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Hello Guys, I've only read about Tantric buddhism and find it quite intriguing.  

 

Has any of you practiced this archetypal form of medidation? If yes how do you start to get into it and what is the purpose? 

 

I'm really looking for any form of opinion you have formed throughout your practice. 

 

Thank you

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Hi,

 

Yes i practice tantric buddism (Karma Kagyu) - the only way to get started is to find a teacher and have an empowerment to do a sadhana.

 

My opinion is that it is a very effective and powerful form of practice provided you have a connection to it.  It is usual to study for a period and to do some basic Mahayana first.

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16 minutes ago, Apech said:

is usual to study for a period and to do some basic Mahayana first

Where do you find teachers? Do you have to become Buddhist or is anyone allowed to enter the practice without renouncing their faith say Muslim or Christian. 

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If one is Muslim or Christian there are other (similar) methods. 

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26 minutes ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

Where do you find teachers? Do you have to become Buddhist or is anyone allowed to enter the practice without renouncing their faith say Muslim or Christian. 

 

Since the core purpose of Buddhism, and specific to your query, Tantric Buddhism, is to lead a practitioner to become more aware of his or her own true nature, being a Christian or Muslim, in theory, ought not to be an impediment. In fact, imo, it will only serve to strengthen the individual's faith, on condition said individual approaches the path with an open mind & heart. 

 

There are no prerequisites for conversion in Tantric Buddhism. It does not demand servitude nor subservience to a supposed greater power outside of oneself. 

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27 minutes ago, Jeff said:

If one is Muslim or Christian there are other (similar) methods. 

Similar to Tantric buddhism? That's interesting, which ones are similar? 

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8 hours ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

Where do you find teachers? Do you have to become Buddhist or is anyone allowed to enter the practice without renouncing their faith say Muslim or Christian. 

 

What country are you in?  

 

If you have faith in Jesus or Mohammed then why would you practice Buddhism?

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11 hours ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

Similar to Tantric buddhism? That's interesting, which ones are similar? 

 

My background is more in mystical Christianity (or what I would call the “Christ” tradition). In the more institutional christianity view, the tantric aspects would be more called the power of the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus stated in the gospels...

 

John 14:10-17

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you askanything in My name, I will do it.15 “If you love Me, keepMy commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Apech said:

 

What country are you in?  

 

If you have faith in Jesus or Mohammed then why would you practice Buddhism?

I'm neither Muslim nor Christian but I am asking as to see how strict Tantric Buddhism is. 

 

I live in Canada. 

 

Thanks you for your answer :)

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56 minutes ago, Jeff said:

 

My background is more in mystical Christianity (or what I would call the “Christ” tradition). In the more institutional christianity view, the tantric aspects would be more called the power of the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus stated in the gospels...

3 minutes ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

I'm neither Muslim nor Christian but I am asking as to see how strict Tantric Buddhism is. 

 

I live in Canada. 

 

Thanks you for your answer :)

 

57 minutes ago, Jeff said:

 

My background is more in mystical Christianity (or what I would call the “Christ” tradition). In the more institutional christianity view, the tantric aspects would be more called the power of the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus stated in the gospels...

 

John 14:10-17

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you askanything in My name, I will do it.15 “If you love Me, keepMy commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

 

 

 

 

 

58 minutes ago, Jeff said:

 

My background is more in mystical Christianity (or what I would call the “Christ” tradition). In the more institutional christianity view, the tantric aspects would be more called the power of the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus stated in the gospels...

 

John 14:10-17

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you askanything in My name, I will do it.15 “If you love Me, keepMy commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's an interesting way to see it. How do you use these gospels in similarity with tantric buddhism tho? 🤔🤔🤔

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9 minutes ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

I'm neither Muslim nor Christian but I am asking as to see how strict Tantric Buddhism is. 

 

I live in Canada. 

 

Thanks you for your answer :)

 

I'm sure there's Vajrayana in Canada - depends which part of course.

 

If its Buddha-dharma then you really do have to be a Buddhist.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, SirPhillipJFry said:

That's an interesting way to see it. How do you use these gospels in similarity with tantric buddhism tho? 🤔🤔🤔

 

Mystical Christianity is taught by a teacher, and not really a book thing, as it is all about learning to control the underlying energy flows (similar to tantric buddhism).  If you are looking for a book to read on the topic, maybe take a look at Tau Malichi’s “Gnosis of a Cosmic Christ”.  He is one of the few people out there writing books that knows what he is talking about.

