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Wild Wild Country

personperson Don't believe everything you think'Merica! Veteran

There is a brand new documentary series on Netflix about Bagwaan Rajneesh's spiritual community in Oregon and the controversy and conflict that it entailed. It looks interesting, just putting it out there in case anyone is interested or if anyone has any opinions on the matter.

Kerome
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Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Oh interesting, I will keep an eye out for it just to see what the most recent views are, thanks @person... I wonder if it moves beyond demonisation and conflict though.

    One of the most wonderful things of that commune was how with very little money and a lot of elbow grease they created the infrastructure of quite a decent sized town. For example there was a lot of pipe work laid, a dam built, a small airport, a mall, roads, all kinds of stuff where originally there had only been a ranch.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Oh interesting, I will keep an eye out for it just to see what the most recent views are, thanks @person... I wonder if it moves beyond demonisation and conflict though.

    One of the most wonderful things of that commune was how with very little money and a lot of elbow grease they created the infrastructure of quite a decent sized town. For example there was a lot of pipe work laid, a dam built, a small airport, a mall, roads, all kinds of stuff where originally there had only been a ranch.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited March 17

    I started watching it. They seem to be developing a fair minded approach, showing what it was like inside and outside the community of sanyassins. Very interesting, has positive reviews. :)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    An interesting review on Indiewire: it is a docu that demands that you see both sides

    http://www.indiewire.com/2018/03/wild-wild-country-netflix-review-1201940304/

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Saw the first episode, surprised by the amount of archive footage they’ve pulled together about the early days of Bhagwan’s commune in India. You always know when you’re watching archive material because it’s shown in 4:3 rather than broad screen.

    But from the sanyassin point of view it gives a fair rendition to the idealism of the period and the people who were drawn to the Bhagwan. It also airs the viewpoint of some of the followers who were more drawn to power.

    Where I don’t think it does justice is to the therapeutic side of the meditations, and it makes rather sensationalist use of the sexual nature of some of the encounter groups which were done in the nude. You need to know a little about 1970’s primal therapy to see it in context, although that’s fallen out of favour of mainstream psychotherapists nowadays.

    personShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s caused quite a lot of talk, this documentary. We have had interviews with Osho sannyasins on tv, reviews in newspapers, lots of traffic on websites. People seem to be ready to reassess Osho’s legacy a little, it’s the right documentary at the right time.

    I’m now up to episode 4 of the documentary, and it has become clear that the makers are choosing to focus mostly on the controversial sides of what happened at Rajneeshpuram rather than the phenomenon that was the sannyasin movement.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Don't they always? Scandals sell....

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 8

    I watched episode 5 today. It’s shocking how the government of the US created a very dangerous situation which nearly ended in an armed conflict.

    @federica said:
    Don't they always? Scandals sell....

    That’s certainly true, and the Osho commune played that card by participating in the making of the 1981 Ashram in Poona documentary, which caused rather a sensation with its depiction of naked screaming and flailing people in a padded room. I understand it was staged, and was meant to depict some form of primal encounter therapy.

    The irony is that footage from that documentary comes up again and again when Osho is discussed on tv, so the whole idea of getting publicity that way rather backfired. People seem to find it so shocking that it takes focus over the innovative active meditations that Osho did create, for instance.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Finished watching the series. My understanding is still that sham teachers produce nothing but a shambles, betrayal, cultism, sheep followers, negative outcomes etc.

    Clarity produces wisdom, greater good in people and society. Might be a clue there ...

    KundoVastmindkando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Certainly from a Buddhist perspective Osho had shortcomings as a teacher, such as not taking a stand on right speech or ethics. But labelling him a sham teacher also does not quite hit the mark... he undeniably had a potent magnetism, made significant contributions to the art of meditation, and in terms of his overall impact I can’t think of any single Buddhist teacher who started with nothing and achieved the kind of following he did.

    Osho’s teaching - which the documentary series hardly touched upon - was not Buddhist in nature, it crossed the boundaries of religions and urged people not to repress anything while staying loving and compassionate. The idea of his many lectures was to introduce his followers to the many paths of spirituality, give them a taste of each, and let them choose a governing principle according to their own hearts.

