The DJKR Topic

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:56 pm

OTOH, if you see someone else being abused M.R. says you can take action to protect others. Although not specifically articulated in Mingyur R's statement, what he says looks to me like the compassion involved in protecting others trumps the samaya with the guru.
https://www.lionsroar.com/treat-everyone-as-the-buddha/
He specifically says it trumps samaya:

However, it is another matter altogether when a teacher is committing serious ethical violations. Leaving a teacher on good terms makes sense when the issue is just a matter of fit between teacher and student. When the issue is people being hurt or laws being broken, the situation is different.

In that case, the violation of ethical norms needs to be addressed. If physical or sexual abuse has occurred, or there is financial impropriety or other breaches of ethics, it is in the best interest of the students, the community, and ultimately the teacher, to address the issues. Above all, if someone is being harmed, the safety of the victim comes first. This is not a Buddhist principle. This is a basic human value and should never be violated.

Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are not teaching tools.

The appropriate response depends on the situation. In some cases, if a teacher has acted inappropriately or harmfully but acknowledges the wrongdoing and commits to avoiding it in the future, then dealing with the matter internally may be adequate. But if there is a long-standing pattern of ethical violations, or if the abuse is extreme, or if the teacher is unwilling to take responsibility, it is appropriate to bring the behavior out into the open.

In these circumstances, it is not a breach of samaya to bring painful information to light. Naming destructive behaviors is a necessary step to protect those who are being harmed or who are in danger of being harmed in the future, and to safeguard the health of the community.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

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dzogchungpa
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by dzogchungpa » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:41 pm
dzogchungpa wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:24 pm

Dudjom Rinpoche actually quotes what appears to be that verse in his ngondro commentary:
Such examination must be carried out before any connection is made through empowerment or teaching. But once one has received an empowerment or teaching, even if one’s teachers have broken their vows by committing all four radical defeats, it is improper to examine them or lose faith, or do anything but regard them as objects of devotion and respect.
This may certainly be his opinion, but I don't agree with his opinion, and there are other opinions in traditional Vajrayāna sources which contradict this claim, opinions which I have already cited so there is no need to do so again.

I made note of it when I first read it because it is such a strong statement. I hadn't realized that just receiving even a small amount of teaching was considered, at least by some, to entail such a commitment. While it's not clear how literally it is intended to be taken I think it is indicative of a traditional persepctive that is at least worthy of consideration.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:13 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm
While it's not clear how literally it is intended to be taken I think it is indicative of a traditional persepctive that is at least worthy of consideration.
It means that one needs to take quite seriously from whom one is going to take teachings. But of course what I do not accept is Dudjom Rinpoche's assertion that this means that if one's guru is a psychopath or a sociopath, one is screwed and one should continue to regard that person with respect or even devotion. I think that Dudjom Rinpoche's statement is hyperbolic, and need not be taken literally.
It takes a great being to be daring enough to cultivate a bad reputation. - Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche
This is just another kind of sales pitch.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

smcj
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:19 pm

I hadn't realized that just receiving even a small amount of teaching was considered, at least by some, to entail such a commitment. While it's not clear how literally it is intended to be taken I think it is indicative of a traditional persepctive that is at least worthy of consideration
I sat and listened to Sogyal R. speak once. At the time I was of the understanding that only empowerment made the Vajrayana connection with "guru". I did so with the understanding that I was not creating samaya with him because I'd already been warned about him.

Seems to me that teachings is more of a Mahayana thing. It's hard to reconcile the idea that teachings constitute a samaya, although I understand the sentiment.
*****
I'm generally opposed to interpreting Dharma like it is a legal contract, but in this case I think Mingyur R's statement give enough of a legalistic escape clause to make the GY samaya a safe proposition. Of course I could be mistaken.
Last edited by smcj on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:38 pm, 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 PeterC » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:35 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:17 pm
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:41 pm
That's true but not really helpful. Nobody observes this rule. None of our teachers observed this rule. Nobody that anyone can remember observed this rule.
You sound very sure of this. You must have some sound evidence to do so.
... but nobody really has a decade to spare, and even if they did, they don't have sufficient access to really observe the guru's qualities.
Now you are making excuses and setting yourslef up for a fall. When you fall will you also place all the onus of responsibility on the teacher?
But to step back from the definitions. I absolutely agree with your broader point. People receive too many empowerments with too little preparation from lamas who they barely know even by reputation, and often with no particular intent to do the practice seriously. It's silly. Under those conditions it's almost a given that problems will arise. By contrast, if you only received one empowerment from one teacher, which in any case is all you need, your practice would be so much simpler.
Unless the teacher was a scammer... :smile:
Not really responsive to my comments. Look - I'm not disputing the desirability of this sort of examination. Just the practicality. I'm not going to attempt to prove a negative proposition for obvious reasons. But are you really questioning the first statement I made above? You don't think it's substantially correct?

