Mahamudra in the Modern World

Fruitzilla
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Fruitzilla »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Doesn't seem odd to me, it seems to be accepted that people don't need to be scholars to attain realization.

However, what he didn't say is that people don't need a Dharma education, and i'm guessing he wouldn't. It seems to be a criticism of how education in Dharma is approach by some traditionalists, and again, not really controversial as a statement..there are already Tibetan teachers and have been for a while (Duh, his own teacher was one) that have taught Dharma in a somewhat innovative way.
He does say though, that without a personal relationship between teacher and student, there can be no real Vajrayana practice...
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Fruitzilla wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Doesn't seem odd to me, it seems to be accepted that people don't need to be scholars to attain realization.

However, what he didn't say is that people don't need a Dharma education, and i'm guessing he wouldn't. It seems to be a criticism of how education in Dharma is approach by some traditionalists, and again, not really controversial as a statement..there are already Tibetan teachers and have been for a while (Duh, his own teacher was one) that have taught Dharma in a somewhat innovative way.
He does say though, that without a personal relationship between teacher and student, there can be no real Vajrayana practice...

Yes, and in that regard he seems totally traditional.
"...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."

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by DesertDweller »

Of course I'm an outsider to TB, but he doesn't seem that radical at all. Rather, he seems rather wise, though the New Agey presentation of his videos doesn't do much for me. Otherwise, his reasoning seems quite sane, and as he says--he sees himself as following Gampopa's example in all its implications.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dzogchungpa »

Ray seems like a good guy to me. If you can ignore Waylon Lewis, this is actually a pretty interesting interview:

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fruitzilla wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Doesn't seem odd to me, it seems to be accepted that people don't need to be scholars to attain realization.

However, what he didn't say is that people don't need a Dharma education, and i'm guessing he wouldn't. It seems to be a criticism of how education in Dharma is approach by some traditionalists, and again, not really controversial as a statement..there are already Tibetan teachers and have been for a while (Duh, his own teacher was one) that have taught Dharma in a somewhat innovative way.
He does say though, that without a personal relationship between teacher and student, there can be no real Vajrayana practice...

Yes, and in that regard he seems totally traditional.[/quote

Ah, but the reason he gives ( undoing pre-lingual trauma ) is not so traditional. That and his Trungpa story about going far enough in spiritual practice that there is no going back anymore, but Trungpa not caring about the tradition (Christian, Sufi, what have you ), which is also quite untraditional, make me like the guy a lot.
Oh, and the somatic aspect is also quite interesting. I trained as an Alexander Technique teacher and the way I see people mishandling their bodies at retreats is quite unconmfortable to me.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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dzogchungpa wrote:Ray seems like a good guy to me. If you can ignore Waylon Lewis, this is actually a pretty interesting interview:
Investigating a Vajrayāna teacher for twelve years seems like a good idea in this case... :roll:
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dzogchungpa »

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Ray seems like a good guy to me. If you can ignore Waylon Lewis, this is actually a pretty interesting interview:
Investigating a Vajrayāna teacher for twelve years seems like a good idea in this case... :roll:
Well, 've never met him and I'm not recommending that people take empowerment from him or anything, but I think his heart's in the right place. Caveat emptor.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Fruitzilla wrote:
Ah, but the reason he gives ( undoing pre-lingual trauma ) is not so traditional. That and his Trungpa story about going far enough in spiritual practice that there is no going back anymore, but Trungpa not caring about the tradition (Christian, Sufi, what have you ), which is also quite untraditional, make me like the guy a lot.
Oh, and the somatic aspect is also quite interesting. I trained as an Alexander Technique teacher and the way I see people mishandling their bodies at retreats is quite unconmfortable to me.

I think you might be (like Dharmagoat) interpreting the things he says through the lens of leaning towards some kind of modernist Dharma project. From my exposure to him at least, that is not exactly what he is doing...nor is it really what Trungpa did AFAIK. It's easy to read what you want into Ray's words, when he does not use plenty of the trappings etc. one is used to. You have an idea of what Varjayana is, and you are holding him up as somehow maybe being "anti" those things..but IME reading him, and listening to his stuff..that is not his position at all. If you think it is, you should read some of his books, Indestructible Truth for example...while it's written in language easy to understand culturally, it is farily 'traditional' in it's reading of what is what regarding the basics of Mahayana/Vajrayana , from what I can remember of it.
"...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."

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Fruitzilla »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fruitzilla wrote:
Ah, but the reason he gives ( undoing pre-lingual trauma ) is not so traditional. That and his Trungpa story about going far enough in spiritual practice that there is no going back anymore, but Trungpa not caring about the tradition (Christian, Sufi, what have you ), which is also quite untraditional, make me like the guy a lot.
Oh, and the somatic aspect is also quite interesting. I trained as an Alexander Technique teacher and the way I see people mishandling their bodies at retreats is quite unconmfortable to me.

