Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Kunga Lhadzom
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:52 pm

Everyone has one... :jumping:
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

User avatar
Kunga Lhadzom
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:55 pm

:geek: Double entendre ?
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

User avatar
Kunga Lhadzom
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:01 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:57 pm

Oh my god....now i'm getting 2 cheeky ....
The Universe flowing through my veins...stars falling from my eyes......rocks rolling in my head...lemon juice dripping down my chin....

https://drunklotus.blog

Simon E.
Posts: 5338
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:36 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:45 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:34 pm
think I'm going quackers..
Maybe you'really a quack ?

:jumping:
A RETIRED quack Sandhi.. :smile:
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Anders » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:18 pm
Frankly, the only way to understand samaya is to receive empowerment and practice assiduously. Just as an example, in Sarma practices one recites the various aspects and vows of Samaya during "self-empowerment" rituals, and these are the same as those given during the empowerment. One of the common samayas is to not discuss the samaya or other aspects of practice with those who have not received empowerment, so Malcolm's quip about "Fight Club" is right on the money! Funny, too. :smile:
Bit of a catch-22 isn't it?

On one hand, we're told to be scrutinous, to not jump into empowerments without knowing what we are getting into. And yet here you are, saying you can only know what you are getting into by jumping into it.

I do wonder why it is so difficult to give a straightforward explanation of it. It seems like something that ought to be taken on with clear comprehension.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

Simon E.
Posts: 5338
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:52 pm

I don't think it can be any clearer Anders.
Some Catch 22 scenarios are unavoidable.
You will not be able to process what happens in a Samaya relationship unless you take that leap.
No logic or cognition or deduction will enable an understanding of Samaya from the outside of the tent.

And if that makes it an impossible prospect for any individual then another side of that is that we do not choose a particular teacher initially..She/he chooses us.

And that may not happen in any given lifetime.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Mantrik » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:41 pm

Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm
conebeckham wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:18 pm
Frankly, the only way to understand samaya is to receive empowerment and practice assiduously. Just as an example, in Sarma practices one recites the various aspects and vows of Samaya during "self-empowerment" rituals, and these are the same as those given during the empowerment. One of the common samayas is to not discuss the samaya or other aspects of practice with those who have not received empowerment, so Malcolm's quip about "Fight Club" is right on the money! Funny, too. :smile:
Bit of a catch-22 isn't it?

On one hand, we're told to be scrutinous, to not jump into empowerments without knowing what we are getting into. And yet here you are, saying you can only know what you are getting into by jumping into it.

I do wonder why it is so difficult to give a straightforward explanation of it. It seems like something that ought to be taken on with clear comprehension.
Sort of, but you can find out about many aspects of the relationship which are relevant, such as:

Does the Guru seem like a person I want to make a commitment to follow?
Would this Guru want to make a commitment to me?
What specific practice commitments are involved once I have received the empowerment?
What vows may be required as a pre-requisite and what vows may I be asked to take as part of the empowerment and adhere to afterwards?
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27528
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:54 pm

Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm


I do wonder why it is so difficult to give a straightforward explanation of it. It seems like something that ought to be taken on with clear comprehension.
The samaya vows are actually secret and technically, should only be explained during or after the empowerment.

M
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Anders » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:54 pm
Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm
I do wonder why it is so difficult to give a straightforward explanation of it. It seems like something that ought to be taken on with clear comprehension.
The samaya vows are actually secret and technically, should only be explained during or after the empowerment.

M
Ok, so that's the content of Samaya. I guess you can work around that by investigating the guru that bestows them.
Is the nature of it also secret? Ie, what is samaya actually, technically speaking?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27528
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm

Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:21 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:54 pm
Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:42 pm
I do wonder why it is so difficult to give a straightforward explanation of it. It seems like something that ought to be taken on with clear comprehension.
The samaya vows are actually secret and technically, should only be explained during or after the empowerment.

