Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

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treningday
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Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by treningday » Sun May 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Hello everyone

I am fairly new to Buddhism though I was born into a Buddhist family, I never got serious about it until about five years ago. In the past three years, I have studied in a lineage with my current Guru, as well as explored other teachers online. I will spare the details but I am on bad relations with my current Guru and am not allowed to receive teachings from him until I reform my behavior, which is more of a repentance for my past behaviors and current attitude. This behavior has more to do with loyalty than some ethical breach like violation of precepts or non-virtuous activities. After more than a year of reflecting on this, I cannot do what he asks as I see there is also an issue from his side. What I mean is, he is a human, much to my naive surprise after viewing him as perfect and enlightened. In no way am I excusing myself of any fault, it's just there is more to the story. To clarify, I have not received empowerments from him, only transmission of mantras, so based on my understanding, there is no bond of samaya as I am not an official Vajrayana practitioner. This process has been extremely difficult and traumatizing for me and most of last year was spent in impotence and agony.

A good proportion of the other teachers that I have been interested in have shown themselves to be unworthy in their ethical conduct. Their teachings have been very beneficial and they have much depth of experience, at least as much as I can tell from my own understanding, but they have been disappointments in their morality. Thankfully I have enough grounding and experience in Dharma to press on but this has shaken me quite a few times.

I am starting to wonder if there is something about my karma that introduces me to problematic teachers or puts me in situations with some that lead to dilemmas; stuck between a rock and a hard place. Obviously this a newcomer's line of questioning but maybe someone has heard something from a teacher or some text that speaks of the karmic consequence that I feel I'm experiencing? Or is this simply a common thing and I have to learn to exercise more discernment and vetting? After several instances I am beginning to lose faith in my own ability for discernment and can't help but wonder why I'm attracted to the teachers I'm attracted to. It makes me doubtful of ever finding someone I can call my root guru and spending years in practice with without having some relationship breaking event occurring. I was actually a Zen guy and never really interested in Vajrayana. It was by accident that I met my Guru and to be honest I thought it was all very weird but something made me stay. So I take it that it's my karma to be involved with Vajrayana stuff.

Thank you for any insights.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon May 25, 2020 2:41 pm

You say that the current situation is
the result of your previous actions.
You also are asking if this is your karma!
:thinking:
:jumping:
Without hearing your teacher’s side of the story,
It’s kind of hard to know. Maybe your teacher thinks you are not ready to do certain practices that require a deep level of commitment.

One thing my teacher said is,
the Vajrayana path is indestructible.
Unlike a ceramic vase which breaks if it is damaged,
Vajrayana is like a metal vase.
If it gets bent, it can be hammered back into shape again.
Is there anything you need to fix?
。。。
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon May 25, 2020 3:56 pm

if you received just a set of lung of mantras it doesn't mean it is your guru, but in any case you should foster a good relationship.

if you are concerned about his/her behaviour and you cannot support it or abstain from critizice , it is better to politely say your reasons and set aside: there is no reason or justification for you to remain stuck in your dissapointment.

i would like to sugest you find a teacher that is a monastic, that way is less probable you get behavioural concerns. lay teachers are more likely to cause them.

it is good that you FIRST OF ALL investigate about the teacher before deciding to adventure into a guru-disciple relationship.

if you are practicing morality you'll pay more attention to that, for sure.

in my case i made sure my teacher ChNN was doing all the paraphernalia of rising a community, teaching here and there, dealing with a horde of wildlings, etc. because of boddhicita. if it wheren't because of boddhicita i would have rejected him and his teachings no matter what.

in another case, even if circumstances where good and friends where insisting and supporting the chance, i refused to take empowerment from a certain teacher because i investigated and found out a very nasty problem about him, a problem that have implications that i cannot accept from someone who teaches the dharma.

so, i would like to advice that you do your homework first. and check.

