student-master relationship in Vajrayana

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47635
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student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by 47635 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:11 pm

How is a relationship between the student and the thacher in Vajrayana - practically speaking?
Is it necessary for the relationship to be personal? And at what point?
Which practical considderations should one do in this regard?

(I only have experience from Rinzai Zen)

Bristollad
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Bristollad » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:05 am

Maybe check Dr. Berzin's take on this topic:

https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... lationship

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:20 pm

I'm studying a bit this, so i show you what i found (even if i have also questions haha)

In Jamgön Kongtrul's The Treasury of Knowledge book 5 "Buddhist Ethics" says about "Examining and Working with a Spiritual Teacher" (after examinig the teacher and find out if we are ok with his/her ethics) that there are two considerations when working (doing something) with a spiritual teacher: motive and application. This are explained in a general chapter (first chapter) so i considere this ok in the old and new tradition, also doesn't espicify if is talking on a specific path examined in the book (hinayana, mahayana, vajrayana) so it's general also in this way.
Motive [1]
The Condensed Transcendent Wisdom Scripture states:
Wise [bodhisattvas] highly motivated to seek true awakening
First vanquish their pride;
Then, like the sick who rely on doctors for their cure,
They devote themselves to spiritual guides without wavering.
Accordingly, with an unshakeable intent to seek the true state of awakening,
the highest freedom, we should unfailingly revere [our spiritual
guides].
altruist intention seems mandatory (this means also that boddhisattvas do practice hinayana also? so for example if we want to learn vajrayana, first entablish a stable mahayana practice?) and points specifically to overcome pride in first place (not necesary to vanquish first hate, jelousy, ignorance, desire; but pride.)

and
Application [2]
Devotion [for the teacher is shown in] three ways. The Scripture Ornament
states:
Devote yourself to a spiritual guide
By making offerings and showing respect, serving, and
establishing the validity [of the teaching].
application is through devotion (what devotion is? is accepting everything?). respect and service are clear, entablishing validity of teaching i understand that oneself (the student) should contrast every teaching, by means of research and experiment,etc., (don't swallow things, examine them critically).


in a practical way seems that oneself should be guided by boddhicitta and be humble enough to accept advice (postrations?) and apply to see what happens (validate means to accept or reject the given teaching in this case)
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heart
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by heart » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:03 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:20 pm

application is through devotion (what devotion is? is accepting everything?). respect and service are clear, entablishing validity of teaching i understand that oneself (the student) should contrast every teaching, by means of research and experiment,etc., (don't swallow things, examine them critically).


in a practical way seems that oneself should be guided by boddhicitta and be humble enough to accept advice (postrations?) and apply to see what happens (validate means to accept or reject the given teaching in this case)
I think that to "establishing the validity of the teaching" means to put the teachings into practice and gaining confidence in that way.

/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)

47635
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by 47635 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:01 pm

Thank you for your helpful comments.

How often is it necessary to see one’s teacher in Vajrayana?

tingdzin
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by tingdzin » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:57 pm

47635 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:01 pm
How often is it necessary to see one’s teacher in Vajrayana?
This depends on how engaged you are with the practice. Ideally, when one receives a Vajrayana practice, one practices conscientiously until there are real signs of fruition, and then one goes to the teacher for feedback, including correction or further refinement. Alternatively, if one has doubts about or incomplete understanding of the practice, or one encounters obstacles one cannot deal with alone, one might go to the teacher for further explanation.

Seeing the teacher more frequently can be useful; if you can form a close connection with the person so that he or she knows who you are as a person, and where you really are with your practice, you will be more likely to be able to gain access to deeper layers and key points of instruction which are often not given out indiscriminately. On the other hand, if you are too close to the teacher you might become disillusioned by what you see as all-too-human imperfections, and you will almost certainly have to deal with other students who are perhaps more concerned with being in "the inner circle" and throwing their weight around than with actually practicing Dharma.

As usual, IMO it is best to strike a happy medium.

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Malcolm
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Malcolm » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:01 pm

47635 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:01 pm

How often is it necessary to see one’s teacher in Vajrayana?
Until he or she stops answering your questions.
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: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:44 pm

tingdzin wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:57 pm
On the other hand, if you are too close to the teacher you might become disillusioned by what you see as all-too-human imperfections, and you will almost certainly have to deal with other students who are perhaps more concerned with being in "the inner circle" and throwing their weight around than with actually practicing Dharma.

Also, if you get too close he or she may start "poking" you in ways that you might not like. I can't remember it exactly right now, but I think there's a Tibetan saying to the effect that it's good to be two villages away from the lama, or something like that.

