Guru Yoga thought experiment

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Stewart
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Stewart » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:12 pm

MiphamFan wrote:I don't know about others but my gurus (not only ChNN, quite a few other Nyingma teachers too) never said to practise guru yoga on them in their ordinary selves.
It's not common, but there are Guru Sadhanas where the Guru is visualised in their ordinary form. I practice one everyday.
s.

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kirtu
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by kirtu » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:15 pm

smcj wrote:
If a person attained the 1st buhmi, they would appear to the 100% enlightened all the time and one would never see an actual defilement (people could mistake her/his actions though and impute defilements where there really aren't any).
Source?
******
This is from a statement that Malcolm made, maybe back on eSangha. However I have discussed this with my teachers and it is implied in sutra, although I have no direct idea of the general tantra take on this. A person who attained the Path of Seeing, the 1st buhmi, would appear to a person not on the buhmis to be an actual Buddha even though the person on the 1st buhmi still would have defilements and things to eliminate. At least in the sutra view these are all internal and wouldn't manifest in some strong way (ie.e they would be incapable of a serious breach of the precepts).
smcj wrote:
smcj wrote:So does that meant that the only way the Vajrayana can be learned is from a perfectly enlightened Buddha?
Kirt wrote:This is dog tooth upaya that can in fact liberate us. In Vajrayana if you view your teacher as a Buddha then you get the blessings of a Buddha. If you view your teacher as an ordinary person you get the blessings of an ordinary person (some of Shakyamuni Buddha's students fell into this category).
Right. But if you see the dog tooth as a dog tooth, you get the blessings of a dog tooth.
Guru Yoga is a method to rapidly mature us (BTW what we are discussing here is pure perception of the guru and not guru yoga per se).. So we have to train in seeing our guru as a Buddha. And right here is where HHDL, Mingyur Rinpoche and DJKR's comments come in. But to be honest, even Sogyal isn't a dog's tooth. He has helped many people through his activities even though he is a possibly fallen tulku and considering Ken Holmes comments possibly a fallen tulku then entire time he was teaching in the West. So his activity is mixed. Since he wasn't the best guru and has not disgraced his organization and Buddhism, this is a black eye and a warning to teachers (primarily teachers in several lineages have been giving Buddhism a black eye for some time now).

smcj wrote:
Kirt wrote:So what do we actually have? We have some charismatic people upon whom students project but who also teach at least adequately, keep their precepts well, are good practitioners and are really serious with living lives completely infused with Bodhicitta.
I agree with that assessment. That being the case, how do we actually, honestly, sanely understand these well intentioned but only competent teachers to be Buddhas? Or do we settle for getting the blessings of nice guys?
They are the actual emissaries or representatives of Buddha manifesting in front of us. These representatives of Buddha can be on many different levels from inanimate to animate and from the beginning of the Path of Accumulation to Perfect Buddhahood. But they manifest to meet our needs. If the merely well-intentioned but competent teachers are free of most faults we can train to see them as Buddhas, esp. if they hold pure Bodhicitta (primarily if they hold pure Bodhicitta and then if they have some teaching to impart to us, that's ice cream on top). So we can recognize that they are still on the lower paths but due to dependant arising we have been blessed to meet the teachings and then have to do the work to liberate ourselves and others.
smcj wrote:Or do we take the entire idea of "blessings" as merely poetic convention? (Some here at DW do.)
It's not poetic convention.
smcj wrote:Is there even any point in trying to bypass our own critical mind?
Many people are too critical and as a result can't take teaching. Some people in some situations (like the Rigpa "leadership" and other organizations) are not sufficiently critical. We have to check the guru carefully. If there is a really serious problem after we have taken a guru we walk away without badmouthing the guru. If the situation warrants we warn others. This is the unfortunate situation that we are in with Rigpa. It happened before publicly 20 years ago (and then over time more came out) and now we have a damaging situation with now several people directly harms. Sogyal was enabled, but one of the issues is that we have not been trained to identify fallen tulkus. BTW - this doesn't mean he's necessarily fallen forever. He really could fix his character flaws. OTOH, the harm done to his victims can't be erased although they can learn from it. But they will have to deal with the fact that their guru, a person who is supposed to be a representative of Buddha, abused and harmed them.

