Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

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

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:36 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:11 pm
And, apropos of this thread, a little Buddha Nature/Shentong paradigm could correct the “it’s all just my mind” prejudice.
Unlikely. It just creates another intellectual concept (and just for the record, gzhan stong is the most intellectual madhyamaka tradition in Tibet: it has to be, since it involves itself in so many far fetched arguments).

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

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:36 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:11 pm
And, apropos of this thread, a little Buddha Nature/Shentong paradigm could correct the “it’s all just my mind” prejudice.
Unlikely. It just creates another intellectual concept (and just for the record, gzhan stong is the most intellectual madhyamaka tradition in Tibet: it has to be, since it involves itself in so many far fetched arguments).
I can’t source it here, but elsewhere I’ve quoted Thrangu R saying that the difference between Shentong view and Mahamudra view is that once you clearly can see the Perfect Nature, Mahamudra view allows you to retroactively see it in all phenomena.

Thus defeating the false idea complacency is equivalent to enlightenment—or something like that.
Last edited by smcj on Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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)

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

Post by florin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:56 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:11 pm
Rumor is Samye Ling no longer does 3 year retreats for Westerners.
Yes no more three year retreats in samye ling. Some people in high places came to the conclusion that this format doesn’t bring much benefit to westerners. In their more elaborate Buddhist focused programs there is an orientation now towards more simple meditation with emphasis on shamata and reflection and so on...which i think is very positive and more relatable.

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

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:14 pm

smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:48 pm
I can’t source it here, but elsewhere I’ve quoted Thrangu R saying that the difference between Shentong view and Mahamudra view is that once you clearly can see the Perfect Nature, Mahamudra view allows you to retroactively see it in all phenomena.
That's fine. It doesn't really matter. All this is just a bunch words being slung about anyway. Gzhan stong as Madhyamaka is just another intellectual approach. Mahāmudra is based on an experiential view, which is not based on analysis.

You will never get to Mahāmudra through analytical madhyamaka, no matter whether it is Jonang/Kagyu, Gelug, or Sakya/Nyingma style.

But I must have pointed that out over a hundred times.

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

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:15 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:56 pm
which i think is very positive and more relatable.
It depends on the person. Some people are less fortunate and do not have the capacity to enter Vajrayāna.

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

Post by florin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:15 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:56 pm
which i think is very positive and more relatable.
It depends on the person. Some people are less fortunate and do not have the capacity to enter Vajrayāna.
Yes, quite possibly that after this few decades long experiment, people who appeared to enter Vajrayana in the end haven’t entered at all. So probably on this basis, the people who run the programs these days, decided that practitioners would gain more benefit by focusing on sutra related methods and reflections.
I have friends who have done several retreats in a row and there is lots to be said about everything.

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

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:55 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm

Yes, quite possibly that after this few decades long experiment, people who appeared to enter Vajrayana in the end haven’t entered at all.
If someone received empowerment, etc., from a qualified master, they've entered Vajrayāna.
So probably on this basis, the people who run the programs these days, decided that practitioners would gain more benefit by focusing on sutra related methods and reflections.
That might be true of Kagyus and Gelugs, who base themselves on a more Lam rim approach. It is definitely not true of Sakyapas and Nyingmapas, who have more confidence in directly introducing fortunate people to Vajrayāna methods, including Dzogchen.
I have friends who have done several retreats in a row and there is lots to be said about everything.
Whether people are successful or not in a Vajrayāna retreat depends on them. If one recites mantras, etc. in a state of distraction, one will make little progress. On the other hand, even if someone does not practice, but merely maintains samaya, it is said in all tantras they attain buddhahood in 16 lifetimes at the outside. This is impossible in sūtra.