 

The challenge with all such approaches is that one must have first opened their heart for them to have much actual meaning/value. With that opening, one begins to have conscious access to their own flows. Later one can connect/integrate more with their environment.

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This raises a few interesting issues.

 

First, Tantric Buddhism isn't really about learning to control underlying energy flows in my opinion--- energy work may be one part of a part of it (by this, I mean completion stage with characteristics), but definitely not the only or even the most important point. Moreover, Tantric Buddhism is one part of an entire path. Unless one is interested in Buddhism generally, I don't think there will be much use in the Tantric portion. In other words, I don't think one can practice deity yoga apart from the other practices. I have posted a summary below of deity practice from an experienced Western teacher to give a brief overview. 

 

Second, I think one would find a great deal of difficulty integrating Vajrayana Buddhist and Christian practice. Many Mahayana practitioners would likely consider Christianity to be a form of eternalism, as it usually teaches about a permanent God and soul. Of course, how God and soul are glossed in Christianity is varied and vast, but the traditional teachings and sources tend to be quite dualistic. In addition, most Christian practitioners I know of in the end tend to compromise Buddhism in favor of Christianity or vice versa. However, at least one famous teacher had many Christian students (Chogyal Namkhai Norbu). 

 

Third, one of the hallmarks of the India-based religions is that you have three prongs: teacher, personal experience, and tradition. The tradition and personal experience prevent you from getting caught up with a bad teacher. The teacher and tradition prevent you from getting caught up in your own mind. And the teacher and personal experience is what actually brings the tradition to life. 

 

Does mystical Christianity have a similar tradition that performs such a check (outside of becoming a monk in Mt. Athos)?   

 

 

On 7/28/2019 at 7:50 AM, Jeff said:

 

Mystical Christianity is taught by a teacher, and not really a book thing, as it is all about learning to control the underlying energy flows (similar to tantric buddhism).  If you are looking for a book to read on the topic, maybe take a look at Tau Malichi’s “Gnosis of a Cosmic Christ”.  He is one of the few people out there writing books that knows what he is talking about.

 

Though there are many different styles of practice in this vehicle, the development stage and completion stage are often viewed as the hallmarks of tantric practice. The development stage uses visualization, mantra recitation, and deep states of concentration to disrupt the habitual tendency to view the world and its inhabitants as impure and truly existent. The imaginary process of visualizing oneself as a deity in a pure realm, for example, allows the practitioner to experience directly the fluid, ethereal nature of perception.

 

The completion stage has two components: the conceptual completion stage and nonconceptual completion stage. The first aims to harness the subtle energies of the body and consciously bring them into the central channel. These practices, which often involve intense yogic postures, focus on the link between the energetic body and the mind, the idea being that by controlling the former one will be able to undo the negative conditioning of the latter. The nonconceptual completion stage, by contrast, is an effortless approach.

Often associated with the Great Perfection and Mahamudra, this form of completion stage practice emphasizes recognizing the nature of mind and experiencing its pure expressions without the filter of dualistic fixation.

 

The gateway to tantric practice is empowerment, or abhisheka. Conferred by a guru, empowerments authorize students to practice the teachings of the Vajra Vehicle. Each lineage and style of practice has its own unique empowerments, which are said to “ripen” the students’ entire being and prepare them for tantric practice. The commitments of each empowerment are known as samaya vows.

 

