(carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

MaximRobinCossette
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:59 am

(carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by MaximRobinCossette » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:51 pm

Hello Sangha,

I'm relatively new to Dzogchen so please pardon any ignorant questions on my part. I'm trying to tread as carefully and responsibly as possible here, I'm aware of the immense power.

I'm a musician who's recently received pointing out instructions, I'm interested in writing songs about my experience.

Can anyone definitely say what I should steer clear of and what is fair game in terms of writing about Dzogchen and my experience? I'm interested in different opinions.

Different but related question, as someone who meets and performs in front of crowds, exposing many people to dzogchen seems in line with the bodhisattva vows. Am I off base here? Yeah, Nay? How should I go about it if so?

Thank you,

Max,

www.maximcossette.com

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27219
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:10 pm

MaximRobinCossette wrote:Hello Sangha,

I'm relatively new to Dzogchen so please pardon any ignorant questions on my part. I'm trying to tread as carefully and responsibly as possible here, I'm aware of the immense power.

I'm a musician who's recently received pointing out instructions, I'm interested in writing songs about my experience.

Can anyone definitely say what I should steer clear of and what is fair game in terms of writing about Dzogchen and my experience? I'm interested in different opinions.

Different but related question, as someone who meets and performs in front of crowds, exposing many people to dzogchen seems in line with the bodhisattva vows. Am I off base here? Yeah, Nay? How should I go about it if so?

Thank you,

Max,

http://www.maximcossette.com
You should not write of your experience. Nor should you write anything about Dzogchen.

There are masters alive today whose job it is to promulgate Dzogchen teachings. We can assist them. Otherwise, there is nothing we ordinary people can do other than practice Dzogchen.
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

Norwegian
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Norwegian » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:11 pm

MaximRobinCossette,

This would be a big no-no.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu has commented on this many times and the short of it is that it boils down to respecting the transmission, and upholding ones Samaya.

If someone has a connection with Dzogchen, they will come to Dzogchen on their own through their karma and dependent origination - they do not need us standing on a street corner with a megaphone, reading from some Dzogchen book, etc. This would be very wrong.

As for writing songs about your experience, I would reconsider to be honest. When it comes to Vajrayana and Dzogchen etc. we don't talk about our practice in public, we don't talk about our experiences in public. These are all very private things.

Edit: What Malcolm said.

Derek
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Derek » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:51 pm

Hi, MRC,

At the head of chapter two of The Crystal and the Way of Light, there are two rules attributed to Garab Dorje:

Rule #1. If you give an explanation of Dzogchen to a hundred people who are interested, this is not enough.

Rule #2. If you give an explanation to one person who is not interested, this is too much.

I guess the great danger of talking to a whole crowd of randomly selected people is that you are almost certain to break rule #2.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 7777
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:10 pm

Why not just make music inspired by practice if you feel the pull, instead of music that is intentionally supposed to be '"about" it, or music that is meant as some kind of proselytizing.

Other than being a bad idea on other levels, that kind of thing often comes off as cliched and awkward anyway, whereas music that is actually genuine and inspired, comes off as well, inspired. Just my two cents of course, as someone who also makes music...at least I call it music.

It's always worth asking though, are you trying to share something, or trying to prove something? It's pretty easy with art or music to think you are doing the first, but actually be doing the second, which ends up badly.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Sennin
Posts: 550
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Sennin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:08 am

As far as music, is it permissible to perform bhajans of traditional mahayana verses from sutras or acaryas?

For example the type of music Bodhi Bhajan Project is producing?

https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vija ... shantidevs

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:26 am

RikudouSennin wrote:As far as music, is it permissible to perform bhajans of traditional mahayana verses from sutras or acaryas?

For example the type of music Bodhi Bhajan Project is producing?

https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vija ... shantidevs
Newar Buddhists of Nepal, have a whole traditions of singing bhajans and devotional stotras(hymns) to deties etc, they call it Dapha. The tantric practioners in Nepal sing charyapada songs to tantric deities and also dance, but this was done until recently in secrecy. The sutras mention about people making song and music offerings at stupas, pilgrimage sites etc. And also praising the Triple Gem through music. There is also in TB the tradition of singing realization songs, like that of Milarepa.
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

Sennin
Posts: 550
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Sennin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:57 am

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
RikudouSennin wrote:As far as music, is it permissible to perform bhajans of traditional mahayana verses from sutras or acaryas?