Kirt
Last edited by kirtu on Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:19 pm

Stewart wrote:
MiphamFan wrote:I don't know about others but my gurus (not only ChNN, quite a few other Nyingma teachers too) never said to practise guru yoga on them in their ordinary selves.
It's not common, but there are Guru Sadhanas where the Guru is visualised in their ordinary form. I practice one everyday.
Khenpo Ngachung makes an interesting remark concerning this point in his commentary on the guru yoga section of WoMPT:
There are two traditions for accomplishing the lama's level with devotion in this way: one in which the teacher's appearance is transformed and another in which it is not. In the tradition of the Omniscient Teacher there is no transformation. Other teachers of the past say that it depends on different individuals or faculties: extraordinary practitioners do not need to transform the teacher's appearance; for the rest, if they do not begin by visualizing the teacher differently they will not be able to see him as a Buddha, and this is why it is important to transform the way the teacher appears.
A footnote explains that "the Omniscient Teacher" most likely refers to Jigme Lingpa, not Longchenpa, in this context.
Last edited by dzogchungpa on Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by kirtu » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:22 pm

heart wrote:
Anonymous X wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I think this passage from Mingyur Rinpoche's recent statement is worth keeping in mind:
Do you really believe that?
Pure perception is standard in the Nyingma tradition.

/magnus
Pure perception is standard in all the Tibetan lineages.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:32 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:
MiphamFan wrote:I don't know about others but my gurus (not only ChNN, quite a few other Nyingma teachers too) never said to practise guru yoga on them in their ordinary selves.
It's not common, but there are Guru Sadhanas where the Guru is visualised in their ordinary form. I practice one everyday.
Khenpo Ngachung makes an interesting remark concerning this point in his commentary on the guru yoga section of WoMPT:
There are two traditions for accomplishing the lama's level with devotion in this way: one in which the teacher's appearance is transformed and another in which it is not. In the tradition of the Omniscient Teacher there is no transformation. Other teachers of the past say that it depends on different individuals or faculties: extraordinary practitioners do not need to transform the teacher's appearance; for the rest, if they do not begin by visualizing the teacher differently they will not be able to see him as a Buddha, and this is why it is important to transform the way the teacher appears.
A footnote explains that "the Omniscient Teacher" most likely refers to Jigme Lingpa, not Longchenpa, in this context.
If it's not too much trouble, can you share which page this was on? I assume you're using the Padmakara translation?

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:36 pm

Anonymous X wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Anonymous X wrote: Do you really believe that?
Yes, I really believe that this passage from MR's recent statement is worth keeping in mind, although I feel obligated to point out that belief is useless. :smile:
Why would you need to keep this in mind? It gets kind of crowded in there. :D
Because it is the samaya (vow) for Vajrayana practitioners...

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:49 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:
It's not common, but there are Guru Sadhanas where the Guru is visualised in their ordinary form. I practice one everyday.
Khenpo Ngachung makes an interesting remark concerning this point in his commentary on the guru yoga section of WoMPT:
There are two traditions for accomplishing the lama's level with devotion in this way: one in which the teacher's appearance is transformed and another in which it is not. In the tradition of the Omniscient Teacher there is no transformation. Other teachers of the past say that it depends on different individuals or faculties: extraordinary practitioners do not need to transform the teacher's appearance; for the rest, if they do not begin by visualizing the teacher differently they will not be able to see him as a Buddha, and this is why it is important to transform the way the teacher appears.
A footnote explains that "the Omniscient Teacher" most likely refers to Jigme Lingpa, not Longchenpa, in this context.
If it's not too much trouble, can you share which page this was on? I assume you're using the Padmakara translation?
Pp. 265-6 of the Padmakara translation.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Stewart
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Stewart » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:57 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:
MiphamFan wrote:I don't know about others but my gurus (not only ChNN, quite a few other Nyingma teachers too) never said to practise guru yoga on them in their ordinary selves.
It's not common, but there are Guru Sadhanas where the Guru is visualised in their ordinary form. I practice one everyday.
Khenpo Ngachung makes an interesting remark concerning this point in his commentary on the guru yoga section of WoMPT:
There are two traditions for accomplishing the lama's level with devotion in this way: one in which the teacher's appearance is transformed and another in which it is not. In the tradition of the Omniscient Teacher there is no transformation. Other teachers of the past say that it depends on different individuals or faculties: extraordinary practitioners do not need to transform the teacher's appearance; for the rest, if they do not begin by visualizing the teacher differently they will not be able to see him as a Buddha, and this is why it is important to transform the way the teacher appears.
A footnote explains that "the Omniscient Teacher" most likely refers to Jigme Lingpa, not Longchenpa, in this context.
The Guru Sadhana (and it's commentary) I practice makes it clear the Guru is in his ordinary form. Also the oral instructions I have received on it confirm this, so there's no doubt it's how it's intended to be practiced.

