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Lamas Loving Wealth, Rolexes and iPads

I was enjoying some talks by Sogyal Rinpoche, but was put off by his reputation - some of which was very off-putting.

Here's a snippet from one of his previous translators:

"He’s a charismatic communicator, but what shocked me immediately was the disconnect between his rhetoric and his character. He loves luxury, fashion and violent American films. Ecology and social issues do not interest him at all. He is not at all shy about singing his own praises — to excess and in front of everyone. He stays in luxury hotels, surrounded by the most expensive electronic gadgets. I struggled to accept this behaviour, because at the same time some people in Rigpa were very poor."

Is it wise to learn lojong from someone like that, which is what I was wanting to do?

I must confess it has shocked me how many dharma talks I've been to where the monk/nun has whipped out a top of the range iPad. I can understand the need for a tablet, but why have a £600 iPad when a £100 Android tab would have more than sufficed, and £500 could have gone to support worthy causes?

It would be just like staying in a five-star hotel rather than a more modest 2 or 3 star.

I want to look at this in a right-thinking sort of way, and so would be grateful if anyone can help me with this.

rohitKeromelobster
«13

Comments

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    Excess is something to worry about. Keep in mind though that often times things like ipads, nice watches or even cars can be received gifts so it always a case of attachment to luxury.

    Shoshin
  • @person said:
    Excess is something to worry about. Keep in mind though that often times things like ipads, nice watches or even cars can be received gifts so it always a case of attachment to luxury.

    Good point about gifts.

    Should monks/nuns/lamas use such gifts for the benefit of others and not keep them to themselves.

    If a monk/nun were given something excessive should they not exchange it for something more appropriate and give the rest to people who need it?

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I'm a bit in two minds about this. On the one hand, from a pure Buddhist point of view, you are right, they point to not being particularly mindful of how money is spent, and a tendency towards violent films on the part of any spiritual teacher would worry me a lot. You would be right to ask how pure they are if they desire this. The other things also sound bad.

    On the other hand, in a general approach to this I do think Apple iPads and iPhones are a better choice for many non-technical users than Windows or Android, and asking monks to acquire technical skills doesn't seem reasonable. Second, if you don't know who books his arrangements or buys his equipment, it is hard to criticise - perhaps the lay person in charge of handling the money makes those choices.

    It's always difficult criticising, although it is a key part of being discerning. I think I would certainly steer clear of Sogyal Rinpoche, it does not sound like he has a good handle on his own inner desire, craving or ability to affect the world positively. He seems more a professional guru in the mold of Deepak Chopra than a genuine spiritual teacher.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I too would not go by excess, asceticism or reputation. I would go with my own integrity or lack there of. Personally I expect moderation, decorum and integrity in myself and fail ... :3

    What I would suggest is learning how to discern if a teacher is independent of their external behavour or failing that stick with the people of good repute. o:)

    If you are a person of honesty, humility and integrity you will be able to learn as much from the fashionable celebrity rinpoche, esteemed zennith or encrusted Theravadin as from the impeccable teachers past, present and Maitriya.

    OM MANI IPAD ME HUM ;)

    personBunks
  • @Kerome said:
    I think I would certainly steer clear of Sogyal Rinpoche, it does not sound like he has a good handle on his own inner desire, craving or ability to affect the world positively. He seems more a professional guru in the mold of Deepak Chopra than a genuine spiritual teacher.

    I'm going to do that Kerome. I felt I could maybe disconnect the message from the messenger, but I think I will struggle.

    Your point regarding Apple products may well be true also. It just seems odd that in several years I've not seen a single monk/nun with an Android device - always Apple. I've had both iPads and Androids and find them both to be excellent and easy enough to use. The premium price of the Apple seems to be regarding brand image and desirability, which seems incongruous with the sutras, etc.

    I definitely don 't begrudge the use of modern technology. Definitely not. I'd never be able to consume so many talks and texts if it wasn't for the 'net, tablets and smartphones.

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Kerome said:> It's always difficult criticising, although it is a key part of being discerning. I think I would certainly steer clear of Sogyal Rinpoche, it does not sound like he has a good handle on his own inner desire, craving or ability to affect the world positively. He seems more a professional guru in the mold of Deepak Chopra than a genuine spiritual teacher.

    Chopra is a charlatan, and I wouldn't put Sogyal Rinpoche in that category. I did a retreat with him in Ireland years ago, and he seemed like the real deal.

