Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

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Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:55 pm

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES FOR SO-CALLED VAJRAYANA STUDENTS



If you think or believe that you are a student of Vajrayana—whether or not that's true is another matter—but as long as you think you are a Vajrayana practitioner, it becomes your responsibility to protect this profound tradition.


It’s important to maintain secrecy in the Vajrayana. The Vajrayana is called ‘the secret mantra yana’ because it is intended to be practiced in secrecy. It is not secret because there is something to hide, but in order to protect the practitioner from the pitfalls and downfalls that ego can bring to the practice. In particular, practitioners tend to fall prey to “spiritual materialism,” where their practice becomes just another fashion statement intended to adorn their egos and make them feel important, or have them feel that they’re part of a ‘cool’ social tribe, rather than to tame and transform their minds. When practiced in this way, the Vajrayana path becomes worse than useless.


Also, the Vajrayana teachings are ‘hidden’ in the sense that their meaning is not apparent to someone who has not received the appropriate teachings. It’s like a foreign language. Because some of the imagery and symbolism can seem strange or even violent to the uninitiated, it’s generally recommended to keep it hidden so that it doesn’t put off newer practitioners, who might develop wrong views about the Buddhist path in general and the Vajrayana path in particular.


While posting on social media, please bear in mind that you are not only posting for your own reading pleasure, but to the whole wide world who most likely don't share your amusement over crazy photos, nor your peculiar adoration and fantasies of certain personalities you call as guru.


Given this, here are some suggestions I offer fellow so-called Vajrayana students about how you can protect yourself—both by avoiding embarrassment and by protecting your Dharma practice—and also protect the profound Vajrayana tradition:


(1) Maintain the secrecy of the Vajrayana (this includes secrecy about your guru, your practice, tantric images, empowerments you have received, teachings you have attended, etc.)



- Don’t post tantric images: If you think posting provocative tantric images (such as images of deities with multiple arms, animal heads, those in union, and wrathful deities) makes you important, you probably don’t understand their meaning.

- Don’t post mantras and seed syllables: If you think mantras and seed syllables should be posted on Facebook as mood enhancement and self-improvement aids, a makeover or haircut might do a better job.

- Don’t talk about your empowerments: If you think images from your weekend Vajrayana empowerment are worthy of being posted up next to photos of your cat on Facebook, you should send your cat to Nepal for enthronement. Unless you have obtained permission from the teacher, do not post any photo, video or audio

recording of Vajrayana empowerments, teachings or mantras. - Don’t talk about profound/secret teachings you may have received: Some
people seem to find it fashionable to hang words like "Dzogchen" and "Mahamudra" in their mouths. If you have received profound instructions, it is good to follow those instructions and keep them to yourself.


(2) Avoid giving in to the temptations of spiritual materialism and using Dharma in service of your ego (do not attempt to show off about your guru, your understanding, your practice etc. Likewise, do not speak badly of other practitioners or paths.)



- Don’t share your experiences and so-called attainments: If you think declaring what you think you have attained is worthwhile, you may have been busy bolstering your delusion. Trying to impress others with your practice is not part of the practice. Try to be genuine and humble. Nobody cares about your experiences in meditation, even if they include visions of buddhas, unicorns or rainbows. If you think you are free of self deception, go ahead, think again.

- Don’t boast about your guru: No matter how great you think your guru is, it would probably serve better for you to keep your devotion to yourself. Remember that being buddhist is not joining a cult. If you think your guru is better than another’s, you probably think your equanimity and pure perception are better than another’s.

- Don’t attempt to share your so-called wisdom: If you think receiving profound teachings gives you license to proclaim them, you will probably only display your ignorance. Before you “share” a quote from the Buddha or from any of your teachers, take a moment to think if they really said those words, and who the audience was meant to be.

- Don’t confuse Buddhism with non-Buddhist ideas: No matter how inspired you might be of rainbows and orbs, and how convinced you are about the end of the world, try not to mix your own fantasies/idiosyncracies with Buddhism.

- Be respectful to others: Without Theravada and Mahayana as foundation, there would be no Vajrayana. It would be completely foolish of Vajrayana practitioners to look down on or show disdain towards Theravada and Mahayana. If you think attacking other buddhists will improve Buddhism, do a service for Buddhism, take aim at your own ego and biasedness instead.

- Don’t create disharmony: Try to be the one who brings harmony into the sangha community with your online chatter, instead of trouble and disputes.

- Always be mindful of your motivation: Please do not attempt to display "crazy wisdom" behaviors online, just inspire others to have a good heart. If you think you are posting something out of compassion, try first to make sure you are doing no harm. Whenever you can't let go of the itch to post something, make sure that it helps whoever who reads it and the Dharma.



