Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by DGA » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:06 am

Bakmoon wrote: I've looked online and I can't find that kind of information about his lineage yet.
Any takers on this one? I'm interested to know who has authorized him to teach trekchod & thogal. Or anything for that matter.

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Malcolm
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:08 am

DGA wrote:
Bakmoon wrote: I've looked online and I can't find that kind of information about his lineage yet.
Any takers on this one? I'm interested to know who has authorized him to teach trekchod & thogal. Or anything for that matter.
I think the point is that he hires Tibetan co-teachers to get around that issue.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by T. Chokyi » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:00 am

Malcolm wrote:
DGA wrote:
Bakmoon wrote: I've looked online and I can't find that kind of information about his lineage yet.
Any takers on this one? I'm interested to know who has authorized him to teach trekchod & thogal. Or anything for that matter.
I think the point is that he hires Tibetan co-teachers to get around that issue.
I was curious so I wanted an impression, maybe you and others can look at these things, took about an hour:



First: go here: http://www.pointingoutway.org/stories then click the link with the arrow that says:
Watch Dan teach on Gratitude and Returning Blessings


Thupten Kalsang, Rinpoche (Rahob Tulku, Thupten Kalsang Rinpoche)
http://www.pointingthewayeurope.eu/proj ... jects.html

Second (what's being taught):
http://www.ecowraps.net/Downloads/level3-schedule.pdf

Third: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grBkn9f ... 4635FBF72B

Daniel Brown 1 - 'The Great Way'
At 5:30 he mentions prelims.. "You don't start with mediation...in a relationship... 10 years,
western equivalant of prelims is psychothearpy...

Daniel Brown 2 - 8.50 'The Great Way' Master points out real nature of the mind... relationaly
taught
...master points out the real nature of the mind...

1:09 Daniel Brown 3 - 'The Great Way' .....Mahamudra is a tradition I teach ...
relational way of teaching this
(2.50) and (4:00) work in a relationship to keep it on track...

Daniel Brown 4 - 'The Great Way' 2:10 Kunshi store house consciousness...(2:50) a very different
kind of awakening, (3:20) but if you awaken your mind since from that level of realization,
everything and everyone is interconnected that's said to have warm influence, so when you awaken
in the mind, your minds, your individual consciousness from that perspective it ripples the influence
across a sea of interconnected beings and plants the seeds for everyone... it is a direct realization
of simultaneous consciousness where whatever you are doing in your practice will have an influence
on all consciousnesses..."

Daniel Brown 5 - 'The Great Way' 6:00 Theres a whole set of instructions one would need to go from non
duality, to awakening, to the Buddha bodies, full enlightenment, when you open up the Quadraphonics" there are lots of little practices for those steps along the way, and the instructions are very precise
you see" 6:47 ... but there are still operations of consciousness that need to be addressed with certain kind of instructions, that will be to awaken, thats where the relationship and the teachers come in...

Daniel Brown 6 - 'The Great Way' practices after enlightenment "path walking" "post awakening"

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:13 am

Malcolm wrote:
fckw wrote:
DGA wrote:OK, I'll put it my question differently. You've said that you've attended his teachings. What does he teach when he teaches?
Meditation mainly. Sutra-Mahamudra in level 1, Dzogchen in level 3 (Trek Chöd) and 4 (Tögel), and a mix in level 2. His teaching style is very traditional actually.
So, he is giving direct introduction in level 2?
You are looking for something to criticize without having met the guy at all. Am I right?

But to nevertheless diligently answer your question: No. The level 2 courses he taught so far were, to the best of my knowledge, always together with Rahob Rinpoche. The idea of "adapting Dzogchen to the West", I don't know where you have this one from. It of course applies to every translation of every text from any language to a different one, as every translation is adaptation and interpretation. (Like: translating Sutras or Tantras from Sanskrit to Tibetan.) If the Dharma could be transported from India to Tibet or China some thousand years ago where cultures were distinctly different, I don't see a reason why it could not be transported to the West to the West.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Malcolm » Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:59 pm

fckw wrote: You are looking for something to criticize without having met the guy at all. Am I right?
No. People are free. If he wants to be a guru, that is his business. If people want to study with him that is their business.
But to nevertheless diligently answer your question: No. The level 2 courses he taught so far were, to the best of my knowledge, always together with Rahob Rinpoche. The idea of "adapting Dzogchen to the West", I don't know where you have this one from.
From a video of his where he is discussing his translation efforts:

http://www.pointingoutway.org/stories

He clearly states that he is picking and adapting teachings for what he views as Western culture.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by smcj » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:14 pm

He clearly states that he is picking and adapting teachings for what he views as Western culture.
Having just watched the video twice, at the end of the video what I hear him say is that he is picking the teachings that are appropriate for the West. I didn't hear him say he was 'adapting' them. That's still taking an editorial position, but it falls short of the insinuation that by adapting them he is corrupting them.

