Author Topic: Tantric Ethics  (Read 4405 times)

Chokyi Wangpo

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Tantric Ethics
« on: January 10, 2010, 09:01:29 pm »
I've been thinking about this for quite sometime and this: http://www.freesangha.com/forums/index.php?topic=443.0 really got thinking about some of the problems, issues and controversies in Tibetan Buddhism.

1. Abusive Guru's. The list is kind of long, from Kalu Rinpoche being accused by June Campbell, to Chogyam Trungpa, Osel Tendzin, Sogyal Rinpoche and others. (Note i am not asserting that any of these people were abusive, merely there have been reports).

2. Misinterpretation of the Tantras. Most Vajrayana practioners are aware of the injunction that they are not to be practiced literally or one can arise as a Rudra. This has happened in the past, and as Dr. Alexander Berzin states this one of the reason why Indian masters were invited to Tibet after Langdarma. Also one's view should be as high as possible, but your actions should always accord with the Hinayana and Mahayana.

3. Dharmakara has some problems with Tibetan Buddhism as well: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,4346,0,0,1,0http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/approaching_buddhism/world_today/introduction_buddhist_sexual_ethics.html, the environment, ideal socio-economic politics (in other words practical application of Buddhist ethics.)

Btw here is a link to the Vajrayana samayas (by no means an after thought):http://www.khandro.net/TibBud%20_vajrayana.htm

I believe and open discussion of these things would be helpful to beginners and nececsarry so that many can steer clear of many of the pitfalls.
What do all of you think. (and please no answers like, there is no I that I can find, aside from being obtuse they are not really helpful.)
 

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 10:39:32 pm »
DK has his reasons.

But that's all I really have to say, the rest I just can't answer to.  Abuse, misrepresented tantras, confusing vows, cults, countries that engage in war, this is human nature.  And we're humans.

Not to sluff all this off, I really don't mean to.  But vajrayana imho has a lot of stuff just like other sects of Buddhism has, and just as other world religions do.  It's because we're humans.

I do take exception to the remark about Lamas using the West as a piggy bank.  I don't think that's true, from what I've seen.

Kindly,
Laura

Chokyi Wangpo

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 11:00:41 pm »
Laura  I am not making the claim that Lamas use the Western world as a piggy bank. I am saying that is a view that some hold. And while I agree that these activies are human nature, particularly those humans who abuse power which are found in every human endeavor. I think an open discussion (w/o slandering) is helpful when it comes to seperating the bad apples from the authentic teachings. I can't even find a refutation to the Trimondi's In the Shadow of the Dalai Lama, although i think there used to be a thread at e-sangha about it. People are reluctant to talk about these things I understand. I think that these sorts of things are obstacles that maybe some of the older practioners could talk about, or those with personal experience could clarify.

I take exception to David Snellgrove's interpretation of the Hevajra, and what I learned contradicts many of his statements (or suggestions) about what was actually practiced. There are those that assert however that Western a being misled by Lamas who put on a man of peace face when in the west, but are infact not. My experience completely contradicts this, but anyone who has been practicing long enough (and with a computer) eventually comes across the Trimondi's and Carreons and these other views that what we are being taught is nice-nice version, and I think this is misleading and can be potentially damaging to people and caveats like this can be helpful.

With that in mind I think it is helpful to discuss the Ethics of tantra and what is really taught.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 09:41:51 am by Chokyi Wangpo »

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 11:27:47 pm »
Thank you for your thoughtful explanation, Chokyi Wangpo.

I sincerely apologize if I seemed reactive. 

I'm sure this conversation will continue in a productive light.

Kind wishes,
Laura

Offline Pema Rigdzin

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 02:54:13 am »
With that in mind I think it is helpful to discuss the Ethics of tantra and what is really taught.

Chokyi,

We just have to think carefully about what we intend write about Vajrayana, considering the root and branch samayas concerning discretion. You don't want to find yourself like I recently did, reading a commentary on the Guhyagarbha detailing the karmic effects of talking about things that you had less-than-mindfully decided to post about (in my case on a different site), though with helpful intentions, and then desperately wishing to get that stuff deleted. I don't say this as a big, bad, foreboding moderator, just as a fellow Vajrayana practitioner.

Chokyi Wangpo

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2010, 06:47:09 am »
I am not talking about, talking about specifics, I am looking with an eye to the future in the west. Please read the link to Dharmakara's letter.
Also the Samayas are really important, and I have no intention of contradicting them, and please bear in mind that I am not advocating disparaging any teachers or traditions, or openly discussing that which should not be openly discussed. In fact I think that is part of the problem with alot of the older western scholars. I think their works can be misleading (some I feel intentionally so).