https://learning.tergar.org/2011/11/18/the-nine-yanas/

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At its core, Buddhist tantra aims to disband all rigidly held notions of self, based on the understanding that this rigidity is the cause of the arising of dualistic mind. Its not a belief system (Tantra) but a dynamic practice that evolves and takes one deeper into inquiry against a backdrop of examination of experience. Therefore, i'd maintain the view that, with a bit of sincerity, flexibility and adjustment, Tantrayana enhances the individual practitioner's path, regardless of religious adherences. Ultimately, all is mind is a finality - the fruition of such a realization, the zenith of Buddhist praxis, is the culmination in the dissolution of habit-bound thoughts through developing boundless awareness of the self-perfected state. All background beliefs will eventually have to be surrendered, layer by layer, notion by notion, as the realization gradually crystallises. Its inevitable, therefore, that at some point, even the idea of enlightenment will eventually have to be let go of, and with that comes the dissolution of the wisdom-limiting fetters, all of which are intricately bound to self-identification. When such identification dies, the ultimate living Dharma, free of all labels, trappings and names, and the clinging to self-defeating philosophical memes, all these will gradually need to be deconstructed in order to set up the realization of what "cutting thru & leaping over" actually implies. At that stage of arrival at completion, even the subtle recollection of wonderful Buddhadharma can become a distraction. Effortless awareness is the pinnacle of the path... its attainment is free to anyone willing to let go of cherishing preferences in order for the meaning of equanimity, this seed at the heart of effortless awareness, to be fully penetrated. 

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I was listening to a very senior teacher yesterday and he said that although he teaches a complex technical path he has had to face the fact that most students cannot and do not follow it and instead their realisation arises from direct transmission from him.   And I believe that in 95% of cases humans enter realisation simply from transmission, and all the things they think they are doing are simply means to keep them sitting in the hall or in environment of transmission long enough that it happens.

Deity Yoga as I understand it is simply receiving transmission from an existing source, whilst at the same time believing that you can embody that state so that you do not maintain a servile position but believe in the practice.

One possible corruption to be aware of is that you are not actually receiving any transmission but are just imagining things.

Any traditional painting photo of a teacher guru or deity can provide a transmission if one wishes to receive it, if you can find a teacher who is in the right state then that can be more powerful, although most dharma teachers seem to be ordinary people.

Receiving it involves feeling it more and more strongly over time and gently listening to it so your intelligence accustoms itself to this higher state and then embodying it permanently so you live from it.   The feeling or "smell" of the state becomes you and you become it, you merge into it.   This change in your intelligence to sense a high and refined state of existence takes time and requires sensitive percolating of the state into you.

I have the idea that often Buddhist practices are too noisy with too much effort and not enough sensitive percolating.

 

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1 hour ago, C T said:

At its core, Buddhist tantra aims to disband all rigidly held notions of self, based on the understanding that this rigidity is the cause of the arising of dualistic mind. Its not a belief system (Tantra) but a dynamic practice that evolves and takes one deeper into inquiry against a backdrop of examination of experience. Therefore, i'd maintain the view that, with a bit of sincerity, flexibility and adjustment, Tantrayana enhances the individual practitioner's path, regardless of religious adherences. Ultimately, all is mind is a finality - the fruition of such a realization, the zenith of Buddhist praxis, is the culmination in the dissolution of habit-bound thoughts through developing boundless awareness of the self-perfected state. All background beliefs will eventually have to be surrendered, layer by layer, notion by notion, as the realization gradually crystallises. Its inevitable, therefore, that at some point, even the idea of enlightenment will eventually have to be let go of, and with that comes the dissolution of the wisdom-limiting fetters, all of which are intricately bound to self-identification. When such identification dies, the ultimate living Dharma, free of all labels, trappings and names, and the clinging to self-defeating philosophical memes, all these will gradually need to be deconstructed in order to set up the realization of what "cutting thru & leaping over" actually implies. At that stage of arrival at completion, even the subtle recollection of wonderful Buddhadharma can become a distraction. Effortless awareness is the pinnacle of the path... its attainment is free to anyone willing to let go of cherishing preferences in order for the meaning of equanimity, this seed at the heart of effortless awareness, to be fully penetrated. 

 Very, very well said. And worth repeating. 

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One common idea is that all that needs to happen is that you undo all the bad things in you and suddenly you are Buddha.

The problem with that is that in the lower world we live in, as you remove dark things and push them away from you, it will not be long before something else negative arrives to take its place, like rolling a boulder up a hill.

And such practices leads one to a very long and tiring journey.  

 

The benefit of deity yoga and transmission is that the high state is put inside you.

This itself prevents any dark stuff re-entering you, and of course saves you from have to fight with the low nature.

( in TTC it says the rhino finds to place to put its horn, in other words there is no more space for bad stuff because the light is inside)

 

Sure in the beginning in order to develop self-knowledge and inner orientation you will naturally be pushing and pulling your self and the low world around you, this is basic practice.