And for the record, though I am not able to spend 12 years scrutinizing my lamas I have only received empowerments from a handful and those after spending several years reading and listening to them first. So I'm not exactly setting *myself* up for a fall.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:39 pm

I have only received empowerments from a handful and those after spending several years reading and listening to them first. So I'm not exactly setting *myself* up for a fall.
How would you be set up for a fall by taking initiation from a lama on tour? If you do not have an actual personal relationship with them, what harm is it to see them as the same as the empowered deity in question?

Since you don't have any personal connection with the lamas in question, the only possible problem is if you hear negative gossip about them and it sours your attitude. So don't listen to negative gossip to that extent. Maybe you hear something bad and choose to not attend any more empowerments. That's ok.

As MIngyur R says, If you're not happy, leave, but try to do it on good terms. If you see someone else being abused, go ahead and intervene as necessary. But both scenarios have personal contact as a premise.
https://www.lionsroar.com/treat-everyone-as-the-buddha/
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:24 pm

PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:35 pm
Not really responsive to my comments. Look - I'm not disputing the desirability of this sort of examination. Just the practicality. I'm not going to attempt to prove a negative proposition for obvious reasons. But are you really questioning the first statement I made above? You don't think it's substantially correct?
I don't think it is relevant. People have been ignoring good advice since good advice was invented, so whether one can come up with a solid justification to ignore it or not is not important to me.

And, yes, I think it is practical because nobody is saying that you cannot receive teachings from this person (and others) in the meantime, nor are they saying that you cannot practice. The 12 years is to see if you wish to devote yourself completely to the teacher. Once you have taken the time and you have made the decision then when they say jump, you should jump without question, because after 12 years you know they are not fraking you around.
And for the record, though I am not able to spend 12 years scrutinizing my lamas I have only received empowerments from a handful and those after spending several years reading and listening to them first. So I'm not exactly setting *myself* up for a fall.
I am glad to hear that. In the beginning of my foray into Dharma I jumped in a number of times with my eyes closed. Luckily I came out of it only with a few bumps and scratches.
"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."
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:30 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:24 pm

And, yes, I think it is practical because nobody is saying that you cannot receive teachings from this person (and others) in the meantime, nor are they saying that you cannot practice. The 12 years is to see if you wish to devote yourself completely to the teacher. Once you have taken the time and you have made the decision then when they say jump, you should jump without question, because after 12 years you know they are not fraking you around.
No, it really means you should not take empowerments from a teacher whom you have not (ideally) known about for a period of 12 years.

Sakya Pandita points however this is not always wise, because sometimes the student dies or the teacher dies before this period of time is up.
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

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:30 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:24 pm

And, yes, I think it is practical because nobody is saying that you cannot receive teachings from this person (and others) in the meantime, nor are they saying that you cannot practice. The 12 years is to see if you wish to devote yourself completely to the teacher. Once you have taken the time and you have made the decision then when they say jump, you should jump without question, because after 12 years you know they are not fraking you around.
No, it really means you should not take empowerments from a teacher whom you have not (ideally) known about for a period of 12 years.

Sakya Pandita points however this is not always wise, because sometimes the student dies or the teacher dies before this period of time is up.
Fair enough. I can think of some cases where this would not only be practical, but it would be advised. Mainly when it comes to teachers that nobody has heard about, or are surrounded by controversy.

