Following a new Lama

muni
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by muni » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:48 pm

When I say connection must be there does that not mean by an empowerment or a lung or specially face to face or so. This of course has its importance! But I actually cannot describe connection. Some say like knowing each other from past life or so, well maybe yes. I prefer not to widen here about.
But I find no reason to reject a teaching, which can help to clarify and so heal confusion. Sometimes we can hear a clarification which we could not understand at the moment with what we call our root master and that then becomes suddenly clear, by another teaching. All are representatives.
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Justmeagain
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Justmeagain » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:15 pm

In terms of Empowerments, can they be given en masse as we see HHDL and others have done in the past? Again, I can't see there being much opportunity to sit in front of someone like D Rinpoche for a HYT empowerment for example.

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Malcolm
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Malcolm » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:16 pm

Justmeagain wrote:In terms of Empowerments, can they be given en masse as we see HHDL and others have done in the past? Again, I can't see there being much opportunity to sit in front of someone like D Rinpoche for a HYT empowerment for example.
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Justmeagain » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:In terms of Empowerments, can they be given en masse as we see HHDL and others have done in the past? Again, I can't see there being much opportunity to sit in front of someone like D Rinpoche for a HYT empowerment for example.
You have to become his student.
Can you clarify? Can empowerment be effective when given to hundreds of people at once?

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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by heart » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:14 am

Justmeagain wrote:In terms of Empowerments, can they be given en masse as we see HHDL and others have done in the past? Again, I can't see there being much opportunity to sit in front of someone like D Rinpoche for a HYT empowerment for example.
In the past he have been giving public empowerments. For example Dam Ngak Dzö that contain HYT empowerments.

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Terma
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Terma » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:06 pm

Rinpoche was invited here to give a short teaching as well as an empowerment. There was probably close to a thousand people present, so in this case Rinpoche decided to just give a blessing empowerment. With such a general audience in attendance it would unlikely to receive a full empowerment as it would not be given without refuge and bodhisattva vows. That being said, i'm sure some connection is made nonetheless. But then again there would surely have to be a connection and enough merit in order to attend such an event in the first place?

Like I suggested, make use of Rinpoche's teachings, aspire to make a personal connection with him if that is truly what you wish. But also, recognize that we are practicing what we are practicing and with the particular teachers that we are practicing with according to our own present conditions and merit. Wanting more than that could really just be another form of craving and attachment. Make aspirations, and let things unfold as they may.

Justmeagain
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Justmeagain » Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:41 am

Terma wrote:Rinpoche was invited here to give a short teaching as well as an empowerment. There was probably close to a thousand people present, so in this case Rinpoche decided to just give a blessing empowerment. With such a general audience in attendance it would unlikely to receive a full empowerment as it would not be given without refuge and bodhisattva vows. That being said, i'm sure some connection is made nonetheless. But then again there would surely have to be a connection and enough merit in order to attend such an event in the first place?

Like I suggested, make use of Rinpoche's teachings, aspire to make a personal connection with him if that is truly what you wish. But also, recognize that we are practicing what we are practicing and with the particular teachers that we are practicing with according to our own present conditions and merit. Wanting more than that could really just be another form of craving and attachment. Make aspirations, and let things unfold as they may.
Thanks... :smile:

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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Zla'od » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:30 am

I have a similar background as the OP. This is inevitably going to be controversial, but I would say that while one can surely benefit from online teachings (Garchen R. being another famous provider), it would be a mistake to rely on a guru who is too distant, or too famous, for the relationship to realistically become two-way. Although Dzongsar R. has a good reputation (as lamas go), and the Khyentse Foundation does a lot of fine work, you can't compare an online experience with a real-world community, even if you do manage to go to empowerments once in awhile. It becomes a bit like following a TV evangelist! That is, the head pastor probably won't know who you are, and your questions will be directed to assistant pastors (i.e., senior dharma students) at one of the satellite churches. Buddhism really works better on a smaller scale.

On empowerments etc., I personally feel that a lot of these are overblown. Most of us should be focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and maybe Chenrezig (or Manjushri, or Tara). We don't necessarily need the "highest" practices--as if the relatively basic ones weren't good enough, or we were to advanced for ordinary meditation or scriptural study.

On multiple teachers, I agree with the non-sectarians (and not only with respect to the various Tibetan lineages, or even other Buddhist teachings).
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:13 am

y Zla'od » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:30 am
I have a similar background as the OP. This is inevitably going to be controversial, but I would say that while one can surely benefit from online teachings (Garchen R. being another famous provider), it would be a mistake to rely on a guru who is too distant, or too famous, for the relationship to realistically become two-way.
The other side of this is maybe using distance, or lack of constant one on one time as an excuse to not practice, or to not have confidence in practice. There are many different ways of having a relationship with someone, and not all of them imho have to involve constant one on one attention, though that is worth it's weight in gold if you can get that. Couple of the Lamas I've had initiation with, I will never get one on one time with, never gonna happen I don't think. Nonetheless I have confidence in both the practices I received from them and the relationship involved in receiving, the blessings of the lineage, and doing the practice. I don't believe it would be right to act like these occasions were not a significant opportunity or a real connection simply because I cannot go have tea with them. Don't get me wrong, I think you make a good point, but ultimately the connection we make is not just the responsibility of the Lama anyway, and there are different kinds of authentic relationships. Even if this sort of relationship is less desirable than the more intimate kind, IMO it is nothing to scoff at.
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Zla'od
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Zla'od » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:31 pm

Good points, and I am aware of practical considerations which might demand such a relationship, so we're not all that far apart on this. One concern that I have is that in a more distant or anonymous relationship, the lama doesn't assign practices that he / she thinks you should do--you pick the practices you want, for whatever reason (good or bad), and possibly shop around for a lama who will give them to you. Which may also be auspicious despite any flaws in motivation, so I dunno. More generally, if Buddhism is to function (in one's life) as a religion rather than a glorified hobby--or worse, consumer product--then there needs to be this communal aspect.
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Re: Following a new Lama

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:49 pm

Zla'od wrote:Good points, and I am aware of practical considerations which might demand such a relationship, so we're not all that far apart on this. One concern that I have is that in a more distant or anonymous relationship, the lama doesn't assign practices that he / she thinks you should do--you pick the practices you want, for whatever reason (good or bad), and possibly shop around for a lama who will give them to you. Which may also be auspicious despite any flaws in motivation, so I dunno. More generally, if Buddhism is to function (in one's life) as a religion rather than a glorified hobby--or worse, consumer product--then there needs to be this communal aspect.
Yeah, that's a reasonable concern, and I agree on the value of smaller-scale and communal relationships for sure, mine is definitely both an anchor and a compass.

I guess what I'm saying is that lots of times, for many students, our situation might not be not ideal, and could lend itself to Spiritual Shopper Syndrome, for sure. At the same time, if we have the karma to take teachings that resonate with us within these longer-distance relationships, IMO it is up us students whether they end up being spiritual shopping, or whether they build something authentic. If you look at them as just a parade of fun things that you have no real dedication towards, then of course that's what they'll be. On the other hand taking the instructions seriously and treating them as something precious (which they are, even if one comes by them via less than ideal setups), that's a good thing, IMO.
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