January 17 2013

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php? ... 6727489150
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby conebeckham » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:15 pm

I read this on FB, as well.
I'm mulling it over...but, what about Liberation by Seeing?

I do think there's something to be said for "motivation"--but, for example, what about our recent Torma thread?
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:26 pm

conebeckham wrote:I read this on FB, as well.
I'm mulling it over...but, what about Liberation by Seeing?

I do think there's something to be said for "motivation"--but, for example, what about our recent Torma thread?



Well, I'm thinking about it, too. Firstly, I see a dedicated Buddhist forum as different than FB. People come here because they are exploring Buddhism, or are Buddhist.

Rinpoche did not mention shrines and tormas specifically, but I am debating removing my shrine photos from FB, or limiting viewing to friends. DJKR is one of our lineage lamas, and I take his advice very seriously.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:30 pm

Rinpoche, if you are reading this forum I would appreciate your advice about conduct in this kind of on-line Buddhist "community." I find the connections I make with practitioners around the world here to be quite valuable. :heart:
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby ngodrup » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Before you “share” a quote from the Buddha or from any of your teachers,
take a moment to think if they really said those words, and who the
audience was meant to be. -- Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Clearly context is a core issue.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby justsit » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:02 pm

Excellent advice, duly noted. Thank you RInpoche :bow: :bow: :bow:

Even if we think this is a "dedicated" site, there are almost always at least 50% more "guests" than "users" here at any given time. We have no idea who they might be. Better to refrain, perhaps.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Zenda » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:26 pm

I really feel that he's posting these guidelines as a way to help practitioners to guard their minds and their practice. I think it is a support rather than a scolding, and for me, a reminder that it's so easy to delude myself.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Punya » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:46 pm

Prayer for Internet Practice, by DJKR

This prayer was requested of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche to help dharma students surf the waves of attraction and distraction on the Internet and turn them to practice.

Namo ākāśagarbhāya oṃ ārya kamari mauli svāhā

Oh bodhisattva mahasattva!

As I prostrate at your lotus feet,
I offer everything I can name and understand,
And all my mind’s conjurings,
As well as everything that exists, inconceivable and undreamed of,
Throughout immeasurable space.
...
To you, who are the very essence of space,
I offer praise.
Bless this cyber-space with comfort, bliss and enlightenment—
May it be of benefit to myself and others.
Unburden our misgivings;
Purify all that sullies and despoils us,
And the profligate displays,
That throng and colour this space.

Prayer for cyberspace by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby T. Chokyi » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:50 pm

Yudron wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I read this on FB, as well.
I'm mulling it over...but, what about Liberation by Seeing?

I do think there's something to be said for "motivation"--but, for example, what about our recent Torma thread?



Well, I'm thinking about it, too. Firstly, I see a dedicated Buddhist forum as different than FB. People come here because they are exploring Buddhism, or are Buddhist.

Rinpoche did not mention shrines and tormas specifically, but I am debating removing my shrine photos from FB, or limiting viewing to friends. DJKR is one of our lineage lamas, and I take his advice very seriously.



imho, tormas are supports for secret practice, imho they shouldn't be put up on the net,
I was uncomfortable with the torma thread, and hinted in the Kamma empowerment thread
that the teachers I had would not at all approve of supports being publically viewed... however
I didn't say "tormas" specifically in that thread... but that is what I was thinking about
when I wrote the sentence which got lost anyway... over there.

This is what I wrote:
It used to be that practitioners that did not have Troma empowerment etc could not sit in the practice during the Troma Sadhana where I took the empowerment, but that may have changed, we weren't allowed to show any of the supports for this practice anywhere.

I could not put a torma online for viewing.

:namaste:
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:12 am

T. Chokyi wrote:
Yudron wrote:
conebeckham wrote:I read this on FB, as well.
I'm mulling it over...but, what about Liberation by Seeing?

I do think there's something to be said for "motivation"--but, for example, what about our recent Torma thread?



Well, I'm thinking about it, too. Firstly, I see a dedicated Buddhist forum as different than FB. People come here because they are exploring Buddhism, or are Buddhist.

Rinpoche did not mention shrines and tormas specifically, but I am debating removing my shrine photos from FB, or limiting viewing to friends. DJKR is one of our lineage lamas, and I take his advice very seriously.



imho, tormas are supports for secret practice, imho they shouldn't be put up on the net,
I was uncomfortable with the torma thread, and hinted in the Kamma empowerment thread
that the teachers I had would not at all approve of supports being publically viewed... however
I didn't say "tormas" specifically in that thread... but that is what I was thinking about
when I wrote the sentence which got lost anyway... over there.

This is what I wrote:
It used to be that practitioners that did not have Troma empowerment etc could not sit in the practice during the Troma Sadhana where I took the empowerment, but that may have changed, we weren't allowed to show any of the supports for this practice anywhere.