Obviously, there are other unique details to the practice which completes the Sadhana, which I'm not going into here. There is a book somewhere where your man, DJKR, comments specifically on this Sadhana and it's uncommon visualisation of the Guru.
s.

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:00 pm

Stewart wrote:The Guru Sadhana (and it's commentary) I practice makes it clear the Guru is in his ordinary form. Also the oral instructions I have received on it confirm this, so there's no doubt it's how it's intended to be practiced.

Obviously, there are other unique details to the practice which completes the Sadhana, which I'm not going into here. There is a book somewhere where your man, DJKR, comments specifically on this Sadhana and it's uncommon visualisation of the Guru.
Yes, I think I know what you are referring to. Just for the record, I wasn't trying to cast doubt on what you were saying, I just remembered reading that passage and I thought people would be interested to see it.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Stewart
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Stewart » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:14 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:The Guru Sadhana (and it's commentary) I practice makes it clear the Guru is in his ordinary form. Also the oral instructions I have received on it confirm this, so there's no doubt it's how it's intended to be practiced.

Obviously, there are other unique details to the practice which completes the Sadhana, which I'm not going into here. There is a book somewhere where your man, DJKR, comments specifically on this Sadhana and it's uncommon visualisation of the Guru.
Yes, I think I know what you are referring to. Just for the record, I wasn't trying to cast doubt on what you were saying, I just remembered reading that passage and I thought people would be interested to see it.
No worries, I know you weren't. :cheers:

I actually can't find the quote from DJKR, do you remember where it was? There is a great quote in 'Quintessential Dzogchen' by Adeu Rinpoche regarding the Sadhana.
s.

smcj
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by smcj » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:21 pm

kirtu wrote:
smcj wrote:
If a person attained the 1st buhmi, they would appear to the 100% enlightened all the time and one would never see an actual defilement (people could mistake her/his actions though and impute defilements where there really aren't any).
Source?
******
This is from a statement that Malcolm made, maybe back on eSangha. However I have discussed this with my teachers and it is implied in sutra, although I have no direct idea of the general tantra take on this. A person who attained the Path of Seeing, the 1st buhmi, would appear to a person not on the buhmis to be an actual Buddha even though the person on the 1st buhmi still would have defilements and things to eliminate. At least in the sutra view these are all internal and wouldn't manifest in some strong way (ie.e they would be incapable of a serious breach of the precepts).
smcj wrote:
smcj wrote:So does that meant that the only way the Vajrayana can be learned is from a perfectly enlightened Buddha?
Kirt wrote:This is dog tooth upaya that can in fact liberate us. In Vajrayana if you view your teacher as a Buddha then you get the blessings of a Buddha. If you view your teacher as an ordinary person you get the blessings of an ordinary person (some of Shakyamuni Buddha's students fell into this category).
Right. But if you see the dog tooth as a dog tooth, you get the blessings of a dog tooth.
Guru Yoga is a method to rapidly mature us (BTW what we are discussing here is pure perception of the guru and not guru yoga per se).. So we have to train in seeing our guru as a Buddha. And right here is where HHDL, Mingyur Rinpoche and DJKR's comments come in. But to be honest, even Sogyal isn't a dog's tooth. He has helped many people through his activities even though he is a possibly fallen tulku and considering Ken Holmes comments possibly a fallen tulku then entire time he was teaching in the West. So his activity is mixed. Since he wasn't the best guru and has not disgraced his organization and Buddhism, this is a black eye and a warning to teachers (primarily teachers in several lineages have been giving Buddhism a black eye for some time now).

