Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

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The Mantra Mongoose
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Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:50 am

Hello all,

I had a few questions and wanted to know if anyone could give me some sound advice on what to do as I'm kinda at a loss. Ive started to read
"The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action: A Discourse Virtuous in the Beginning, Middle, and End
by Patrul Rinpoche" and "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment by Pabongka Rinpoche and while im learning a lot and practicing the mani mantra all the time with chenrezi meditation while cultivating bodichitta.I realize I'm at a great loss not having a guru and any progress past these practices will be nonexistent and while Ive come to terms with that fact due to personal reasons out of my control. i was wondering what other practices could i do to gain a further understanding of the path?

also when it come to the dorje and bell is it possible to use these instruments without initiation or is one needed. I'm mainly talking about the hand mundras done for offerings at a home shrine. Ive seen video of this being explained to people, but i didn't know if it was proper to do so without a guru. lastly are there any books that are highly recommended on explaining emptiness any help would be really appreciated. i hope all are free from suffering and know peace, and thanks again.

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Karma_Yeshe
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Karma_Yeshe » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:29 am

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:Hello all,

I had a few questions and wanted to know if anyone could give me some sound advice on what to do as I'm kinda at a loss. Ive started to read
"The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action: A Discourse Virtuous in the Beginning, Middle, and End
by Patrul Rinpoche" and "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment by Pabongka Rinpoche and while im learning a lot and practicing the mani mantra all the time with chenrezi meditation while cultivating bodichitta.I realize I'm at a great loss not having a guru and any progress past these practices will be nonexistent and while Ive come to terms with that fact due to personal reasons out of my control. i was wondering what other practices could i do to gain a further understanding of the path?

also when it come to the dorje and bell is it possible to use these instruments without initiation or is one needed. I'm mainly talking about the hand mundras done for offerings at a home shrine. Ive seen video of this being explained to people, but i didn't know if it was proper to do so without a guru. lastly are there any books that are highly recommended on explaining emptiness any help would be really appreciated. i hope all are free from suffering and know peace, and thanks again.
Since Buddhadharma is a living, spoken (mouth-to-ear) tradition in general, I would reccomend to try to make a contact with a living human teacher. I mean, would you try to learn how to drive a car solely by reading books and watching videos from the internet? And learning how to walk on the path to liberation an d enlightement is a much more difficult thing.

KY

The Mantra Mongoose
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by The Mantra Mongoose » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:07 pm

Hello, I wanted to say thank you for your response. It means a lot to me that you would go out of your way to help some one who so new like me. As I am disabled and travel to other states or generally outside of my small zone isn't possible right now. I'll probably study Jodo Shu pureland instead as I feel a affinity to its founder and Amithabha Buddha along with the nembustu. I finished the heart treasure of the enlightened ones in two days and I loved the teachings, but I recognize that without a guru in this tradition I really can't get any were. I want to thank you again for your response and hope you know peace and are free from suffering.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:30 pm

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:I'll probably study Jodo Shu pureland instead as I feel a affinity to its founder and Amithabha Buddha along with the nembustu.
You won't be dissappointed! :thumbsup:

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Karma_Yeshe
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Karma_Yeshe » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:04 am

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:Hello, I wanted to say thank you for your response. It means a lot to me that you would go out of your way to help some one who so new like me. As I am disabled and travel to other states or generally outside of my small zone isn't possible right now. I'll probably study Jodo Shu pureland instead as I feel a affinity to its founder and Amithabha Buddha along with the nembustu. I finished the heart treasure of the enlightened ones in two days and I loved the teachings, but I recognize that without a guru in this tradition I really can't get any were. I want to thank you again for your response and hope you know peace and are free from suffering.
You are more than welcome! You know, the really important point is that one is following a path which leads to Buddhahood and the pureland tradition is just fine.

All the best
Karma Yeshe

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saraswati
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by saraswati » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:57 am

There are several online programs which attempt to give a gradual and complete introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and which facilitate a connection with a comunity - these may suit you. I did a few units on the course from the FPMT, it is all very well thought out. I am currently following the Tara Triple Excellence programme supported by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche - the developers are putting a lot of emphasis on having videos that can help develop practice. Maybe worth looking into?
Let yourself become that space that welcomes any experience without judgement.
- Tsoknyi Rinpoche

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:38 pm

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:Hello all,

I had a few questions and wanted to know if anyone could give me some sound advice on what to do as I'm kinda at a loss. Ive started to read
"The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action: A Discourse Virtuous in the Beginning, Middle, and End
by Patrul Rinpoche" and "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment by Pabongka Rinpoche and while im learning a lot and practicing the mani mantra all the time with chenrezi meditation while cultivating bodichitta.I realize I'm at a great loss not having a guru and any progress past these practices will be nonexistent and while Ive come to terms with that fact due to personal reasons out of my control. i was wondering what other practices could i do to gain a further understanding of the path?