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PeterC
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by PeterC » Mon May 25, 2020 4:31 pm

There’s a danger in overanalyzing these things.

Even if you haven’t received an empowerment from a teacher, if you have received any dharma teachings from them you should view them with gratitude and respect. There is no benefit in harboring negative thoughts toward them.

If you don’t feel you can receive teachings from them, for whatever reason, then don’t. Do your own practice and if you need teachings seek out another lama while maintaining as positive a view as possible of your first lama.

If you don’t find a lama who meets your standard for ethical conduct then keep looking. If none of them do, reflect on the possibility that you may be projecting negative interpretations onto others a bit too much.

You’ll probably find a lot of people here who have at some point had issues of this kind. As a German once said, the solution to life’s problems is often seen in the vanishing of the problem.

Danny
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Danny » Mon May 25, 2020 4:35 pm

He has to check you out as much as you check him out. The karma issue is bit of a red herring in my opinion. Some students think that if they get a warm fuzzy tingle up their leg from a teacher that means this is the one for me, equally a teacher cannot say who has and does not have the capacity to be good student. Also I forget who said it here recently, but a guru is not your new best friend. I think that's pretty much all I got to say.
Good luck.

Regards

treningday
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by treningday » Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 2:41 pm
You say that the current situation is
the result of your previous actions.
You also are asking if this is your karma!
:thinking:
:jumping:
Without hearing your teacher’s side of the story,
It’s kind of hard to know. Maybe your teacher thinks you are not ready to do certain practices that require a deep level of commitment.

One thing my teacher said is,
the Vajrayana path is indestructible.
Unlike a ceramic vase which breaks if it is damaged,
Vajrayana is like a metal vase.
If it gets bent, it can be hammered back into shape again.
Is there anything you need to fix?
。。。
Yes everything is the result of past actions. I meant more the luck I have in being attracted to teachers who end up having ethical issues or otherwise I would have problems with could be the karmic result of something I have done in the past. An extreme example: when Marpa prostrated to Heruka (I think that was the deity) instead of Naropa, his family lineage ended because of this.

I have empowerments from other lamas, monastic ones but didn't have instructions on practice. I was on track to receiving Yamantaka instructions from him but because of this incident it got swept away. So he had in his mind that I was ready for commitment.

The gist of it is, I failed to express to others his level as a teacher. He is an amazing teacher and it's all pure Dharma, verifiable. But the level in which he wanted me to express, was above what (I think) one could reasonably say unless they had decades of experience in listening to the wide breadth of teachers available, a high level of attainment and knowledge, and standard on which to judge it. In short, it's kind of arbitrary if you're being intellectually honest. It would be more of a devotional statement rather than one based on firm conviction. Because I didn't express this and had hesitancy to do so, he feels like I've stabbed him the back and because I haven't changed this view I'm holding onto self-importance.

Right now, I'm basically exiled. As in, not allowed to come to the center until I change my view. So this is what I need to fix but upon examining it and being very honest I don't think that there's anything very wrong. And I don't think a lama should require that of their student. So while I can praise him, I can't say a statement that I don't know to be true. And if I were to say that statement it is a devotional one, not one based on firm conviction. So I feel like it would just be fake and following along. Hope that clears some of it up. I think that's about as far as I can talk about.

treningday
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by treningday » Mon May 25, 2020 8:37 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 3:56 pm
if you received just a set of lung of mantras it doesn't mean it is your guru, but in any case you should foster a good relationship.

if you are concerned about his/her behaviour and you cannot support it or abstain from critizice , it is better to politely say your reasons and set aside: there is no reason or justification for you to remain stuck in your dissapointment.

i would like to sugest you find a teacher that is a monastic, that way is less probable you get behavioural concerns. lay teachers are more likely to cause them.

it is good that you FIRST OF ALL investigate about the teacher before deciding to adventure into a guru-disciple relationship.

if you are practicing morality you'll pay more attention to that, for sure.

