Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

tatpurusa
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by tatpurusa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:50 pm
Pure vision is one thing; history quite another, as Norbu RInpoche remarks the book I mentioned above.
This is exactly what I am interested in. So if you are generous enough - I would appreciate your thoughts by private message (as you told it is not suitable on a public board.) So if this is not just a pretext, you would share your thoughts with me privately.

Malcolm
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:06 pm

Sādhaka wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:56 pm

Then the Twelve Small Tantras are from a aural lineage not necessarily dependent on Buddhist Dzogchen as told by Nyingma....
Yes, this is his idea. I don't really share his opinion. When you compare them to say Vairocana's translations of the five early lungs -- the former betray a smoothness of composition that one really does not find in orally transmitted texts. That said, they are excellent little verses, and their commentary is even more interesting.

Regardless of origin, I think that many Bon teachings are valid Buddhadharma, even if I do not buy their historical narrative, but then, I don't necessarilyu buy all Buddhist historical narrative, like the Kālacakra dates for Buddha's lifetime. The study of Bon literature is absolutely vital to understanding Tibetan culture. There are so many useful and interesting things that Bon texts have to share.

I am sympathetic with their story, and am happy to admit they have long suffered oppression in the hands of Buddhists.

But if you ask me to just blindly accept their historical claims...can't do it.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Sādhaka » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:10 pm

Fair enough.

I’m glad that we’ve been able to find more common ground regarding this topic that seemed to be lacking earlier in the thread.

Malcolm
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:15 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:57 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:50 pm
Pure vision is one thing; history quite another, as Norbu RInpoche remarks the book I mentioned above.
This is exactly what I am interested in. So if you are generous enough - I would appreciate your thoughts by private message (as you told it is not suitable on a public board.) So if this is not just a pretext, you would share your thoughts with me privately.
What I can say is that one argument that could be made is that when practicing the visions, during the second vision one begins to develop clairvoyance, such as past lives and so on, and so the obvious rejoinder to anything I have put forward is to claim special knowledge based on yogic vision, similar to the Buddha's statements about past Buddhas and so on in his past lives. But these are just articles of faith, since they cannot be confirmed with ordinary perception.

Malcolm
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:17 pm

Sādhaka wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:10 pm
Fair enough.

I’m glad that we’ve been able to find more common ground regarding this topic that seemed to be lacking earlier in the thread.
Of course there is common ground. I have received the bulk of the ZZNG from Chaphur Rinpoche in the Bay Area, who also taught me the basics of elemental calculation. I accept things on the basis of what they say in the text itself, not on the basis of their supposed history.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Sādhaka » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:58 pm
Moreover, clan histories such as that of Lce clan in Mangyul, point to a cultural origin in "Tazig" as well. The Khon very likely were a part of this eastern movement of Iranian-speaking people into Tibet as well, since their clan history and the clan history of the Lce resemble each other strongly, but differ on certain points as well. It is possible that that the six brothers who mentioned in the origin of the lCe clan and the three brothers mentioned in the origin of the Khon clan are based on the notion of the Amesha Spenta emanations of Ahura Mazda.

I almost missed this^ part that you later edited in to your post.

Very interesting.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Sādhaka » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:22 pm
Sādhaka wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:07 pm
And as you’ve also mentioned before, Guru Chowang, the revealer of the Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche, said that true Bön is authentic Dzogchen Dharma as well.
Yes, Guru Chowang says positive things about Bon, but he imagines Tongpa Shenrab was from Zhang Zhung, which he also sites as the location of Olmo Lungring:
In order to tame the the confusion of ignorance, the root of samsara, at Wolmo Lungring in the land of Zhang Zhung the hidden treasure of compassion arrived in the form of Shenrab Miwoche [gshen rab mi bo che, i.e. the supreme one of the Shen clan, the greatest of men]. The hidden treasure was concealed in a single intention by all the Tathāgatas in the mind of Shenrab, and he taught the nine vehicles of Bon.
So he also does not really accept the idea that Shenrab was born outside the region of the Himalayas.