    From what I’ve seen, many of Osho’s sannyasins were beautiful people who were helped by his presence in their lives, even in the archive footage in the documentary you can see a kind of radiance in them. Of course some of them were power hungry and became disaffected, any large community will have a proportion of bad apples. It seems it is hard to teach all of the people at the same time.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Saw the last episode, it was essentially the last few events that led up to Osho leaving the US and returning to India and a summary of what happened to him and the other major players in the documentary. I thought it was surprisingly sympathetic to the sannyasins.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    My understanding is still that sham teachers produce (snip) sheep followers, negative outcomes etc.

    I have a slightly different perspective, because I know some followers of Osho who were there at Rajneeshpuram during the events portrayed in the documentary. Most are now in their 60’s, but I think that for many of them the years in the commune were among the best years in their lives. I wouldn’t call those experiences negative outcomes, or the people sheep followers. Instead I would say their experiences with Osho lent another, more spiritual dimension to otherwise disaffected lives. It was more something to do with being, rather than thinking.

    Clarity produces wisdom, greater good in people and society. Might be a clue there ...

    Certainly the whole Rajneeshpuram episode produced a lot of bigoted reactions in Americans, but I think that’s unavoidable when introducing a free-thinking spiritual community into a very conservative area.

    lobster
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 10

    @Kerome said:
    Certainly from a Buddhist perspective Osho had shortcomings as a teacher, such as not taking a stand on right speech or ethics. But labelling him a sham teacher also does not quite hit the mark... he undeniably had a potent magnetism, made significant contributions to the art of meditation, and in terms of his overall impact I can’t think of any single Buddhist teacher who started with nothing and achieved the kind of following he did.

    Osho’s teaching - which the documentary series hardly touched upon - was not Buddhist in nature, it crossed the boundaries of religions and urged people not to repress anything while staying loving and compassionate. The idea of his many lectures was to introduce his followers to the many paths of spirituality, give them a taste of each, and let them choose a governing principle according to their own hearts.

    From what I’ve seen, many of Osho’s sannyasins were beautiful people who were helped by his presence in their lives, even in the archive footage in the documentary you can see a kind of radiance in them. Of course some of them were power hungry and became disaffected, any large community will have a proportion of bad apples. It seems it is hard to teach all of the people at the same time.

    You refer to him as a Buddhist teacher. I don't think I've ever heard that before. Wasn't he some sort of Hindu teacher? Or neither; his own blend of teachings? I wouldn't call him Buddhist. "Eclectic", maybe?

  • techietechie India Veteran
    edited April 10

    @Dakini said:

    @Kerome said:
    Certainly from a Buddhist perspective Osho had shortcomings as a teacher, such as not taking a stand on right speech or ethics. But labelling him a sham teacher also does not quite hit the mark... he undeniably had a potent magnetism, made significant contributions to the art of meditation, and in terms of his overall impact I can’t think of any single Buddhist teacher who started with nothing and achieved the kind of following he did.

    Osho’s teaching - which the documentary series hardly touched upon - was not Buddhist in nature, it crossed the boundaries of religions and urged people not to repress anything while staying loving and compassionate. The idea of his many lectures was to introduce his followers to the many paths of spirituality, give them a taste of each, and let them choose a governing principle according to their own hearts.

    From what I’ve seen, many of Osho’s sannyasins were beautiful people who were helped by his presence in their lives, even in the archive footage in the documentary you can see a kind of radiance in them. Of course some of them were power hungry and became disaffected, any large community will have a proportion of bad apples. It seems it is hard to teach all of the people at the same time.

    You refer to him as a Buddhist teacher. I don't think I've ever heard that before. Wasn't he some sort of Hindu teacher? Or neither; his own blend of teachings? I wouldn't call him Buddhist. "Eclectic", maybe?

    He taught many things (Buddhism, sufism, tantra, yoga, etc.), but his emphasis was mostly on zen.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 10

    @Dakini said:

    @Kerome said:
    Certainly from a Buddhist perspective Osho had shortcomings as a teacher, such as not taking a stand on right speech or ethics.

    Osho’s teaching was not buddhist in nature...

    You refer to him as a Buddhist teacher. I don't think I've ever heard that before. Wasn't he some sort of Hindu teacher? Or neither; his own blend of teachings? I wouldn't call him Buddhist. "Eclectic", maybe?

    Perhaps you read something that I didn’t mean to say? I said his teachings were not Buddhist, and from the perspective of a Buddhist what he did teach had a few shortcomings.

    He taught his own path, that is for sure.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 12

    @Kerome said:

    @Dakini said:

    @Kerome said:
    Certainly from a Buddhist perspective Osho had shortcomings as a teacher, such as not taking a stand on right speech or ethics.

