Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

smcj
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Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:22 pm

This is one video from a series of 2019 Tsadra Foundation videos from a Buddha Nature symposium. Specifically this speaker is discussing Mikyo Dorje’s (HH Karmapa VIII) perspectives on Buddha Nature.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LHzI1Pxp ... vj&index=4

This symposium has a series of videos with different speakers. The common thread is Buddha Nature. I recommend any or all of them.
**********
Tsadra Foundation is a mostly Karma Kagyu organization that sponsors translations, academic research, and gatherings like this.

Sometimes it is helpful to hear real experts discuss matters without the limitations of the prevailing DW bias.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:19 am

More videos from that symposium.

"Sentient Beings Within: Buddha-Nature and the Great Perfection" Douglas Duckworth (+Mipham)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slBWdnUfS8w

"Revisiting Gorompa on Buddha Nature" Khenpo Ngawang Jorden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmhgtw5HwCE

"Buddha-Nature and Selfhood" David Higgins.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHzI1PxptpI&t=19s

"Selfhood, Secrecy, Singularity: Reassessing the Early Life of the Tathāgatagarbha in India" Christopher Jones
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARzGpIOwFYc

Plus a bunch more Tsadra Foundation videos you'll find on this page:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... foundation
Some videos are on translator's conferences.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:05 pm

160 views and no replies.

I hope that means you guys are clicking on the links and getting an education in Buddha Nature! :thumbsup:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:03 am

Starting around the 30 minute mark this guy starts to argue that Tsongkhapa's writing on Kalachakra were (crypto?) tantric Shentong. :jawdrop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7z5pR1EGA&t=2448s

Well, the Kalachakra was where Shentong got it's official start! :shrug:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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conebeckham
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by conebeckham » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:01 pm

I've watched a few of these, previously, and will eventually watch the rest.
They are interesting, but I will just note for the record, fairly "academic" though a few rays of light based on experience rather than intellect shine through occasionally. But the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" thing is, after all, a matter of intellect, a matter of academics, in the end.
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")

Simon E.
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by Simon E. » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:34 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:01 pm
I've watched a few of these, previously, and will eventually watch the rest.
They are interesting, but I will just note for the record, fairly "academic" though a few rays of light based on experience rather than intellect shine through occasionally. But the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" thing is, after all, a matter of intellect, a matter of academics, in the end.
Aye. Certainly not something that need detain us overly. Semantics.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:58 pm

But the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" thing is, after all, a matter of intellect, a matter of academics, in the end.
Not quite.

Different people have different karmas. For an individual sometimes the snowball of a karmically appropriate idea can become an appropriate opinion, then appropriate attitude, then appropriate motivation, then appropriate action, and end up an avalanche of appropriate results.

Of course if it remains on an intellectual level it stays just a snowball.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by florin » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:14 am

I really enjoyed Jacqueline Stone's presentation on Hongaku Shiso thought.
People from Dzogchen Community, who have in the past participated in retreats with Jim Valby, will probably recognise the amazing similarity of ideas.

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conebeckham
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by conebeckham » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:31 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:58 pm
But the whole "Rangtong/Shentong" thing is, after all, a matter of intellect, a matter of academics, in the end.
Not quite.

Different people have different karmas. For an individual sometimes the snowball of a karmically appropriate idea can become an appropriate opinion, then appropriate attitude, then appropriate motivation, then appropriate action, and end up an avalanche of appropriate results.

Of course if it remains on an intellectual level it stays just a snowball.
I suppose this is true, and it may be true even if one is not consciously aware that the idea has somehow opened one up to an experiental understanding.
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")

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:18 am

conebeckham wrote: I suppose this is true, and it may be true even if one is not consciously aware that the idea has somehow opened one up to an experiental understanding.
To quote Bokar R as quoted in your signature;
Bokar R wrote: It (Absolute Truth) is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate karmic potential.
If one has a closed mind about what constitutes “the blessing grace of the guru” one will not receive the blessing grace of the guru.

An intellectual understanding is not the same as a guru’s blessing. But it can give you a reason to take a chance, expose yourself to the unknown, and try having an open mind.