in my case i made sure my teacher ChNN was doing all the paraphernalia of rising a community, teaching here and there, dealing with a horde of wildlings, etc. because of boddhicita. if it wheren't because of boddhicita i would have rejected him and his teachings no matter what.

in another case, even if circumstances where good and friends where insisting and supporting the chance, i refused to take empowerment from a certain teacher because i investigated and found out a very nasty problem about him, a problem that have implications that i cannot accept from someone who teaches the dharma.

so, i would like to advice that you do your homework first. and check.
Thank you, I believe I'm already taking your advice as this works out in my mind. It's difficult because of the amount of surreal experiences I have had with my teacher and the benefit in which I have received from him. In a sense I'm on my way out already because there's been enough reflection for me to see that it's incompatible. Of course, because of the emotional attachment I do sometimes wish there would be a miracle that would make it otherwise. The next message that I send would be basically be me expressing my reservations and excusing myself from the lineage.

There's definitely been a lot of maturing from the starry eyed view I had when I first began. I will have to try my best now to examine teachers much more closely and step a lot slower. I'm impetuous for Dharma and tend to leap so this will have to change.

Thank you for advice.

treningday
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by treningday » Mon May 25, 2020 8:42 pm

PeterC wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:31 pm
There’s a danger in overanalyzing these things.

Even if you haven’t received an empowerment from a teacher, if you have received any dharma teachings from them you should view them with gratitude and respect. There is no benefit in harboring negative thoughts toward them.

If you don’t feel you can receive teachings from them, for whatever reason, then don’t. Do your own practice and if you need teachings seek out another lama while maintaining as positive a view as possible of your first lama.

If you don’t find a lama who meets your standard for ethical conduct then keep looking. If none of them do, reflect on the possibility that you may be projecting negative interpretations onto others a bit too much.

You’ll probably find a lot of people here who have at some point had issues of this kind. As a German once said, the solution to life’s problems is often seen in the vanishing of the problem.
Thank you. The view I have is that he is an excellent and pure Dharma teacher who genuinely tries his best to help sentient beings. I think it's more of a cultural and personality incompatibility. Because I've gotten so close there is no going back. If I were less close to him then I think this wouldn't be an issue at all really. I'll keep going with what I've been taught and try to keep an open mind.

treningday
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by treningday » Mon May 25, 2020 8:44 pm

Danny wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:35 pm
He has to check you out as much as you check him out. The karma issue is bit of a red herring in my opinion. Some students think that if they get a warm fuzzy tingle up their leg from a teacher that means this is the one for me, equally a teacher cannot say who has and does not have the capacity to be good student. Also I forget who said it here recently, but a guru is not your new best friend. I think that's pretty much all I got to say.
Good luck.

Regards
Yeah the relationship is not like anything else. I wasn't really prepared for it though I thought I was. I think what you're saying is like what people feel when they are infatuated with someone else. Over time what makes a relationship work is if there is compatibility, respect, shared core values. So that's an analysis that has to be done. Thank you.

Danny
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Danny » Mon May 25, 2020 10:50 pm

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:44 pm
Danny wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:35 pm
He has to check you out as much as you check him out. The karma issue is bit of a red herring in my opinion. Some students think that if they get a warm fuzzy tingle up their leg from a teacher that means this is the one for me, equally a teacher cannot say who has and does not have the capacity to be good student. Also I forget who said it here recently, but a guru is not your new best friend. I think that's pretty much all I got to say.
Good luck.

Regards
Yeah the relationship is not like anything else. I wasn't really prepared for it though I thought I was. I think what you're saying is like what people feel when they are infatuated with someone else. Over time what makes a relationship work is if there is compatibility, respect, shared core values. So that's an analysis that has to be done. Thank you.
I don't care too much for teachers to be honest with you, all that bowing and scraping, I wasn't raised that way. I view teachers more as what can I learn, so in that way I'm respectful but not subservient. That will probably offend a few people, but so what?