 I actually wasn't made aware of the Root and Branch vows until well after my first couple empowerments, simply had no idea, and I really wish that i had been, and I often wonder how common this is.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 09:36:08 am by Chokyi Wangpo »

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2010, 11:59:02 am »
Quote from: Chokyi Wangpo
I actually wasn't made aware of the Root and Branch vows until well after my first couple empowerments, simply had no idea, and I really wish that i had been, and I often wonder how common this is.

I wonder if it's tradition-specific?

 :pray:


Offline Pema Rigdzin

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2010, 02:50:07 pm »
I am not talking about, talking about specifics, I am looking with an eye to the future in the west. Please read the link to Dharmakara's letter.
Also the Samayas are really important, and I have no intention of contradicting them, and please bear in mind that I am not advocating disparaging any teachers or traditions, or openly discussing that which should not be openly discussed. In fact I think that is part of the problem with alot of the older western scholars. I think their works can be misleading (some I feel intentionally so).

 I actually wasn't made aware of the Root and Branch vows until well after my first couple empowerments, simply had no idea, and I really wish that i had been, and I often wonder how common this is.

Chokyi,

Since I wasn't sure exactly what you intended to say about "tantric ethics and what is really taught" I figured I would try to save you the mental turmoil I went through when I ended up speaking too openly and later regretted it. What about tantric ethics were you thinking of getting into?

P.S. Again, please don't take this as "moderation," because that's not intended. I will be sure to make it clear anytime I'm ever compelled to wear that hat. I think I'll make a new thread with an intro to that effect so it will be known and people can be at ease.

Cadfael

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 01:41:51 pm »

 Dharmakara has some problems with Tibetan Buddhism as well: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,4346,0,0,1,0


Is this the same Dharmakara who is the new global moderator at Freesangha?

Chokyi Wangpo

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 10:08:42 am »
I am not sure, but I think so. Please correct me if I am wrong

Chokyi Wangpo

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 10:35:26 am »
Here is another question relating more to practice in the west. How many people in the west who have been given permission to practice in cemetaries (cause I don't know of any charnel grounds) have actually done/do so? There is a totally different set of expectations in the west than from India/Tibet/Nepal etc. So how do these types of practices translate?

So to clarify what I am getting at Pema, which I have really been unable to do so far, is that this topic has many facets: From the misinterpretation of what it means to be a Tantrika, Sadhaka, etc (this includes those controversial issues) to traditional practices that we don't really see often in the west. For many the initial sight of tradition Chod instruments (i.e. authentic kangling) make people go  :eek: so there is much to be done as far as laying a ground work for understanding. We don't have itinerant yogis and sadhus (at least as far as I am aware) wandering around in the west (yet?). Hell as far as I understand there are still some extremely negative connotations of the Tantra in India. The thought of Dakinis (what we'd call mundane dakinis) freaks Indians out.

Does a ground work actually need to be laid for people to understand the what practitioners of the Secret Mantrayana are actually doing? I don't know, there is a tension here between keeping certain levels secret from the uninitiated until they are ready/ have recieved actual teachings (and maintaining the power of the transmission and samayas) and quelling people's unease. It might help when the inevitable loon with no lineage reads some traditionally secret text that some scholar made available to everyone and begins practicing the literal interpretation. I am really just pondering aloud, about how it will all translate to the west in the future.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 10:39:24 am by Chokyi Wangpo »

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2010, 11:36:25 am »
Great post Chokyi Wangpo   :pray:

Dharmakara

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 11:48:00 am »
Dear Chokyi,

Please don't read too much into that letter. I have no issue in regard to the Tibetan tradition... the letter was in regard to the amount of fluff journalism at the time, nothing more less than an excercise in critical thought.

Metta.

Chokyi Wangpo

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2010, 12:26:20 pm »
ok. Thank you for your reply, and I would never take a single letter as indication of an overall stance anyhow. I leave that for the talking heads on television and archaeologist/historians (who I often feel take the smallest smattering of physical evidence and make undue broad generalizations).

Dharmakara

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Re: Tantric Ethics
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2010, 12:33:21 pm »
I'm friends with the founding editor over there and he requested that I write it as a means to encourage discussion so that collectively we learn to confront such issues, otherwise they have a tendency to reoccur... like they, history repeats itself :)

Metta.

 


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