But if you wish to be successful you must simply enter a higher state directly and forget about anything else.

 

Fighting the darkness or imagining you will undo it and undo it and undo it ... and there's only a little bit left ... will lead you on a 500 year mission to nowhere.   The ego finds this idea really great, because as you continue to undo your karma (whilst new karma arrives from the other side) the ego ensures that you are not going anywhere, and that you learn nothing new.   And finally when you die the ego is still sitting in your head telling you "there is just this little bit left", and it will win and you will die.  

 

Deity Yoga and transmission  is the direct entry into a higher state, which itself cleans everything up.

 

It is interesting to note that Buddha himself had tried many technical paths and gained great competence, but was not happy until sitting under a tree "something happened" and finally he made it.

 

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1 hour ago, rideforever said:

 

I have the idea that often Buddhist practices are too noisy with too much effort and not enough sensitive percolating.

 

 

Some people find silence deafening. 

The bells & whistles have a dual purpose: One, it aims to cut thru discursive mind, and Two, it strengthens non-distraction. 

To the unfamiliar, noise is noise. If they go beneath the outer displays, they will understand the purpose of expedience, 

and remain open to it with a judgement-free prevalence of open minded curiosity. 

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12 minutes ago, C T said:

strengthens non-distraction. 

 

You cannot strengthen non-distraction.

What that would refer to is controlling.

For the lower mind, the ego, control is the only way it has to maintain the stability.  It pushes pulls concentrates.   

It understands nothing else.

For many spiritual people they imagine they make progress, but underneath all the robes and incense and empowerments, they understand nothing but strengthening their control.

If you listen carefully to what they say you will realise the sad reality.

 

An awakened state needs no control, but it requires the gentle percolation of understanding, so that your being ascends.

The state is maintained through understanding only.

 

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2 minutes ago, rideforever said:

 

You cannot strengthen non-distraction.

What that would refer to is controlling.

For the lower mind, the ego, control is the only way it has to maintain the stability.  It pushes pulls concentrates.   

It understands nothing else.

For many spiritual people they imagine they make progress, but underneath all the robes and incense and empowerments, they understand nothing but strengthening their control.

If you listen carefully to what they say you will realise the sad reality.

 

An awakened state needs no control, but it requires the gentle percolation of understanding, so that your being ascends.

The state is maintained through understanding only.

 

 

When you say "cannot" it indicates control more than you'd like to admit. 

 

Non-distraction is an insight. 

It dawns first as glimpses into the natural state, growing stronger with practice. 

Its like a spiritual muscle that needs nourishment and exercise. 

 

Just as tasting something, or listening to music are not predicated on the need for control,

cultivating non-distraction is not dissimilar. 

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That's an interesting thing to say, CT. A few questions and points of clarification:

 

1. You state that Tantra can enhance anyone's path. Accordingly, it would seem to follow that one may safely remove it from the Buddhist path-- i.e the teachings on morality, refuge, the Bodhisattva vow, bodhicitta, and so on--- and inserted into any religious path. You do not view the Buddhist path as an organic one, with its own rules and logic that should be followed? And that any spiritual traditional provides the proper context for Tantric practice? I must say this is an astounding conclusion! 

 

2. You state that all is mind is a finality. Do you find that emptiness is then a merely provisional teaching? If so, are you following Dolpopa? Or perhaps a more traditional Yogacara point of view? That would be an interesting position for a Dzogchenpa. 

 

3. Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche famously held that proper concepts were necessary to point to the non-conceptual ultimate, and that without proper concepts, reaching the nonconceptual ultimate would be impossible for nearly everyone. Do you disagree with him? If not, do you find that I am misstating his position? If you do not disagree, does that modify your position? 

