Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Arupajhana7
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Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:55 pm

Hello,

I have been practicing in Tibetan Buddhist lineage for some time now. I was heavily involved with Shambhala, for many reasons that you may be able to guess, I am leaving this Sangha.

I received transmission within the Dzogchen lineage of Namkhai Norbu but was not heavily involved in the community. I do short practices that involve a very short visualization daily, and often a 7 minute song/mantra type of exercise.

I am currently studying online with Mingyur Rinpoche, though I have not yet started vajrayana practices through Tergar. I really like MIngyur and am interested in pursuing his teachings and practices.

But there is no Tergar community located near me.

I visited Japan recently and accidentally found out about the temple complex in Mt Hiei. I visited it and I was blown away. I was really inspired by the mountains, the temples, and delighted to find something so similar to Tibetan Buddhism within Japan. I felt really connected to the place but when I left Japan I figured I would never find anything related to Tendai in the US.

But it turns out that actually there is a Tendai Community near me. Not close to where I am living at this moment, but very close to the area I intend to move to within a few years.

I understand that Tendai is a tantric tradition, like Tibetan Buddhism.

Mingyur RInpoche and Namkhai Norbu have both said that it is fine to have multiple teachers as long as one is sincere about learning from each them.

My question is, is it ok to potentially start doing Vajrayana practices within the Tergar lineage, and then later some day also pursue the Tendai Community? Does Tendai require people to exclusively practice within the Tendai lineage?

Any information you can provide would be great.

Thank you!

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:29 pm

Tibetan tantrikāḥ will say it is a lower/lesser tantra.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by kirtu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:32 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:55 pm
My question is, is it ok to potentially start doing Vajrayana practices within the Tergar lineage, and then later some day also pursue the Tendai Community? Does Tendai require people to exclusively practice within the Tendai lineage?
Tendai has really only recently (last 20 years) become accessible to Westerners. From the Tibetan Buddhist POV Tendai teachings are lower tantra but that generally means Yogatantra. IMO Tendai will become a great well of Dharma in the West.

I would check both out and see what resonates with you.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Arupajhana7
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:57 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:29 pm
Tibetan tantrikāḥ will say it is a lower/lesser tantra.
Why is that?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:05 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:57 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:29 pm
Tibetan tantrikāḥ will say it is a lower/lesser tantra.
Why is that?
You need to ask them. They have systems of classification that postdate Shingon and Tendai. I have my own interpretations and theories as to why this tantra might be looked down upon by others, but it is better to ask them themselves.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

Miroku
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Miroku » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:18 am

It is not looked down upon. It is just a mere classification based on what tantra is practiced, the presentation of the view, visualisation and behaviour which can pinpoint which class of tantra it is. It doesn't mean it is bad it just generally is not as fast as Highest Yoga Tantra. Does it make it bad? No. You do you. For some vipassana is the fastest method and that is okay not everybody can or should do Highest Yoga Tantra.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:49 am

Sounds to me like

是名比丘根波羅蜜因緣知果波羅蜜,果波羅蜜因緣知人波羅蜜。
This is called, monks, difference of faculties on account of causes and conditions informing the difference of fruits, the difference of fruits on account of causes and conditions informing the difference of persons.


Does this lower tantra result in Buddhahood? If it takes long, all the better.

More people to help as a bodhisattva.

Furthermore, if we are all fully realized Buddhas, and if there is no difference between affliction and bodhi, then there is no disparity of faculties, fruits, and persons, either.

But this is the Buddhist sophist's answer to anything, I suppose.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by MiphamFan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:30 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:49 am
Sounds to me like

是名比丘根波羅蜜因緣知果波羅蜜,果波羅蜜因緣知人波羅蜜。
This is called, monks, difference of faculties on account of causes and conditions informing the difference of fruits, the difference of fruits on account of causes and conditions informing the difference of persons.


Does this lower tantra result in Buddhahood? If it takes long, all the better.

More people to help as a bodhisattva.

Furthermore, if we are all fully realized Buddhas, and if there is no difference between affliction and bodhi, then there is no disparity of faculties, fruits, and persons, either.

But this is the Buddhist sophist's answer to anything, I suppose.
You don't stop helping sentient beings even as a Buddha.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:39 am

I didn't say you stop as a Buddha.