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

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
the people who run the programs these days, decided that practitioners would gain more benefit by focusing on sutra related methods and reflections.
:jawdrop:

Well this is a shocker, and a saddening one, for sure.
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
I have friends who have done several retreats in a row and there is lots to be said about everything.
Sure. What is badly needed is a genuine open and honest (but also careful and sensitive) exchange between people who teach Vajrayana -- about how to teach it today, because it is no longer just the West, India and Nepal are getting here as well. I understand the need to double check that Vajrayana is grounded in Sutrayana Mahayna, but ditching Vajrayana altogether?
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.
Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

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

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:27 pm

:thumbsup:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm
I understand the need to double check that Vajrayana is grounded in Sutrayana Mahayna, but ditching Vajrayana altogether?
I'd rather ditch sūtra. Vajrayāna is self-sufficient. Sūtrayāna does not bring people to total liberation anymore. It hasn't for a thousand years+. And it never brought people to liberation in a single lifetime, soup to nuts.

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

Post by florin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:31 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:55 pm

If someone received empowerment, etc., from a qualified master, they've entered Vajrayāna.
There is the case where one is present at an empowerment, has the wish to take the empowerment, participates in the empowerment but has no education with respect to what actually happens. I believe that the empowerment was not taken due to lack of understanding of what takes place and lack of knowledge of the meaning of the symbols presented.
To these days there is constant confusion about what actually happens during empowerments. Some part of the blame lies with people organising empowerments and not providing sufficient education about said process before it actually happens.

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

Post by florin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
the people who run the programs these days, decided that practitioners would gain more benefit by focusing on sutra related methods and reflections.
:jawdrop:

Well this is a shocker, and a saddening one, for sure.
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
I have friends who have done several retreats in a row and there is lots to be said about everything.
Sure. What is badly needed is a genuine open and honest (but also careful and sensitive) exchange between people who teach Vajrayana -- about how to teach it today, because it is no longer just the West, India and Nepal are getting here as well. I understand the need to double check that Vajrayana is grounded in Sutrayana Mahayna, but ditching Vajrayana altogether?
I don’t know if they ditched tantra altogether but i was told that the khenpo who runs one of these programs, after giving instructions on foundational sutra level teachings has said that nobody in the audience is ready to proceed to the next level, tantra, and as a consequence he refused to go further with the teachings. I don’t know the specific context and time but I suspect it happened in the last few years. But last year he started a more meditation focused program combined with reflections and so on...

Just for the record i have no first hand experience of these situations. It just happens i live near by and i frequent the monastery now and again and have friends and acquaintances that actively participate in these programs. Long time ago i was a resident there for several years. In recent years up until last summer i was an assistant librarian at the monastery. Apart from Mingyur Dorje’s teachings and some empowerments recently i have not attended any of their programs. As a result I am not in possession of all the details.

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

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:19 am

..... was told that the khenpo who runs one of these programs, after giving instructions on foundational sutra level teachings has said that nobody in the audience is ready to proceed to the next level, tantra, and as a consequence he refused to go further with the teachings.
I’m full of opinions that are only my opinions. My apologies for sharing them, but this is the internet after all.

There’s a pervasive belief (or attitude?) among Westerners that a Vajrayana practitioner can dispense with all that inconvenient Mahayana stuff. I don’t that is correct.
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 tobes » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:22 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:14 pm
smcj wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:48 pm
I can’t source it here, but elsewhere I’ve quoted Thrangu R saying that the difference between Shentong view and Mahamudra view is that once you clearly can see the Perfect Nature, Mahamudra view allows you to retroactively see it in all phenomena.
That's fine. It doesn't really matter. All this is just a bunch words being slung about anyway. Gzhan stong as Madhyamaka is just another intellectual approach. Mahāmudra is based on an experiential view, which is not based on analysis.

You will never get to Mahāmudra through analytical madhyamaka, no matter whether it is Jonang/Kagyu, Gelug, or Sakya/Nyingma style.

But I must have pointed that out over a hundred times.
I disagree. It depends greatly on the karma of the student. The Dagpo Kagyu has plenty of room for analytical Madhyamaka to help establish the correct view of ground Mahamudra. If one can realise this ground directly right away, great. But generally this is rare, and studying Madhyamaka is prescribed because if taught correctly it does not remain purely on the level of the intellect. i.e. it induces meditative experience and then realisation, in the context of vipashayana.

