Author Topic: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution  (Read 8440 times)

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2012, 10:30:59 pm »
What is, is transdual. The transdual creates the dual.
Check out the quote from the L.A. Times about the Higgs Mechanism in the thread called "Higgs Boson".
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2012, 10:12:12 am »
What is, is transdual. The transdual creates the dual.
a.k.a. panentheism.    :wink1:

My thesis is that Buddha Dharma can be said to be non-theistic from the Pali up through the Sutrayana, including Sutrayana Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Since the Sutrayana is a complete path to enlightenment this would seem to be the best choice for those that are still traumatized by the monotheism of the West.

But when it gets to deity yoga and such, it becomes polytheistic in approach and technique. Finally, with realization those deities are dissolved into emptiness and it becomes panentheistic in effect and result (unless you're Gelug or Sakya).

So you can't say it is just one way. It changes, depending on what you are practicing. That's why it can seem so complicated!

But that's just my opinion...    :twocents:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 11:45:53 am by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2012, 12:02:09 pm »
But when it gets to deity yoga and such, it becomes polytheistic in approach and technique.

I'm not sure I follow .....

I do diety yoga practices and they don't strike me at polytheistic in either approach or technique - at least not in practice.  In fact I don't see it as theistic at all.

Could you expand on that a bit perhaps?


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Finally, with realization those deities are dissolved into emptiness and it becomes panentheistic in effect and result (unless you're Gelug or Sakya).

What if you're a Gelug or Sakya?

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2012, 12:48:25 pm »
But when it gets to deity yoga and such, it becomes polytheistic in approach and technique.
I'm not sure I follow .....

I do diety yoga practices and they don't strike me at polytheistic in either approach or technique - at least not in practice.  In fact I don't see it as theistic at all.

Could you expand on that a bit perhaps?
Specifically I'm talking here about the creation phase of practice. When you visualize the deity you are creating a "damstig-sempa". That is just your mind imagining the deity. They you invoke the "yeshe-sempa" which is the actual transcendent deity and merge it with your visualization. And since there are multiple deities you can do this with that sounds pretty polytheistic to me.

But basically if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck--it's a duck!

In the completion phase of practice the deity is dissolved into emptiness with everything else. With a consummate practice this leaves the meditator with the ability to see the phenomenal world as being the manifestation of that perfect emptiness. The deity is gone, but has left behind enlightenment.

So if your teacher told you it wasn't a duck this is probably what he was referring to and you should listen to him. I qualified what I said before as being "just my opinion."

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Quote
Finally, with realization those deities are dissolved into emptiness and it becomes panentheistic in effect and result (unless you're Gelug or Sakya).

What if you're a Gelug or Sakya?
I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me. :shrug:
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 01:02:16 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2012, 01:15:10 pm »

Specifically I'm talking here about the creation phase of practice. When you visualize the deity you are creating a "damstig-sempa". That is just your mind imagining the deity.

I've been taught that in the d=creation stage of practice you visualize yourself as diety.

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They you invoke the "yeshe-sempa" which is the actual transcendent deity and merge it with your visualization. And since there are multiple deities you can do this with that sounds pretty polytheistic to me.

Well, if you are viewing these "deities" as real, live beings external to yourself, then yes, it could be viewed as polytheism.  I've been taught to view these so-called deities as representative of the qualities of enlightened being and not something external to myself.  They become mnemonic devices - a tool to recall important aspects of the practice.

So with that in mind, the assertion of polytheism doesn't appear to hold up - at least not in the case of how I was taught my deity practices.


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In the completion phase of practice the deity is dissolved into emptiness with everything else.


yes, and this means the visualization is as illusory and self-liberating as any other phenomena, thus it cannot be viewed as ultimately real.

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With a consummate practice this leaves the meditator with the ability to see the phenomenal world as being the manifestation of that perfect emptiness. The deity is gone, but has left behind enlightenment.

The deity, as something external, was never there to begin with.

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So if your teacher told you it wasn't a duck this is probably what he was referring to and you should listen to him. I qualified what I said before as being "just my opinion."

Of course.  I understand that.  I'm just pointing out (albeit rather feebly) that my experience and the instruction I've recieved doesn't support your opinion.


Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2012, 02:17:31 pm »
...my experience and the instruction I've recieved doesn't support your opinion.
Yeah, there are very few people that see this the way I do--and those that do know better than to talk about it!  :smack:
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

Offline francis

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2012, 02:33:28 pm »
What is, is transdual. The transdual creates the dual.
a.k.a. panentheism.    :wink1:

My thesis is that Buddha Dharma can be said to be non-theistic from the Pali up through the Sutrayana, including Sutrayana Mahamudra and Dzogchen. Since the Sutrayana is a complete path to enlightenment this would seem to be the best choice for those that are still traumatized by the monotheism of the West.

But when it gets to deity yoga and such, it becomes polytheistic in approach and technique. Finally, with realization those deities are dissolved into emptiness and it becomes panentheistic in effect and result (unless you're Gelug or Sakya).