smcj wrote:
Kirt wrote:So what do we actually have? We have some charismatic people upon whom students project but who also teach at least adequately, keep their precepts well, are good practitioners and are really serious with living lives completely infused with Bodhicitta.
I agree with that assessment. That being the case, how do we actually, honestly, sanely understand these well intentioned but only competent teachers to be Buddhas? Or do we settle for getting the blessings of nice guys?
They are the actual emissaries or representatives of Buddha manifesting in front of us. These representatives of Buddha can be on many different levels from inanimate to animate and from the beginning of the Path of Accumulation to Perfect Buddhahood. But they manifest to meet our needs. If the merely well-intentioned but competent teachers are free of most faults we can train to see them as Buddhas, esp. if they hold pure Bodhicitta (primarily if they hold pure Bodhicitta and then if they have some teaching to impart to us, that's ice cream on top). So we can recognize that they are still on the lower paths but due to dependant arising we have been blessed to meet the teachings and then have to do the work to liberate ourselves and others.
smcj wrote:Or do we take the entire idea of "blessings" as merely poetic convention? (Some here at DW do.)
It's not poetic convention.
smcj wrote:Is there even any point in trying to bypass our own critical mind?
Many people are too critical and as a result can't take teaching. Some people in some situations (like the Rigpa "leadership" and other organizations) are not sufficiently critical. We have to check the guru carefully. If there is a really serious problem after we have taken a guru we walk away without badmouthing the guru. If the situation warrants we warn others. This is the unfortunate situation that we are in with Rigpa. It happened before publicly 20 years ago (and then over time more came out) and now we have a damaging situation with now several people directly harms. Sogyal was enabled, but one of the issues is that we have not been trained to identify fallen tulkus. BTW - this doesn't mean he's necessarily fallen forever. He really could fix his character flaws. OTOH, the harm done to his victims can't be erased although they can learn from it. But they will have to deal with the fact that their guru, a person who is supposed to be a representative of Buddha, abused and harmed them.

Kirt
Nice posting. You've obviously given the subject some thought.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by kirtu » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:35 pm

kirtu wrote:Since he wasn't the best guru and has not disgraced his organization and Buddhism, this is a black eye and a warning to teachers (primarily teachers in several lineages have been giving Buddhism a black eye for some time now).
Bad typo (my eyesight is poor)- the not should not be there - the bold above should read:
Since he wasn't the best guru and has disgraced his organization and Buddhism,
Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:43 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Khenpo Ngachung makes an interesting remark concerning this point in his commentary on the guru yoga section of WoMPT:


A footnote explains that "the Omniscient Teacher" most likely refers to Jigme Lingpa, not Longchenpa, in this context.
If it's not too much trouble, can you share which page this was on? I assume you're using the Padmakara translation?
Pp. 265-6 of the Padmakara translation.
:thanks:

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:44 pm

Stewart wrote:I actually can't find the quote from DJKR, do you remember where it was? There is a great quote in 'Quintessential Dzogchen' by Adeu Rinpoche regarding the Sadhana.
Well, maybe you're thinking of the following passage from this piece by my man:
Now, unless your teacher specifically instructs otherwise, normally one does not visualize the object of refuge, the guru, in his ordinary form. I say this because many of us here have received teachings from the great Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and in his guru yoga he instructs us to visualize him in his ordinary form, as however we have seen him. That’s his instruction and we have to follow that. I’m sure there’s infinite purpose behind it. But generally, in most of the ngöndro instructions, you visualize the guru in the form of Guru Rinpoche or Vajradhara, not in the form of a human being. This too is a pith instruction and there are lots of reasons for it, but they all come down to the same point: recognizing the great purity and equality.
which was also published in "Dzogchen Essentials".
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Stewart
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Stewart » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:06 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:I actually can't find the quote from DJKR, do you remember where it was? There is a great quote in 'Quintessential Dzogchen' by Adeu Rinpoche regarding the Sadhana.
Well, maybe you're thinking of the following passage from this piece by my man:
Now, unless your teacher specifically instructs otherwise, normally one does not visualize the object of refuge, the guru, in his ordinary form. I say this because many of us here have received teachings from the great Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and in his guru yoga he instructs us to visualize him in his ordinary form, as however we have seen him. That’s his instruction and we have to follow that. I’m sure there’s infinite purpose behind it. But generally, in most of the ngöndro instructions, you visualize the guru in the form of Guru Rinpoche or Vajradhara, not in the form of a human being. This too is a pith instruction and there are lots of reasons for it, but they all come down to the same point: recognizing the great purity and equality.
which was also published in "Dzogchen Essentials".
Thanks, embarrassingly...I have that book.

