Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Arupajhana7
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Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:14 pm

Hello I am posting because I am interested in how abiding by ethical behavior fits into Dzogchen communities.

I remember Padmasambahava said "my view is as vast as the sky but my conduct as fine as a grain of barley flour".

I have always interpreted this to mean that although his view is so vast that he may be in a state beyond dualistic morality that he was paying extremely close attention to Karma and the effects of his actions.

For myself, I received transmission from Namkai Norbu some years ago. It was online, and I never met him in person, but I had some unusual experiences around the time of his death to help me to believe that indeed i did establish some kind of connection with this teacher despite having many doubts about it.

But most of my training and practiced occured within Shambhala. Not to rehash that here, but there was not enough grounding in ethical behavior in this community in my opinion.

I guess I am concerned about this being a problem within other Vajrayana and maybe even the Dzogchen communities. I am still drawn to the practices... But lately I have been thinking that it might be wise to not get too involved in these communities. I am concerned that there may be too many students who confuse vast view with conduct and may be adhering to unethical behaviors that could harm people. I am thinking I may just want To just go to teachings, take the practices to do on my own alone, and for spending time in sangha with community it might be better to seek out communities that have firm grounding in Hinayana and Mahayana ethics.

So maybe I would do the Practices from Norbu, and other Vajrayana teachers I may seek out (thinking of Mingyur) on my own at home alone. But for actual community I may choose to spend more time with Theravadins who emphasize ethics very strongly.

So I am wondering, are my worries and concerns legitimate? Is this idea of focusing on Dzogchen and Vajrayana on my own without Vajra and Dzogchen sanghas a good idea? Will spending lots of time in person around "lower vehicle" community cause obstacles for my other practices?

Maybe it's all just too fresh and I need to give it more time.

I've been doing some practices I received from the Dzogchen community and reading the books on how to do them. But I have been avoiding actually practicing with other people in the community.

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catmoon
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by catmoon » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:47 pm

WHAT YOU WANT TO GO THERAVADIN?????


Ha ha just kidding. There was a teacher named Ajahn Chah whose teaching was remarkable. If you can find a group that carries forward a tenth of his integrity you'll still have better teachers than most people. In my world, he's the shining core of recent Theravada, a teacher in the Dalai Lama's league. I have a little book of his teachings called "A Taste of Freedom" that somehow found it's way from Taiwan all the way to western Canada and into a nearby used bookstore. It's one of a small number of books I cannot approach without a sense of reverence creeping over me.

Dzogchen can be a bit like warfare, with tough challenges to the mind and to ethics popping up everywhere. It sounds to me like you are just a bit worn out and need a bit of a rest. What better way than to hang out (spiritually) with some Forest Monks for a while?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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DechenDave
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by DechenDave » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:06 pm

catmoon wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:47 pm
It sounds to me like you are just a bit worn out and need a bit of a rest.
:good:

The DC pretty much models their ethics and behaviour around CNNR and his teachings which were not “crazy wisdom”. Very sane, very practical, very pragmatic stuff. Working with circumstances and limitations, responsibilities, “integrating” and staying present.
If you are interested in him and have the transmission, just get to know his work and teachings and you will likely find yourself not get stressed about it.

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billy hudson
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by billy hudson » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 pm

DechenDave wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:06 pm
catmoon wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:47 pm
It sounds to me like you are just a bit worn out and need a bit of a rest.
:good:

The DC pretty much models their ethics and behaviour around CNNR and his teachings which were not “crazy wisdom”. Very sane, very practical, very pragmatic stuff. Working with circumstances and limitations, responsibilities, “integrating” and staying present.
If you are interested in him and have the transmission, just get to know his work and teachings and you will likely find yourself not get stressed about it.
http://melong.com/twenty-seven-commitme ... hai-norbu/

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:28 pm

billy hudson wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:46 pm
DechenDave wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:06 pm
catmoon wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:47 pm
It sounds to me like you are just a bit worn out and need a bit of a rest.
:good:

The DC pretty much models their ethics and behaviour around CNNR and his teachings which were not “crazy wisdom”. Very sane, very practical, very pragmatic stuff. Working with circumstances and limitations, responsibilities, “integrating” and staying present.
If you are interested in him and have the transmission, just get to know his work and teachings and you will likely find yourself not get stressed about it.
http://melong.com/twenty-seven-commitme ... hai-norbu/
Yep. It's important not to confuse what this or that practitioner says or does with what ChNN taught. Especially in big organizations, people who fancy themselves Dzogchen practitioners say all sorts of things. In general we tend to try to make the teachings fit our own framework anyway, even though they are always beyond that.

