Meaning of Kamtsang

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passel
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Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by passel » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:36 am

I had been under the impression that Kamtsang was just an alternate name for Karma Kagyu, but just read a comment that seemed to differentiate between Surmang and Kamtsang, which, if so, means that I can't be right. Anyone care to fill me in?
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by dzogchungpa » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:14 am

According to Ringu Tulku's "The Ri-me Philosophy of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great" the Kamtsang lineage is the lineage headed by the Karmapas, and has two separate traditions within it. One of those is the Surmang Kagyu which derives its name from Surmang Monastery, which was founded by Ma-se Lodro Rinchen, a student of the fifth Karmapa. The other is the Nedo Kagyu, which stems from Karma Chagme who was a student of the sixth Sharmapa and stayed in a place called Nedo, whence the name.
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passel
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Re: Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by passel » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:32 am

Ok. So S+N=K,
and K= KK.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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Palzang Jangchub
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Re: Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:49 pm

passel wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:32 am
Ok. So S+N=K,
and K= KK.
Not quite. Kamtsang is a lineage, and both Surmang and Neydo are sub-lineages or branches of that which have their own specials emphases, practices, teachings, and lineage holders.

Surmangpas don't necessarily add in Neydo and vice versa, nor do all Kamtsangpas mix Surmang and Neydo to get the full Kamtsang approach. Folks can practice Karma Kagyu their whole lives and not encounter Surmang or Neydo, and Neydopas can practice the whole path within Neydo Kagyu.

Devotion to the Gyalwang Karmapa and the Golden Rosary of the overall Kamtsang lineage and their teachings is the common denominator.

Kagyu in general is a bit complicated when it comes to institutional lineages. Not even all of it comes to us via Marpa... Just as Cone about Shangpa Kagyu and how that's related to Kamtsang.
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"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་མཁས་གྲུབ་ཀརྨ་ཆགས་མེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ། ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོཿ

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conebeckham
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Re: Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by conebeckham » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:48 pm

"Tsang" (Tshang) means something like "family" and "Kam" is understood as the first initial of Karmapa.
So we could say Kamtsang refers to those in the "family of Karmapa," and the title "Karma Kagyu" is pretty much synonymous.

In terms of lineage, this refers to the successive Karmapas and their heart sons who hold the lineage.

In terms of practices, The Dakpo Kagyu practices coming from Marpa to Mila to Gampopa (Dakpo Lharje) are the core --as well as instructions from the Kadampa masters regarding LoJong (Mind Training), the accomplishment lineages of Vajravarahi, Cakrasmavara, and the Completion Stage corpus of completion stage practices now known as Naropa's Six Yogas, as well as the Path of Liberation, known as Mahamudra and elucidated in various ways. The Kamtsang also upholds many practices from other transmission lineages that came to the Kamtsang early on, though they did not stem from Marpa's tradition or from Gampoopa-- most importantly the practices relating to Bernakchen and Palden Lhamo and the Gyalwa Gyamtso traditions brought to the lineage from Rechungpa. There is also emphasis placed on a variety of other practices coming from various Kama And Terma Nyingma lineages, and from the Chod lineage of Machig Labdron. Some Karmapas also practiced Shangpa and Jonang transmissions, and these have found their way into the Kamtsang as well.

To clarify the Shangpa/Kamtsang connection a bit, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye is responsible for reviving the Shangpa tradition, and for spreading it widely amongst the Kamtsang. It was Kalu Rinpoche, however, who emphasized the Shangpa as a main focus--he was an incarnation of Kongtrul, and studied under the Shangpa master who maintained Tsadra Rinchen Drak, Kongtrul's home and retreat center, two generations prior. He coined the name "DakShang Kagyu" to differentiate his transmission from that of the Karma Kagyu, though he was also a very important Karma Kagyu lineage holder.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

passel
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Re: Meaning of Kamtsang

Post by passel » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:18 am

These are two really cool responses. Shangpa/Marpa distinction not new info to me- read Kapstein's article on it a while back and familiar w Kalu via McLeod and the 3 thin Kalu books- Profound Bsm, etc. Have actually been swimming around Kagyu circles for about 16 yrs? but I've never really dived in (background is zen but I study w Tsoknyi now, irregularly but w commitment. Both responses raise a bunch of questions for me, but can't do a bunch of typing for a bit- I'll try to come back to this post, seems like it could become an interesting thread. I'd like the Kagyu and MM forums to be as robust as some of the other ones- they seem a bit neglected. All roads led to dzogchen here, which is great, but hey viva la difference :)
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

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