Tibetan Buddhist teacher Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has issued, on Facebook, his “Social media guidelines for so-called Vajrayana students.” (You might recall that Rinpoche has an article in our January magazine, “Not For Happiness”– you can preview that here.) While its title indicates that the piece is just for practitioners of Vajrayana, or tantric, Buddhism — and many of the guidelines are indeed Vajrayana-specific — a good deal of what he has to say may be of interest and help to anyone interested in Buddhism or spirituality who also spends time online. (More, after the jump.)
- Don’t share your experiences and so-called attainments: If you think declaring what you think you have attained is worthwhile, you may have been busy bolstering your delusion. Trying to impress others with your practice is not part of the practice. Try to be genuine and humble. Nobody cares about your experiences in meditation, even if they include visions of buddhas, unicorns or rainbows. If you think you are free of self deception, go ahead, think again.
- Don’t attempt to share your so-called wisdom: If you think receiving profound teachings gives you license to proclaim them, you will probably only display your ignorance. Before you “share” a quote from the Buddha or from any of your teachers, take a moment to think if they really said those words, and who the audience was meant to be.
- Always be mindful of your motivation: Please do not attempt to display “crazy wisdom”behaviors online, just inspire others to have a good heart. If you think you are posting something out of compassion, try first to make sure you are doing no harm. Whenever you can’t let go of the itch to post something, make sure that it helps whoever who reads it and the Dharma.
You’ll find the entirety of Rinpoche’s guidelines posted on his Facebook page; visit him there for more.
For more on Vajrayana, browse the Shambhala Sun archives, where you’ll find plenty of articles like:
This Very Mind, Empty and Luminous, by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche – We can see awakening in the world around us, but we can also turn the telescope inward and look directly at our mind. In the Vajrayana school of Buddhism, we discover that this very mind is the mind of the Buddha, and what we’ve been searching for so long has been right in front of us all the time.