Stuck in practice...

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qwerty13
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by qwerty13 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:58 pm

qwerty13 wrote:
I dont know if I`m interpeting your message right, but it seems that you are suggesting me to not choose which traditions/schools to follow just yet.

EDIT: Ignore that line,I was just misinterpeting your text.
The exact words of Tsem about the Phowa (in the end of video)

Remember, with this phowa practice of Lama Tsonghkapa you dont need intiations, you dont need commitmens, you dont need special vows, you dont need to do any special rituals. Its pure visalization within yourself , and you can do it home. And there is absolutely no danger of shortening your life or any other dangers.Or any other dangers asssociated with other phowa practices unguided by the teacher.The danger of phowa practice does not come from the practice, it comes from us not collecting the merit an do it correctly. There is no such danger in lama Tsongkhapas phowa.
Who should we turn to for refuge? We should seek refuge in the Buddha. He is the one we weep before
-H.H. 14th Dalai Lama

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conebeckham
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by conebeckham » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:20 pm

In this day and age, it is quite amazing how easily one can access the Dharma and Dharma teachers, Dharma events, etc.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, and other lamas, are creating circumstances whereby people all over the world can connect with Dharma and engage in virtuous activity. the internet contains a host of information (for instance, this site!) where people can learn BuddhaDharma and can connect with other Buddhists. There's a wide variety of resources, events, and ways to participate.

The Lamas who created these conditions do so to benefit us. However, it is possible to become confused, or to have questions that can't be readily answered. That's okay, and no cause for alarm. There's a lot of good advice here on this thread, regarding not becoming dismayed, and ensuring that one views all this activity with a good perspective.

Now, here's where I think people may disagree with me, but I am going to say this anyway, because I feel increasingly that it needs to be said...

There is no substitute for personal, live, in-the-flesh contact with a qualified teacher. If one is seriously going to practice the Dharma, in a sustained, intensive way, we as students need to make the sacrifices, and endure the hardships, that entail, in order to make personal contact with the teacher. I'm not trying to take anything away from these webcasts, etc., but I'd venture to say that anyone who has done a fair amount of practice "in person" with a teacher or group, and also has some experience with webcast-based practice, will agree that webcast practices and empowerments are best as an adjunct method.

Ideally, we'd all live near our teachers, or near enough to see them a couple times a year, perhaps, to clarify concerns, recieve blessings, get instruction, etc. I know this is not the case for most of us, though.....but I'd also bet that most of us do have the opportunity to travel, at least annually, and I really, really want to encourage people who have not done so, to make the effort to attend, say, Garchen Rinpoche's retreats in Arizona, or Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's events in person, or...any Lama or lineage figure one feels connected with.

As beginners, there's nothing wrong with searching, examining, and participating in web-based broadcasts, doing research, etc. But at some point, there will come a time when one commits to some practice or practices in a serious way, if one is serious about one's practice. When that happens, the need to obtain every empowerment given via the internet, or live, will naturally subside, and one will have confidence in one's path and one's ability to carry on one's daily practice. In my opinion, that is the most important thing--maintaining a daily practice, and deepening one's experience and exposure to that practice, or group of practices, through repeated exposure to the teachings, empowerments, and to the company others who follow the same methods. It's appropriate and proper to respect all traditions, and all methods, but at some point one must choose, as it's impossible to gain traction if we spread ourselves too thin.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by pemachophel » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:48 pm

:good: :thumbsup:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

jiashengrox
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by jiashengrox » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:57 pm

qwerty13 wrote:
qwerty13 wrote:
I dont know if I`m interpeting your message right, but it seems that you are suggesting me to not choose which traditions/schools to follow just yet.

EDIT: Ignore that line,I was just misinterpeting your text.
The exact words of Tsem about the Phowa (in the end of video)

Remember, with this phowa practice of Lama Tsonghkapa you dont need intiations, you dont need commitmens, you dont need special vows, you dont need to do any special rituals. Its pure visalization within yourself , and you can do it home. And there is absolutely no danger of shortening your life or any other dangers.Or any other dangers asssociated with other phowa practices unguided by the teacher.The danger of phowa practice does not come from the practice, it comes from us not collecting the merit an do it correctly. There is no such danger in lama Tsongkhapas phowa.
Hey qwerty13,

If you are intending to continue your practice with Tsem tulku, you might want to find out what kind of teacher is he (in terms of whether is he qualified, no negative emotions intended). in this way you can make a better judgement on whether he is really qualified to be your spiritual master.

There are a few threads on dharmawheel i could refer you to about Tsem Tulku. Also, from what I have seen in mainstream Gelug practices, practices such as phowa would definitely need an empowerment (it is considered to be under the completion stage btw), and though i am not sure (it's a possibility it could be found in the ganden nyen gyu), but i don't think there is a phowa practice of Tsongkhapa written by past masters of the Gelug tradition. Yes, there are general phowa practices, but ese teachings are only uncovered in Je Rinpoche's Five Stages and Source of Three Inspirations. The more common one i have seen nowadays is the phowa practice written by Lama Yeshe, and even so, the focus is on Buddha Amitabha. You might want to question the source of the text to ensure it's validity.