Big difference.

(But maybe I just like him because he's a doppelganger for my cousin.)
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 Malcolm » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:19 pm

smcj wrote:
He clearly states that he is picking and adapting teachings for what he views as Western culture.
Having just watched the video twice, at the end of the video what I hear him say is that he is picking the teachings that are appropriate for the West. I didn't hear him say he was 'adapting' them. That's still taking an editorial position, but it falls short of the insinuation that by adapting them he is corrupting them.

Big difference.
It remains to be seen who attains rainbow body and in what traditions in the West.
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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 Arnoud » Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
He clearly states that he is picking and adapting teachings for what he views as Western culture.
Having just watched the video twice, at the end of the video what I hear him say is that he is picking the teachings that are appropriate for the West. I didn't hear him say he was 'adapting' them. That's still taking an editorial position, but it falls short of the insinuation that by adapting them he is corrupting them.

Big difference.
It remains to be seen who attains rainbow body and in what traditions in the West.
Rainbow body would only be possible in Bon or Nyingma, no? Sakya, Kagyu or Geluk don't have rainbow body afaik. Since Daniel P. Brown is connected and uses a Nyingma lama for the higher teachings, it would still be possible. Assuming the Lama is realized.

Actually, this does give rise to another interesting question: is it possible to attain realization just by following some techniques if the teacher has no realization or blessings?

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by smcj » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:04 pm

Actually, this does give rise to another interesting question: is it possible to attain realization just by following some techniques if the teacher has no realization or blessings?
My understanding is that the short answer is no. If he does not have authentic dharma to transmit, you're out of luck (in Vajrayana). Just like you can't get HIV from someone that doesn't have the virus, you can't get realization from someone that doesn't have the blessings of the lineage(s).

However, having said that, "realization or blessings" effectively can come in a wide range of intensities, yet at the same time, given their absolute quality, come in only one intensity. The analogy being like someone being only "a little bit pregnant". So although you can say that a woman at 8 ½ months is "very pregnant", she isn't any more pregnant than a woman at 2 weeks.

So if a lama has any "realization and blessings", in the same way you can say he has just as much as a buddha. At that point the key is the faith and confidence of the student's guru-yoga practice. If you teacher is a buddha and has the intensity of a forrest fire, but if your faith and devotion are like a wet log, you're not going to have the fire of your practice ignite. But if your teacher has lineage and basic qualifications, then he is like a smoldering cigarette. And then if your practice is like a dry stack of hay, that smoldering cig can light the bonfire of your practice and you can have realizations many times that of your own teacher.

I particularly like ChNN's guru-yoga of the "AH", as it makes clear the focus of the guru-yoga is not the personage of the guru per se, but the guru as the expression of enlightenment, to whatever degree that they are enlightened. And like the "little bit pregnant woman", a little is just as much as full realization.

This is all my interpretation. If you read my new signature at the bottom of my posts you'll see I say to not take anything I say seriously. The reason being that my interpretations are expressions of my own unawareness. But they are sincere (mostly) and hopefully food for thought, or at least entertaining.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Jinzang » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:23 am

Actually, this does give rise to another interesting question: is it possible to attain realization just by following some techniques if the teacher has no realization or blessings?
There's a story (sorry, can't remember the source) of a man who killed his parents and then fled and hid in an abandoned hermitage, pretending to be a monk. Several disciples gathered around him and practiced meditation, eventually becoming arhats.
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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by HAR » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:14 am

Jinzang wrote:
Actually, this does give rise to another interesting question: is it possible to attain realization just by following some techniques if the teacher has no realization or blessings?
There's a story (sorry, can't remember the source) of a man who killed his parents and then fled and hid in an abandoned hermitage, pretending to be a monk. Several disciples gathered around him and practiced meditation, eventually becoming arhats.
this is the story of Bhiksu Mahadeva and here's an excerpt from A Spacious Path To Freedom by Karma Chagme:

