Searching for a Teacher

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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passel
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by passel » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:20 am

sunandmoon wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:08 am

Let the crap-shoot begin!
Dzongsar and Mingyur are completely completely completely different men. And Aro is at a 90 degree angle from either one of them. You need to get clearer on what you want.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

sunandmoon
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by sunandmoon » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:03 am

passel wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:20 am
sunandmoon wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:08 am

Let the crap-shoot begin!
Dzongsar and Mingyur are completely completely completely different men. And Aro is at a 90 degree angle from either one of them. You need to get clearer on what you want.
Perhaps I'm extremely ignorant, but I don't see significant differences between these people. The similarities that I see are:

Rooted in the Vajryana tradition.

Somewhat more flexible in their approach and teaching style rather than hard-line traditional. Admittedly, Aro is the most liberal, but not too many steps away from Mingyur and Dzongsar Rinpoche.

Dzongsar Rinpoche and Ngakpa have a more wild and artistic approach and are unordained.

Ngakpa and Mingyur Rinpoche both emphasizr awareness approaches to meditation and insight and don't require ngondros upfront. Dzongsar is in some ways more conservative, requiring a lot of ngondro practice before most students can move on to other practices.

Mingyur is in some ways much more vanilla Buddhism in in terms of his ethics and presentation - sharp, clear, joyful, but not with the same creativity and spontaneity as Dzongsar Rinpoche or Ngakpa, but I think he also has a bit of a wild streak - he did the 4 years of wandering and has this playfulness as well which comes out in his talks.

Ngakpa is a bit of an outsider in the traditional Tibetan circles, but when I read his writing - which could easily be deceptive, although I doubt that from what I've read online and after speaking with his students, most of the values which Mingyur and Dzongsar Rinpoche honor he shares as well.

The basic philosophy which they share is the same, although with some details in conflict.

Of course there are differences, and if I could name my ideal at present, it would be Ngakpa from Aro, although I will admit that I still would need time to learn and consider more before giving a more certain affirmation. But the problem that I have is its completely based in the West.

But I admit that I'm quite ignorant with these things. Maybe you could help me by clarifying the differences?

😊🙏

sunandmoon
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by sunandmoon » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:13 am

amanitamusc wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:18 am
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:48 am
Why do you assume that anyone would want or need a 'wild lama'?

I wasted years with a wild lama.
Thank the Buddhas for stable, strong, and compassionate Lamas like ChNN or Mingyur Rinpoche.
Maybe one living in the wild without all the fans.
It's an attractive notion, but what am I going to do for the other 11 months out of the year when I can't be with him or her in Nepal? Maybe they will have a cell phone or can communicate with me in my meditation and dreams. Have had some experiences with this. I guess it could be worth a shot. But I wouldn't abandon more traditional Google searches and forum shout outs and talking with friends as well.

I do have a friend who is connected to some of these more elusive rinpoche that wander about and aren't so. Involved in big organizational and such things,mostly in Sikkhim. I will probably go with him sometime next year if nothing else calls me.

Crazywisdom
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Crazywisdom » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:53 am

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:44 pm
What does that even mean in real life? :lol:
Whatever you want it to mean?
I got my Chili Chilaya.

Tata1
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Tata1 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:07 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:55 am
amanitamusc wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:18 am
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:48 am
Why do you assume that anyone would want or need a 'wild lama'?

I wasted years with a wild lama.
Thank the Buddhas for stable, strong, and compassionate Lamas like ChNN or Mingyur Rinpoche.
Maybe one living in the wild without all the fans.

Can you name one? If not how does it help the OP?
Romantic notions of unknown Lamas are likely to be a cause of great disappointment and time wasted unless one's karma is ripening in that way. In which case the seeker is not likely to be hanging around this forum.
There are lots of very well trained teachers that are not famouse and have great capacity of guiding people in practice both in india/nepal and in the west. This is not a romantic idea, nor you have to some sort of supermagical good karma to met one. Its the same process as any other kind of teacher. You just look around, ask, analize teachers, take teachings, practice and so on. In fact i would say that its more romantic the rockstar guru thing(wich is also.very good). There is no guarantee anywhere

Simon E.
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:14 pm

I dont think the idea of 'supermagical good karma' was mentioned by anyone. Nor do I know what that might mean.

