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Is it rare to spend time with your guru?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:05 pm
by joehaz21
From most of the western students I talk to and read about here and online it seems rare to really know your guru. So my question is do most western students in the West just take empowerment’s from every lama they meet and famous teachers because they don’t have a true guru? Or don’t have the opportunity to meet their teacher very often ? And if that’s the case is that their teacher in the first place? Don’t mean to be rude just something I’ve been thinking about the past 7-10 years. Another thing if you you do have a personal connection with your guru is it normal to be able to contact them and ask questions when ever you want and visit them?

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:14 pm
by Crazywisdom
Honestly it’s a little overrated to be attached at the hip. The guy who returns every year to give a complete teachings and leaves is prob even better.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 am
by joehaz21
I agree with you you should get a teaching then practice it until you have some understanding of it. Then go for another but what I mean Is do most people spend retreat time with there gurus? How often are people able to Spears extended time practing and learning directly from their teachers? And why do most people only want to follow the most famous teachers? How are you able to examine your guru and how can he examine you if you never really get to know one another ?

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:03 am
by Crazywisdom
joehaz21 wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 am I agree with you you should get a teaching then practice it until you have some understanding of it. Then go for another but what I mean Is do most people spend retreat time with there gurus? How often are people able to Spears extended time practing and learning directly from their teachers? And why do most people only want to follow the most famous teachers? How are you able to examine your guru and how can he examine you if you never really get to know one another ?
The Tibetan style is that way. There’s a retreat master and a group. Provisions are managed etc for a traditional 3 yr retreat.

In India, usually one got the empowerment/instructions and went off alone. That my still happen to some extent.

Sometimes you have a guru that dies. So you have to trust your lineage and transmissions.

There are retreat lands in the USA, Europe and elsewhere. If you want to
Do a retreat you can. There will be a supervising lama.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm
by yagmort
personally i feel personal connection with guru is crucial. you both have to be really close.. i wouldn't necessary talk friendship, but my idea is that a student and a guru have to be really mutually exposed. that way they get to know each other better and imho that's the only way an authentic teacher can guide his disciples. at least this is how it has been for ages. if you receive some practical instructions among hundreds of other people but a teacher doesn't even remember your name.. well, i guess how he can guide you then?

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:51 pm
by pemachophel
Yagmort,

:good:

I can't imagine practicing Vajrayana without having a close, personal relationship with one's Guru.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:00 pm
by Virgo
yagmort wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:47 pm you both have to be really close.. i wouldn't necessary talk friendship, but my idea is that a student and a guru have to be really mutually exposed.
That is certainly very nice, but do those moments trump the taking of the Four Empowerments, moments of receiving pith instructions, and so on and so forth?

Kevin...

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:29 pm
by Könchok Thrinley
I think for some it is very good to be close to guru and see him often and be able to ask questions. But there was a mahasiddha who received teachings from guru then practiced them for years and when he realized them and went to see his guru the guru didnt even remember him. So depends. Devotion is for sure very important and so is trust.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:10 pm
by yagmort
Virgo wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:00 pm...That is certainly very nice, but do those moments trump the taking of the Four Empowerments, moments of receiving pith instructions, and so on and so forth?...
i believe so. i don't see this "trump" thing here, but i believe close connection with your root guru will amplify said four empowerments, pith instructions become actually pith, and so forth.

it is certainly not "one size fits all" situation. personally i don't see how i can advance on the path without close connection with my teacher. neither i can see how anyone else be able to do that with a random access to teachings/high lamas every now and then. i remember one guy who was ordained and he said something along the lines "i received teachings from Dalai Lama, from Karmapa, from <some other high Rinpoche i don't remember the name>, i think i need to see Sakya Trindzin now". to me it's more like a "collectibles" approach, but ymmv.

pemachophel, thank you

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:29 pm
by Josef
pemachophel wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:51 pm Yagmort,

:good:

I can't imagine practicing Vajrayana without having a close, personal relationship with one's Guru.
Agreed.
Having experienced both the receiving profound instructions from someone I dont really know and being close to my guru I can say that serving tea to my guru is a more powerful experience than any empowerment from someone I dont have a real relationship with.
It's like reading a romance novel compared to actually being in love.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:22 pm
by Aryjna
The question was if it is common to spend time with one's guru, which no one answered so far.