Nevertheless, according to the general tradition of the teachings, even though I have no fine experiential realizations, if you listen with faith, realizations will arise. In the past there lived in Nepal an intelligent, literate man who killed both his parents. Thereafter, while he was out roaming, he secretly killed an Arhat who was living in a vacated temple. Putting on the robes of his victim, he pretended to be the slain Arhat. Everyone thought that he was that Arhat, and with faith and devotion they asked him for Dharma. By reading the scriptures to them and explaining the Dharma, he gathered a following of a hundred thousand disciples, including monks. Those with good karmic momentum attained Arhatship, and many acquired extrasensory perception and paranormal abilities. Those Arhat disciples who could see with extrasensory perception saw that their spiritual mentor was a sinful man, and they tried to guide him. However, they did not succeed, and he went to hell. This account is explained at length in Dharma histories, and it is called The Account of Bhiksu Mahadeva.

Sakya Pandita implied the same thing in his remark, "Even if someone has many disciples, there is no guarantee that he is good." With respect to the stream of oral transmissions and so forth, even if the lineage is impure, this is no problem. If a hole in an irrigation channel is blocked even with a garment of a corpse, the water still helps the fields. It is like that. Drogön Chöpak received an empowerment from a shepherd, and he received a sadhana of The Perfect Expression of the Names of Manjusri from the widow of a liturgist. The reason he did so was that he was afraid that the lineage of that empowerment and oral transmission might be cut. With that in mind, the Kadam spiritual mentors say, "People's faults do not taint the Dharma."

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by chimechodra » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:34 pm

fckw,Thank you for sharing your experiences of retreats with Daniel. What kind of sangha/dharma support groups does his community offer post-retreat? Do you have to pay to have a consultation with one of those teachers he lists on his site post-retreat? I remember seeing something about requesting for payment to sit down and Skype with either Daniel or many of the other teachers, which admittedly put me on guard for a bit. This has disappeared from their updated website.

As far as authenticity goes, my humble opinion is that if these lames and rinpoches are willing to associate their name with his community, they must believe what he is doing is of some genuine dharmic worth, no? I don't believe that assumption is too far out to believe, and of course any speculations we can make about what he is teaching is mainly assumption or speculation, unless we go and attend one of his retreats personally.

Also related to one of the discussion topics, in Daniel's own book, when he is discussing guru yoga he mentions how devotion can bring a disciple realization even if the teacher is lacking realization. I believe he quotes from Jamgon Kongtrul on this issue, although I'd have to dig up my copy of his book to deliver the full quote.

If anyone else who has had experience with his retreats could share their opinions, it would be greatly appreciated! I have found that the most helpful teachers have often been westerns who have been deeply practicing in a tradition for several decades and can bridge the two worlds together skillfully. To me, Daniel seems to have really impeccable credentials and a tremendous amount of deep experience in practice, and nothing I've ever seen by him seems to suggest that he is distilling or watering down the teachings in any way. It would certainly seem like a really rich opportunity to experience one of his retreats, but the high price is very prohibitive and I would love to hear more stories before making any decisions. Thanks all!

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by MalaBeads » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
It remains to be seen who attains rainbow body and in what traditions in the West.
Malcolm,

As you well know, dzogchen is not a tradition of any kind and as our mutual teacher ChNN has said many, many times anything can be used when practicing dzogchen. I actually think he means it.
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:35 pm

chimechodra wrote:fckw,Thank you for sharing your experiences of retreats with Daniel. What kind of sangha/dharma support groups does his community offer post-retreat?
First of all, this is not a big organization. There is a sangha near Boston, where Mr. Brown lives, of maybe 100 students. There is also a sangha of maybe 20 students in Zurich (Switzerland), and I think a small one in Amsterdam of maybe 8 people. Then there are a few students everywhere around the world. Being member of any of these sanghas does not cost anything, to the best of my knowledge. Brown himself does not belong to any organization, the US and European foundations were projects initiated by students, and he does not run them nor is he or any other of the listed teachers a member of these organizations. (There's no membership to them anyway.) People running the foundation do not receive any salary whatsoever for doing so. (You may find this a good or a bad idea. It's up to you.)
Do you have to pay to have a consultation with one of those teachers he lists on his site post-retreat? I remember seeing something about requesting for payment to sit down and Skype with either Daniel or many of the other teachers, which admittedly put me on guard for a bit. This has disappeared from their updated website.
After the first level 1, if you want to attend any higher retreat you have to have an ongoing teacher-student relationship with any of the teachers. This means, you have to call (or see, if you're near them) once every few months and talk about your meditation experiences with them. They will then make a best effort judgement whether you are eligable for any of the higher retreats or not. The cost for a telephone call is roughly 100 USD per 30 minutes (don't remember exactly) - which simply covers the salary for any of the teachers, who would otherwise have normal working schedules they can not follow due to these telephone calls. I have heard Mr. Brown stating that he will only follow up as many students as he can actually keep in mind.