I would suggest though that no one meets any teacher unless their vipaka is ripening in a way that has that result.

My response was to the implication that a 'wild lama' ( :shrug: ) would be superior to another kind.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

rai
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by rai » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:46 pm

i heard an advice from one Rinpoche to wholeheartedly pray to Buddha Shakyamuni or Guru Rinpoche to find a qualified teacher. it worked for me.

Tata1
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Tata1 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:45 am

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:14 pm
I dont think the idea of 'supermagical good karma' was mentioned by anyone. Nor do I know what that might mean.

I would suggest though that no one meets any teacher unless their vipaka is ripening in a way that has that result.

My response was to the implication that a 'wild lama' ( :shrug: ) would be superior to another kind.
Well you said that advice on a "wild lama" was pointless if the op didnt have that karma ripenning but it was ok for advice for a """famouse" lama. You also said that the romantic idea of finding that kind of lama usually end up in dissapointment and we all know what has been hapenning with this big lamas this past years so... that seemed to imply that i was somehow really harder to have the karma meet a "wild " lama. If i missundertood i apologise :twothumbsup:
You

I dont think that one is better than the other. I do think that the non famouse lama option is overlooked

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:35 am

sunandmoon wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:08 am
Hey folks,

I've been looking for a Vajryana teacher for nearly two years now. Personally, I've been practicing fairly intensively for 10 years. First 3 years was in Zen. Then was in Theravada for about 5 years. A few years back, I felt drawn towards Tantra - the inclusiveness and wildness of it. I've been following it in my own eclectic, confused way for the last 2 years. I've been poking my head around here and there for a teacher, but haven't seemed to find someone right yet. Admittedly, I haven't been in a great hurry. There are a few I feel drawn to - the Arogter teacher, Doc Togden, seems pretty cool and I quite like his style, but I can't comment much more on him because I only have second-hand reports, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Myingyur Rinpoche, and Ken McLeod - I was prospecting one of his students, as Ken's retired now and when I spoke with him he suggested one of his senior students instead, but distanced myself from that teacher after a few months - nothing bad happened, but still didn't feel confident that she was the right teacher for me.

I'll give some of my deluded and flexible preferences (besides the obvious - being an enlightened bad-a**-mother-f$*#er) to help flesh things out:
-I live in Thailand and I'll be living in Thailand for the foreseeable future. Having a teacher who's based nearby, which I'd roughly define as Asia, would be nice. I lived with my last teacher when I was a Theravadan monk. He mostly taught through example and presence, rather than through words. It's something I find valuable, although I know that with many of these rock-star gurus, that's a luxury that very, very few have. And that's one reason why...
-Not a rock-star guru. I prefer to work with teachers who have a small, closely-knit group of disciples who he/she works very closely with, rather than some of these teachers (no insult to them - much respect and love for what they're doing!) who have a hundred centers scattered all-over the globe and twenty-thousand disciples.
-Can speak English.
-More on the wild side - alcohol, firearms, and cigarettes, or all three at the same time, are greatly appreciated.
-Not rigidly traditional/more contemporary approach.

That's it. Much appreciation for your time and replies!

Let the crap-shoot begin!

:namaste:
Hello, Dzongsar khyentse rinpoche, and Mingyur rinpoche are both wonderful teachers. They have different styles, but nothing wrong with having multiple teachers either.

Aro Gter is a bit controversial, so deal with caution. However, I can't say more about that.

I would second the advice to Pray to Guru Rinpoche / Buddha shakyamuni or whomever you feel connected to meet with your karmic link teacher as soon as you are able, and make aspiration prayers after you perform some virtuous actions or at holy places for this to be so.

All the best in your journey.

Simon E.
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Simon E. » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:28 am

Tata1 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:45 am
Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:14 pm
I dont think the idea of 'supermagical good karma' was mentioned by anyone. Nor do I know what that might mean.