Point is: sectarian posturing is pointless. Higher tantra, lower tantra, shower tantra, grower tantra. I'm sure we can find all manner of quotes from X or Y yogi arguing that it is better to be an ignorant worldling than a Buddha. We Buddhists seem to love making jarring statements like that.
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

shaunc
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by shaunc » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:03 am

I don't want to buy into the debate about what is allowed and what is not allowed or what is a higher classification and what is a lower classification, but I wouldn't mind a bet that tendai is your karma.
Good luck and best wishes.
Shaun.

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Miroku » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:10 am

At the end of the day what matters is you. Classification is useless. Watch yourself and see what are you possibilities and how capable you are. I figured out I am like a piece of rock. Takes years for me to develop even a miniscule good habit and days to lose it again. So I know my capacity is nto good so I focus on ngöndro a lot. Follow your heard and watch yourself.

Just so you know what to possibly expect this is a good source which can give you overview of the classes of tantra. Tendai should be yogatantra as was mentioned https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-s ... -of-tantra
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

Arupajhana7
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:19 pm

Ok thank you folks for the explanation of differences in classification.

I don't feel clearer on whether or not it is ok to practice within both Tibetan and Tendai lineages. Are there any restrictions around that on the Tendai side?

It may be some time before I get to practice with them. But I was pretty excited to see that they aren't far from where I want to move in a few years. It would be nice to have the support of Sangha.

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Miroku » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:16 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:19 pm
Ok thank you folks for the explanation of differences in classification.

I don't feel clearer on whether or not it is ok to practice within both Tibetan and Tendai lineages. Are there any restrictions around that on the Tendai side?

It may be some time before I get to practice with them. But I was pretty excited to see that they aren't far from where I want to move in a few years. It would be nice to have the support of Sangha.
Maybe try to email them. But few words of advice, if you practice dzogchen/mahamudra then take an advice Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche gave several times, that is is better not to tell anyone you are practicing dzogchen, maybe especially more traditional teachers or teachers of "lower" vehicles. Why? Because they might not have the undrestanding what dzogchen is as teachings and can give you bad advice like "before practicing dzogchen you have to do this" or "for practicing dzogchen you have to be enlightened". So better to ask if it is okay to join their tendai sangha and practice with them while also practicing with tibetan buddhists. :) Just my 2 cents.

To make things clearer. I do believe it is okay from tibetan buddhist perspective but it is always good to know differences between teachings and which class of tantra they belong to so one can apply them more precisely. Also the wording and terminology will differ. So beware that.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

Arupajhana7
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:57 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:16 pm
Arupajhana7 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:19 pm
Ok thank you folks for the explanation of differences in classification.

I don't feel clearer on whether or not it is ok to practice within both Tibetan and Tendai lineages. Are there any restrictions around that on the Tendai side?

It may be some time before I get to practice with them. But I was pretty excited to see that they aren't far from where I want to move in a few years. It would be nice to have the support of Sangha.
Maybe try to email them. But few words of advice, if you practice dzogchen/mahamudra then take an advice Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche gave several times, that is is better not to tell anyone you are practicing dzogchen, maybe especially more traditional teachers or teachers of "lower" vehicles. Why? Because they might not have the undrestanding what dzogchen is as teachings and can give you bad advice like "before practicing dzogchen you have to do this" or "for practicing dzogchen you have to be enlightened". So better to ask if it is okay to join their tendai sangha and practice with them while also practicing with tibetan buddhists. :) Just my 2 cents.

To make things clearer. I do believe it is okay from tibetan buddhist perspective but it is always good to know differences between teachings and which class of tantra they belong to so one can apply them more precisely. Also the wording and terminology will differ. So beware that.

Ok so it is good not to mention Dzogchen specifically but good to ask generally about practicing Tibetan as well as Tendai. I suppose we are supposed to keep Dzogchen practices to ourselves anyway.

I ran into that in Shambhala as well. They didn't want me doing Dzogchen of Namkai Norbu's lineage while I was pursuing the Shambhala path. That's one of the things I keep an eye out for now. Don't want to restrict my practice like that again.

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:03 pm

Not mixing practices from different lineages is common advice, and there are reasons for it.
As severely deluded people, we aren't in a position to reinvent the wheel.
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Arupajhana7
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:57 pm

Monlam Tharchin wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:03 pm
Not mixing practices from different lineages is common advice, and there are reasons for it.
As severely deluded people, we aren't in a position to reinvent the wheel.
Not mixing practices is different from practicing different practices at different times.

for example it's ok to receive white Tara from one teacher and green Tara from another etc...

