Integrity and The Wild Things...

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Simon E.
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Simon E. » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:01 pm

I’ll settle for that... 8-)
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HH Tai Situ.

smcj
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by smcj » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:11 pm

I do like the story of Khenpo Gongshar standing naked in the monastery courtyard telling the big shots that they were full of it.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
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)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

Simon E.
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Simon E. » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:40 pm

I like all kinds of stories. Whether they concern historical events is another story.






#folkreligion
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HH Tai Situ.

PeterC
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by PeterC » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:45 am

Pero wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:35 pm
Do Khyentse and also Dudjom Lingpa to some extent maybe. However I think such teachers are few and far in between, more exception than the norm. I doubt "crazy wisdom" style teaching was given as much emphasis before CTR as you say.
Not sure Dudjom LIngpa was particularly 'crazy'. He was a very demanding and strict teacher, for sure, but not 'anticonventional' in the way CTR was at all.

I agree with Simon. It was never a very prevalent archetype in the first place, and it's not a particularly helpful myth to perpetuate.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:48 am

PeterC wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:45 am
Pero wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:35 pm
Do Khyentse and also Dudjom Lingpa to some extent maybe. However I think such teachers are few and far in between, more exception than the norm. I doubt "crazy wisdom" style teaching was given as much emphasis before CTR as you say.
Not sure Dudjom LIngpa was particularly 'crazy'. He was a very demanding and strict teacher, for sure, but not 'anticonventional' in the way CTR was at all.

I agree with Simon. It was never a very prevalent archetype in the first place, and it's not a particularly helpful myth to perpetuate.
Okay ... so we've had two pages of discussion of the crazy-wisdom archetype in the Tibetan tradition and concluded that it largely boils down to one self-serving-myth-maker. But the OP mentions Ikkyu, and the archetype is one which (to me) seems to fit better in Zen and Chan than in other traditions.
Just to start the ball rolling in that direction, here are some quotes from Ikkyu.
:reading: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ikkyū

:coffee:
Kim

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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Punya » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:40 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:29 pm
PeterC wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:40 am
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:55 am
In Mahayana, there are two teacher archetypes - the saint and the crazy wisdom guru. One of the defining characteristics of the saint to me, is integrity. Real moral fibre and rectitude. It is an unfashionable trait, held as unrealistic, rigid and not-really-human these days, but very prominent in all religions, including the Theravada and Mahayana Dharma. Unless 8moved by the eight worldly winds, abandoning all selfish pursuits, moved only by compassion, leading all beings to the shore of liberation.

Then there is a later development of the crazy wisdom teacher. Drugpa Kunley, Ikkyu kinda characters. More recently Trungpa Rinpoche. Like a force of nature, wild, unpredictable, creative, brilliant, perplexing and full of contradictions, they seem diametrically opposed to the saint.

In Western literature, there are related archetypes of the Saint and the Beast, as in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Steppenwolf, which both depict man caught between two seemingly opposed natures.

And in our practice, do we not find ourselves caught between glimpses (or fantasies) of sainthood and the call of the wild? How do you manage this seeming contradiction?

In Zen, there is the teaching of the 10 Ox (Bull)-herding pictures. In it, interestingly, the Buddha-nature is represented by the wild bull, which the character has to find, capture and train, until both are seen as empty. Ven Myokyo-Ni who wrote a book on the Pictures, said "the passions are Buddha-nature." What do you think? Are both archetypes the goal of Buddhist practice? Is one higher than the other?
Neither are the goal of Buddhist practice. But there are as many kinds of teacher as there are deluded beings, because teachers manifest according to the needs of students.

However if we're enumerating literary archetypes, there are a few more in the Tibetan tradition worth mentioning:
- The spiritual and temporal ruler, like perhaps the Great Fifth
- The scholar-practitioner - people like Mipham who seem to have near-infinite time to produce learned compendia of knowledge
- The hidden yogi who achieves great realization while outwardly living as a householder, perhaps similar to Marpa

I'm sure I'm missing a few. I think the emphasis people have put on lamas like Trungpa greatly overstates the frequency and importance of these figures
I would go further. I think the crazy wisdom archetype was to a great extent Trungpa Rinpoche’s invention. Granted there were the odd examples here and there of eccentric behaviour, Drukpa Kunley is always the name that gets dropped. But reading his biography with a cool eye does not persuade me that if he existed, and I am not convinced that he was a historical figure, but if, then I see no reason to see him as other than a psychopathic drunk.
CTR invented the Crazy Wisdom role for himself by a kind of of backwards sleight of hand. As his substance and sex addiction had an increasingly powerful hold on him (And believe me the person he became bore no relationship to the monk I first met and admired in his Oxford days.) he needed to rationalise it and he found a ready made template that just needed a little tweaking.
So, to all intents and purposes we can discount the “ Crazy Wisdom” archetype entirely.
While I can see that CTR could have used the crazy wisdom construct to justify his behaviour, I don't take your opinion as authoritive either Simon.