also when it come to the dorje and bell is it possible to use these instruments without initiation or is one needed. I'm mainly talking about the hand mundras done for offerings at a home shrine. Ive seen video of this being explained to people, but i didn't know if it was proper to do so without a guru. lastly are there any books that are highly recommended on explaining emptiness any help would be really appreciated. i hope all are free from suffering and know peace, and thanks again.
Don't be dissuaded by what people may say to you regarding a teacher, a teacher is of course of utmost importance, but this can't prevent you for doing many practices. Such as recite the mani mantra, cultivate bodhicitta, follow the precepts, accumulate merit and make aspirational prayers, that you can even compose yourself. As some people said, there are many good online programs which can give a sound introduction not only to buddhism but to vajrayana too! Some well respected and loved teachers such as Garchen Rinpoche and Chogyal Namkhai Norbu have been giving teachings and empowerments online for years!

So don't be worried, focus on the path, create as much merit as you can, try to purify negativities that may prevent you from attaining you goals and make aspirations and dedications for finding better conditions to practice! There are tons of practices for all this given in the sutras, and many good websites with them such as this one : http://www.fpmt-osel.org/meditate/index.htm .

But remember that Vajrayana proper may only begin with a proper introduction from a qualified teacher. So make all efforts that you can to reach a proper one!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

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Karma_Yeshe
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Karma_Yeshe » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:21 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Don't be dissuaded by what people may say to you regarding a teacher, a teacher is of course of utmost importance, but this can't prevent you for doing many practices. Such as recite the mani mantra, cultivate bodhicitta, follow the precepts, accumulate merit and make aspirational prayers, that you can even compose yourself. As some people said, there are many good online programs which can give a sound introduction not only to buddhism but to vajrayana too! Some well respected and loved teachers such as Garchen Rinpoche and Chogyal Namkhai Norbu have been giving teachings and empowerments online for years!
Please, let's not start yet again the discussion about online/recorded empowerments.

BuddhaFollower
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:08 pm

Get transmission for Dudjom Tröma Nagmo.

It is the ultimate cycle since it has everything:

Chöd
Ngagpa hair empowerment
Creation stage
Completion stage
Trekcho
Tho***
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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ClearblueSky
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by ClearblueSky » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:15 am

BuddhaFollower wrote:Get transmission for Dudjom Tröma Nagmo.

It is the ultimate cycle since it has everything:

Chöd
Ngagpa hair empowerment
Creation stage
Completion stage
Trekcho
Tho***
This doesn't address the OP's question whatsoever. And so you know, there are multiple other cycles that have all those things (minus that particular hair empowerment of course).

Best of luck Mantra Mongoose, with Jodo Shinshu or whatever path your take!

BuddhaFollower
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:48 am

ClearblueSky wrote:And so you know, there are multiple other cycles that have all those things (minus that particular hair empowerment of course).
Like what?
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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heart
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by heart » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:40 am

BuddhaFollower wrote:
ClearblueSky wrote:And so you know, there are multiple other cycles that have all those things (minus that particular hair empowerment of course).
Like what?
Like all Nyingtik cycles and many other cycles as well.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:40 pm

Karma_Yeshe wrote:
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
Don't be dissuaded by what people may say to you regarding a teacher, a teacher is of course of utmost importance, but this can't prevent you for doing many practices. Such as recite the mani mantra, cultivate bodhicitta, follow the precepts, accumulate merit and make aspirational prayers, that you can even compose yourself. As some people said, there are many good online programs which can give a sound introduction not only to buddhism but to vajrayana too! Some well respected and loved teachers such as Garchen Rinpoche and Chogyal Namkhai Norbu have been giving teachings and empowerments online for years!
Please, let's not start yet again the discussion about online/recorded empowerments.
Where are you seegin this popping up again? I'm just suggesting to him existence of this possibility if he/she is willing.
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

BuddhaFollower
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:33 pm

heart wrote:
BuddhaFollower wrote:
ClearblueSky wrote:And so you know, there are multiple other cycles that have all those things (minus that particular hair empowerment of course).
Like what?
Like all Nyingtik cycles and many other cycles as well.

/magnus
Dudjom Tröma Nagmo contains everything, which is unusual:

http://www.vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p19450
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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ClearblueSky
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by ClearblueSky » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:18 pm

BuddhaFollower wrote:
heart wrote:
BuddhaFollower wrote:
Like what?
Like all Nyingtik cycles and many other cycles as well.

/magnus
Dudjom Tröma Nagmo contains everything, which is unusual:

http://www.vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p19450
I'm not sure what you're trying to show us. Dudjom Tersar, Longchen Nyingthig, Zinpa Rangdrol, etc: Contain everything from ngondro, creation/completion all the way through togal, and chod. Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I won't discuss it more here, but feel free to start another one.