Furthermore, in the mainstream Gelug practice, i think it is generally not acceptable to give empowerments online (it is a completely different issue for Some of the Kagyu and Nyingma masters), but they tend to take a conservative stand towards such new ideas. I suggest you might want to cross-refer with some authoritative Gelug masters (if possible, geshes and abbots of Drepung, Sera and Ganden) or even approach FPMT centers to check on this issue.

Hope this helps! :namaste:
Homage to the Mother of Buddhas as well as of the groups of Hearers and Bodhisattvas
which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

- Ornament of Clear Realisation

supermaxv
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by supermaxv » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:34 pm

conebeckham wrote:As beginners, there's nothing wrong with searching, examining, and participating in web-based broadcasts, doing research, etc. But at some point, there will come a time when one commits to some practice or practices in a serious way, if one is serious about one's practice. When that happens, the need to obtain every empowerment given via the internet, or live, will naturally subside, and one will have confidence in one's path and one's ability to carry on one's daily practice. In my opinion, that is the most important thing--maintaining a daily practice, and deepening one's experience and exposure to that practice, or group of practices, through repeated exposure to the teachings, empowerments, and to the company others who follow the same methods. It's appropriate and proper to respect all traditions, and all methods, but at some point one must choose, as it's impossible to gain traction if we spread ourselves too thin.
I am just now beginning to hit that point bolded above. Well said.

I think the availability of information and live transmission of teachings over the Internet is very wonderful and meritorious (and I have helped local lamas with webcasting and publishing stuff online) but I am now beginning to realize that the more I try to DIY ("do it yourself") my practice via the Internet it just leads to more confusion, questions and practice paralysis.

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qwerty13
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by qwerty13 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:51 pm

jiashengrox wrote: If you are intending to continue your practice with Tsem tulku, you might want to find out what kind of teacher is he (in terms of whether is he qualified, no negative emotions intended). in this way you can make a better judgement on whether he is really qualified to be your spiritual master.
There are a few threads on dharmawheel i could refer you to about Tsem Tulku.
OK, you could actually point me to those threads or possible evidences on Tsem Tulku being Shugden practitioner/ unreliable teacher/ fake lama / whatever. I have been studying this person and his activities and rumors around him and none of those things have been confirmed. Don`t get me wrong, I`m open to listen what peopel have to say about him. I`ts just that so far it seems that even though there is a lot of all kinds of talk, it will turn out to be just rumors, not facts.

For the Shugden claims there is this thread: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... lku#p35378

jiashengrox wrote: Also, from what I have seen in mainstream Gelug practices, practices such as phowa would definitely need an empowerment (it is considered to be under the completion stage btw), and though i am not sure (it's a possibility it could be found in the ganden nyen gyu), but i don't think there is a phowa practice of Tsongkhapa written by past masters of the Gelug tradition. Yes, there are general phowa practices, but ese teachings are only uncovered in Je Rinpoche's Five Stages and Source of Three Inspirations. The more common one i have seen nowadays is the phowa practice written by Lama Yeshe, and even so, the focus is on Buddha Amitabha. You might want to question the source of the text to ensure it's validity.
Well here is link to commentary on Tsongkhapas guru yoga by Serkong Rinpoche http://www.lamayeshe.com.
Here is part of it at the very end, whre one absorbs rinpoche in onself:

...Je Rinpoche dissolves into your most subtle consciousness, the other appears and both are of the same nature. The eight petals of the heart-lotus close up: the interior is very smooth, like a precious substance and full of illumination; the nature of illumination. The closed petals are tied by a white rosary of the sixteen Sanskrit vowels in a clockwise direction, and below that tied by a red rosary of the thirty-four Sanskrit consonants in an anticlockwise direction.

These two rosaries have thus divided the closed lotus into three parts, each of which is surrounded by the mantra—OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHIH—in white, red and blue, respectively.

At the top of this lotus heart is a white, five-pronged vajra with a blue HUM at its center. From the tip of the vajra a small shaft of white light emanates upwards and passes out the crown of your head. This connects directly to the heart of Maitreya Buddha. This visualization creates special karma to be reborn in Tushita right after death. This is the best method of achieving this result. You should always think that this rainbow-like shaft of white light is connected in this way, even when you’re asleep.


