Decreased interest in Tantric practice

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Johnny Dangerous
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Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm

I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?
"...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

Simon E.
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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:54 pm

I don’t think you need handle it in any active sense Johnny. There are times and seasons of practice. They arise naturally and pass naturally.
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Josef » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:00 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?
This could actually be a positive thing.
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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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:14 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?
100% guru yoga.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Norwegian » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:14 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?
100% guru yoga.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/86/a3/78 ... c24a10.jpg
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Tata1 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:59 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?

One sadhana a day is quite a lot :)

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:17 pm

Tata1 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:59 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?

One sadhana a day is quite a lot :)
It's not daily, it's a weekly commitment, and I usually do it with a group.

Anyway, the conflict I'm finding is that my Vajra brothers and sisters with whom I regularly interact in meatspace are not Dzogchenpa for the most part, and tend to be much more excited about and focused on initiations etc. than I am. It's not as if I don't consider what I've received precious, or that I'm trying to throw them out, they just often feel...redundant at this point. I am wondering if that's the wrong way to look at them.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:26 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:17 pm

Anyway, the conflict I'm finding is that my Vajra brothers and sisters with whom I regularly interact in meatspace are not Dzogchenpa for the most part, and tend to be much more excited about and focused on initiations etc. than I am. It's not as if I don't consider what I've received precious, or that I'm trying to throw them out, they just often feel...redundant at this point. I am wondering if that's the wrong way to look at them.
You are a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. He is, according to you, your root guru. According to him, if you do not know what to practice, then practice guru yoga.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:26 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:17 pm

Anyway, the conflict I'm finding is that my Vajra brothers and sisters with whom I regularly interact in meatspace are not Dzogchenpa for the most part, and tend to be much more excited about and focused on initiations etc. than I am. It's not as if I don't consider what I've received precious, or that I'm trying to throw them out, they just often feel...redundant at this point. I am wondering if that's the wrong way to look at them.
You are a student of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. He is, according to you, your root guru. According to him, if you do not know what to practice, then practice guru yoga.
Sometimes the simplest answer is the hardest to see for some reason.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Malcolm » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:42 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:33 pm

Sometimes the simplest answer is the hardest to see for some reason.
Image

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Simon E. » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:46 pm

:smile:
“You don’t know it. You just know about it. That is not the same thing.”

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to me.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Sennin » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:43 pm

When the honeymoon phase is over is when one decides how and in what way they want the relationship to go.
Some don't make it past the honeymoon with the dharma.

How y'all like my analogies? :shrug:

:smile:

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:59 pm

I think, in a lot of ways everything starts out on a superficial level.
When we are new to the practice, even when we are really into it, we haven’t really related to it or absorbed it into many life situations. It’s more like a new diversion.

After a while, we get tired of the diversion and then we are at a fork in the road: do we go do something else, or keep working with the practice? Very often, it ends up being one and then the other. We stop devoting much time to practice for now, but then all the reasons of samsara that drew us to the practice are still there, and we go back, but this time, the practice seems different. It’s not as shallow. It’s a bit deeper. The symbolism takes on new meaning. It’s more flexible.

After that, it’s pretty rare to walk away from it completely. It becomes really ingrained. Practicing dharma is practicing dharma, and not practicing is also practicing dharma. Everything, even not practice, becomes practice.
Some people do, after decades, suddenly decide it wasn’t for them at all.
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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:00 pm

I think, in a lot of ways everything starts out on a superficial level. Even deeply superficial!
When we are new to the practice, even when we are really into it, we haven’t really related to it or absorbed it into many life situations. It’s more like a new diversion.

After a while, we get tired of the diversion and then we are at a fork in the road: do we go do something else, or keep working with the practice? Very often, it ends up being one and then the other. We stop devoting much time to practice for now, but then all the reasons of samsara that drew us to the practice are still there, and we go back, but this time, the practice seems different. It’s not as shallow. It’s a bit deeper. The symbolism takes on new meaning. It’s more flexible.

After that, it’s pretty rare to walk away from it completely. It becomes really ingrained. Practicing dharma is practicing dharma, and not practicing is also practicing dharma. Everything, even not practice, becomes practice.
Some people do, after decades, suddenly decide it wasn’t for them at all.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:08 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:00 pm
I think, in a lot of ways everything starts out on a superficial level. Even deeply superficial!
When we are new to the practice, even when we are really into it, we haven’t really related to it or absorbed it into many life situations. It’s more like a new diversion.

After a while, we get tired of the diversion and then we are at a fork in the road: do we go do something else, or keep working with the practice? Very often, it ends up being one and then the other. We stop devoting much time to practice for now, but then all the reasons of samsara that drew us to the practice are still there, and we go back, but this time, the practice seems different. It’s not as shallow. It’s a bit deeper. The symbolism takes on new meaning. It’s more flexible.