And I almost missed this^ post too.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by tatpurusa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:15 pm
... claim special knowledge based on yogic vision, similar to the Buddha's statements about past Buddhas and so on in his past lives. But these are just articles of faith, since they cannot be confirmed with ordinary perception.
So what is the difference between New age channelings and yogic vision or pure vision? Are they equally not confirmable by "ordinary perception" ?

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Sādhaka » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:35 pm

Not to answer for Malcolm....

The difficult part is that we have to do it ourselves and see.

I’ll take my chances on the praxis of Bön and Buddhadharma over new age, abrahamism, or secular humanism any day.

And this goes back to my earlier post, about the possibility that esoteric Christianity could possibly contain instructions for Light Body. It does not seem likely; but no one knows if a Emanation could appear to you in the guise of a non-Buddhist or non-Bönpo Teacher.

Whatever the case, the said Instructions are laid out clearly in Bön and Buddhadharma; and are not clearly laid out in other traditions even if they are by chance found therein, in code.

tatpurusa
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by tatpurusa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:42 pm

tatpurusa wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:28 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:15 pm
... claim special knowledge based on yogic vision, similar to the Buddha's statements about past Buddhas and so on in his past lives. But these are just articles of faith, since they cannot be confirmed with ordinary perception.
So what is the difference between New age channelings and yogic vision or pure vision? Are they equally not confirmable by "ordinary perception" ?
The next question is: what is "ordinary perception"? Is it any more trustable than "yogic vision" or "pure vision"?
If yes, how exactly?
If you say those have to be confirmed by "ordinary perception" it seems to mean that "ordinary perception" is somehow more authentic according to your jugement. Is this what you mean?

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:06 pm


I am sympathetic with their story, and am happy to admit they have long suffered oppression in the hands of Buddhists.

But if you ask me to just blindly accept their historical claims...can't do it.
Reading the Bonpo Heart Sutra, and being exposed to a bit of their "alternative history" narratives put me in about the same boat. I value the Bon teachings I've received greatly, but I cannot get past some of their historical claims, especially the triumphalism over Buddhism, when so much of their stuff clearly borrows heavily..not that the reverse is not also true in plenty of places.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by PeterC » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 am
Reading the Bonpo Heart Sutra, and being exposed to a bit of their "alternative history" narratives put me in about the same boat. I value the Bon teachings I've received greatly, but I cannot get past some of their historical claims, especially the triumphalism over Buddhism, when so much of their stuff clearly borrows heavily..not that the reverse is not also true in plenty of places.
If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 am

PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 am
Reading the Bonpo Heart Sutra, and being exposed to a bit of their "alternative history" narratives put me in about the same boat. I value the Bon teachings I've received greatly, but I cannot get past some of their historical claims, especially the triumphalism over Buddhism, when so much of their stuff clearly borrows heavily..not that the reverse is not also true in plenty of places.
If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything
I get what you are saying, but Bonpo historical narratives are on a whole other level, and sometimes harder to swallow than anything you come across in Mahayana. For example the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was a student of Shenrab etc. Like I said, it’s really the specificity of these kinds of claims that makes them iffy, not that they aren’t empirically verifiable or something, which of course is true for all kinds of stuff we take for granted.

