Validity of recorded empowerments

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Lhug-Pa
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Lhug-Pa » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:08 am

Earlier I'd said that I agree with Pensum; although I did read Pensum's post somewhat hurriedly, so better said I partially agree with Pensum.

As to why I now say partially (and this is taking all of Pensum's posts in this thread into consideration), I don't want to say; because I feel uncomfortable discussing these things on an open forum.


And again:

Lhug-Pa wrote:Actually, considering that it is a possibility that H.E. Garchen Rinpoche could intend that even the webcast recordings are sufficient as well, I was out of line in commenting on this.

In fact I'd appreciate it if the mods here would delete my posts and any quoting of my posts in this thread.

And my apologies if I somehow caused any doubts to arise in anyone.
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

pensum
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by pensum » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:11 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious though, is there any explanation of why it is necessary to ingest certain substances in order for the empowerment to be effective?
That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by dzogchungpa » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:24 am

pensum wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious though, is there any explanation of why it is necessary to ingest certain substances in order for the empowerment to be effective?
That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.
OK.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

JohnJ
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by JohnJ » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:47 am

Malcolm wrote:
JohnJ wrote:Why express an opinion that is in direct contradiction to the words of an established, well respected and loved teacher?
It is pointless to reply.
But not pointless enough to refrain from being condescending. I am human being on the other end of this computer. What if we were face to face and I sincerely asked you why you held the opinion you stated, would you just look at me and say, "It's pointless"? If so, than I would say that one should work on their manners before focusing on Samaya.
Last edited by JohnJ on Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by JohnJ » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:59 am

pensum wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious though, is there any explanation of why it is necessary to ingest certain substances in order for the empowerment to be effective?
That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.
Interestingly enough, we did ask our lama, Garchen Rinpoche, and he told us we could receive empowerments over the Internet, even HYT. He told us the essence of empowerment is generating Bodhicitta and understanding that it is the same as the mind of the deity. If your teacher requires you to injest a substance or participate in any ritual physicality, than I encourage you to do so. I would also ask your teacher if he or she believes it is productive to quote Buddhist scripture on the Internet like a college campus evangelist. It is good to know our teacher's opinions on these things.

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by heart » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:37 am

JohnJ wrote:
pensum wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious though, is there any explanation of why it is necessary to ingest certain substances in order for the empowerment to be effective?
That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.
Interestingly enough, we did ask our lama, Garchen Rinpoche, and he told us we could receive empowerments over the Internet, even HYT. He told us the essence of empowerment is generating Bodhicitta and understanding that it is the same as the mind of the deity. If your teacher requires you to injest a substance or participate in any ritual physicality, than I encourage you to do so. I would also ask your teacher if he or she believes it is productive to quote Buddhist scripture on the Internet like a college campus evangelist. It is good to know our teacher's opinions on these things.
Recordings and live streams are different. Did you really ask Rinpoche if you could receive an empowerment from a dvd or a youtube video?

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Grigoris » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:39 am

Malcolm wrote:
JohnJ wrote:Why express an opinion that is in direct contradiction to the words of an established, well respected and loved teacher?
It is pointless to reply.
This is rude and condescending.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Grigoris » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:40 am

heart wrote:Recordings and live streams are different. Did you really ask Rinpoche if you could receive an empowerment from a dvd or a youtube video?

/magnus
I wish people would read previous posts! Yes, it has been asked and the answer was yes, you can receive them.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by heart » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:45 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
heart wrote:Recordings and live streams are different. Did you really ask Rinpoche if you could receive an empowerment from a dvd or a youtube video?

/magnus
I wish people would read previous posts! Yes, it has been asked and the answer was yes, you can receive them.
If you look at the mail that Karma Dorje published it is obvious that the point of recordings come from the person that sent the email and not from Garchen Rinpoche. What Rinpoche says and is quoted in the email is without doubt about livestreams not recordings. Until I get a quote from Rinpoche saying you can get an empowerment from a dvd I consider this question unresolved.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Grigoris » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:57 am

heart wrote:If you look at the mail that Karma Dorje published it is obvious that the point of recordings come from the person that sent the email and not from Garchen Rinpoche. What Rinpoche says and is quoted in the email is without doubt about livestreams not recordings. Until I get a quote from Rinpoche saying you can get an empowerment from a dvd I consider this question unresolved.