After that, it’s pretty rare to walk away from it completely. It becomes really ingrained. Practicing dharma is practicing dharma, and not practicing is also practicing dharma. Everything, even not practice, becomes practice.
Some people do, after decades, suddenly decide it wasn’t for them at all.
.
.
.

This isn't so much about not practicing, not making time for it etc. I do a surprisingly good job of that given my other responsibilities (job, kids, wife, family, all my worldly hobbies and fun distractions lol), It's mainly that at one time Tantra attracted me, the more bells and whistles the better. These days I find all the bells and whistles a little exhausting, and can't seem to generate the enthusiasm around them that I see in others. Other than my weekly group practice, which has grown into something deep, I look at all the work it takes to "get it right" with Tantric practices and I just feel tired.

It may swing back the other way one day, this is just where I'm at, and was wondering if others have been here.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:19 pm

My introduction to Buddhism was Vajrayana and that’s still my main study, even if I’m not always engaged in practice.
But, you know, it is awfully elaborate when compared to, say, Zen. I actually like visiting a local Thai temple, which is also very elaborate in many ways, but also very simple.
What I’ve come to discover (realize?) is that after some 2500 years or so, the BuddhaDharma itself is a really vast universe.
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. It’s okay to take a break and explore other traditions, not with the aim of resetting your focus, but sometimes just to help open things up a little bit when things start feeling a little cramped, mentally.
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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Sennin » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:27 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:08 pm
It may swing back the other way one day, this is just where I'm at, and was wondering if others have been here.
I swing back and forth between elaborate and exceedingly unelaborate. It just depends where one is, what feels most conducive and they're level of comfort. If one's a dzogchenpa, everything is subsumed into guruyoga.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:32 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:08 pm

This isn't so much about not practicing, not making time for it etc. I do a surprisingly good job of that given my other responsibilities (job, kids, wife, family, all my worldly hobbies and fun distractions lol), It's mainly that at one time Tantra attracted me, the more bells and whistles the better. These days I find all the bells and whistles a little exhausting, and can't seem to generate the enthusiasm around them that I see in others. Other than my weekly group practice, which has grown into something deep, I look at all the work it takes to "get it right" with Tantric practices and I just feel tired.

It may swing back the other way one day, this is just where I'm at, and was wondering if others have been here.
This relates to a question I posted recently about whether there is such a thing as “casual vajrayana”. I heard a good one once: the dharma is like the ocean. Some people go to the beach and look at it. Some go splashing a little. Others go surfing, others go deep sea diving and some sail huge ships through it. But, you can’t say that one person is enjoying the ocean more than the others. Everybody’s experiences are equally valid. The Dharma is like that.

I have also heard it said that at first, you practice Dharma to help you manage your life, then at some point you start to manage your life so that you have more time to practice Dharma! They may not be true for everybody, but it is true for a lot of vajrayana students.
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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:27 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:32 pm
This relates to a question I posted recently about whether there is such a thing as “casual vajrayana”.
No, not really, since the whole point of Vajrayāna is to take the result as the path.

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Re: Decreased interest in Tantric practice

Post by tobes » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:17 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:17 pm
Tata1 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:59 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:51 pm
I have found my interest in new Tantric practices waning over time. Prior to taking teachings from ChNN I received a lot of initiations, and generally took attending them quite seriously. Since this time I have the reoccurring feeling that I have enough of them, and find it harder to get all ginned up about them. I do one Sadhana regularly and that's about it.

I have an opportunity coming up to receive an empowerment I should probably get, but at the time, I don't feel particularly inspired. I will be attending the retreat where it's being offered regardless.

How does one handle this?

One sadhana a day is quite a lot :)
It's not daily, it's a weekly commitment, and I usually do it with a group.

Anyway, the conflict I'm finding is that my Vajra brothers and sisters with whom I regularly interact in meatspace are not Dzogchenpa for the most part, and tend to be much more excited about and focused on initiations etc. than I am. It's not as if I don't consider what I've received precious, or that I'm trying to throw them out, they just often feel...redundant at this point. I am wondering if that's the wrong way to look at them.
I'd tread carefully. I've found that all Dharma methods I've received can degenerate very swiftly if they are not maintained with great diligence. Once degenerated, they can seem less useful, even meaningless. Then, they can become restored, and one can see how the problem was not in the Dharma method, but in the way it was being treated.

But this is merely the starting point.

The deeper point is to continually meditate on which approach will actually liberate you. It sounds to me like you are gaining confidence that you have a true answer to this, and this at least part of your sense that other ways are redundant.

I can relate; been going through a very similar thing.

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