Retreats in tb

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:32 pm

I would also add, HE Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche, the sister of HH Sakya Trichen, worked on a farm when she immigrated to Canada, while taking care of several children, AND practicing daily.

If it was possible for her, it's most definitely possible for you considering you very likely do not have as many responsibilities.

yagmort
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:53 pm

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:10 pm
...but what Yagmort is saying is defeatist...
that is your opinion, bro.

just like what i said is mine.

if you disagree that's ok.

besides, it seems like you skipped what i was trying to say altogether.

i said i see big difference in those "daily lifes".

a daily life somewhere in ladakh or lahoul or anywhere in a more or less rural buddhist himalaya places is still pretty much like days of old. they still live in sync with nature, harvesting barley by autumn and spending winters near stove. they don't know what facebook is etc. if you haven't been there you could take a look at Pan Nalin's "Samsara" (2001). of course things change rather rapidly nowadays. that kind of daily life has nothing to do with a social competition we got in western society, fast cellular network, smartphones, overall consumerism and material values, where the measure of success is how much money and influence do you have, not how happy and at peace with everything you are. now i have my doubts that it is possible to succesfully integrate buddhist practice with that type of "daily life".
another thing is the amount distractions we got here. Tenzin Palmo once said that when they got a new group of girl from Zangskar who wanted to become nuns, she was amazed at how naturally peaceful and calm they were. they could sit still for hours and don't get bored or distracted. she attributed this to their homeland where they still live like a century ago.
Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:32 pm
I would also add, HE Jetsun Kushok Rinpoche, the sister of HH Sakya Trichen, worked on a farm when she immigrated to Canada, while taking care of several children, AND practicing daily.

If it was possible for her, it's most definitely possible for you considering you very likely do not have as many responsibilities.
yep and Garchen Rinpoche and many others who have been in China's prisons have been practising there. but did i say you can't practice in daily life?

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 9343
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:06 pm

You make some good points, but they are premised on the idea that everyone has the same buy-in with the competitive, consumerist culture you mention.

That simply isn't true at all. You find wildly different "daily lives" in terms of priorities, family situation, family/home culture chosen work, place of living etc. in modern societies.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

-Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso

Sennin
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Sennin » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:33 pm

Varis wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:30 pm
Anyways, I believe Sakyapas place strong emphasis on daily practice outside of retreat.
Indeed. (Though I believe all schools in general do as well.)
Retreat is essential as well though for example Ngawang Lekpa Rinpoche who did tons of retreats.
Another aspect of the Sakya approach I find interesting is how the main emphasis is on the extremely detailed visualizations in the development and completion stage for the meditation; with recitation of mantra being post meditation activity.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:40 pm

Sennin wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:33 pm
Indeed. (Though I believe all schools in general do as well.)
Retreat is essential as well though for example Ngawang Lekpa Rinpoche who did tons of retreats.
Another aspect of the Sakya approach I find interesting is how the main emphasis is on the extremely detailed visualizations in the development and completion stage for the meditation; with recitation of mantra being post meditation activity.
I believe with the whole indivisibility of samsara and nirvana thing it takes daily practice and integration with regular life to a different level, right?

Sennin
Posts: 864
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Sennin » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:49 pm

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:40 pm

I believe with the whole indivisibility of samsara and nirvana thing it takes daily practice and integration with regular life to a different level, right?
I'm not certain it's so lineage specific, practice probably comes down to an individual's motivation and diligence.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 pm

yagmort wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:53 pm
yep and Garchen Rinpoche and many others who have been in China's prisons have been practising there. but did i say you can't practice in daily life?
Nope, but you certainly pooh-poohed daily practice outside of retreat in your earlier posts. Remember that daily practice doesn't have to be a half-assed hour a day thing. AFAIK Jetsun Kunshok Rinpoche would stay up into the late hours of the night doing her practices. You can have a strong practice while living a normal life if you cut out the unnecessary things like watching TV, social media, etc. That doesn't mean you have to be a social hermit, or can't watch a movie once in a while, just be moderate. Sleep can also be integrated into the path, which is supposedly the easiest way to attain Buddhahood.

All the things you described, fast cellular networks, social media, etc. all of that exists in India and Nepal. All the Tibetans in exile are in the same boat as the rest of us. You can find monks on facebook, lol! Don't be so negative, cheer up.

User avatar
Miroku
Global Moderator
Posts: 1439
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Miroku » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:06 pm
You make some good points, but they are premised on the idea that everyone has the same buy-in with the competitive, consumerist culture you mention.

That simply isn't true at all. You find wildly different "daily lives" in terms of priorities, family situation, family/home culture chosen work, place of living etc. in modern societies.
:good:
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

Even non-buddhists have many virtuous accomplishments
~ Jigten Sumgon

User avatar
bryandavis
Posts: 248
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by bryandavis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 am

Daily Life vs. Retreat is what this thread should be retitled as.

Its not so polarized really is it? It seem more like a matter of time / familiarization.

If you spend a year, or three, or nine in a more isolated retreat setting you simply have the possibility of (add descriptive here..... absorb, familiarize, become accustomed to, integrate, whatever..) with the methods being practiced.