/magnus
This answer was in response to your question in another thread and yet... It is quite simple if YOU (and other you) do not think it is valid then do not take part. If others feel it is valid and trust in Garchen Rinpoches opinion then...

According to the Mipham Rinpoche quote by "pensum" ANY empowerment that requires substances/materials is invalid if given/taken over the internet (where contact with the substances is not going to happen). You sure you want to go there?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Anders
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Anders » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:02 am

heart wrote:Recordings and live streams are different.
Maybe.

Or maybe it's different to some and not to others, both on the giving and receiving end.

Who of us can really say?

For me, I don't particularly struggle with the notion that a master can shout an echo across cyberspace and that echo carries the blessing so long as it reverberates.

I also don't especially struggle with the notion that different masters understand the subtle mechanics of empowerment differently and thus come to different conclusions of what can be done with them.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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JohnJ
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by JohnJ » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:38 am

heart wrote:
JohnJ wrote:
pensum wrote:That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.
Interestingly enough, we did ask our lama, Garchen Rinpoche, and he told us we could receive empowerments over the Internet, even HYT. He told us the essence of empowerment is generating Bodhicitta and understanding that it is the same as the mind of the deity. If your teacher requires you to injest a substance or participate in any ritual physicality, than I encourage you to do so. I would also ask your teacher if he or she believes it is productive to quote Buddhist scripture on the Internet like a college campus evangelist. It is good to know our teacher's opinions on these things.
Recordings and live streams are different. Did you really ask Rinpoche if you could receive an empowerment from a dvd or a youtube video?

/magnus
In this particular quote I was referring to an earlier statement that without consuming a physical sacramental substance one could not receive empowerment by livestream, recorded or not.

As to recorded empowerments however, I did not ask Rinpoche if one could receive empowerments by just any recorded video from any teacher on youtube or through a dvd.

I did ask a question regarding Rinpoche's empowerments specifically, and it was relayed back to me that my question was translated and given to him. His response was relayed back to me in a letter and was clear. For some empowerments the recording had been blessed by Rinpoche and specific instructions given from him for the recording to be left online. One could receive empowerment by these authorized recordings only.

It was also clear that he meant this for no other teacher, and that he didn't mean this across the board for all that had been recorded from him. For instance, there are some very low quality sketchy recordings by him on youtube that were obviously done without his knowledge... I don't believe personally that a recording without his knowledge carries his blessing, based on what was told to me.

I was then told that the proper way to distinguish between what was authorized and what was done without his knowledge was to make sure that the recording was placed online by the Garchen Institute or a direct affiliate, such as Gar Drolma.

Others on this forum have also asked this question and received his reply, and the response that I recieved mirrors their own.

When I have had the very brief opportunities to interact with Rinpoche, this is not a question I explored in person, so I am relying on a message being relayed to his translator. The response back to me did not leave any room for my personal doubt. I can understand why it may be difficult to accept this, and so I encourage you to also ask this question in the same way I did, or even in person if the issue weighs very deeply upon you.

If instructions to the contrary are given in the future, I will accept them gladly.

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by heart » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:17 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
heart wrote:If you look at the mail that Karma Dorje published it is obvious that the point of recordings come from the person that sent the email and not from Garchen Rinpoche. What Rinpoche says and is quoted in the email is without doubt about livestreams not recordings. Until I get a quote from Rinpoche saying you can get an empowerment from a dvd I consider this question unresolved.

/magnus
This answer was in response to your question in another thread and yet... It is quite simple if YOU (and other you) do not think it is valid then do not take part. If others feel it is valid and trust in Garchen Rinpoches opinion then...

According to the Mipham Rinpoche quote by "pensum" ANY empowerment that requires substances/materials is invalid if given/taken over the internet (where contact with the substances is not going to happen). You sure you want to go there?
Not sure where you want to go Greg. I have no problem with livestreams since teacher and disciples are gathering together over the internet. This is not exactly the same as gathering in the same room, but it is similar. A recording on the other hand is not a gathering, and unless the teacher have the intention to give this transmission at the same time as the disciple is looking at the dvd the teachers intention is missing.
For example ChNNR transmitted the direct introduction many years ago with a video tape that you started at the exact same time.