    Kerome
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @Yorkshireman said:

    @person said:
    Excess is something to worry about. Keep in mind though that often times things like ipads, nice watches or even cars can be received gifts so it always a case of attachment to luxury.

    Good point about gifts.

    Should monks/nuns/lamas use such gifts for the benefit of others and not keep them to themselves.

    If a monk/nun were given something excessive should they not exchange it for something more appropriate and give the rest to people who need it?

    I don't want to try to defend excess. But how much time should a monk devote to the exchange? Should they spend some of their time on Ebay posting expensive items and shopping for cheaper versions? It also isn't considered proper gift receiving decorum to reject offerings and gifts from people. Maybe they could make it known that they would rather people give less expensive items and give more to charity?

    The important thing is the individual's relationship to the items. Is it a status symbol or a tool, do they even know or consider its financial value?

    possibilities
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Kerome said:> It's always difficult criticising, although it is a key part of being discerning. I think I would certainly steer clear of Sogyal Rinpoche, it does not sound like he has a good handle on his own inner desire, craving or ability to affect the world positively. He seems more a professional guru in the mold of Deepak Chopra than a genuine spiritual teacher.

    Chopra is a charlatan, and I wouldn't put Sogyal Rinpoche in that category. I did a retreat with him in Ireland years ago, and he seemed like the real deal.

    I don't have first hand experience of either, but reputation does count for something. What the OP quoted would worry me as well, especially as it seems from a sincere source. But then we all struggle in some ways, it is forgivable, often there is still much that can be learnt.

    In the end nothing beats first hand experience, look at all the negative press around Osho.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Kerome said:> It's always difficult criticising, although it is a key part of being discerning. I think I would certainly steer clear of Sogyal Rinpoche, it does not sound like he has a good handle on his own inner desire, craving or ability to affect the world positively. He seems more a professional guru in the mold of Deepak Chopra than a genuine spiritual teacher.

    Chopra is a charlatan, and I wouldn't put Sogyal Rinpoche in that category. I did a retreat with him in Ireland years ago, and he seemed like the real deal.

    I don't have first hand experience of either, but reputation does count for something. What the OP quoted would worry me as well, especially as it seems from a sincere source. But then we all struggle in some ways, it is forgivable, often there is still much that can be learnt.

    In the end nothing beats first hand experience, look at all the negative press around Osho.

    It's difficult because followers of charismatic gurus tend to very loyal, and sometimes blind to their teacher's faults.

    lobsterTara1978
  • @Jayantha said:
    Since I'm a monk with a tablet, I'll respond! :)

    There's already been some excellent replies, and so quickly, to this thread, and this is the icing on the cake :-)

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    I am so glad I asked the question as it was one of those little things that niggled away at me, but your explanation, and the comments of others in this thread, have totally helped correct any notion of wrong thinking. Such a relief.

    One final niggle you can hopefully correct. I am sure there's a valid answer and it would be so wonderful to know what that answer is.

    HHDL is reputed to have a personal watch collection worth over $30 million. I do realize they were given as gifts, but that kind of money could transform the lives of tens of thousands of people. If he is not attached to these watches, why does he not auction his collection off. I am in awe of HHDL. IMHO few people have done more for world peace and compassion than he has and his ability to communicate an understanding of the dharma to a global audience is unsurpassed. Alas, this makes it all the more difficult for me to understand why, whenever I see him speak, he has a watch worth tens of thousands of dollars dangling from his wrist.

    If you can help with that one Jayantha, you will have helped me to eliminate another case of wrong thinking.

    And thank you again for your words!

  • @Jayantha Wonderful advice.

    In some ways once a monk becomes a celebrity, it becomes impossible to judge him by his surroundings. The people who invite him to speak will of course want to pay for the best hotel suite, the best meals, the nicest limo, etc. Anything else would not show "respect". And since he now has managers to do this and a posse to follow him around and take care of his needs, he is no longer in control of his life to a great extent.