Of course if you learn a skill set for 3, 6, or 9 years, all day everyday, you will become an expert in that skill set. If you learn the same skill set over 12, 24, 36 years you will also become quite skilled.

If one is fortunate enough to enter a retreat at a younger age there are some physical advantages with the yogas that can not be overlooked. However things like these are methods / prescriptions / pathways.

Garchen Rinpoche said in a recent group interview when talking about six yoga's practices:

"when you do a three year retreat you learn about all these practices and understand how to use them. You become familiar with all the practices a bit. Then you enter a 2nd three year retreat and it is like actually cooking. You focus more on the visualizations and feeling the practices. Then your 3rd three year retreat you actually taste these practices. First is like reading a cookbook, second is cooking, thirds is when real experience dawns."

Thats one way to look at it.

As far as practice in daily life, if we are Dharma practitioners are we not doing that when ever we remember and using methods we have been taught?

Fully integrating practice into daily life is sort of like a great achievement no? Like non stop liberation of thoughts and seeing the outer/inner environment for what it really is?

Dawa, Gompa, Chodpa ? First resolve the veiw, then practice that view & become the view, then enter into the action?

Anyway it doesnt seem that complicated. Are we not in it for the long haul anyhow with Bodhisattva vows?

:cheers:

n8pee
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by n8pee » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:27 am

Anyway it doesnt seem that complicated. Are we not in it for the long haul anyhow with Bodhisattva vows?
That does sum it up. External circumstances will be what they will be.

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:39 pm

bryandavis wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:40 am
Fully integrating practice into daily life is sort of like a great achievement no? Like non stop liberation of thoughts and seeing the outer/inner environment for what it really is?
Indeed. One of Lakshminkara's disciples was a toilet cleaner at her brother's palace, he practiced diligently and achieved attainment. We should strive to be as dedicated to attaining realization in our own daily lives.

yagmort
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:04 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:06 pm
...That simply isn't true at all. You find wildly different "daily lives" in terms of priorities, family situation, family/home culture chosen work, place of living etc. in modern societies....
unless you don't spend 8 hours a day for making money and also can maintain your mind free from "black diffusion" (Tulky Urgyen Rinpoche) and from 8 wordly concerns i wouldn't count this as wildly different daily lives. if you can though i don't really think stayin in retreat is mandatory in that case as your daily life is basically that one of a constant practice.

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 pm
...Nope, but you certainly pooh-poohed daily practice outside of retreat in your earlier posts...
nope, that's your way to see my words). i said i just don't believe it suffice. daily live or retreat - if your practice doesn't occupy a decent chunk of your day i don't believe it suffice. many masters who are not in retreat still practice 6+ hours a day.
Jetsün Kushok Chimey you have mentioned completed her first retreat at age 10 (wiki). i don't think it's valid to take her as an example for the rest of us. Khyunga Rinpoche (Drikung) have been part of a road team building a long road from east to west of India for a few years but he have had 15+years of solitary retreat prior to that. do you think any of us could maintain their practice in such a "daily life"?

Varis wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:39 pm
...One of Lakshminkara's disciples was a toilet cleaner at her brother's palace, he practiced diligently and achieved attainment...
as if you know for a fact he spend 8 hours a day doing so? most of mahasiddhas got some skill they used to sustain their living, doesn't mean it occupied their waking life almost completely the way modern western lifestyle do.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche said (Rainbow Painting): "The three outer tantras of Kriya, Upa and Yoga take sixteen or thirteen lifetimes to reach fruition. According to Dzogchen or Mahamudra, when nondual awareness has been genuinely pointed out and correctly recognized, it is like the flawless dharmakaya placed directly in the palm of your hand. Try to apply the correct view in practice, from the moment of waking up throughout the whole day and most of the night, except for three hours of sleep. Then you will not need more than thirteen years to attain complete enlightenment! Enlightenment is possible when a qualified master meets a worthy, receptive disciple who possesses the highest capacity, and transmits, or points out, the unmistaken essence of mind so that it is recognized. It can indeed be pointed out; it can indeed be recognized; and it can indeed be trained in. If the student practices this for thirteen years, he or she can unquestionably attain complete enlightenment."

if you personally can integrate that quality of practice in your particular daily life then no problem for you. for me to think anything like that would be downright self-deception.

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 pm
...All the things you described, fast cellular networks, social media, etc. all of that exists in India and Nepal. All the Tibetans in exile are in the same boat as the rest of us. You can find monks on facebook, lol! Don't be so negative, cheer up.
i've been there, believe me, a daily life somewhere in lahoul or zangskar would be like a retreat settings for you, common talks excluding).
i wasn't saying facebook or 4g is what matters, i was pointing out the way they live still, and they are not in the same boat as the rest of us. go there and look for yourself. a monk doesn't automatically mean a good practitioner in my eyes, but being a monk even with a facebook account still leaves more time for a practice than many westerners have.
Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 pm
...Don't be so negative, cheer up.
that's your picture of me in your head)


overall, i think this bickering leads nowhere. i am one of those who see mixing modern western wordly life and practice as "mixing oil and water". a daily life of Henry Thoreau at Walden pond would be just fine)). ymmv.