I think you might be (like Dharmagoat) interpreting the things he says through the lens of leaning towards some kind of modernist Dharma project. From my exposure to him at least, that is not exactly what he is doing...nor is it really what Trungpa did AFAIK. It's easy to read what you want into Ray's words, when he does not use plenty of the trappings etc. one is used to. You have an idea of what Varjayana is, and you are holding him up as somehow maybe being "anti" those things..but IME reading him, and listening to his stuff..that is not his position at all. If you think it is, you should read some of his books, Indestructible Truth for example...while it's written in language easy to understand culturally, it is farily 'traditional' in it's reading of what is what regarding the basics of Mahayana/Vajrayana , from what I can remember of it.
My mindset is "modernist", that's true ( my Dharma exposure started with Charlotte Joko Beck, Shunryu Suziki, Dogen, Pema Chodron, Kodo Sawaki, etc), but I have no modernist Dharma project in mind. That's far too big a thing for me. Furthermore, I don't have much of an idea what Vajrayana is, except for the things I've read on this forum, and some Dzogchen talks and books from James Low and Ken McLeod.
The stuff on this forum usually doesn't enthuse me a lot, while the books and talks from James Low and Ken McLeod do. And so does this interview with Reggie Ray.

Interesting eh? I think so at least..

I haven't read any of Ray's work, but he does actually mention the things I wrote about in my previous post in the interview.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Fruitzilla wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Fruitzilla wrote:
Ah, but the reason he gives ( undoing pre-lingual trauma ) is not so traditional. That and his Trungpa story about going far enough in spiritual practice that there is no going back anymore, but Trungpa not caring about the tradition (Christian, Sufi, what have you ), which is also quite untraditional, make me like the guy a lot.
Oh, and the somatic aspect is also quite interesting. I trained as an Alexander Technique teacher and the way I see people mishandling their bodies at retreats is quite unconmfortable to me.

I think you might be (like Dharmagoat) interpreting the things he says through the lens of leaning towards some kind of modernist Dharma project. From my exposure to him at least, that is not exactly what he is doing...nor is it really what Trungpa did AFAIK. It's easy to read what you want into Ray's words, when he does not use plenty of the trappings etc. one is used to. You have an idea of what Varjayana is, and you are holding him up as somehow maybe being "anti" those things..but IME reading him, and listening to his stuff..that is not his position at all. If you think it is, you should read some of his books, Indestructible Truth for example...while it's written in language easy to understand culturally, it is farily 'traditional' in it's reading of what is what regarding the basics of Mahayana/Vajrayana , from what I can remember of it.
My mindset is "modernist", that's true ( my Dharma exposure started with Charlotte Joko Beck, Shunryu Suziki, Dogen, Pema Chodron, Kodo Sawaki, etc), but I have no modernist Dharma project in mind. That's far too big a thing for me. Furthermore, I don't have much of an idea what Vajrayana is, except for the things I've read on this forum, and some Dzogchen talks and books from James Low and Ken McLeod.
The stuff on this forum usually doesn't enthuse me a lot, while the books and talks from James Low and Ken McLeod do. And so does this interview with Reggie Ray.

Interesting eh? I think so at least..

I haven't read any of Ray's work, but he does actually mention the things I wrote about in my previous post in the interview.

Yes he does, but I think you might be missing the context he is teaching them in. Again, i'd recommend Indestructible Truth. It's a good book by itself, but you will see, his worldview is that of a Vajrayana practitioner (actually, same could be said for some of those that you mention above, despite their more ecumenical presentation).

Stuff on this forum doesn't enthuse you :roll: ...ok. So sorry the 50's of regular posters can't tailor it properly your likings.
"...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."

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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Fruitzilla wrote:My mindset is "modernist", that's true ( my Dharma exposure started with Charlotte Joko Beck, Shunryu Suziki, Dogen, Pema Chodron, Kodo Sawaki, etc) ...
Dogen was a "modernist"? Who knew?
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Johnny Dangerous wrote:I think you might be (like Dharmagoat) interpreting the things he says through the lens of leaning towards some kind of modernist Dharma project. From my exposure to him at least, that is not exactly what he is doing...nor is it really what Trungpa did AFAIK. It's easy to read what you want into Ray's words, when he does not use plenty of the trappings etc. one is used to. You have an idea of what Varjayana is, and you are holding him up as somehow maybe being "anti" those things..but IME reading him, and listening to his stuff..that is not his position at all.
Johnny, I shouldn't have to explain my position in this thread, but I feel that you leave me no choice...

