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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Practitioners should avoid being naive and gullible.
This Karmapa affair is purely political. It's about control, wealth and all that jazz. Tibetan politics were always filled with similar stuff. This is not a secret and all lamas know this.
Be wise and don't get sucked into it. There are good people on both sides, I'm sure, who end up getting sucked to this issue because of the way things are structured. While there are people very much interested in the outcome of this situation, who have plenty to gain or to lose, most people on both sides only ended up getting caught in this ugly situation due to circumstantial reasons.
Most, if not all, of you fellows have nothing to gain or to lose with it. My suggestion would be to mind with your practice and don't let any of this distract you. It doesn't concern you, or even has any influence, beyond the one you give it yourself, in your practice. Best is to stay out of it as much as possible and avoid being dragged to the polemics surrounding the whole thing. You'll gain nothing or lose nothing whatever the outcome may be. Let Tibetan politicians deal with their mess.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Unfortunately DN it will effect (and is effecting) all of us because it seems that at some point in time (in the absence of agreement between the "politicians" of both camps) the lineage will be forced to split in two. Already people that belong to the camp of Karmapa Thaye Trinley Dorje have been rendered "illegitimate" after HHDL gave his backing to Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje.

Even if one was to ignore HHDL's decision (regardless of whether it was valid or not) there can be no doubt that it has had a major impact on the situation. And what will happen when the Shamarpa (long life to him) dies? This will lead to even greater problems as both camps wrestle to get their heir to his position recognised and ratified. Now you may say that as long as one has received their practices from qualified teachers, etc... Yes, I agree 100%. But who decides regarding the qualifications? Right now it is not (so much) a problem since there are many teachers that have been qualified and recognised by the 16th Karmapa, but what will happen with the next generation of teachers?

What will happen to the unbroken chain of blessing of the lineage? Two seperate lineages both claiming to be Karma Kagyu? Two Shamarpas? Two Situpas? ad nauseum...

Now obviously we cannot be the source of the solution since we are not the source of the problem. But unfortunately we have inherited the problem and we (as Karma Kagyu practitioners) actually do stand to "gain" or "lose" something at the relative level as a consequence of this conflict. At the ultimate level though, it's a different kettle of fish! ;)
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:45 pm 
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gregkavarnos wrote:
Unfortunately DN it will effect (and is effecting) all of us because it seems that at some point in time (in the absence of agreement between the "politicians" of both camps) the lineage will be forced to split in two. Already people that belong to the camp of Karmapa Thaye Trinley Dorje have been rendered "illegitimate" after HHDL gave his backing to Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje.

Unfortunatelly. But the effect also depends of the power you give to it. Don't cling to being legitimate or illegitimate. The lineages on both sides are intact and the teachings themselves are legitimate.
Politics don't make lineages, much less teachings, legitimate.
On both sides, afaik, what is taught is pure Buddhadharma. Leave aside the politics and you'll be fine.

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Even if one was to ignore HHDL's decision (regardless of whether it was valid or not) there can be no doubt that it has had a major impact on the situation. And what will happen when the Shamarpa (long life to him) dies? This will lead to even greater problems as both camps wrestle to get their heir to his position recognised and ratified. Now you may say that as long as one has received their practices from qualified teachers, etc... Yes, I agree 100%. But who decides regarding the qualifications? Right now it is not (so much) a problem since there are many teachers that have been qualified and recognised by the 16th Karmapa, but what will happen with the next generation of teachers?

It's all self interest and ego-clinging, this wish to recognition and ratification. From one side or the other, it doesn't matter. HHDL also said that he liked President Bush once. This doesn't mean I have to like him. Circumstances are powerful and sometimes they affect how mundane affairs work themselves out. In the end it's samsara. Sometimes you have to suck it up and still do your practice. Even when things don't go well, they are not going well in a dream. As long as this dream that is life doesn't get so nasty that waking up becomes impossible and this, once again, depends mostly of your practice and insight- how much involvement do people have with the mundane concerns- practice is still effective. Your attainments don't depend of any of that, unless you're starving, homeless and other dire situations. This is not the case. It's Tibetan politics that have nothing to do with you if you don't want them to have . They depend of your practice and the qualification of your teacher, not how others see it.

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What will happen to the unbroken chain of blessing of the lineage? Two seperate lineages both claiming to be Karma Kagyu? Two Shamarpas? Two Situpas? ad nauseum...

