Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

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Malcolm
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:42 pm

zenman wrote:
fckw wrote:
zenman wrote:
Is this method widely or at all used by other teachers/lamas?
I'm not sure if this question is directed to me. Personally, I don't know any other Buddhist teacher who teaches this way. Mr. Brown a few times told the story when he attended teachings given by a Tibetan yogi. Apparently he had received an invitation by H. H. Dalai Lama (?) who had announced these teachings to be somewhat special. Now, the special thing about the teachings were that said yogi actually performed the practice while teaching it. This left a deep impression.

One notable exception of someone also teaching in this style (but having made up his own meditation system for better or worse) is this guy, whose eclectic teachings I personally find quite interesting.. However, it's nothing I personally practice or have practiced. (Brown and him are in no way affiliated.)

One of the most important meditation instructions I ever received from any teacher to me was given by Brown. He pointed out to me a state of mind in meditation which is quiet and calm and relatively free of thoughts - but it's not bright and clear. It's fundamentally a state of dullness that leads nowhere. I immediately knew what he meant and from then on completely avoided this state. I had gone already much further in my meditation, but sporadically got stuck during meditation in that state without understanding it. None of my former teachers had ever pointed this out to me before.
I am familiar with this way of teaching, that is, the teacher doing the practice at the same time when giving students instructions. I don't know a better way to pass meditation teachings than this.

I also know Anadi. Somehow interesting fellow. However I haven't been able to make any sense of what he actually says. He keeps on repeating his terminology (while his students in the vids keep asking him the same questions again and again) but manages not to explain what he actually means. I like untraditional and creative approach but unfortunately I just cannot follow what this man means, despite of having listened to him for couple of hours.

Pointing unaware or semi-aware fields of one's mind is also something that I am familiar with when working with a teacher. Invaluable pointing! I'd say. FCKW, did that particular dull state have a specific name? Is that mentioned in Brown's book? The reason I am asking is because I have also received this pointing (not from Brown). I didn't avoid it though but pierced it.
It is called bying in Tibetan, means torpor, lethargy etc. It has both a coarse and a dull expression. Often time in śamatha, people get involved in a sort of dull clarity that they imagine is śamatha, but instead is a state of dullness. This is commonly mistaken for śamatha, but it leads to rebirth as an animal.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by frank123 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:22 pm

Dullness in Samatha leads to rebirth as an animal? Really?

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Malcolm
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:24 pm

frank123 wrote:Dullness in Samatha leads to rebirth as an animal? Really?
Yes, really.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by smcj » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:13 pm

frank123 wrote:Dullness in Samatha leads to rebirth as an animal? Really?
Think of the dullness that a cow grazing in the pasture experiences. It's that kind of thing.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:14 pm

FCKW, Do you mind telling a brief outline of your practice background? What was your exposition before getting instruction from Brown?

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Jinzang » Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
frank123 wrote:Dullness in Samatha leads to rebirth as an animal? Really?
Yes, really.
Sakya Pandita asserted this in his criticism of Gampopa's mahamudra. I think this only happens if one develops a strong craving for this state of dull meditation. Everyone falls into dullness at some point in their meditation, it's inevitable. But not all meditators are reborn as animals.
"It's as plain as the nose on your face!" Dottie Primrose

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:16 pm

As far as I understand this dullness is a partial state of awareness mixed with subconscious content which is dullness, sort of unclarity. For an unexperienced meditator there might be nothing wrong meditating like that but an experienced one knows better :smile:

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:35 pm

chimechodra wrote:Thank you once again fckw for your posts. I'm deeply considering going to the Level 1 in Newton in January. Is there anything in particular you wish you had done leading up to the retreat, certain practices or preparations? Also, do you happen to know how far in advance one has to book the retreat? It might take me a while to save up the funds.
Usually the retreats are not immediately sold out, because the sangha is relatively small. However, especially for the L1 retreat there won't be too many participants as Mr. Brown wants to make sure he still can engage during the feedback sessions with every student in the retreat. I'd suggest that you simply call them or send them an email and ask about the status quo.
Also, do you know if at some point you go through a traditional ngondro through the retreats? It doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the schedules available online.
No, there is no Ngöndro asked from you. For the level 1 you're not asked to do that, my guess is that it's because this is considered Sutra-Mahamudra. For the other levels it's not asked from you, but to attend any of these levels you must have an ongoing student/teacher relationship. This sort of "replaces" the requirement for Ngöndro. Rahob Rinpoche was ok with this setting, for the other teachers I cannot give any comment as I don't know why they accepted the deal. Maybe Bon lamas are more open with giving out Dzogchen teachings in general? I have no idea. Does any of you guys know more about this? Maybe there is generally no Ngöndro requirement for the A-Khrid system, could that be?

(Having said all that, I personally still consider Ngöndro something very valuable.)

If you really attend, it might be a good thing if you afterwards leave a comment here about your experiences - especially if you have something critical to report.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:38 pm

zenman wrote: Pointing unaware or semi-aware fields of one's mind is also something that I am familiar with when working with a teacher. Invaluable pointing! I'd say. FCKW, did that particular dull state have a specific name? Is that mentioned in Brown's book? The reason I am asking is because I have also received this pointing (not from Brown). I didn't avoid it though but pierced it.
Sorry, I don't want to go into details here, because I am not a qualified teacher.

