Chogyam Trungpa talks a lot about "grasping at abhishekas", or "collecting abhisekas", which he calls "spiritual materialism".Namdrol wrote:Abhisheka is method of arranging the dependent origination of a person's basis with the result so the result can be taken as the path. This is the unique feature of abhisheka in Vajrayana.Aemilius wrote:About Abhisheka
According to certain authorities there is formal initiation and informal intitation (abhisheka).
I would not have believed that people really believe that placing objects on their heads is the all-decisive thing! But this seems to be the case, is it?
he gave them a lot early on, then stopped because he saw that people were only relating to them as a kind of ritual, not understanding the real meaning.Chogyam Trungpa refused to give abhishekas for a long time, he said that everything a true Guru does is an abhisheka.
However, in his Vajrayāna seminaries he always gave a transmission called "direct introction" which is characteristic of Kagyu Mahamudra and Dzogchen.
Teaching someone a practice is not an abhisheka. There is no initiation for tonglen, since it is sutrayāna. Merely teaching someone a practice is not an "initiation". You either misunderstood what she meant, or she is wrong.In Dhagpo Kayu Ling Gelongma Rinchen said that Initiation means that you are taught a spiritual practice. She said that even teaching Tongleng is an initiation in the full sense of the word.
There is immense grasping at "mere ritual", I feel. At the same time I do not deny that tantra and vajrayana exist and function. In the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni "one should become free of dependence on rules and rituals", how do you understand this ? Or does it not apply anymore when you are a tantrika ?
Do you accept that people who met Shakyamuni and discussed with Him, sometimes became enlightened as a consequence of this discussion? Or do you demand some "ritual authorisation" for them? Because otherwise their enlightenment is not acceptable to a true tantrist !?
On this ground I understand Gelongma Rinchen's teaching about initiation.
Teaching a meditation practice to a person is in accordance with the meaning of the english words "to initiate" and "intiation". Initiation also means "to reveal something that people did not know before". This definition accords with the buddhist tradition, I think.
Buddha Shakyamuni did not hold back anything when teaching the Dharma. He boasts this several times, about Himself and about His teaching. Tantrikas and vajrayanists do not seem to understand this statement, which is a great pity.