Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:14 pm

smcj wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:19 am
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.
It is not a question of convenient or inconvenient. They are distinct paths.

Common Mahāyana is based on renunciate conduct and intellectual analysis.

Uncommon Mahāyāna Secret Mantra is based on non-renunciate conduct and experience derived empowerment and practice.

I am not claiming that one should cease to study sūtrayāna material. I am claiming however, that to deprive people of access to Vajrayāna methods is simply a gross misunderstanding. Why? Because Vajrayāna is self-sufficient method of realizing the paths and stages to buddhahood, and moreover, it is a much more rapid path than any path sūtrayāna has to offer. My understanding of sūtra material is a result of practicing Vajrayāna, not the other way around. I did not begin to genuinely understand Madhyamaka and Abhidharma for example, until after I had been practicing sadhana practice for some years. But on the other hand, I was a highly motivated student. Not everyone is very highly motivated.

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

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:10 pm

smcj wrote:
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.
I don't either, but I -do- feel that that Vajrayana/Dzogchen is the culmination of the Mahayana, so I do not see a contradiction. This is how my Sakya teacher contextualizes everything, and to me there is no real tension. I feel like it was much the same with ChNN. They are only in contradiction if you are unnecessarily doctrinaire about it, or insist on some kind of literalism from the Mahayana side of things. Dudjom Lingpa connotes that possibly the entire idea of endless eons for enlightenment as taught in common Mahayana is an upaya, and not necessarily indicative of the situation a practitioner must work with.
"...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 florin » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
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.
The education and preparation for entering tantra can take the simple form of being advised to study tantras and commentaries to gain a good understanding of the contents then one can proceed to take the empowerment. Nobody needs to break their samayas by disclosing the elements and stages of an empowerment but they can generally point people in the direction of various texts and so on.

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:35 pm

florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:17 pm

The education and preparation for entering tantra can take the simple form of being advised to study tantras and commentaries to gain a good understanding of the contents then one can proceed to take the empowerment.
That's the point. One cannot study the commentaries and the tantras prior to receiving empowerment.
Nobody needs to break their samayas by disclosing the elements and stages of an empowerment but they can generally point people in the direction of various texts and so on.
That's pretty much breaking samaya, specifically the fifth samaya.

This is why investigating the guru is of utmost importance.

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

Post by florin » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:45 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:35 pm
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:17 pm

The education and preparation for entering tantra can take the simple form of being advised to study tantras and commentaries to gain a good understanding of the contents then one can proceed to take the empowerment.
That's the point. One cannot study the commentaries and the tantras prior to receiving empowerment.
Nobody needs to break their samayas by disclosing the elements and stages of an empowerment but they can generally point people in the direction of various texts and so on.
That's pretty much breaking samaya, specifically the fifth samaya.

This is why investigating the guru is of utmost importance.
Sure they can.
The advice is that people who are attracted to and have faith in vajrayana should study the tantras and commentaries before initiation.

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:59 pm

florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:45 pm
Sure they can.
The advice is that people who are attracted to and have faith in vajrayana should study the tantras and commentaries before initiation.
They should not.

I am not sure from whom you heard this advice, but it is bad advice.

Of course these days, everything is published and people are free, but they really should not be reading the Hevajra Tantra, the Guhyasamaja Tantra, the Cakrasamvara Tantra (!), etc., prior to having received empowerment. We have seen already the complete and total misunderstanding of Dzogchen that has resulted from people reading such tantras as the Kun byed rgyal po without transmission, not to mention creation stage practices, completion stage practices and so on.

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

Post by florin » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:59 pm
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:45 pm
Sure they can.
The advice is that people who are attracted to and have faith in vajrayana should study the tantras and commentaries before initiation.
They should not.

I am not sure from whom you heard this advice, but it is bad advice.

Of course these days, everything is published and people are free, but they really should not be reading the Hevajra Tantra, the Guhyasamaja Tantra, the Cakrasamvara Tantra (!), etc., prior to having received empowerment. We have seen already the complete and total misunderstanding of Dzogchen that has resulted from people reading such tantras as the Kun byed rgyal po without transmission, not to mention creation stage practices, completion stage practices and so on.
Kongtrul is very clear on this point.
Students who have faith and confidence in tantra and strong devotion to the vajra master should get aquatinted with tantras and the commentaries to develop clear understanding of the contents then receive the initiation.

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

Post by conebeckham » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:12 pm

florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:15 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:59 pm
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:45 pm
Sure they can.
The advice is that people who are attracted to and have faith in vajrayana should study the tantras and commentaries before initiation.
They should not.

I am not sure from whom you heard this advice, but it is bad advice.

Of course these days, everything is published and people are free, but they really should not be reading the Hevajra Tantra, the Guhyasamaja Tantra, the Cakrasamvara Tantra (!), etc., prior to having received empowerment. We have seen already the complete and total misunderstanding of Dzogchen that has resulted from people reading such tantras as the Kun byed rgyal po without transmission, not to mention creation stage practices, completion stage practices and so on.
Kongtrul is very clear on this point.
Students who have faith and confidence in tantra and strong devotion to the vajra master should get aquatinted with tantras and the commentaries to develop clear understanding of the contents then receive the initiation.
Kongtrul was very much of his time and place, though.

