do at your own pace.

Thank you for your advice, but I think switching Buddhist traditions is what is best for me. I was practicing the "Words of my Perfect Teacher" and the related ngondro! lol I know I am supposed to say how wonderful that book is, and I do find a few of its chapters kind of inspiring, but overall, it does not inspire me. It doesn't answer my deeper questions.

I read the Jewel Ornament of Liberation and I think it's great and I feel very warmly about Gampopa (just like I feel very warmly about Dogen), but none of the local Kagyu groups appeal to me, and like I said, I want to get away from the whole complex, Tibetan system. But I agree that I should read Tsongkhapa's works sometime, no matter what I do.

I also happen to enjoy Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's dharma talk videos a great deal. What I find very inspiring about him is that he understands how to blend Vajrayana effectively with modern life. My current lama is an extremely traditional Tibetan monk, and I often don't feel that I can talk to him openly, although I have a lot of respect for him. I want a dharma practice which I can blend with my life, instead of feeling separated from most things in some secret society.
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Luke
 
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Re: Has anyone else left Vajrayana?

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:41 am

Simon E. wrote: I have known several.

Two who went to the Theravada. One who became a Dzogchen student and declared that he was no longer a Buddhist.
One who had a high profile on the late E Sangha and who converted to Orthodox Christianity after more than 30 years as a Vajrayana pracitioner.
I have known a whole lot who simply drifted away...
I am not sure however how this might help you make your own decision.

Thanks for the info.

That's okay, I can make my own decisions. I am just interested to hear other people's experiences.
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