Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Alfredo » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:56 pm

I don't have any easy answers. Each of us can only do so much.

One problem is that Tibetan Buddhist leaders tend to close ranks around one another. Try to find a Tibetan lama to criticize Chogyam Trungpa or Sogyal Rinpoche! On the contrary, even well-behaved lamas will praise them and recommend their books. Another is the fact that their Western and East Asian audiences are less a community than an audience or market--there are no effective ethical constraints, any more than with TV evangelists.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:28 pm

smcj wrote:
No, just the superficiality of judging qualifications based on ethnic origin. I was quite lucky to have a Western root guru. They rarely get the respect they deserve based on their study and accomplishment.

Ok, so you feel your teacher did not get the respect he deserved? I mean, if you respected him, isn't that good enough?


No, it's not about me or my teacher. It's about the fetishism that gives a free pass to a certain group based on their ethnicity while being intensely critical of another group based on its ethnicity. Hence we have all sorts of monasteries in India embarking on grand building projects while Western monastics have little, if any, support. (There are of course many that argue that monasticism is not suited to the West but that's another discussion). The dharma will not survive in the West if it is dependent on a steady import of Tibetan teachers. Do you think it would have survived in Tibet at its inception if everyone insisted on having Indian teachers?

Fortunately there are real efforts by some groups to truly instantiate the Dharma here, from ChNNNR's tremendous generosity to the FPMT's Basic and Masters Programs to the various 3-year retreat facilities and the critical, ambitious translation work of 84000.

To be clear, I have no idea whether Lama Ivo is genuine nor does it matter as I will not be studying with him. As I don't know what his intention is nor do I have any experience with him, I don't think it would be skillful to criticize him based on general principle.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Alfredo wrote:The notion that it is enough to focus on our own teachers, and ignore the wider ethical problems plaguing Tibetan Buddhism (or Buddhism in general), to me shows a lack of spiritual responsibility.


So what do you suggest? Frankly, most of us who have been around for any length of time have come to the conclusion that trying to out unethical teachers doesn't work. Their students just cling tighter, and circle the wagons. For example, Mary Finnegan has been waging a war on Sogyal Rinpoche for more than twenty years. Is he any less successful? No. He is more successful than ever.


He's right.

For those that maybe don't know what topic Loppon is referring to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... WhIivvmMnk

There is a newer blog that allows for open discussion of that video here, with comments as recent as August:
http://www.thenakedmonk.com/2012/09/30/ ... is-a-cult/

Take good care.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:42 pm

As I said above others have the knowledge to read the nuances between the lines here than the degree of my knowledge allows..but we seem to have segued from general misgivings to association with well documented sexual predation ..is there evidence for that kind of abuse from 'Ivo ' ?
Have I missed something ?
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:48 pm

Alfredo wrote:I don't have any easy answers. Each of us can only do so much.

One problem is that Tibetan Buddhist leaders tend to close ranks around one another. Try to find a Tibetan lama to criticize Chogyam Trungpa or Sogyal Rinpoche! On the contrary, even well-behaved lamas will praise them and recommend their books. Another is the fact that their Western and East Asian audiences are less a community than an audience or market--there are no effective ethical constraints, any more than with TV evangelists.


I was a student of CTR. Many years after his death, while still attempting to come to terms with events
I asked Shamar Rinpoche what he made of it all. He was silent for a while. Then he said ' What I am sure about is that Trungpa Rinpoche did more for Dharma than most of us will do in many lifetimes '.
Closing ranks , or a greater truth ?
I don't know...Really.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Silent Bob » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:02 pm

michaelb wrote:
Alfredo wrote:Is anybody familiar with Lama Ivo? He is a Bulgarian with a Nyingma background, who in some sense broke away from this tradition a few years ago when he received/created a cycle of treasure-texts. His center is located in Mexico:

Ivo used to be on e-sangha under a few user names. He was also behind the Shechen Bulgaria website, which had a useful 'reading room' and the Nyingmaworld forum. I got chucked off his forum for disagreeing with their, as I saw it, rather odd moderation. Who knows?, he might be a terton. Good luck to him.


Oh, him!!! I was briefly a moderator on Nyingmaworld and got unceremoniously fired for gently suggesting that he lighten up on the abusive tone when responding to female posters in general and Yudron in particular. A lot of knowledge there, but bad vibes in abundance.

