Secrecy in Bön

Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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kalden yungdrung
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Secrecy in Bön

Post by kalden yungdrung » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:09 pm

Tashi delek,

Here on DW is maintained a general protective secrecy, based on the authority of the Vajrayana Tibetan Masters which are strictly obeyed, by the DW members here.

But in Bön we have so our visions about what should be secret and that is of course never tolerated by the DW mods here aboard.
Can understand that fully, but is here the Bön point of view also understood as such ?

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In the case of Masters of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud, Yongdzin Rinpoche chose to publish the edited transcript as a public book, making these valuable and rare teachings available to all.

Some lamas or practItIOners may query this , considering such a publication inappropriate for such heart teachings and indeed, similar reservations were voiced by some when Heart Drops of Dharmakaya was published. It contains teachings by Yongdzin Rinpoche on 'Od gsal rdzogs pa chen po 'i lam gyi rim pa khrid yig kun tu bzang po 'i snying tig shes bya ba zhugs, a Dzogchen practice manual by Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen 105 dealing with all aspects of Dzogchen practice from special Dzogchen Preliminaries to

- Trekcho,
- Thogal
- Bardo teachings

On that occasion I asked Yongdzin Rinpoche why he gave his blessing to publish such an esoteric text so publicly and whether it
might cause some damage for those who are not prepared for such high teachings .


Lopon Lak replied that:

Firstly, the guardians of Bonpo Dzogchen have ordered the Masters to teach it openly;

Secondly, Dzogchen teachings are an ' open secret' i.e. if one has no capacity then one will not be able to understand them
and will not be interested in reading ;

Thirdly, for those who have capacity and connection, it may bring great benefit by providing a link to the text and Master
which they can then follow if they wish to enter the way of Dzogchen ;

Fourthly, it is clearly stated in the text that if one wishes to put these teachings into practice then just reading the book is
not enough ; one must find and follow an authentic Master.



Because of these points, he said, the publication of Heart Drops of Dharmakaya was allowed and would bring benefit.
This was reiterated regarding the publication of Masters of the Zhang Zhung Nyengyud.
The best meditation is no meditation

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:28 pm

DW is not that strict about this, at least not in the time I've been here.

Some individuals get a little silly. I recall someone telling me I should remove posts about the Five Dhyani Buddhas (not even strictly a Tibetan Vajrayana concept) because it was "secret".

Moderation wise the policy is pretty simple, don't post restricted texts or go into great detail about restricted practices. So, postings of details of Thogal etc. are just not a good idea to post for public discussion. I imagine context matters a lot here. Sure, a book may be published, but a book requires some level of interest from the practitioner (the "self secret" part is at play here), and right effort on their part ensures that the people whose karma is ripe get connected with the book. Random posting of details on certain subjects on forums or Facebook is a bit different. I can buy (and did, btw) Heart Drops of Dharmakaya if I want another take on Rushens for example, and it's quite valuable...because I already have interest in the teaching, some kind of devotion and connection/transmission. I don't think this commentary by Lopon La means that talking about these things is completely unrestricted, he's not saying to bring them up at dinner parties, or spam them around the digital world constantly in whatever manner according to whim, his statements read as qualified endorsements of openly sharing where appropriate, not carte blanche to share in whatever manner people want at any time.

Someone who does not have any Dharma connection yet (for instance a young person with minimal experience of Dharma outside of their own fanciful ideas), might be kind of shopping around for shiny things, latch onto some "advanced" practice and completely obscure their chances of connection to the teachings later.

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche talked about this at one of his teachings I've attended. He mentioned that yes, these teachings are self-secret and that there is no restriction per se.
He also specifically mentioned that generally modern Western-influenced culture simply does not value the teachings in the way they were valued traditionally, and that this is an issue with how people share. My take is that he was saying "sure, it's open, but pay close attention to how you share", i.e. use some decorum and judgement before doing so. Sorry to say, publicly posting long explanations of "higher" practices etc. to unknown audiences IMO does not fall under that kind of good judgement at all.

So, IMO the policy here is less about some strict Vajrayana notion of secrecy, and more about maintain good judgement of just the sort that TWR discussed.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:18 pm

Yup, my take on this is the same as JD's. Plus another problem is also who shares the instructions. We have our own interpretations of almost everything, teachings unfortunately included. Loppon Rinpoche is ofcourse correct in the bön context, however I believe it is best to apply this advice mostly to real recognized teachers. We are practitioners, our main concern is our own practice and as far as I am concerned it does not matter whether I do thögal, HYT practices or just chant Namo Amitabha, it is better to keep ones practice for oneself.
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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by futerko » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:49 am

my practice right now is to write this and post it - I make no secret of it

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:00 pm

Tashi delek,

Agree on this forum we will have, maintained protective secrets and somewhere elso not, like on Facebook for instance and other forums.