Depending on an individual’s karma that can be a crucial step that would otherwise take eons through mantra recitation alone. I believe an open mind is part of what Bokar R is referring to as “fortunate karmic potential.
(See Precious Human Rebirth.)
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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conebeckham
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by conebeckham » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:25 am

smcj wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 2:18 am
conebeckham wrote: I suppose this is true, and it may be true even if one is not consciously aware that the idea has somehow opened one up to an experiental understanding.
To quote Bokar R as quoted in your signature;
Bokar R wrote: It (Absolute Truth) is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate karmic potential.
If one has a closed mind about what constitutes “the blessing grace of the guru” one will not receive the blessing grace of the guru.

An intellectual understanding is not the same as a guru’s blessing. But it can give you a reason to take a chance, expose yourself to the unknown, and try having an open mind.

Depending on an individual’s karma that can be a crucial step that would otherwise take eons through mantra recitation alone. I believe an open mind is part of what Bokar R is referring to as “fortunate karmic potential.
(See Precious Human Rebirth.)
There's no doubt in my mind about that potential including powers of intellect. But I think mantra recitation, for some individuals, may be more efficacious. Different strokes, and all that. 84, 000 teachings. The one thing I would caution anyone against, and this comes from several of my teachers, including Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, whom I am fortunate to consider my tsawai Lama, is clinging too tightly to an intellectual position. Whether one clings to some sort of "reified emptiness" or to some "absolute positive Buddha Nature" in the end can be a fetter. Though I should note that some famous ones have said it's far worse to cling to a reified emptiness!
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")

smcj
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:57 am

But I think mantra recitation, for some individuals, may be more efficacious.
The way I’ve been taught is that the power of the mantra comes from the mantra, not from you. (Which sounds a little Pure Land-esque to me.) However the initial effects of mantra and prayer are to bring one into the Dharma stream. Once the practitioner is established in detachment and faith, and with proper motivation, the mantras become much more effective.

What I was referring to was that initial development. If someone has wrong view, defiant attitude, and a closed mind, it’s going to take a LOT of mantras correct those problems. The crudeness of attitudes hampers the power of the mantras. The intrinsic value of the mantras can ultimately redirect the practitioner, but it would be slow going. Better to simply educate the person so they can make a choice to let go and become open. Then the intrinsic power of the mantras will show better results. It’s much more effective use of time and energy in the early stages.

Anyway that’s a generalization. Individual karma always is more applicable. Somebody might have the karma to say a few mantras with a distracted mind and get sudden results. There’s no telling in advance—unless you can see a person’s karma.

BTW a while ago HHK XVII visited the people doing 3 year retreat here and was asked, “What can we do to help Dharma come to the West?” He replied, “Study first, then practice.”

Unfortunately he didn’t give a syllabus.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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heart
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by heart » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:34 pm

smcj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:57 am
BTW a while ago HHK XVII visited the people doing 3 year retreat here and was asked, “What can we do to help Dharma come to the West?” He replied, “Study first, then practice.”

Unfortunately he didn’t give a syllabus.
You should ask him. Send him a letter. This defeatist attitude among westerners in the Karma Kagyu is pretty sad.

/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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conebeckham
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by conebeckham » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:10 pm

heart wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:34 pm
smcj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:57 am
BTW a while ago HHK XVII visited the people doing 3 year retreat here and was asked, “What can we do to help Dharma come to the West?” He replied, “Study first, then practice.”

Unfortunately he didn’t give a syllabus.
You should ask him. Send him a letter. This defeatist attitude among westerners in the Karma Kagyu is pretty sad.

/magnus
Well, I am not sure where the comments about "Defeatist attitude" comes from, Magnus.

I have asked Karma Kagyu Lamas and I get a pretty consistent answer, for what it's worth.

Gampopa's Jewel Ornament is always recommended. Additional Lam Rim literature, as well--Taranatha's "Stages of the Path" is a good one. Kunzang Lamai Zhelung, too.

Shantideva's essential. Some familiarity with Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti is good, of course, but we tend to study "songs" for understanding Sunyata. For practitioners following the Kamtsang methods, there are three things very much worth studying--Hevajra Two Part Tantra, Gyu Lama, and Zabmo Nangdon, (Profound Ultimate Meaning), along with the commentaries by Kongtrul. The Gyu Tak Nyi (Two Part Tantra) and commentary hasn't really been adequately translated, as far as I know, but the other two are available readily.

But most Kagyu Lamas I've talked with stress that polemics is not useful for most practitioners, at least early on in their path. However, I think Brunnholzl's translations and commentaries are excellent and provide a thorough grounding in various Karma Kagyu views of subjects.
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")

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heart
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by heart » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:25 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:10 pm
heart wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:34 pm
smcj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:57 am
BTW a while ago HHK XVII visited the people doing 3 year retreat here and was asked, “What can we do to help Dharma come to the West?” He replied, “Study first, then practice.”

