Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this forum?

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Ervin
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Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this forum?

Post by Ervin » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:59 am

I might have asked this question before, but I don't think that I did in TB section, so I am sorry if I did.

A lots of people say that in Mahayana you need a monk or a bun to teach you meditation and the rest. Now, after looking at all different forms of Buddhism, Buddhist societies and teachers, I would say that probably the nicest ones I came across are the ones I found in Tibetan tradition.

So, I want to practice TB, but since I suffer from a scizhoaffective disorder( mixture of Schizophrenia and bipolar where I only get ups and no downs), I find my self a little bit lazy because of all the medication mmto go places, because there is nothing close by. So, can I practice already the basics like meditation from the books and this forum?

Thanks

Bristollad
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Bristollad » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:46 pm

Dear Ervin,
I would say that well it's not the best situation, it is possible to begin some of the fundamental/basic practises and learn about some the fundamental/basic teachings. There are also some organisations that run online Dharma courses (Sravasti Abbey, FPMT are the ones I know of) and some very good websites with lots of good information like the Berzin Archives...and of course Dharma Wheel itself. Once you've started, the opportunity for meeting a teacher will come :smile:


philji
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by philji » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:26 pm

I guess it depends what is meant by Tibetan Buddhism... Shine meditation/ the four mind changings and the four immeasurable contemplation are all practiced by practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. Surely these can be practiced without having access to a centre? Although guidance will still be necessary .

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Adamantine
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Adamantine » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:31 pm

Hi Ervin,

Tibetan Buddhism contains a large number of texts, practices, and techniques. Some are sutra, some are tantra. For tantra, or Vajrayana, you really need a direct lineage connection with a teacher. For sutra, it is possible to begin some study and practice right away. It would be good to study quite a bit first either way to familiarize yourself with the frameworks. In general, since you have a pre-existing condition with your mental stability it would be very important to have a spiritual friend, or guide, help oversee your practice even at the sutra level.

For some serious study, you could try listening to these extensive oral teachings by one of the great living Rimé masters to give you background and context and help you understand the path better. http://www.siddharthasintent.org/resour ... teachings/
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

Jeff H
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Jeff H » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:23 pm

I think Adamantine nailed the answer to your question, Ervin, and I think Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche is very accessible for westerners.

The only thing I would add is that I personally find I need some traditional, lineage structure. For that I can recommend Geshe Tashi Tsering's "Foundation of Buddhist Thought" course which is offered online (http://www.buddhistthought.org/). However, that depends on whether you can afford the tuition (about $1,000 usd for the entire 2-year, 6 trimester course).

Since I took it, Geshe Tashi's course books have been re-edited and published, so even if you start by going through those six books in order (Four Noble Truths; Two Truths; Buddhist Psychology; Bodhicitta; Emptiness; and Tantra) you will establish a nice framework that will help you organize your practice and other teachings.

The advantage of taking the course, besides the discipline of being in a formal class, is that you then get recordings of Geshe Tashi teaching the modules, the opportunity to submit questions to Geshe Tashi, a facilitator who guides your intake class through the lessons, and well structured course-work, including chapter review questions for your own practice, plus minor mid-term essays and major final essays which are reviewed by the facilitator. The structure for each 4-month module is three months of lessons followed by one month for reflection and writing your summary essay to wrap up the module.

DW is a really great resource, but as you saw on your thread asking for a "simple and brief explanation of emptiness" it is easy to get lost in a confusion of different traditions, interpretations, and levels of understanding.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

Yeti
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Yeti » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:38 pm

IMHO even to receive simple instruction on mindfulness meditation has so much more context when one practices, if one has received it directly from an accomplished practitioner (audio and video also assist in this, but don't substitute for being in the presence of a teacher). It may not seem anything at the time, but there is a context and presence that is planted that has it's own way of ripening.

For instance, see in this video how some simple teachings by Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche profoundly effect Wade Davis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVoa6hk1MLI
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Yeti
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Yeti » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:33 pm

I notice from your OP that you are in Melbourne. Melbourne is not as blessed as many cities in America and Europe, but still it has some venerable resident and visiting teachers. But if travel limits you, attending any teaching could be challenging.

It's said in the teachings that leaving ones home country accomplishes half the Dharma. IMHO this also has an inner meaning to give up the comfort of familiar territory and be willing to go through challenges to receive the teachings.

Just in the last month Khenchen Pema Sherab was teaching Ju Mipham’s Beacon of Certainty in Melbourne... but it was way out in the eastern suburbs, but Sogyal Rinpoche gave a public talk at the Collingwood Town Hall.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

Ervin
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Ervin » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:22 am

How about this Rigpa centre in Brunswick it's located at 7/200 Sydney road?

Yeti
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Yeti » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:27 am

Ervin wrote:How about this Rigpa centre in Brunswick it's located at 7/200 Sydney road?
There's some good experienced students there I know.

But as with any centre, do your research. See if you connect with that manifestation of Dharma. In the end you have to trust your own instincts and connection and take responsibility for your own journey. There's plenty of good advise to encourage you on your own path here on DW.

It does make it easier if the centre you are connected with is easy to get to for practice sessions. Still, there's no substitute for a knowing connection with a teacher.
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

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ClearblueSky
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by ClearblueSky » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:08 am

In my opinion: Practicing with teacher>practicing from books by respected teachers>reading things on a forum.
Also, I mean this in a non-condescending way, and only since you mentioned it, but use your wisdom and be careful not to adopt an attitude of using Buddhism as a "replacement" treatment for scizhoaffective disorder. I'm not implying you're doing that, it's just a common thing I've encountered. Often using both your practice, as well as more conventional treatments together, is the best way to progress. It doesn't have to be just one or the other. Best of luck!

Miroku
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Miroku » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:50 am

MAybe you could try DharmaDas. It's an online teaching program by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. It will take you through the basics and maybe even give you some idea what it is about. But honestly practicing with teacher is priceless.

http://dharmadas.co/
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

Saoshun
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Saoshun » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:42 am

You can't practice buddhism from the books nor forum, not anything else, you can only practice it thru insight into your mind ground. Books can be means (pointers) for that.

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Nosta
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Re: Can you practice basic Tib. Bud. from books and this for

Post by Nosta » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:12 pm

Perhaps the OP could be helped by sayig the names of some good books and authors :)

I am really not the person for doing that lol, basically I am reading this topic in the perspective of the OP.

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