Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

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Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by pemachophel » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:20 pm

In this case, the OP knows where the mandala set came from and knows the history of its previous owner. As an extension of this thread, IME, it is important not to use antique Dharma objects you don't know the provenance of. These objects (maybe not so common on the market today as they once were) may look and feel really cool. "Wow! Just think of all the mantra or pujas, etc. Because it's old, it must be really blessed." But, in fact, unless we have clairvoyance, we don't know that. Could be that the previous owner was a samaya-breaker. Or maybe they used the implement to worship a Deity inimical to our own lineage. Always best to use Dharma implements which come from our own Teachers or lineages. If one knows that a mala has been blessed by someone in our lineage and our Teacher ok's its use (or even gives it to you), how wonderful! Otherwise, it's generally better to buy one new. Have your Teacher or a Lama in your lineage bless it and then "empower" it yourself with your own practice, faith, and pure samaya.

Just my two cents having once been a Tibetan antique dealer back in the early-mid 70s. I came by my experience the hard way.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Grigoris » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:25 am

pemachophel wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:20 pm
In this case, the OP knows where the mandala set came from and knows the history of its previous owner. As an extension of this thread, IME, it is important not to use antique Dharma objects you don't know the provenance of. These objects (maybe not so common on the market today as they once were) may look and feel really cool. "Wow! Just think of all the mantra or pujas, etc. Because it's old, it must be really blessed." But, in fact, unless we have clairvoyance, we don't know that. Could be that the previous owner was a samaya-breaker. Or maybe they used the implement to worship a Deity inimical to our own lineage. Always best to use Dharma implements which come from our own Teachers or lineages. If one knows that a mala has been blessed by someone in our lineage and our Teacher ok's its use (or even gives it to you), how wonderful! Otherwise, it's generally better to buy one new. Have your Teacher or a Lama in your lineage bless it and then "empower" it yourself with your own practice, faith, and pure samaya.

Just my two cents having once been a Tibetan antique dealer back in the early-mid 70s. I came by my experience the hard way.
I have to agree with in spirit, but I am going to play devil's advocate too:

1. I think we over-estimate the effect of others on implements and underestimate our effect on them.
2. I believe that a large part of the effect may just be dogs teeth and creek water.
3. Why do we place some much importance on "personal" objects, yet ignore that public objects (rupa, practice spaces, etc...) may also have negative "vibes", since we cannot know the motivations of those that practiced in those spaces, or in front of the publicly displayed/available objects.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by pemachophel » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:07 pm

Grigoris,

In Vajrayana, we most certainly don't ignore those things. We don't wear secondhand clothes, unless they come from our Teachers or senior practitioners in our lineage. We generally do not buy secondhand things. We don't eat food from people we're not sure about in terms of virtue and vice and samaya. I've seen my Teachers many times avoid eating or drinking this or that offered by someone whose samaya They questioned. We are careful to avoid all the drib-pa/obscuration and nol-wa/defilement we can. Everything used by another and the person themselves may be contaminated by drib-pa. So we're also careful with whom we touch, whose eating utensils we share, who we kiss, and, especially, who we have sex with. I know this is all somewhat antithetical to modern Western mores and lifestyle, but, in any case, that's on the avoidance side.

When we can't avoid, we have all sorts of practices for purifying drib and nol. Drib-sang is mostly for cleansing persons. Nol-sang is more for cleansing places and material objects, such as clothes. (This is according to the Dudjom Tersar tradition. However, in a pinch, they can be used interchangeably.) Then there are Bhurkumkuta practices for cleansing the obscuring effects of broken samaya (meaning the influence of other's broken samaya on us). We also have tru-sol/chab-tru for washing people and places, such as houses and places of business. And, of course, we have the Hundred-syllable Mantra. We are also careful to purify offerings with RAM, YAM, KHAM, etc. During the last years of His life, anyone allowed in to see Chatral Rinpoche had to be fumigated with drib-sang before being allowed in the door. When we have public empowerments at our center and we don't know everyone who is going to show up, we burn drib-sang at the font door.

