refuge tree visualisation

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MatthewAngby
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refuge tree visualisation

Post by MatthewAngby » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:52 pm

I’ve been doing this for some weeks or so. I’ve realised it took me almost 1 hour plus to do it ( plus the stress and breathing stress when visulaising the tree ). I would like to ask all of you how do you personally visualise the tree? Because I try to do a perfect clean clear visulisation of all the Buddha , protector , root guru, Bodhisattva and lamas on the tree , I sometimes get really stressed up and have difficult breathing during that visualisation. I’ve also heard some people say they just have a rough visualtion that the other Buddha’s are there but out of sight , so maybe not so clean clear. So how do you all personally visualise the tree, clean clear and perfect or just a bit of effort and out of sight.

I just can’t take my attempts at trying to make the most vivid clean clear perfect visulisarions anymore. I can visualise roughly how the entire refuge tree is like btw, but it’s just not perfectly vivid...

Soo uhh pls help me too?

smcj
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:55 am

I suck at visualizations, but I still feel like I am benefiting. A rough visualization is good enough—I hope.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Miroku
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Miroku » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:52 pm
I’ve been doing this for some weeks or so. I’ve realised it took me almost 1 hour plus to do it ( plus the stress and breathing stress when visulaising the tree ). I would like to ask all of you how do you personally visualise the tree? Because I try to do a perfect clean clear visulisation of all the Buddha , protector , root guru, Bodhisattva and lamas on the tree , I sometimes get really stressed up and have difficult breathing during that visualisation. I’ve also heard some people say they just have a rough visualtion that the other Buddha’s are there but out of sight , so maybe not so clean clear. So how do you all personally visualise the tree, clean clear and perfect or just a bit of effort and out of sight.

I just can’t take my attempts at trying to make the most vivid clean clear perfect visulisarions anymore. I can visualise roughly how the entire refuge tree is like btw, but it’s just not perfectly vivid...

Soo uhh pls help me too?
Dude, relax. This is a good way to get problems related to lung. So relax, chillax and take it easy. It doesn't have to be vivid. Nobody wants that from you. You are a beginner. Hell I even after 6 years have problems with visualisation. Just feel it. They are there when you think of them. Knowing they are there is good enough. I for example visualise just vajradhara, chakrasamvara, one buddha roughly some books, one bodhisattva and one protector. Others are just there not really focused on. Also I do not visualise at the same time everything, but I travel through the tree as my prayer goes, so when I take refuge in lama I focus more on vajradhara, then I go to chakrasamvara ... etc etc.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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heart
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by heart » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:53 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:52 pm
I’ve been doing this for some weeks or so. I’ve realised it took me almost 1 hour plus to do it ( plus the stress and breathing stress when visulaising the tree ). I would like to ask all of you how do you personally visualise the tree? Because I try to do a perfect clean clear visulisation of all the Buddha , protector , root guru, Bodhisattva and lamas on the tree , I sometimes get really stressed up and have difficult breathing during that visualisation. I’ve also heard some people say they just have a rough visualtion that the other Buddha’s are there but out of sight , so maybe not so clean clear. So how do you all personally visualise the tree, clean clear and perfect or just a bit of effort and out of sight.

I just can’t take my attempts at trying to make the most vivid clean clear perfect visulisarions anymore. I can visualise roughly how the entire refuge tree is like btw, but it’s just not perfectly vivid...

Soo uhh pls help me too?
When you do visualisations you have to understand that the most important part is to feel the presence and to take refuge from your heart. When you feel the presence of the tree and trust and awe in your heart you will be taking refuge in a proper way even if you only can visualise the central Buddha very roughly and nothing else. The improvement of the actual visual aspect will come very slowly so don't worry about that.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Vasana
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Vasana » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:12 am

This is something you should really ask the teachers who gave you this practice. In all likelihood, they will echo the above posts but it is still good to check.

A phrase comes to mind: "Don't let perfect become the enemy of good"

One of the key things for beginners or experienced practitioners is to not let practice become associated or saturated in your mind with stress and tension - so try and lighten your grip and remember the real meaning behind what you are practising. Doing some basic stretches and some shamatha beforehand may be a good idea so you are more relaxed going in to the practice. (generally always helpful, regardless)

The Buddhas and those continuums who have realized Buddhahood in the tree know when they are thought of and supplicated so however you decide to practice, just remember that they are aware of your efforts and are there to offer protection, blessings and guide you to their level of realization.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

MatthewAngby
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by MatthewAngby » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:14 am

Vasana wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:12 am
This is something you should really ask the teachers who gave you this practice. In all likelihood, they will echo the above posts but it is still good to check.