I would suggest though that no one meets any teacher unless their vipaka is ripening in a way that has that result.

My response was to the implication that a 'wild lama' ( :shrug: ) would be superior to another kind.
Well you said that advice on a "wild lama" was pointless if the op didnt have that karma ripenning but it was ok for advice for a """famouse" lama. You also said that the romantic idea of finding that kind of lama usually end up in dissapointment and we all know what has been hapenning with this big lamas this past years so... that seemed to imply that i was somehow really harder to have the karma meet a "wild " lama. If i missundertood i apologise :twothumbsup:
You

I dont think that one is better than the other. I do think that the non famouse lama option is overlooked
I don't think we are actually disagreeing.. :namaste:
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

fckw
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by fckw » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:50 am

Most people are not really ready for "crazy wisdom" style teaching. A crazy wisdom teacher whom you approach in the belief that he'll do sex, drugs and rock'n roll with you might actually give you the prajnaparamita to learn by heart before doing anything else. Or have you do anything unbearably boring and repetitive. There are some quite wild teachers out there, but they are typically not the ones walking around with a big plate saying: "Wild thing". In fact, any teacher doing that is most probably not worth approaching. Most really wild teachers with some level of realization will probably look pretty conservative and boring at the outside. Their inner realization does not necessarily show in outrageous acts, which more often than not is simply a sign of a silly or perhaps narcissistic person acting out. So, if someone's looking for a teaching including alcohol, firearms and cigarettes (why not include sex, by the way?) then the question to be raised is rather: why? We all know that cigarettes cause cancer, firearms can be harmful, and alcohol is not the healthiest diet. So, why explicitly ask for these things? Who's preventing you from drinking, smoking and, well, shooting? A tantric teacher will not suddenly allow you to act out your own unfulfilled desires, you'll actually have to deal with them yourself.

Crazywisdom
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:02 pm

All you need is to learn some straightforward Dzogchen and go practice in the wild. Then, go practice while you do all the things you want but know if you’ve lost your mind or if you can maintain your composure. Then go talk with your lama and discuss your experiences. He will set you straight. Actual crazy wisdom will wreck your life and leave you with nothing and none to hold on to. But you can die alone in the dharmakaya.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

sunandmoon
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by sunandmoon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:29 am

fckw wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:50 am
Most people are not really ready for "crazy wisdom" style teaching. A crazy wisdom teacher whom you approach in the belief that he'll do sex, drugs and rock'n roll with you might actually give you the prajnaparamita to learn by heart before doing anything else. Or have you do anything unbearably boring and repetitive. There are some quite wild teachers out there, but they are typically not the ones walking around with a big plate saying: "Wild thing". In fact, any teacher doing that is most probably not worth approaching. Most really wild teachers with some level of realization will probably look pretty conservative and boring at the outside. Their inner realization does not necessarily show in outrageous acts, which more often than not is simply a sign of a silly or perhaps narcissistic person acting out. So, if someone's looking for a teaching including alcohol, firearms and cigarettes (why not include sex, by the way?) then the question to be raised is rather: why? We all know that cigarettes cause cancer, firearms can be harmful, and alcohol is not the healthiest diet. So, why explicitly ask for these things? Who's preventing you from drinking, smoking and, well, shooting? A tantric teacher will not suddenly allow you to act out your own unfulfilled desires, you'll actually have to deal with them yourself.
You raise a lot of good points and questions - I don't really have much experience with "crazy wisdom" teachers, so I can't really comment much on there being a significant different outward/inward appearance and display. Although that's an interesting point - I usually looked at the outer appearance as somewhat of an indicator, all-be-it imperfect, of what the teacher will be like privately. As you said, that assumption could be quite incorrect. Will have to look at this a little bit more. Thanks for raising an interesting question.