Edit: Malcolm's comment actually explains it nicely.
Last edited by fckw on Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:45 pm

zenman wrote:FCKW, Do you mind telling a brief outline of your practice background? What was your exposition before getting instruction from Brown?
First, a few years of "freestyle-meditation" without any teacher. I tried out whatever I could put my hands on. Looking back, I did a lot of concentration practice, but also experimented with (Neo-) Advaita Vedanta (self-inquiry) etc.
Then, at some point, starting a more systematic Therevada-Vipassana practice. Did this for several years, and got actually good results with it, but nevertheless after some years at some point felt deeply stuck. I had the feeling there was something missing, not so much in the meditation practice but more in the theoretical Therevada background.
It then took me a while to re-orient myself, but finally started a systematic Vajrayana-practice some years ago, which I still do today. I currently have two main teachers that I follow. I don't want to go into details concerning my Vajrayana-practice as this is not commonly shared with others.

When I started with Brown I had already quite a lot of meditation experience, so I was able to judge to a certain extent the experiences of others during the retreat. There were some total beginners who got into really advanced meditative states in only a few days. My conclusion was that apparently the whole pointing-out approach worked very well.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:05 pm

Nice.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by frank123 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
frank123 wrote:Dullness in Samatha leads to rebirth as an animal? Really?
Yes, really.
Wouldn't one have to do a lot of dullness development in Samatha to have a rebirth as an animal?I thought it was quite common for meditators to fall into dullness sometimes with long sessions of sitting practice,seems kind of a harsh knock on effect.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:49 pm

fckw wrote:Maybe Bon lamas are more open with giving out Dzogchen teachings in general? I have no idea. Does any of you guys know more about this? Maybe there is generally no Ngöndro requirement for the A-Khrid system, could that be?
There is a separate ngondro for all Bonpo systems of Dzogchen.
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The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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Malcolm
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:50 pm

fckw wrote:
zenman wrote: Pointing unaware or semi-aware fields of one's mind is also something that I am familiar with when working with a teacher. Invaluable pointing! I'd say. FCKW, did that particular dull state have a specific name? Is that mentioned in Brown's book? The reason I am asking is because I have also received this pointing (not from Brown). I didn't avoid it though but pierced it.
Sorry, I don't want to go into details here, because I am not a qualified teacher.

Edit: Malcolm's comment actually explains it nicely.
I did mean to say coarse and subtle expressions. The subtle expression of lethargy is much harder to notice.
Atikosha
Tibetan Medicine Blog
Sudarsana Mandala, Tibetan Medicine and Herbs
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:11 pm

fckw wrote:
Maybe Bon lamas are more open with giving out Dzogchen teachings in general? I have no idea. Does any of you guys know more about this? Maybe there is generally no Ngöndro requirement for the A-Khrid system, could that be?

Tashi delek Fckw,


In Bon we have different Dzogchen Traditions.
Finally "Indian" Dzogchen and "Tibetan" Dzogchen

All have preliminaries and some are NOT related to the Tantric preliminaries because here Dzogchen is seen as a complete system and does not need sometimes Tantra as a preliminary.

But that depends upon the Dzogchen Master.

But to do preliminaries is anyway a good case if you have the time on your side. :)

Here according A Tri the Ngondro explained by Latri Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, who is from the Bon Head Monastery, Menri Dolanji, the residence of the His Holiness the 33rd Menri Abbot, spiritual leader of all Bonpos world wide.

http://doortobon.org/courses/a-tri-dzog ... ro-online/

Hope this helps
KY
The best meditation is no meditation

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by T. Chokyi » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:18 am

Malcolm wrote:
fckw wrote:His teaching style is very traditional actually.
His stated goals are to cherry pick Tibetan traditions for practices he deems suitable for western culture and to rework scholarly translations into practice oriented language.

This may appeal to some, but not to me.

For one, if you are a practitioner translator, you are already doing this. The idea of adapting Dzogchen to the West is more than a little hubristic.
Your point about cherry picking made me wonder if other places seem to follow this same kind of pattern, so I found
this place: http://www.awaminstitute.org/ seems to be doing something very similar. Would you venture a guess that this form of teaching could become popular in the future. I will agree with you that this "style" also does not appeal to me, but it maybe becoming popular.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:06 pm

I'd stay the hell away from these folks. Not because of their internet approach but because of their vibration. Yuck.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by chimechodra » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:33 pm

I'm definitely going to try to make it to that Level 1 in January then, I've been considering registering it for a long time now.

One last question: How generally available is Daniel for taking on new students? I imagine he's a pretty busy guy, but is there still any possibility of having him as the main teacher you make a relationship with, or is it more likely that you'd take on someone else?

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:57 pm

chimechodra wrote:I'm definitely going to try to make it to that Level 1 in January then, I've been considering registering it for a long time now.

One last question: How generally available is Daniel for taking on new students? I imagine he's a pretty busy guy, but is there still any possibility of having him as the main teacher you make a relationship with, or is it more likely that you'd take on someone else?
Yes, he's indeed quite busy. I am inclined to say that he's got some capacity left for following more students (the ones he follows he actually knows all by name), but to be sure you'd have to ask him directly. Some people however actually prefer being followed by other teachers, especially John and Susan. George does not seem to currently have any teaching role, and Gretchen, from what I've heard, has in the past sometimes been difficult to set up an appointment with.

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