    Osho’s teaching was not buddhist in nature...

    You refer to him as a Buddhist teacher. I don't think I've ever heard that before. Wasn't he some sort of Hindu teacher? Or neither; his own blend of teachings? I wouldn't call him Buddhist. "Eclectic", maybe?

    Perhaps you read something that I didn’t mean to say? I said his teachings were not Buddhist, and from the perspective of a Buddhist what he did teach had a few shortcomings.

    He taught his own path, that is for sure.

    OK, I guess it was this statement that sounded like you were including him in the category of "Buddhist teachers". Apparently you were only comparing him to Buddhist teachers?

    I can’t think of any single Buddhist teacher who started with nothing and achieved the kind of following he did.

    I don't think that building a huge following is, in itself, something laudatory, without looking at what is being taught, and the effect of the teachings and teacher's behavior on the students, and considering ethical issues, if any. Not to mention--considering the effect of the community or movement on the larger human environment in which it's located. There are, indeed, Buddhist teachers who have achieved the kind of following Osho had, but they're extremely controversial, and one recently stepped down from his position of head of a large international organization, when his organization was sued in a French court. The governing board of another such global organization recently issued a statement finally admitting to decades of abuse of its followers, and pledging to reform.

    One might even venture to say that seeking to build a large following is a manifestation of ego. The best teachers are often the reluctant ones.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I came across this Medium post by Dickon Kent, who lived as a teenager at Rajneeshpuram and hosted a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything about his time there to fill in some of the gaps in the documentary

    https://medium.com/@dickonkent/what-wild-wild-country-didn-t-say-57-questions-answered-by-a-teenage-rajneeshpuram-resident-a1d32821a5f8

    person
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited April 22

    @Dakini said:
    I don't think that building a huge following is, in itself, something laudatory, without looking at what is being taught, and the effect of the teachings and teacher's behavior on the students, and considering ethical issues, if any.

    I think it depends. Buddhist teachers work from the perspective of being Buddhist, which means they have a ready made pool of followers to draw on. Whereas Osho did not, hence my statement, “...starting from nothing.”

    Either way, having a significant impact on the world spiritual stage is nothing to be sneezed at. I quite admire Osho for his stances on joy and celebration, being inclusive of multiple traditions, a healthy openness towards sex, and being aware of issues like overpopulation.

    The best teachers are often the reluctant ones.

    I’d dispute that a reluctant teacher is better. Anyone who does something reluctantly is not going to be as good at it as someone who does it with their heart and soul.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited April 22

    I don't think @Dakini used the term 'reluctant', in the sense of their not really wanting to teach, @Kerome .
    I think she meant it as their hesitation in referring to themselves as 'Teacher' in the sense that they would be elevated to a status they weren't looking for, or comfortable in accepting.

    My Qi Gong master was such a man. A group of his students (myself included) advised him, during a discussion on how our lives had changed due to our incorporating Qi Gong into our lives as a discipline, that we considered him our Master. He refuted the notion, declaring that he would never refer to himself in this way. I replied, "perhaps not; if that is not a title you would carry for yourself, you cannot prevent us from thinking you so."
    He was a very modest and humble man, but as great and wonderful a teacher as anyone might wish to have.

    lobsterFosdickDakinikando
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    You are very fortunate @federica

    Most people prefer a clown in a circus.

    They mistake entertainment for the Path. Why? Delusion for sweet dreams perhaps ...
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1865425/

    Dakini
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    As with Chögyam Trungpa, I do like Osho's teachings, but the human being leaves much to be desired.

    Should spiritual teachers lead irreproachable lives?
    We would be led to believe that those human beings who are in possession of precious knowledge that the rest of us mugs do not possess, should be able to lead wiser, more fullfilled lives, but maybe it is our expectation that is wrong.

    As far as I am concerned, no, I never heard of Osho being described as a Buddhist teacher.
    He had a very comprehensive knowledge of different spiritual paths, but he was not mainly a Buddhist.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    @DhammaDragon, I was a personal attendant of the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. I have seen comments about him on this forum and i'm hoping that what i say may clear things up a bit or muddy them up more. as is usually the case.