 

I know my position is going to be widely unpopular in this modern age and specifically on this forum, but it seems to me that a tradition should be best approached on its own, without viewing it through the conceptual filters of other traditions. In other words, we should not mix them up based on personal preference. I wish there were an anti-like button so I could measure how unpopular such a position would be. :lol:

 

 

On 7/30/2019 at 6:03 AM, C T said:

At its core, Buddhist tantra aims to disband all rigidly held notions of self, based on the understanding that this rigidity is the cause of the arising of dualistic mind. Its not a belief system (Tantra) but a dynamic practice that evolves and takes one deeper into inquiry against a backdrop of examination of experience. Therefore, i'd maintain the view that, with a bit of sincerity, flexibility and adjustment, Tantrayana enhances the individual practitioner's path, regardless of religious adherences. Ultimately, all is mind is a finality - the fruition of such a realization, the zenith of Buddhist praxis, is the culmination in the dissolution of habit-bound thoughts through developing boundless awareness of the self-perfected state. All background beliefs will eventually have to be surrendered, layer by layer, notion by notion, as the realization gradually crystallises. Its inevitable, therefore, that at some point, even the idea of enlightenment will eventually have to be let go of, and with that comes the dissolution of the wisdom-limiting fetters, all of which are intricately bound to self-identification. When such identification dies, the ultimate living Dharma, free of all labels, trappings and names, and the clinging to self-defeating philosophical memes, all these will gradually need to be deconstructed in order to set up the realization of what "cutting thru & leaping over" actually implies. At that stage of arrival at completion, even the subtle recollection of wonderful Buddhadharma can become a distraction. Effortless awareness is the pinnacle of the path... its attainment is free to anyone willing to let go of cherishing preferences in order for the meaning of equanimity, this seed at the heart of effortless awareness, to be fully penetrated. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

That's an interesting thing to say, CT. A few questions and points of clarification:

 

Quote

1. You state that Tantra can enhance anyone's path. Accordingly, it would seem to follow that one may safely remove it from the Buddhist path-- i.e the teachings on morality, refuge, the Bodhisattva vow, bodhicitta, and so on--- and inserted into any religious path. You do not view the Buddhist path as an organic one, with its own rules and logic that should be followed? And that any spiritual traditional provides the proper context for Tantric practice? I must say this is an astounding conclusion! 

 

I think Tantra can provide proper context, and not the other way. 

Tantric Buddhism can be approached from either the scope of orthodoxy or radically liberal, non-conforming, non-ideating, crazy wisdom approach. Monastics tend towards the former, while the latter can be accessed by anyone, regardless of religious bent. A lot of the practice employs symbols, archetypes and so on, and these are to be understood as principles of enlightenment, ones that are not monopolised by any one school or tradition. Are you aware that the lamrim text was the first Tibetan text translated into a European language by a Jesuit priest who spent 5 years, from 1716 - 1721 studying Tibetan Buddhism? Its pretty astounding when you think about it, that a Christian missionary was largely responsible for pioneering the dissemination of Buddhadharma to the West. :) Not only that, but he laid the groundwork and paved the way for latter Western scholars and translators to access the vast collections of Tibetan Buddhist texts and secret instructions. 

 

 

Quote

 

2. You state that all is mind is a finality. Do you find that emptiness is then a merely provisional teaching? If so, are you following Dolpopa? Or perhaps a more traditional Yogacara point of view? That would be an interesting position for a Dzogchenpa. 

 

 

 

 

I am reminded of the precious words of Guru Padmasambhava here: 

 

“Mind” is discovered to be without something outside or inside. It does not have someone that looks; it is not the act of looking. It is experienced as a great original wakefulness without center or edge, an immense all-pervasiveness that is primordially empty and free. This original wakefulness is intrinsic and self-existing. It is not made right now, but is present within yourself from the very beginning. Decide firmly that the view is to recognize just that! To “possess confidence” in this means to realize that like space, mind is spontaneously present from the beginning. Like the sun, it is free from any basis for the darkness of ignorance. Like a lotus flower, it is untainted by faults. Like gold, it doesn’t alter its own nature. Like the ocean, it is unmoving. Like a river, it is unceasing. Like Mount Sumeru, it is utterly unchanging.Once you realize that this is how it is [and stabilize it], that is called “possessing the view of realization.”

 

"When you realize that all that appears and exists to be your mind, there is no path of enlightenment apart from that." 

 

Emptiness teachings, which are provisional, are therefore incumbent on the recognition of mind essence, which is the ultimate emptiness since its real nature is inseparable from Dharmakaya. Without that recognition, the teachings will always remain dogmatic and provisional, relative and inconsequential. Its like talking about the exquisite taste of an exotic fruit that one has yet to experience. 

