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Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:07 am
by Caoimhghín
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:54 pm
You might wanna read some of the (relatively accessible) books recommended earlier. There innumerable non- academic books out there with ( for instance )explanations of creation and completion stages, categories of tantra, etc.
:anjali:

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:08 am
by Könchok Thrinley
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:24 pm
I would also like to thank the OP, avatar being Anders, for making this thread. I am another "common" Mahāyānika who would like to learn from this, to me, "alternative" perspective, but I myself could not think of a way to ask, unlike the aforesaid and thanked OP.
Oh yeah, me too. Even a wannabe-Tantrika such as myself can benefit from this thread. Really lovely discussion guys! :good: Truly a shining example of why dharmawheel can be a great place to learn.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
by Caoimhghín
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:54 pm
There innumerable non- academic books out there with ( for instance )explanations of creation and completion stages, [...] etc.
I thank you for the recources, and rest assured, I know what the creation and completion stages are. The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination. The issue is my skepticism. Skepticism can be both a burden and a blessing. From my projection of your point of view, I can imagine with regards to me that it is a burden more than a blessing.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:27 am
by Thomas Amundsen
I know this is addressed to Malcolm, but I'll respond because sometimes Malcolm doesn't respond when comments get buried. And this is already starting to get buried.
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:24 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:10 pm
If you don't wake up during the empowerment, then you have a sadhana to practice. In that sadhana, you continue to take gather the two accumulations, take empowerment, and so on.
In your experience and/or opinion, how common is it to quote-on-quote "not wake up" during empowerment?
Virtually 100% these days. I've never heard a contemporary story of this happening. Honestly, I've only heard about it in the namthars of ancient masters.
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:24 pm
Also, for those who are not mantrayanikāḥ, what are these sādhanāni and what, in your opinion, are some good internet resources for learning about them?
Sadhanas are generally restricted texts, and you need to receive a reading transmission of the sadhana in order to be able to practice it. That said, I am under the impression that Kalu Rinpoche made this sadhana publicly available - http://www.kdk.org/images/chenrezig_sadhana.pdf - only the self-generation is restricted.
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:24 pm
Is it appropriate for you to discuss your own sādhanāni as an example? Or is it rather that you would not like to discuss your practice in public? It both? As a more general question, what would you consider a "normative" sādhana? Please note these questions come from a position of complete ignorance with regards to Vajrayāna.
My impression is that there is a general rule in Vajrayana that you don't discuss your practice with anyone but your guru. However, in reality, if you go to a Dharma center or bookshop, you will readily hear many seasoned practitioners talk openly about which sadhanas they practice. And many lamas have publicly stated that a particular sadhana is their "heart practice".

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:30 am
by Thomas Amundsen
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination.
Can you unpack this a bit? I didn't see that question posed in the previous comment.

I'll attempt to respond to what I think your question is, but I might be answering the wrong question. I've heard lamas say that if you just have a feeling of devotion to the guru as the Buddha while receiving the empowerment, then you receive the empowerment, regardless of whether you properly did all of the visualizations, etc. This is actually a profound teaching, in my opinion.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:35 am
by Johnny Dangerous
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:54 pm
There innumerable non- academic books out there with ( for instance )explanations of creation and completion stages, [...] etc.
I thank you for the recources, and rest assured, I know what the creation and completion stages are. The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination. The issue is my skepticism. Skepticism can be both a burden and a blessing. From my projection of your point of view, I can imagine with regards to me that it is a burden more than a blessing.


Why do you care what other practitioners realization is? You pick a a vehicle that speaks to you and apply yourself accordingly.

No one's asking you to believe or accept anything, nor for permission for our own practice from people who are skeptical.

In my experience, you don't always know what you've received at the moment, but you might get a brief flash. The significance sometimes unfolds as you do the practice.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:39 am
by Caoimhghín
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:30 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination.
Can you unpack this a bit? I didn't see that question posed in the previous comment.
I can repeat what I said before, which might be "buried":
So from this thread I gather that tantrikāḥ believe that they have received abhiṣeka from the 10-directional Buddhas. This is the same abhiṣeka that "common-path" (or whatever the appropriate term here is) bodhisattvāḥ receive at the close of the 10th bodhisattvabhūmi.
I am skeptical as to if every tantrayānika authentically has this ordination.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:35 am
Why do you care what 'my' realization is? You pick a a vehicle that speaks to you and apply yourself accordingly.

