student-master relationship in Vajrayana

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Malcolm
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Malcolm » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
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


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/
Yes, everything Erik says here is true. But this is not in contradiction with my point at all.

If one is still in a state of doubt, one might ask questions, but even if one ask questions and receives answers, those answers cannot really be confirmed by anyone else but oneself in one's own practice. Anyway, people put too much emphasis on "nonduality" without really knowing what the term means in the various approaches of Buddhadharma.
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 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:43 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:11 pm


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/
Yes, everything Erik says here is true. But this is not in contradiction with my point at all.

If one is still in a state of doubt, one might ask questions, but even if one ask questions and receives answers, those answers cannot really be confirmed by anyone else but oneself in one's own practice. Anyway, people put too much emphasis on "nonduality" without really knowing what the term means in the various approaches of Buddhadharma.
I'm curious about everything in this article because it seems to contradict, or at least calls for a more nuanced understanding of, ChNN's method of DI.
The thesis seems to be that giving empowerments to large groups is completely ridiculous (as evidenced by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche giving one, but cracking up about it) and that not having direct verification from the master makes the whole process pointless.

I am (very genuinely) not trying to start any sh!t, but this seems like a potentially important point.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:57 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
I am (very genuinely) not trying to start any sh!t ...

Good, because we can't have that, can we?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Aryjna
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Aryjna » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:01 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:43 pm


That is what one would think. I would, in any case. But then there are things like this:

http://levekunst.com/club-nondualite/
Yes, everything Erik says here is true. But this is not in contradiction with my point at all.

If one is still in a state of doubt, one might ask questions, but even if one ask questions and receives answers, those answers cannot really be confirmed by anyone else but oneself in one's own practice. Anyway, people put too much emphasis on "nonduality" without really knowing what the term means in the various approaches of Buddhadharma.
I'm curious about everything in this article because it seems to contradict, or at least calls for a more nuanced understanding of, ChNN's method of DI.
The thesis seems to be that giving empowerments to large groups is completely ridiculous (as evidenced by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche giving one, but cracking up about it) and that not having direct verification from the master makes the whole process pointless.

I am (very genuinely) not trying to start any sh!t, but this seems like a potentially important point.
Someone mentioned this before about this article in a different thread, and that Tulku Urgyen who is Erik Pema Kunsang's Guru also gave public DIs. Also, I may be mistaken but this is the impression I am getting, all of Tulku Urgyen's sons also give DI to large numbers of people.

pemachophel
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by pemachophel » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:03 pm

dear climb-up,

if you're looking for a one-size-fits all methodology in vajrayana, i think you're going to be disappointed. as the well-known tibetan saying goes, "every valley has its lama; every lama has his dharma (meaning how he or she does things)."

personally, i recommend your finding (or sticking with) a teacher whose teachings work for you and not worry about the rest. if ChNNR's method of DI or initiation works for some, that's wonderful for them. others may need (or simply favor) in-the-flesh teachings in a small group setting. the issue is the result, not necessarily the delivery system.

just my two cents. sorry if i'm way off base.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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florin
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by florin » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:18 pm

I think there is the assumption that the teacher has to check the student there and then.

climb-up
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by climb-up » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:39 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:03 pm
dear climb-up,

if you're looking for a one-size-fits all methodology in vajrayana, i think you're going to be disappointed. as the well-known tibetan saying goes, "every valley has its lama; every lama has his dharma (meaning how he or she does things)."

personally, i recommend your finding (or sticking with) a teacher whose teachings work for you and not worry about the rest. if ChNNR's method of DI or initiation works for some, that's wonderful for them. others may need (or simply favor) in-the-flesh teachings in a small group setting. the issue is the result, not necessarily the delivery system.

just my two cents. sorry if i'm way off base.
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I appreciate it.

I am not looking for a one-size fits all approach, nor am I looking for a teacher who works for me, I have found that in ChNN's teachings and practice. I'm good on that front, and have full faith in teachings.

