Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

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Dechen Norbu
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Dechen Norbu » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:00 pm

I don't think anyone is judging Mingyur Rinpoche. What seems to be under discussion is his choice of a particular English word. Perhaps not the best choice, but I'm pretty sure he can clarify any doubts his students may have due to it while following his teachings.

Plus, I believe any really interested student of a non native speaker will always do do his homework and try to know more about the meaning of words like rigpa and such, reading several sources and so on.

All in all, it's not a big deal...

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:03 pm

Stewart wrote:I don't think it's fair to judge Mingyur Rinpoche from a 5 minute video
Of course not.

But when discussing such translation issues with me, people often bring up how this or that lama translates this or that thing, and if I don't agree, am I supposed to remain silent? Of course, I cannot remain silent since the whole point of the exercise was to try and negate my point.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:08 pm

Now I'm kind of curious about the "various reasons" TD no longer translates for MR and TR.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:09 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Now I'm kind of curious about the "various reasons" TD no longer translates for MR and TR.
This is pure gossip.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:13 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Now I'm kind of curious about the "various reasons" TD no longer translates for MR and TR.
This is pure gossip.
Your point being?




jk, please ignore my :stirthepot:



:focus:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:23 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Now I'm kind of curious about the "various reasons" TD no longer translates for MR and TR.
This is pure gossip.
Your point being?
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Stewart
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
This is pure gossip.
Your point being?
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
s.

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:35 pm

Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Your point being?
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Of course, I was referring to dzogchungpa's desire for gossip.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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aflatun
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by aflatun » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:51 pm

Malcolm wrote:
None of the five skandhas are rig pa because rig pa is knowledge. You will never find a single text that includes knowledge, or ignorance for that matter, as one of the five aggregates.
Could you expand on this point a bit, Malcolm? Are you saying knowledge (rig pa) is something outside of the aggregates? Similarly for ignorance?

(I'm not implying that's what you're saying, in fact I don't think it is, which is why I'm asking for clarification)

If its not "something outside" of them then what is it?

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Of course, I was referring to dzogchungpa's desire for gossip.
Fair enough.

To be clear, I was simply commenting that a short video really doesn't do justice to Mingyur Rinpoche's style and ability to transmit inimate instructions.

I never met Tulku Urgyen, but I've been told by one of his students that Mingyur Rinpoche emulates TUR perfectly.

Interestingly, as you know, TUR never spoke English, yet succeeded in transmitting Dzogchen to hundreds of students. I'm unsure his translator used/uses 'knowledge' as a translation of rig pa, but through the thorough explanations and introductions by TUR, many people had a concrete experience of their natural state.
s.

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Malcolm
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:22 pm

Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Stewart wrote:
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Of course, I was referring to dzogchungpa's desire for gossip.
Fair enough.

To be clear, I was simply commenting that a short video really doesn't do justice to Mingyur Rinpoche's style and ability to transmit inimate instructions.

I never met Tulku Urgyen, but I've been told by one of his students that Mingyur Rinpoche emulates TUR perfectly.

Interestingly, as you know, TUR never spoke English, yet succeeded in transmitting Dzogchen to hundreds of students. I'm unsure his translator used/uses 'knowledge' as a translation of rig pa, but through the thorough explanations and introductions by TUR, many people had a concrete experience of their natural state.

How many people have cruised through here, including people who have gone to this and that Dzogchen master (ChNN, TUR, YMR, Tsoknyi, etc.), convinced that the "awareness" neo-advaitans talk about is the same thing as rig pa?

What is important is that someone learns what rig pa is. This is why I do not translate the word, why EPK does not translate it anymore, why Adriano Clemente does not translate it, and so on. But if we are going to explain what the word means in English, it clearly means "knowledge" and "knowing", and not awareness.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:41 pm

Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Your point being?
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Um, I'm not trying to be annoying, but didn't you say:
I don't think it's fair to judge Mingyur Rinpoche ... from a Tony Duff book....Who by the way no longer translates for either Mingyur or Tsoknyi Rinpoche for various reasons.
Presumably you felt this latter fact was somehow relevant to the discussion.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Of course, I was referring to dzogchungpa's desire for gossip.
Fair enough.

To be clear, I was simply commenting that a short video really doesn't do justice to Mingyur Rinpoche's style and ability to transmit inimate instructions.

I never met Tulku Urgyen, but I've been told by one of his students that Mingyur Rinpoche emulates TUR perfectly.

Interestingly, as you know, TUR never spoke English, yet succeeded in transmitting Dzogchen to hundreds of students. I'm unsure his translator used/uses 'knowledge' as a translation of rig pa, but through the thorough explanations and introductions by TUR, many people had a concrete experience of their natural state.

How many people have cruised through here, including people who have gone to this and that Dzogchen master (ChNN, TUR, YMR, Tsoknyi, etc.), convinced that the "awareness" neo-advaitans talk about is the same thing as rig pa?

