Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed May 21, 2014 12:46 am

Tom wrote:Diamondsutra,

I would like to know exactly what you know is made up.

Apparently the sutra is silent on this question.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 21, 2014 12:57 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Tom wrote:Diamondsutra,

I would like to know exactly what you know is made up.

Apparently the sutra is silent on this question.



It's a problem that so many people find their Buddhism on the shelves of Barnes and Noble's.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Adamantine » Wed May 21, 2014 12:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
It's a problem that so many people find their Buddhism on the shelves of Barnes and Noble's.


Yeah they really should be supporting the mom and pop bookstores :tongue:
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 21, 2014 12:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:It's a problem that so many people find their Buddhism on the shelves of Barnes and Noble's.
Don't be so judgmental, we all have to start somewhere. The problem is where do we go from there. I have run into my fair share of bogus teachers too (as have you, I imagine). Some compassion is needed at this point, as the lemmings rush towards the cliff.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 21, 2014 12:29 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It's a problem that so many people find their Buddhism on the shelves of Barnes and Noble's.
Don't be so judgmental, we all have to start somewhere. The problem is where do we go from there. I have run into my fair share of bogus teachers too (as have you, I imagine). Some compassion is needed at this point, as the lemmings rush towards the cliff.


What I am implying is that when one goes into a Barnes and Noble's, one sees books of various authors, and there is no guide to which authors are more legit, less legit and so on. Then people read a book, they like what it says, and they decide to make a Dharma connection with the author. It's a bit of a crap shoot.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
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: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 21, 2014 12:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:What I am implying is that when one goes into a Barnes and Noble's, one sees books of various authors, and there is no guide to which authors are more legit, less legit and so on. Then people read a book, they like what it says, and they decide to make a Dharma connection with the author. It's a bit of a crap shoot.
Sure, but for some people that is the only option available, and I'm not going to lecture you on karma now am I? :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby honestdboy » Fri May 23, 2014 3:06 am

Ha ha. You're Right! Karma even ripens in Barnes & Noble. Many elder Buddhists remind me of overprotective parents--the kind that don't think any guy is good enough to see their daughter. :smile:
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby dharmagoat » Fri May 23, 2014 3:20 am

Malcolm wrote:What I am implying is that when one goes into a Barnes and Noble's, one sees books of various authors, and there is no guide to which authors are more legit, less legit and so on. Then people read a book, they like what it says, and they decide to make a Dharma connection with the author. It's a bit of a crap shoot.

Who provides the guide, an who would appoint them?

It might be better to refer customers to Dharma Wheel. We'd put 'em straight.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Zhen Li » Fri May 23, 2014 5:28 am

This is why there's no point in being prejudiced against, for instance, the average New Kadampa practitioner. Many just turn up because they're into Buddhism, and go along for the ride for years not knowing that the rest of the Tibetan Buddhist community shuns them.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Nemo » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:14 pm

I totally missed this tabloid documentary on Diamond Mountain.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uudU3hrioPM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I watched it. They portray it as a total train wreck. We might actually have been too tame in this thread. Did Diamond Mountain make any refutations?
Last edited by Nemo on Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Jikan » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:27 pm

Zhen Li wrote:This is why there's no point in being prejudiced against, for instance, the average New Kadampa practitioner. Many just turn up because they're into Buddhism, and go along for the ride for years not knowing that the rest of the Tibetan Buddhist community shuns them.


I agree, but I also think this is a reason why Malcolm has a good point. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to keep people from having to make such a detour, costing them precious time and energy?

I spent the first four years of my Buddhist practice in the context of a "vipassana sangha." in the mid-late 1990s, this meant a heavy influence of Carl Jung, dharma talks that began with the thumping of a Native American-style hoop drum with a wolf painted on the head, and... anyway, by the time I moved to another town, I was eager to find out what Buddhism was about, after four years of trying to practice it. I think I would have been better off if I'd had some practical guidance beyond the reader's guides at Powell's City of Books, much less barnes & noble.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:31 pm

Jikan wrote:I think I would have been better off if I'd had some practical guidance beyond the reader's guides at Powell's City of Books,
much less barnes & noble.

I really think we need something like yelp for Dharma, but I haven't come up with a good domain name yet.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:56 pm

Jikan wrote:I spent the first four years of my Buddhist practice in the context of a "vipassana sangha." in the mid-late 1990s, this meant a heavy influence of Carl Jung, dharma talks that began with the thumping of a Native American-style hoop drum with a wolf painted on the head, .....


How could you have not known that this wasn't Buddhist practice? Did you all actually do vipassana after the Jung and the drumming? Actually the drumming part isn't bad but you had t know that it wasn't a traditional Buddhist practice.