For example the type of music Bodhi Bhajan Project is producing?

https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vija ... shantidevs
Newar Buddhists of Nepal, have a whole traditions of singing bhajans and devotional stotras(hymns) to deties etc, they call it Dapha. The tantric practioners in Nepal sing charyapada songs to tantric deities and also dance, but this was done until recently in secrecy. The sutras mention about people making song and music offerings at stupas, pilgrimage sites etc. And also praising the Triple Gem through music. There is also in TB the tradition of singing realization songs, like that of Milarepa.
That sounds amazing, i'm working on learning the traditional raags of the 8 times of the day on my keyboard and have a harmonium coming my way. Bhajans are very meaningful to me especially Buddhist ones, although those are pretty rare.

User avatar
Fa Dao
Posts: 831
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Fa Dao » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:02 am

Maxim,
I gotta go with Malcolm on this one. Allow me to give an example...when I first started the Dzogchen Path I was absolutely sure that I had an understanding of certain key points. After a few months or years of practice I came to realize that some of what I thought I understood was wrong. So lets say you write a song with your current understanding and it sells a million records, goes platinum even, and that later you come to realize that what you thought you understood was wrong. At that point its too late to change the song and you are responsible for misleading millions of people....dude, talk about bad karma, right? Now that being said why not focus your music on more a Mahayana type of song? Four Noble Truths, Six Paramitas, etc etc?
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9245
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by DGA » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:07 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Why not just make music inspired by practice if you feel the pull, instead of music that is intentionally supposed to be '"about" it, or music that is meant as some kind of proselytizing.

Other than being a bad idea on other levels, that kind of thing often comes off as cliched and awkward anyway, whereas music that is actually genuine and inspired, comes off as well, inspired. Just my two cents of course, as someone who also makes music...at least I call it music.

It's always worth asking though, are you trying to share something, or trying to prove something? It's pretty easy with art or music to think you are doing the first, but actually be doing the second, which ends up badly.
:good:

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:08 am

RikudouSennin wrote:
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:
RikudouSennin wrote:As far as music, is it permissible to perform bhajans of traditional mahayana verses from sutras or acaryas?

For example the type of music Bodhi Bhajan Project is producing?

https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vija ... shantidevs
Newar Buddhists of Nepal, have a whole traditions of singing bhajans and devotional stotras(hymns) to deties etc, they call it Dapha. The tantric practioners in Nepal sing charyapada songs to tantric deities and also dance, but this was done until recently in secrecy. The sutras mention about people making song and music offerings at stupas, pilgrimage sites etc. And also praising the Triple Gem through music. There is also in TB the tradition of singing realization songs, like that of Milarepa.
That sounds amazing, i'm working on learning the traditional raags of the 8 times of the day on my keyboard and have a harmonium coming my way. Bhajans are very meaningful to me especially Buddhist ones, although those are pretty rare.
This is something that indeed I miss in buddhism, and also envy the jains! As jainism remained in India they developed also an amazing bhajan tradition!
Atisha himself composed some kirtans like the Charyasamgrahapradipa. If you want I can send some collection of buddhist sanskrit stotras, that if you are able you can try to set to music!

About Charya dance and music:
phpBB [video]

A buddhist arati song in Nepal Bhasha:
phpBB [video]
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9245
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by DGA » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:08 am

Derek wrote:Hi, MRC,

At the head of chapter two of The Crystal and the Way of Light, there are two rules attributed to Garab Dorje:

Rule #1. If you give an explanation of Dzogchen to a hundred people who are interested, this is not enough.

Rule #2. If you give an explanation to one person who is not interested, this is too much.

I guess the great danger of talking to a whole crowd of randomly selected people is that you are almost certain to break rule #2.
That's good advice to Dzogchen masters. Our OP has identified as a beginner.

