Hello from the UK

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Jen1975
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Hello from the UK

Post by Jen1975 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:21 am

Hello,
I joined the forum a few months back as it is a huge resource of knowledge and advice.

3 years ago I was ordained by an Abbott of the Chinese esoteric school, also known as Hanmi, after being introduced by some friends who practice reiki. The process was very quick with no prior learning needed, I then received initiations in medicine buddha, yellow jambhala and black manjushri. Since then I have explored the buddha's teachings more and feel very much that something is wrong with this path. We call ours selves monks and nuns and are encouraged to teach others and encourage them to become disciples too.

So I'm reaching out for advice, is it ok to start over or an I bound to this teacher?
Thanks and metta.

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jake
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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by jake » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:08 am

Jen1975 wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:21 am
Hello,
I joined the forum a few months back as it is a huge resource of knowledge and advice.

3 years ago I was ordained by an Abbott of the Chinese esoteric school, also known as Hanmi, after being introduced by some friends who practice reiki. The process was very quick with no prior learning needed, I then received initiations in medicine buddha, yellow jambhala and black manjushri. Since then I have explored the buddha's teachings more and feel very much that something is wrong with this path. We call ours selves monks and nuns and are encouraged to teach others and encourage them to become disciples too.

So I'm reaching out for advice, is it ok to start over or an I bound to this teacher?
Thanks and metta.
Dear Jen,

Welcome to DW and great first question. Glad you find the website helpful. I look forward to hearing other members' answers but I think it is great you're interested in reaching out and looking for teachings from others. There are a lot of solid resources in the United Kingdom and we have a number of users from that region.

Take care!
jake

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rose
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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by rose » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:13 am

Welcome to Dharma Wheel. :smile:
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Bristollad
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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by Bristollad » Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:49 pm

Dear Jen,

As you’ve no doubt seen on the internet, this group does seem controversial. Whereabouts in the UK are you? People could then suggest non-controversial nearby groups and teachers you could approach for some face-to-face advice. And welcome to Dharma Wheel :smile:

Jen1975
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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by Jen1975 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:14 pm

Thank you all for the welcomes! I'm based in Essex so London easy to reach :smile:

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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by DNS » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:37 am

Welcome to DW!


Bristollad
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Re: Hello from the UK

Post by Bristollad » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:54 am

    Jen1975 wrote:
    Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:14 pm
    Thank you all for the welcomes! I'm based in Essex so London easy to reach :smile:
    The centre I know best is Jamyang Buddhist Centre which is just south of the Elephant and Castle. Its a Tibetan tradition, Gelug orientated centre run by the FPMT. The resident teacher has recently changed due to Geshe Tashi (the previous teacher) being appointed abbot of Sera Mey monastery in India by the Dalai Lama. The new teacher is a western monk from Holland who is also a Geshe Lharampa, called Geshe Namdak. He’s very knowledgeable, very kind and speaks good english. See https://jamyang.co.uk/

    There is also a Kagyu centre called Kagyu Samye Dzong London Tibetan Buddhist Centre whose resident teacher is a fully ordained western nun called Lama Gelongma Zangmo. See http://www.london.samye.org

    Theres is also the Dechen London: Sakya Buddhist Centre (the Dechen organisation has both Sakya and Kagyu orientated centres) whose resident teacher is a westerner, Lama Jampa Thaye. See http://www.dechen.london/

    For the oldest Tibetan tradition, the Nyingma, you could check out http://palyul.eu/uk/ in Islington.

    I would avoid New Kadampa Tradition centres as they are also controversial and though they claim to follow the teachings of the founder of the Gelug tradition, they do not follow the advice of the Ganden Tri Rinpoche (head of the Gelug) nor the Dalai Lama (most important tulku in the Gelug).

    These four represent the 4 main Tibetan Vajrayana traditions.

    Being close to London means there are a variety of Buddhist traditions accessible to you. I’m sure others can suggest some Theravada, Chinese or Japanese orientated centres that are non-controversial.

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    Seishin
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Seishin » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:19 am

    I don't know anything about the school you ordained in, however if you suspect the teacher does not have a legitimate lineage or authority to give vows, then it is reasonable to search out a different school. I would not fear any repercussions

    Jen1975
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Jen1975 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:07 pm

    I've read alot of good things about the Jamyang centre, and also Lama Zopa, so I'll definitely look into that. The others i don't know so will do some research, thanks for all the suggestions.