A phrase comes to mind: "Don't let perfect become the enemy of good"

One of the key things for begingers or experience practioners is to not to let practice become associated or saturated in your mind with stress and tension so try and lighten your grip and remember the real meaning of what you are practising. The Buddha's and those continuums who have realized Buddhahood in the tree know when they are thought of and supplicated so however you decide to practice, just remember that they are aware of your efforts and are there to offer protection, blessings and guide you to their level of realization.
heart wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:53 am
[quote=MatthewAngby post_id=451632 time=<a href="tel:1529167928">1529167928</a> user_id=10176]
I’ve been doing this for some weeks or so. I’ve realised it took me almost 1 hour plus to do it ( plus the stress and breathing stress when visulaising the tree ). I would like to ask all of you how do you personally visualise the tree? Because I try to do a perfect clean clear visulisation of all the Buddha , protector , root guru, Bodhisattva and lamas on the tree , I sometimes get really stressed up and have difficult breathing during that visualisation. I’ve also heard some people say they just have a rough visualtion that the other Buddha’s are there but out of sight , so maybe not so clean clear. So how do you all personally visualise the tree, clean clear and perfect or just a bit of effort and out of sight.

I just can’t take my attempts at trying to make the most vivid clean clear perfect visulisarions anymore. I can visualise roughly how the entire refuge tree is like btw, but it’s just not perfectly vivid...

Soo uhh pls help me too?
When you do visualisations you have to understand that the most important part is to feel the presence and to take refuge from your heart. When you feel the presence of the tree and trust and awe in your heart you will be taking refuge in a proper way even if you only can visualise the central Buddha very roughly and nothing else. The improvement of the actual visual aspect will come very slowly so don't worry about that.

/magnus
[/quote]
Miroku wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 am
MatthewAngby wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:52 pm
I’ve been doing this for some weeks or so. I’ve realised it took me almost 1 hour plus to do it ( plus the stress and breathing stress when visulaising the tree ). I would like to ask all of you how do you personally visualise the tree? Because I try to do a perfect clean clear visulisation of all the Buddha , protector , root guru, Bodhisattva and lamas on the tree , I sometimes get really stressed up and have difficult breathing during that visualisation. I’ve also heard some people say they just have a rough visualtion that the other Buddha’s are there but out of sight , so maybe not so clean clear. So how do you all personally visualise the tree, clean clear and perfect or just a bit of effort and out of sight.

I just can’t take my attempts at trying to make the most vivid clean clear perfect visulisarions anymore. I can visualise roughly how the entire refuge tree is like btw, but it’s just not perfectly vivid...

Soo uhh pls help me too?
Dude, relax. This is a good way to get problems related to lung. So relax, chillax and take it easy. It doesn't have to be vivid. Nobody wants that from you. You are a beginner. Hell I even after 6 years have problems with visualisation. Just feel it. They are there when you think of them. Knowing they are there is good enough. I for example visualise just vajradhara, chakrasamvara, one buddha roughly some books, one bodhisattva and one protector. Others are just there not really focused on. Also I do not visualise at the same time everything, but I travel through the tree as my prayer goes, so when I take refuge in lama I focus more on vajradhara, then I go to chakrasamvara ... etc etc.
Alright. Thank you all, I Guess I won’t have to be so stressed up already when I think of first foundation hahahaha.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:31 pm

As Thinley Norbu Rinpoche says in "Magic Dance":
If we are practicing visualization and have no expectation, then whatever kind of deity we visualize, we will spontaneously see Wisdom Deity. Too much serious concentration is the cause of grasping neurotic mind. If we try to visualize Wisdom Deity with serious squinting eyes and a grasping neurotic mind, it becomes a demon since its source is dualistic. Where there is dualism, there is rejection and acceptance. Where there is rejection and acceptance, there is the cause of aversion and attachment. Where there is aversion and attachment, there is the cause of samsara.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Josef
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:00 am

I have a photograph of my root guru and I look at him and take refuge.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Vasana
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Vasana » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 am

Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:00 am
I have a photograph of my root guru and I look at him and take refuge.
Good to hear this and all but not so useful for someone practicing a specific Ngondro sadhana.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Josef
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:45 pm

Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 am
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:00 am
I have a photograph of my root guru and I look at him and take refuge.
Good to hear this and all but not so useful for someone practicing a specific Ngondro sadhana.
One can do any practice using their guru as the source of refuge.
In fact, its the way it works. Whether or not it is simplified or complex, whether it uses a picture or detailed visualization.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Vasana
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Vasana » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm

Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:45 pm
Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 am
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:00 am
I have a photograph of my root guru and I look at him and take refuge.
Good to hear this and all but not so useful for someone practicing a specific Ngondro sadhana.
One can do any practice using their guru as the source of refuge.
In fact, its the way it works. Whether or not it is simplified or complex, whether it uses a picture or detailed visualization.
All true but for someone just beginning a specific Kagyu Ngondro I'm still not sure how applicable saying look at a picture of your guru is. Especially if they do not already have strong conviction , faith and inspiration in who their root Guru really is beyond the Guru who granted refuge or received some teachings from. Some ngondros ask you to visualize both the refuge tree and any gurus up with whom you have strong connections. Unless the sadhana says you can replace the entire tree with your guru then you follow what the sadhana says. But maybe that wasn't what you meant?

The main thing is that even if we understand something, our explanations can cause more concepts rather than clarification hence why I said to run it by the teachers in that lineage. How ones own teacher recommends you practice isn't necessarily how another has given that practice to another.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Miroku
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Miroku » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:52 pm

Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:45 pm
Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 am


Good to hear this and all but not so useful for someone practicing a specific Ngondro sadhana.
One can do any practice using their guru as the source of refuge.
In fact, its the way it works. Whether or not it is simplified or complex, whether it uses a picture or detailed visualization.
All true but for someone just beginning a specific Kagyu Ngondro I'm still not sure how applicable saying look at a picture of your guru is. Especially if they do not already have strong conviction , faith and inspiration in who their root Guru really is beyond the Guru who granted refuge or received some teachings from. Some ngondros ask you to visualize both the refuge tree and any gurus up with whom you have strong connections. Unless the sadhana says you can replace the entire tree with your guru then you follow what the sadhana says. But maybe that wasn't what you meant?

The main thing is that even if we understand something, our explanations can cause more concepts rather than clarification hence why I said to run it by the teachers in that lineage. How ones own teacher recommends you practice isn't necessarily how another has given that practice to another.
I don't know I must kinda agree with Josef here, but in a different way. I do not have it verified, however I tend to focus more on the central Vajradhara in the refuge tree as it represents guru, other parts are not as important. I mean yes others are also important and I do my best, however Vajradhara being a unification of all my teachers is bit more important as he is the core.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Josef
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:17 pm

Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:45 pm
Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 am


Good to hear this and all but not so useful for someone practicing a specific Ngondro sadhana.
One can do any practice using their guru as the source of refuge.
In fact, its the way it works. Whether or not it is simplified or complex, whether it uses a picture or detailed visualization.
All true but for someone just beginning a specific Kagyu Ngondro I'm still not sure how applicable saying look at a picture of your guru is. Especially if they do not already have strong conviction , faith and inspiration in who their root Guru really is beyond the Guru who granted refuge or received some teachings from. Some ngondros ask you to visualize both the refuge tree and any gurus up with whom you have strong connections. Unless the sadhana says you can replace the entire tree with your guru then you follow what the sadhana says. But maybe that wasn't what you meant?

The main thing is that even if we understand something, our explanations can cause more concepts rather than clarification hence why I said to run it by the teachers in that lineage. How ones own teacher recommends you practice isn't necessarily how another has given that practice to another.
Even in the context of ngondro the central figure is ones guru.
The guru in all Vajrayana and Dzogchen lineages is the embodiment of the three jewels, the three roots, and all lineage masters and deities of the three times.
The visualization in the sadhana does serve a very important purpose but there is no purpose more essential than the recognition of ones guru being the three jewels. I am not saying, "ignore the visualization instruction in the sadhana". I am saying that the guru is the essential feature of the practice and transmission. If visualizing the entire refuge tree is overwhelming or causing tension, we can start with the essence, and find that we finish there as well.
Even beginning ngondro is dependent on this feature, even if one is using Vajradhara or Guru Padmasambhava as the inspiration until one has that relationship they still represent the most important feature.

My original response was an answer to the original question, asking what others do. As a person who has done ngondro and other practices I answered with both my own experience and with nudge to focus on the essentials without being overly explicit.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Snowbear
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Snowbear » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:30 pm

Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:17 pm
Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:45 pm


One can do any practice using their guru as the source of refuge.
In fact, its the way it works. Whether or not it is simplified or complex, whether it uses a picture or detailed visualization.
All true but for someone just beginning a specific Kagyu Ngondro I'm still not sure how applicable saying look at a picture of your guru is. Especially if they do not already have strong conviction , faith and inspiration in who their root Guru really is beyond the Guru who granted refuge or received some teachings from. Some ngondros ask you to visualize both the refuge tree and any gurus up with whom you have strong connections. Unless the sadhana says you can replace the entire tree with your guru then you follow what the sadhana says. But maybe that wasn't what you meant?