P.S. here's good example of how vastly different a "daily life" can be.

User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 1129
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Nemo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:17 pm

Escaping personal narrative is the hard part. For some, probably most, that would take intense isolation and quiet. Telling someone that they should be able to lift 500lbs and run 10 miles while eating McDonalds every day like so and so is a bit silly. Some will practice to accumulate merit. Others want to see through reality to what lies beneath. Both are valid. If in the end there is no one to get enlightened it is not as serious as some would have you believe. Maybe that seriousness is holding you back? I think for most retreat is essential. Being invisible and not having people think too strongly about you. The flaws of capitalism makes living quietly almost impossible. Being poor means being homeless and criminalized. If you do see the chance to escape take it. I know I failed for many years trying to keep a foot in both worlds. You may have to become a bit of an outlaw.

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:13 pm

yagmort wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:04 pm
as if you know for a fact he spend 8 hours a day doing so? most of mahasiddhas got some skill they used to sustain their living, doesn't mean it occupied their waking life almost completely the way modern western lifestyle do.
Camaripa would spend all day working as a shoemaker. When he met his guru he begged him to teach him something so that he would not waste his life cobbling shoes. His guru taught him to how to transform his shoemaking into sadhana.
a monk doesn't automatically mean a good practitioner in my eyes, but being a monk even with a facebook account still leaves more time for a practice than many westerners have.
Most monks are so busy with monastic duties it's not uncommon for them to have little time for practice.

haha
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by haha » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:12 pm

This may be useful. The Value of Retreat by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.

The Value of Retreat

yagmort
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:14 pm

Varis wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:13 pm
...Camaripa would spend all day working as a shoemaker. When he met his guru he begged him to teach him something so that he would not waste his life cobbling shoes. His guru taught him to how to transform his shoemaking into sadhana...
looks like things are not that simple:

“...From the leather of conceptual thought and preconception on the mould of compassion, and stitch the thread of indifference to joy and sorrow with the awl of the Guru’s precepts and your own peak meditation experience. Thus you create the spontaneously accomplished dharmakāya shoes. Visualize your work as a meditation.”

The cobbler grasped the Guru’s apt metaphor and asked, “What signs will arise when I practice like this?”

“First you will feel an even stronger revulsion for samsāra, and then later whatever arises will dissolve into its own essential nature.” So saying the Guru vanished.

The cobbler abandoned his old home and went to a solitary place to meditate. Signs of accomplishment arose as his Guru had forseen. Describing his realization by analogy to his craft, he put on the shoes of the Guru’s instruction, and with a single bound he traversed the ground of ignorance that underlies six basic passions; after twelve years of practice all the obscurations of his mind were eradicated and he attained mahāmudrā-siddhi.

During the twelve years of twenty-four-hour-a-day practice of identifying the images of his craft with his Guru’s instruction the cobbler’s work was performed by Viśvakārmān, the god of arts and crafts, and his retinue. The people of Visnunagar were ignorant of his practice as well as the degree of his achievement, until one day a man came to inspect the cobbler’s shoes and found him composed in meditation while Viśvakārmān worked at the bench…”

source - "Masters of Mahamudra: Songs and Histories of the Eighty-Four Buddhist Siddhas"

User avatar
Miroku
Global Moderator
Posts: 1439
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:18 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Miroku » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:52 pm

haha wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:12 pm
This may be useful. The Value of Retreat by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.

The Value of Retreat
The link does not seem to work. :)
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

Even non-buddhists have many virtuous accomplishments
~ Jigten Sumgon

haha
Posts: 321
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 3:30 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by haha » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:57 pm

Miroku wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:52 pm
haha wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:12 pm
This may be useful. The Value of Retreat by His Holiness the Sakya Trizin.

The Value of Retreat
The link does not seem to work. :)
In that case, then try this one.
http://hhsakyatrizin.net/retreat/

Varis
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:09 am

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:57 am

yagmort wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:14 pm
looks like things are not that simple:

source - "Masters of Mahamudra: Songs and Histories of the Eighty-Four Buddhist Siddhas"
You left out the part that doesn't affirm your viewpoint.

"Doubt remains as to whether Cāmāripa meditated at his work bench or in the jungle. If the latter, he must have returned to cobbling at the end of his twelve years for the episode with Viśvakārmān's visitation and the people's discovery of his attainment. If the former, then his "old home" was his pre-initiation state of mind, and a "solitary place" was a cave in the mind free from preconceptions and mundane obsession in accordance with Saraha's Ḍākinī's definition. Thus Cāmāripa would have sat at his work for twelve years using his activity until finally it was "Viśvakārmān" who worked while he watched, utterly detached from his own activity, and at the point of free development, free of any mental interference in the work that his fingers performed without defect, he had achieved "his dharmakāya shoes." With this interpretation he renounced nothing but the eight mundane obsessions: praise and blame, loss and gain, pleasure and pain, ignominy and fame."

yagmort
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:18 am

because "doubt remains..."

Post Reply

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], humble.student and 74 guests