I personally practice at a Sakya center in meatspeace, and have a significant connection to that lineage, I have a few other people I consider major influences too, but I consider ChNN my root teacher. As far as i'm concerned there is no requirement for that but faith in the transmission and Guru, one feels how they feel about the transmission, and doesn't need credentials from others to vet it. The DC is great, but if you don't feel connected to it as an organization, IMHO it does not affect the transmission you received. I'm sure plenty will disagree of course.

You can also access the vast majority of materials needed for the practices which Rinpoche transmitted with no problem (transmission/lung being the only real requirement), and support SSI in that way. I know a number of people who are sort of wandering ChNN students....our Karma is what it is.
"...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

Arupajhana7
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:01 pm

Thank you. I found this reassuring, clarifying, and helpful.

It sounds like ChNN was regularly checking his intentions about things and asked his students to do the same.

Arupajhana7
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:07 pm

I hope I did not offend anyone.

I have had a few in person interactions in the DZogchen Communiy sangha and they have been positive. I just think I have some Fears and worries about communities that engage with non-dual higher teachings that also transcend morality because of my experiences in my last Sangha.

I do like some of the practices. I have been trying them out.

Maybe I do need some rest from vajra sangha at this time as others have suggested. Still doing the practices, but alone for now. Alternating with basic shamatha-vipassana.

Often I will do the short thun followed by sitting shamatha vipassana.

There is a Theravadin community near me I am considering going to sit with. I haven't really been spending time with other Buddhists in person since leaving Shambhala.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:20 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:07 pm
I hope I did not offend anyone.

I have had a few in person interactions in the DZogchen Communiy sangha and they have been positive. I just think I have some Fears and worries about communities that engage with non-dual higher teachings that also transcend morality because of my experiences in my last Sangha.
There are all kinds of people who say they practice Dzogchen that pretend they are above conventional morality. Sorry to say, you are not wrong.
I do like some of the practices. I have been trying them out.

Maybe I do need some rest from vajra sangha at this time as others have suggested. Still doing the practices, but alone for now. Alternating with basic shamatha-vipassana.

Often I will do the short thun followed by sitting shamatha vipassana.

There is a Theravadin community near me I am considering going to sit with. I haven't really been spending time with other Buddhists in person since leaving Shambhala.
Guru Yoga is the most important practice, and the one ChNN was always on everyone to integrate into life.
"...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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billy hudson
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by billy hudson » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:28 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:01 pm
Thank you. I found this reassuring, clarifying, and helpful.

It sounds like ChNN was regularly checking his intentions about things and asked his students to do the same.
The Voice of the Bee (https://shop.shangshungfoundation.com/e ... 41487.html) is one of my favorite teachings of Chogyal Namkai Norbu Rinpoche and says much about what he expects of the community and himself. The Dzogchen Community (https://shop.shangshungfoundation.com/e ... results=59) is good practical advice as well.

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:16 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:14 pm
Hello I am posting because I am interested in how abiding by ethical behavior fits into Dzogchen communities.

I remember Padmasambahava said "my view is as vast as the sky but my conduct as fine as a grain of barley flour".

I have always interpreted this to mean that although his view is so vast that he may be in a state beyond dualistic morality that he was paying extremely close attention to Karma and the effects of his actions.

For myself, I received transmission from Namkai Norbu some years ago. It was online, and I never met him in person, but I had some unusual experiences around the time of his death to help me to believe that indeed i did establish some kind of connection with this teacher despite having many doubts about it.

But most of my training and practiced occured within Shambhala. Not to rehash that here, but there was not enough grounding in ethical behavior in this community in my opinion.

I guess I am concerned about this being a problem within other Vajrayana and maybe even the Dzogchen communities. I am still drawn to the practices... But lately I have been thinking that it might be wise to not get too involved in these communities. I am concerned that there may be too many students who confuse vast view with conduct and may be adhering to unethical behaviors that could harm people. I am thinking I may just want To just go to teachings, take the practices to do on my own alone, and for spending time in sangha with community it might be better to seek out communities that have firm grounding in Hinayana and Mahayana ethics.

So maybe I would do the Practices from Norbu, and other Vajrayana teachers I may seek out (thinking of Mingyur) on my own at home alone. But for actual community I may choose to spend more time with Theravadins who emphasize ethics very strongly.

So I am wondering, are my worries and concerns legitimate? Is this idea of focusing on Dzogchen and Vajrayana on my own without Vajra and Dzogchen sanghas a good idea? Will spending lots of time in person around "lower vehicle" community cause obstacles for my other practices?