    He was a Buddha. To experience his mind was to know that enlightenment existed. He was completely real, whether falling down drunk or in bed with a girlfriend, and he crackled with magic ( he was the holder of the crazy wisdom lineage in the Kagyu tradition.) Maybe some time i'll try to explain crazy wisdom and what it felt like. He was not for everyone. Either one had a karmic link or they didn't, which may account for the negativity some express toward him.

    Using conventional morality really doesn't apply in the case of beings like CTR. I'm not making excuses for him just stating the truth of my experience with him. No matter what you heard, at least in my presence he never hurt anyone physically or mentally. However, it could get painful if one got attached to him.

    He was never, ever, ruffled, and he was always, always awake ( you would drift off in his presence, and find him looking in your eyes in what seemed years later, when you came back, embarrassing.) He was gentle to the point where gentleness was seen to be the most powerful attribute a human could have. And people in the know, knew what he was. A peer of his, a Rinpoche, once said that a being of his attainment appeared but every two hundred years in Tibetan Buddhism.

    He could be outrageous in a quiet way and scary. When no one is really there, and you see it, it can give one a start.

    I wrote a book about him that i won't divulge, because i don't want to use the forum as a book store. The book is not under my Buddhist name. I'm writing this so you know i could relate a whole book about him.

    I appreciate your comment above, "maybe our expectation is wrong"' concerning people like my teacher.

    Like many, i feel the drinking that killed him was an immense loss to the world, and i wonder why he drank like he did. On the other hand, he cared not a whit about death.

    One may laugh this off, but i would not recommend getting abusive toward my teacher, and i'm speaking from personal experience ( not him but another realized being.) Also there is no benefit comparing teachers, if one has devotion to a given teacher let it be. One tampers with it at their own risk.

    Do not expect me to argue the merits of my teacher. Read about him and make you're own decisions, but read about him from people who really knew him. For example, Pema Chodron was a Sangha friend of mine and she can be relied on.

    I write this not as a puffed up name dropper, but as a broken hearted student who misses their teacher. Finally, with all my heart, i wish that all of you have the good fortune to meet the teacher.

    personShoshinlobsterKerome
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Just to be clear, @Tsultrim, my comment was not intended to criticise Chogyam Trungpa, as it was not to criticise Osho.
    I just pointed out the similarity of contradictory personalities.
    That's all.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    @ DhammaDragon: I actually thought your approach was open and insightful. None of my remarks concerned you.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Thank you for the clarification, @Tsultrim.
    English is my second language and my posts can be easily misunderstood.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    I wish I could use a second language like that.😃

    Buddhadragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I have found that words often have a habit of getting in the way of the truth ... :)

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:
    I wish I could use a second language like that.😃

    I wish I could use my first language like that :)

    BuddhadragonKundo
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    I have found that words often have a habit of getting in the way of the truth ... :)

    I have found that words always get in the way of nondualistic truth. Anything said about it always misleads to some extent, but as Katagiri Roshi, a former teacher of mine, entitled one of his books, "You Have To Say Something."' :)

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 28

    Yes I have read the book... :)

    When you really understand your life-when you really understand what makes it possible for all beings to exist-there is nothing to say.You just keep silent. But still you have to do something. This is why I always tell you to keep your mouth shut and act with true heart. Buddha natiure is the state of your life as you stand atop a hundred foot pole. You have to do something. Take one step.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    I looked through it. I read a good bit of his first book, the title escapes me. He was my teacher for awhile but then I moved from Minneapolis. My main teacher was Chogyam Trungpa. You have a Zen type name, did you know Katagiri?

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:
    I looked through it. I read a good bit of his first book, the title escapes me. He was my teacher for awhile but then I moved from Minneapolis. My main teacher was Chogyam Trungpa. You have a Zen type name, did you know Katagiri?

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other word would smell as sweet;"

    @Tsultrim

    The name is just something I picked up when browsing around the mind's opportunity shop...I tried it on and liked the fit ;)

    No I didn't know him,but found his book interesting and informative ...Most of the teachers I have had the good fortune to sit in their presence were Tibetan Buddhists...

    But the Dharma being the Dharma and Wholesome Dharma teachers being Wholesome Dharma teachers,(Theravada Mahayana (including Zen) Vajrayana) sit with one sat with them all :)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:
    @DhammaDragon, I was a personal attendant of the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. I have seen comments about him on this forum and i'm hoping that what i say may clear things up a bit or muddy them up more. as is usually the case.

    Thank you for explaining about Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, I only know him by reputation but what you have said rings true to me. Personal experience of a real teacher is something special, even if that teacher was by today’s society’s measures imperfect.