The main thing is that even if we understand something, our explanations can cause more concepts rather than clarification hence why I said to run it by the teachers in that lineage. How ones own teacher recommends you practice isn't necessarily how another has given that practice to another.
Even in the context of ngondro the central figure is ones guru.
The guru in all Vajrayana and Dzogchen lineages is the embodiment of the three jewels, the three roots, and all lineage masters and deities of the three times.
The visualization in the sadhana does serve a very important purpose but there is no purpose more essential than the recognition of ones guru being the three jewels. I am not saying, "ignore the visualization instruction in the sadhana". I am saying that the guru is the essential feature of the practice and transmission. If visualizing the entire refuge tree is overwhelming or causing tension, we can start with the essence, and find that we finish there as well.
Even beginning ngondro is dependent on this feature, even if one is using Vajradhara or Guru Padmasambhava as the inspiration until one has that relationship they still represent the most important feature.

My original response was an answer to the original question, asking what others do. As a person who has done ngondro and other practices I answered with both my own experience and with nudge to focus on the essentials without being overly explicit.
Has anyone ever authorized you to give a teaching like this on the internet?

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Josef
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:53 pm

Snowbear wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:30 pm
Josef wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:17 pm
Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm


All true but for someone just beginning a specific Kagyu Ngondro I'm still not sure how applicable saying look at a picture of your guru is. Especially if they do not already have strong conviction , faith and inspiration in who their root Guru really is beyond the Guru who granted refuge or received some teachings from. Some ngondros ask you to visualize both the refuge tree and any gurus up with whom you have strong connections. Unless the sadhana says you can replace the entire tree with your guru then you follow what the sadhana says. But maybe that wasn't what you meant?

The main thing is that even if we understand something, our explanations can cause more concepts rather than clarification hence why I said to run it by the teachers in that lineage. How ones own teacher recommends you practice isn't necessarily how another has given that practice to another.
Even in the context of ngondro the central figure is ones guru.
The guru in all Vajrayana and Dzogchen lineages is the embodiment of the three jewels, the three roots, and all lineage masters and deities of the three times.
The visualization in the sadhana does serve a very important purpose but there is no purpose more essential than the recognition of ones guru being the three jewels. I am not saying, "ignore the visualization instruction in the sadhana". I am saying that the guru is the essential feature of the practice and transmission. If visualizing the entire refuge tree is overwhelming or causing tension, we can start with the essence, and find that we finish there as well.
Even beginning ngondro is dependent on this feature, even if one is using Vajradhara or Guru Padmasambhava as the inspiration until one has that relationship they still represent the most important feature.

My original response was an answer to the original question, asking what others do. As a person who has done ngondro and other practices I answered with both my own experience and with nudge to focus on the essentials without being overly explicit.
Has anyone ever authorized you to give a teaching like this on the internet?
I would never "teach" anything inappropriate in person or on the internet.
Everything I have posted here is readily available in public commentaries etc. anyhow.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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Vasana
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Vasana » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:02 pm

Josef, I don't disagree yet again but all I'm saying is that not everyone teaches or instructs in the manner you have described. This doesn't negate that way of framing things either. I'm not talking about what the guru or refuge is or isn't- all I'm saying is that not everyone will identify as even having a close relationship with a teacher at the time of ngondro so recommending an essentialized ngondro as a universal approach ignores the myriad ways it can be explained and emphasized.

How you proceed is down to the recommended protocol of those you received the teachings from, their texts, and sometimes form the senior students of that teacher, lineage etc.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Josef
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Re: refuge tree visualisation

Post by Josef » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:04 pm

Vasana wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:02 pm
Josef, I don't disagree yet again but all I'm saying is that not everyone teaches or instructs in the manner you have described. This doesn't negate that way of framing things either. I'm not talking about what the guru or refuge is or isn't- all I'm saying is that not everyone will identify as even having a close relationship with a teacher at the time of ngondro so recommending an essentialized ngondro as a universal approach ignores the myriad ways it can be explained and emphasized.

How you proceed is down to the recommended protocol of those you received the teachings from, their texts, and sometimes form the senior students of that teacher, lineage etc.
I dont think we are saying anything different.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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