Maybe it's all just too fresh and I need to give it more time.

I've been doing some practices I received from the Dzogchen community and reading the books on how to do them. But I have been avoiding actually practicing with other people in the community.
to rest in GY, to remain, relaxed, non-conceptual.
what others see and label as conduct they call it to be perfectly ethical
but whatever ethic one practices by pursuing one canno't reach state of dzogchen.

one reaches perfect behaviour as GY state is continuous 24/7, not through philosophical discrimination.

"bad" seeds never grow up, because one doesn't intervene. hate, desire (guess who follows this...) , ignorance, passion, jelousy, pride, whathever occurs in mind one let it remain, letting that to rest in it's own nature...

... HEY! look this!!! This is of perfect conduct as i understood it while young, may it be useful for you as well!!!


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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by amanitamusc » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:25 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:14 pm
Hello I am posting because I am interested in how abiding by ethical behavior fits into Dzogchen communities.

I remember Padmasambahava said "my view is as vast as the sky but my conduct as fine as a grain of barley flour".

I have always interpreted this to mean that although his view is so vast that he may be in a state beyond dualistic morality that he was paying extremely close attention to Karma and the effects of his actions.

For myself, I received transmission from Namkai Norbu some years ago. It was online, and I never met him in person, but I had some unusual experiences around the time of his death to help me to believe that indeed i did establish some kind of connection with this teacher despite having many doubts about it.

But most of my training and practiced occured within Shambhala. Not to rehash that here, but there was not enough grounding in ethical behavior in this community in my opinion.

I guess I am concerned about this being a problem within other Vajrayana and maybe even the Dzogchen communities. I am still drawn to the practices... But lately I have been thinking that it might be wise to not get too involved in these communities. I am concerned that there may be too many students who confuse vast view with conduct and may be adhering to unethical behaviors that could harm people. I am thinking I may just want To just go to teachings, take the practices to do on my own alone, and for spending time in sangha with community it might be better to seek out communities that have firm grounding in Hinayana and Mahayana ethics.

So maybe I would do the Practices from Norbu, and other Vajrayana teachers I may seek out (thinking of Mingyur) on my own at home alone. But for actual community I may choose to spend more time with Theravadins who emphasize ethics very strongly.

So I am wondering, are my worries and concerns legitimate? Is this idea of focusing on Dzogchen and Vajrayana on my own without Vajra and Dzogchen sanghas a good idea? Will spending lots of time in person around "lower vehicle" community cause obstacles for my other practices?

Maybe it's all just too fresh and I need to give it more time.

I've been doing some practices I received from the Dzogchen community and reading the books on how to do them. But I have been avoiding actually practicing with other people in the community.
You could also become a monk?A solid understanding and recognition of Dzogchen is essential in any case.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:25 am

Arupajhana7,

Just wanna kinda echo & expand on what a couple others connected to ChNN's community have said: Rinpoche spoke constantly on the need, expectation, and really the samaya we have with each other to respect one another, and treat each other with respect, and to cooperate and collaborate in a concrete way. There are no higher vows of ethical conduct than the samaya of Secret Mantra. From what I can tell, generally speaking, Dzogchen Community as a sangha understands and honors and tried to practice this. I doubt there's another sangha, lay or monastic, Vajrayana or Theravada, that is perfect and without its share of human nature popping up--though I don't use "human nature" to refer to abuse and similar serious problems, more like sibling squabbles, if you will. That said, I think you should go where you feel you get the support and supportive environment you need for as long as you need it. Maybe that means staying with the forest monks for a while, or maybe it means going here and there and wherever, whenever you feel like it. Wishing you luck in figuring out your way!

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by weitsicht » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:27 am

Dear Arupajhana7, having been part of Shambala and the whole experience you had with that, the feelings and the later deceit, all of it matter-of-factly happened. Out of some karmic connection that played out. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't reject that and don't make it larger.

Any moment for as long as you live is a new potential. It's up to you what or whom to follow. But maybe it's better not to rush. Better settle in quietude.

This Padmasambhava quote I think is a very challenging one because of its dichotomy: how can you have both the eagle's and the frog's perspective at the same time? I have no response to that but I have confidence that it is possible.

My teacher doesn't get tired to stress that we should look closely what or who is my cup of tea. It has to do with trusting intuition, I think. Don't follow a teaching or a teacher just because others do.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by PeterC » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:32 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:07 pm
I hope I did not offend anyone.

I have had a few in person interactions in the DZogchen Communiy sangha and they have been positive. I just think I have some Fears and worries about communities that engage with non-dual higher teachings that also transcend morality because of my experiences in my last Sangha.