In my heart I think everyone following Garchen Rinpoche should make a big effort to meet him in person. It might resolve the problem with the substances as well.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by heart » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:27 am

JohnJ wrote: In this particular quote I was referring to an earlier statement that without consuming a physical sacramental substance one could not receive empowerment by livestream, recorded or not.

As to recorded empowerments however, I did not ask Rinpoche if one could receive empowerments by just any recorded video from any teacher on youtube or through a dvd.

I did ask a question regarding Rinpoche's empowerments specifically, and it was relayed back to me that my question was translated and given to him. His response was relayed back to me in a letter and was clear. For some empowerments the recording had been blessed by Rinpoche and specific instructions given from him for the recording to be left online. One could receive empowerment by these authorized recordings only.

It was also clear that he meant this for no other teacher, and that he didn't mean this across the board for all that had been recorded from him. For instance, there are some very low quality sketchy recordings by him on youtube that were obviously done without his knowledge... I don't believe personally that a recording without his knowledge carries his blessing, based on what was told to me.

I was then told that the proper way to distinguish between what was authorized and what was done without his knowledge was to make sure that the recording was placed online by the Garchen Institute or a direct affiliate, such as Gar Drolma.

Others on this forum have also asked this question and received his reply, and the response that I recieved mirrors their own.

When I have had the very brief opportunities to interact with Rinpoche, this is not a question I explored in person, so I am relying on a message being relayed to his translator. The response back to me did not leave any room for my personal doubt. I can understand why it may be difficult to accept this, and so I encourage you to also ask this question in the same way I did, or even in person if the issue weighs very deeply upon you.

If instructions to the contrary are given in the future, I will accept them gladly.
I am afraid I lack the confidence to receive an empowerment from a recording. However I have confidence in Garchen Rinpoche and I received many empowerment's from him in person and from livestreams. I am happy with that.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Grigoris » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:43 am

heart wrote:Not sure where you want to go Greg. I have no problem with livestreams since teacher and disciples are gathering together over the internet.
Even during a live stream the recipient watching from the comfort of their laptop does not have access to the materials/substances and thus, according to Mipham Rinpoche, has not received the empowerment.

So do we go by personal opinions or scripture? And whose personal opinion is valid, because it seems to me, according to Mipham Rinpoche, none of the opinions regarding live vs recorded internet empowerments are valid. :shock:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by heart » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:56 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
heart wrote:Not sure where you want to go Greg. I have no problem with livestreams since teacher and disciples are gathering together over the internet.
Even during a live stream the recipient watching from the comfort of their laptop does not have access to the materials/substances and thus, according to Mipham Rinpoche, has not received the empowerment.

So do we go by personal opinions or scripture? And whose personal opinion is valid, because it seems to me, according to Mipham Rinpoche, none of the opinions regarding live vs recorded internet empowerments are valid. :shock:
As I said above if you actually manage to receive an empowerment in person from Rinpoche then perhaps the problem with the substance can be considered resolved.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by Malcolm » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:08 pm

JohnJ wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
JohnJ wrote:Why express an opinion that is in direct contradiction to the words of an established, well respected and loved teacher?
It is pointless to reply.
But not pointless enough to refrain from being condescending. I am human being on the other end of this computer. What if we were face to face and I sincerely asked you why you held the opinion you stated, would you just look at me and say, "It's pointless"? If so, than I would say that one should work on their manners before focusing on Samaya.
First, this discussion was created by Greg, and not me. I was replying to question about Dharmapālas, and tangentially added my opinion about recorded empowerments, because of course, to practice Dharmapālas one must be someone who possesses samaya and that only comes from a properly granted empowerment.

I am sorry you felt I was being condescending, but I can assure that I was not.I was being factual.

Replying is pointless because:

1. It is not my job to condition you or your beliefs, despite the fact that I have every right to express my opinion.

2. This is not the correct venue to discuss the details of empowerments, how they work and why transmission through a recorded medium is invalid because it involves the discussion of many details of empowerments, how samaya vows are imparted and received, etc., which are not suitable for discussion in a public forum.

