Empowerment with Jetsun Kushok

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Kushi
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Empowerment with Jetsun Kushok

Post by Kushi » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:12 pm

This coming week, I will be attending a Vajranairatmya empowerment and Vajrayogini blessing (followed by 7 day teaching) with Jetsun Kushok. Here is the event: http://www.sakyadechenling.com/events-2 ... -area.html

Since this is actually my first initiation, and essentially my first encounter with any sort of Tibetan Vajrayana ritual, there are a number of things I feel kind of in the dark about. For instance, I'm not entirely sure what is expected of me in terms of behavior. Should the lama be addressed with an honorific? Is dana given to the lama on every separate day, or just once? If someone could clue me in with regards to basic protocol, I would be delighted!

I'm also a little bit confused by some of the terminology. For instance, the Vajrayogini ritual is called a 'blessing', but it seems like it grants access to the associated practice. Why isn't it called an empowerment?

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Empowerment with Jetsun Kushok

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:14 pm

Kushi wrote:This coming week, I will be attending a Vajranairatmya empowerment and Vajrayogini blessing (followed by 7 day teaching) with Jetsun Kushok. Here is the event: http://www.sakyadechenling.com/events-2 ... -area.html

Since this is actually my first initiation, and essentially my first encounter with any sort of Tibetan Vajrayana ritual, there are a number of things I feel kind of in the dark about. For instance, I'm not entirely sure what is expected of me in terms of behavior. Should the lama be addressed with an honorific? Is dana given to the lama on every separate day, or just once? If someone could clue me in with regards to basic protocol, I would be delighted!

I'm also a little bit confused by some of the terminology. For instance, the Vajrayogini ritual is called a 'blessing', but it seems like it grants access to the associated practice. Why isn't it called an empowerment?
My experience (Sakya monastery in Seattle though, shorter initiations, so perhaps quite different):


Just do your best to follow, and pay attention to what the people around you are doing..IME it really helped to go with someone who knew what to expect better than I did. Other than that, try to put yourself in the right frame of mind and listen closely to instructions, especially the preliminary stuff that comes before the main empowerment.

I have taken a number of initiations, and I hate to say it..but I cannot adequately answer the question about blessing v.s. practice either, I know most Sakyapa I am around pretty much go to all the initiations they can and seem to consider them practice. I also have been to a number that involved no commitments, but where we received short sadhanas. Certainly, we were encouraged to practice what we had been given, but only at one of them was there an explicit commitment. IF you can find any of this stuff out beforehand, I would!

So, it makes sense to me to check out the root tantric vows, as AFAIK you are "signing on" to those even with just a jenang, don't know if the Vajrayogini is that or full empowerment...

Truthfully this was the biggest thing for me: having to balance at least two texts on your legs while dealing with rice etc lol...so maybe bring something to set texts on if you don't know for certain;)

Really happy for you that you have this opportunity, just relax and do your best IMO. The real deal, and it will be wonderful:)
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Kushi
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Re: Empowerment with Jetsun Kushok

Post by Kushi » Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:50 am

Thanks for your reply, Johnny. It sounds like everything will be fine.

With regards to the common Tantric vows - I'm familiar with these, and I feel comfortable taking them on. The only nagging issue in my mind is with the 7th root vow. This is due to the fact that I do academic work in this same area (Hindu and Buddhist tantra, including Anuttarayoga Tantra) which would seem to directly transgress against a hardline interpretation of this vow. It's obvious to me that not every lama takes a hardline approach, but I don't really have a sense of how Jetsun Kushok or other Sakyapas feel about the issue. I've sent out a few inquiries to people in the relevant organizations, but I haven't heard back yet (still too soon). Given that you seem to have spent some time around Sakyapas on the West Coast, maybe you can comment? Feel free to PM if that works better.

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