User avatar
Nyedrag Yeshe
Posts: 438
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:06 am
Location: Brazil

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:11 am

Yes, of course, when talking about Dzogchen, we talk about an esoteric traditions, which rely heavily on a teacher-disciple relationship. We are not talking about a public practice. We must guard samaya and discretion when we arrive on any advanced tantric practice.
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

Norwegian
Posts: 1194
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Norwegian » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:14 am

Fa Dao wrote:Maxim,
I gotta go with Malcolm on this one. Allow me to give an example...when I first started the Dzogchen Path I was absolutely sure that I had an understanding of certain key points. After a few months or years of practice I came to realize that some of what I thought I understood was wrong. So lets say you write a song with your current understanding and it sells a million records, goes platinum even, and that later you come to realize that what you thought you understood was wrong. At that point its too late to change the song and you are responsible for misleading millions of people....dude, talk about bad karma, right? Now that being said why not focus your music on more a Mahayana type of song? Four Noble Truths, Six Paramitas, etc etc?
Even in the Mahayana there are prohibitions against this kind of thing. There is the root vow not to reveal certain teachings to those who are not ready for them. Best to leave the dissemination of the precious teachings to qualified teachers. We students can focus on our study and practice instead.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 7777
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:08 am

There's a big difference between public expression of one's spiritual path in art, and public expression tied up in the 8 worldly Dharmas, or because one has some unhealthy desire to teach or preach when not qualified. On the one hand I think it's a little silly to fully discourage someone from producing Dharmic art, given the long history of practitioners doing just that. It's impossible to avoid the influence of Dharma on one's creative output, anyway, it's huge. That is the experience of every artist or musician i've ever known involved in Dharma.

On the other hand, Tantra and Dzogchen aren't anything to be advertising, and presenting Dharma art to non-practitioners is fraught with all kinds of issues.

Like I said, I think the best thing is produce art that is inspired by your Dharma practice and not worry about trying to present anything to anyone, and being as cautious as possible with overt presentations. If I were in your shoes, I would actually ask my teachers how to proceed, which in fact is exactly what I plan to do if I ever think I want to produce anything that has overt Dharmic symbolism etc.

I don't really see how having basic sutra-inspired art or music would be much of a problem, but I would always ask a teacher I trust for their opinion.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27219
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:09 am

RikudouSennin wrote:As far as music, is it permissible to perform bhajans of traditional mahayana verses from sutras or acaryas?

For example the type of music Bodhi Bhajan Project is producing?

https://soundcloud.com/sanghamitra-vija ... shantidevs
Sure.
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

User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 6011
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:16 am

Apparently a "Dzogchen-inspired album " exists, see:
http://www.lionsroar.com/check-out-samb ... -oliphant/
Everything is divided
Nothing is complete
Everything looks impressive
Do not be deceived - David Byrne

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 27219
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:22 am

dzogchungpa wrote:Apparently a "Dzogchen-inspired album " exists, see:
http://www.lionsroar.com/check-out-samb ... -oliphant/

Sounds dreadful.
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

tingdzin
Posts: 1022
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by tingdzin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:26 am

I hope the OP considers his original question fully answered. Malcolm said it all.

As for "Dzogchen-inspired" music, will this bandwagon-jumping by trend-spotters never cease? Next comes "Dzogchen-inspired" haute couture , or hamburgers.

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9245
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: (carefully) Broadcasting Dzogchen through music

Post by DGA » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:24 pm

there are some musicians I respect who have attempted something that is sort of like what the OP is describing. example: J Mascis has written some songs that allude to his experience with Ammachi, his guru. the lyrics aren't his best work but this tune certainly holds up:

phpBB [video]


I think if you're a musician whatever music you make will articulate wherever you are as a person. You can tell a lie but you can't sing one, as it is said. If you are a disciple of Ammachi, that will come out in your music whether you like it or not. Similarly, if you are a Dzogchen practitioner, that will come out too as you tell your story.

This is different from trying to proselytize, of course.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 69 guests