Regards

Malcolm
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 25, 2020 11:59 pm

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 pm
Right now, I'm basically exiled. As in, not allowed to come to the center until I change my view. So this is what I need to fix but upon examining it and being very honest I don't think that there's anything very wrong. And I don't think a lama should require that of their student.
Personality cult. Avoid. Find a better guru.

Danny
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Danny » Tue May 26, 2020 12:32 am

I watch the senior sangha and how they treat others in the group, what's the atmosphere like? Is it fearful, pecking order, who likes to control only access to the teacher etc. If I smell bs, I test them by doing everything wrong with etiquette, see how far I can push their so called bodhicitta. That's always a good chuckle. Then leave em too it.

Regards

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PeterC
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by PeterC » Tue May 26, 2020 2:13 am

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:42 pm
Because I've gotten so close there is no going back.
There is no such thing. Samaya always exists in this lifetime (unless it never existed in the first place) but there is never an obligation to keep going back to the same guru. Anyone who tells you this is not helping you.

yagmort
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by yagmort » Tue May 26, 2020 5:27 am

treningday, there are fake lamas out there.

fake doesn't mean they are not authorised to teach or don't have all the necessary credentials. fake means they can be lineage holders, high Rinpoches and what not, but somehow they came to the belief that they are there to share their wisdom and to guide others who don't see true nature of things yet, which seems ok up to this point, but then these "teachers" became certain that the way to do it is through submittance of others to their wisdom and their will for their own good, which is done through manipulations, emotional or intellectual blackmails and the plethora of other means which follow the same pattern of gaining power over others. the "students" are conceived to be dependent upon the "teacher" and in need of his/her guidance and the wisdom. soon enough close circle of disciples are formed, who may think or may be ingrained with the idea they are superior or chosen-ones. that is how cult is formed. swap Osho for a lama in question and you get the picture.
not saying this is your case exactly, just would like to share my point of view. the fact that we are talking about buddhist figures here doesn't give any more warrant for this sad thing to happen over hindu or new-age "gurus".

humble.student
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by humble.student » Tue May 26, 2020 5:31 am

Alexander Berzin's essay (and the related book) on the student-teacher relationship is well worth reading: https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... lationship

fckw
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by fckw » Tue May 26, 2020 8:51 am

Well, my father was a Christian counselor who had had close ties to an organisation that was, not exactly a sect, but close enough to being one. It took me a decade to get rid of the sh** implanted in me.

So, what are the karmic consequences of growing up in a family where the parents define themselves by being a member of so-and-so religious organisation?

Quite simple: You'll have to first rid yourself of that fake identity. Once you've done that, only then you are ready to actually approach whichever religion or practice without the automatic positive and negative projections and get to the essence of whichever practice is right for you.

So: If you don't feel comfortable around any particular teacher, why would you want to stay around? To please whom exactly? Yourself? Your parents? Some organisations intentionally have members interact only with other members of the organisation. So, when they ever want to break up then it's incredibly difficult because you don't know any friends outside of the organisation who could be a potential support. The problem becomes: How to say no to the guru of the parents and friends, without saying no to the parents and the friends themselves. Because the two are not the same. You might potentially even genuinely like your guru, but he is still not the right one for you.

You should turn the question around: What are the karmic consequences of staying around a guru to whom you don't feel a connection to? If you believe in karma at all - do you want to accept such karma upon you?

There is a lot of talk among Western Vajrayana practitioners that one should feel devotion to one's guru. That's bullocks! Devotion is the reason why you approach the guru in the first place, not the other way round. If you are "given" a guru and try to feel devotion to him/her where there is none, it creates plenty of really bad karma for everyone involved in the form of shame, guilt, feeling fake and so on.