Forget the fancy titles. What's important is that your lama is qualified. All the rest is Tibetan BS and should be seen as such. Bad political decisions ultimately lead them defenseless to China. They were never the best politicians. That has little or nothing to do with your practice.

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Now obviously we cannot be the source of the solution since we are not the source of the problem. But unfortunately we have inherited the problem and we (as Karma Kagyu practitioners) actually do stand to "gain" or "lose" something at the relative level as a consequence of this conflict. At the ultimate level though, it's a different kettle of fish! ;)
:namaste:

You have not inherited any problem unless you chose to make it your own. It's the candidates problem, and the problem of everyone who has a mundane interest in the outcome of this situation. You can simply ignore it, trust your teacher and do your practice. There are many problems in the word much more serious that that crap. People die of wars and starvation as we speak. Still, we can practice or we can let ourselves be sucked by all the dreadful situations we choose to connect ourselves with. I know these are different matters, but both are mundane. Some just wear robes, but that's all. We can choose what we get involved with in every aspect of our life. Even if externally we are involved with a lot of stuff, sometimes because we have to be, none of that changes what really goes on with our practice. There are the roles we play in a dream, that we must play many times for our sake and the sake of others, and then there's the awareness of the dream nature of the dream. Our practice should be deeply connected to the second, not the first. Retreats serve to disconnect us a bit from the first, so they are called training conditions. If you went to a closed retreat right now for some years, the whole affair wouldn't bother you the least. You can have that mentality even when you are not under retreat conditions.
I'm just sharing my opinion here. I don't make a point to be right. That's just how I see things.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
Unfortunatelly. But the effect also depends of the power you give to it. Don't cling to being legitimate or illegitimate. The lineages on both sides are intact and the teachings themselves are legitimate.
This is what I was saying: they are intact right now, in the near future...?
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Politics don't make lineages, much less teachings, legitimate.
On both sides, afaik, what is taught is pure Buddhadharma. Leave aside the politics and you'll be fine.
My dear DN, I (as you well know) have no problem whatsoever leaving the politics out of it, unfortunately though I do not live in my own little world. I am sure you have bumped into a number of brick walls during your lifetime too! ;)
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It's all self interest and ego-clinging, this wish to recognition and ratification. From one side or the other, it doesn't matter. HHDL also said that he liked President Bush once. This doesn't mean I have to like him. Circumstances are powerful and sometimes they affect how mundane affairs work themselves out. In the end it's samsara. Sometimes you have to suck it up and still do your practice. Even when things don't go well, they are not going well in a dream. As long as this dream that is life doesn't get so nasty that waking up becomes impossible and this, once again, depends mostly of your practice and insight- how much involvement do people have with the mundane concerns- practice is still effective. Your attainments don't depend of any of that, unless you're starving, homeless and other dire situations. This is not the case. It's Tibetan politics that have nothing to do with you if you don't want them to have . They depend of your practice and the qualification of your teacher, not how others see it.
True, but sometimes its how the teachers see it that influences the situation as well. As for the HHDL situation, look at what happened to dedicated practitioners of the Jonangpa tradition or with the Gyalpo deal. Okay, there is no danger of me being hunted down and forced to become a Gelugpa but... I don't want to open a can of worms here, suffice to say that HHDL's opinion counts in the Dharma community. What if he were to turn around and do the same thing to Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje? You see it is not as easy as "Just be dedicated to your practice and..." Unfortunately we are all subject to the effects of what is happening in relative reality.
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What will happen to the unbroken chain of blessing of the lineage? Two seperate lineages both claiming to be Karma Kagyu? Two Shamarpas? Two Situpas? ad nauseum...
Forget the fancy titles. What's important is that your lama is qualified. All the rest is Tibetan BS and should be seen as such. Bad political decisions ultimately lead them defenseless to China. They were never the best politicians. That has little or nothing to do with your practice.
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You have not inherited any problem unless you chose to make it your own. It's the candidates problem, and the problem of everyone who has a mundane interest in the outcome of this situation. You can simply ignore it, trust your teacher and do your practice. There are many problems in the word much more serious that that crap. People die of wars and starvation as we speak. Still, we can practice or we can let ourselves be sucked by all the dreadful situations we choose to connect ourselves with. I know these are different matters, but both are mundane. Some just wear robes, but that's all. We can choose what we get involved with in every aspect of our life. Even if externally we are involved with a lot of stuff, sometimes because we have to be, none of that changes what really goes on with our practice. There are the roles we play in a dream, that we must play many times for our sake and the sake of others, and then there's the awareness of the dream nature of the dream. Our practice should be deeply connected to the second, not the first.
I agree with your analysis here.
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Retreats serve to disconnect us a bit from the first, so they are called training conditions. If you went to a closed retreat right now for some years, the whole affair wouldn't bother you the least.
Don't be so sure of this. If you are in a traditional three year centre you get a heavy dosage of Karmapa-ism as part of your stay there. No doubt! Not to mention "higher vs lower vehicle"-ism. :crying:

I do like you say. Listen to my teacher (though he'd have a fit if he saw I was discussing Dharma politics), do my practice and ignore the rest. Unfortunately in a Dharma community as small as Greece's it's difficult for paths not to cross.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:16 am 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
Practitioners should avoid being naive and gullible. This Karmapa affair is purely political. It's about control, wealth and all that jazz. Tibetan politics were always filled with similar stuff. This is not a secret and all lamas know this.


It's impossible to ignore the sincere devotion many Tibetan Buddhists felt toward the 16th Karmapa and the importance they placed on finding his successor. To them it was anything but a political game. But I suppose they were among the "naive and gullible."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:56 am 
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Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi, who mediated in past Kagyu disagreements in his last incarnation, also maintains harmonious relationships with both Karmapas.
http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2011/01/ ... h-karmapa/ :anjali:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:24 am 
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honestdboy wrote:
Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi, who mediated in past Kagyu disagreements in his last incarnation, also maintains harmonious relationships with both Karmapas.
http://vajratool.wordpress.com/2011/01/ ... h-karmapa/ :anjali:


:anjali: Since we need many teachers in this degenerating times right now. It is all about qualities, not qualities of "someone".

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:26 am 
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Jinzang wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Practitioners should avoid being naive and gullible. This Karmapa affair is purely political. It's about control, wealth and all that jazz. Tibetan politics were always filled with similar stuff. This is not a secret and all lamas know this.


It's impossible to ignore the sincere devotion many Tibetan Buddhists felt toward the 16th Karmapa and the importance they placed on finding his successor. To them it was anything but a political game. But I suppose they were among the "naive and gullible."


Good point. But you know how the saying goes "until you meet your enemy, you don't know real anger". I felt like a Kagyupa when the Karmapa situation happened and I think learned a lot from it in the long run but in the short run it was mainly suffering. The "naive and gullible" part was actually very minor. To say that the Karmapa affair is purely political is a simplification that don't actually reflect the real situation very good.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Jinzang wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Practitioners should avoid being naive and gullible. This Karmapa affair is purely political. It's about control, wealth and all that jazz. Tibetan politics were always filled with similar stuff. This is not a secret and all lamas know this.


It's impossible to ignore the sincere devotion many Tibetan Buddhists felt toward the 16th Karmapa and the importance they placed on finding his successor. To them it was anything but a political game. But I suppose they were among the "naive and gullible."

Yes, that's the case, in my opinion. Many people have faith in great Lamas they don't even know well. Why? It's like Catholics who have faith in the Pope? I happen to think the 16th Karmapa was a great lama, but from there to feeling sincere devotion... at least I need to know the person I have devotion for. It's a phenomena that could be debated, that particular sort of devotion. I'm not sure it's something always good or always bad and heard many teachers about this subject already.

You are right, many Tibetans are quite naive and gullible about the whole tulku system. That's why it lasted so long while being so much abused. I'm not going to debate the frailties about the tulku system again. I went through this over and over in the past and perhaps you know where I stand, Jinzang. There are also many gullible Westerners who swallowed hook, line and sinker. The rest is history and we know how sometimes this ends.
And there are Westerns and Tibetans who aren't gullible at all.
This will always be a matter of belief. There are high lamas on both sides. From where I see it, it doesn't do any good to Tibetan Buddhism. It's a freaking shame and that's all.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:08 pm 
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heart wrote:
Jinzang wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Practitioners should avoid being naive and gullible. This Karmapa affair is purely political. It's about control, wealth and all that jazz. Tibetan politics were always filled with similar stuff. This is not a secret and all lamas know this.