I don't think his advice holds for most Westerners. Frankly, most Tibetans have received some HYT empowerment soon after birth, so.........
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")

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

Post by Malcolm » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:23 pm

florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:15 pm
Kongtrul is very clear on this point.
Students who have faith and confidence in tantra and strong devotion to the vajra master should get aquatinted with tantras and the commentaries to develop clear understanding of the contents then receive the initiation.
Citation please. And I doubt this refers to people who have never received any empowerment at all. But we will see when you explain to us where you found this.

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

Post by florin » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:23 pm
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:15 pm
Kongtrul is very clear on this point.
Students who have faith and confidence in tantra and strong devotion to the vajra master should get aquatinted with tantras and the commentaries to develop clear understanding of the contents then receive the initiation.
Citation please. And I doubt this refers to people who have never received any empowerment at all. But we will see when you explain to us where you found this.

"Kongtrul further points out that a practitioner of tantra must have three
kinds of confidence: confidence in the profound path of tantra upon
which one embarks; confidence in the person who leads one on the path,
an authentic master; and confidence in oneself as a practitioner.....
...............................................
Kongtrul contends that a person endowed with the first two kinds of
confidence should study the tantras and their commentaries. Once having
gained a sound understanding of the contents, the student should receive
an authentic initiation by which he or she assumes tantric pledges and vows.

The person is then ready to begin to cultivate the two phases of tantric practice:
the phase of creation and that of completion. Thus, all the stages of the
tantric path are contained in two steps: first, receiving initiation to bring
oneself to spiritual maturity and assume tantric pledges; and second, the
main element of the practice, cultivating the two phases of the path. It is by
following these two steps that one achieves the third kind of confidence.

TOK Book 8 part 3.
Translators introduction

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

Post by tobes » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:33 am

Malcolm wrote:
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.
With respect, you assert a 'fundamental distinction' when in reality there are many degrees of subtle interpenetration.

The non-divisibility between Madhyamaka and Mahamudra is also very often asserted; in Kagyu-Mahamudra texts as well as by living masters of this tradition.

In practice, most people usually do both, and see that the hard contradictions of the kind you are proposing are in fact the very thing to be wary of.

Of course, as we all know, the root of this tradition is the physician of Dagpo himself who unified Kadampa gradualism with tantric Mahamudra. Unified. Not: taught them to be fundamentally distinct. That was his unique contribution to Buddha-Dharma, and Kagyu Mahamudra unfolds from this root.

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:40 am

By chance I came across this video. It’s Mingyur R presiding over a western style debate about whether ngakpa lamas can drink alcohol.

It takes them 20 minutes to get started.
I jumped to the 1hour mark and they were into defining what constitutes a ngakpa lama.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=04C8C7yLTX0

I haven’t watched it. Somehow it seemed appropriate to add it to this thread. The translator seems a little overwhelmed.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
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)

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 am

florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:23 pm
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:15 pm
Kongtrul is very clear on this point.
Students who have faith and confidence in tantra and strong devotion to the vajra master should get aquatinted with tantras and the commentaries to develop clear understanding of the contents then receive the initiation.
Citation please. And I doubt this refers to people who have never received any empowerment at all. But we will see when you explain to us where you found this.

"Kongtrul further points out that a practitioner of tantra must have three
kinds of confidence: confidence in the profound path of tantra upon
which one embarks; confidence in the person who leads one on the path,
an authentic master; and confidence in oneself as a practitioner.....
...............................................
Kongtrul contends that a person endowed with the first two kinds of
confidence should study the tantras and their commentaries. Once having
gained a sound understanding of the contents, the student should receive
an authentic initiation by which he or she assumes tantric pledges and vows.

The person is then ready to begin to cultivate the two phases of tantric practice:
the phase of creation and that of completion. Thus, all the stages of the
tantric path are contained in two steps: first, receiving initiation to bring
oneself to spiritual maturity and assume tantric pledges; and second, the
main element of the practice, cultivating the two phases of the path. It is by
following these two steps that one achieves the third kind of confidence.

TOK Book 8 part 3.
Translators introduction
Ok, I want Kongtrul's actual words, not what some introduction states. You asserted this was Kongtrul's position. As far as I can tell, this is not that.

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:02 am

tobes wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:33 am


With respect, you assert a 'fundamental distinction' when in reality there are many degrees of subtle interpenetration.
Not really.
The non-divisibility between Madhyamaka and Mahamudra is also very often asserted; in Kagyu-Mahamudra texts as well as by living masters of this tradition.
Madhyamaka does not have empowerments, or introduction, etc.
In practice...the hard contradictions of the kind you are proposing are in fact the very thing to be wary of.
Not if you actually understand the distinction between sūtra and tantra.
Of course, as we all know, the root of this tradition is the physician of Dagpo himself who unified Kadampa gradualism with tantric Mahamudra. Unified. Not: taught them to be fundamentally distinct. That was his unique contribution to Buddha-Dharma, and Kagyu Mahamudra unfolds from this root.
Not really, but there is no point in debating it with you.

