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Alan Wallace retreat video and empowerment

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:29 pm
by Javierfv1212
Recently Alan Wallace had a retreat in Italy and I started watching these videos. I have listened to a full retreat by him on Dzogchen before as well and done the practices. They have been immensely helpful and I have had some powerful experiences recently, these experiences have started to carry over into daily life.

Because of this I have started reading and researching Tibetan Buddhism in general and Dzogchen in particular. Coming from a background of mostly Theravada Vipassana and some Zen, the secrecy of Dzogchen strikes me as odd but I would like to respect the tradition nevertheless. Now I have come across the whole idea of empowerment and secret texts and so on. I take it from what I have read on this forum that one should not attempt to practice unless one has had some kind of empowerment or teaching by a qualified teacher. I guess my question is, does it count that I have watched and listened to retreats by Alan Wallace and practiced the guided meditations? I have also listened to and practiced meditations by Lama Surya Das on Dzogchen and a video by Namkhai Norbu.

Video of the Brazil retreat

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PjVFPj32OoI

Immediately after the one hour mark for example, Wallace states "you have received empowerment". Sounds to me like I should just continue with my practice which is based on his instructions. I have also started attending a local center which is Karma Kagyu, so I'll ask the lama about this when I can.

Re: Alan Wallace retreat video and empowerment

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:38 pm
by smcj
Wallace's teacher is from the Dudjom branch of the Nyingma. I'm a Karma Kagyupa, so I don't have any issue with that approach. But if you could find someone closer to the material and orientation you've been exposed to you won't get conflicting information. For that matter Wallace himself may be available via email. It's not like he has rock star level guru status.

Re: Alan Wallace retreat video and empowerment

Posted: Mon May 30, 2016 4:08 am
by TaTa
The empowerment inst in the video. He seems to be talking about something that happend while the video was cut or something they all received (that shangha) at some point.
Yes. There are teachings that you cant not put into practice without empowerment. Nevetherless most of allan's teachings you can. What are you practicing?

Re: Alan Wallace retreat video and empowerment

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:28 pm
by steve_bakr
I would say to procede with due caution. I would not attempt Togal, for example, without one-on-one instruction. ChNN gives a lot of instruction through live webcasts.