    I've not been able to find any information about the Hanmi lineage, other than living buddha Dechan Jueren who started the school, he died in 2011. I am scared that the refuge I took is binding, I wasnt given any vows, but been told that enlightenment is attained in this lifetime and that my sifu has already taken on my karma.

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    jake
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by jake » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:17 pm

    Jen1975 wrote:
    Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:07 pm
    I've read alot of good things about the Jamyang centre, and also Lama Zopa, so I'll definitely look into that. The others i don't know so will do some research, thanks for all the suggestions.

    I've not been able to find any information about the Hanmi lineage, other than living buddha Dechan Jueren who started the school, he died in 2011. I am scared that the refuge I took is binding, I wasnt given any vows, but been told that enlightenment is attained in this lifetime and that my sifu has already taken on my karma.
    Good evening, Jen.

    I would be very surprised if you were able to find information about Hanmi anywhere online or in any book except those from the Dechan Jueren organisation. There is a new book coming out this month from Columbia University Press about Esoteric Chinese buddhism https://cup.columbia.edu/book/chinese-e ... 0231194082. It focuses on Amoghavajra who was the master of Huigo, Kukai's teacher (Shingon school). Maybe the book would be of interest to you but I don't suspect it will have anything at all to say about Hanmi.

    I don't know of any Buddhist tradition that has "fine print" like a bad two-year cell phone plan you can't break. :) Though I don't know what you mean by "binding" with regard to refuge I don't see much to worry yourself about. You have not been given vows, so there is no concern there (and vows need to be transferred in a specific manner anyway). I don't know what it means for a "Sifu to take on your karma." Maybe that is specific to Hanmi teachings. If it is something that greatly concerns you then I would just ask a teacher in an established Buddhist centre.

    It is great that you have a desire to seek out teachings from established schools in the UK and this can't be encouraged enough!

    Jen1975
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Jen1975 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 pm

    I don't know what it means for a "Sifu to take on your karma." Maybe that is specific to Hanmi teachings. If it is something that greatly concerns you then I would just ask a teacher in an established Buddhist centre.

    It is great that you have a desire to seek out teachings from established schools in the UK and this can't be encouraged enough!
    [/quote]

    Thank you Jake. I definitely need to talk to a teacher and seek guidance for the way forward. Basically I was very hasty and rash making the decision and hadn't studied enough basic Buddhist texts to realise what I was doing, lesson learnt! The book you mention sounds interesting, but maybe a bit academic for me at the moment. But I will keep reading and learning from this forum too, and start a more grounded practice. :buddha1:

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    LastLegend
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by LastLegend » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:35 am

    Jen1975 wrote:
    Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 pm
    I don't know what it means for a "Sifu to take on your karma." Maybe that is specific to Hanmi teachings.
    It’s not! It’s a true teaching!
    Make personal vows.

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    Dan74
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Dan74 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:45 am

    LastLegend wrote:
    Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:35 am
    Jen1975 wrote:
    Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:00 pm
    I don't know what it means for a "Sifu to take on your karma." Maybe that is specific to Hanmi teachings.
    It’s not! It’s a true teaching!
    Really? I thought it was fundamental to all Buddhist traditions that our karma is ours and no one can 'take on' anyone else's. Otherwise the Buddhas and Bodhisttvas would've already taken on our heavy karma and we'd be liberated or at least without the burden of our past wrong actions.
    an 5.57 wrote: 'I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'...
    Not to get into a disagreement with the Pure Land school, where I would argue that by single minded devotion, one purifies the karma, I don't know of any authority to say that a master can just take on the student's karma.

    Coming back to the OP, I wouldn't worry and would freely explore centers with good reputation in your area like the ones that have been suggested already and others.

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    LastLegend
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by LastLegend » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:33 am

    Dan74 wrote:
    Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:45 am

    Really? I thought it was fundamental to all Buddhist traditions that our karma is ours and no one can 'take on' anyone else's. Otherwise the Buddhas and Bodhisttvas would've already taken on our heavy karma and we'd be liberated or at least without the burden of our past wrong actions.
    an 5.57 wrote: 'I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'...
    They can’t take all but take enough to cause sentient beings toward liberation. One would need to walk the bodhisattva path which means taking great personal vows and constantly wish to enter great Dharmakāya samadhi of no self (true realization). One would need to venerate an esoteric figure like Vairochana, for example.