If you get two different versions of a white Tara you don't mix them but you stick with one for a particular thun or retreat. At least, this is how some Tibetan teachers have explained it.

I am not an expert, but this is what I have come to understand.

That is different from saying you can only do Vajrayana with one guru etc, all other practices from other teachers must end. Some teachers, though not most, do require this. This is what I am trying to figure out. If Tendai has this tendency or not.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:03 pm

Consider messaging Venerables Jikai or Seishin, their usernames here are "jikai" & "Seishin".
नस्वातो नापिपरतो नद्वाभ्यां नाप्यहेतुतः उत्पन्ना जातु विद्यन्ते भावाः क्वचन केचन
There absolutely are no things, nowhere and none, that arise anew, neither out of themselves, nor out of non-self, nor out of both, nor at random.
सर्वं तथ्यं न वा तथ्यं तथ्यं चातथ्यम् एव च नैवातथ्यं नैव तथ्यम् एतद् बुद्धानुशासनम्
All is so, or all is not so, both so and not so, neither so nor not so. This is the Buddha's teaching.

一切實非實亦實亦非實
非實非非實是名諸佛法

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by DGA » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:21 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:55 pm
Hello,

I have been practicing in Tibetan Buddhist lineage for some time now. I was heavily involved with Shambhala, for many reasons that you may be able to guess, I am leaving this Sangha.

I received transmission within the Dzogchen lineage of Namkhai Norbu but was not heavily involved in the community. I do short practices that involve a very short visualization daily, and often a 7 minute song/mantra type of exercise.

I am currently studying online with Mingyur Rinpoche, though I have not yet started vajrayana practices through Tergar. I really like MIngyur and am interested in pursuing his teachings and practices.

But there is no Tergar community located near me.

I visited Japan recently and accidentally found out about the temple complex in Mt Hiei. I visited it and I was blown away. I was really inspired by the mountains, the temples, and delighted to find something so similar to Tibetan Buddhism within Japan. I felt really connected to the place but when I left Japan I figured I would never find anything related to Tendai in the US.

But it turns out that actually there is a Tendai Community near me. Not close to where I am living at this moment, but very close to the area I intend to move to within a few years.

I understand that Tendai is a tantric tradition, like Tibetan Buddhism.

Mingyur RInpoche and Namkhai Norbu have both said that it is fine to have multiple teachers as long as one is sincere about learning from each them.

My question is, is it ok to potentially start doing Vajrayana practices within the Tergar lineage, and then later some day also pursue the Tendai Community? Does Tendai require people to exclusively practice within the Tendai lineage?

Any information you can provide would be great.

Thank you!
This depends on the teacher and the temple, and on your objectives. For practice as a layperson, no sane Tendai temple will fail to welcome you in.

I've met several Tendai teachers based in the US and Canada, and practiced under the direction of some for several years. I advise you to visit more than one temple and to ask a lot of questions. If you are based in the US or Canada, I suggest making a phone call to Monshin Paul Naamon, the abbot of Tendai Buddhist Institute in Canaan, NY. (phone works best). Administratively, he oversees all Tendai temples in North America not in Hawaii, which means he knows the lay of the land.

Don't worry about the theoretical stuff about categories of practice or whatever. There's one Dharmakaya and infinite Dharma-gates. Practice your ass off. We're counting on you.

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:53 pm

Thank you folks for the information.

And thank you DGA, I will try to contact that temple in NY. Also thank you for your encouragement. That feels true.

And Miroku, thank you for sharing that indeed small changes for the better can take a long time, whether on a gradual or sudden path.

Whats really important I guess is practicing. I haven't reached arhat yet never mind the higher bhumies so any path that takes me closer to awakening, even if it isn't the highest tantra. I just have to find out which path and practices best suit my karma.

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Re: Multiple teachers, Tibetan and Tendai, is that ok?

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:43 pm

I visited the Tendai facility down in Arlington VA, they were most welcoming and great folks to spend time with. I tend to gravitate a bit towards Zen but distinctly appreciate the Tendai straightforwardness OTOH my practice originated in Tendai a while back so perhaps being cousins they were more familiar. I have the impression you get into as much mikkyo/tantra as you want though there are some practices reserved for the monastics. Shingon is also a possibility, perhaps accessible to some extent via Tendai though I've not taken up any inquiries along those lines.

I've twice tried and failed to make it up to Karuna in NY due to various transport afflictions, but will get there sooner or later.

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