    But that doesn't mean he's not responsible for the image he projects. Imagining I were in a famous guru's shoes, I'm not certain I could resist the temptation to justify the luxury that is being pushed upon me. After all, the Dali Lama doesn't fly coach and nobody expects him to. But why not? If it's good enough for the unenlightened, then why isn't it good enough for him? But let me spend one 12 hour flight in that cramped torture chamber and I'll find some excuse to go first class.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Jayantha said:> I get asked " what do you need?" all the time, and I really don't NEED anything, but I also don't want to push away people who want to practice generosity. These days I tell people what the monastery needs, but people don't seem to get the same visceral reaction to giving to an organization as they do to a person. >

    So you don't want that container load of knitted Buddha hats in a pleasing range of colours? :p

  • I prefer LLamas with hats

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    One: I have no direct and personal knowledge of Sogyal Rinpoche, nor have I ever met him, heard him or listened to any talks.
    However, I will say that his Magnum Opus "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" had such an impact on me that I knew, from reading, nay, devouring every word, that Buddhism was my calling, indubitably, without any shadow of a doubt, it did it for me. So I can only say that this particular work means a lot to me.

    Two: Anyone (including @Jayantha !) who wants a Buddha-hat, complete with knitted top-knot and droopy ears, let me know. Specify colour. I will obtain, and knit. However, please give me time....

  • Spiritual teachers who act like ordinary worldlings seduced by materiality merit censure. These teachers are mentioned as a feature of the Dharma Ending Age. Unable to exercise restraint in regards to base desires they have imo little worth and less value.

    lobsterpossibilitiesKerome
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    In HHDL's defence (and yes I consider him one of my teachers), he has never claimed to be awakened nor have I heard anyone else say he is.

  • Well said @grackle
    Here is some info on the shameful Sogyal Rinpoacher for those interested ...
    http://opcoa.st/PdDLT-58037

    Does that sound like an enlightened being or even decent being to you? Somebody worth following? If such behaviour is not exposed it discredits the Sangha. In essence it destroys peoples confidence in a workable tradition. Personally I would not encourage such scoundrels and would attend other teachers. What do you think?

    ... answers to the usual sheeple pen... B)

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Yorkshireman said:
    I was enjoying some talks by Sogyal Rinpoche, but was put off by his reputation - some of which was very off-putting.

    Here's a snippet from one of his previous translators:

    "He’s a charismatic communicator, but what shocked me immediately was the disconnect between his rhetoric and his character. He loves luxury, fashion and violent American films. Ecology and social issues do not interest him at all. He is not at all shy about singing his own praises — to excess and in front of everyone. He stays in luxury hotels, surrounded by the most expensive electronic gadgets. I struggled to accept this behaviour, because at the same time some people in Rigpa were very poor."

    Is it wise to learn lojong from someone like that, which is what I was wanting to do?

    I must confess it has shocked me how many dharma talks I've been to where the monk/nun has whipped out a top of the range iPad. I can understand the need for a tablet, but why have a £600 iPad when a £100 Android tab would have more than sufficed, and £500 could have gone to support worthy causes?

    It would be just like staying in a five-star hotel rather than a more modest 2 or 3 star.

    I want to look at this in a right-thinking sort of way, and so would be grateful if anyone can help me with this.

    whatever we think is luxury is offered to someone that is because he/she deserves it and there is no harm that he/she enjoys it

  • During my second trip to Sri Lanka I roomed with a Muslim family. They mentioned a monk who has recently died. He was deeply respected as well as mourned by many non Buddhists. Because he had upheld the precepts. With fidelity. The Lions Roar came from his simple way of life. Can we do less? Is the seeking of advantage and preferment a part of the compassionate and wise mind?

    BhikkhuJayasaralobsterWalkerpossibilities
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @Jayantha, Soggy, as some call him, isn't a monk. He doesn't adhere to the Vinaya.

    OP, insofar as the Dalai Lama urges us to thoroughly check out and evaluate a teacher before trusting him or her, I would suggest that you not dismiss inconsistencies between the message preached vs. the behavior toward students and other behaviors. That's much of the point of evaluating a teacher. Since you feel uncomfortable with what you've observed, you definitely shouldn't do lojong with a teacher you don't trust or whom have doubts about. There must be other sanghas in your area that you can try out...?

    A friend of mine first met Soggy when he was serving as translator for the head of the Nyingma "school" of Tibetan Buddhism. This was in the early 70's. She said at the time, he was a bit obsessed with Chogyam Trungpa, and openly stated on several occasions that he wanted to become a teacher so that he could have everything CT had: the adoration, the money, the sex, the prestige, the network of centers. He certainly reached his goal.