    For a truly realized person, if we interact with them whatever arise in our mind also arises in their mind. They know how to liberate whatever comes to their mind. We can see in Linjii’s teaching that he discerned his student minds or whoever came to see him. In Diamond Sutra and Hui Neng also talked about liberating sentient beings in mind. For a truly realized person, mind mind is not different. No self emptiness contains all. Our nature is not different. Nothing personal because no self. There is a reason why when people call Avalokitesvara, he responds.

    A similar practice in Tibetan tradition, Guru yoga is when a student mind connects to the teacher mind and teacher will transform whatever arises in student mind. If a teacher is truly realized, he’ll be able to discern and specialize to help the student.

    Doesn’t mean people don’t do their part and practice. They have to do their part, so that they don’t abuse the help. Lotus Sutra mentions deeds of Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, and that’s what they do.

    It’s esoteric yes because it’s not very understood.
    Make personal vows.

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    LastLegend
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by LastLegend » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:50 am

    If we come to Linjii and ask a question, he already knows where we are stuck. The difference is he doesn’t take anything arises in his mind personally but we take things in our mind personal.
    Make personal vows.

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    Dan74
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Dan74 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:58 am

    I don't see anything in what you just wrote above, LL, that matches to 'taking on someone's karma'. Great teachers give appropriate assistance, yes. They don't take on our karma.

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    LastLegend
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by LastLegend » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:57 am

    Dan74 wrote:
    Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:58 am
    I don't see anything in what you just wrote above, LL, that matches to 'taking on someone's karma'. Great teachers give appropriate assistance, yes. They don't take on our karma.
    Karma is a result of five aggregates. That’s why they can’t completely absorb all karma. They can’t take the five aggregates which is the engine that reinforces and creates karma. Our job is to surpass/transcend the five aggregates to reach Dharmakaya samadhi.
    Make personal vows.

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    Kim O'Hara
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:10 am

    Jen1975 wrote:
    Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:07 pm
    ... I've not been able to find any information about the Hanmi lineage, other than living buddha Dechan Jueren who started the school, he died in 2011. I am scared that the refuge I took is binding, I wasnt given any vows, but been told that enlightenment is attained in this lifetime and that my sifu has already taken on my karma.
    Hi, Jen,
    You've already had a lot of good advice. However, I have just been indulging my idle curiosity about Hanmi, which I had never heard of, and came across this oldish thread on the NewBuddhist forum - https://newbuddhist.com/discussion/1046 ... nmi-school. A question like your own produced quite a few answers which you may find useful.
    Apart from that, simply googling "Hanmi Buddhism" gets results for several groups (mostly small, I think) in Europe and the US, all following Dechan Jueren.

    :coffee:
    Kim

    Jen1975
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Jen1975 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:18 pm

    LastLegend wrote:
    Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:33 am
    Dan74 wrote:
    Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:45 am
    They can’t take all but take enough to cause sentient beings toward liberation. One would need to walk the bodhisattva path which means taking great personal vows and constantly wish to enter great Dharmakāya samadhi of no self (true realization). One would need to venerate an esoteric figure like Vairochana, for example.

    It’s esoteric yes because it’s not very understood.
    Thanks all, haven't quite got the hang of quotations yet. Master Dechan Jueren is the Mahavairochana dharma king and this is how the karma is taken on, it is passed through Sifu Dan onto him. I know enough from personal experience to understand this group is not right for me. I'm going to follow up on the advice given here and move on, more reassured now that there won't any repercussions. :thumbsup:

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    Lobsang Chojor
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    Re: Hello from the UK

    Post by Lobsang Chojor » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:48 pm

    Welcome Jen :smile:

    I can only repeat what Bristollad said and recommend Jamyang. Geshe Namdak is a lovely person and great teacher who I recommend to anyone, I'm don't think Geshe Tashi will be teaching as much in the UK once his abbotship is over but he's an amazing teacher, and I recommend his Foundation of Buddhist Thought series.
    "Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
    • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5
    ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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