I do like some of the practices. I have been trying them out.

Maybe I do need some rest from vajra sangha at this time as others have suggested. Still doing the practices, but alone for now. Alternating with basic shamatha-vipassana.

Often I will do the short thun followed by sitting shamatha vipassana.

There is a Theravadin community near me I am considering going to sit with. I haven't really been spending time with other Buddhists in person since leaving Shambhala.
After your post on the other thread, I really hope that you can leave all of that crap behind you. It is in no way representative of most sanghas, including most Tibetan sanghas.

There are some very fine Theravedan folks but I wouldn't assume that 'higher' practices imply something unstable, dangerous, difficult or risky. The essential practices that ChNN conveyed are simple and easy to follow. The samayas are straightforward, easily observed and easily repaired. The ethical conduct is really just what any normal person should aspire to. If you're thinking, perhaps I should do something less 'high' first - I'd put that thought to one side. You might have other reasons for sitting with Theravedan practitioners, but I wouldn't stay away from atiyoga practices for that reason.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by DechenDave » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:36 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:07 pm
I hope I did not offend anyone.

I have had a few in person interactions in the DZogchen Communiy sangha and they have been positive. I just think I have some Fears and worries about communities that engage with non-dual higher teachings that also transcend morality because of my experiences in my last Sangha.

I do like some of the practices. I have been trying them out.

Maybe I do need some rest from vajra sangha at this time as others have suggested. Still doing the practices, but alone for now. Alternating with basic shamatha-vipassana.

Often I will do the short thun followed by sitting shamatha vipassana.

There is a Theravadin community near me I am considering going to sit with. I haven't really been spending time with other Buddhists in person since leaving Shambhala.
Well, I personally wasn't really saying take a rest from vajra-sangha (or any kind of sangha) per se. I was thinking (based on my own experience) - literally give yourself time to rest and snap back from what you’ve been through. Self-care. Maybe connect with your other hobbies for a while, or go to the gym if you’ve been meaning to. Join a cooking class. Maybe I’m projecting and it’s not needed but it’s what I would need.
If you are breaking up with Shambhala its not so different from a divorce or breakup from a very long-term relationship. It can be good to get back out, get some fresh new energy, some validation and support. But it can also be analogous to rebound relationships. If you are weary, gun-shy, “on the lookout”, most sanghas or groups of “true-believers” are going to seem to throw up red flags of one sort or another.

Fwiw, at this stage the DC, as you know, is in a state of transition and change. In some ways its actually a good time to dip you toe. People are still holding webcasts and retreats and little study groups on zoom and whatnot so you can interact with a sangha even if you don’t live near one. You can get to know some of the people at your own pace.

Ultimately trust your gut. You know what you need.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:08 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:25 am
From what I can tell, generally speaking, Dzogchen Community as a sangha understands and honors and tried to practice this.
The bolded "tried" above was a typo. I meant to type "tries," but it's too late to be able to edit the original post.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Pema Rigdzin » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:11 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:27 am
This Padmasambhava quote I think is a very challenging one because of its dichotomy: how can you have both the eagle's and the frog's perspective at the same time? I have no response to that but I have confidence that it is possible.
It really just means that until one has arrived in total realization, meaning one is therefore beyond karma and suffering, then one must respect and observe the law of karma, because one is still subject to it.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Arupajhana7 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:07 pm

i am encouraged by some of what people say, that the Dzogchen Community places emphasis on treating each other with respect.

But I am wondering if the precepts, say the lay precepts, are widely used?

I am also agreeing with the statement that says now might be a time to sort of rest and not rush into anything.

I am still doing the short thun, white ah, and the song of the vajra.

Hoping some clear way forward will emerge in time.

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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:27 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:07 pm
i am encouraged by some of what people say, that the Dzogchen Community places emphasis on treating each other with respect.

But I am wondering if the precepts, say the lay precepts, are widely used?

I am also agreeing with the statement that says now might be a time to sort of rest and not rush into anything.

I am still doing the short thun, white ah, and the song of the vajra.

Hoping some clear way forward will emerge in time.
after 16 years of practice, i also still doing short thun, and/or white ah and the song of vajra daily. i mean a version of the guruyoga of white A.
it's a matter of quality of practice of guruyoga, not if elaborated, length, ritualistic stuff, fancy visualizations, etc.

:)

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Grigoris
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Re: Ethics, sangha, and Dzogchen

Post by Grigoris » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:47 pm

My teacher is a ngakpa in a a Dzogchen lineage and he just acts like a normal ethically-minded human being. It is not that difficult.
"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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