No one's asking you to believe or accept anything.
This is related. My apologies. If I implied any "you", I meant a "rhetorical you" rather than a "personal you". I agree that we pick a vehicle that speaks to us and apply ourselves accordingly.

If you might forgive me one pedantic disagreement, people are asking me to believe or accept. What people are not is demanding (by force or not) that I believe or accept.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:41 am
by Thomas Amundsen
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:30 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination.
Can you unpack this a bit? I didn't see that question posed in the previous comment.
I can repeat what I said before, which might be "buried":
So from this thread I gather that tantrikāḥ believe that they have received abhiṣeka from the 10-directional Buddhas. This is the same abhiṣeka that "common-path" (or whatever the appropriate term here is) bodhisattvāḥ receive at the close of the 10th bodhisattvabhūmi.
I am skeptical as to if every tantrayānika authentically has this ordination.
OK, that is an interesting question. I doubt that it is answered in any of the books mentioned in this thread. I have never heard an explanation about that and would also be curious to hear what an educated response might be.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:42 am
by Johnny Dangerous
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:39 am
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:30 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:13 am
The "issue", from my own mere projection of "your" point of view, is my own skepticism with regards to if you (all) authentically have this ordination.
Can you unpack this a bit? I didn't see that question posed in the previous comment.
I can repeat what I said before, which might be "buried":
So from this thread I gather that tantrikāḥ believe that they have received abhiṣeka from the 10-directional Buddhas. This is the same abhiṣeka that "common-path" (or whatever the appropriate term here is) bodhisattvāḥ receive at the close of the 10th bodhisattvabhūmi.
I am skeptical as to if every tantrayānika authentically has this ordination.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:35 am
Why do you care what 'my' realization is? You pick a a vehicle that speaks to you and apply yourself accordingly.

No one's asking you to believe or accept anything.
This is related. My apologies. If I implied any "you", I meant a "rhetorical you" rather than a "personal you". I agree that we pick a vehicle that speaks to us and apply ourselves accordingly.

If you might forgive me one pedantic disagreement, people are asking me to to believe or accept. What people are not is demanding (by force or not) that I believe or accept.
No, this is the Tibetan section, you aren't entitled to pick apart anyones practice here, as no one is asking you to believe anything. The OP is a set of specific quedtions. Though if it really interests you we can move it to open Dharma, or you can start a 'skeptical' thread there.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:44 am
by Caoimhghín
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:42 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:39 am
Thomas Amundsen wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:30 am
Can you unpack this a bit? I didn't see that question posed in the previous comment.
I can repeat what I said before, which might be "buried":
So from this thread I gather that tantrikāḥ believe that they have received abhiṣeka from the 10-directional Buddhas. This is the same abhiṣeka that "common-path" (or whatever the appropriate term here is) bodhisattvāḥ receive at the close of the 10th bodhisattvabhūmi.
I am skeptical as to if every tantrayānika authentically has this ordination.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:35 am
Why do you care what 'my' realization is? You pick a a vehicle that speaks to you and apply yourself accordingly.

No one's asking you to believe or accept anything.
This is related. My apologies. If I implied any "you", I meant a "rhetorical you" rather than a "personal you". I agree that we pick a vehicle that speaks to us and apply ourselves accordingly.

If you might forgive me one pedantic disagreement, people are asking me to to believe or accept. What people are not is demanding (by force or not) that I believe or accept.
No, this is the Tibetan section, you aren't entitled to pick apart anyones practice here, though if it really interests you we can move it to open Dharma.
I'm very sorry, I was not aware that I was being untowards toward the community here. I was really trying to be my most polite, while also voicing my own personal authentic skepticism. I suppose this was perhaps "picking apart". That wasn't what I was trying to do. I am very interested in hearing from people and reading what they have to say. If it is best for this to be moved to Open Dharma, though, I understand, and although my compliance is not necessarily, I would comply with moderator consensus.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:47 am
by Johnny Dangerous
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:44 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:42 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:39 am
I can repeat what I said before, which might be "buried":I am skeptical as to if every tantrayānika authentically has this ordination.This is related. My apologies. If I implied any "you", I meant a "rhetorical you" rather than a "personal you". I agree that we pick a vehicle that speaks to us and apply ourselves accordingly.