Chris
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:36 pm

Simon E. wrote:As I said above others have the knowledge to read the nuances between the lines here than the degree of my knowledge allows..but we seem to have segued from general misgivings to association with well documented sexual predation ..is there evidence for that kind of abuse from 'Ivo ' ?
Have I missed something ?



Alfredo seems to think that Ivo needs to be called out at as a fraud. My own position is that whether Ivo is a fraud, deluded, or authentic does not matter to me in the slightest.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:41 pm

I am in agreement with Malcolm and I spent a great deal of energy trying to correct what I knew were unfactual representations (i.e. lies) by groups like **T and Roach. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering what I should do regarding my serious doubts about another controversial teacher. I decided it was none of my business- if someone solicits my opinion I will say something, or maybe contribute a relevant piece of information to a thread.

But the more criticism a certain charlatan gets, the more the esteem of their students seems to increase. The persecution complex kicks in and the criticism (no matter how factual it may be) serves as fuel for their faith rather than fodder for healthy questioning.

So I backed off. I don't want to become like Mary Finnegan- she strikes me as a rather unhappy person with an axe to grind. And as I saw the resentment and frustration grow within myself about people making money and having sex while posing as "dharma teachers", I realized that resentment served no useful function.

Another thing- there are two sides to every story, and for example in Thailand a monk was recently framed for sexual misconduct- a video was shown to be faked.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:43 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Simon E. wrote:As I said above others have the knowledge to read the nuances between the lines here than the degree of my knowledge allows..but we seem to have segued from general misgivings to association with well documented sexual predation ..is there evidence for that kind of abuse from 'Ivo ' ?
Have I missed something ?



Alfredo seems to think that Ivo needs to be called out at as a fraud. My own position is that whether Ivo is a fraud, deluded, or authentic does not matter to me in the slightest.


My concern Malcolm, was that T.Chokyi with no justification that was clear to me then posted a video about sexual abuse by an unconnected Lama..
Now 'Ivo' may be all sorts of things but as far as I an aware there were no allegations of that kind..I think we should be cautious about lumping all cases into one.
And I take your point about it only being a concern if we claim it as a concern for ourselves.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:Frankly, most of us who have been around for any length of time have come to the conclusion that trying to out unethical teachers doesn't work. Their students just cling tighter, and circle the wagons. For example, Mary Finnegan has been waging a war on Sogyal Rinpoche for more than twenty years. Is he any less successful? No. He is more successful than ever.

Is Sogyal an unethical teacher in your opinion?
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:40 pm

michaelb wrote:I remember a story when a western student was talking to Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. One of them said that one of the three was by far the most realised but nobody would ever know which one. I think it went something like that.

I don't know that one, but it reminds me of this one from "Blazing Splendor":
After the scholar Tashi Ozer had studied with the renowned Paltrul, he remarked, "How can there be another lama of that kind on the surface of the earth? He is tremendously learned and accomplished!" Later, having studied with Khyentse, he said, "No one can possibly be more extraordinary!" Lastly, when he had studied with Kongtrul, he said, "Fantastic; this man is incomparable!"

One day, he had the chance to ask Khyentse, "Rinpoche, I'm a student of all three of you lamas, and I don't perceive anything other than great qualities in each of you. But tell me: If you were to compete, who would be the most learned?"
"Paltrul for sure is the most learned," Khyentse replied.
"Of the three of you, who benefits beings the most?"
Khyentse replied, "As the translator Vairotsana in human form, there is nobody who benefits beings like Kongtrul."
Again the scholar asked, "But among you three who has the highest realization?"
Khyentse raised his shoulders and head high and, without any hypocrisy or the least hint of smugness, declared, "Hey! The one with the highest realization? That's me! I'm the best."
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:52 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Frankly, most of us who have been around for any length of time have come to the conclusion that trying to out unethical teachers doesn't work. Their students just cling tighter, and circle the wagons. For example, Mary Finnegan has been waging a war on Sogyal Rinpoche for more than twenty years. Is he any less successful? No. He is more successful than ever.

Is Sogyal an unethical teacher in your opinion?



If the reports are true...but I do not know that they are...
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:56 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I am in agreement with Malcolm and I spent a great deal of energy trying to correct what I knew were unfactual representations (i.e. lies) by groups like **T and Roach. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering what I should do regarding my serious doubts about another controversial teacher. I decided it was none of my business- if someone solicits my opinion I will say something, or maybe contribute a relevant piece of information to a thread.