It obviously is extremely good, but I doubt that it is common.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:46 pm
by pemachophel
In this day and age, it doesn't seem so common, at least not in the West. For me, this is part and parcel of the degeneration of the Dharma in general and the Vajrayana in particular in this age of dregs.

Sorry if this offends anyone.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:19 pm
by Sherab Rigdrol
pemachophel wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:46 pm In this day and age, it doesn't seem so common, at least not in the West. For me, this is part and parcel of the degeneration of the Dharma in general and the Vajrayana in particular in this age of dregs.

Sorry if this offends anyone.
It's true, but has to do more with financial accessibility than anything else. And of course people who don't have the financial resources to spend time with their Lama suffer from a merit deficit.....

And the real question is how does one fix that deficit. Yes, I know practicing generosity, but what method is the best, how often and for how long. So many obstacles in modern times despite unprecedented accessibility to the teachings.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:34 pm
by Aryjna
Sherab Rigdrol wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:19 pm
pemachophel wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:46 pm In this day and age, it doesn't seem so common, at least not in the West. For me, this is part and parcel of the degeneration of the Dharma in general and the Vajrayana in particular in this age of dregs.

Sorry if this offends anyone.
It's true, but has to do more with financial accessibility than anything else. And of course people who don't have the financial resources to spend time with their Lama suffer from a merit deficit.....

And the real question is how does one fix that deficit. Yes, I know practicing generosity, but what method is the best, how often and for how long. So many obstacles in modern times despite unprecedented accessibility to the teachings.
I don't think it is only financial. It seems it is not possible to meet the well known masters often, especially not often or long enough to develop some kind of personal relationship. Maybe there are exceptions, or it may be possible if someone is a monk in their monastery, working in their organization, or something like that. Also, it may be the same thing in India and Nepal to some extent. I was recently at an event organized by a Nepali community and someone was saying that it is easier to see such masters here than it is in Nepal.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:37 pm
by Sherab Rigdrol
Aryjna wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:34 pm
Sherab Rigdrol wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:19 pm
pemachophel wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:46 pm In this day and age, it doesn't seem so common, at least not in the West. For me, this is part and parcel of the degeneration of the Dharma in general and the Vajrayana in particular in this age of dregs.

Sorry if this offends anyone.
It's true, but has to do more with financial accessibility than anything else. And of course people who don't have the financial resources to spend time with their Lama suffer from a merit deficit.....

And the real question is how does one fix that deficit. Yes, I know practicing generosity, but what method is the best, how often and for how long. So many obstacles in modern times despite unprecedented accessibility to the teachings.
I don't think it is only financial. It seems it is not possible to meet the well known masters often, especially not often or long enough to develop some kind of personal relationship. Maybe there are exceptions, or it may be possible if someone is a monk in their monastery, working in their organization, or something like that. Also, it may be the same thing in India and Nepal to some extent. I was recently at an event organized by a Nepali community and someone was saying that it is easier to see such masters here than it is in Nepal.
Sure it is. People who don't have to work can spend as much time as possible with their teacher or searching for one.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:46 pm
by Matt J
It strikes me that the time one needs to spend with a guru is determined by--- I would guess--- one's guru.

If some one feels that they need to spend a lot of time with a guru, then they should probably find some one who offers that. I can also see people who want to offer advice for people who do not yet have a teacher. But this thread is clearly aimed at people who are in some type of student-teacher relationship. Accordingly, its primary purpose seems to undermine confidence and sow doubt between a student and a teacher.

The fact is there are realized lineage holders transmitting in a less personal way--- are they wrong? I doubt it, but I don't have all the answers. But I don't really see the value in this kind of dharmic one upsmanship. Your guru isn't legitimate. Your lineage is second rate. You don't practice enough hours in a day. You need to go on a retreat. You need to be a monk. etc. People have enough of these doubts on their own, I don't really see the value in actively trying to sow more. Wouldn't it be nice if people were supportive of one another in their various practices instead of playing Dharma police?

Image

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:56 pm
by Sherab Rigdrol
Matt J wrote: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:46 pm It strikes me that the time one needs to spend with a guru is determined by--- I would guess--- one's guru.

If some one feels that they need to spend a lot of time with a guru, then they should probably find some one who offers that. I can also see people who want to offer advice for people who do not yet have a teacher. But this thread is clearly aimed at people who are in some type of student-teacher relationship. Accordingly, its primary purpose seems to undermine confidence and sow doubt between a student and a teacher.