If you might forgive me one pedantic disagreement, people are asking me to to believe or accept. What people are not is demanding (by force or not) that I believe or accept.
No, this is the Tibetan section, you aren't entitled to pick apart anyones practice here, though if it really interests you we can move it to open Dharma.
I'm very sorry, I was not aware that I was being untowards toward the community here. I was really trying to be my most polite, while also voicing my own personal authentic skepticism. I suppose this was perhaps "picking apart". That wasn't what I was trying to do. I am very interested in hearing from people and reading what they have to say. If it is best for this to be moved to Open Dharma, though, I understand, and although my compliance is not necessarily, I would comply with moderator consensus.
What are you actually asking then, for people to prove they received empowerments, and that they worked as advertised? Sort of a hard question to answer for anyone's practice beyond the usual...

Like I said, you might get brief flashes of the significance of an initiation, work it for years and have the practice manifest, I doubt theres any single answer. In my case I surmise a practice actually led me to major life changes, including a new career, and new ways of interacting with people..but of course these sorts of things are personal experiences, and describing the significance on a forum is difficult.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:54 am
by Caoimhghín
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:47 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:44 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:42 am


No, this is the Tibetan section, you aren't entitled to pick apart anyones practice here, though if it really interests you we can move it to open Dharma.
I'm very sorry, I was not aware that I was being untowards toward the community here. I was really trying to be my most polite, while also voicing my own personal authentic skepticism. I suppose this was perhaps "picking apart". That wasn't what I was trying to do. I am very interested in hearing from people and reading what they have to say. If it is best for this to be moved to Open Dharma, though, I understand, and although my compliance is not necessarily, I would comply with moderator consensus.
What are you actually asking then, for people to prove they received empowerments, and that they worked as advertised? Sort of a hard question to answer for anyone's practice beyond the usual...
Being the abhiṣikta of the daśadiktatathāgatāni (10-directional buddhas) is equivalent to having the realization of Śākyamunibuddha, that is why I am skeptical. I am not actually asking anything. In retrospect I should have never posted. My apologies.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:01 am
by Johnny Dangerous
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:54 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:47 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:44 am
I'm very sorry, I was not aware that I was being untowards toward the community here. I was really trying to be my most polite, while also voicing my own personal authentic skepticism. I suppose this was perhaps "picking apart". That wasn't what I was trying to do. I am very interested in hearing from people and reading what they have to say. If it is best for this to be moved to Open Dharma, though, I understand, and although my compliance is not necessarily, I would comply with moderator consensus.
What are you actually asking then, for people to prove they received empowerments, and that they worked as advertised? Sort of a hard question to answer for anyone's practice beyond the usual...
Being the abhiṣikta of the daśadiktathāgatādibhiḥ (10-directional buddha seminarians) is equivalent to having the realization of Śākyamunibuddha, that is why I am skeptical. I am not actually asking anything. In retrospect I should have never posted. My apologies.
Are you unable to parse theory and practice? I mean cmon is Vajrayana your first encounter with triumphalist claims in Buddhism? As well read as you are, seems unlikely. Every vehicle has its claims, and its explanation of why it is effective, arguing over such a point really goes nowhere, doesn't it?

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:01 am
by Caoimhghín
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:01 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:54 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:47 am


What are you actually asking then, for people to prove they received empowerments, and that they worked as advertised? Sort of a hard question to answer for anyone's practice beyond the usual...
Being the abhiṣikta of the daśadiktathāgatādibhiḥ (10-directional buddha seminarians) is equivalent to having the realization of Śākyamunibuddha, that is why I am skeptical. I am not actually asking anything. In retrospect I should have never posted. My apologies.
Are you unable to parse theory and practice? I mean cmon is Vajrayana your first encounter with triumphalist claims in Buddhism? As well read as you are, seems unlikely. Every vehicle has its claims, and its explanation of why it is effective, arguing over such a point really goes nowhere, doesn't it?
I suppose that's why in retrospect I should have never posted. My apologies.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:05 am
by Jangchup Donden
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:40 pm
Jangchup Donden wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:26 am
TrimePema wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:56 am
Thank you. This is really wonderful.