As has been mentioned, Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800–1866) was another who was known for his crazy wisdom style of teaching and is said to have been frequently drunk publicly and to even beat his students. This included Patrul Rinpoche, who who credited him with introducing him to the nature of mind by drunkenly assaulting him. He also was known for reviving animals that he himself had slain.

Maybe historically, there have been more masters that manifest crazy wisdom than we in the west know about. On the other hand, from the little do we know, it does not appear to have been a common phenomenon.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

Simon E.
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Simon E. » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:17 am

Of COURSE my opinion is not authoritative.
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Fortyeightvows » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:22 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:48 am
Just to start the ball rolling in that direction, here are some quotes from Ikkyu.
:reading: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ikkyū
Lets not forget jigong either!

Simon E.
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Simon E. » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:02 am

And my non authoritative opinions include the view that demythologising in the Vajrayana is as overdue as it was for 19th century Christians.

But then as Greg would have it, i’m A Protestant type Buddhist.. : :smile:
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

Punya
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Punya » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:15 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:02 am
And my non authoritative opinions include the view that demythologising in the Vajrayana is as overdue as it was for 19th century Christians.

But then as Greg would have it, i’m A Protestant type Buddhist.. : :smile:
Ah, thank you for the explanation. I do confess to finding some of your posts puzzling. :smile:

But what is myth and what is fact? While namthars generally focus on the positive qualities and highlight spiritual achievements, from what I understand they can either be a biography of the outer or inner journey (in the latter the descriptions are more likely to be mythic, symbolic and visionary) and quite often, a mixture of both.

Personally I prefer to remain open to all possibilities. And anyone who has been around the Tibetan buddhist masters for a while knows that not everything that occurs can be explained in a logical, rational fashion.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche

Pero
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Pero » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:59 pm

PeterC wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:45 am
Pero wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:35 pm
Do Khyentse and also Dudjom Lingpa to some extent maybe. However I think such teachers are few and far in between, more exception than the norm. I doubt "crazy wisdom" style teaching was given as much emphasis before CTR as you say.
Not sure Dudjom LIngpa was particularly 'crazy'. He was a very demanding and strict teacher, for sure, but not 'anticonventional' in the way CTR was at all.
I guess so, he came up in my mind because I just can't forget him shooting witches with his rifle. :smile:
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

Pero
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Pero » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:03 pm

Punya wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:15 pm
But what is myth and what is fact?
Indeed.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar

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Dan74
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Dan74 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:04 pm

I appreciate many interesting and informative answers and people taking the trouble to engage.

This is surely due to my failure to communicate more effectively, but what I was getting at is not really to 'beat that dead horse' of 'was such-and-such an example of crazy wisdom', or even how can we tell if specific behaviour is crazy wisdom, but more the place of these archetypes in our own practice.

In my practice, I had often made excuses for indulgence and laziness on the basis of being a human being and not a machine - free, creative, not bound by iron-clad rules... All of which kinda stems from the Crazy Wisdom archetype. And while there is definitely an element of dishonesty in that, there is also something real - we are not easily, or not at all, able to conform to some predefined image, no matter how noble. At some stage we begin to work with the conditions, rather than dreaming them away, but before that we need to know who the heck we are, don't we?

And as much as aiming at sainthood is not the Buddhist way, checking our behaviour against sila and being very honest both about our current state and our efforts, is something I've found important.

My question is how we balance the two, so as not to become an colourful but indulgent bastard nor a dull and robotic fossil.

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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by pemachophel » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:41 pm

If we're talking about Vajrayana Buddhism, apprentice yourself to an authentic Teacher and then do what the Teacher tells you to do.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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tobes
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by tobes » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:04 pm
I appreciate many interesting and informative answers and people taking the trouble to engage.

This is surely due to my failure to communicate more effectively, but what I was getting at is not really to 'beat that dead horse' of 'was such-and-such an example of crazy wisdom', or even how can we tell if specific behaviour is crazy wisdom, but more the place of these archetypes in our own practice.