There is also a tone of ‘Buddhism stole all this’ from the occasional zealous Bonpo, while it’s nothing to take personally, I have seen this sort of attitude cause issues...socially at teachings. It’s especially silly when you examine what Bon also borrowed from Chos...even on a surface level. The Bon teachings I’ve been exposed to themselves were wonderful and I’m content to appreciate my opportunity to receive them without an expectation that they line up with my thinking exactly.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:49 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 am
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 am
Reading the Bonpo Heart Sutra, and being exposed to a bit of their "alternative history" narratives put me in about the same boat. I value the Bon teachings I've received greatly, but I cannot get past some of their historical claims, especially the triumphalism over Buddhism, when so much of their stuff clearly borrows heavily..not that the reverse is not also true in plenty of places.
If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything
I get what you are saying, but Bonpo historical narratives are on a whole other level, and sometimes harder to swallow than anything you come across in Mahayana. For example the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was a student of Shenrab etc. Like I said, it’s really the specificity of these kinds of claims that makes them iffy, not that they aren’t empirically verifiable or something, which of course is true for all kinds of stuff we take for granted.

There is also a tone of ‘Buddhism stole all this’ from the occasional zealous Bonpo, while it’s nothing to take personally, I have seen this sort of attitude cause issues...socially at teachings. It’s especially silly when you examine what Bon also borrowed from Chos...even on a surface level. The Bon teachings I’ve been exposed to themselves were wonderful and I’m content to appreciate my opportunity to receive them without an expectation that they line up with my thinking exactly.
I think that the history and what is to a great extent still the present status of Bon, both in Tibet and in diaspora, makes it rather inevitable, does it not? I mean, Bonpo belong(ed) to the subaltern, the history of Bon's involvement with Buddhism is pretty much a textbook example of how a marginalised, oppressed/ignored and continually erased community struggles to remake itself so as to survive. And, HHDL efforts notwithstanding, the conflict is still very far from over, I have witnessed some very disturbing expressions of anti-Bon prejudice coming from Buddhist teachers.
To offer care and affection to sentient beings
In desperate situations who lack protection
Brings just as much merit as the meditation
On emptiness with compassion as its core—
So it has been said by glorious Lord Atisha.

Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche

If you cannot generate an altruistic mind, even extensive retreat will be of not much benefit.
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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Simon E. » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:00 am

An interesting discussion.
I think the view that Bon is valid but it’s history dubious in parts is pretty common among Vajrayana students. But then as Malcolm has indicated, a fundie type belief in Buddhist history also is fraught with problems. The equivalent of Creation myths abound.
We need to look at the fruit of practise rather than the stories a tradition tells itself.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by PeterC » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:24 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 am
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:32 am
Reading the Bonpo Heart Sutra, and being exposed to a bit of their "alternative history" narratives put me in about the same boat. I value the Bon teachings I've received greatly, but I cannot get past some of their historical claims, especially the triumphalism over Buddhism, when so much of their stuff clearly borrows heavily..not that the reverse is not also true in plenty of places.
If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything
I get what you are saying, but Bonpo historical narratives are on a whole other level, and sometimes harder to swallow than anything you come across in Mahayana. For example the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was a student of Shenrab etc. Like I said, it’s really the specificity of these kinds of claims that makes them iffy, not that they aren’t empirically verifiable or something, which of course is true for all kinds of stuff we take for granted.

There is also a tone of ‘Buddhism stole all this’ from the occasional zealous Bonpo, while it’s nothing to take personally, I have seen this sort of attitude cause issues...socially at teachings. It’s especially silly when you examine what Bon also borrowed from Chos...even on a surface level. The Bon teachings I’ve been exposed to themselves were wonderful and I’m content to appreciate my opportunity to receive them without an expectation that they line up with my thinking exactly.
True - they do seem excessive from my perspective. But from the perspective of a Theravedan, the origin stories and claims of superiority of the Tantras are also a little hard to swallow, and since I won’t mount a textual defence of the things I practice, I shouldn’t mount a textual assault on things I don’t. To paraphrase Shantideva, the important test is whether it accords with other teachings and can yield results.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by lelopa » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:56 am

PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:24 am

True - they do seem excessive from my perspective. But from the perspective of a Theravedan, the origin stories and claims of superiority of the Tantras are also a little hard to swallow, and since I won’t mount a textual defence of the things I practice, I shouldn’t mount a textual assault on things I don’t. To paraphrase Shantideva, the important test is whether it accords with other teachings and can yield results.