To this Zopa Rinpoche gives few notes:
When you practice, send your mind up and down the tube. Don’t visualize a hole at the lower end: the mind is inside here, in the form of light as a bean or sesame seed. This is the main essential practice of transferring your mind to the pure realm

I think the Phowa is quite valid.
Who should we turn to for refuge? We should seek refuge in the Buddha. He is the one we weep before
-H.H. 14th Dalai Lama

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qwerty13
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by qwerty13 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:11 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Now, here's where I think people may disagree with me, but I am going to say this anyway, because I feel increasingly that it needs to be said...

There is no substitute for personal, live, in-the-flesh contact with a qualified teacher. If one is seriously going to practice the Dharma, in a sustained, intensive way, we as students need to make the sacrifices, and endure the hardships, that entail, in order to make personal contact with the teacher. I'm not trying to take anything away from these webcasts, etc., but I'd venture to say that anyone who has done a fair amount of practice "in person" with a teacher or group, and also has some experience with webcast-based practice, will agree that webcast practices and empowerments are best as an adjunct method.
Yes, I know very well that in the end, empowerments should be received in person. And that one should have sustained relationship with a teacher, to be able to meet him often. Someone here already pointed it out well here that doing "Do it yourself -practice" via internet does not necessarily lead to good practice and there is high chance that it will mostly make you very confused (if you start serious practice), which was exactly what happened to me.
Who should we turn to for refuge? We should seek refuge in the Buddha. He is the one we weep before
-H.H. 14th Dalai Lama

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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by Konchog1 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:24 pm

qwerty13 wrote:OK, you could actually point me to those threads or possible evidences on Tsem Tulku being Shugden practitioner/ unreliable teacher/ fake lama / whatever. I have been studying this person and his activities and rumors around him and none of those things have been confirmed. Don`t get me wrong, I`m open to listen what peopel have to say about him. I`ts just that so far it seems that even though there is a lot of all kinds of talk, it will turn out to be just rumors, not facts.
Don't worry. Whether Tsem is fake/a cult leader/DS worshipper etc, everything he teaches is 100% normal Gelug. Maybe too heavy on Guru devotion.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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conebeckham
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by conebeckham » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:33 pm

qwerty13 wrote:
conebeckham wrote:
Now, here's where I think people may disagree with me, but I am going to say this anyway, because I feel increasingly that it needs to be said...

There is no substitute for personal, live, in-the-flesh contact with a qualified teacher. If one is seriously going to practice the Dharma, in a sustained, intensive way, we as students need to make the sacrifices, and endure the hardships, that entail, in order to make personal contact with the teacher. I'm not trying to take anything away from these webcasts, etc., but I'd venture to say that anyone who has done a fair amount of practice "in person" with a teacher or group, and also has some experience with webcast-based practice, will agree that webcast practices and empowerments are best as an adjunct method.
Yes, I know very well that in the end, empowerments should be received in person. And that one should have sustained relationship with a teacher, to be able to meet him often. Someone here already pointed it out well here that doing "Do it yourself -practice" via internet does not necessarily lead to good practice and there is high chance that it will mostly make you very confused (if you start serious practice), which was exactly what happened to me.
Frankly, it's impossible to start serious practice merely by reliance on internet and books. If this is understood, there's no reason for confusion.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

jiashengrox
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by jiashengrox » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:35 am

qwerty13 wrote:
jiashengrox wrote: If you are intending to continue your practice with Tsem tulku, you might want to find out what kind of teacher is he (in terms of whether is he qualified, no negative emotions intended). in this way you can make a better judgement on whether he is really qualified to be your spiritual master.
There are a few threads on dharmawheel i could refer you to about Tsem Tulku.
OK, you could actually point me to those threads or possible evidences on Tsem Tulku being Shugden practitioner/ unreliable teacher/ fake lama / whatever. I have been studying this person and his activities and rumors around him and none of those things have been confirmed. Don`t get me wrong, I`m open to listen what peopel have to say about him. I`ts just that so far it seems that even though there is a lot of all kinds of talk, it will turn out to be just rumors, not facts.

For the Shugden claims there is this thread: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... lku#p35378
I think you misunderstood my standpoint. When u need to check whether a teacher is qualified, you need to check against the ten qualities listed in the Mahayanasutralankara (this can be found in Je Rinpoche's Lam Rim or Pabongkha Rinpoche's Liberation). You might want to question if this teacher is valid in that sense.
qwerty13 wrote:
jiashengrox wrote: Also, from what I have seen in mainstream Gelug practices, practices such as phowa would definitely need an empowerment (it is considered to be under the completion stage btw), and though i am not sure (it's a possibility it could be found in the ganden nyen gyu), but i don't think there is a phowa practice of Tsongkhapa written by past masters of the Gelug tradition. Yes, there are general phowa practices, but ese teachings are only uncovered in Je Rinpoche's Five Stages and Source of Three Inspirations. The more common one i have seen nowadays is the phowa practice written by Lama Yeshe, and even so, the focus is on Buddha Amitabha. You might want to question the source of the text to ensure it's validity.
Well here is link to commentary on Tsongkhapas guru yoga by Serkong Rinpoche http://www.lamayeshe.com.
Here is part of it at the very end, whre one absorbs rinpoche in onself:

...Je Rinpoche dissolves into your most subtle consciousness, the other appears and both are of the same nature. The eight petals of the heart-lotus close up: the interior is very smooth, like a precious substance and full of illumination; the nature of illumination. The closed petals are tied by a white rosary of the sixteen Sanskrit vowels in a clockwise direction, and below that tied by a red rosary of the thirty-four Sanskrit consonants in an anticlockwise direction.