To complicate matters even more: Some people have a tendency to hop from one cult to the next. Because they have not yet developed a healthy self-respect and expertise in judging a group or teacher. If they grew up around a narcissistic cult leader, how could they possibly have developed the skill to distinguish between good and bad teachers? All they knew from their experience is bad teachers!

Keep in mind: You don't NEED to find a guru immediately. Take your time. Travel, read, observe. There are really good teachers out there, but you need to find them first. And even if you find them, don't immediately dive fully into, take your time (years...) to observe their behavior. Easiest is always to observe the behavior of "inner circle students", if they creep you out but you rationalize that they are not the guru themselves then better leave as soon as possible. There's a good reason why the inner circle students give you the creeps.
Right now, I'm basically exiled. As in, not allowed to come to the center until I change my view.
Well, I don't know what the reason is you are exiled. As long as you did not commit any crime legally punishable, and as long as you weren't abusive yourself in deeds or words, this sounds more like oedipal parent-child nonsense to me. "Junior, you go to your room now and don't come out until you have apologised to your mother for being back home later than the agreed-on 21 PM!"

Good luck to you.

jmlee369
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by jmlee369 » Tue May 26, 2020 10:02 am

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 2:41 pm
You say that the current situation is
the result of your previous actions.
You also are asking if this is your karma!
:thinking:
:jumping:
Without hearing your teacher’s side of the story,
It’s kind of hard to know. Maybe your teacher thinks you are not ready to do certain practices that require a deep level of commitment.

One thing my teacher said is,
the Vajrayana path is indestructible.
Unlike a ceramic vase which breaks if it is damaged,
Vajrayana is like a metal vase.
If it gets bent, it can be hammered back into shape again.
Is there anything you need to fix?
。。。
Yes everything is the result of past actions. I meant more the luck I have in being attracted to teachers who end up having ethical issues or otherwise I would have problems with could be the karmic result of something I have done in the past. An extreme example: when Marpa prostrated to Heruka (I think that was the deity) instead of Naropa, his family lineage ended because of this.

I have empowerments from other lamas, monastic ones but didn't have instructions on practice. I was on track to receiving Yamantaka instructions from him but because of this incident it got swept away. So he had in his mind that I was ready for commitment.

The gist of it is, I failed to express to others his level as a teacher. He is an amazing teacher and it's all pure Dharma, verifiable. But the level in which he wanted me to express, was above what (I think) one could reasonably say unless they had decades of experience in listening to the wide breadth of teachers available, a high level of attainment and knowledge, and standard on which to judge it. In short, it's kind of arbitrary if you're being intellectually honest. It would be more of a devotional statement rather than one based on firm conviction. Because I didn't express this and had hesitancy to do so, he feels like I've stabbed him the back and because I haven't changed this view I'm holding onto self-importance.

Right now, I'm basically exiled. As in, not allowed to come to the center until I change my view. So this is what I need to fix but upon examining it and being very honest I don't think that there's anything very wrong. And I don't think a lama should require that of their student. So while I can praise him, I can't say a statement that I don't know to be true. And if I were to say that statement it is a devotional one, not one based on firm conviction. So I feel like it would just be fake and following along. Hope that clears some of it up. I think that's about as far as I can talk about.
Please check your PM.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Tue May 26, 2020 6:18 pm

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 pm

The gist of it is, I failed to express to others his level as a teacher. He is an amazing teacher and it's all pure Dharma, verifiable. But the level in which he wanted me to express, was above what (I think) one could reasonably say...

Hold on— are you saying your teacher was upset because you didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t brag about how great he is?

???
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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Ayu » Wed May 27, 2020 7:36 am

treningday wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:30 pm
...
The gist of it is, I failed to express to others his level as a teacher. He is an amazing teacher and it's all pure Dharma, verifiable. But the level in which he wanted me to express, was above what (I think) one could reasonably say unless they had decades of experience in listening to the wide breadth of teachers available, a high level of attainment and knowledge, and standard on which to judge it. In short, it's kind of arbitrary if you're being intellectually honest. It would be more of a devotional statement rather than one based on firm conviction. Because I didn't express this and had hesitancy to do so, he feels like I've stabbed him the back and because I haven't changed this view I'm holding onto self-importance.