The fact is there are realized lineage holders transmitting in a less personal way--- are they wrong? I doubt it, but I don't have all the answers. But I don't really see the value in this kind of dharmic one upsmanship. Your guru isn't legitimate. Your lineage is second rate. You don't practice enough hours in a day. You need to go on a retreat. You need to be a monk. etc. People have enough of these doubts on their own, I don't really see the value in actively trying to sow more. Wouldn't it be nice if people were supportive of one another in their various practices instead of playing Dharma police?

Image
:good:

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:55 pm
by chimechodra
From Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche's book "Turning Confusion into Clarity":
It's common among Westerners to feel that one special guru is necessary, or that they have to be very intimate and tell the guru everything - about family, relationships, money problems, and to ask the guru's advice about where to live, what house to purchase, and what stocks to buy - almost like being married. Then if an opportunity to take teachings from another teacher arises, it feels like betraying the guru. This is not quite right, and the closeness can work in reverse. Too much emphasis gets put onto the person, or onto that person's personality and characteristics, or onto the relationship

[...]

Nowadays many students spend more time following the gurus than practicing. The great masters of Tibet went to their gurus to receive teachings or to clarify their instructions, and then they left to practice. The point is not how or where we practice, but rather not to confuse practice with being around a teacher. We need to nurture our own inner guru.
At the end of the day, what's most important is receiving wang/lung/tri, and putting the practices into effect. I think it's dangerous to imply that one cannot follow the path appropriately without close constant contact with the guru, and like Matt says, it can really undermine the confidence of new practitioners.

There are more than enough examples in the lineage that show that this is not a strict requirement, and no one should feel bad because their guru is more popular and has many students. That being said, if you can spend time with an authentic guru, it definitely does not hurt, and it has been very beneficial for my own practice. But I don't think it's a non-negotiable.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:37 pm
by pemachophel
Some Lamas who live in the U.S. and work closely with Their students on an on-going basis:

Lama Sonam, Sarah Nyingma Buddhist Institute, Eugene, OR)

Khenpo Sonam, Lhundrub Choling, LA, CA

Loppon Rechung, Mipham Shedra, Westminster, CO

Lama Karma, Longmont, CO

Anyen Rinpcihe, Orgyen Khamdroling, Denver, CO

Tulku Sang-ngag, Ewam, Santa Fe, NM

Tulku Yeshi Gyamtso, Heruka Institute, Seattle, WA

Nam-gay Dawa, Orgyen Cho Dzong & Yeshe Nyingpo, NY

Tulku Sherdor, Blazing Wisdom Institue, Saugerties, NY

Lama Rangbar, Poughquag & Big Indian, NY

Lama Surya Das, Cambridge, MA

Lama Chonam & Sangye Khandro, Ashland (?), OR

Lama Tsultrim Allione, Tara Mandala, Pagosa Springs, CO

Dzigar Kongtrul, Mangala Shri Bhuti, Ward, CO

Lama Pema, Yeshe Nyingpo, Denver, CO

Khandro Kunzang Decho, Phurba Thinley Ling/Saraswati Bhawan, Lansing, IA

Lama Karma Justin Wall, Happy Valley, TN

Many of these Lamas are not so well-known, but they are accessible and work with Their students very closely. I'm not necessarily endorsing any of These, but I'm listing Them to show that there're plenty of Lamas one can work with on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis where the Lama can really get to know you and you can really get to know the Lama. (Please note the geographic concentrations are simply a by-product of who I know where. I'm sure there are plenty more in places I'm simply not familiar with.)

Sorry, gotta go. Protectors waiting.

Re: Is it rare to spew don’t time with you guru?

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:07 am
by pemachophel
Some additional Lamas living here in the U.S. or Canada:

Lama Thubten Dorje & Lama Palden, Orgyen Samten Ling, Salt Lake City, UT

Lama Willa Miller, NH & Boston, MA

Lama Lhanang, Jigme Lingpa Center, San Diego, CA

Khenpo Ugyen Wangchuk, Ewam Ku-sum-ling, Kneeland, CA

Lama Tsering Wangdu, Movement Center, Portland, OR

Jigme Tromge Rinpoche, Padmasambhava Peace institute, Cazadero, CA

Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, Padmansambhava Buddhist Center, Binghamton, NY

Khenpo Sonam Tobgyal, Riwoche Buddhist Temple, Toronto, Ont.