My question was specifically in regards to Malcolm, a very well known and vocal supporter of ChNN and his teachings saying that everything in the article was correct. I can understand both approaches being true in the "every lama has his own dharma" sense, but not in the sense of a student of ChNN saying that everything in there article is true.
I am curious if Malcolm has some understanding that some how reconciles these two perspectives and, if he would share it.
dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:57 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
I am (very genuinely) not trying to start any sh!t ...

Good, because we can't have that, can we?
:tongue:
...just trying to preemptively stem off any potential defensiveness, in the hopes of getting an answer (sometimes, I can't imagine why, my questions are thought of us less than sincere).

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heart
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by heart » Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:33 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
Someone mentioned this before about this article in a different thread, and that Tulku Urgyen who is Erik Pema Kunsang's Guru also gave public DIs. Also, I may be mistaken but this is the impression I am getting, all of Tulku Urgyen's sons also give DI to large numbers of people.
They do, and they also give it in private. The easiest way to make that happen is to ask about your experience of the natural state whenever you have the possibility. It doesn't have to be long or complicated questions, you just be very honest. This can be done with ChNNR as well. Like Nyoshul Khen was serving Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima tea and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

/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)

climb-up
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by climb-up » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:09 pm

heart wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:33 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
Someone mentioned this before about this article in a different thread, and that Tulku Urgyen who is Erik Pema Kunsang's Guru also gave public DIs. Also, I may be mistaken but this is the impression I am getting, all of Tulku Urgyen's sons also give DI to large numbers of people.
They do, and they also give it in private. The easiest way to make that happen is to ask about your experience of the natural state whenever you have the possibility. It doesn't have to be long or complicated questions, you just be very honest. This can be done with ChNNR as well. Like Nyoshul Khen was serving Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima tea and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

/magnus
You accidentally put the above as a quote from me, when it was from Aryjna.

But thank you.
Are you referring to questions along the lines of "who is it that is experiencing..." that are the core part of many practices?
Or something else?

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dzogchungpa
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:12 pm

heart wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:33 pm
Like Nyoshul Khen was serving Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima tea and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima died before Nyoshul Khenpo was born. I'm not familiar with this story but are you thinking of Shedrup Tenpé Nyima?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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heart
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by heart » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:51 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:12 pm
heart wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:33 pm
Like Nyoshul Khen was serving Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima tea and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima died before Nyoshul Khenpo was born. I'm not familiar with this story but are you thinking of Shedrup Tenpé Nyima?
Yes, of course it is Shedrup Tenpé Nyima, sorry about that.

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

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

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heart
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by heart » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:56 am

climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:09 pm
heart wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:33 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
Someone mentioned this before about this article in a different thread, and that Tulku Urgyen who is Erik Pema Kunsang's Guru also gave public DIs. Also, I may be mistaken but this is the impression I am getting, all of Tulku Urgyen's sons also give DI to large numbers of people.
They do, and they also give it in private. The easiest way to make that happen is to ask about your experience of the natural state whenever you have the possibility. It doesn't have to be long or complicated questions, you just be very honest. This can be done with ChNNR as well. Like Nyoshul Khen was serving Nyoshul Lungtok Tenpé Nyima tea and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

/magnus
You accidentally put the above as a quote from me, when it was from Aryjna.

But thank you.
Are you referring to questions along the lines of "who is it that is experiencing..." that are the core part of many practices?
Or something else?
My post is an answer to Aryjna post quoted above but accidentally ascribed to you, sorry. Must have been tired last night. :smile:

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

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

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heart
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by heart » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:39 pm

So, trying to get it right now.

It really doesn't matter if you get direct introduction alone, in a small group or in a big group. You most certainly must get it several times and you do need to work with the master if you want to be able to decide on one point. The easiest way to make that happen is to ask about your experience of the natural state whenever you have the possibility. It doesn't have to be long or complicated questions, you just be very honest. This can be done with ChNNR as well. Like Nyoshul Khen was serving tea to Shedrup Tenpé Nyima and every time he had the possibility he asked a short question.