    Also there is no benefit comparing teachers, if one has devotion to a given teacher let it be. One tampers with it at their own risk.

    That is so.

    lobster
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 28

    I DO hold my formal teachers to a higher standard. Do they make mistakes? Of course. But they better be small ones.....or I’m out. Dueses. The main job of a leader/teacher (in any setting) is to set by example, first and foremost. If your life is more fucked up than mine and you can barely keep your stuff together....You need to take the time to work through your stuff instead of enjoying the fruits of having followers love all over you. I know right from wrong when I see it....and knowing how fragile my mind is (through Buddhist practice)...I’m not subjecting it to shit that looks wrong....no matter how much you try to pretty it up.

    That’s just my real talk...

    Disclaimer:...I’m not naming any specific teachers....yours or mine. So...don’t take it personal or feel you have to defend anyone. I’m just sharing MY yardstick/standards. Do you.

    lobsterBuddhadragon
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Both the parents of an ex-boyfriend were shrinks.
    So were a married couple of neighbours in a former place where I used to live.
    Two of my best friends are also shrinks.
    All of them were and are couple counselors.
    But in view of the poor way in which they handle their love life -the way they handle their overall life is not much better- I would have some reservations before requiring their services to help me solve my own issues.

    Some people are sort of gurustruck and are of the opinion that we should unquestioningly accept a teacher's personality/behaviour/teaching.
    This is not my case.
    Like @Vastmind, I may accept some things, but not without questioning.
    The ability to question is the most wonderful innovation that Buddhadhamma introduced in the spiritual world and I am not ready to renounce to it.
    So while I may take from teachers and teachings the things that help me advance in my spiritual path, I am not ready to embrace unquestioningly just one teacher, just one sangha, just one teaching.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    What would you do if you suddenly experienced enlightenment, unexpectedly, through a teacher giving you mind transmission? Are you aware of mind transmission? If not I suggest you read about it. That is why I and others followed him, for the wonder of his presence. It's all about mind just like the "real" world.

    It may be a lot to ask of others to believe in such things as mind transmission and crazy wisdom etc. I understand the reluctance to trust a teacher, I know and have personally witnessed the horror stories of wayward teachers myself (not CTR). I advocate extreme caution, extreme caution in committing to a teacher, and the danger with a guru is orders of magnitude more.

    personlobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:
    What would you do if you suddenly experienced enlightenment, unexpectedly, through a teacher giving you mind transmission? Are you aware of mind transmission? If not I suggest you read about it. That is why I and others followed him, for the wonder of his presence. It's all about mind just like the "real" world.

    It may be a lot to ask of others to believe in such things as mind transmission and crazy wisdom etc. I understand the reluctance to trust a teacher, I know and have personally witnessed the horror stories of wayward teachers myself (not CTR). I advocate extreme caution, extreme caution in committing to a teacher, and the danger with a guru is orders of magnitude more.

    My experience of mind transmission in TB from lesser rinpoches than CTR was overall very positive but other non enlightenment qualities seeped in as well. For example being a westerner, keeping a skeptical mind is important to me, rationality is more important to me than tradition and individualism is my mind cultural mindset rather than the collective mindset of Asia. I found myself mentally brought along in the Dharma by osmosis but I also found these cultural values important to me being changed as well and I didn't care for it. Mind transmission is seemingly magical to someone who has never encountered it, being so there is a tendency to trust that it is unassailably correct, my experience wasn't that. My experience was that the transmission transferred all the teachers qualities, not just the good ones. I certainly can't say that is universally true but that is what was true for me.

    Vastmindlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Teachers come is all shapes sizes and different personality traits
    Hmm...There are no straight lines in nature ...
    A finger may have lumps and bumps & twists but can still point in the 'right' direction , if the seeker is paying attention :)

    personBuddhadragon
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    My experience of mind transmission in TB from lesser rinpoches than CTR was overall very positive but other non enlightenment qualities seeped in as well. For example being a westerner, keeping a skeptical mind is important to me, rationality is more important to me than tradition and individualism is my mind cultural mindset rather than the collective mindset of Asia. I found myself mentally brought along in the Dharma by osmosis but I also found these cultural values important to me being changed as well and I didn't care for it. Mind transmission is seemingly magical to someone who has never encountered it, being so there is a tendency to trust that it is unassailably correct, my experience wasn't that. My experience was that the transmission transferred all the teachers qualities, not just the good ones. I certainly can't say that is universally true but that is what was true for me.