    P.S. His book on living and dying was written by a grad student, Andrew Harvey, and a co-author, who made a gift of it to Sogyal.

    lobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I try to remember that teachers (monks included) are just people, too. They take on hefty vows as aspiration but no doubt they are not able to keep them all the time. They are in practice, too. I like teachings from both Sogyal Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa, despite their (sometimes vast) short comings. Their human flaws, even if they were very bad ones, do not mean they did not have wisdom to share.

    How do you know that if a monk or teacher has a device, that they do not use it to help others? They very well may use it for the benefit of their students or sangha. Perhaps they use a tablet instead of a computer to keep up with others. My teacher emails us while he spends 6 months a year in Asia. I do not know what he uses to do so. He does have an iphone, which was a gift from the sangha to allow him to use apps for timers and so on. Why an iphone? I guess because that is what most people have these days and it usually means many more options for apps. Not that a monk needs them, but why wouldn't they use available tools?

    I use whatever I can in the wisdom department. That doesn't mean I don't look with a cautious eye at the person behind the words. But I don't believe just because someone does things that in my perception don't live up to my expectation, doesn't mean they aren't a valuable teacher. They are just another human being on a path who might be able to lend a hand while I step over a large rock or down a ledge.

    federicaBunksYorkshireman
  • Fortunately Buddha-Sasana has a tradition of Sila to guide us in correct behavior. Some teachers dispense with Sila to more effectively misguide the gullible and grow wealthy.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2016

    Tee Hee.
    Tantra is a thunderbolt path.
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/tantra.htm

    Not surprisingly some including practitioners at all levels can be swamped by the very forces they work with ...
    A student initially evaluates a teacher from a state of ignorance. We can also begin to find wisdom and ignorance in ourselves and be inspired by integrity and repulsed by falsehood. That is my plan.

    My teacher was not someone with any reputation or students. They had qualities worthy of emulation. Most of these were 'hidden' but then that is the nature of the genuinely esoteric ...

    The Sangha that integrates outer form and interior knowledge is and ideally can be open to a variety of student levels ...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I tried to plough my way through the article @lobster gave the link to, and it's incredibly long, but I got the gist of it. Some of it is really petty serious crap, and does much to undermine, devalue, criticise, condemn, pillory and verbally crucify Sogyal Rinpoche, but I find it hard to believe that all his numerous entourage is for, is to satisfy his apparently excessive sexual appetite, and implement damage-limitation procedures.
    I get that some people can be mesmerising and charismatic, but I can tell the difference - in the bat of an eyelid - when some guy is offering me a bowlful of Bovine Scatology in an effort to get me into bed. These many women must have either had thick blinkers, earplugs and eye-pads on, or must have been so gullible as to defy any form of common-sense coming into play.
    Seriously? You Guru is lying naked in bed, in a darkened room, lit only by candles - and you believe his intentions are to 'heal your family'? Oh woman, get a grip! And all the while she's being paraded around as 'arm candy' she's uneasy? Really? You don't get out there and then??

    Ok, sorry. The term "d'uh!" comes to mind.

    It's amazing how well publicity machines spin when they want to, in whichever way it brings attention.
    What's that old adage...? "Sex sells"....?
    I'm sure many of the allegations may certainly hold water. Fine. The guy's a hypocrite to the Nth degree.
    The book - no matter whence it came, or its author-provenance - is a damn fine book, and I STILL recommend it as extraordinary reading.
    I'm with @karasti on this one.

    @karasti said: I use whatever I can in the wisdom department. That doesn't mean I don't look with a cautious eye at the person behind the words. But I don't believe just because someone does things that in my perception don't live up to my expectation, doesn't mean they aren't a valuable teacher. They are just another human being on a path who might be able to lend a hand while I step over a large rock or down a ledge.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Don't mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon" (Thus have I heard) :)

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I am pleased to report that the Dairy Lama has a modest lifestyle, though he does take advantage of the staff discount at Tescos when stocking up on Neapolitan. :p

  • @karasti said:
    I use whatever I can in the wisdom department. That doesn't mean I don't look with a cautious eye at the person behind the words. But I don't believe just because someone does things that in my perception don't live up to my expectation, doesn't mean they aren't a valuable teacher. They are just another human being on a path who might be able to lend a hand while I step over a large rock or down a ledge.

    Well worded @karasti

    I feel that way about Chogyam Trungpa, but Sogyal Rinpoche seems to have taken it to the n'th degree.

    @federica
    The book - no matter whence it came, or its author-provenance - is a damn fine book, and I STILL recommend it as extraordinary reading.