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

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

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Malcolm
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:23 pm

climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:39 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:03 pm
dear climb-up,

if you're looking for a one-size-fits all methodology in vajrayana, i think you're going to be disappointed. as the well-known tibetan saying goes, "every valley has its lama; every lama has his dharma (meaning how he or she does things)."

personally, i recommend your finding (or sticking with) a teacher whose teachings work for you and not worry about the rest. if ChNNR's method of DI or initiation works for some, that's wonderful for them. others may need (or simply favor) in-the-flesh teachings in a small group setting. the issue is the result, not necessarily the delivery system.

just my two cents. sorry if i'm way off base.
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I appreciate it.

I am not looking for a one-size fits all approach, nor am I looking for a teacher who works for me, I have found that in ChNN's teachings and practice. I'm good on that front, and have full faith in teachings.

My question was specifically in regards to Malcolm, a very well known and vocal supporter of ChNN and his teachings saying that everything in the article was correct. I can understand both approaches being true in the "every lama has his own dharma" sense, but not in the sense of a student of ChNN saying that everything in there article is true.
I am curious if Malcolm has some understanding that some how reconciles these two perspectives and, if he would share it.
dzogchungpa wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:57 pm
climb-up wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:37 pm
I am (very genuinely) not trying to start any sh!t ...

Good, because we can't have that, can we?
:tongue:
...just trying to preemptively stem off any potential defensiveness, in the hopes of getting an answer (sometimes, I can't imagine why, my questions are thought of us less than sincere).
With respect to the boss, he answers questions put to him in email or in person.
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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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: student-master relationship in Vajrayana

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:12 pm

I would like to suggest something to consider...
There may be some question about how a teacher seems to magically know what is right for one student and right for another student, even sometimes having only recently having met and spoken with the student, listening to the student's questions and so forth, maybe only during a public talk question and answer period, or during the first private interview. Maybe a first encounter.

This is really not so mysterious, as people who have years of experience in any variety of professions can tell you. I have a friend who is a designer. There are all sorts of designers, graphic designers, interior designers, landscape designers, and so on. My friend deals with a lot of new clients on a regular basis, and told me that she can pretty much size up a client in the first few minutes. She knows which ones are chasing some vague idea, which ones have absolutely no idea what they want, or why, which clients are going to keep changing their minds, or be critical of every insignificant detail, or aren't really even very serious about wanting her help, but are just sort of bouncing ideas around, which ones ask for advice and then ignore it, and which ones will take up hours of your time and then go someplace else. And of course, she can tell which clients seriously want to get a job done.

It's this way with experienced lamas too. That's why, for example, when you bring up all kinds of issues, you expect some kind of exquisite remedy, a teacher will very often tell you to just keep meditating, just keep up with ngondro or whatever. It sounds like maybe a simple brush-off, a one-answer-fits-all reply like an automated email reply. But it isn't. This very experienced teacher has seen your nervous energy a hundred times before, has listened to countless students ramble aimlessly through a question, trying to pinpoint exactly what the question is, and can pick up on whether you are just shopping around for ways to boost your own ego, whether you'll be gone in three months, or whether you will still be practicing what the teacher tells you to do 15, 20, 30 years from now. This teacher may even realize that you already have a lot of wisdom, or a strong sense of compassion, or a great deal of patience, that there are things you really don't need too much help with, but should work more on other areas. Maybe you are too complacent, or, perhaps just the opposite, maybe you are never satisfied.

That's why it's different for each student, and why the teacher may give your dharma brother or sister some "exotic" kind of ritual, tell them to get a bell and dorje or do a particular practice, plan for a retreat,etc. and tell you merely to extend your sitting meditation from one hour to two hours, if you think you can. Just as in a triage emergency room, each patient has different needs. One needs a band-aid on a cut, and another needs surgery.

But, my point is, a teacher with a lot of experiences is already familiar with your state of mind. It's not that strange!
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