These two rosaries have thus divided the closed lotus into three parts, each of which is surrounded by the mantra—OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHIH—in white, red and blue, respectively.

At the top of this lotus heart is a white, five-pronged vajra with a blue HUM at its center. From the tip of the vajra a small shaft of white light emanates upwards and passes out the crown of your head. This connects directly to the heart of Maitreya Buddha. This visualization creates special karma to be reborn in Tushita right after death. This is the best method of achieving this result. You should always think that this rainbow-like shaft of white light is connected in this way, even when you’re asleep.


To this Zopa Rinpoche gives few notes:
When you practice, send your mind up and down the tube. Don’t visualize a hole at the lower end: the mind is inside here, in the form of light as a bean or sesame seed. This is the main essential practice of transferring your mind to the pure realm

I think the Phowa is quite valid.
EDIT: I found the source of the text. It is http://www.lamayeshe.com/?sect=article&id=864.

Technically, this is the dissolution process of the guru yoga Ganden Lhagyama (not called phowa, and it is not to be separated from the practice of Ganden Lhagyama) and i would like to quote from LZR's practice booklet on Ganden Lhagyama: "If you have the highest yoga tantra initiation, the guru enters into your heart; otherwise the guru melts into light and ... " Such visualisation should only be practiced by people who have received the HYT.

Also, when you meet such articles describing these visualisations, you need to be sure of the validity of the source. Sure, it's a commentary by Serkong Rinpoche, but on which tantric text did he synthesise these teachings from? You would need him to give you the source of these teachings, which he will do if he is giving you the oral commentary (face to face). You will need reference to these, for otherwise you can never be certain that these practices will be authentic, lest will it lead you to liberation.

Hope it helps! :namaste:
Homage to the Mother of Buddhas as well as of the groups of Hearers and Bodhisattvas
which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

- Ornament of Clear Realisation

jiashengrox
Posts: 117
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by jiashengrox » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:37 am

Konchog1 wrote:
qwerty13 wrote:OK, you could actually point me to those threads or possible evidences on Tsem Tulku being Shugden practitioner/ unreliable teacher/ fake lama / whatever. I have been studying this person and his activities and rumors around him and none of those things have been confirmed. Don`t get me wrong, I`m open to listen what peopel have to say about him. I`ts just that so far it seems that even though there is a lot of all kinds of talk, it will turn out to be just rumors, not facts.
Don't worry. Whether Tsem is fake/a cult leader/DS worshipper etc, everything he teaches is 100% normal Gelug. Maybe too heavy on Guru devotion.
Hmmm, really sorry :/, but i would like to disagree with this statement. I don't know if it's appropriate to talk about this here though.

:namaste:
Homage to the Mother of Buddhas as well as of the groups of Hearers and Bodhisattvas
which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

- Ornament of Clear Realisation

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Kaccāni
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by Kaccāni » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:30 am

In my experience such books and broadcasts, independent from what path you´re on, can help point you to what has to be done.

When you're really on your own, it helps if you have an art you practice that leads you into situations, where the way you master your defilements has an impact on your result. It can serve as a mirror. But then again, for that art, it will be tough without a good trainer, since technique is one important aspect for success, and if he/she has mastered the mental aspects of the art, then what different is that from a Master? Then such books and videos can help you confirm certain experiences you´ve made, or just present the problem from a different perspective so you can recognize it once again.

Best wishes
Gwenn
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

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conebeckham
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Re: Stuck in practice...

Post by conebeckham » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:29 pm

Gwenn Dana wrote:In my experience such books and broadcasts, independent from what path you´re on, can help point you to what has to be done.

When you're really on your own, it helps if you have an art you practice that leads you into situations, where the way you master your defilements has an impact on your result. It can serve as a mirror. But then again, for that art, it will be tough without a good trainer, since technique is one important aspect for success, and if he/she has mastered the mental aspects of the art, then what different is that from a Master? Then such books and videos can help you confirm certain experiences you´ve made, or just present the problem from a different perspective so you can recognize it once again.

Best wishes
Gwenn
At some point you will need a live interaction with a qualified master. IF you're practicing Vajrayana Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, you need a teacher. At some point, that interaction will have to be a two-way relationship with a living human being. You cannot get that over the internet, or in a book.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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