Adamantine wrote: Karma Dorje wrote:
The answer from the Garchen Institute is unambiguous and as follows (emphasis added):
We were told the following by Garchen Rinpoche for empowerments that Garchen Institute has put on Ustream. The recordings can be included as well as the livestream.
It is not my impression that these apply to all empowerments available online, but for the ones he’s approved. Other lamas may have different requirements and it is important to follow the instructions of the Lama giving the empowerments.
We have received several inquiries asking if one actually receives the empowerment if done by streaming, and following is Rinpoche’s reply:
“The touching of the vase to the crown of the head is the outer empowerment. The inner empowerment is to visualize yourself as the deity. The real empowerment is to realize the nature of your mind.
“When you cultivate bodhicitta, that is the real deity, and when you do this, that is when you actually receive the empowerment over the internet.
“If you live near the temple and think, ‘Oh, I don’t need to go to the temple; I can just receive the empowerment over the internet,’ that is not the right motivation. If you have the opportunity to come to the temple, then you should come.
“If you don't live nearby and cannot come, but with all your heart would like to, that is the right motivation for receiving the empowerment over the internet.”
May all be auspicious!
The substances are generally essential for empowerments: drinking the nectars, eating the pills, etc. I would assume that is the subtext of this line "If you live near the temple and think, ‘Oh, I don’t need to go to the temple; I can just receive the empowerment over the internet,’ that is not the right motivation. If you have the opportunity to come to the temple, then you should come." -- meaning it is not the same
to watch as to actually be there. . . if it was the same, it wouldn't matter if you came in person or not even if you lived close by. Similarly, I am sure it is not the same to watch the recording as to tune into the live stream. I'd imagine there is some level of degradation the further the experience is mediated.
I do not agree with your view here Adamantine.
In my humble understanding of what Rinpoche means, I think what he is saying is that if you are motivated to take the empowerment and you are able to attend the ceremony in person and do not then you actually are not motivated to take the empowerment and do the practice.
Rinpoche said the reason he gave so many initiations is so that students who want to do certain practices, but feel like they are finding obstacles in terms of actually receiving the permission to do such practices, can have a chance to receive the empowerments.
For me, at least, there is really no ultimate difference between a recording and being there, since the phenomena still has arisen in ones own relative reality. Similarly, if you are not there to receive the substances, then you can visualize it - Rinpoche even says this.
The mindstream of the Buddha entering the afflicted mindstream of the practitioner is not an outer process and has nothing to do with actual tangible things - "Bodhichitta is the real deity". In my experience, if one is able to visualize the Buddha becoming one with oneself through the Guru offering the substances in general, and one can visualize receiving them, then one can actually receive them - it is a matter of faith and devotion. Even HHDL says that a practitioner with strong devotion can receive an empowerment from far away, as long as the empowerment has actually taken place in reality...even an empowerment like Kalachakra could be received by someone who knows that the mandala has been built and the ceremonies have taken place etc.