From my experience, they also make exceptions for students with little financial means, but you'll have to talk to them. I personally find that a perfectly legitimate solution. In many organizations you actually nearly never can have a direct conversation on your meditation experience with the main teacher (unless you belong to a very elite inner circle of students). Here you can, but you have to cover the teacher's salary that s/he would otherwise gain through his/her profession. Brown had to very much cut down his counseling work as a psychotherapist to be able to do all the teaching and translation work and furthermore pay for his kids' university education.
As far as authenticity goes, my humble opinion is that if these lames and rinpoches are willing to associate their name with his community, they must believe what he is doing is of some genuine dharmic worth, no? I don't believe that assumption is too far out to believe, and of course any speculations we can make about what he is teaching is mainly assumption or speculation, unless we go and attend one of his retreats personally.
I cannot tell what their opinion is, but I think that H.H. Menri Trizin actually "encouraged" them (the Bonpo lamas) to work together with Mr. Brown. And they seem to enjoy it. Rahob Rinpoche and Mr. Brown have been friends for a very long time. The US and European foundation are intended to be a way to give back to the East (in form of knowledge, money and consulting) what was received as dharma from the East.
Also related to one of the discussion topics, in Daniel's own book, when he is discussing guru yoga he mentions how devotion can bring a disciple realization even if the teacher is lacking realization. I believe he quotes from Jamgon Kongtrul on this issue, although I'd have to dig up my copy of his book to deliver the full quote.
Cannot comment on that, don't know this particular passage. The guru yoga practiced is usually on Guru Rinpoche (for Nyingma Dzogchen texts) or on certain Bonpo root lamas (for Bonpo Dzogchen texts).
If anyone else who has had experience with his retreats could share their opinions, it would be greatly appreciated! I have found that the most helpful teachers have often been westerns who have been deeply practicing in a tradition for several decades and can bridge the two worlds together skillfully. To me, Daniel seems to have really impeccable credentials and a tremendous amount of deep experience in practice, and nothing I've ever seen by him seems to suggest that he is distilling or watering down the teachings in any way. It would certainly seem like a really rich opportunity to experience one of his retreats, but the high price is very prohibitive and I would love to hear more stories before making any decisions. Thanks all!
Well, I've given my own opinion here. I have repeatedly stated that I think he is the most capable meditation teacher I've come across so far. This is in no way a statement concerning his degree or level of realization, which, honestly, I have no way of judging. Also, this is no attempt to advertise him, I wouldn't get anything out of doing so anyway. (I personally tend to believe that whenever a sangha becomes too big, quality necessarily degenerates. So, advertising him would actually go against my personal interests.) Feel free to visit whoever you want and learn with him or her.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Crazywisdom » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:09 am

People who put Dzogchen above Mahamudra understand neither.
Delete my account

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:19 am

:good:

"The supreme realization is not touched by the Great Three (Madhyamaka, Mahamudra, and Dzogchen)"
-- Jigten Sumgon, Gong Chig
Crazywisdom wrote:People who put Dzogchen above Mahamudra understand neither.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:59 pm

fckw wrote:...The way he teaches meditation is quite different from all the other teachers I have known. He calls it "pointing out" style. That means, while you sit and meditate he actually gives you the instructions on what to do.
Is this method widely or at all used by other teachers/lamas?

I found Brown's book great. He has really spent time establishing an easily understood language which is rarely the case in English.

See this interview of his: http://www.conscious.tv/nonduality.html ... 3850802001

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by fckw » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:03 pm

zenman wrote:
fckw wrote:...The way he teaches meditation is quite different from all the other teachers I have known. He calls it "pointing out" style. That means, while you sit and meditate he actually gives you the instructions on what to do.
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.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by chimechodra » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:56 am

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.

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.

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Re: Daniel P Brown - Pointing Out Way?

Post by zenman » Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:25 pm

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.

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