The DJKR Topic

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:55 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:45 pm
I don't accept your premise of "the guru yoga,"
...or DJKR’s either evidently.
I don't accept that the abuse and exploitation of women can be justified. It does not correspond to the Dharma.

Sakya Pandita notes:
If he does not teach according to the words of the Buddha,
even if he is one’s guru, one should remain indifferent.
Arguing that students need to just "suck it up" when their teacher abuses them because it is a part of "guru yoga" is totally wrong.

Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm

Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:07 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
this may be a topic for a different thread, but here goes anyway.

bracketing the question of culture for a moment: is it possible that you and Malcolm have a different understanding of guru yoga at the level of doctrine or instructions for practice that may be impacting this conversation?

honestly, I don't understand how guru yoga is relevant to this topic. that's why I'm asking.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:12 pm

DGA wrote: this may be a topic for a different thread, but here goes anyway.

bracketing the question of culture for a moment: is it possible that you and Malcolm have a different understanding of guru yoga at the level of doctrine or instructions for practice that may be impacting this conversation?
I doubt it. Malcolm knows his stuff. He just doesn’t buy it.
honestly, I don't understand how guru yoga is relevant to this topic. that's why I'm asking.
DJKR’s recent sarcasm post was preceded by a long post about the Sogyal R situation, which relates to the guru yoga.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by DGA » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:15 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:12 pm
honestly, I don't understand how guru yoga is relevant to this topic. that's why I'm asking.
DJKR’s recent sarcasm post was preceded by a long post about the Sogyal R situation, which relates to the guru yoga.
Thanks for the reply.

Please understand: I'm dense sometimes. How does the situation around Sogyal Lakar relate to the practice of guru yoga? Help me connect the dots here.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:21 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
Again with cultural relativism.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Vasana » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:29 pm

On Guru Yoga
smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:24 pm
A case could be made that, due to your cultural assumptions, you do not even understand it [...]
So with that logic, would you say there have never been any westerners or people outside of Asia who have understood guru yoga due to the unavoidable cultural assumptions that 'outsiders' carry?

What about when the guru explains the escence of Guru Yoga to be independent of culture (despite it's transmission and outer presentations obviously being geographically tied with various cultures).

Do you think the escence of dharma and that of the Guru is rooted in cultural marks and signs? If not then why would guru yoga be? Do you think the the 4 reliances* somehow exclude culture and the aesthetic presentation of dharma? It occasionally sounds like you would prefer to practice culture-yoga rather than guru-yoga. It also seems like you don't clearly distinguish the relationship betwen the outer-guru yoga and the state of guru-yoga that the method is taught for in the first place.

*
The four reliances (Skt. catuḥpratisaraṇa; Tib. རྟོན་པ་བཞི་, tönpa shyi, Wyl. rton pa bzhi) —

Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality (gang zag la mi rton/ chos la rton);
Rely on the meaning, not just on the words (tshig la mi rton/ don la rton);
Rely on the real meaning, not on the provisional one (drang don la mi rton/ nges don la rton);
Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgemental mind (rnam shes la mi rton/ ye shes la rton).
"The changing cycle of joy and sorrow, like the changing seasons –
As a time of suffering will surely come around to me,
May I truly practice the sublime teachings."
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:58 pm

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:12 pm
DGA wrote: this may be a topic for a different thread, but here goes anyway.

bracketing the question of culture for a moment: is it possible that you and Malcolm have a different understanding of guru yoga at the level of doctrine or instructions for practice that may be impacting this conversation?
I doubt it. Malcolm knows his stuff. He just doesn’t buy it.
I need help here as well. What exactly Malcolm knows but fails to buy?

I am genuinely curious. It appears to me that your understanding of GY is actually very far removed from Malcolm's (or those of us who practice Dzogchen or are Nyingma) -- and I wonder to what extent it is due to the differences between various Vajrayana traditions.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:46 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:21 pm
smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
Again with cultural relativism.
From Wiki:
Cultural relativism is the idea that a person's beliefs, values, and practices should be understood based on that person's own culture, rather than judged against the criteria of another.
So I am being the exact opposite of culturally relativistic. I am evaluating you beliefs, values and practices based on the criteria of Dharma, not western liberal values. This being a website that is dedicated to discussing Mahayana and Vajrayana Dharma that is completely appropriate. All of us at DW see citations as more credible than opinions.
Last edited by smcj on Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:03 am

