Empowerments are for life?

Oklahoma
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Empowerments are for life?

Post by Oklahoma » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:52 am

I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?

n8pee
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by n8pee » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:11 am

Empowerments are for life. Failure to adhere to commitments is a breach in samaya, but can be purified. I can't recall offhand the conditions (4?) necessary to be a complete breach in samaya, but if you didn't have anti-thetical views of the teachings or obtain joy from breaching the samaya, than it is not a complete breach and can be amended with proper purification.

I may just sounds like a jackass here, so if someone can chime in and clarify further I would appreciate it as well.

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Miroku
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Miroku » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:46 am

Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:52 am
I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?
You still have it. If you have some commitments however it is better to do it tho.
“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

Toenail
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Toenail » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:03 pm

A practice commitment is not a Samaya.

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Josef
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Josef » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:47 pm

Toenail wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:03 pm
A practice commitment is not a Samaya.
It is if the vajra master or root text deem it so.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

TrimePema
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by TrimePema » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:50 pm

Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:52 am
I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?
Maybe worth looking into... maybe not...

Why are you not practicing? Is it because you 'lost interest in meditation'? or is it because you took the empowerment with bodhichitta and then subsequently failed to generate bodhichitta and failed to practice?

Oklahoma
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Oklahoma » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:24 pm

TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:50 pm
Oklahoma wrote: I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?
Maybe worth looking into... maybe not...

Why are you not practicing? Is it because you 'lost interest in meditation'? or is it because you took the empowerment with bodhichitta and then subsequently failed to generate bodhichitta and failed to practice?
Basically I quit practicing mantras but continued to hold hold on to my meditation practice as best I could.
But Basically this was due to a lot of spiritual confusion about my path, and unbelievable difficulties in my life in general. But no, thankfully this has nothing to do with false views against the deities or lamas, or lack of bodhicitta
Basically I now want to worship the deities, learn the pujas, and have an ongoing daily practice and to maintain respect for all the deities I have been given.

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:47 pm

Send an email to your nearest center and try to speak with someone in person about your situation.
I had a similar question and was able to talk to someone over the phone.

If your practice had any open components, such as Chenrezig, Tara, or Amitabha, you'll only help matters by reestablishing that relationship.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

Oklahoma
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Oklahoma » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:07 pm

Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:47 pm
Send an email to your nearest center and try to speak with someone in person about your situation.
I had a similar question and was able to talk to someone over the phone.

If your practice had any open components, such as Chenrezig, Tara, or Amitabha, you'll only help matters by reestablishing that relationship.
Thanks, sounds like a good idea.

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Miroku
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Miroku » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:45 pm

Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:24 pm
TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:50 pm
Oklahoma wrote: I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?
Maybe worth looking into... maybe not...

Why are you not practicing? Is it because you 'lost interest in meditation'? or is it because you took the empowerment with bodhichitta and then subsequently failed to generate bodhichitta and failed to practice?
Basically I quit practicing mantras but continued to hold hold on to my meditation practice as best I could.
But Basically this was due to a lot of spiritual confusion about my path, and unbelievable difficulties in my life in general. But no, thankfully this has nothing to do with false views against the deities or lamas, or lack of bodhicitta
Basically I now want to worship the deities, learn the pujas, and have an ongoing daily practice and to maintain respect for all the deities I have been given.
Its okay. It would be good to take the same empowerment or different one to purify samayas, or to recite regularly some prayer like The King of Aspiration Prayers, or do Vajrasattva if you have the transmission. Anyway if you want to continue, then go for it definetly. There is nothing lacking. Anyway as was said it would be also good to contact the teacher or the center. However, you can start the practice right away.
“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

TrimePema
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by TrimePema » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:57 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:45 pm
Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:24 pm
TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:50 pm


Maybe worth looking into... maybe not...

Why are you not practicing? Is it because you 'lost interest in meditation'? or is it because you took the empowerment with bodhichitta and then subsequently failed to generate bodhichitta and failed to practice?
Basically I quit practicing mantras but continued to hold hold on to my meditation practice as best I could.
But Basically this was due to a lot of spiritual confusion about my path, and unbelievable difficulties in my life in general. But no, thankfully this has nothing to do with false views against the deities or lamas, or lack of bodhicitta
Basically I now want to worship the deities, learn the pujas, and have an ongoing daily practice and to maintain respect for all the deities I have been given.
Its okay. It would be good to take the same empowerment or different one to purify samayas, or to recite regularly some prayer like The King of Aspiration Prayers, or do Vajrasattva if you have the transmission. Anyway if you want to continue, then go for it definetly. There is nothing lacking. Anyway as was said it would be also good to contact the teacher or the center. However, you can start the practice right away.
vajrasattva doesnt require transmission