 

 

Quote
Quote

 

3. Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche famously held that proper concepts were necessary to point to the non-conceptual ultimate, and that without proper concepts, reaching the nonconceptual ultimate would be impossible for nearly everyone. Do you disagree with him? If not, do you find that I am misstating his position? If you do not disagree, does that modify your position? 

 

 

 

 

There is no disagreement with the position and wisdom of Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, which incidentally does not negate what I have stated. With the right motivation, which takes precedence over every other considerations as a practitioner, it is possible that one can bypass rigid conceptual frameworks and attain liberation. That is why Tibetan Buddhist literature, and many testimonials from masters are replete with accounts of ordinary folks - farmers, peasants, herders, secret practitioners all - who attained rainbow bodies merely from the power of devotion and little else. 

Quote

 

 

Edited by C T
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Apologies for the messy post. Im just starting to learn how to format replies properly :)

 

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I have not heard that emptiness teachings are provisional. I tend to focus primarily on the Kagyu school, where it is quite clear that emptiness teachings are not provisional. However, I have had great fortune to take Dzogchen teachings from several teachers. Of course, I will not share the secrets they revealed, but I can share some public information from both schools in widely available books. Perhaps your teacher(s) do teach that emptiness is merely provisional, and mind ultimately exists. Would you be willing to share with me which teachers have taught so? 

 

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:

 

Quote

Mind is empty, we don’t have to make it empty. It’s not that there is something remaining that is left out or is incomplete at this point. We usually understand empty as meaning ‘there is no thing’. If you come into an empty room, there is nothing in the room. The mind is like that empty room; in actuality, it is not some object of sight, sound, smell, taste or texture. In the moment of recognizing, we see that im­mediately. ‘Seen in the moment of looking, freed in the moment of seeing.’

 

 

https://buddhismnow.com/2013/05/11/recognising-the-thinker-by-tulku-urgyen-rinpoche/

 

His son, Tsoknyi Rinpoche: 

 

 

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In Dzogchen, rigpa, or recognizing mind’s essence, has three qualities or aspects:  empty essence, the lucid or cognizant nature, and their indivisible unity. When our meditation practice strays from rigpa, two things can happen: we can overemphasize the empty aspect, causing a kind of blockage, because although it is thought-free, it still involves subtle clinging; there is a kind of stuckness—a lack of naturalness, fluidity, and awareness of the unconfined capacity or totally open nature of genuine rigpa. If, on the other hand, we overemphasize the clarity or lucid aspect, we can become fixated on that and lose the awareness of inner space. Therefore, this subtle art involves unifying the experience of empty nature and lucidity such that the ‘third’ quality of inseparability (the union of emptiness and clarity) may naturally and spontaneously manifest.

 

The inner space, or empty aspect, is completely free from any of the four or eight philosophical extremes taught with great precision by Nagarjuna and others. It is also free from birth, abiding, and cessation and from the three divisions of time: past, present, and future. It has neither center nor circumference and is completely devoid of all reference points. When the conceptual mind is dropped, there is still a non-conceptual cognizance, which is without reliance or dependence upon conceptual signs and symbols and is aware of its own nature as emptiness, or inner space.

 

 

 

https://tsoknyirinpoche.org/9182/two-truths/

 

Ju Mipham, when analyzing the Mind Only view that asserts the mind truly exists, states:


 

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When the appearance of perceived objects is established as not having an essence separate from the perceiving subject, the appearance of the perceiving subject is also established as nonexistent. If [one wonders] why, it is because the perceiving subject is established in dependence upon the perceived object; it is never established on its own. In this way, proponents of Mind-Only realize the lack of all duality—the awareness free from subject and object, naturally luminous and clear, inexpressible and nondistinct from the nature of the thoroughly established nature liberated from the twofold self. If they must realize it, then there is no need to mention that the proponents of the Middle Way realize this as well. . . .

 

It is merely the slight philosophical assertion that posits the essence of ineffable cognition as truly established that remains to be negated. Authentic proponents of the Middle Way assert the unity of the primordially pure luminous clarity of one’s mind and the emptiness of that nondual cognition. Therefore, other than the distinction of whether this slight fixation is eliminated or not, the Middle Way and Mind-Only are mostly the same in terms of the practices of meditative equipoise and postmeditation.