So it is never a general rule nowadays like maintained here on this forum.
There are a lot of exceptions and there will be more and more exception, times are changing.

Further the secrets are not anymore the same secrets like those from 300 years ago, because one can buy the books where all secrets are revealed.
But if a person has not the level of understanding She/ he , never will discover the meaning, like Lopon Tenzin Namdak explained.

Agree fully with Lopon Tenzin Namdak´s vision that after a nice discussion regarding those "Secrets" written and published in those so called secret literature, it is nescessary to do Guru Yoga and getting blessings out of the Lineage, this is a must for Dzogchenpas.

To get there can be undertaken without secrets, like the studying and discussing regarding the "secret" books / transcripts, in those relevant groups which do not maintain the protecting secrets like maintaned here.

That alternatives are never possible here aboard that is imo very clear and it will be punished, no doubt about it.

All in all i disagree fully with the way his forum deals with maintaining secrets.

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:05 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:00 pm
All in all i disagree fully with the way his forum deals with maintaining secrets.
How else do you want to deal with "maintaining secrets"?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:52 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:00 pm

That alternatives are never possible here aboard that is imo very clear and it will be punished, no doubt about it.

All in all i disagree fully with the way his forum deals with maintaining secrets.

Mutsug Marro
KY.

You are offering no other way of "dealing with secrets", just complaining about how it's done here with no specifics. It's melodramatic and unproductive.

For my part, I feel like your indiscriminate spam of material can border on disrespectful at times, though certainly there are gems there. You're welcome to disagree of course, I also find myself wondering whether you've had a "discussion" with Loppon La specifically about the kind of posting you do here or on Facebook, rather than just the general notion of 'secrecy', but I admit that's just intuition.

The point is, discretion is not censorship, and you seem to be claiming that these quotes advise no discretion at all. I don't agree with that, and my guess is plenty of Bon teachers would also question an 'anything goes' attitude about public posting of certain practices, etc...but again, that is just my intuition from things I've heard from Tenzin Wangyal.

I will say that it is true that Bon is simply more liberal about this stuff than Vajryana. We have to take both groups into consideration on this forum though. If your posting tings about Thogal. etc. is something that Vajrayana students are recommended to avoid before exposure via a teacher, it seems really selfish for you to assert a "right" to post about it to the few other people on the forum who follow exclusively Bon paths at the expense of Vajrayana students. You can post (and often do) plenty of useful material that doesn't violate someone else's samaya, and I'm not sure why you feel doing this is any kind of imposition on you, rather than basic consideration for the rest of the forum.

Unless of course, you simply have an issue with Vajrayana practitioners and want to be contrary for it's own sake, claim some Bon persecution exists here, etc., which it doesn't.

Having received both teachings, I really do try to take a balanced attitude towards this - for instance, Bon teachers will offhandedly mention bits of higher practices in "lower" teachings, seemingly more often than Vajrayana. I have gone against the request of others on the forum to remove such things because I think that is going overboard, placing too great a limit on what can be posted in the Bon forum, and I don't think that little offhand bits of Thogal being present in other teachings is enough to be harmful to other students - unlike detailed instruction on restricted practices, which likely can.

So I'm fine that you brought this up, it's a complex issue. I will say for the record though, I feel like you generally approach things from a fairly sectarian viewpoint, this is no different, and I feel like our policy has been quite reasonable. Again, I think you are putting your own rights to indiscriminately post whatever you want above other users of the forum.

I'll allow the thread to remain open for any closing commentary, then I'm locking it due to the meta discussion rule.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by spanda » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:34 am

"I don't think this commentary by Lopon La means that talking about these things is completely unrestricted, he's not saying to bring them up at dinner parties, or spam them around the digital world constantly in whatever manner according to whim, his statements read as qualified endorsements of openly sharing where appropriate, not carte blanche to share in whatever manner people want at any time."

"Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche talked about this at one of his teachings I've attended. He mentioned that yes, these teachings are self-secret and that there is no restriction per se. He also specifically mentioned that generally modern Western-influenced culture simply does not value the teachings in the way they were valued traditionally, and that this is an issue with how people share. My take is that he was saying "sure, it's open, but pay close attention to how you share", i.e. use some decorum and judgement before doing so. Sorry to say, publicly posting long explanations of "higher" practices etc. to unknown audiences IMO does not fall under that kind of good judgement at all."



Completely agree with this comments. And I have seen (from some time now) Kalden Yungdrung spamming this teachings around the digital world, constantly, and I don't really understand his reasons. Definitely this is not what Yongdzin Rinpoche intended!

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by gelukman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:27 am

There might be a huge differences inside the religions/practices in Tibetan Buddhism.
The capacity of practitioners are different too. Those who are able should be allowed to access teachings that
accords with their capacity. Generally the secrecy is for the self protection of the practitioners. And we all have religious
freedom and freedom of speech.

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Re: Secrecy in Bön

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:39 pm

Ok, I think we’re done.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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