Of course, if one has some real power and Realization, one may be able to "over-ride" drib and nol. But, in my experience, most Lamas are pretty careful about this kind of contamination which goes well beyond just ritual implements and tantric appliances.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Yeshe Dorje » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:20 am

Pema Chophel's statements about second hand things has given me a lot to think about. One of my favourite things to do is troll the second hand shops-often to look for Dharma books! In fact, after 20ish years of studying various types of mostly non-vajrayana Buddhism, it was finding a copy of LZR's book Heart of the Path that helped me come to terms with the idea of Guru devotion and set me squarely on the vajrayana path.

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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:42 am

pemachophel wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:07 pm
When we can't avoid, we have all sorts of practices for purifying
Could you give some instructions how to for example use vajrasattva mantra to purify it (unless it is a secret thing ofcourse). Also would offering the clothes or books to the three jewels help? I have read of such practice in one ngöndro manual (maybe Patrul Rinpoche's WoMPT or also Khenchen Khonchog Gyaltsen's Diamond Rosary). What about vajra breathing? That should help against such defilments, right? (even such as meeting the wrong person, etc.)
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by pemachophel » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:09 pm

Miroku,

Whenever we buy new clothes or any new object, it's appropriate to offer these up to the Guru and the Three Jewels. Then we imagine that 1) They are pleased with an accept the offering and 2) They give the offering back to us for our use. When we receive these back from the Guru and the Three Jewels we should think that the object has been blessed. So I guess you could say it has been "purified." But I mostly think of this as an offering practice, not a purification practice. For me, it's more an act of devotion to and expression of faith in the Guru and the Three Jewels, remembering always that the Guru and the Three Jewels are my supreme and ultimate Refuges. Because They are so important, I always should think of Them first in every moment of my life. If I remember correctly, this practice is in WOMPT.

One simple way to purify drib associated with some object is to sprinkle consecrated water from your activity bumpa onto the object, saying RAM YAM KHAM OM AH HUNG 3x and visualizing appropriately while saying the mantra. For instance, in retreat, if something from outside the boundaries has to come inside the boundaries (including a person), then we sprinkle it/them with bumpa water to remove any potential drib. Or, if we are doing a drub-pa, an intensive, multi-session, typically group practice, each time we re-enter the shrine-room, we take a sip of bumpa water to cleanse any drib we might have picked up between sessions. If you don't have a bumpa, then one can just use a fresh, clean glass of water and sprinkle the water with the stem of a flower saying the above mantra. Of course, the simplest and most effective way is to recognize the inherent emptiness of the object, oneself, and the concept of drib altogether. In fact, this should be done after using whatever tantric method in any case.

As for Vajrasattva, you just take your Vajrasattva shower as usual with the thought that the shower is washing away both your sins (dig-pa) and obscurations (drib-pa), including any drib picked up from others.

I recommend asking one's Teacher (or any Lama you respect) for a drib-sang and a nol-sang practice. IMO, these should be part of any ngakpa's repertoire. Ri-wo Sang-chod is a generic sang offering and is wonderfully excellent. It can also be used. However, drib-sang and nol-sang are specific types of sang targeted at specific purposes. So there's nothing amiss in having these two specific types of sang as well as Ri-wo Sang-chod in your arsenal. (There are many types of specific sang: Wealth Deity sang, Naga sang, Protectors' sang, windhorse sang, etc., each with their own focus and particular benefits.)
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:44 am

Thank you Pema! :twothumbsup: :anjali:
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:29 am

pemachophel wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:07 pm
Grigoris,

In Vajrayana, we most certainly don't ignore those things. We don't wear secondhand clothes, unless they come from our Teachers or senior practitioners in our lineage. We generally do not buy secondhand things. We don't eat food from people we're not sure about in terms of virtue and vice and samaya. I've seen my Teachers many times avoid eating or drinking this or that offered by someone whose samaya They questioned. We are careful to avoid all the drib-pa/obscuration and nol-wa/defilement we can. Everything used by another and the person themselves may be contaminated by drib-pa. So we're also careful with whom we touch, whose eating utensils we share, who we kiss, and, especially, who we have sex with. I know this is all somewhat antithetical to modern Western mores and lifestyle, but, in any case, that's on the avoidance side.
Having an issue with the karmic (evidently) effects of wearing second hand clothes, while disregarding (I assume) the fact that a large amount of newer clothing, electronics, consumable resources and general produce of the modern world is essentially made by slave labor, -and is sometimes even the produce of violence- seems like a self-serving approach to me. I don't mean any disrespect, but I just don't see any way around a better ethical calculus there.

