About Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, Secrecy, Misconduct and Purity

Here is a powerful repost of a teaching from my teacher Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Yes, we need to see the world as fundamentally pure, this is how it is and how we are. This however, can not be misconstrued for people using their spirituality to scare or harm others, or stay silent if students, women or children are exploited or hurt. There is a nuance here that many of us need to reevaluate. I’d like to discuss what he is saying here in terms of the direct request we have from the Dalai Lama, that we need to have a revolution from “Lama corruption.” Tulku Urgyen’s son Mingyur Rinpoche says that sexual misconduct and violence are never used as teaching methods, no matter the stories of the Buddhist saints of old. It’s been predicted that during these dark ages, that Lama misconduct and wrong views would cause the downfall of the genuine dharma, and all that care, must try to stop it. Furthermore, scholar Holly Gayley also talks about the old tantric practices such as “secret consort” that can never be used anymore in the days of ethics and transparency.

So, can we hold both views, seeing each other as pure, and yet call out what is obscured? If we continue to stay silent in the face of falsity and harm, that silence has caused the beginning of this downfall of the tradition as a whole. We don’t want to destroy the powerful methods that help us to heal, have compassion, learn grow and evolve, we want to prune what hinders that. We can’t use religion to hurt each other and call it pure, the Buddha would be mortified to see this.

The pure view comes from us being rooted in knowing that our misconduct, obstructions are in fact not who we are. We can look honestly at who we are, what we have done, feel regret and uncover the real Buddha, wisdom that so longs to emerge. This is the four powers of correcting karmic patterns and very powerful. We can see that we possess already natural ethics and expression of our natural purity. The light is there, always on, always bright, despite the appearance of stain. Seeing this is keeping our vows, we forgive ourselves and each other, but we are not covering, complicit, deluded and silencing. I hope we can all see this point clearly.

Dharma Friends & Pure Perception by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Be respectful, kind, beneficial and affectionate to all Dharma friends. Never harbor bad intentions, anger or deceit towards them, nor inflict harm upon them. Regard Dharma friends as your vajra brothers and sisters. Do not slander them. Do not gossip divisively about either your Dharma friends or other practitioners and teachers. Do not harm your own practice by indulging in impure perception. Extend pure perception as much as you can. A genuine yogi or yogini has unrestricted pure perception. Do not restrict your pure perception to your own root-guru alone. Acknowledge the timeless enlightened quality in each and every being.

Vajrayana in general is training in pure perception—Dzogchen is even much more so. How can you call yourself a practitioner of Dzogchen if you spend your time defaming, finding fault with or criticizing others? Maintain the view of pure sight, sound and awareness. This is how samsara and nirvana actually are, pervaded by the three kayas or three vajras. Sentient beings might not be aware of their Buddha Nature, but they are nevertheless endowed with the three kayas.

You need to train in pure perception by accepting and respecting the three kayas in everyone. Great masters do perceive all sights, sound and cognitive activity as infinite purity. Once recognition of awareness is stabilized, there is no more impurity to be perceived. Train in this by thinking: “As the Buddha Nature pervades all beings, not a single being is unsuitable.” The more you respect Buddha Nature in others and train in pure perception, the more your own practice will progress.

Slandering beings is slandering buddha nature; stop doing that. If due to your own impurity you perceive mistakes in other beings, at least do not voice them. If your awareness practice is too weak to sustain pure perception naturally, try to develop a rapport within an intellectual understanding of Buddha Nature in others. Know that your impure perception of others only happens either because you have not recognized genuine awareness, or because that recognition is not developed. Criticizing and slandering others puts you out of tune with the enlightened essence.

You mainly harm yourself. The most unrealized so-called practitioner of Dzogchen can at least keep his or her mouth shut, even if he can not actually maintain the view.

A deceitful person sees everybody with suspicion and finds many mistakes in others. A pure person naturally perceives others to be good. How much more so does a perfect yogin or yogini. He or she has the perception of infinite purity. They will actually perceive all forms as the bodies of the deities, all sounds as mantra, and all thoughts and emotions as the display of awareness. In their perception of pure sight, sound and awareness there is no attachment to friends, or aversion to enemies. Awareness itself being free from concepts of good and bad, proper and improper, they perceive everything as great equanimity. They do not accept or reject friends or foes. They perceive not the tiniest speck of impurity. As is said, “Arriving at a golden island, one cannot find ordinary earth or stones even if one searches for them.” In general, good and bad are your own perception, so you cannot possibly see faults in others when your own are purified.

–from a teaching by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche


Repost from: https://www.buddhistmala.com/pure_perception.html

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