So you can't say it is just one way. It changes, depending on what you are practicing. That's why it can seem so complicated!

But that's just my opinion...    :twocents:


Great post santamonicacj.  Thanks for the explanation on the differences and sameness of panentheism and non-theistic forms of Buddhism.

With Metta :)
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2012, 03:45:22 pm »
...my experience and the instruction I've recieved doesn't support your opinion.
Yeah, there are very few people that see this the way I do--and those that do know better than to talk about it!  :smack:

So, how did you come by this opinion?

It seems like you've taken a position based on appearances - how these diety practices appear to those who don't have a great deal of experience with them or are approaching them without the benefit of a guide/teacher.

I'm not saying that's the case with you, but I've heard that same sort of thing coming from people quite outside the practice community.

Do to practice deity yoga?  Which?

I've taken lung for Tara, Chenrizig and Medicine Buddha.  My most regular practice is a short Vajrasatva practice that doesn't require permission or lung to perform.  In fact, none those practices actually "requires" a lung.  They're all Kriya Yoga practices and can be taken up by the student at any time without permission, empowerment or transmission.  Lung was available and I took it.

You?

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #53 on: June 27, 2012, 05:37:39 pm »
Quote
So, how did you come by this opinion?
I'll give a couple examples: A certain lama had the only center in a large town. Other lamas from other lineages had centers in smaller towns on the outskirts of the big town. When asked about why that was so, he said, "I have a Mahakala on each of the two main bridges into town that keeps them away." He did puja to them every night.

That doesn't sound like he sees the deities as Jungian archetypes to me.

It has been my experience that when ethnically Tibetan lamas find out that we think the deities are fiction they usually are horrified. When we Westerners find out they are supposed to be real we are the ones that are usually horrified.

The issue of faith is quickly passed over in the texts. They don't make a big deal out of it like in Christianity. Why? Because it is assumed that everyone has faith. The lama that was the meditation instructor for my center said his parents told him that the deities would never fail him from the time he was in the cradle.

He told the story that he had been on retreat for 11 years when the Chinese attacked his monastery. Since he was on retreat the other monks didn't tell him that there were any problems. All had been quiet when he started the retreat. So when the explosions, gunfire and screams came he broke down the door to his retreat hut and started running, not even knowing what he was running from, but he had in his mind, "the 3 Jewels will protect me." He ended up in California.

Sounds polytheistic to me. But again, the Pali up through the Paramitayana can be practiced without any belief in deities. And even deity practice can be done successfully with a minimum of an open mind (imho). So there's plenty of room for skeptics in the Dharma tent. And ultimately the deities are all dissolved into emptiness anyway and the true Dharma is what remains in your own mind. So ultimately maybe you shouldn't say Vajrayana is polytheistic, but that it at a certain point it utilizes polytheism. That it's just one of the means to the ends. After all, if in the far distant future you become a Buddha, the deities will all prostrate to you.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 07:02:31 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2012, 07:46:02 pm »
Sounds polytheistic to me.

In the case of the monk and the Dharma Protector keeping his rivals at bay, that's superstition and not polytheism.

It's like cross your fingers for luck or not stepping on a spider for fear of rain, tomorrow.

You're also taking the conduct of people as the universally accepted meaning of the teaching.  If that works for you, that's fine.

But if I was to tell you that a green -colored car is Bad Luck and that if you owned one it could burst into flames with you in it and that a belief in the bad luck associated with green cars is common among car racers, would you let that prevent you from buying a green car?


The Dalai Lama believes that Dorje Shugden is harmful him personally.  Does that change your mind about his teaching
Think about that.

Is it polytheism you object to or is it merely superstition expressed by individuals?

The people who teach the Dharma are not the Dharma.

Food for thought or something to disregard ....  :D

Offline santamonicacj

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Re: Dzogchen Samplers - a caution
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2012, 08:40:41 pm »
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You're also taking the conduct of people as the universally accepted meaning of the teaching.  If that works for you, that's fine.
I prefaced this digression (the thread is about Dzogchen) with "this is my opinion". I still hold to that. However if I may I'll quote an authority on the subject.

I was at a teaching where the previous Kalu R. was asked if the deities were real. At that time Rinpoche was the senior meditation master for my school, and what he said was always totally by the book. I don't have the tape recording so I can't say that this is an exact quote, but it is pretty close so I'll put it in quotation marks:

"Well they are of the nature of emptiness, but you are also of the nature of emptiness. The difference is that you are an expression of defiled emptiness and they are an expression of undefiled emptiness."

At the time it sounded to me like Rinpoche was saying that they were more real than we are!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:43:03 pm by santamonicacj »
Warning: I'm enough of a fundamentalist Tibet style Buddhist to believe that for the last 1,000 years Tibet has produced a handful of enlightened masters in every generation. I do not ask that YOU believe it, but it will greatly simplify conversations if you understand that about me. Thanks.

 


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