TrimePema
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by TrimePema » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:58 pm

Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:24 pm
TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:50 pm
Oklahoma wrote: I have a question that I have been wondering about. After receiving an empowerment in the Nyingma, is it considered that you have it for the rest of your life even if you drop the practice for a number of years and then later on you decide you want to do it again?
So for example, say, an empowerment was given at a drubchen in which no daily commitments were particularly given by the Vajra master, or, for example, an empowerment, perhaps also at a drubchen, or perhaps at a more intimate retreat setting, was given in which the lama says to do it say at least just once or three times a day, or one mala a day, or what have you.
In either case, if you drop the practice for a number of years and want to pick it up again, do you still have it or is it completely gone and one needs the empowerment all over again to yield results?
Maybe worth looking into... maybe not...

Why are you not practicing? Is it because you 'lost interest in meditation'? or is it because you took the empowerment with bodhichitta and then subsequently failed to generate bodhichitta and failed to practice?
Basically I quit practicing mantras but continued to hold hold on to my meditation practice as best I could.
But Basically this was due to a lot of spiritual confusion about my path, and unbelievable difficulties in my life in general. But no, thankfully this has nothing to do with false views against the deities or lamas, or lack of bodhicitta
Basically I now want to worship the deities, learn the pujas, and have an ongoing daily practice and to maintain respect for all the deities I have been given.
i dont understand. you didnt have a lack of bodhichitta but you failed to decide each day to take the initiative to further accumulate merit on the path of accumulation towards enlightenment while simultaneously weakening your connection with the path that will benefit beings and lead you to enlightenment and also weakening your connection with the teacher who appeared to help you do that?

AT THE VERY LEAST do some vajrasattva and talk to the lama you received those transmissions from. Also clarify your views about what empowerment is and what a yidam is and where the yidam is and so on with them.

Dont worry about whether or not you got the empowerment... unless you werent paying attention. If you were there, paying attention, and doing what the Vajra Master told you to do, then you got it, and as long as you got it like that then it is for life.
BUT what about the vows you took?

Anyway, it's no problem. Talk to whoever gave you the empowerment. If you don't mind me asking, can you tell us a little bit more about what exactly you are talking about? These types of things are really situation specific - in terms of whether or not you can just pick the practice back up. What were you practicing, how long did you stop for, etc?

Oklahoma
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Oklahoma » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:20 am

@TrimePema: I received Dzogchen transmission from my lama and guarded that practice like my life depended on it, since I value my lama and what he gave me. I have strong guru yoga with him.
I have not met with him in the last number of years but soon this year will meet with him again.
I have had some issues these many years with mantras, pujas, and yidams, but I really want to be able to fix that.
So wanting to chant mantras and pujas and offerings with daily discipline is just me wanting to honor the deities and reignite that part of me.
Admittedly these past few years my bodhicitta has waned some too, but now it’s improving again, with increased prayers and what practices I can, and with my life not being as difficult.
I don’t think I can explain any more than that on an open forum, but, this post should hopefully clarify some of your very good questions, since clearly more background from me was indeed needed.

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Josef
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Josef » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:28 am

TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:57 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:45 pm
Oklahoma wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:24 pm


Basically I quit practicing mantras but continued to hold hold on to my meditation practice as best I could.
But Basically this was due to a lot of spiritual confusion about my path, and unbelievable difficulties in my life in general. But no, thankfully this has nothing to do with false views against the deities or lamas, or lack of bodhicitta
Basically I now want to worship the deities, learn the pujas, and have an ongoing daily practice and to maintain respect for all the deities I have been given.
Its okay. It would be good to take the same empowerment or different one to purify samayas, or to recite regularly some prayer like The King of Aspiration Prayers, or do Vajrasattva if you have the transmission. Anyway if you want to continue, then go for it definetly. There is nothing lacking. Anyway as was said it would be also good to contact the teacher or the center. However, you can start the practice right away.
vajrasattva doesnt require transmission
Vajrasattva most certainly requires transmission. At the very least one needs the reading transmission of the 100 syllable mantra. This transmission is essential for all Vajrayana practitioners in general but has special emphasis in the Nyingma transmission.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

TrimePema
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:16 am

Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by TrimePema » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:35 am

Josef wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:28 am
TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:57 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:45 pm


Its okay. It would be good to take the same empowerment or different one to purify samayas, or to recite regularly some prayer like The King of Aspiration Prayers, or do Vajrasattva if you have the transmission. Anyway if you want to continue, then go for it definetly. There is nothing lacking. Anyway as was said it would be also good to contact the teacher or the center. However, you can start the practice right away.
vajrasattva doesnt require transmission
Vajrasattva most certainly requires transmission. At the very least one needs the reading transmission of the 100 syllable mantra. This transmission is essential for all Vajrayana practitioners in general but has special emphasis in the Nyingma transmission.
no. hh jigme phuntsok has a vajrasattva terma that needs no lung or transmission at all.