Does it follow then that an arya bodhisattva benefits sentient beings similarly to a non-arya bodhisattva but any given instance of their activities are 100x, 1000x, etc more inconceivably beneficial? Since at the very least, not considering any siddhi like knowing the karma of others and being able to teach directly according to the needs of any being, an arya being can display the path 100 or 1000 (etc) more times than a non-arya bodhisattva?
Well given that an arya has had a glimpse of emptiness, the activity they're able to engage in is greater. For example, a non-arya probably cannot give up limbs or their life without regret or selfishness, which limits its benefit. That would not be a problem for an arya. Also, a non-arya can't dedicate merit of those actions in the same manner as an arya (except through emulation) because they haven't realized emptiness.
So a common mahayanika cannot benefit beings in any way that is close to the ways in which an arya bodhisattva can? In that case, wouldn't a common mahaniyaka would be best served using this lifetime practicing the swiftest path to enlightenment?
That's my view at any rate. That being said, the swiftest path for a sentient being is dependent on their current faculties and karma. So what will make a sentient being progress the fastest could be hinayana, mahayana, vajrayana; who knows, it may even be a worldly path if they need to accumulate basic merit for higher rebirth to properly attain the 18 freedoms to really practice.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:04 am
by PeterC
Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:01 am
I suppose that's why in retrospect I should have never posted. My apologies.
This is a discussion board, there's really no reason to apologize for using it for discussion. But the problem with this is that the Vajrayana operates on premises and tenets that are, from the perspective of the common Mahayana's doctrines, inconceivable. The common Mahayana operates on tenets that are, from the perspective of the lower vehicles and paths, inconceivable. One could make similar comments regarding some of the East Asian Mahayana doctrines. So all anyone can really tell you as regards the Vajrayana is, this is what it says in our texts and traditions. There's no basis for a dialog between traditions on these points. This is more fundamental than simply 'de gustibus'.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:42 am
by Wayfarer
PeterC wrote:the problem with this is that the Vajrayana operates on premises and tenets that are, from the perspective of the common Mahayana's doctrines, inconceivable.
Which is probably a good argument for keeping them off Internet forums that any tom, dick or hari can sign up to on the strength of a valid email.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:27 am
by Norwegian
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:42 am
PeterC wrote:the problem with this is that the Vajrayana operates on premises and tenets that are, from the perspective of the common Mahayana's doctrines, inconceivable.
Which is probably a good argument for keeping them off Internet forums that any tom, dick or hari can sign up to on the strength of a valid email.
There are things from Vajrayana that can be discussed publicly, and there are things that cannot be discussed publicly. If you want to go down this particular lane (that of keeping off certain premises and tenets from regular folks) then I'm afraid the same thing must be done with common Mahayana, considering the Bodhisattva vows, i.e., not discussing emptiness with those who are not ready to hear such things... How can you know what person on this forum is ready to hear about emptiness or not?

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:48 pm
by PeterC
Norwegian wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:27 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:42 am
PeterC wrote:the problem with this is that the Vajrayana operates on premises and tenets that are, from the perspective of the common Mahayana's doctrines, inconceivable.
Which is probably a good argument for keeping them off Internet forums that any tom, dick or hari can sign up to on the strength of a valid email.
There are things from Vajrayana that can be discussed publicly, and there are things that cannot be discussed publicly. If you want to go down this particular lane (that of keeping off certain premises and tenets from regular folks) then I'm afraid the same thing must be done with common Mahayana, considering the Bodhisattva vows, i.e., not discussing emptiness with those who are not ready to hear such things... How can you know what person on this forum is ready to hear about emptiness or not?
I sometimes think that would be a good thing. The most commonly given, and best piece of advice on this board is: find a qualified teacher and ask them. But often people ask questions here because they don’t want to find a teacher, and they don’t want to read a book.

Re: A request to explain Vajrayana to a common Mahayanika

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:41 pm
by javier.espinoza.t
Norwegian wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:27 am
Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:42 am
PeterC wrote:the problem with this is that the Vajrayana operates on premises and tenets that are, from the perspective of the common Mahayana's doctrines, inconceivable.
Which is probably a good argument for keeping them off Internet forums that any tom, dick or hari can sign up to on the strength of a valid email.
There are things from Vajrayana that can be discussed publicly, and there are things that cannot be discussed publicly. If you want to go down this particular lane (that of keeping off certain premises and tenets from regular folks) then I'm afraid the same thing must be done with common Mahayana, considering the Bodhisattva vows, i.e., not discussing emptiness with those who are not ready to hear such things... How can you know what person on this forum is ready to hear about emptiness or not?
Those who want to investigate what emptiness means, because of karma, will find out and understand what they can.

A person not interested in researching what emptiness means will never understand anything, nor be interested in this very conversation.

It is not so easy to say " this is emptines, it is this way...",
Hopefully all one can have is a sort of hint about it.

Danger i can foresee about explaining such thing in a discourse is that someone with blind fate would take it in a very distorted way...distorted like literal, in his own way, the way they like, as they want it to be, etc. That can be a ruin.