It is religious orthodoxy that I avoid, not tradition. I always been inspired by the line of innovators within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tilopa, Nāropa, Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa being the principal ones that come to mind. I see Dr. Ray continuing this process of keeping the tradition alive and viable, via his teacher Chögyam Trungpa who did so much to allow Vajrayāna to be adopted in the West.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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dharmagoat wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I think you might be (like Dharmagoat) interpreting the things he says through the lens of leaning towards some kind of modernist Dharma project. From my exposure to him at least, that is not exactly what he is doing...nor is it really what Trungpa did AFAIK. It's easy to read what you want into Ray's words, when he does not use plenty of the trappings etc. one is used to. You have an idea of what Varjayana is, and you are holding him up as somehow maybe being "anti" those things..but IME reading him, and listening to his stuff..that is not his position at all.
Johnny, I shouldn't have to explain my position in this thread, but I feel that you leave me no choice...

It is religious orthodoxy that I avoid, not tradition. I always been inspired by the line of innovators within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tilopa, Nāropa, Milarepa, Marpa and Gampopa being the principal ones that come to mind. I see Dr. Ray continuing this process of keeping the tradition alive and viable, via his teacher Chögyam Trungpa who did so much to allow Vajrayāna to be adopted in the West.
I'm a big fan of Trungpa.

The trouble with these conversations is, people making arguments like yours never seem to be able to articulate what is "orthodoxy", and what is "keeping the tradition alive and viable". If you can, go ahead and do so. What parts of Vajrayana do you see as pointless orthodoxy? Until you can actually answer that kind of thing effectively, that sort of critique is 100% meaningless. I am not some staunch traditionalist guy either..I just don't think you have a very good critique, and are simply reading Ray's words a reinforcing some personal notions.

BTW, theTibetan Buddhist teachers i've been around, including those who you would likely call "orthodox" respect Trungpa to a high degree, and don't seem to see him as some kind of iconoclast fighting against tradition. That is the point i'm trying to make, the relationship here is much more nuanced than "Orthodoxy vs. innovation" or some such thing..and I think trying to view Vajrayana through such a black and white lens would be impossible, it is such a Byzantine tradition, there is no way to quantify things in such a simple way.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Malcolm »

dharmagoat wrote: It is religious orthodoxy that I avoid, not tradition. I always been inspired by the line of innovators within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tilopa, Nāropa, Milarepa, Marpa...
How can you possibly believe that these four masters were innovative in any way at all?

Tilopa (Prajñābhadra) was a Nalanda educated Pandita, as was Naropa. Marpa was a faithful student of Naropa, and Mila was his student in turn.

None of these masters innovated a thing.

Not only this, but Tilopa and Naropa are not just a "Kagyu" masters, though these days people certainly seem to have this misconception. They are shared also with Sakya, Gelug and old Kadampa, etc.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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I'm out.

Edit: Maybe I'll just step aside for a bit.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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"Orthodoxy", like "tradition," meams different things to different people. They are terms which must constantly be defined for each context. I thing what dharmagoat means by "orthodoxy" would be better labeled as "dogmatism," or even "Pharisaism", both of which carry the appropriate negative connotation.

Malcolm, RR was pretty clear in the interview that he felt Gampopa was innovative. Why would you disagree?
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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It is religious orthodoxy that I avoid, not tradition. I always been inspired by the line of innovators within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism...
Generally people with this predisposition are most comfortable with the Nyingmapas (or Bonpos). "Termas" springing up willy-nilly keep things from getting too stale. With major exceptions I'm going to say that ethnically Tibetan Karma Kagyu lamas run towards the stogy side of the spectrum. They seem to have a penchant for building physical buildings (shades of Mila!) and institutions. Nyingmpas do too, but not so much.

Having said that I self-identify as a Karma Kagyupa. There are some nice things about them too…
RR was pretty clear in the interview that he felt Gampopa was innovative. Why would you disagree?
If you look carefully at Malcolm's post you'll see he edited out Gompopa's name from his response.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by Sherlock »

Trungpa was actually quite traditional, based on what his other students say.

Those of us who never met him will really never know for sure what he was like though. According to Tony Duff he was very particular about shamatha and ngondro as prerequisites for serious practice.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

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Sherlock wrote:Trungpa was actually quite traditional, based on what his other students say.

Those of us who never met him will really never know for sure what he was like though. According to Tony Duff he was very particular about shamatha and ngondro as prerequisites for serious practice.
IIRC You can even read that in many of his books, at least the focus on Shamatha before taking on anything else. It could be argued that In that sense he was actually more orthodox than many more "traditional" teachers today.
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Re: Mahamudra in the Modern World

Post by dharmagoat »

Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote: It is religious orthodoxy that I avoid, not tradition. I always been inspired by the line of innovators within the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tilopa, Nāropa, Milarepa, Marpa...
How can you possibly believe that these four masters were innovative in any way at all?
Okay, maybe those four can't actually be called 'innovators', but they were transmitting a system that was new to Tibet at the time.
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