I could not put a torma online for viewing.

:namaste:



Thank you for your opinion, I'm glad that DJKR's posting is helping people post their concerns in this arena. Because tormas are so frequently shown on lama's Facebook pages etc... including at least one of our lineage lamas pages, I decided it was okay for me. That being said, if you are being made uncomfortable, then others are, so I will request my post be taken down from here. My direct lamas are not as restrictive about certain images, etc... as Gyatrul Rinpoche is, and people can come in off the street to our summer retreat and practice any deity practice, so that is also different.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Silent Bob » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:33 am

I have a quite different take about tormas, or pictures of tormas. My instructions were that if someone were to see an image of a yidam or protector, they might form a negative thought about its appearance that could easily become an obstacle if they were to encounter dharma in the future. Tormas, on the other hand, are so cryptic in their appearance that there is nothing for the mind of the uninstructed viewer to either accept or reject and therefore, no seeds of future karma are planted.
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:57 am

Silent Bob wrote:I have a quite different take about tormas, or pictures of tormas. My instructions were that if someone were to see an image of a yidam or protector, they might form a negative thought about its appearance that could easily become an obstacle if they were to encounter dharma in the future. Tormas, on the other hand, are so cryptic in their appearance that there is nothing for the mind of the uninstructed viewer to either accept or reject and therefore, no seeds of future karma are planted.


Yeah, I think non-Buddhist people would look at them and say "Oh some kind of foreign art" and that would be it. I think we're probably not alone in our thinking, because I notice--for example--that Garab Dorje Rinpoche's FB page has lots of tormas on it, including Throma tormas. And Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche did not mention tormas in these guidelines. That being said, Rinpoche seems to be also concerned about the disrespectfulness of putting deity images on the same page as mundane things, such as cats... or using imagery to puff up one's own ego. Like "I'm really cool, look at all these tormas I have, I'm a hard core yogini...," which I hope was not my intent. However, you never know that that tricky subconscious is up to.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Adamantine » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:44 am

Hey well Lama Tharchin's own tormas are published as online images, and are also for sale. So it seems he is OK with them being out there for online perusing, etc. I guess the question is if some should be more restricted than others.. but I'd think that would have been told to you at the time of instruction.

Also the Tersar website of Dudjom Rinpoche's son Shenpen Dawa Rinpoche hosts images of yidams and tormas, for example: http://www.tersar.org
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Yudron » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:58 am

Adamantine wrote:Hey well Lama Tharchin's own tormas are published as online images, and are also for sale. So it seems he is OK with them being out there for online perusing, etc. I guess the question is if some should be more restricted than others.. but I'd think that would have been told to you at the time of instruction.

Also the Tersar website of Dudjom Rinpoche's son Shenpen Dawa Rinpoche hosts images of yidams and tormas, for example: http://www.tersar.org


The Throma torma will be offered by LTR for sale eventually--on the website. I think it is good for people to see sublime Dharma art and make a connection that way. I intentionally did not display the tormas for my own personal yidam here or on my FB page, however.

But, there is no reason to upset the minds of fellow DW and FB users, so away they go.

Honestly, what I write online is of far more concern to me. Every post is a choice. :?
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:26 am

Wonderful, thanks for posting this. Good advice for anyone I think.
"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: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby sdw » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:00 pm

I thought the article was really excellent, especially this: 'If you think you are free of self deception, go ahead, think again'.

I'm thinking. :smile:


Shardröl
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby maybay » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:38 am

justsit wrote:Excellent advice, duly noted. Thank you RInpoche :bow: :bow: :bow:

Even if we think this is a "dedicated" site, there are almost always at least 50% more "guests" than "users" here at any given time. We have no idea who they might be. Better to refrain, perhaps.

Riiiight. You know you can't help spilling seed whenever someone drops their eggs. That's how it is in the ocean. Either you're naked or you don't exist.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby muni » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:43 am

sdw wrote:I thought the article was really excellent, especially this: 'If you think you are free of self deception, go ahead, think again'.

I'm thinking. :smile:


Shardröl


Oh Well! Me is told investigate own mind and own mind only. But it feels too much home to please that what I am not and to run out in deception, so no ears. No way to realize that by the great kindness of all others/ everyone only we can recognize our nature.

Thank you for this bell sdw, many thanks Yudron for posting.

:namaste:
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Jamkar » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:46 am

I wonder if this advice actually covers dzogchen, chod and tantra discussed here? not to say anything but just curious of what you guys think

personally, i think he wont be amused when he reads the contents of those sections.
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Re: Dzongsar Khyentse's Advice for Social Media

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:18 am

This seems like a good topic to pin. . .
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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