PS Notice that empowerment is missing from my list? ;)

The other thing that one can do is be inofrmed about a teacher, by trusted Dharma friends that know the teacher.
"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 dzogchungpa » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:39 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:19 pm
I'm generally opposed to interpreting Dharma like it is a legal contract ...

Me too!
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Pero » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:43 pm

MiphamFan wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:28 am
You can keep harping on about how seeing every little action your guru takes as "pure" is part of "guruyoga", just remember not everyone was taught to do that.

ChNN for example, always says something to the effect of not doing it while thinking of him in his ordinary form where he needs to sleep, go to the toilet etc.

It seems that Ringu Tulku is a lot closer to him on this than some other teachers.
I don't think I've ever heard him say what you're saying. I did hear him say it might be better if we're not too close to him because then it might be easier to have pure vision since we won't see him do ordinary things. Which implies that yeah you should definitely try to have pure vision about every action your teacher does. He says that in guru yoga (in general) we don't visualize our teachers in their ordinary form because we generally don't really have such pure vision.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:51 pm

Pero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:43 pm
we don't visualize our teachers in their ordinary form because we generally don't really have such pure vision.
100% correct.
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

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Pero » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm
He specifically says it trumps samaya:
Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are not teaching tools.
No disagreement there however it is possible that what would outwardly be seen as abuse may not reflect the inner experience of the student (and of course teacher) or the effects of it. Like Do Khyentse manhandling Patrul Rinpoche. Which is why I think the following point from Mingyur Rinpoche's statement is also important:
...In other words, the results of genuine “crazy wisdom” are always positive and visible. When a teacher uses an extreme approach that is rooted in compassion, the result is spiritual growth, not trauma. Trauma is a sure sign that the “crazy wisdom” behavior was missing the wisdom to see what would truly benefit the student, the compassion that puts the student’s interest first, or both.
And:
It is also worth noting that these extreme teaching styles we see in Vajrayana history took place in the context of a very mature spiritual bond between teacher and student. They were not all that common. ...
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:00 pm

Pero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:56 pm

...In other words, the results of genuine “crazy wisdom” are always positive and visible. When a teacher uses an extreme approach that is rooted in compassion, the result is spiritual growth, not trauma. Trauma is a sure sign that the “crazy wisdom” behavior was missing the wisdom to see what would truly benefit the student, the compassion that puts the student’s interest first, or both.

So what he is saying here is that any evidence of trauma on the part of the student is evidence of a defect in the teacher's skillful means. Right?
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

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Quay » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:13 pm
dzogchungpa wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:09 pm
While it's not clear how literally it is intended to be taken I think it is indicative of a traditional persepctive that is at least worthy of consideration.
It means that one needs to take quite seriously from whom one is going to take teachings. But of course what I do not accept is Dudjom Rinpoche's assertion that this means that if one's guru is a psychopath or a sociopath, one is screwed and one should continue to regard that person with respect or even devotion. I think that Dudjom Rinpoche's statement is hyperbolic, and need not be taken literally.
In terms of Dudjom Rinpoche's meaning and in the context of the cited I can see at least several levels of meaning, and I'm certainly no scholar. I don't think Dudjom Rinpoche would disagree with your assertion about his assertion. I don't think it was meant to be taken outside of the context of someone on the path of preliminary practice. I can see where he has a point about respect and devotion, something that can be maintained perfectly while also calling the police.

There is also the delightful issue of hearing even one verse from someone and thus they become your teacher. In that case most practitioners who attend only one Sangha event (e.g. Dakini Day) a year is likely to eventually have dozens if not hundreds of teachers and a lot of guru commitments.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Pero » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:41 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:00 pm
Pero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:56 pm

...In other words, the results of genuine “crazy wisdom” are always positive and visible. When a teacher uses an extreme approach that is rooted in compassion, the result is spiritual growth, not trauma. Trauma is a sure sign that the “crazy wisdom” behavior was missing the wisdom to see what would truly benefit the student, the compassion that puts the student’s interest first, or both.