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:03 am

smcj wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:40 am
By chance I came across this video. It’s Mingyur R presiding over a western style debate about whether ngakpa lamas can drink alcohol.

Not only can we, we have to. :-)

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

Post by florin » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:33 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 am
florin wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:22 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:23 pm


Citation please. And I doubt this refers to people who have never received any empowerment at all. But we will see when you explain to us where you found this.

"Kongtrul further points out that a practitioner of tantra must have three
kinds of confidence: confidence in the profound path of tantra upon
which one embarks; confidence in the person who leads one on the path,
an authentic master; and confidence in oneself as a practitioner.....
...............................................
Kongtrul contends that a person endowed with the first two kinds of
confidence should study the tantras and their commentaries. Once having
gained a sound understanding of the contents, the student should receive
an authentic initiation by which he or she assumes tantric pledges and vows.

The person is then ready to begin to cultivate the two phases of tantric practice:
the phase of creation and that of completion. Thus, all the stages of the
tantric path are contained in two steps: first, receiving initiation to bring
oneself to spiritual maturity and assume tantric pledges; and second, the
main element of the practice, cultivating the two phases of the path. It is by
following these two steps that one achieves the third kind of confidence.

TOK Book 8 part 3.
Translators introduction
Ok, I want Kongtrul's actual words, not what some introduction states. You asserted this was Kongtrul's position. As far as I can tell, this is not that.

Ok.
Here. Maybe you will be satisfied now.
Taken directly from the text itself.

Furthermore, such an individual must have three types of confidence,
the first two of which are the prerequisites for the third: [one,] confidence in what one is embarking upon, the profound tantra of the mantra way, which is the condition related to one’s focus; [two,] confidence in the person who leads one onto the path, a magnificent master, the causal condition;
and [three], based on those two, confidence in oneself as a practitioner of the path.
--------------
That being the case, a person who possesses the [first] two types of confidence
initially must learn the meaning of tantra. He or she therefore studies
the tantras and their commentaries. Once a sound understanding has
been achieved, that student should next begin cultivation of the two phases
[of practice] of the meaning of tantra, the precondition for which is to
receive, in an appropriate manner, an authentic initiation and to assume
properly the pledges and vows. All the stages of the mantric path are thereby
included in [two steps]: first, receiving an initiation to ripen oneself and assuming
pledges; then, the main element [of the practice], the cultivation of
the two phases of the path that effects liberation.


Book six part 4 chapter 11 " The Path".

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:54 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:03 am
smcj wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:40 am
By chance I came across this video. It’s Mingyur R presiding over a western style debate about whether ngakpa lamas can drink alcohol.
Not only can we, we have to. :-)
I’ve only poked around on the video. However I believe they try to define ngakpa lama and drinking. From what I’ve seen I think they’re talking about monks.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
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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tobes
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Re: Karmapa VIII & Buddha Nature (Self?) video

Post by tobes » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:36 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:02 am
tobes wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:33 am


With respect, you assert a 'fundamental distinction' when in reality there are many degrees of subtle interpenetration.
Not really.
The non-divisibility between Madhyamaka and Mahamudra is also very often asserted; in Kagyu-Mahamudra texts as well as by living masters of this tradition.
Madhyamaka does not have empowerments, or introduction, etc.
In practice...the hard contradictions of the kind you are proposing are in fact the very thing to be wary of.
Not if you actually understand the distinction between sūtra and tantra.
Of course, as we all know, the root of this tradition is the physician of Dagpo himself who unified Kadampa gradualism with tantric Mahamudra. Unified. Not: taught them to be fundamentally distinct. That was his unique contribution to Buddha-Dharma, and Kagyu Mahamudra unfolds from this root.
Not really, but there is no point in debating it with you.
Indeed, you've said it 100 times already. I will not change your view on this!

Nagarjuna is usually depicted as the 4th in the lineage in Karma Kargyu guru yogas, and is assumed to have given commentaries on the Guhyasamaja Tantra. Independent of historical accuracy, this tells me everything I need to know about how the tradition itself regards the relationship between Madhyamaka, Mahamudra and tantra.

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

Post by smcj » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:52 am

Not: taught them to be fundamentally distinct.
Vajrayana is Mahayana. Is is a subset of Mahayana. It never departs from Mahayana. It is a furthering of Mahayana principles, not a rejection of them.

Where there appears to be a disconnect there really isn’t. Relativity did not negate Newtonian Physics. It examined extremely fast, or extremely dense, or extremely small scenarios where different principles came into play. But planets still follow their orbits as per Newton.

Seeing Vajrayana as either counter to or distinct from Mahayana is a big mistake. Mahayana is 100% present within Vajrayana.
https://soundcloud.com/user-730689343/chenrezig-puja
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)

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

Post by Sādhaka » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:59 am

The way I see it, Paramitayana is a subset of Vajrayāna, just as Shravakayana & Pratyekayana are a subset of Mahayana/Paramitayana.

Even though it may not seem that way according to historical/‘text-critical’ analysis.
Last edited by Sādhaka on Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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