Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Malcolm
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:12 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:There are a number of levels at work here, but the most fundamental is that when you receive an empowerment, you are in fact receiving a number of vows, refuge vows, bodhisattva vows as well as vows of secret mantra. It is not simply "instruction."
This is interesting. I don't know about secret mantra vows, but can't you take refuge and bodhisattva vows by yourself?
There is a Mahāyāna system for going for refuge and generating bodhicitta on one's own if one cannot find a master. It is also not at all clear that when one goes for Mahāyāna refuge in this way, one is adopting the five vows of a lay person as well as the bodhisattva vows.

But, one cannot self-ordain as a novice, or a monk, nor can one confer upon oneself any empowerment.

In general one should receive the three vows from a master and then enhance them by renewing them daily. Unless of course you are a very high Dzogchen practitioner like so many people we see on Buddhist internet boards who have transcended the need for mundane things such as paying attention to the state of their vows.

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dharmagoat
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:16 pm

:focus:

So, Malcolm, what are your thoughts on Dr. Reggie Ray as a teacher?

Malcolm
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:25 pm

dharmagoat wrote:So, Malcolm, what are your thoughts on Dr. Reggie Ray as a teacher?
I don't have any opinion about Ray at all, apart from a bit of discomfort about his having decided to introduce brand new "Tibetan" "dharmapāla" he calls "Ritrö Gonpo" based on some vision he had of Kit Carson Peak and an interview where he seemed to dismiss the importance of teachings on rebirth and karma.

More here:

http://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-protectors.html

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dharmagoat
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:41 pm

Thanks, Malcolm.
Malcolm wrote:... an interview where he seemed to dismiss the importance of teachings on rebirth and karma.
Which interview is this? Could you provide a link?

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:45 pm

dharmagoat wrote:Thanks, Malcolm.
Malcolm wrote:... an interview where he seemed to dismiss the importance of teachings on rebirth and karma.
Which interview is this? Could you provide a link?
Some interview, it was several years ago. He said:
The whole belief in past lives is something that Buddhism inherited from Indian Tradition. And I think, as with many things in Asian Buddhism, we need to take a critical look at this and see…you know, the Buddha said to his own students “…anything that I teach you, don’t take it at face value, don’t believe it just because even I said it– you have to look at it and evaluate it within your own framework and see if it makes sense. And if it doesn’t make sense, dump it, get rid of it.” And I think that incarnation, ah… reincarnation, as a literal teaching, I don’t find it helpful for anybody because it takes your focus away from this life. But if incarnation is viewed as a sort of metaphor for the fact that we humans are on some kind of extremely long spiritual journey that happened before we were born, and it’s going to keep on going, then I think it’s helpful.”
Personally, I think such sentiments are misguided.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:In general one should receive the three vows from a master and then enhance them by renewing them daily. Unless of course you are a very high Dzogchen practitioner like so many people we see on Buddhist internet boards who have transcended the need for mundane things such as paying attention to the state of their vows.
Image

:focus:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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dharmagoat
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:Personally, I think such sentiments are misguided.
What is more relevant is whether such sentiments are misguiding.

I expect that his target audience here are those that might have trouble accepting literal rebirth. He is providing a way to engage with Buddhadharma for those that may otherwise dismiss it.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:01 pm

dharmagoat wrote: He is providing a way to engage with Buddhadharma for those that may otherwise dismiss it.
This is the common apology for such sentiments, but I have never accepted it as valid.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:05 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote: He is providing a way to engage with Buddhadharma for those that may otherwise dismiss it.
This is the common apology for such sentiments, but I have never accepted it as valid.
That is understandable if you have never experienced the dilemma yourself.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:07 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote: He is providing a way to engage with Buddhadharma for those that may otherwise dismiss it.
This is the common apology for such sentiments, but I have never accepted it as valid.
That is understandable if you have never experienced the dilemma yourself.
On the contrary, I solved the dilemma by understanding what was going to make my practice move ahead, and choosing my practice over my doubts. Then of course, over time, I also discovered the clear rational for why it is irrational to believe that mind stream can arise from material causes.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:12 pm

Thank you for explaining this.
:anjali:

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by smcj » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:12 pm