Vasana wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:29 pm
On Guru Yoga
smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:24 pm
A case could be made that, due to your cultural assumptions, you do not even understand it [...]
So with that logic, would you say there have never been any westerners or people outside of Asia who have understood guru yoga due to the unavoidable cultural assumptions that 'outsiders' carry?
Who said they were unavoidable?
What about when the guru explains the escence of Guru Yoga to be independent of culture (despite it's transmission and outer presentations obviously being geographically tied with various cultures).
A closed mind acts as a prophylactic to Dharma regardless of how or why it is closed. (In traditional texts it is called the fault of the inverted pot.) It just so happens that the prejudices that come with the rejection of Christianity, which is pervasive in this culture and on this website, automatically creates that kind of closed mind. Rejecting Christianity is one thing. Rejecting everything that remotely reminds you of Christianity is a completely different situation.
It also seems like you don't clearly distinguish the relationship betwen the outer-guru yoga and the state of guru-yoga that the method is taught for in the first place.
I think they are sequential, which is how I have been taught. You master it step-by-step. This is completely different than a superficial and legalistic understanding that thinks you can check off a box next to "I subscribe to the idea of the state of guru yoga" and have it be anything meaningful.

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All of Buddhism is premised on the idea that Buddhas see things how they actually are, and sentient beings see things in a mistake, deluded way. That mistaken way of seeing things is the source of the problem of suffering and rebirth. Thus the ultimate source of all danger is the status quo, your own deluded mind, and the source of safety is Dharma. So "Taking Refuge" means acknowledging our present form of awareness as the danger, and relying instead on the Dharma as the path to freedom.

Right? Anybody not on board with that?
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by chimechodra » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:47 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:23 pm
Suffice it here to say that DJKR was trying to make a point with his initial FB post regarding Sogyal R.

What exactly, smcj, do you feel is the point that DJKR is trying to make? Right now we're dancing around words and explanations, and I think we're experiencing a serious mis-step in communication. Malcolm rejects DJKR's "point," and you say that there's some sort of "point" that DJKR was trying to make that is worth listening to, and that as Westerners we're having a hard time accepting. Could you please be more clear and elucidate precisely what you feel that point is? Until you do, I'm afraid this dance of misunderstanding will continue. DJKR's post was very large, and in various other threads people have agreed and disagreed with various points. To try to condense it all into one nebulous "point" without specifically saying what you feel that point is, for all we know Malcolm is disagreeing with one section of that post, and you're agreeing with a totally different section.


As far as my opinion goes, if a "lama" sexually abuses his or her student and creates serious suffering in them, they are not a qualified master, and they are not a valid source of guru yoga or blessings. Trying to draw blessings from them is like trying to draw water from an iron beam. I think everyone here is more or less in agreement on this point. What do you feel DJKR has to offer regarding this perspective that we are not seeing?

If I had to make my best guess, I feel like you are trying to say that, from an ultimate perspective, there is no bad or good, no negative acts and positive acts, and that in order to enter an authentic relationship with a guru, we have to put aside all our ideas of bad and good, because while we still maintain these dualities, constantly judging and criticizing, we're trapped and will continue to be trapped in the relative mode of thinking. Then, you are trying to point out that, because most of us have gurus, since we're sitting here criticizing a lama for acting negatively, we're pretty terrible practitioners still caught up in judgment rather than trying to transcend all relative points of view. We should be spending our time purifying our vision and seeing everything as the mandala/spontaneously liberated/etc. rather than judging and criticizing. Is that accurate?

If that is indeed your point, the Dalai Lama speaks pretty clearly about that here: https://info-buddhism.com/Questioning_A ... _Lama.html

I can't think of someone more qualified to speak on the topic than His Holiness, and he is most certainly not a Westerner rejecting Christianity.

Not to mention, on numerous times I've had some of my (Tibetan) lamas tell us very directly that we Westerners are very gullible and will often just take anyone as a teacher, then mistakenly think that we should just accept everything the lama does due to devotion and pure vision. They then went on to say westerners need to think more critically.
Last edited by chimechodra on Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:58 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:46 pm
So I am being the exact opposite of culturally relativistic. I am evaluating you beliefs, values and practices based on the criteria of Dharma, not western liberal values.
You have confused Tibetan culture with the Dharma. So in fact you are engaging in cultural relativism. Otherwise, according to you, abusing women is consistent with the Dharma.
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—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by PeterC » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:28 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
I don't think so. His arguments are scriptural, not cultural.