    That's understandable. I did start it yesterday and both the style and message were very appealing. I might just add it to my reading list, but it is a long list so it might be a while.

  • @upekka said:
    whatever we think is luxury is offered to someone that is because he/she deserves it and there is no harm that he/she enjoys it

    I really struggle with that.

    So, if I offered HHDL a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO to meet with him, you think it would be okay for HHDL to keep it and drive round in it?

    I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a car worth over $30,000,000, but I'd like to think he would put that money to use benefiting others.

    So on that point I'd have to agree with @Namada and Ajahn Chah

    @Namada said
    Ajhan Chah heard all what they discussed , but finally he interrupted and said: Did Buddha need a brand new Mercedes Bens to teach Dhamma to the people?

    By Ajahn Chah pointed directly to Buddha's teachings , they understood that they had to turn down the generous gift, and instead keep things simple and down to earth.

    BhikkhuJayasara
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I dunno, Trungpa was involved in some pretty questionable stuff, including marrying someone who wasn't yet an adult, womanizing, using tantra in apparently inappropriate manners, and having someone very high up on his staff who knowingly spread HIV, including to his students. That's aside from him being a raging alcoholic.

    I don't excuse their behavior, but I don't ignore the wisdom they had to share.

    I guess I just don't feel it is my place to judge. I am not a monastic, but compared to most in the world, I live a life of luxury. In the US we are middle class, which works out just fine. But compared to most of the world? We have 2 cars, reliable heat and electricity, pets, cell phones, computers, cable tv, fancy appliances, etc. Should I, as a Buddhist, be selling all of my luxury items? I think we tend to be really quick to judge those who we have determined shouldn't have much (for whatever reason). The whole "monks shouldn't have that stuff, even if it's a gift" reminds me of the similar attitude of poor people shouldn't have nice clothes because how dare they live off the support of others and have nice things. I know for monks it is different, but that is just what the attitude reminds me of. It seems crazy to me that we are looking at people who give up a normal life to be monastics, to carrying the dharma to the world, and then saying they haven't given up quite enough for us to approve.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I entirely take your point, @karasti , but I have to say, there is the expectation of a better standard, from those who choose to adhere to a life which, by all accounts, is a different and more 'elevated' than normal.
    It's like a head teacher admonishing parents for taking their children out of school for a week's holiday in term time, then taking the whole of the winter semester off, to go skiing with a couple of teaching colleagues.

    If someone puts themselves forward as an authority of some kind of lifestyle, then proceeds to corrupt their own image by indulging in the very things they are reminding, or teaching their followers is materialistic, transitory and fodder for 'hungry ghosts' then there is an understandable level of indignation when they're called out on it.
    "Don't eat meat, it's morally wrong!" he cried, tucking into a t-bone steak.... Hmmmm....

    lobsterYorkshireman
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yes, I agree. If they are telling their students (or others) one thing and living otherwise, that is definitely a problem. One cannot expect to be trusted if they are a full-time hypocrite rather than someone who makes mistakes here and there. I am not sure about Sogyal Rinpoche, but my understand of Trungpa (just to use them as examples again) is that he didn't expect his students to behave other than him. He didn't justify his actions or say "don't do as I do even though I do it." But I could be wrong, never met the man, lol. In some ways he reminds me of my ex. He dressed in business casual and suits, but was a mess in so many other ways. My ex was exemplary at hygiene but then wore dirty clothing. It's an interesting thing when someone is a mess on the inside and trying to fix it on the outside to portray something else. (sorry for the foray, just a random thought).

  • @Yorkshireman said:

    @upekka said:
    whatever we think is luxury is offered to someone that is because he/she deserves it and there is no harm that he/she enjoys it

    I really struggle with that.

    just try to understand Cause and Effect

    So, if I offered HHDL a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO to meet with him, you think it would be okay for HHDL to keep it and drive round in it?

    If you offered it doesn't mean he asked for it, so there is no wrong if he uses it
    if he asked for it then it is wrong if he is a monk

    I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a car worth over $30,000,000, but I'd like to think he would put that money to use benefiting others.

    what he does with what he gets is his business, he must decide what is wrong and what is right for him

    So on that point I'd have to agree with @Namada and Ajahn Chah

    @Namada said
    Ajhan Chah heard all what they discussed , but finally he interrupted and said: Did Buddha need a brand new Mercedes Bens to teach Dhamma to the people?