….I solved the dilemma by understanding what was going to make my practice move ahead, and choosing my practice over my doubts.
The underlined part is what most people don't see. Only now am I getting to the point where I can try to say how that is so for myself, and doing it very badly. If you have a coherent presentation of that understanding, I think people would be interested.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:14 pm

smcj wrote:
….I solved the dilemma by understanding what was going to make my practice move ahead, and choosing my practice over my doubts.
The underlined part is what most people don't see. Only now am I getting to the point where I can try to say how that is so for myself, and doing it very badly. If you have a coherent presentation of that understanding, I think people would be interested.
If one does not accept rebirth, one has no motivation to practice Dharma, except as an ego trip. It is that simple.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by WeiHan » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
On the contrary, I solved the dilemma by understanding what was going to make my practice move ahead, and choosing my practice over my doubts. Then of course, over time, I also discovered the clear rational for why it is irrational to believe that mind stream can arise from material causes.
Artificial Intelligence scientists are betting that consciousness may one day emerge from sheer computing. However, till this day, a truly random number generator has never been successfully created. A true consciouness will require to be a true random number generator.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by smcj » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:29 pm

If one does not accept rebirth, one has no motivation to practice Dharma, except as an ego trip. It is that simple.
Which is basically my understanding also, although I use different terminology.

I see trying to practice Dharma "…on my terms, according to my understanding, doing it my way…" as "Taking Refuge" in ones own (un)awareness, i.e. one's samsaric interpretation of life. This direction of practice is completely disallowed if you understand the 1st Noble Truth and the Shravakayana's Nibbana. (I think you and I both share that same understanding from our teachers, or at least I've always assumed so.) The fact that the Vajrayana offers enlightenment in this lifetime does not negate the fact that unaware life "…on my terms…" etc. cannot rise above the 1st Noble Truth. Or, to put it back into your terminology, "…one has no motivation to practice Dharma, except as an ego trip."

Am I making sense to anybody besides myself? :shrug:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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dharmagoat
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:34 pm

Malcolm wrote:If one does not accept rebirth, one has no motivation to practice Dharma, except as an ego trip. It is that simple.
I don't see how a person dedicating to the benefit of all beings what they perceive as their one-and-only life can be considered an ego trip.

Sherlock
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Sherlock » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:38 pm

What kind of benefit is there in one life that you can possibly dedicate? That is a fantasy if you don't believe in multiple lives. If you believe e.g. insects only have one life their suffering is gone when they die.

Relative Bodhicitta is based on establishing all beings in complete Buddhahood.

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:So, Malcolm, what are your thoughts on Dr. Reggie Ray as a teacher?
I don't have any opinion about Ray at all, apart from a bit of discomfort about his having decided to introduce brand new "Tibetan" "dharmapāla" he calls "Ritrö Gonpo" based on some vision he had of Kit Carson Peak and an interview where he seemed to dismiss the importance of teachings on rebirth and karma.

More here:

http://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-protectors.html

I'd guess you are failing to contextualize the rebirth and karma quote. He is quite far from a 'secular Buddhist" or something similar, even a cursory reading of his books will show that. In fact, he often goes off on tangents about how a big part of what Vajrayana changes for westerners is our de-sacralized, materialist worldview. I think he purposely makes his presentation accessible to people who might be waffling, but in terms of his own views he seems pretty solidly like any Vajrayana teacher, and I can't imagine that he doesn't believe in rebirth...whether it's in an 'orthodox' way or not I have no idea, but I can say with some confidence I don't think he accepts materialist views of consciousness.

It is true that the way he explains things sometimes is his own spin, and I can see how some of what the says might stray far enough from doctrinal formula to raise some people's ire, but he's definitely not Steven Batchelor.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

Malcolm
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:42 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Malcolm wrote:If one does not accept rebirth, one has no motivation to practice Dharma, except as an ego trip. It is that simple.
I don't see how a person dedicating to the benefit of all beings what they perceive as their one-and-only life can be considered an ego trip.
If you only have one lifetime, and you want to dedicate yourself to the benefit of sentient beings, it is better done in service as a doctor, nurse, fire fighter, aid worker, etc. rather than pretending to oneself that one is a Dharma practitioner.

Malcolm
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:43 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:So, Malcolm, what are your thoughts on Dr. Reggie Ray as a teacher?
I don't have any opinion about Ray at all, apart from a bit of discomfort about his having decided to introduce brand new "Tibetan" "dharmapāla" he calls "Ritrö Gonpo" based on some vision he had of Kit Carson Peak and an interview where he seemed to dismiss the importance of teachings on rebirth and karma.

More here:

http://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-protectors.html

I'd guess you are misreading the rebirth and karma quote..he is quite far from a 'secular Buddhist" or something similar, even a cursory reading of his books will show that. In fact, he often goes off on tangents about how a big part of what Vajrayana changes for westerners is our de-sacralized, materialist worldview. I think he purposely makes his presentation accessible to people who might be waffling, but in terms of his own views he seems pretty solidly like any Vajrayana practitioner.

But if incarnation is viewed as a sort of metaphor

Case closed.

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