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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby kirtu » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:58 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Jikan wrote:I think I would have been better off if I'd had some practical guidance beyond the reader's guides at Powell's City of Books,
much less barnes & noble.

I really think we need something like yelp for Dharma, but I haven't come up with a good domain name yet.


People often ask for opinions on this and that school/lineage/practice here.

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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:10 am

Jikan wrote:Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to keep people from having to make such a detour, costing them precious time and energy?


Sure. But the question is always if people want to hear what the critics have to say. Quite a few people I've encountered over the years who chose to stay in cults dismiss all critical information they find on the internet as slander. All we can and should do is offer them critical information. But if they will accept it is their choice.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:38 am

ReasonAndRhyme wrote:Sure. But the question is always if people want to hear what the critics have to say. Quite a few people I've encountered over the years who chose to stay in cults dismiss all critical information they find on the internet as slander. All we can and should do is offer them critical information. But if they will accept it is their choice.

All of us at some stage and to some degree have rejected sound advice. If anything can said to be due to karma, it is that. We learn through experience.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Ayu » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:07 am

Sound advice is a good thing - whatever consequences the listeners/readers take from it.

But such a critical information site must have a good shield against slander.

There is a saying: "Detours increase the knowlede of the landscape." So, what seems to be waste of time and energy can be necessary for the certain individual sometimes. (But not onto the degree of death. That's for sure.)

But a Dharma-Site should not prevent the people of steping on the path at all.

(Info: I spent my first years in a hinduistic sect. Going away was a very important learning content in my life. But this sect didn't stalk, denigrade or kill anybody. I could leave freely.)
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:52 am

dharmagoat wrote:All of us at some stage and to some degree have rejected sound advice. If anything can said to be due to karma, it is that. We learn through experience.


That is absolutely true. And it can happen to anybody to get into a cult. No shame about it. It's a bit like athlete's foot. Getting it is not a shame. But keeping it is.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Jikan » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:23 pm

kirtu wrote:
Jikan wrote:I spent the first four years of my Buddhist practice in the context of a "vipassana sangha." in the mid-late 1990s, this meant a heavy influence of Carl Jung, dharma talks that began with the thumping of a Native American-style hoop drum with a wolf painted on the head, .....


How could you have not known that this wasn't Buddhist practice? Did you all actually do vipassana after the Jung and the drumming? Actually the drumming part isn't bad but you had t know that it wasn't a traditional Buddhist practice.

Kirt


I'd thought that's what contemporary Buddhism was at that point. Because it was normal in that particular context, I'd thought it was the norm generally--and it corresponded to what I'd been reading in the books I'd found on my own. I started to question things when I realized that after a few years' time I didn't really know much apart from how to "follow the breath with bare awareness."

I didn't really dig the drumming or the Robert Bly poems at all. That may simply reflect my personality; I find it silly (c.f. the Kids in the Hall episode where the walk on coals & howl like wolves, &c), but it may have been useful for those men who felt their masculinity to have been in crisis.



bringing it back around to the topic at hand, I wonder if some of the sad truth of the tragic situation we're describing in this thread in Arizona may be attributed to this kind of make-it-up-as-you-go-along culture. I'm not accusing syncretists of murder, merely suggesting that a culture in which expertise is diffuse and legitimacy is hard to pin down (if I remember correctly, there are more references to Carlos Castaneda in A Path with Heart than to Buddhism), and there are no adequate checks or brakes, you're going to get serious problems.
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Postby Zhen Li » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:40 pm

Ayu wrote:(Info: I spent my first years in a hinduistic sect. Going away was a very important learning content in my life. But this sect didn't stalk, denigrade or kill anybody. I could leave freely.)

I think this might be the wisest approach to such things. Fundamentally, it's a part of becoming wiser and more understanding to know when a religious organisation is a cult, beneficial, or not.

For me, the real issue with cult-like organisations, is that the people just tend to act really weird. From the Buddhist perspective, noticing that someone, especially a teacher, is behaving weird, is perhaps a sign that they're not quite skilful enough with their means. I think this would be what would have turned me off Diamond Mountain, not that they would hunt people down - as far as I know, they wouldn't - but they just have a certain way about them that you can feel. I guess it's a bit of an intuition - but you need to know or witness the drawbacks before you're aware of them. If people act weird, they're more likely to be unstable, and more likely to stab you in a retreat, etc. This may read like strange logic, but I think it makes common sense.

As far as sects which might make one somewhat castigated as a Buddhist at large, I think this might sometimes be a bit of a different issue. However, people really do have the duty to themselves, no one else owes it to them, to learn the most they can about sects before joining them - those who don't, perhaps should be given more sympathy than hostility. We really shouldn't speak harshly about any sect, people who act in a harmful manner are misguided, not Mara himself, and I'm sure we've all been in that situation many times in past lives.
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