Adeu Rinpoche in "Quintessential Dzogchen";

'Tulku Urgyen's Ultimate Guru Sadhana of Simplicity is the method to realize the Dharmakaya level of Guru Yoga; mingling the Gurus mind and your own mind, it is identical with Ladrup Tigle Gyachen, which is the innermost, unexcelled level of practice in the Nyingthig tradition.'
s.

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Miroku » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:31 pm

This came fresh from DJKR's fb page.
https://www.facebook.com/djkhyentse/pos ... 3325908805
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

smcj
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by smcj » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:31 pm

Miroku wrote:This came fresh from DJKR's fb page.
https://www.facebook.com/djkhyentse/pos ... 3325908805
Ok, well, uh...wow. Harsh.

However HHDL has a different take on it.
https://youtu.be/0wP4rsM7AZQ
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:45 am

kirtu wrote:
heart wrote:
Anonymous X wrote: Do you really believe that?
Pure perception is standard in the Nyingma tradition.

/magnus
Pure perception is standard in all the Tibetan lineages.

Kirt
What is pure perception to you?

smcj
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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by smcj » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:02 am

Anonymous X wrote: What is pure perception to you?
Actually that part of DJKR's FB posting I found very informative:
DJKR wrote:But what is ‘pure perception’? Ultimately, according to the Vajrayana, the practice of pure perception doesn’t mean just seeing the guru as a god, or even as a tantric deity. Although the Vajrayana does famously include techniques for visualizing not only the guru but every being on this planet and in the universe as a deity, the main point of pure perception is to go beyond dualistic perception altogether and realize the union of emptiness and appearance.
To put it simply, pure perception is the highest form of mind training – dag nang byang in Tibetan. Dag means ‘pure’; nang means ‘perception’, and byang means ‘train’ or ‘get used to.’
So, how does pure perception work? As a Vajrayana student, if you look at Sogyal Rinpoche and think he’s overweight, that is an impure perception. To try to correct your impure perception you might then try visualizing him with the body of Tom Cruise, but that is still not pure perception. One of the Vajrayana’s infinite number of skilful methods that are used to deconstruct and dismantle impure perception, is to visualize Sogyal Rinpoche with a horse’s head, a thousand arms and four legs. But even this technique must ultimately be transcended in order fully to realize pure perception.
Basically, while the student’s perception remains impure, the guru they see will be a projection based on their own impure projection, and so it can only ever be imperfect. The only way we can change our impure perception and see the guru as an enlightened being is by training our minds, using the visualization practises provided by the Vajrayana path.
No Vajrayana teaching or qualified Vajrayana teacher would ever expect a student’s perceptions to be completely pure from the moment they step onto the Vajrayana path. This is why the techniques we apply are called ‘training’ – and even the English word ‘training’ implies that mistakes are inevitable. But there’s a very simple way of checking your progress with this practice. In the Vajrayana, you are supposed to see not only the guru but yourself as a deity. So if, having just been taught that you are a deity, you skip lunch and feel hungry, it means your training is not complete. You will only be perfectly trained in pure perception once you have finally actualized the union of appearance and emptiness.
So if a student of Sogyal Rinpoche were to see him floundering in the middle of a lake and based on their impure perception, project onto him the idea that he seems to be drowning, it would probably not be a good idea for that student to think, “Rinpoche is an enlightened being and should be able to walk on water.” A much better thought would be, “This is my impure perception! Rinpoche is manifesting as a drowning man so that I can accumulate the merit of rescuing him.”
As your practise improves, your perception of the guru will no longer be bound or limited by the causes, conditions and effects that once made you think he was drowning. This is the point in your spiritual development when you will truly see the outer guru as the Buddha and will also be able to see your own inner guru.
Until then, when your guru chairs a board meeting and it becomes obvious that he has no clue about an issue, as a prudent member of that board you shouldn’t hesitate to supply him with the information he needs. At the same time, as a Vajrayana student, you must skilfully remind yourself the guru only looks clueless to you because of your own impure perception, and that by appearing to need your assistance the guru is actually giving you the chance to accumulate merit.
We all have habits, and it’s habit that makes impure perception inevitable. The moment we step onto the Vajrayana path, we start breaking ‘samayas’ – which are our commitment to maintaining pure perception. This is why the assumption that all Vajrayana practitioners will make mistakes is built into the Vajrayana path. A practitioner’s path is then to immediately confess, expose and fix any impure perceptions the moment they arise, and to continually aspire to make fewer and fewer mistakes.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Guru Yoga thought experiment

