The Buddha advised that the practice of the Vinaya has to be progressive, adapting to time and place. Over time, the nature of emotions, hang-ups, reference points, and neuroses have adjusted because of changing culture; therefore, the solutions have to be progressive.
One can be progressive and still traditional. The guru should not insist that students visualize the offering goddesses in the cartoonish Tibetan thangka style; if a student wishes to visualize something more akin to Billie Holiday, that should be fine — it doesn’t alter the practice. Likewise, if the student wishes to add a few items to the mandala plate, like headphones and false eyelashes, the guru should rejoice.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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