This represents a misunderstanding of the nature of empowerments on your part.JohnJ wrote:
It might be good to mention that in my personal encounters with Garchen Rinpoche and the lamas that teach through his Institute, empowerment is understood as something that is rarely actually recieved. In other words, the belief seems to be that empowerment only occurs when one has understood the nature of their mind through that empowerment.
An empowerment is something that arranges a profound dependent origination between someone's body, speech and mind and the three kāyas of the result. Therefore, it is not so that one does not receive the empowerment if one does not realize the nature of the mind.
An empowerment is first of all a method for inducing realization, for example, when Indrabhuti I attained Buddhahood by receiving the Guhyasamaja empowerment. Failing that, we have sadhanas, which is the method connected to the empowerment to produce realization. When we receive an empowerment, we agree to follow various samayas until we attain buddhahood. People who do not receive empowerments do not have those samayas.
If you did not truly receive an empowerment because you failed to realize nature of your mind, you could not realize the three kāyas through the practice of sadhanas. Therefore, this idea is really not very correct at all.The real empowerment is much more than a permission to practice various Sadhanas, it is an introduction to the natural state, and only if you do not understand that and remain in confusion should you seek out various Sadhana and yoga practices.
Nonsense. This represents a total misunderstanding of what an empowerment actually is.In that way, most everyone who receives the empowerment is only receiving blessings, not the actual empowerment.
There are a number of problems with this:My own understanding is that the recorded empowerments are a permission to practice and a receiving of some lineage blessings, since the vast majority who come or stay at home won't receive the empowerment in the way that Garchen Rinpoche (and many others) understand it.
One: in any empowerment, there are three mandalas: the front created mandala, the vase mandala and the mandala of the teacher. The teacher arranges the descent of the wisdom being from the front created mandala onto the disciple after he creates each disciple as the form of the deity to be given. If you are not at the empowerment in some fashion during the time it is being given, there is no descent of the wisdom being.
Two: at the end of any empowerment, byin rlabs, or rje gnang there is the dissolution of the mandalas, i.e., the front created mandala, the vase mandala and the mandala of the teacher. One cannot receive initiation into a mandala that has been dissolved by the master. Once the vajramaster has concluded his or her activities, the empowerment is over.
Therefore, watching an empowerment later on is like watching a performance on PBS. It may be interesting, fascinating, and so on. But it is not live, you are not there, you are not participating, you are watching a show. You may be edified, but there is no stream of blessing because the mandala has already been switched off, as it were.
Further, there is the very real likelyhood that unsuitable people will choose to watch such performances on places like youtube resulting in many samaya problems.