Dzogchen Community is an autarchy. It is self-governed. All practitioners are equal. We all have the same state. We are working toward the same goal. Some of us are further along, like ChNN, some of us are not, like me. But in the DC all practitioners are equal, we all have the same state.
It's great that you can idealize things like this, but I don't see that. If it was truly an autarchy and not an oligarchy then why would ChNN's son Yeshe need to be preened as the one to take over?
All major decisions of any center are involved with the input, advice, and
at some point I am sure the command of one of these masters.
Saying all are equal is no different than the constitution of the US saying
all it's citizens are equal. It doesn't make it automatic in the social organizing.
All beings seem as having Buddha nature is the ultimate equalizing factor, it is not
different in other Buddhist communities. But certainly there are heirarchies based on who is
qualified to teach, just as there are in DC. In DC, there are an elite of senior students of
Rinpoche who have more access to him and who tour centers and lead teachings and retreats.
It is not different at all, despite what you claim. I am happy for you that you
feel so content with your teacher and sangha but it is really silly to use that as an excuse
to trumpet it's superiority and denigrate all others, under the banner of
their evil association with the "Tibetan Buddhist" designation.
In my opinion, in Buddhism the insitutions have become more important than the people. Actually, it has been this way for centuries -- Buddhist Institutions have functioned to support a priviledged elite in a very feudal manner. Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism, is an oligarchy. Tibean Buddhism functions based on a system of vassalage and fealty. It is actually the same in other Buddhist cultures as well. The reason for this has to do with the way Buddhism has adapted itself for the past 2300 years to various aristocracies.
I don't know what your experience is Namdrol, but that doesn't even remotely
relate to mine. Of all the Nyingma or Drigung Kagyu teachers or centers
I am familiar with, none are big institutions with corrupt heirarchies, they are relatively
humble places where realized beings reside or visit, to help and share the Dharma
with others. Any money exchange is simply to keep things running. Perhaps things are different
in big monastic institutions, and I agree there are many problems with these, but you are making
giant sweeping generalizations with 0 subtlety or care, and
without any recognition of the many great teachers and situations that don't at all
reflect your cynical views. This is just as myopic as any other type
of racism or cultural imperialism as you may be trying to critique.
I used to think that since democracy and Buddhism were not compatible, we needed to subordinate ourselves to hierarchy of monks, lamas, tulkus, etc because it was necessary for the survival of the Dharma, because they supposedly represented the work of the Dharma in the world. I no longer believe that. There is way too much corruption, greed, abuse, and lust for power, title and position in Tibetan Buddhism and in Buddhism in general. There are way too many Lamas who abuse the Dharma to control people, to control scandals, to extort money from their students, etc. This completely wrong. But I have seen that Tibetan Buddhist institutions run on cash. It is all about the money. Everytime Lamas come here they are putting out the plate for donations. Of course, they have to, because they are expected to, it is their job. But frankly, I am fatigued by it. I could go on and on about my gripes about the way Tibetan Buddhism. Perhaps I have just seen one corrupt lama too many.
Perhaps that's your unfortunate karma. I've got wind of some very human beings dressed
up like monks or Khenpos too, however, they don't detract from the incredible virtuous
and realized ones that I have had the great fortune to encounter.
Of you think the DC is immune to human downfalls I think you are either
being naive or just fantasizing. I have heard plenty of unpleasantness and witnessed
unbelievable arrogance from devoted DC card carrying members. All-equal my butt.
In essence yes... in practice, I don't see it. Same as anywhere else.
I am not saying that there are no good monks, nuns, lamas, khenpos and tulkus, genuinely spiritual people who mean nothing but the best for everyone. Of course there are. Not all catholic preists are pedarests either. But I am pretty toasted on the worldy ambitions of Tibetan Buddhism.
That's just sad, you would bring it that. You claim a good monk or Lama is the exception to
the giant quantity of corrupt, sexually abusive monsters... That is far from the truth, and you exaggerations
are a sad expression of a cynical inflammation of aversion.
I do not beleive that traditional Buddhism is in any way capable of addressing the problems we face in the world today. I am sure that it was never capable of addressing these issues. I regard the Shambhala vision of an enlightened society to be a total fantasy, and I regard Thurman's call for a rule of Buddhist philosopher kings a farce -- it completely failed in Tibet, from the beginning. Since it failed there, it will not succeed here.
You are again sweeping a vast quantity of different possibilities under the rug "traditional Buddhism".
I don't have much regard for Thurman's idealisms either but yours seem almost parallel.
You may regard Shambalas vision of enlightened society as a fantasy but
many may think the same of your vision of a perfect world made up of all Dzogchenpas.
Actually, CTR's vision was always supposed to be in the same
direction you are heralding: beyond religion or creed, the essence of the
dharma, Dzogchen without the dogma for a modern society-- so it is ironic you write it off so
The only way we can solve the problems we have in the word today is to put down our socio/religious/culture banners. We must be like Angulimala -- we must stop. If we human beings cannot get along as one human family, there will be no chance for Dharma let alone Buddhism, no anything -- just war, famine, sickness and death.
Malcolm, let's look at this clearly, without emotion:
It is a simple fact that it is not identification itself which creates conflict, it is clinging to identities with pride, superiority, or fear which creates conflict whether it be global or local. This starts at the age of four year olds on up as soon as cliques begin to form. It is a type of samsaric social organizing. I have seen this countless times among proud "Dzogchenpas" who identify with the DC and patronize anything else. It is no different.
Grasping to an idea of no-grasping is no different, it's still grasping, especially when you are making sweeping statements that denigrate what many others find very valuable to try and make your point. You don't like sectarianism in Tibetan Buddhism, or conflict between Muslims and Christians, etc. etc. So you insult all of them and declare your fledging tradition superior and supreme
Cultural differences, language differences, religious differences, these are all important I believe for a healthy global social ecosystem. It is the idea of a monoculture that is truly frightening. Being Buddhist, being Hindu, Sufi, Christian, Atheist or whatever is not the problem, the problem is not being accepting and supportive of others views or traditions. You are happy it seems that the DC contains people with a variety of different religious views.. But you don't want that to extend to the rest of the world? You're either not making any sense at all or I am having a hard time interpreting you curt remarks.