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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:23 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:49 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 am
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am


If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything
I get what you are saying, but Bonpo historical narratives are on a whole other level, and sometimes harder to swallow than anything you come across in Mahayana. For example the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was a student of Shenrab etc. Like I said, it’s really the specificity of these kinds of claims that makes them iffy, not that they aren’t empirically verifiable or something, which of course is true for all kinds of stuff we take for granted.

There is also a tone of ‘Buddhism stole all this’ from the occasional zealous Bonpo, while it’s nothing to take personally, I have seen this sort of attitude cause issues...socially at teachings. It’s especially silly when you examine what Bon also borrowed from Chos...even on a surface level. The Bon teachings I’ve been exposed to themselves were wonderful and I’m content to appreciate my opportunity to receive them without an expectation that they line up with my thinking exactly.
I think that the history and what is to a great extent still the present status of Bon, both in Tibet and in diaspora, makes it rather inevitable, does it not? I mean, Bonpo belong(ed) to the subaltern, the history of Bon's involvement with Buddhism is pretty much a textbook example of how a marginalised, oppressed/ignored and continually erased community struggles to remake itself so as to survive. And, HHDL efforts notwithstanding, the conflict is still very far from over, I have witnessed some very disturbing expressions of anti-Bon prejudice coming from Buddhist teachers.
I think it is useful to divided our narratives into myths (Buddhas living in past eons), legends, (stories of mahāsiddhas, possibly historical people embedded in fantastic stories, Milarepa comes to mind, Gyerphung Lodpo, 25 disciples of Guru P, etc.,) and history (things that can be verified with empirically available facts). If people structured their thinking to slot parts of narratives into these different categories, then this would go a along way towards eliminating sectarian conflicts.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:24 pm

PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:24 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:51 am
PeterC wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:13 am


If we had to be satisfied as to the accuracy of historical claims before receiving teachings, then we would never practice anything
I get what you are saying, but Bonpo historical narratives are on a whole other level, and sometimes harder to swallow than anything you come across in Mahayana. For example the idea that Buddha Shakyamuni was a student of Shenrab etc. Like I said, it’s really the specificity of these kinds of claims that makes them iffy, not that they aren’t empirically verifiable or something, which of course is true for all kinds of stuff we take for granted.

There is also a tone of ‘Buddhism stole all this’ from the occasional zealous Bonpo, while it’s nothing to take personally, I have seen this sort of attitude cause issues...socially at teachings. It’s especially silly when you examine what Bon also borrowed from Chos...even on a surface level. The Bon teachings I’ve been exposed to themselves were wonderful and I’m content to appreciate my opportunity to receive them without an expectation that they line up with my thinking exactly.
True - they do seem excessive from my perspective. But from the perspective of a Theravedan, the origin stories and claims of superiority of the Tantras are also a little hard to swallow...
As is the Theravada account of the origin of Abhidhamma.

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Re: Practical difference between Bön and Nyingma Dzogchen

Post by shagrath » Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:23 pm
I think it is useful to divided our narratives into myths (Buddhas living in past eons), legends, (stories of mahāsiddhas, possibly historical people embedded in fantastic stories, Milarepa comes to mind, Gyerphung Lodpo, 25 disciples of Guru P, etc.,) and history (things that can be verified with empirically available facts). If people structured their thinking to slot parts of narratives into these different categories, then this would go a along way towards eliminating sectarian conflicts.
That is great thought. I agree with you 100%. Just like historicity of e.g. christianity or judaism. Faithful can say outrageous things from Bible, and then comes historian Bart Ehrman and slaps them with facts.

Two things come in mind:
1. Do you think that learning history is detrimental for dzogchen practice? Does one can go further into practice not caring about it?
2. What authors would you recommend for scientific approach to history of bön, dzogchen, nyingma, mahamudra, tibetan culture, etc?

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