TrimePema
Posts: 242
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by TrimePema » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:36 am

Oklahoma wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:20 am
@TrimePema: I received Dzogchen transmission from my lama and guarded that practice like my life depended on it, since I value my lama and what he gave me. I have strong guru yoga with him.
I have not met with him in the last number of years but soon this year will meet with him again.
I have had some issues these many years with mantras, pujas, and yidams, but I really want to be able to fix that.
So wanting to chant mantras and pujas and offerings with daily discipline is just me wanting to honor the deities and reignite that part of me.
Admittedly these past few years my bodhicitta has waned some too, but now it’s improving again, with increased prayers and what practices I can, and with my life not being as difficult.
I don’t think I can explain any more than that on an open forum, but, this post should hopefully clarify some of your very good questions, since clearly more background from me was indeed needed.
if you have been practicing ati already then that's most important and samayas are said to be contained there as well...
good. talk to your guru and dont conceptualize.

PeterC
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by PeterC » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:06 am

n8pee wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:11 am
...the conditions (4?) necessary to be a complete breach in samaya...
Per Asanga:

1. Not seeing the breach as negative
2. Not intending to refrain from similar breaches in the future
3. Taking pleasure in the breach
4. Not intending to repair the breach

The severity of the breach depends on the number of these conditions that are present.

While we're doing numbered lists, repairing downfalls relies on the four powers: support, regret, resolve, and antidote.

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:24 am

PeterC wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:06 am
n8pee wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:11 am
...the conditions (4?) necessary to be a complete breach in samaya...
Per Asanga:

1. Not seeing the breach as negative
2. Not intending to refrain from similar breaches in the future
3. Taking pleasure in the breach
4. Not intending to repair the breach

The severity of the breach depends on the number of these conditions that are present.

While we're doing numbered lists, repairing downfalls relies on the four powers: support, regret, resolve, and antidote.
Do those breach conditions mean at any time ever, or
in our current state of mind?
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

PeterC
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by PeterC » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:42 am

Mönlam Tharchin wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:24 am
PeterC wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:06 am
n8pee wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:11 am
...the conditions (4?) necessary to be a complete breach in samaya...
Per Asanga:

1. Not seeing the breach as negative
2. Not intending to refrain from similar breaches in the future
3. Taking pleasure in the breach
4. Not intending to repair the breach

The severity of the breach depends on the number of these conditions that are present.

While we're doing numbered lists, repairing downfalls relies on the four powers: support, regret, resolve, and antidote.
Do those breach conditions mean at any time ever, or
in our current state of mind?
Do you mean 'current state of mind' at the time the action was committed? So for instance - could you in passing say something that was derogatory about your guru without intending it to be, and only later realize that it was slightly derogatory, and then perhaps decide that it wasn't such a big deal after all and quite a funny thing to say, and perhaps that you'll make similar jokes in the future?

The four factors analysis is around categorizing how serious the breach is for the purposes of repairing. I would say the separation of the action from the factors isn't particularly important, a breach has occurred, and the location in time of the different factors would at most only affect the extent of the breach. Since many breaches of root and auxiliary vows are committed by thoughts, this analysis of exactly when the factors arose would be difficult anyway - you would have to be certain about when you had certain thoughts about other thoughts. This is why samaya vows are often described as easy to break and easy to repair (vs. other vows which are harder to break but much harder to repair), and why everyone who has them should do Vajrasattva at least daily. That way, no matter what, you've repaired any downfalls.

Opinions do differ slightly on the severity/repair question. Some hold that a breach of the fifth root vow is irreparable regardless of the circumstances. Others consider it not to be different from the other vows in terms of ability to repair.

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Josef
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Re: Empowerments are for life?

Post by Josef » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:51 pm

TrimePema wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:35 am
Josef wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:28 am
TrimePema wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:57 pm

vajrasattva doesnt require transmission
Vajrasattva most certainly requires transmission. At the very least one needs the reading transmission of the 100 syllable mantra. This transmission is essential for all Vajrayana practitioners in general but has special emphasis in the Nyingma transmission.
no. hh jigme phuntsok has a vajrasattva terma that needs no lung or transmission at all.
That's one example. The other aspect to consider in terms of Khenpo Jigphun's Vajrasattva is that there is not need to receive the lung for the sadhana due to the prevalence and of the transmission of Vajrasattva in general in Tibet. The assumption is that one has already at least received the lung of the 100 syllable mantra.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

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