If one can somehow acquire new obscurations via wearing the clothes of a samaya breaker or all around bad dude, then how much more obscuration do we acquire by simply using all the things in life which are the result of someone else's suffering - again a large number of things in modern society, to a degree that they are unavoidable? If that is the case, then we should not be putting gas in our vehicles, and we should also be avoiding plane travel, as well as other things which are both a result of, and directly give money towards things like weapons systems.

If we can acquire such things as obscuration from objects, it seems quite convenient to me to pick and choose like that.

Not remotely questioning the value of this sort of purification in daily life of course, and I certainly get the logic with ritual implements.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by pemachophel » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm

Johnny,

You make good points. So purify everything.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:55 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm
Johnny,

You make good points. So purify everything.
Yeah, that makes sense. :thumbsup:
"...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: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Grigoris » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:22 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm
Johnny,

You make good points. So purify everything.
Or don't purify anything.

There is another slightly less OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) Vajrayana option where you realise you are the deity, all beings are your mandala, all sounds are mantra, all smells etc...
"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: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by pemachophel » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:42 pm

Whatever works.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:57 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:22 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm
Johnny,

You make good points. So purify everything.
Or don't purify anything.

There is another slightly less OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) Vajrayana option where you realise you are the deity, all beings are your mandala, all sounds are mantra, all smells etc...
That would be the serious mistake of forsaking the relative truth. As long as one is bound by, time, space, pain, hunger, and so forth, one is in the relative sphere and it is to be respected completely.

If one truly realized they were the deity, then one could partake of foul and divine foods with the same equanimity.

The fact that the Dudjom lineage produces substances such as Drib sang goes to show how seriously it is taken and how imperative it is for Vajrayana practitioners.

Take for instance King Trison Deutsen, who was a serious Vajrayana practitioner, with a Perfect guru (Guru Rinpoche) even he became obscured when his partner had an affair, aborted, and buried the baby at a misfortunate location. It was for that reason that Guru Rinpoche taught him the Guru Rinpoche sang we have today. Through this sang he was able to remove his obscurations.

Or take into consideration Lhatsun Namkha Jigme, who became obscured due to his students, and was unable to reveal the hidden land of Sikkim, through his revelation and performance of the Riwo Sang cho, he was able to clear his obscurations and open to gate to Sikkim.

If such greatly accomplished beings such as these take obscuration seriously, how much more we practitioners should.
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Re: Vajrayana purification

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:18 pm

Discussion split here viewtopic.php?f=52&t=31366.
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Re: Second hand mandala offering set

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:46 am

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:57 pm
That would be the serious mistake of forsaking the relative truth. As long as one is bound by, time, space, pain, hunger, and so forth, one is in the relative sphere and it is to be respected completely.

If one truly realized they were the deity, then one could partake of foul and divine foods with the same equanimity.
I did say "realised" in my comment. ;)

But let's not get our knickers twisted in a knot. Both my view and Lama Pema's view are orthodox views, they just come from different "levels" of Yoga.

And, in closing, it is important to understand an important fact:

Whether we like it or not, or as hard as we try to or not, we are connected to every single phenomenon in this universe (at the level of matter) as the material substance of this universe has been recycled an infinite number of times in an infinite number of combinations.