Moreover, Kagyu Mahamudra does not privilege non-conceptuality over conceptuality: core Kagyu Mahamudra texts such as Moonbeams are very explicit about this; discursive thought and intellect are also not distinct from ground Mahamudra.

So, I think this aversion to analysis is contrary to the Kagyu presentation of Mahamudra. However, it makes more sense in relation to the Indian tradition; Saraha, Maitripa etc.

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

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:56 am

...core Kagyu Mahamudra texts such as Moonbeams are very explicit about this; discursive thought and intellect are also not distinct from ground Mahamudra.
Hmmm. “Not distinct from ground Mahamudra” isn’t saying discursive thought is path Mahamudra. As I quote HHK XVII saying (in NYC 2/4/18) “The problem isn’t’ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now.”

I think the point should be that the default, uninformed, unarticulated, assumed view makes the practice difficult. That can be improved by a right view.
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 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:39 am

florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
the people who run the programs these days, decided that practitioners would gain more benefit by focusing on sutra related methods and reflections.
:jawdrop:

Well this is a shocker, and a saddening one, for sure.
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm
I have friends who have done several retreats in a row and there is lots to be said about everything.
Sure. What is badly needed is a genuine open and honest (but also careful and sensitive) exchange between people who teach Vajrayana -- about how to teach it today, because it is no longer just the West, India and Nepal are getting here as well. I understand the need to double check that Vajrayana is grounded in Sutrayana Mahayna, but ditching Vajrayana altogether?
I don’t know if they ditched tantra altogether but i was told that the khenpo who runs one of these programs, after giving instructions on foundational sutra level teachings has said that nobody in the audience is ready to proceed to the next level, tantra, and as a consequence he refused to go further with the teachings. I don’t know the specific context and time but I suspect it happened in the last few years. But last year he started a more meditation focused program combined with reflections and so on...

Just for the record i have no first hand experience of these situations. It just happens i live near by and i frequent the monastery now and again and have friends and acquaintances that actively participate in these programs. Long time ago i was a resident there for several years. In recent years up until last summer i was an assistant librarian at the monastery. Apart from Mingyur Dorje’s teachings and some empowerments recently i have not attended any of their programs. As a result I am not in possession of all the details.


The problem is that this was run by a Khenpo.

I jest-but only partially.

I am confident in Westerner’s ability to benefit from the Vajra Vehicle, myself. And I find no absolute contradiction with “study.” But practice is more important.
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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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by heart » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:00 am

conebeckham wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:39 am
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm


:jawdrop:

Well this is a shocker, and a saddening one, for sure.



Sure. What is badly needed is a genuine open and honest (but also careful and sensitive) exchange between people who teach Vajrayana -- about how to teach it today, because it is no longer just the West, India and Nepal are getting here as well. I understand the need to double check that Vajrayana is grounded in Sutrayana Mahayna, but ditching Vajrayana altogether?
I don’t know if they ditched tantra altogether but i was told that the khenpo who runs one of these programs, after giving instructions on foundational sutra level teachings has said that nobody in the audience is ready to proceed to the next level, tantra, and as a consequence he refused to go further with the teachings. I don’t know the specific context and time but I suspect it happened in the last few years. But last year he started a more meditation focused program combined with reflections and so on...

Just for the record i have no first hand experience of these situations. It just happens i live near by and i frequent the monastery now and again and have friends and acquaintances that actively participate in these programs. Long time ago i was a resident there for several years. In recent years up until last summer i was an assistant librarian at the monastery. Apart from Mingyur Dorje’s teachings and some empowerments recently i have not attended any of their programs. As a result I am not in possession of all the details.


The problem is that this was run by a Khenpo.

I jest-but only partially.