    Hi @person, i don't believe we've communicated before; nice to meet you. Well, we're in the realm of experience now, so i will tread lightly. No one likes their experience stomped on, since most of us feel it is what we are.

    I received transmission many times from CTR, but i'll relate the first one. The feeling was so exquisite that i never wanted to leave it; it was restful in a way i'd never known before and vast. I just wanted to stay there forever. Unfortunately, karma overwhelmed me in several days and i was back to being a "man in the street."' On all occasions, thereafter, nasty, nasty karma stole my" precious" after several days.

    Interestingly, writing about skeptical mind, i looked into CTR's eyes as skeptically as i could and was greeted by a limitless space that was so boring to my usually busy mind that i could scarcely tolerate it. This experience without an experiencer transcended rationality, culture, individualism and anything else conceptual mind can muster.

    So, that is what was true for me.

    person
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 28

    @Tsultrim .... yes, I’m aware of mind transmission.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    Being is believing. How's that country music in Memphis doing? =)

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited April 28

    @Tsultrim said:
    ..... How's that country music in Memphis doing? =)

    I wouldn’t know....I don’t listen to it, remember? :mrgreen:

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    Yes, i seem to recall that. =)

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:

    My experience of mind transmission in TB from lesser rinpoches than CTR was overall very positive but other non enlightenment qualities seeped in as well. For example being a westerner, keeping a skeptical mind is important to me, rationality is more important to me than tradition and individualism is my mind cultural mindset rather than the collective mindset of Asia. I found myself mentally brought along in the Dharma by osmosis but I also found these cultural values important to me being changed as well and I didn't care for it. Mind transmission is seemingly magical to someone who has never encountered it, being so there is a tendency to trust that it is unassailably correct, my experience wasn't that. My experience was that the transmission transferred all the teachers qualities, not just the good ones. I certainly can't say that is universally true but that is what was true for me.

    Hi @person, i don't believe we've communicated before; nice to meet you. Well, we're in the realm of experience now, so i will tread lightly. No one likes their experience stomped on, since most of us feel it is what we are.

    I received transmission many times from CTR, but i'll relate the first one. The feeling was so exquisite that i never wanted to leave it; it was restful in a way i'd never known before and vast. I just wanted to stay there forever. Unfortunately, karma overwhelmed me in several days and i was back to being a "man in the street."' On all occasions, thereafter, nasty, nasty karma stole my" precious" after several days.

    Interestingly, writing about skeptical mind, i looked into CTR's eyes as skeptically as i could and was greeted by a limitless space that was so boring to my usually busy mind that i could scarcely tolerate it. This experience without an experiencer transcended rationality, culture, individualism and anything else conceptual mind can muster.

    So, that is what was true for me.

    Yes, I expect that is true. I was saying that the teachers I encountered weren't at CTR's level, it may be that his outward behavior didn't truly reflect his inner qualities, I'm saying that the ability of a teacher to employ a direct transmission doesn't automatically imply perfection.

  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    @person: Since we're on the topic of mind transmission i'll say a little more about it. Strictly speaking, the teacher does not give another transmission, it is a mutual opening of minds that causes it to happen. Both parties must open. Of course i don't think CTR's mind closed under any circumstances, drunk, sick etc.

    It was quite strange how it occurred. For me, it wasn't some elaborate ritual, like an abisheka in TB. It occurred unexpectedly, off the wall, like there was a crack in my mind clouds and the sun appeared. I wasn't trying to make the crack or to be especially open, yet sometimes it happened and sometimes not. In those days, i was a strong daily practitioner and i did retreats etc, which may have helped me.

    This may test belief, but to my eye, CTR drunk, vomiting sick, falling off a horse, sitting in front of a hundred people who all yelled unexpectedly to see his reaction was always perfection. As they say of Buddhas, "One never has enough of seeing him." and that was my experience of CTR. I couldn't take my eyes off the perfection. =)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I couldn't take my eyes off the perfection. =)

    Certainly the whole Rajneeshpuram episode produced a lot of bigoted reactions in Americans, but I think that’s unavoidable when introducing a free-thinking spiritual community into a very conservative area.