    By Ajahn Chah pointed directly to Buddha's teachings , they understood that they had to turn down the generous gift, and instead keep things simple and down to earth.

    to learn Buddha's Teaching you don't have to depend on one particular person
    there are lots of teachers and books
    but
    you have to practice and see whether your teacher or books say the Truth

    **Try to understand Dependent Orientation (dependent co-arising/ paticca samuppada) and Four Noble Truth

    way for it is practicing noble eightfold path**

    nothing more nothing less

    <3

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Yorkshireman said:

    I want to look at this in a right-thinking sort of way, and so would be grateful if anyone can help me with this.

    It would seem that you are putting too much focus upon the 'singer' and not the 'song' he is singing....
    Hence why "Don't mistake the finger pointing to the moon for the moon" just focus upon what is taught (the moon) and try not to get too caught up with the messenger (the finger)....

  • @lobster said:
    Tee Hee.
    Tantra is a thunderbolt path.
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/tib/tantra.htm

    Not surprisingly some including practitioners at all levels can be swamped by the very forces they work with ...
    A student initially evaluates a teacher from a state of ignorance. We can also begin to find wisdom and ignorance in ourselves and be inspired by integrity and repulsed by falsehood. That is my plan.

    My teacher was not someone with any reputation or students. They had qualities worthy of emulation. Most of these were 'hidden' but then that is the nature of the genuinely esoteric ...

    The Sangha that integrates outer form and interior knowledge is and ideally can be open to a variety of student levels ...

    This is nicely stated. It's often the humble teachers who are the hidden true gems, not the flashy ones.

  • What is the difference between knowledge and realisation?

    A diabetic knows ice-cream is bad but that knowledge hasn't translated into real action and he continues to eat ice-cream.

    Realisation goes deeper and the diabetic who truly realises the danger will avoid ice-cream like a plaque.

    When a diabetic is told ice-cream is bad he doesn't reject the good advice even though the person giving that advice hasn't himself given up ice-cream.

    In the end it is really up to each of us.

    ShoshinWalkerlobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    diabetics don't have to give up ice cream, they just have to be cautious with it. For them, pineapple might actually cause more of a problem than ice cream, because the fat and protein in ice cream slows the absorbability of the sugar. Just sayin' ;)

    Not everyone who gives advice they don't take is a hypocrite though, I totally agree. It's like parenting kids. Sometimes, we messed up, and we hope to teach our kids to maybe they don't go through the same crap, even if we are still dealing with the fall out. But, people seem to mostly need to experience things themselves and it (so far, to me) seems rare that someone learns from the words alone of someone else.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Was somebody talking about giving up ice-cream?! O.o

    pegembara
  • Careful guys, Spiny has gone into shock ...

    Words can be very powerful. There, there @SpinyNorman, have an extra scoop. Nobody will get your Neapolitan ...

    Shoshinpegembara
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I am more worried about how the Dairy Lama will react to such heresy. :p
    I do hope people don't accuse him of running an ice-cream cult!

    lobster
  • Spiritual frauds perpetuate the continuation of misery. Their words may be clever but their deeds are base. Mara and the demon armies are not to be taken lightly.

    lobsterDakininamarupa
  • possibilitiespossibilities PNW, WA State Veteran

    The diabetes story doesn't make sense to me. Doctors e.g, diagnose the problems of a patient but if this is not also their own health problem, there is no reason for them to follow their own advice.

    If a person considers him/herself a teacher of ethics, s/he had better walk the talk or else be considered a charlatan. Following strict ethics demands discipline and a certain amount of sacrifice. If you cannot be an example of how this is possible and what the results look like, don't ask others to follow such rules. (After-thought: Even though creating and promoting such ideals is the right goal....?)

    Did Trungpa expect his students to abstain from alcohol? Did he expect them to be better behaved than he was himself? I don't know - but an answer to that question would help me decide how I feel about his transgressions. Also, those days, the 60s, were full of experimentation and moral judgement was suspended.

    So far his alcolholism hasn't bothered me even though I am strictly against the use of alcohol myself because I have seen the damage it does to people and families.
    Ultimately, he paid a stiff price for abusing his health.

    Monks who regularily give in to the lure of status symbols do not earn my respect. I'd see them as clinging to values that Buddhism hopes to overcome.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2016

    In the dervish tradition, who incidentally refer to themselves as 'idiots' because their wisdom is contrary to the wisdom of facebook world, there is a high station. Dervishes also sometimes describe themselves as 'the poor'.