...
I'm shocked that a Dharma teacher is able to manipulate with this kind of blackmailing. He should be above it.

It's true, the teaching is you should take care of yourself instead of bothering too much about the teacher's mistakes. Because your mind will be shaped by what you engage it with. But it doesn't mean you should lie to yourself. People who demand pretense from you by blackmailing are using the psychologically sick method of 'double-bind'.
I'm sorry to phrase it that bluntly. You shouldn't - only in order to protecting your own mind. But I'm free to call a spate as a spate.
Malcolm wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 11:59 pm
Personality cult. Avoid. Find a better guru.
Exactly. :thumbsup:
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Re: Karmic consequence of having troubled relations with Gurus

Post by Crazywisdom » Wed May 27, 2020 12:19 pm

treningday wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:33 pm
Hello everyone

I am fairly new to Buddhism though I was born into a Buddhist family, I never got serious about it until about five years ago. In the past three years, I have studied in a lineage with my current Guru, as well as explored other teachers online. I will spare the details but I am on bad relations with my current Guru and am not allowed to receive teachings from him until I reform my behavior, which is more of a repentance for my past behaviors and current attitude. This behavior has more to do with loyalty than some ethical breach like violation of precepts or non-virtuous activities. After more than a year of reflecting on this, I cannot do what he asks as I see there is also an issue from his side. What I mean is, he is a human, much to my naive surprise after viewing him as perfect and enlightened. In no way am I excusing myself of any fault, it's just there is more to the story. To clarify, I have not received empowerments from him, only transmission of mantras, so based on my understanding, there is no bond of samaya as I am not an official Vajrayana practitioner. This process has been extremely difficult and traumatizing for me and most of last year was spent in impotence and agony.

A good proportion of the other teachers that I have been interested in have shown themselves to be unworthy in their ethical conduct. Their teachings have been very beneficial and they have much depth of experience, at least as much as I can tell from my own understanding, but they have been disappointments in their morality. Thankfully I have enough grounding and experience in Dharma to press on but this has shaken me quite a few times.

I am starting to wonder if there is something about my karma that introduces me to problematic teachers or puts me in situations with some that lead to dilemmas; stuck between a rock and a hard place. Obviously this a newcomer's line of questioning but maybe someone has heard something from a teacher or some text that speaks of the karmic consequence that I feel I'm experiencing? Or is this simply a common thing and I have to learn to exercise more discernment and vetting? After several instances I am beginning to lose faith in my own ability for discernment and can't help but wonder why I'm attracted to the teachers I'm attracted to. It makes me doubtful of ever finding someone I can call my root guru and spending years in practice with without having some relationship breaking event occurring. I was actually a Zen guy and never really interested in Vajrayana. It was by accident that I met my Guru and to be honest I thought it was all very weird but something made me stay. So I take it that it's my karma to be involved with Vajrayana stuff.

Thank you for any insights.
It is part of growing to discern what makes a good guru. I had a similar experience with a teacher who claimed he was open minded, but was very parochial and partial to his own lineage and I was at first ridiculed for taking teachings from others or finally shunned and since my then wife was fully indoctrinated we divorced.

He was a very experienced with seeming siddhis and wisdoms but still this possessive and distrusting attitude about other schools amd even other lines of teachers in his own school.

So that incongruity was too much for me eventually. However, like you, I did not have empowerment or samaya.with him. I did however have it with the lineage head, His Holiness so and so. These are the guys who are a bit hard to reach and talk with but they give all the samayas. Therein lies the answer.

Go with the bosses. They keep to themselves for a reason. And you only need so much talking to. Your time is better spent practicing mantra.

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