I am confident in Westerner’s ability to benefit from the Vajra Vehicle, myself. And I find no absolute contradiction with “study.” But practice is more important.
:good:

I don't know this particular Khenpo but from the reports I got from his teachings in Nepal and Scotland it seems he is very good at getting westerners to feel worthless.

/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 Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:02 am

heart wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:00 am
conebeckham wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:39 am
florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:51 pm


I don’t know if they ditched tantra altogether but i was told that the khenpo who runs one of these programs, after giving instructions on foundational sutra level teachings has said that nobody in the audience is ready to proceed to the next level, tantra, and as a consequence he refused to go further with the teachings. I don’t know the specific context and time but I suspect it happened in the last few years. But last year he started a more meditation focused program combined with reflections and so on...

Just for the record i have no first hand experience of these situations. It just happens i live near by and i frequent the monastery now and again and have friends and acquaintances that actively participate in these programs. Long time ago i was a resident there for several years. In recent years up until last summer i was an assistant librarian at the monastery. Apart from Mingyur Dorje’s teachings and some empowerments recently i have not attended any of their programs. As a result I am not in possession of all the details.


The problem is that this was run by a Khenpo.

I jest-but only partially.

I am confident in Westerner’s ability to benefit from the Vajra Vehicle, myself. And I find no absolute contradiction with “study.” But practice is more important.
:good:

I don't know this particular Khenpo but from the reports I got from his teachings in Nepal and Scotland it seems he is very good at getting westerners to feel worthless.

/magnus
I swear there's a certain segment of Western Buddhists out there looking for just that kind of flogging too, no thanks.
"...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: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by Simon E. » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:31 am

I am reminded of a residential retreat where a self appointed invigilator (another student) scowled at the rest of us two or three times a day and declared angrily “study the text!”.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:12 pm

florin wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:31 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:55 pm

If someone received empowerment, etc., from a qualified master, they've entered Vajrayāna.
There is the case where one is present at an empowerment, has the wish to take the empowerment, participates in the empowerment but has no education with respect to what actually happens. I believe that the empowerment was not taken due to lack of understanding of what takes place and lack of knowledge of the meaning of the symbols presented.
You can believe that if you want, but it isn't true.
To these days there is constant confusion about what actually happens during empowerments. Some part of the blame lies with people organising empowerments and not providing sufficient education about said process before it actually happens.
You cannot educate people about what happens in an empowerment before the empowerment. If you do, you are breaking your own samaya. For example, the preparation day exists precisely so that people are readied to hear the secrets spoken during an empowerment.

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:20 pm

tobes wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:22 am

I disagree. It depends greatly on the karma of the student. The Dagpo Kagyu has plenty of room for analytical Madhyamaka to help establish the correct view of ground Mahamudra. If one can realise this ground directly right away, great. But generally this is rare, and studying Madhyamaka is prescribed because if taught correctly it does not remain purely on the level of the intellect. i.e. it induces meditative experience and then realisation, in the context of vipashayana.
The realization of mahāmudra depends on direct introduction, not analysis. Otherwise, your mahāmudra is just perfection of wisdom meditation dressed up in dohas.
Moreover, Kagyu Mahamudra does not privilege non-conceptuality over conceptuality: core Kagyu Mahamudra texts such as Moonbeams are very explicit about this; discursive thought and intellect are also not distinct from ground Mahamudra.
"Ground" mahāmudra simply refers to something one has not yet realized, i.e., the nature of the mind. Concepts are not separate from the mind, so of course they are included.

So, I think this aversion to analysis is contrary to the Kagyu presentation of Mahamudra. However, it makes more sense in relation to the Indian tradition; Saraha, Maitripa etc.
The aversion to analysis is different than aversion to concepts. Someone who has never received any kind of introduction must depend on analysis. But this person is also not practicing mahāmudra. The fundamental distinction between mahāmudra practice and sūtrayāna practice must be introduction at the time of empowerment, otherwise the word, mahāmudra, is quite meaningless.

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