    A station is a state of realised being on the path. This realisation station is beyond the stage of humility and simplicity. This is the state/station of being impervious to poverty or wealth. In essence not being distracted by material surroundings. If we have integrity and know we are still susceptible to social and economic status, we remain poor, otherwise we are a fraud and charlatan.

    If someone is unsure, they can remain in a generous mode of giving away trinkets and shells, such as time chains (watches), corpses in training (partners), pain killing medicine (alcohol) and useless teachers (examples in the naughty dervish corner). <3

    Here is something by Mark Twain for those preferring stories ...
    http://opcoa.st/PdhSd

    and here the cost of poverty ...
    http://opcoa.st/Pdh2v

    ... And now back to the dharma ...

  • @possibilities said:
    The diabetes story doesn't make sense to me. Doctors e.g, diagnose the problems of a patient but if this is not also their own health problem, there is no reason for them to follow their own advice.

    If a person considers him/herself a teacher of ethics, s/he had better walk the talk or else be considered a charlatan. Following strict ethics demands discipline and a certain amount of sacrifice. If you cannot be an example of how this is possible and what the results look like, don't ask others to follow such rules. (After-thought: Even though creating and promoting such ideals is the right goal....?)

    Did Trungpa expect his students to abstain from alcohol? Did he expect them to be better behaved than he was himself? I don't know - but an answer to that question would help me decide how I feel about his transgressions. Also, those days, the 60s, were full of experimentation and moral judgement was suspended.

    So far his alcolholism hasn't bothered me even though I am strictly against the use of alcohol myself because I have seen the damage it does to people and families.
    Ultimately, he paid a stiff price for abusing his health.

    Monks who regularily give in to the lure of status symbols do not earn my respect. I'd see them as clinging to values that Buddhism hopes to overcome.

    During the Buddha's time there was a monk was died while still having a drinking problem. Imagine his fellow monks surprise when The Buddha declared him a stream winner ie. one who has achieved supramundane right view which is the lowest level of attainment.

    Now at that time Sarakaani the Sakyan, who had died, was proclaimed by the Blessed One to be a Stream-Winner, not subject to rebirth in states of woe, assured of enlightenment. At this, a number of the Sakyans, whenever they met each other or came together in company, were indignant and angry, and said scornfully: "A fine thing, a marvelous thing! Nowadays anyone can become a Stream-Winner, if the Blessed One has proclaimed Sarakaani who died to be Stream-Winner... assured of enlightenment! Why, Sarakaani failed in his training and took to drink!"

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn55/sn55.024.wlsh.html

    possibilities
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @karasti and @federica, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff when considering a teaching from someone with as many lapses as Chogyam Trungpa, or apparently also Sogyal Rinpoche? I understand that monks and gurus are human with human frailties, but I expect a highly realized teacher to have overcome most of these foibles. So I would accept the occasional slip up, but not a consistent pattern of violating the precepts. For me, this kind of repeated misbehavior casts into doubt all the teachings of one of these gurus.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    If something resonates as practicable and useful, it's worth taking note and adopting the lesson for one's self. Implementing what works, is Wisdom.
    Nobody's perfect. The world is full of Hypocrites. Entire countries are run by them.
    If I don't like how someone acts and how they live, and their words are hollow, empty and deceitful, if they are intended to coerce and fool people, and they do not resonate with me, I leave them aside.
    We learn everything from everyone else. "There is nothing new under the sun" and what they propose is learnt by them, in turn, from other sources.
    Wisdom comes from the most unexpected places, as well as the most expected ones.

    Is there anything said by Chogyam Trungpa that seems reasonable to you?
    Is there anything sogyal Rinpoche has put forward that seems to resonate?

    Take those things and apply them.
    Who cares where they came from?
    If it works, do it.

    Steve_B
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I've generally avoided reading Trungpa by virtue of his misadventures. The only thing that comes to mind is a teaching about "idiot compassion" that made sense. That does resonate, but I so mistrust Trungpa that I wonder if that teaching is valid despite it "feeling right."

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    It runs parallel with the Buddha's recommendation of not consorting with fools. Besides, the advice has also been given in plenty, by many others. If it makes sense, it's worth listening to.
    I mean, I have given it as advice myself, with good reason, and with accurate cause.
    Do you mistrust me?

    (careful now.... :D )

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