But the more criticism a certain charlatan gets, the more the esteem of their students seems to increase. The persecution complex kicks in and the criticism (no matter how factual it may be) serves as fuel for their faith rather than fodder for healthy questioning.
I'm not so sure. I think for committed students of controversial lamas that may be true, but even then not always. I also spent perhaps more time than I should have 'debating' with the followers of a fake geshe. I know for certain that some people decided not to follow him after what they read on the internet.

For people looking for lamas the value of objective information about a fake geshe in the West or a dubious "Tulku Rinpoche" in the East is a lot greater and may go some way to prevent them from wasting their precious time down a blind alley. Neither Malcolm nor you should regret what you did in turning people away from harmful teachers and towards the Dharma. Just because you don't see all the people you helped and still see people being harmed doesn't mean nothing good came from speaking the truth. I know for a fact that good has come out of sharing objective information. That's all we can do. If once having seen this and they still decide to follow a harmful path, at least you tried.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:02 pm

Simon E. wrote:
My concern Malcolm, was that T.Chokyi with no justification that was clear to me then posted a video about sexual abuse by an unconnected Lama..


So what do you suggest? Frankly, most of us who have been around for any length of time have come to the conclusion that trying to out unethical teachers doesn't work. Their students just cling tighter, and circle the wagons. For example, Mary Finnegan has been waging a war on Sogyal Rinpoche for more than twenty years. Is he any less successful? No. He is more successful than ever.


Hi Simon,

There are many people that ask me who Mary Finnegan is and who Sogyal Rinpoche is, so I figure I know about this video and blog, and I know very well what Malcolm means, why not share to illustrate Malcolm's point, it's a "free board", I didn't know I had to "justify" when I put a link on DW.

Malcolm made a very good point, but I'm not surprised that someone would jump to the conclusion from this post by Malcolm and the post I made that someone is accusing Ivo of sexual abuse.

I don't know Ivo and am not accusing him by showing something about what Malcolm was referring to.

:namaste:
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Is Sogyal an unethical teacher in your opinion?

If the reports are true...but I do not know that they are...

Are there serious doubts about the reports you are referring to?
Note that, in the higher tantras, there is talk of a self and an I, even though in the lower teachings the absence of self and the absence of I is what is always proclaimed. - Tony Duff
To educate the educated is notoriously difficult. - Jacques Barzun
སརྦ་དྷརྨ་དྷཱ་ཏུ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby michaelb » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:16 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Is Sogyal an unethical teacher in your opinion?

If the reports are true...but I do not know that they are...

Are there serious doubts about the reports you are referring to?

What reports? This report?
http://behindthethangkas.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/1-behind-the-thangkas/
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby T. Chokyi » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:02 pm



Yeah, those are the ones... getting back to the topic at hand, this page has some "Financial Aspects" on Ivo's website, and once again I don't know this Ivo: http://skydharma.com/receiving-teachings

To quote:

"....some special transmissions do require that the receiving student make sizable offerings, especially some of the teachings from the Dakini transmissions."


Sorry, but bells and whistles go off when I hear that somebody has to expect to make "sizable offerings" for a transmission, especially for "Dakini transmissions"...I got my "Dakini Transmissions" pretty inexpensively, very reasonably, but then again I wasn't buying "this cycle" maybe its the expensive one, and we should get prepared rather than expect any "work study"...hello?

From the "get go" I wasn't ever expected to make any "sizable offerings" to any of Lamas I've experienced for his/her transmissions, the teachers didn't ask for anything, but when money was given it was more often than not given back to the Dharma Center, but thats the kind of thing I admire and respond to in a good Lama, an action like that inspires me to try to offer something "sizable" even if at the time my finances could be really quite tight...in other words, the teacher's generosity evokes a response in me to become more generous, there is no idea of a "demand" from his/her side.

This idea of having an expectation to make sizable monetary donations gives me pause. Where is some idea about helping the student financially, or work study, wheres help if your broke? Well, I guess you'd be on the outs then!

Theres a thread somewhere recently about Dharma turning into "big business".

http://skydharma.com/is-this-thing-for-me

What about this list? Take a look at the second list for instance...

Whats wrong with having a career as a Dr. or something useful and integrating in your society?

I would have to disagree at number one on the second list found down under the upper first list, the second list has the title "On the other hand, if:", whats up with number 8?