For the Tilopa/naropa story to be relevant as a justification of Sogyal's behavior, (1) there needs to be a guru/student relationship, which there can only be if the guru has the qualities and qualifications set out in many texts on the topic. Sogyal clearly does not. If an actor with no knowledge of the dharma stands in for a Lama in an empowerment, you do not have samaya with the actor. Sogyal here is not better than an actor and potentially a lot more harmful. No qualifications, no samaya, no guru yoga: the premise simply doesn't exist.

(2) the tradition of crazy gurus in pretty much every life story you can find involves the guru living and acting in an unconventional way, usually one despised by society. Sogyal lived in a way that has become very conventional in our society. He suffered no indignity or opprobrium as a guru - indeed he has basked in adulation - whereas Tilopa et al were typically outcasts.

(At this point someone usually cites Trungpa, without considering that many things Trungpa did were by the standards of his day unconventional. Even by the standards of the counterculture of his day - eg wearing military uniforms and setting up in the middle of nowhere rather than, say, Berkeley.)

(3) this method of teaching is, again judging from the stories, applied to very advanced students to help them overcome specific issues, and is very individualized, and in the stories helped people achieve realization quickly. Sogyal asked very inexperienced practitioners to show complete subservience. His abuse seemed tailored only by whether he wanted to sleep with the student or not. And I'm waiting to hear of all the greatly realized practitioners that Sogyal's methods produced - whereas by contrast, if you meet many of the older students of Trungpa, it's clear that he did get results.

So I think you're doing a disservice to Malcolm by reducing his objections to mere cultural values. Anyone who judged the Sogyal debacle by the standards of the sutras, shastras and biographies of great masters would come to the same conclusion. It is therefore a very reasonably question why certain Tibetan teachers cannot bring themselves to say that openly. The 'cultural values' critique should be pointed at them.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Konchog1 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:14 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:55 pm
I don't accept that the abuse and exploitation of women can be justified. It does not correspond to the Dharma.
The master Asvaghosa says:

In that case, inappropriate times are when
A woman is menstruating, pregnant
Has an infant, is unwilling,
Is in pain or is unhappy and the like,
Or is maintaining the eight-part one day vow

-Asvaghosa 's Dasakusala-karma-patha-nirdesa P5678: 232.3.7 as quoted in the Lam Rim Chen Mo eng v01 pg. 221 tib pg. 168
The Dharma's point of view is very modern actually.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:23 am

At this point I again believe further discussion of this subject is best handled by a lama with whom one has confidence.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:44 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:21 pm
smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm
Using the Tilopa/Naropa story to justify this is equally wrong.
...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
Again with cultural relativism.
Problem here Malcolm is that you are assuming that your position is an absolute, when in fact it is not. It is a view too. In the current situation it seems to be the correct view, but it is still a view nonetheless and a view based on your (personal) dominant cultural values.

The same applies to smcj, of course.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Lingpupa » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:14 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:23 pm
Try to figure out what his cultural assumptions are that make the guru-yoga non-objectionable to him whereas it is objectionable to us.
Guru yoga is not objectionable to privileged-white-educated-European-Guardian-reading-male little me. The two-dimensional denatured caricature of Mickey Mouse guru yoga offered by "where-are-my-women" Sogyal Lakar or "beating-is-a-means-to-increase-the-student's-wisdom-and-realization" Orgyen Tobgyal, however, is.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:29 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:44 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:21 pm
smcj wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:00 pm

...according to your perspective, which is based on your cultural values, which you seem to regard as definitive.
Again with cultural relativism.
Problem here Malcolm is that you are assuming that your position is an absolute, when in fact it is not. It is a view too. In the current situation it seems to be the correct view, but it is still a view nonetheless and a view based on your (personal) dominant cultural values.

The same applies to smcj, of course.
People's right to free from harassment and exploitation is absolute. The only question is how much that right is respected, or even recognized (for whatever reason) by this or that teacher.
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The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:44 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:29 pm
People's right to free from harassment and exploitation is absolute.
If it was absolute then we wouldn't be discussing incidences of harassment and exploitation.
"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

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:53 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:29 pm
People's right to free from harassment and exploitation is absolute.
If it was absolute then we wouldn't be discussing incidences of harassment and exploitation.

Sure we would, it is the basis for the discussion, actually. If this right did not exist, there would be no basis for discussion at all.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.


—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

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