In my practice, I had often made excuses for indulgence and laziness on the basis of being a human being and not a machine - free, creative, not bound by iron-clad rules... All of which kinda stems from the Crazy Wisdom archetype. And while there is definitely an element of dishonesty in that, there is also something real - we are not easily, or not at all, able to conform to some predefined image, no matter how noble. At some stage we begin to work with the conditions, rather than dreaming them away, but before that we need to know who the heck we are, don't we?

And as much as aiming at sainthood is not the Buddhist way, checking our behaviour against sila and being very honest both about our current state and our efforts, is something I've found important.

My question is how we balance the two, so as not to become an colourful but indulgent bastard nor a dull and robotic fossil.
Well, aiming for sainthood is the Buddhist way. Arhat or bodhisattva, take your pick - that is the goal.

If there is a convenient myth about Buddhism, it is that it doesn't demand extraordinary Shila. It does, at every level.

This does not imply conforming to a predefined image, nor being bound by iron clad rules - these are your own mental constructions of what shila is about.

If there are genuine crazy wisdom gurus, they are so because of their realisations. If one does not have these realisations, the task is very, very clear: tame the mind. It's not a question of balancing that with your untamed samskarahs - those bits have to be jettisoned!

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Dan74
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by Dan74 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:35 pm

tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:04 pm
I appreciate many interesting and informative answers and people taking the trouble to engage.

This is surely due to my failure to communicate more effectively, but what I was getting at is not really to 'beat that dead horse' of 'was such-and-such an example of crazy wisdom', or even how can we tell if specific behaviour is crazy wisdom, but more the place of these archetypes in our own practice.

In my practice, I had often made excuses for indulgence and laziness on the basis of being a human being and not a machine - free, creative, not bound by iron-clad rules... All of which kinda stems from the Crazy Wisdom archetype. And while there is definitely an element of dishonesty in that, there is also something real - we are not easily, or not at all, able to conform to some predefined image, no matter how noble. At some stage we begin to work with the conditions, rather than dreaming them away, but before that we need to know who the heck we are, don't we?

And as much as aiming at sainthood is not the Buddhist way, checking our behaviour against sila and being very honest both about our current state and our efforts, is something I've found important.

My question is how we balance the two, so as not to become an colourful but indulgent bastard nor a dull and robotic fossil.
Well, aiming for sainthood is the Buddhist way. Arhat or bodhisattva, take your pick - that is the goal.
Is that what your practice is like? I mean, the way I was taught was to work with the conditions here-and-now, rather than aspiring to sainthood, which separates us from the reality on the ground. But I do agree that practice done right brings us in that direction somehow, but not really by aiming for it.

tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
If there is a convenient myth about Buddhism, it is that it doesn't demand extraordinary Shila. It does, at every level.
I tend to agree. And yet look around - on the fora folks, some of whom have practiced for a considerable time, routinely get angry, adopt patronising or dismissive tone and engage in rudeness of all sorts. And this when there is nothing at stake, except a bit of an ego-investment in a view. How do we square this behaviour with the 'demand for extraordinary Shila'?
tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
This does not imply conforming to a predefined image, nor being bound by iron clad rules - these are your own mental constructions of what shila is about.
OK. How would you describe it?

Sila to me is not conforming to a predefined image, but cultivating wholesome qualities while through discipline and insight avoiding and uprooting the unwholesome ones. But there is an element when I check myself against my notion of what is right. This notion is hopefully supportef
tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
If there are genuine crazy wisdom gurus, they are so because of their realisations. If one does not have these realisations, the task is very, very clear: tame the mind. It's not a question of balancing that with your untamed samskarahs - those bits have to be jettisoned!
I agree. I would also say that in a given situation there is more than one enlightened approach. A saint would perhaps bring gentleness and clarity through her skilful action and bring about favourable conditions for insight, and a crazy wisdom teacher may pull the rug from under one's feet and make one question precisely what one is loath to look at. This is more in response to earlier posts. I guess in Zen there were a fair few stories of masters shouting, hitting, putting shoes on their head or even cutting the cat in two. The importance of such actions is likely exaggerated, but be that as it may, it is part of the tradition.

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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by LastLegend » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:41 pm

Dan73: I tend to agree. And yet look around - on the fora folks, some of whom have practiced for a considerable time, routinely get angry, adopt patronising or dismissive tone and engage in rudeness of all sorts. And this when there is nothing at stake, except a bit of an ego-investment in a view. How do we square this behaviour with the 'demand for extraordinary Shila'?
That’s a tough one. Habits!
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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tobes
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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by tobes » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:18 am

Dan74 wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:35 pm
tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:04 pm
I appreciate many interesting and informative answers and people taking the trouble to engage.