It's impossible to ignore the sincere devotion many Tibetan Buddhists felt toward the 16th Karmapa and the importance they placed on finding his successor. To them it was anything but a political game. But I suppose they were among the "naive and gullible."


Good point. But you know how the saying goes "until you meet your enemy, you don't know real anger". I felt like a Kagyupa when the Karmapa situation happened and I think learned a lot from it in the long run but in the short run it was mainly suffering. The "naive and gullible" part was actually very minor. To say that the Karmapa affair is purely political is a simplification that don't actually reflect the real situation very good.

/magnus

Then what is it beyond politics and their implications? Care to elaborate a little about the alternative thesis, Magnus?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
Then what is it beyond politics and their implications? Care to elaborate a little about the alternative thesis, Magnus?


It is just a big mess with a lot of good and bad intentions all mixed up. It is also very personal for everyone involved and directly connected with the transmission of the practice that each one are doing. People often rely more on their Sangha than on their Guru in an everyday kind of way and because of this it becomes a catastrophe when the Guru dies and the Sangha splits in different directions.

/magnus

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:47 pm 
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heart wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:
Then what is it beyond politics and their implications? Care to elaborate a little about the alternative thesis, Magnus?


It is just a big mess with a lot of good and bad intentions all mixed up. It is also very personal for everyone involved and directly connected with the transmission of the practice that each one are doing. People often rely more on their Sangha than on their Guru in an everyday kind of way and because of this it becomes a catastrophe when the Guru dies and the Sangha splits in different directions.

/magnus

Indeed. A big mess and understandably it becomes very personal. This is exactly where the problem lies. If it starts as a political issue, it goes beyond politics in its effects upon all those who become involved. But that's quite general when it comes to the consequences of political struggles. The more personal it gets, the bigger are the chances that one ends up harmed. There's the possibility of samaya breaches and all that sort of stuff happening. This is one of the reasons I think one should stay clear as most as possible from this subject and don't dwell in it a lot. If one trusts the Guru, leave the political matters to the echelons in charge of the institution. They started it, let them solve it. It doesn't need to hinder your practice. It's better not to create divisions in one's mind. We don't know the whole picture and it is possible to practice among all this. It's better to be concerned with one's practice than these issues, that's what I'm saying.

It's just another political f*ck up. There were many in the past and likely there will be many in the future. This doesn't mean one should be indifferent, but our heart must be closely watched. I've seen the worst kind of garbage being publicly exchanged between people from both sides. Pure poison. Nothing good can come out of that. When people with little information about the people involved and opinions based mostly on hearsay start grinding axes in a "clubistic" way because of the power struggles of high hierarchy Tibetans they don't even know well, things get nasty very quickly. They make their problem, a very personal and emotionally charged problem in some cases, the adharmic power struggle, let's face it, of people who aren't even aware of their existence. I once met a guy who was an arsehole to his family who had real problems , related to health and money, and yet he was "deeply concerned" with the Karmapa affair. He was so absurdly invested in it that it looked like a bad joke. This is ridiculous, to say the least. It goes without saying that he spent more time thinking/talking about it than doing serious practice.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:56 am 
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It's all quite funny, in a way. People on both sides argue that 'their' Karmapa is the one and only. Which would make him the supreme master of the lineage, and top decision maker in all important matters. Well, both Karmapas themselves actually respect the other side of the conflict! So, if you think your Karmapa is the one and only, you should follow his lead. And therefore you should respect the other side. Simple as that!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:03 am 
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If only everybody was such a simpleton! :tongue:

It is good advice though! :smile:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:45 am 
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Dechen Norbu wrote:
When people with little information about the people involved and opinions based mostly on hearsay start grinding axes in a "clubistic" way because of the power struggles of high hierarchy Tibetans they don't even know well, things get nasty very quickly. They make their problem, a very personal and emotionally charged problem in some cases, the adharmic power struggle, let's face it, of people who aren't even aware of their existence. I once met a guy who was an arsehole to his family who had real problems , related to health and money, and yet he was "deeply concerned" with the Karmapa affair. He was so absurdly invested in it that it looked like a bad joke. This is ridiculous, to say the least. It goes without saying that he spent more time thinking/talking about it than doing serious practice.

Yeah, that's quite silly! Such people who enjoy conflicts as a form of escapism should follow more trivial ones (such as professional wrestling) which do not have the capability of causing as much harm. Buddhism should not be like professional wrestling!


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