And even when we talk about demon worship, though it makes sense to avoid it, demon worship exists because of the fact that we are in Kali Yuga and we are ALL RESPONSIBLE for the fact that we are in Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga is a consequence of all of our karma.
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"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: Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by Matt J » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:24 pm

Stuff like this put me off of Vajrayana for a long time. I mean, I had no interest in becoming a Medieval Tibetan and still have no interest. I suppose it is fine for those who want it, but for those who don't, the Vajrayana tent is a big one. There are very old school lamas with jokes that are at least 500 years old and also very modern lamas who are adapting practices for Westerners and participating in brain research. So if some one is curious about the path, I would say keep an open mind and check it out for yourself.
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Re: Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by Sādhaka » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:56 pm

The main preliminary practice, which can also be the Main Practice if you understand the principle, is the GY/LN (I don’t like to abbreviate the names of Masters like many do, but I will abbreviate the names of practices on open forums like this).

You can practice the GY/LN for everything, the Main Practice and for relative things like regarding the topic of this thread. Now does this mean that relative results such as purifying etc. will come as quickly with the GY/LN as with more specific relative practices? Sometimes not apparently. But they can. And in the long run—and even in the short term—if you have confidence in your Teacher(s) you can only go right with the GY/LN.

Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche often told the story about when he visited a Gelug monastery near the Mongolian-Russian border, and they asked him to give a Dzogchen Teaching. He finally agreed, and told them how their GY/LN of Tsongkhapa (Chögyal Namkhai Norbu practiced this himself I believe in his Sakyapa college) can be Dzogchen practice (he often cited Guru Padmasambhava regarding this). They weren’t satisfied, because they apparently didn’t get it, and insisted on getting a Teaching on the Base, Path, and Fruition of Dzogchen. Of course they weren’t wrong for requesting that; although the point of the story is that they made a mistake by not seeing at first how their GY/LN of Tsongkhapa could become Dzogchen practice.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said that GY/LN is the best Transference practice at the time of death, i.e. you don’t necessarily need some other more complicated visualizations.

The Yongdzin Rinpoche Lopon Tenzin Namdak has also said something along these lines, and related to the GY/LN for also accomplishing relative goals.

And if you’re a follower or student of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, he has said similar things as well.

Now if you are a Gelugpa who hasn’t received any Dzogchen Teaching, then you’re probably wondering how your Tsongkhapa GY/LN could become Dzogchen practice. I won’t discuss it in detail here, but if you want to know more about what Guru Padmasambhava said about this, then feel free to PM me.

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Re: Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:20 pm

Matt J wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:24 pm
Stuff like this put me off of Vajrayana for a long time. I mean, I had no interest in becoming a Medieval Tibetan and still have no interest. I suppose it is fine for those who want it, but for those who don't, the Vajrayana tent is a big one. There are very old school lamas with jokes that are at least 500 years old and also very modern lamas who are adapting practices for Westerners and participating in brain research. So if some one is curious about the path, I would say keep an open mind and check it out for yourself.
What on earth does obscuration have to do with being a "Medieval Tibetan"?

You mean to imply the Vajrayana teachings and the words of Guru Rinpoche are faulty, outdated, magical thinking, because they do not seem sensible to yourself?
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Re: Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by Sādhaka » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:44 pm

About my previous post, if your Teacher(s) hasn’t/haven’t told you anything about this, it does not mean that they don’t know it or that they’re not right for not explaining it to you.

Every Teacher has their own emphasis on what and how they teach, and so one should follow that.

If however you’ve received any GY/LN from your Teacher(s), you could certainly apply what I posted about.

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Re: Vajrayana purification split from "Second hand mandala offering set"

Post by heart » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:47 pm

Matt J wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:24 pm
Stuff like this put me off of Vajrayana for a long time. I mean, I had no interest in becoming a Medieval Tibetan and still have no interest. I suppose it is fine for those who want it, but for those who don't, the Vajrayana tent is a big one. There are very old school lamas with jokes that are at least 500 years old and also very modern lamas who are adapting practices for Westerners and participating in brain research. So if some one is curious about the path, I would say keep an open mind and check it out for yourself.
All this stuff Lama Pema Chöpel mentions can also be found in a text Jigme Lingpa translated by Tulku Thondup in the book Enlightened Living. It might seem weird to you but Jigme Lingpa certainly know what he was talking about. To develop sensitivity to our surroundings and use that to embrace the way we live our lives with Dharma is without doubt a very fresh take on things, so hardly medieval.

/magnus
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