M
Ok, so that's the content of Samaya. I guess you can work around that by investigating the guru that bestows them.
Is the nature of it also secret? Ie, what is samaya actually, technically speaking?
It is a set of commitments one makes to the guru, one's vajra siblings, and the path in general. Though they are in fact secret, they are openly discussed by many people here all the time.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Anders
Posts: 1104
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Anders » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm
It is a set of commitments one makes to the guru, one's vajra siblings, and the path in general. Though they are in fact secret, they are openly discussed by many people here all the time.
karma-mechanically speaking, it is more than that though, right? What role do they play as an essential component of tantra practise? What it is, technically speaking, that makes it so crucial?
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27528
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:30 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm
It is a set of commitments one makes to the guru, one's vajra siblings, and the path in general. Though they are in fact secret, they are openly discussed by many people here all the time.
karma-mechanically speaking, it is more than that though, right? What role do they play as an essential component of tantra practise? What it is, technically speaking, that makes it so crucial?
The are the foundation of the Vajrayāna path.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 16856
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:03 pm
The are the foundation of the Vajrayāna path.
I think he is more interested in the "why" it is the foundation of the Vajrayana path.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27528
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:55 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:51 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:03 pm
The are the foundation of the Vajrayāna path.
I think he is more interested in the "why" it is the foundation of the Vajrayana path.
If they a protected, all qualities of the path arise swiftly, if they are neglected, one experiences obstacles.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Gyurme Kundrol
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Gyurme Kundrol » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:26 pm

Anders wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:30 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:23 pm
It is a set of commitments one makes to the guru, one's vajra siblings, and the path in general. Though they are in fact secret, they are openly discussed by many people here all the time.
karma-mechanically speaking, it is more than that though, right? What role do they play as an essential component of tantra practise? What it is, technically speaking, that makes it so crucial?
Without a commitment, how can we accomplish anything, let alone liberation?

Samaya is a way to structure our commitment. It is a way to guide ourselves in our daily actions. It helps us to know which actions are conducive to enlightenment, and which are not. It would be hard to achieve liberation without understanding how various actions, attitudes, and beliefs might hinder our ability to do so.

Samaya is more than this as well, because its also a commitment to achieve liberation. Its not just a hobby, or something we do on the weekends, or something for the next life. It is for NOW, we need to achieve this as quickly as possible. Vajrayana is not about taking "countless aeons" to achieve liberation, but rather, ensuring ones liberation at least in the bardo with every attempt made to realize it right now. If we can at least gain that kind of realization and confidence, that is the fundamental goal, at least in my own opinion.

Samaya keeps us mindful, and if we know what Samaya is then we know when we break it, then we can repair it and feel genuine remorse for having broken it. As westerners we probably break Samaya on a daily basis, so its good to be aware of this, to be humble, and to confess/purify often.

Otherwise we are like drunkards on the path, stumbling about, hoping to reach our destination, most likely just going astray and breaking a bunch of stuff along the way.

Karmically it is a commitment made with body, speech and mind. The mental attitudes, the verbal promises, and the physical actions/self control that are the embodiment of Samaya. So karmically it is cultivating virtues in these and staving off non-virtue.

Look at Dudjom Rinpoche as an example. Although many considered him one of the most highly realized Lamas around, his confession speaks volumes about not only his humility, but the nature of humanity and the dangers of delusion. As human beings we are prone to constant attachments, constant errors, constant cravings. Delusions, hatred, desire, aversion, jealousy. These things are often hard coded into our biology, conditioned into us not only from birth but karmically since beginningless time. Even if we dont believe in rebirth, strictly from an evolutionary perspective we can see that for billions of years the organism which has evolved into this current body is hard wired with numerous delusive and suffering inducing systems. Designed to keep us alive, but not designed to make us happy or liberate us.

Excerpt from his Prayer to Recognize my own Faults:
Now I am at a turning point:

All the teachings that I’ve asked for,

All I’ve received, are like a myth.