Post by Anonymous X » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:29 am

smcj wrote:
Anonymous X wrote: What is pure perception to you?
Actually that part of DJKR's FB posting I found very informative:
DJKR wrote:But what is ‘pure perception’? Ultimately, according to the Vajrayana, the practice of pure perception doesn’t mean just seeing the guru as a god, or even as a tantric deity. Although the Vajrayana does famously include techniques for visualizing not only the guru but every being on this planet and in the universe as a deity, the main point of pure perception is to go beyond dualistic perception altogether and realize the union of emptiness and appearance.
To put it simply, pure perception is the highest form of mind training – dag nang byang in Tibetan. Dag means ‘pure’; nang means ‘perception’, and byang means ‘train’ or ‘get used to.’
So, how does pure perception work? As a Vajrayana student, if you look at Sogyal Rinpoche and think he’s overweight, that is an impure perception. To try to correct your impure perception you might then try visualizing him with the body of Tom Cruise, but that is still not pure perception. One of the Vajrayana’s infinite number of skilful methods that are used to deconstruct and dismantle impure perception, is to visualize Sogyal Rinpoche with a horse’s head, a thousand arms and four legs. But even this technique must ultimately be transcended in order fully to realize pure perception.
Basically, while the student’s perception remains impure, the guru they see will be a projection based on their own impure projection, and so it can only ever be imperfect. The only way we can change our impure perception and see the guru as an enlightened being is by training our minds, using the visualization practises provided by the Vajrayana path.
No Vajrayana teaching or qualified Vajrayana teacher would ever expect a student’s perceptions to be completely pure from the moment they step onto the Vajrayana path. This is why the techniques we apply are called ‘training’ – and even the English word ‘training’ implies that mistakes are inevitable. But there’s a very simple way of checking your progress with this practice. In the Vajrayana, you are supposed to see not only the guru but yourself as a deity. So if, having just been taught that you are a deity, you skip lunch and feel hungry, it means your training is not complete. You will only be perfectly trained in pure perception once you have finally actualized the union of appearance and emptiness.
So if a student of Sogyal Rinpoche were to see him floundering in the middle of a lake and based on their impure perception, project onto him the idea that he seems to be drowning, it would probably not be a good idea for that student to think, “Rinpoche is an enlightened being and should be able to walk on water.” A much better thought would be, “This is my impure perception! Rinpoche is manifesting as a drowning man so that I can accumulate the merit of rescuing him.”
As your practise improves, your perception of the guru will no longer be bound or limited by the causes, conditions and effects that once made you think he was drowning. This is the point in your spiritual development when you will truly see the outer guru as the Buddha and will also be able to see your own inner guru.
Until then, when your guru chairs a board meeting and it becomes obvious that he has no clue about an issue, as a prudent member of that board you shouldn’t hesitate to supply him with the information he needs. At the same time, as a Vajrayana student, you must skilfully remind yourself the guru only looks clueless to you because of your own impure perception, and that by appearing to need your assistance the guru is actually giving you the chance to accumulate merit.
We all have habits, and it’s habit that makes impure perception inevitable. The moment we step onto the Vajrayana path, we start breaking ‘samayas’ – which are our commitment to maintaining pure perception. This is why the assumption that all Vajrayana practitioners will make mistakes is built into the Vajrayana path. A practitioner’s path is then to immediately confess, expose and fix any impure perceptions the moment they arise, and to continually aspire to make fewer and fewer mistakes.
Thanks for posting this. I think it was Nagarjuna who used the image of the knife being unable to cut itself. To apply this to the idea that perception can purify itself and that it takes time, practice, training, is itself erroneous and never gets to the heart of the matter which is grasping, becoming, and attachment to an idea of 'purity', which is ultimately empty of any reality, substance.

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