Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

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Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby catlady2112 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:37 am

I recently attended some events at the Nyingma Institute and it felt really different than any of the other Tibetan organizations I've been to. One of the western teachers said they don't believe in initiations, which I thought was pretty standard Tibetan Buddhism. The two different Nyingma centers I visited were composed of only westerner volunteers who work at other jobs during the day. I spent an hour listening to one western teacher talk of the wonderful qualities of their Tibetan teacher Tarthang Tulku (who they said never teaches in public and we would probably never have the chance to meet him), and no one but only his closest students are allowed to live near him. Nothing wrong with all this, but it had rumblings of dare I say "cult" feel. I don't want to disparage this organization because they do a lot of volunteer work printing texts and giving them away. I just wanted to ask an open question. Most of the Tibetan centers I've visited have inhouse Lama or a monastic on site. This felt very different.
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby ngodrup » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:27 am

Yup. eccentric, to say the least.
Apparently, back in the 70's, Rinpoche taught California hippies regularly.

He is a Palyul linage-holder, respected for his publishing work
and support of Tibetan Nyingmapas-- especially the monks in Asia.
That's what they're almost entirely engaged with now-- just preservation
of the Nyingma lineages and Tibetan culture in Asia.
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re Tarthang Tulku, I posted this recently:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=15588&p=215528
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:01 am

BTW, I thought "Time, Space and Knowledge" was very interesting indeed.
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Yeti » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:20 am

I know of a number of teachers who one can usually only see if you are a very close student and are really practising their lineage. It's something I really respect them for.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Tsultrim T. » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:54 pm

I have a friend who was closely involved in this organization for a few years. What you said sounds exactly right from my understanding. They do not offer many initiations and are not necessarily that "practice" focused. They are mainly focused on the preservation of Nyingma texts and artwork and make huge donations to pretty much any and all monasteries in Asia at the Nyingma Monlam. Tarthang Tulku pretty much lives in isolation on their retreat land and does not receive visitors. he is at least seen once a year by his students at a group initiation/prayer ceremony. This includes many high Tibetan lamas, some of whom my friend witnessed getting embarrassingly turned away at the front gate! He is highly respected amongst Nyingma lamas I have inquired with, but also considered a bit odd for his current disconnect to the current religious/political goings on. Most likely his daughters or older Western students will take over the centers in the future as they are not really a part of the traditional monastic hierarchy. Also the retreat land which is mostly off limits looks amazing, probably one of the nicest in the US.
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:54 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:BTW, I thought "Time, Space and Knowledge" was very interesting indeed.

Speaking of TSK, here is an interview with Jack Petranker:
http://batgap.com/jack-petranker/

This interview from the same site seems interesting too.:
http://batgap.com/harri-aalto/
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Is Nyingma Institute traditional Tibetan Buddhism?

Postby Vajraprajnakhadga » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:30 pm

What is the fascination on this forum with trying to determine if something is "legitimate" or not? I could understand it if one was thinking of becoming a student, but as that is not even an option apparently, it's not worth bothering with and ultimately just leads to rumor-mongering.
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