There's also an Indian idea about two kinds of disciples: if the guru is like a cow then one kind are like calves that drink her milk and then go off to play and the other kind are like flies that just sit on the cow's back biting it and so forth.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Matt J
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Matt J » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:09 pm

That depends on the teacher. Some expect a more personal relationship than others.
47635 wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:11 pm
How is a relationship between the student and the thacher in Vajrayana - practically speaking?
Is it necessary for the relationship to be personal? And at what point?
Which practical considderations should one do in this regard?

(I only have experience from Rinzai Zen)
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Miroku
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Miroku » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:04 pm

Dunno really, but it is in many way just like normal student teacher relationships... teacher teaches, student listens and maybe asks questions.
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

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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:01 pm
47635 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:01 pm

How often is it necessary to see one’s teacher in Vajrayana?
Until he or she stops answering your questions.
And if they stop?
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Malcolm
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Malcolm » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:01 pm
47635 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:01 pm

How often is it necessary to see one’s teacher in Vajrayana?
Until he or she stops answering your questions.
And if they stop?
Then you don't need to ask anymore questions— just find your answers in your practice. I.e., at that time one needs to rely on the inner guru.
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

climb-up
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by climb-up » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:01 pm

Bristollad wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:05 am
Maybe check Dr. Berzin's take on this topic:

https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... lationship
There is a lot of great stuff in there. Thank you!

Kunzang Tobgyal
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Kunzang Tobgyal » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:14 pm

:good:
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:01 pm


Until he or she stops answering your questions.
And if they stop?
Then you don't need to ask anymore questions— just find your answers in your practice. I.e., at that time one needs to rely on the inner guru.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:08 am

It has been only my personal observation, and my own personal experience
(so I cannot say this is something absolute)
It is different for each student and teacher situation,
and that sometimes there is a very strong connection, some very deep energy, if you want to call it that,
maybe a lot of time spent together going over details of practice, and so on
and then at other times, no contact, no big questions.
But I think, if you are at least open and sincere as a student, the teacher will give you whatever is needed.
There are some families where brothers and sisters and parents hardly ever talk to each other, maybe visit on holidays
and others where the whole family gets together for hours and hours at a time every weekend.
It's like that. For everybody, it's what works.
.
.
.
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People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:17 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:11 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:01 pm


Until he or she stops answering your questions.
And if they stop?
Then you don't need to ask anymore questions— just find your answers in your practice. I.e., at that time one needs to rely on the inner guru.
Well, the thing is, as you practice new questions tend to emerge. And then you go back to your guru and ask them again, don't you?
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Malcolm
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Malcolm » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:11 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:17 am
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:11 pm


And if they stop?
Then you don't need to ask anymore questions— just find your answers in your practice. I.e., at that time one needs to rely on the inner guru.
Well, the thing is, as you practice new questions tend to emerge. And then you go back to your guru and ask them again, don't you?
Not if he or she has basically stopped answering questions. At a certain point in one's practice, one needs to become self-reliant. After all, Dharma is not rocket science.
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

tingdzin
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by tingdzin » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:42 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:44 pm
There's also an Indian idea about two kinds of disciples: if the guru is like a cow then one kind are like calves that drink her milk and then go off to play and the other kind are like flies that just sit on the cow's back biting it and so forth.
Nice one; I hadn't heard that.

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Ayu
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Ayu » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:19 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:08 am
It has been only my personal observation, and my own personal experience
(so I cannot say this is something absolute)
It is different for each student and teacher situation,
and that sometimes there is a very strong connection, some very deep energy, if you want to call it that,
maybe a lot of time spent together going over details of practice, and so on
and then at other times, no contact, no big questions.
But I think, if you are at least open and sincere as a student, the teacher will give you whatever is needed.
There are some families where brothers and sisters and parents hardly ever talk to each other, maybe visit on holidays
and others where the whole family gets together for hours and hours at a time every weekend.
It's like that. For everybody, it's what works.
.
.
.
Yes.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:11 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:17 am
Malcolm wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm


Then you don't need to ask anymore questions— just find your answers in your practice. I.e., at that time one needs to rely on the inner guru.
Well, the thing is, as you practice new questions tend to emerge. And then you go back to your guru and ask them again, don't you?
Not if he or she has basically stopped answering questions. At a certain point in one's practice, one needs to become self-reliant. After all, Dharma is not rocket science.
That is what one would think. I would, in any case. But then there are things like this:

http://levekunst.com/club-nondualite/
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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