BuddhaFollower
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:54 pm

ClearblueSky wrote:
BuddhaFollower wrote:
heart wrote:
Like all Nyingtik cycles and many other cycles as well.

/magnus
Dudjom Tröma Nagmo contains everything, which is unusual:

http://www.vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p19450
I'm not sure what you're trying to show us. Dudjom Tersar, Longchen Nyingthig, Zinpa Rangdrol, etc: Contain everything from ngondro, creation/completion all the way through togal, and chod. Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I won't discuss it more here, but feel free to start another one.
Read all Malcolm's comments in that thread.
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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heart
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by heart » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:10 pm

BuddhaFollower wrote:
ClearblueSky wrote:
BuddhaFollower wrote:
Dudjom Tröma Nagmo contains everything, which is unusual:

http://www.vajracakra.com/viewtopic.php ... =10#p19450
I'm not sure what you're trying to show us. Dudjom Tersar, Longchen Nyingthig, Zinpa Rangdrol, etc: Contain everything from ngondro, creation/completion all the way through togal, and chod. Since I don't want to hijack this thread, I won't discuss it more here, but feel free to start another one.
Read all Malcolm's comments in that thread.
As always you are reading to much in to Malcolm's words.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by BuddhaFollower » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:27 pm

Longchen Nyingthig Chöd doesn't have thogal.
Just recognize the conceptualizing mind.

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heart
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by heart » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:32 am

BuddhaFollower wrote:Longchen Nyingthig Chöd doesn't have thogal.
Longchen Nyingthig got thögal and chod.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Konchog1
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Re: Questions from a newbie on Tibetan Buddhism

Post by Konchog1 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:03 am

The Mantra Mongoose wrote:Hello all,

I had a few questions and wanted to know if anyone could give me some sound advice on what to do as I'm kinda at a loss. Ive started to read
"The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones: The Practice of View, Meditation, and Action: A Discourse Virtuous in the Beginning, Middle, and End
by Patrul Rinpoche" and "Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand: A Concise Discourse on the Path to Enlightenment by Pabongka Rinpoche and while im learning a lot and practicing the mani mantra all the time with chenrezi meditation while cultivating bodichitta.I realize I'm at a great loss not having a guru and any progress past these practices will be nonexistent and while Ive come to terms with that fact due to personal reasons out of my control. i was wondering what other practices could i do to gain a further understanding of the path?

also when it come to the dorje and bell is it possible to use these instruments without initiation or is one needed. I'm mainly talking about the hand mundras done for offerings at a home shrine. Ive seen video of this being explained to people, but i didn't know if it was proper to do so without a guru. lastly are there any books that are highly recommended on explaining emptiness any help would be really appreciated. i hope all are free from suffering and know peace, and thanks again.
With something as complex as Buddhism, I find it important to be mindful of the essentials.
“No Buddha of the three times became a Buddha without developing bodhicitta. A Buddha not needing bodhicitta is something unheard of. Therefore, someone without any bodhicitta will not receive the Buddhahood they want; they haven’t a hope of achieving Buddhahood if they lack this. So you must take it seriously.”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 575

“When you experience the conscious desire to achieve Buddhahood for the sake of sentient beings, you have developed a bodhicitta that resembles the outer layer of a piece of sugar cane. But if, in addition, you experience an involuntary desire to achieve full enlightenment for the sake of any sentient being you see, you have developed true bodhicitta in your mind-stream. You have entered the Mahayana path of accumulation and begun the three great aeons of amassing [the two collections]. You will acquire infinite qualities and gain the names ‘Child of the Victorious Ones’ and ‘Bodhisattva’. When you practice after achieving this insight, you are sure to be enlightened quickly even if you do not resort to the tantric path.’”
-Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand pg. 586-587

“Initially, you should definitely set aside any of the so-called profound oral instructions of Mantra and so forth and elicit an experience of renunciation and bodhichitta. Develop those and then all your virtues will effortlessly become a cause of liberation and omniscience. Therefore, not being content with meditating in stages on these points is due to having absolutely no understanding of the essential points of the path.”
-Lama Tsongkhapa, quoted in The Essence of the Vast and Profound pg. 375
The most important thing is Bodhicitta. Full stop. You are on the right path.

Hopefully others can provide the quotes, but Lama Tsongkhapa, Padmasambhava, and Milarepa among others said we can take them as Gurus if we don't have in person Gurus yet. So don't worry.

You don't need a vajra and bell until Tantra.

The best books I have read on Emptiness is "Emptiness" by Geshe Tashi Tsering and the harder but more profound "Harmony of Emptiness and Dependent-Arising" by Ven. Lobsang Gyatso.
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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