About the whole firearms thing, I think you're maybe reading too literally into what I'm saying. What I was trying to say was I was looking for a teacher who was on the wild side and not so stuck in what I see as rigid dualistic morality, based on all the reasons, which are quite good and you mentioned, why these things are usually avoided by most "good" people - alcohol leads to heddlesness and is harmful to health, weapons are instruments of violence, and smoking is indulgent and harmful to health as well. What I'd say these people sometimes don't see is the unwholesomeness of their rigidly dualistic view of these activities and their beliefs - ie, heedlesness really is bad, harming your health really is bad, violence really is bad, etc. I'm attracted to this style of teaching and practice because these actions give expression to a philosophical perspective/view which I resonate deeply with.

Some of my background, I'd been a pretty hardcore, black-and-white Buddhist (8 precepts since 19, and then 227 as a Theravadan Bhikkhu from 22 to 27). For some reasons I'd rather not get into, I started to distance myself from the traditional Theravadan philosophy and practice and be more drawn towards the "wild" side which tangibly expresses the non-dual nature of reality by engaging in things which are typically seen as unwholesome - firearms, smoking, and alcohol being just a few examples of these things. Other wild behavior could easily be included, like dressing in drag or sitting down in an elevator. So when I said that I was interested in more "wild" teachers, it was because that's where my own view is at present. Not saying it's absolutely right, just my present opinion. And it seems the most sensible for me to search for someone who has similar views to my own. For example, I'm looking for a teacher in the Tibetan Tradition, not a Christian hermit, or even training under my former Theravadan teacher - although I respect my former teacher immensely and feel much gratitude for all that he's given me. My take seems pretty sensible IMHO. I am biased, however. Hahaha.

Another point, the more wild, playful, rebellious type is also more of my personality. I've been this way since I was a young child, and thus find that teachers who have this streak I connect with and communicate with much more easily.

sunandmoon
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by sunandmoon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:37 am

rai wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:46 pm
i heard an advice from one Rinpoche to wholeheartedly pray to Buddha Shakyamuni or Guru Rinpoche to find a qualified teacher. it worked for me.
Hahaha. Yes, thank you for reminding me of this - I've not really been doing much of this. But also part of me doesn't like this "wholeheartedly" thing - I was just reading Trungpa Rinpoche and he was talking about the importance of having a sense of humor and not taking things too seriously - and I suppose when I read "wholeheartedly praying" it struck me as this very serious thing - trying to find my guru to get my liberation. In one way, it's an immense joke - this moment is the guru. If I get too caught-up in seeking in a very desperate way, I end-up missing the luminous perfection of what is already and always has been right here - this. Maybe that's why I'm not really taking this whole thing too seriously and have been a little lazy with the whole thing and why it's taken me two years and I've still not really settled on anyone - I don't want to lose sight of the importance of the present and of recognizing my true nature here and now, rather than waiting for some magical guru to zap me to enlightenment.

I don't know if you meant it in such a serious way, but just my interpretation. But I will also start praying to Guru Rinpoche. This is something which I've neglected and it's regrettable that I've done so. :crying:

sunandmoon
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by sunandmoon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:39 am

Tata1 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:07 pm
There are lots of very well trained teachers that are not famouse and have great capacity of guiding people in practice both in india/nepal and in the west. This is not a romantic idea, nor you have to some sort of supermagical good karma to met one. Its the same process as any other kind of teacher. You just look around, ask, analize teachers, take teachings, practice and so on. In fact i would say that its more romantic the rockstar guru thing(wich is also.very good). There is no guarantee anywhere
Tata, really great points! :twothumbsup:

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:23 am

sunandmoon wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:39 am
Tata1 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:07 pm
There are lots of very well trained teachers that are not famouse and have great capacity of guiding people in practice both in india/nepal and in the west. This is not a romantic idea, nor you have to some sort of supermagical good karma to met one. Its the same process as any other kind of teacher. You just look around, ask, analize teachers, take teachings, practice and so on. In fact i would say that its more romantic the rockstar guru thing(wich is also.very good). There is no guarantee anywhere
Tata, really great points! :twothumbsup:
Make sure your teacher whether known or unknown is enlightened. Important to have confidence in that.

fckw
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by fckw » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:21 am

sunandmoon wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:29 am
You raise a lot of good points and questions - I don't really have much experience with "crazy wisdom" teachers, so I can't really comment much on there being a significant different outward/inward appearance and display. Although that's an interesting point - I usually looked at the outer appearance as somewhat of an indicator, all-be-it imperfect, of what the teacher will be like privately. As you said, that assumption could be quite incorrect. Will have to look at this a little bit more. Thanks for raising an interesting question.