    Free-thinking, entranced sheep. [Be kind, must not laugh]

    Baah-ah-ha-ha-hah
    Oops! :3

    kando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Tsultrim said:
    Since we're on the topic of mind transmission i'll say a little more about it. Strictly speaking, the teacher does not give another transmission, it is a mutual opening of minds that causes it to happen. Both parties must open. Of course i don't think CTR's mind closed under any circumstances, drunk, sick etc.

    It was quite strange how it occurred. For me, it wasn't some elaborate ritual, like an abisheka in TB. It occurred unexpectedly, off the wall, like there was a crack in my mind clouds and the sun appeared. I wasn't trying to make the crack or to be especially open, yet sometimes it happened and sometimes not. In those days, i was a strong daily practitioner and i did retreats etc, which may have helped me.

    This may test belief, but to my eye, CTR drunk, vomiting sick, falling off a horse, sitting in front of a hundred people who all yelled unexpectedly to see his reaction was always perfection. As they say of Buddhas, "One never has enough of seeing him." and that was my experience of CTR. I couldn't take my eyes off the perfection. =)

    I can understand a little how it felt, I’ve heard similar stories from some Osho sannyasins. I certainly think such things deserve a generous helping of respect.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited April 29

    Mind transmission... a more technical way to say that sometimes we meet certain teachers and there is that flash of instant affinity, recognition... maybe even a "wow" moment, maybe a buddhic connection or samadhi of sorts.

    In some ways, it is not so different from meeting a person that is to become a good friend or falling in love.
    Give or take whichever term from the Buddhist semantics we want to apply.

    Some people place much importance in the fact of receiving guidance from a particular teacher or guru, and that is all they need for their spiritual path.
    Others may prefer to try different teachers and sanghas for size.
    Being privvy to the more human aspects of a teacher would not make me appreciate him less.
    My objectivity does not prevent me from accepting all the people in my life with their virtues and flaws, the same way I am accepted by them.

    lobster
  • TsultrimTsultrim Hawaii Veteran

    I would like to approach mind transmission from a broader perspective, and that brings me to the Vajrayana.

    In the VY, the teacher takes us through 3 stages. In the Hinayana stage, the teacher is our elder, an experienced person who introduces and guides us in Buddhism, like a grandparent helps us with their experience of life. In the next stage, the Mahayana,the teacher becomes our spiritual friend, one who teaches us how to be of benefit to others by his or her example. In the Varjrayana, the teacher becomes the embodiment of enlightenment, enlightenment in the flesh.

    The Vajrayana is the yana of devotion to the teacher. Without devotion, handing over our hearts and minds to the teacher, there is no Vajrayana. Admittedly, it is a risky proposition, and many shy away from it, but it can also be the making of our existence and existences to come.

    The Buddha experienced (without an experiencer) the true nature of mind, enlightenment. As Buddhists we strive to do the same. Unfortunately, enlightenment doesn't care if we experience it or not, it is simply there, for us to find. The Vajrayana is one way to find it. It is known as the fast way, because of its practices, but more importantly, because of the teacher, the guru. If we are in a hurry to get enlightened ( we don't get it, it just happens, actually) then the Vajrayana is an option, a fast and dangerous one.

    Accomplished Vajrayana teachers have the ability to transmit enlightenment to students who are open and devoted enough to receive it. The transmission does not feel like love or sudden friendship, it feels, without anyone feeling it , like the empty awareness of the true nature of mind, Furthermore, It feels unlike anything else we have experienced, since it is enlightenment and we aren't enlightened up to that point or we probably wouldn't be there.

    Many Buddhists, much less laypeople, never experience the true nature of mind, and some by default even claim it's bogus. Mind transmission is therefore a tremendous boon to a Buddhist practitioner, because it shows us that enlightenment does in fact exist and that we have the ability to experience it. Although in my case, it didn't last, seeing it provides a huge catalyst for us to practice, listen to the teacher and read the teachings and realize it for our self.

    Also, mind transmission can happen to all of us,with the correct commitment. It can also occur in other disciplines. The mind transmission received by the 6th patriarch of Zen Buddhism is an example and a wonderful story to read.

    To summarize, if we really want enlightenment we have to commit to it, like any endeavor. If we're happy with Buddhist ethics, meditation and appreciate it intellectually we may not feel a need to get enlightened , and i have known many Buddhists like that who we're admirable people and good practitioners with a thorough understanding of the Dharma. Then there are those with an intense desire to attain enlightenment, those who benefit greatly from mind transmission. They seek out a great teacher, practice faithfully and one day it happens.

    personShoshinlobster
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