 

 

From Light of Wisdom, Commentary on Distinguishing Phenomenon and Suchness, 626-27, trans. Duckworth

 

He also tied emptiness to both the Madhyamaka path and purity in his Beacon of Certainty, trans. Petit:

 

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But if you should ask about the way in which emptiness is established, then it is just an absolute negation. In India the glorious Candrakīrti and in Tibet Rongzom Chosbzang both with one voice and one intention established the great emptiness of primordial purity.

 

To add in some other commentary by Kagyus who follow the Shentong view of emptiness:

 

 

In Buddhanature, p.343 Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche writes:

 

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The tirthikas, such as different Hindu traditions and so on, hold the belief of there being a self or atman that is eternal, unique, and independent. This self or atman is called "true self." The term “perfection of true self” is to be understood as follows: The tirthikas, such as different Hindu traditions and so on, hold the belief of there being a self or atman that is eternal (Tib. rtag pa), unique (Tib. gcig), and independent (Tib. rang dbang). This self or atman is called “true self.” The shravakas and so on remedy this belief by the meditation on the non-existence of a self. They meditate that everything does not exist as a self at all, that everything is nothing but sheer voidness. The belief in the existence of an eternal, unique, and independent self is a wrong concept and perception. While the recognition that everything is utterly non-existent constitutes a valid remedy for this wrong perception of the tirthikas, it is in its turn also distorted in that it does not correspond to the ultimate nature of everything either. 

The ultimate nature of everything is a state of peace completely beyond the conceptual elaboration in terms of the existence of a self or the non-existence of a self. If, for instance, while dreaming one thinks in terms of “self” and “I,” attachment to one’s body will arise born from the belief in an existing self. This is a mistaken reaction based on a deluded concept. If, while dreaming, one thinks that a self does not exist at all and therefore takes this body to be nothing but empty, this is also a deluded thought. In truth it is beyond any of these conceptual elaborations. 

There is a great difference between “true self” as taught in the Hindu traditions and as taught in the Mahayana system. In the first sense the term “true self” denotes a self that is eternal, unique, and independent. “True self” as taught in the Uttara Tantra Shastra is equivalent to the state of peace in terms of complete freedom from any conceptual elaboration. This state of peace has only been given the name of “true self.” There is a mere similarity in terms. The Mahayana system does not hold the view of an eternal, unique, and independent self. Between light and darkness, for instance, there is only a similarity inasmuch as they are both things (Skt. bh›va, Tib. dngos po) fulfilling a function. Apart from that they contradict each other; there is not the slightest similarity. (emphasis and paragraphs added)

 

 Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche states (in Tony Duff's The Other Emptiness p.178):

 

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Mind's actuality sugatagarbha has the nature of indestructibility, permanence, and nonchange. The supporting scripture for this is found in The Great Vehicle Highest Continuum. Explanations of it point out that permanence here means the great permanence "beyond permanence and impermanence," not permanence in the normal sense, and therefore this positing of permanence does not impose true existence on mind's actuality.

 

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche in Shentong and Rangtong, p.115 says:

 

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The Shentong tradition holds that there is an element (Skt. dhatu) or Buddha-nature (Skt. tathagata-garbha), also known as the dharmadhatu, and this element contains all of the qualities of Buddhahood and its nature is emptiness. Buddha-nature is present in all beings at all times. It is realized at the attainment of enlightenment. But Buddha-nature is not the same as a permanent or eternal self (Skt. atman) posited by many Hindu religions. It is not the self, because the self is thought of as a real entity, whereas the Buddha-nature does not exist as an entity. Rather, Buddha-nature is devoid of its own nature. It is empty. Therefore, it is not the same as a self. By removing obscurations and by realizing the Buddha-nature, living beings will achieve Buddhahood.

 

 

1 hour ago, C T said:

Emptiness teachings, which are provisional, are therefore incumbent on the recognition of mind essence, which is the ultimate emptiness since its real nature is inseparable from Dharmakaya. Without that recognition, the teachings will always remain dogmatic and provisional, relative and inconsequential. Its like talking about the exquisite taste of an exotic fruit that one has yet to experience. 

 

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Thank you for the detailed reply. 

👍😊

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