8. You believe Stephen Hawking.

Its says

"If any of the above statements rings true, please realize that you would not feel comfortable with us"


Take a look at the list, I've never heard a Dzogchen master say you can't integrate in your society and want to be really
good in your field of work and integrate your life and practice within the context of what you're doing. I don't know... whats bad about Stephen Hawking? I read lots of peoples opinions, whether I like what Stephen Hawking says or not shouldn't mean I can't learn Dzogchen teachings.

whaaaaa?
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby smcj » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:48 pm

A friend of mine got burned by a rinpoche. His take on it was that if you can predict a lama's behavior based on the 8 worldly dharmas, then they are corrupt. But if their behavior is regardless of the 8 worldly dharmas, even if they may not be celibate or if they drink, then that might be extraordinary skillful means.

His other advice was to talk to a lama's former students before accepting him as a teacher. If the former students give the thumbs up, then that's a credible endorsement. But still, the ultimate decision is your responsibility.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby dzoki » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:51 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
dzoki wrote:These days there are people who are deceived by Mara into believing that they are discovering some teachings. People such as Seonaidh Perks, "Ngagpa" Chogyam and others (I am sure there are many more). Outwardly they may not appear mad and their conduct seems to be humble and down to earth, however inwardly they are mad, because they believe whatever visions they have to be true and they take them for a face value. Real tertons usually keep their discoveries secret for many years and do not broadcast them as soon as something popped up in their mind. Visions are just illusions, whether they are genuine pure visions or not. These days we have so many termas that there is a question whether it is really worth to reveal any new ones. So maybe it would be good for any new terton to first consider whether he clings to those visions or not and whether it is worth writing down anything that he might think of.


Yet if they come from a Tibetan settlement, wear a shantab and zen, speak in Pidgin English and call themselves "Tulku" then no matter how atrocious their behaviour they will be universally heralded as the second coming of Drukpa Kunleg by the same people that dismiss Western teachers as madmen. Such is our self-hatred and lack of appreciation of our culture.


Well for one I never dismissed serious western teachers as madmen, I merely dismissed those three individuals as mad. I have been "practicing" Dharma for 12 years, I don´t know if that is enough or not, in order to form an opinion. I don´t know how is the situation in Asia or America, so I cannot judge that. But here in Europe, I have come across all sorts of people in diferent sanghas (Tibetan buddhist sanghas that is). As a result of meeting all these different people I have become very skeptical about the possible success of Vajrayana dharma in Europe.
First of all majority of people in various sanghas appeared to be only superficially interested in practice and were absorbed in all kinds of side projects, social adventures and hobbies. Always busy and seldom finding time to do any serious formal practice and even during the session playing with all kinds of technical gadgetry or sitting as if on a heap of needles.
Secondly many people are totally naive and believe everything they read somewhere including the most stupid new-age bullshit. Then they mix this stuff they got from the internet with the Dharma they received from the teachers and present themselves as learned ones.
Thirdly people who at least have some intellectual capacity to grasp intellectual concepts of the teaching without mixing it with too much new age and esoteric nonsense are eager to become gurus, instructors and teachers even-though their practice and their character have not matured.
Especially over the last few years I have seen theft of sangha-money, lies, pretense and drug abuse. Seeing this I came to conclusion that people must be getting mad.
Having said that there are some genuine practitioners (or at least they appeared to be such to me) and teachers too - here and there- but they are so few, that I am afraid they will be trampled to the ground by the crowds of mad people seeking eight worldly dharmas.

I know that situation in Tibetan community is not a rosy one and I know of several fake Tibetan tulkus, but since I am an outsider to Tibetan community I do not feel qualified to express any detailed opinion on Tibetan practitioners. The fact that some people accept a teacher only based on his or her nationality and not qualities has to do with naivety of those Western students that I described above.
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Re: Lama Ivo Kalushev of Bulgaria

Postby smcj » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:06 pm

...and I know of several fake Tibetan tulkus...

Out-and-out fakes? As in self-recognized and never recognized by any tradition? Like that lady who says she is Tomo Geshe Rinpoche? Or just ones that legitimately have the title and are nothing but scoundrels. I've met a couple of those.

For instance we have the odd case of Steven Seagal. He was officially recognized as a tulku, so "officially" he is. Personally I wouldn't take teachings from him, at least not at this point. If he did some retreat and evolved significantly, then maybe. But I'm not holding my breath.

I think it should be said loud and often that "tulku" or "rinpoche" status is no guarantee of any Dharmic qualities. Even the ones that are correctly identified need practice to bring it out in them. Anybody that is unclear about this should watch the DVD "Tulku" which is by a bona-fide American tulku, one of Trungpa's sons. He's not into it at all, and just wants to be left alone to live his life.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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