Re: [Buddhism_101] New Member
- Good morning, Jigme.Conviction is a person's highest wealth.
I tend to agree with much of what you said.
The Dharma is the Dharma regardless as to whether one is Kagyu, Nyingma, Gelug, Palyul, Rimé, Ch'an, etc. so I respect and try to learn from all traditions and schools. For anyone to say that this tradition or school is a more pure form of Buddhism than that does a great disservice and smacks of elitism. If there are as is frequently stated 84000 Dharma Doors, disparaging one is disparaging them all. So, I read the suttas and the sutras, the commentaries and various texts by the masters be they Mahayana, Theravada, or Vajrayana. Some may feel that this mixing would muddy the water of the mind but, as the saying goes, if you leave the water alone it settles out and becomes clear. Maybe that's what we are supposed to do?
I do view with a degree of bewilderment the commercialism of contemporary Buddhism as I see in the West -- the so-called New Age beliefs. Some of these contemporary "teachers" in Western society I keep at arm's length but this is not a forum for dharma bashing. It is sufficient to say one need only read the Buddha's warning of the five kinds of false teachers (AN5.100.10). Perhaps this is merely indicative of these degenerative times and is to be expected.
I guess if one had to put a label on my practice it would be Eclectic Buddhist or is that a bit too vague? It is not a selective "pick and choose" practice but an inclusive one.
With deep respect,
Dhamma, when well-practiced, brings bliss.
Truth is the highest of savors.
Living with discernment, one's life is called best.
(Sutta Nipata I,10)
From: Jigme Choder <kushogjigmechoder@...>
To: "Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com" <Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 7:10 PM
Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] New Member
Hallo John! I say that I am nominally Tibetan Buddhist because I was ordained as a Drugpa Kagyu monk although that is about it as far as Kagyu is concerned, I was taught Nyingma practice almost exclusively because that is where my teacher Trungpa Rimpoche’s sympathies, were and because for no discernible reason I was attracted to Guru Rimpoche. But initially I was, like Ken M/ a practitioner of Theravada and had been for quite a while before meeting Rimpoche. I have never really relinquished my Theravada roots but knowing a lot more than I did some 40 odd years ago I am rather more critical of their pretentions to being ‘original Buddhism’ and that sort of thing. I have also had extensive contact with Japanese Buddhism and Chinese Buddhism, a privilege of living in the San Francisco/Bay Area and so have taken a lot of their teachings on board. Therefore I am rather hard put to calling myself a proper Tibetan Buddhist. Also, as the years have gone by I have become rather skeptical about Tibetan Buddhism and, for that matter, Buddhism in general in the sense that there seem to me to be a lot of teachings that just seem to me to be plain false or at variance with what little we know about what Sakyamuni Buddha taught. So when I say ‘Pan-Buddhist I mean the search for understanding via all schools of Buddhism regardless of country of origin.Rime, as you know, is not the same thing, that is a Tibetan Buddhist movement,an attempt to put coherence on the disparate teachings of the schools, as well as preserving teachings in danger of being lost. One, I think, should bear in mind the origins of Rime because it points toward a problematic past of violence and rivalry within Tibetan Buddhism, an unsavory past that Tibetans in the West are not that eager to discuss.At this point, after 50 years of study I am far more concerned with what is useful for the West with regards to Buddhism and, frankly, rather indifferent to Buddhism in Asia. Buddhism, it seems to me to be as much a failure as Christianity. That is not to say that Buddhism or Christianity are useless but that we now live in an era where such monumental blocks of belief are a hindrance rather than a help to peace and progress. It is almost, I feel, where we are at the point where we need to brush conventional religions to one side and think for ourselves otherwise, as a species, we are never going to grow up.I should explain that, I came to Buddhism via an experience. For me it was that Buddhism was an answer to that experience and therefore was satisfactory as a framework for practice. In short I decided on Buddhism in a very utilitarian way. Conviction does seem to be a comfort, but conviction in religion I have never had. On the other hand, it has been perhaps good that I do not have a terribly religious mind set because it has enabled me to be rather more clear seeing. Not doing religious fervor has enabled me to be rather more sensible about certain things. A remark I will not go into elaborating on at the moment. Let’s just say that it has enabled me to do “The boy stood on the burning deck whence all but he had fled;…” whilst others have been frantic as their illusions were crashing about them.Jigme
You can call me Ken. ken, the owner, and I know the difference.
Nothing actually turned me away. More laziness and loss of commitment. I live some distance from my center (Gar Drolma Choling in Dayton, OH, http://www.gardrolma.org ). I helped in the development of the center and was very happy with what had evolved, there. It has gotten even more active and larger since I had to leave. I left because I was unable to make the drive every week. My body suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it has taken some time to find efficient drugs to relieve the pain ( it never goes away). Tai Chi, Qi Kung, and meditation have been lifesavers in many ways. I miss the center and plan to return, soon. I have retired from work, so I will have the time to rest my body before the drive. Rinpoche visits the center about once a year and I plan to be there, then.
I do believe that Buddhism will eventually change, in the west, as it has done everywhere else it has established itself. I won't be here, then. For now I like the use of the deities in practice, and there are several chants that I use, according to the meditation, but primarily, my meditations are a study on the emptiness of all, and that has brought me much insight and comfort. Being a working person with a small farm, on the side, my time is limited and, as I don't move very fast, very often life interferes or should I say intervenes.
It was very auspicious that you were able to study under Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Garchen Rinpoche told me once that he had met all of his students in previous lives. That's why they were with him in this one. His purpose in this one was as a teacher and a symbol.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jigme Choder
Sent: 01/13/13 07:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] New MemberHi Ken M/. Thank you for your welcome!My initial teachers were Sri Lanken and Thai Bhiksu’s. I then met Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche, purely by accident and, as a result, ended up at Samye-Ling in Scotland. He moved to America, as you know, I did too but to Berkeley California. From then on I only saw Trungpa Rimpoche twice, three times if you count his funeral, but, by then I had not spoken to him for a good 20-30 years.You say : “I'll have to admit, that in the last few years I have not followed the practice very closely.” May I ask why? Curious about that remark because I am wondering what, at this point, you think of Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhism in the West. Also I hope that your physical problems are not too great? And. Can I ask what Dharma center you are referring to?RegardsJigme