So what he is saying here is that any evidence of trauma on the part of the student is evidence of a defect in the teacher's skillful means. Right?
I think so but I actually think trauma can also be beneficial in specific (rare) cases. I'm looking at my own experience here, having experienced something traumatic a couple years back. Looking back now it was like I was asleep (in life while awake) and then someone woke me up, not by whispering my name (which probably wouldn't have worked) but by hitting me with a sledgehammer. This is kind of tangentialy related to the topic because it occured to me recently that at that time a single email from my teacher (since I asked him for advice, he did not cause the trauma - just in case there is some confusion hehe) influenced the direction of my life to this point. My traumatic experience plus his advice ended up being positive for me long-term even though back then I realy couldn't see anything good about my experience at all.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Malcolm
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:57 pm

Pero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:41 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:00 pm
Pero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:56 pm




So what he is saying here is that any evidence of trauma on the part of the student is evidence of a defect in the teacher's skillful means. Right?
I think so but I actually think trauma can also be beneficial in specific (rare) cases. I'm looking at my own experience here, having experienced something traumatic a couple years back. Looking back now it was like I was asleep (in life while awake) and then someone woke me up, not by whispering my name (which probably wouldn't have worked) but by hitting me with a sledgehammer. This is kind of tangentialy related to the topic because it occured to me recently that at that time a single email from my teacher (since I asked him for advice, he did not cause the trauma - just in case there is some confusion hehe) influenced the direction of my life to this point. My traumatic experience plus his advice ended up being positive for me long-term even though back then I realy couldn't see anything good about my experience at all.

I don't think we are talking about healthy shocks, I think we are talking about people being traumatized by mistreatment.
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

smcj
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:35 pm

If we are proceeding by separating the guru/student relationship from the Guru Yoga meditation, here is a partial description of the GY practice:

More Ringu Tulku quotes
ibid p.100
You can visualize yourself like her even if you are a tall macho muscled man with beard and all! In the Vajrayana practices, we often visualize ourselves as different deities, sometimes male, sometimes female, sometimes very beautiful, and sometimes quite ugly. They can be tall or very short, black, blue, red or any color, with two arms or many. I think it is a way of training our mind, of not being completely attached and clinging to our sense of reality, of identity as being this or that.
(edit)
A corpse is usually considered as something not so nice, but here we are standing on a human corpse. The corpse is lying on a sun disk on top of a red lotus. We are holding a curved knife and a skull cup from which we are about to drink. This is also an exercise in diminishing our strong propensity to label things as good or bad, clean or dirty. In this visualization, bad things are not bad, good things are not good. We try to cut of from those concepts of dirty, bad, negative, not wanted, good, very nice, wanted and so forth.
(edit)
It is also sometimes explained that if, in the beginning, we just see ourselves as usual, we keep our strong attachment to our deluded way of seeing everything, whereas if we visualize ourselves as a yidam, a purer level of being, it may be easier to develop a new way of seeing, which might help us get the understanding. When we visualize ourselves as a deity, we do not only try to look different, we also try to feel as an enlightened being, as whatever his or her form may be.
(edit)
It is enough to feel the presence of these people, all the enlightened beings, all the masters of the lineage, and not only of the lineage of our own tradition but all the other lineages, whatever they may be, throughout space, throughout the universe, all of them. We should feel that they are there, feel their benevolence, their trustworthiness and willingness to help.

As I explained before, devotion is the very positive, warm, trusting feeling we develop towards a really good friend whose sole concern and motivation is our own good, and who has the capacity to help and benefit us.

Here we are surrounded by enlightened beings, completely good, with no selfish motives, only wanting to help all sentient beings. Moreover, they not only have the willingness to help but the power to do so, therefore, we feel protected, loved, cared for. That feeling is the most important. When we have developed it, we have completed the purpose of the visualization.
So, having separated the interpersonal relationship with the guru from the GY, we can do this practice without the fear and limitation of having to trust an actual flesh and blood human being. Thus we can cultivate ourselves in this direction freely.

Right?
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Virgo » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:35 pm


So, having separated the interpersonal relationship with the guru from the GY, we can do this practice without the fear and limitation of having to trust an actual flesh and blood human being. Thus we can cultivate ourselves in this direction freely.

Right?
Which Guru Yoga are you talking about?

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Norwegian » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:57 pm

smcj,

If you want to understand guru yoga, then you should receive teachings on this from a qualified teacher. Merely reading books will not do it I'm afraid.

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