My body has the appearance of a practitioner,

And I have a practitioner’s conceit;

My mind cannot fathom the true teachings.



Lacking even a trace of common Dharma, much less holy Dharma,

The sixteen rules for ordinary social behavior

Are just something that I’ve heard of.

Seeing myself behave badly, I’m without shame;

Seen by others, I’m unembarassed;

My bond to the teachings is short as a marmot’s tail.



Unable to practice properly true Dharma’s ten virtuous deeds,

Harboring sectarian bias toward the one Buddha’s teachings,

I slander the teachings and great beings

And gather up bad karma.

Based on Dharma

I carry a great weight of evil deeds.



The more teaching I’ve received,

The more my vision of myself inflates,

Though intellectual analyses cannot penetrate

The deep meaning of the teachings.



With conceit, I think, “I keep the Pratimoksha disciplines!”

But the four dharma practices have been lost without a trace.



With conceit, I think, “I posses the precious Bodhisattva training!”

But the Four Boundless Ones are just like pictures of a lamp.



With conceit, I think, “I keep the Secret Mantrayana samayas!”

But, not respecting the first root transgression,

I become careless about all the rest.
https://plantandosementesdodarma.wordpr ... she-dorje/

This is how we should think, although we should not fall into self hatred. Rather we should try to regard ourselves like this with humility. Samaya is like a rope that tethers us to the stake of Dharma, and mindfulness of it is what keeps us from detaching and parting ways with the Dharma.

Terma
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Terma » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:35 am

This question may have been posed at some point and I may have missed it.

Nonetheless I was curious to know whether there are different....levels of samaya (for lack of a better way of putting it at the moment) based upon what is being received?

For example, would one have greater samaya with the guru whom one has received pointing out from? Then by definition, this would in fact be one's root guru.

If one has not recognized their minds nature, and thus doesn't have a root guru outside of strong devotion,then would one have greater samaya with a guru whom one has received the four empowerments from, rather then let's say an outer yoga empowerment or even receiving an empowerment as a blessing?

Or in fact should it be thought of in a completely different manner, that samaya is samaya as long as one has received an empowerment, transmission and permission to practice a certain set of teachings regardless if one has a personal student-guru relationship or not?

Terma

madhusudan
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:54 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by madhusudan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:57 am

I happened to notice this teaching and thought it appropriate to link in this thread:

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... oar-samaya

User avatar
Vasana
Posts: 1688
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Vasana » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:34 am

madhusudan wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:57 am
I happened to notice this teaching and thought it appropriate to link in this thread:

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/tibetan-mas ... oar-samaya
It's very easy to misunderstand.

I actually think it would be better to have a samaya 101 thread, lock it and then disallow further samaya threads. I think they have the potential to do more harm than good to the perception and reception of Vajrayana and we should recognize that.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

madhusudan
Posts: 187
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:54 pm

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by madhusudan » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:13 am

Please explain further as to how it is easily misunderstood. Maybe it depends on the perspective of the reader. I'm usually fairly confused. How, in your estimation, could Khenpo Yonten Gompo improve his teaching to be less opaque? Thanks.

User avatar
Vasana
Posts: 1688
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 am

Re: Everybody speaks about samaya, but nobody knows what it is.

Post by Vasana » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:22 am

I will PM you.

Once again, I don't think these discussions are at all appropriate in a public setting. The internet's a big place and this is a topic that practitioners should dedicate some serious time researching high and low, far and wide before coming to any conclusions about appropriate and inappropriate conduct of body speech and mind.

Whether you follow common or uncommon Mahayana then the gross and subtle, context and realization-dependent nuances of vows of conduct and their relationship with view should be understood sooner rather than later to ensure you are securing yours and others benefit rather than bringing harm. People should also consult with their teachers.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: escargotmycargo, Heruka85, Miroku, practitioner and 71 guests