3. In the end, you will not accept whatever citations and reasonings I produce to demonstrate that such a system is poorly conceived because you have already declared it is valid.

Therefore, apart from expressing my reservations about the matter I have really nothing further to say on the subject.
Buddhahood in This Life
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pensum
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Re: Validity of recorded empowerments

Post by pensum » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:42 pm

JohnJ wrote:
pensum wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious though, is there any explanation of why it is necessary to ingest certain substances in order for the empowerment to be effective?
That is the sort of thing that it is probably best not to openly talk about in a public forum. It is called "Secret Mantrayana" for a reason. I'm sure though that if you do a bit of research or ask your lama you can find out the reasons without much trouble.
Interestingly enough, we did ask our lama, Garchen Rinpoche, and he told us we could receive empowerments over the Internet, even HYT. He told us the essence of empowerment is generating Bodhicitta and understanding that it is the same as the mind of the deity. If your teacher requires you to injest a substance or participate in any ritual physicality, than I encourage you to do so. I would also ask your teacher if he or she believes it is productive to quote Buddhist scripture on the Internet like a college campus evangelist. It is good to know our teacher's opinions on these things.
JohnJ, you seem to be reading several of my posts out of context:

My advice to ask a lama quoted above is in direct response to dzogchunpa's specific question as to why it is necessary to ingest certain substances during an empowerment. I suggested this simply because it is proper etiquette not to openly discuss matters of a sexual nature, especially those which are at the very heart of Tantric practice and its fundamental principles.

Whereas, the quotation from Mipham was in direct response to Sherab Dorje's request for "scriptural authority" providing reasons why receiving empowerments over the internet or by recording might not be considered authentic.

Furthermore, by equating me with "a college campus evangelist" you seem to be utterly disregarding the nuances of my posts or the fact that they have been responses to the questions of specific individuals. I am not trying to convince anyone one way or the other, merely providing food for thought so that people may come to their own informed conclusions. i have tried my best to openly investigate the matter without any preconceived conclusion or personal opinion on the matter. The result being very little by way of conclusions, but a lot of further questions that i personally find worthwhile to seriously reflect upon.

Although this forum far too often devolves into emotional defensive reactions and personal attacks, among its impressive panoply of personalities it is frequented by sincere practitioners and a few scholars with genuine interest in carrying on intelligent discussions about various elements of Buddhist theory and practice, and so i personally believe that they deserve the respect of a considerate, open, and in-depth debate of such an important issue as the validity of empowerments given over the internet. Though i am well aware that many people unquestioningly accept whatever their lama says (and do my best to respect their views especially when counter to my own), my teachers have always encouraged study and serious questioning, often repeating that Shakyamuni Buddha himself said that one should not just accept on faith what even he himself says, but rather investigate and prove it for oneself.

here in this forum we have the precious opportunity to hear a broad variety of opinions from those of complete novices to scholars and even lamas and buddhas themselves by way of quotations both from written and oral sources. We are all incredibly fortunate to have such an opportunity to share in this way.

JohnJ, you are very fortunate not only to have such a marvellous teacher as Garchen Rinpoche but to have unquestioning faith in him as well, and i wish you all the best in your life and practice.

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Re: Protectors How do I choose one?

Post by theanarchist » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:52 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:The issue of recorded empowerments is not what is being discussed here, but since we are on the subject...

If a teacher the caliber of Garchen Rinpoche believes that empowerments can be received via recording then, really, who are we to doubt him?:


I personally believe that whether one is able to receive the empowerment or not totally depends on the receptivity and openness of the disciple.

By the way, I have been told that at a teaching (that I didn't attend) Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has supposedly mentioned that not neccessarily everyone who attends an empowerment ceremony also gets the transmission. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
Last edited by theanarchist on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Protectors How do I choose one?

Post by theanarchist » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:04 pm

I think he is benefitting beings, and making connections....but this does not change my opinion that, relatively speaking, there is limited value in getting an "empowerment" from a video recording, as compared to a live interaction. t.

Erm, sorry. But you can't get an empowerment "a little bit". Either you get it or you don't. Either it qualifies you to do the practice or it doesn't. And if it doesn't you didn't get it.
Last edited by theanarchist on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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