Unfortunately he didn’t give a syllabus.
You should ask him. Send him a letter. This defeatist attitude among westerners in the Karma Kagyu is pretty sad.

/magnus
Well, I am not sure where the comments about "Defeatist attitude" comes from, Magnus.
It comes from "he didn't give a syllabus" and my personal involvement in Karma Kagyu for many years. Don't mean to upset anyone but I find it sad that westerners look down on themselves. After decades of service they think they are nothing.

/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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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:53 pm

Lama Norhla had the hard-core “you don’t need to study, just practice” approach. When I ask about how people are told to prepare for 3 year retreat I’m told, “know how to read Tibetan so you can chant and finish a NgonDro.”

Most retreat graduates I’ve met do have exposure to basic teachings, Lam Rim, and Khenpo Tsultrim has taught here. But that seems to all get lost as people get overwhelmed in retreat. They struggle just to make it through the daily practice schedule and go into survival mode. People finish without really having mastered Tibetan.

HHK is pretty sharp. Maybe he picked up on that.
**********
I think I should say that I’m a student of Lama Norhla’s. He proved to me that he could see through me and knew exactly what I needed to do with practice in order to develop. I’m still working on instructions he gave me 15 years ago. So I’m not criticizing him as a teacher.

But I was never a candidate for 3 year retreat, in part because it was too hard. Plus I like to understand what I’m doing. I’m too much of a snowflake for the “wax on, wax off” approach. However I have a HUGE amount of respect and admiration for the men and women I live with that took up the challenge.

And obviously I like to read books on Dharma. I get flack for that.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by heart » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:07 am

smcj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:53 pm
Lama Norhla had the hard-core “you don’t need to study, just practice” approach. When I ask about how people are told to prepare for 3 year retreat I’m told, “know how to read Tibetan so you can chant and finish a NgonDro.”

Most retreat graduates I’ve met do have exposure to basic teachings, Lam Rim, and Khenpo Tsultrim has taught here. But that seems to all get lost as people get overwhelmed in retreat. They struggle just to make it through the daily practice schedule and go into survival mode. People finish without really having mastered Tibetan.

HHK is pretty sharp. Maybe he picked up on that.
**********
I think I should say that I’m a student of Lama Norhla’s. He proved to me that he could see through me and knew exactly what I needed to do with practice in order to develop. I’m still working on instructions he gave me 15 years ago. So I’m not criticizing him as a teacher.

But I was never a candidate for 3 year retreat, in part because it was too hard. Plus I like to understand what I’m doing. I’m too much of a snowflake for the “wax on, wax off” approach. However I have a HUGE amount of respect and admiration for the men and women I live with that took up the challenge.

And obviously I like to read books on Dharma. I get flack for that.
Well, long time ago I studied with an old friend of Lama Norhla, I think they did three year retreat together, so I know that approach. As you noticed I have some doubts about that approach as well as the result of those three year retreats. These days I have more respect for people like Cone that didn't do a three year retreat but that actually did all the practices as a part of his ordinary life. It is my ideal these days. You shouldn't let anyone keep you down. Get the instructions you need from the Lama that really impress you the most no matter how high he/she is. There are many possibilities for study these days, so use them. Please, read many books. Have respect for your own practice, whatever it is.

Sorry for being off topic.

/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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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:33 am

...so I know that approach. As you noticed I have some doubts about that approach...
I had a really weird conversation with Lama Norhla many years ago about this. He told me that if this many people had done this much practice without cutting corner in Tibet, that a handful of them would have attained significant levels of realization. He had fully expected this approach to work with Westerners too.

He really tried to bring Vajrayana to the West as best he knew how. I don’t know another lama that tried harder. But apparently some adjustments have to be made. (Including not having sex with your students.)

I think having an understanding of Buddha Nature is a vital adjustment for us Westerners to make. (And not the Gelug interpretation.) I think seeing emptiness in positive terms would change how people apply themselves to their practice.

Another is the HHK (O.T.) quote in my signature.
HHK wrote:The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now.
Nobody gets that.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by conebeckham » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:22 pm

heart wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:07 am
smcj wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:53 pm
Lama Norhla had the hard-core “you don’t need to study, just practice” approach. When I ask about how people are told to prepare for 3 year retreat I’m told, “know how to read Tibetan so you can chant and finish a NgonDro.”