What is important is that someone learns what rig pa is. This is why I do not translate the word, why EPK does not translate it anymore, why Adriano Clemente does not translate it, and so on. But if we are going to explain what the word means in English, it clearly means "knowledge" and "knowing", and not awareness.
Fair enough.
s.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dreambow » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:34 pm

Yes but you can say I am aware I'm walking and become the walk itself....nothing else but the totality of walking. Aware of whats
around but not labelling anything.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:36 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
That point being that is purely vicarious and serves no useful purpose.
Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Um, I'm not trying to be annoying, but didn't you say:
I don't think it's fair to judge Mingyur Rinpoche ... from a Tony Duff book....Who by the way no longer translates for either Mingyur or Tsoknyi Rinpoche for various reasons.
Presumably you felt this latter fact was somehow relevant to the discussion.
I honestly wasn't trying to start a criticism of TD. Just pointing out that I wouldn't rely on his books as being representative of TR and MR.
s.

michaelb
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:21 am

Stewart wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Stewart wrote: Hence why I didn't elaborate further.
Um, I'm not trying to be annoying, but didn't you say:
I don't think it's fair to judge Mingyur Rinpoche ... from a Tony Duff book....Who by the way no longer translates for either Mingyur or Tsoknyi Rinpoche for various reasons.
Presumably you felt this latter fact was somehow relevant to the discussion.
I honestly wasn't trying to start a criticism of TD. Just pointing out that I wouldn't rely on his books as being representative of TR and MR.
Sorry, Stewart, I didn't bring up Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche to malign him and I certainly don't think that one can judge him through a short quote or five minute video. Neither did I mention him to back up a translation word choice, thereby expecting other translators to remain silent. I mentioned him because the way I have seen him present dzogchen, in short videos, longer talks and in books, share similarities with how Sam Harris talked about dzogchen in his book, Waking Up. My point was that Sam Harris's presentation couldn't be disregarded just because of some of the words he used or how he talked about dzogchen when authentic dzogchen teachers (Harris has never claimed to be a teacher, of course) use similar words and talk about it in similar ways. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was an obvious example to choose being a student of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, but I'm sure there were more I could have chosen. How about this five minute video with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, which I rather liked.

phpBB [video]


One point, though. I don't think Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche just mentioned awareness because his English suffered from four years living in a cave. His most recent video, added to youtube today is also about awareness. Actually, watching the video I got the feeling he may have been tipped off about our chat here.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:35 am

Stewart wrote:I honestly wasn't trying to start a criticism of TD. Just pointing out that I wouldn't rely on his books as being representative of TR and
MR.
OK, no problem.


I had a look through MR's most recent book "Turning Confusion Into Clarity" and it seems that "open awareness" is a pretty important phrase there. It appears to mean "shamatha without an object". At one point he says:
If you received pointing-out instructions on the nature of mind, then resting in open awareness will naturally become linked with the Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions of practices that directly reveal the nature of awareness. This approach is just the same. The only difference is that your meditation will have the flavor of pure awareness as you rest naturally when you do the practice.
At any rate, MR seems to like the word "awareness". :smile:

Here's the video michaelb referred to above:

phpBB [video]
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:55 am

Yes...In the videos it seems to be awareness = śamatha without object...And in the new video Michaelb was referring to, he talks about level one of his course, which again is śamatha, Level 2 is vipaśyanā. Level 3 is Nature of mind.
s.

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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by Stewart » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:12 am

What I would add is that MR gives very precise explanations of each topic in his retreats...He makes sure what he has transmitted is understood. He encourages questions...And asks questions of people present to ensure they got a real understanding of the view.

Dzogchungpa, in 'Turning Confusion into Clarity', there is an excellent description of MR receiving the hearing lineage of Trekcho and Togal from Nyoshul Khenpo in Bhutan, progress of which is dependent on the recipient having real experience of each part of the transmission. I remember reading elsewhere Nyoshul Khenpo commented 'A great stream of realisation was born in Mingyur Rinpoche' during the transmission. This was MRs main practice in his mountain retreat.
s.

michaelb
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Re: Sam Harris receives a (literal) pointing out instruction

Post by michaelb » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:14 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I had a look through MR's most recent book "Turning Confusion Into Clarity" and it seems that "open awareness" is a pretty important phrase there. It appears to mean "shamatha without an object". At one point he says:
If you received pointing-out instructions on the nature of mind, then resting in open awareness will naturally become linked with the Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions of practices that directly reveal the nature of awareness. This approach is just the same. The only difference is that your meditation will have the flavor of pure awareness as you rest naturally when you do the practice.
At any rate, MR seems to like the word "awareness". :smile:
I think terms like open awareness relate to the usual kind of pairing of emptiness and cognizance or clarity and luminosity, and ultimately kadag and lhundrup. If we're having a youtube video marathon we can't really ignore Tulku Urgyen's short teaching on a verse from the Seven Chapter prayer:

phpBB [video]


I personally think the whole debate about correctly translating rigpa misses the point. The point, it seems to me, is that people think that rigpa refers to the nature of mind rather than the knowledge of the nature of mind. They take is as like a synonym for Buddha Nature rather than just the recognition of that.

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