About the whole firearms thing, I think you're maybe reading too literally into what I'm saying. What I was trying to say was I was looking for a teacher who was on the wild side and not so stuck in what I see as rigid dualistic morality, based on all the reasons, which are quite good and you mentioned, why these things are usually avoided by most "good" people - alcohol leads to heddlesness and is harmful to health, weapons are instruments of violence, and smoking is indulgent and harmful to health as well. What I'd say these people sometimes don't see is the unwholesomeness of their rigidly dualistic view of these activities and their beliefs - ie, heedlesness really is bad, harming your health really is bad, violence really is bad, etc. I'm attracted to this style of teaching and practice because these actions give expression to a philosophical perspective/view which I resonate deeply with.

Some of my background, I'd been a pretty hardcore, black-and-white Buddhist (8 precepts since 19, and then 227 as a Theravadan Bhikkhu from 22 to 27). For some reasons I'd rather not get into, I started to distance myself from the traditional Theravadan philosophy and practice and be more drawn towards the "wild" side which tangibly expresses the non-dual nature of reality by engaging in things which are typically seen as unwholesome - firearms, smoking, and alcohol being just a few examples of these things. Other wild behavior could easily be included, like dressing in drag or sitting down in an elevator. So when I said that I was interested in more "wild" teachers, it was because that's where my own view is at present. Not saying it's absolutely right, just my present opinion. And it seems the most sensible for me to search for someone who has similar views to my own. For example, I'm looking for a teacher in the Tibetan Tradition, not a Christian hermit, or even training under my former Theravadan teacher - although I respect my former teacher immensely and feel much gratitude for all that he's given me. My take seems pretty sensible IMHO. I am biased, however. Hahaha.

Another point, the more wild, playful, rebellious type is also more of my personality. I've been this way since I was a young child, and thus find that teachers who have this streak I connect with and communicate with much more easily.
Looks like the normal course of life to me. There's a reason why I quit Therevada Vipassana after several years or practice and started practicing Vajrayana Tantra and Dzogchen, but only few people will understand it on a more than superficial level. I am also very grateful for all I've learned in these lineages, but at some point the limitations of the underlying view became more and more apparent to me.

Gangteng Tulku might be a teacher whom you could consider approaching.

PeterC
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by PeterC » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:10 pm

There’s a lot of good suggestions here. Also a lot of discussion by the OP about what kind of lama he/she *wants*.

To paraphrase Garrison Keillor, sometimes good fortune consists not of getting what you want but getting what you need, and having the good sense to realize that this is what you would have wanted at the outset if you had known more about yourself.

amanitamusc
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by amanitamusc » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:02 pm

Hope you find a Lama that you are pleased with.
I am looking for a girl friend right now that likes horse races and that is very good at etch a sketch,
she can smoke but only merit cigs. she must smoke outside and not inhale.She must drink and swear but only in Russian.This would be a single event every 18 months :twothumbsup:
I think my request and yours has equal importance. :rolleye:

Miroku
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Re: Searching for a Teacher

Post by Miroku » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:34 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:02 pm
Hope you find a Lama that you are pleased with.
I am looking for a girl friend right now that likes horse races and that is very good at etch a sketch,
she can smoke but only merit cigs. she must smoke outside and not inhale.She must drink and swear but only in Russian.This would be a single event every 18 months :twothumbsup:
I think my request and yours has equal importance. :rolleye:
:good:

Exactly. It is important to find a teacher you feel connection with and that teacher must be qualified to lead sentient beings. These are the important points. I think somewhere online should be a list of qualities for which to look in a teacher.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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