This is surely due to my failure to communicate more effectively, but what I was getting at is not really to 'beat that dead horse' of 'was such-and-such an example of crazy wisdom', or even how can we tell if specific behaviour is crazy wisdom, but more the place of these archetypes in our own practice.

In my practice, I had often made excuses for indulgence and laziness on the basis of being a human being and not a machine - free, creative, not bound by iron-clad rules... All of which kinda stems from the Crazy Wisdom archetype. And while there is definitely an element of dishonesty in that, there is also something real - we are not easily, or not at all, able to conform to some predefined image, no matter how noble. At some stage we begin to work with the conditions, rather than dreaming them away, but before that we need to know who the heck we are, don't we?

And as much as aiming at sainthood is not the Buddhist way, checking our behaviour against sila and being very honest both about our current state and our efforts, is something I've found important.

My question is how we balance the two, so as not to become an colourful but indulgent bastard nor a dull and robotic fossil.
Well, aiming for sainthood is the Buddhist way. Arhat or bodhisattva, take your pick - that is the goal.
Is that what your practice is like? I mean, the way I was taught was to work with the conditions here-and-now, rather than aspiring to sainthood, which separates us from the reality on the ground. But I do agree that practice done right brings us in that direction somehow, but not really by aiming for it.

tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
If there is a convenient myth about Buddhism, it is that it doesn't demand extraordinary Shila. It does, at every level.
I tend to agree. And yet look around - on the fora folks, some of whom have practiced for a considerable time, routinely get angry, adopt patronising or dismissive tone and engage in rudeness of all sorts. And this when there is nothing at stake, except a bit of an ego-investment in a view. How do we square this behaviour with the 'demand for extraordinary Shila'?
tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
This does not imply conforming to a predefined image, nor being bound by iron clad rules - these are your own mental constructions of what shila is about.
OK. How would you describe it?

Sila to me is not conforming to a predefined image, but cultivating wholesome qualities while through discipline and insight avoiding and uprooting the unwholesome ones. But there is an element when I check myself against my notion of what is right. This notion is hopefully supportef
tobes wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:23 pm
If there are genuine crazy wisdom gurus, they are so because of their realisations. If one does not have these realisations, the task is very, very clear: tame the mind. It's not a question of balancing that with your untamed samskarahs - those bits have to be jettisoned!
I agree. I would also say that in a given situation there is more than one enlightened approach. A saint would perhaps bring gentleness and clarity through her skilful action and bring about favourable conditions for insight, and a crazy wisdom teacher may pull the rug from under one's feet and make one question precisely what one is loath to look at. This is more in response to earlier posts. I guess in Zen there were a fair few stories of masters shouting, hitting, putting shoes on their head or even cutting the cat in two. The importance of such actions is likely exaggerated, but be that as it may, it is part of the tradition.

Well if you vow everyday to attain Buddhahood for others, then yes, there is a telos there. This is not mutually exclusive of working with immanent conditions. But in my own life: yes, it hurts not be on the bhumi, and I'm bloody well aiming for it. However long it takes.

I feel a long way short of accomplishing shila, so I cannot offer any description of what it is to embody it. But one thing that has changed through time is the recognition that pure conduct is possible, and that precepts, vows and samayas lead one closer to it. They are not iron clad rules, they are conventional supports which guide intention and action. And they are very powerful - they free rather than constrain.

As for mature practitioners who demonstrate many kleshas: sure, this is all to common. This just shows how difficult it is to accomplish genuine shila.

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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:43 am

Was told in that place of calm and clear, gently arise a wish. Keep doing this until the door is open.
Within that state of clarity, there is a knowing that remains unchanged stationary can be seen when looking at an object.

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Re: Integrity and The Wild Things...

Post by muni » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:48 am

Well if you vow everyday to attain Buddhahood for others, then yes, there is a telos there. This is not mutually exclusive of working with immanent conditions. But in my own life: yes, it hurts not be on the bhumi, and I'm bloody well aiming for it. However long it takes.
In some way, this sounds as the path is painful and hard. One must strive and is hoping, while at the same time this is our confusion. It reflects probably the experience of many of us.

One Master said if there is no joy on the path then practice is not going good or well done. Another said being Bodhisattva you must accept it can be painful. It obviously depends on our own karma?
Was told in that place of calm and clear, gently arise a wish. Keep doing this until the door is open.
Ah!
Which human beings are “fortunate and connected?” They are the ones who generate love, compassion, and devotion, as well as the commitment to remain steadfast on the path until all beings are liberated. Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches.

Not to identify oneself with something, or to associate things with the 'me,' and to see that the idea that there is a 'me,' which is distinct from things, is a delusion. H H Dalai Lama.

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