Most retreat graduates I’ve met do have exposure to basic teachings, Lam Rim, and Khenpo Tsultrim has taught here. But that seems to all get lost as people get overwhelmed in retreat. They struggle just to make it through the daily practice schedule and go into survival mode. People finish without really having mastered Tibetan.

HHK is pretty sharp. Maybe he picked up on that.
**********
I think I should say that I’m a student of Lama Norhla’s. He proved to me that he could see through me and knew exactly what I needed to do with practice in order to develop. I’m still working on instructions he gave me 15 years ago. So I’m not criticizing him as a teacher.

But I was never a candidate for 3 year retreat, in part because it was too hard. Plus I like to understand what I’m doing. I’m too much of a snowflake for the “wax on, wax off” approach. However I have a HUGE amount of respect and admiration for the men and women I live with that took up the challenge.

And obviously I like to read books on Dharma. I get flack for that.
Well, long time ago I studied with an old friend of Lama Norhla, I think they did three year retreat together, so I know that approach. As you noticed I have some doubts about that approach as well as the result of those three year retreats. These days I have more respect for people like Cone that didn't do a three year retreat but that actually did all the practices as a part of his ordinary life. It is my ideal these days. You shouldn't let anyone keep you down. Get the instructions you need from the Lama that really impress you the most no matter how high he/she is. There are many possibilities for study these days, so use them. Please, read many books. Have respect for your own practice, whatever it is.

Sorry for being off topic.

/magnus
Just to be completely clear I have not done "all the practices" that are done in three year retreat, and I don't know that I ever will! I appreciate the vote of confidence, but more than that, I will second what Magnus says--in fact, Lamas have made the same points to me and to others, regarding various approaches to incorporating these methods into one's life.

In the tradition of Lama Norlha, and Lama Lodru Rinpoche, and other disciples of Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche Rangjung Kunkhyab, Tibetan Language is the biggest issue. Tibetan retreatants not only can read the language, they usually have exposure and experience with the myriad rituals and methods. However, Lamas have told me that they do not often know the complete meaning, or have digested the "tri" to a given practice, and in fact some of them don't really care to.....three year retreat program, for some Tibetans, can be compared to a certification training. Some do internalize the instructions and practices, of course.

LLR has told me that in general, Western students are much more interested in really understanding the instructions, and in doing the practices correctly and completely. The idea of a "certification training" may exist for some Western students, but most Western three year retreatants are driven by sincere desire to practice (and by their karma, of course). It's not a "career choice" for most.

These are generalizations, I hasten to add....everyone's different and karma is unique. Three Year retreat, regardless, is a "training ground" and the pace is fast, maybe too fast in some cases, and many people are inadequately prepared, not just linguistically, but also psychologically and even physically.

Remember, folks, it's Early Days for Vajrayana in the West. Honestly, we are less than a handful of decades in......the language issue, as well as the pace of retreat and the adequacy of preparation, are just a few issues that are still being worked out. The benefit of doing some of these practices outside of a strict retreat are that one can really spend time and drill down deep, if one has the right impetus and attitude, and focus on a smaller number of practices, over a longer time, can be beneficial. On the other hand, speaking personally, there is great benefit to retreat structure and setting, and I think a a balance is a good thing. There are efforts to create this balanced approach, but they are new and the results are still unknown, IMO.
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")

smcj
Posts: 7017
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:11 pm

Cone wrote:the language issue, as well as the pace of retreat and the adequacy of preparation, are just a few issues that are still being worked out.
To quote W.C. Fields:
W.C. Fields wrote:If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Then if you don’t succeed—quit. No use in making a damn fool out of yourself!
Rumor is Samye Ling no longer does 3 year retreats for Westerners.
The benefit of doing some of these practices outside of a strict retreat are that one can really spend time and drill down deep, if one has the right impetus and attitude, and focus on a smaller number of practices, over a longer time, can be beneficial. On the other hand, speaking personally, there is great benefit to retreat structure and setting, and I think a a balance is a good thing. There are efforts to create this balanced approach, but they are new and the results are still unknown, IMO.

I think if one has even a small handle on practice before going into retreat the likelihood of not be crushed and defeated by retreat schedule is much better. Retreats do have a role to play.

And, apropos of this thread, a little Buddha Nature/Shentong paradigm could correct the “it’s all just my mind” prejudice.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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