The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:55 pm

:good:
Thanks, Sheila!
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: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:51 pm

"Distance yourself from Vajra Masters who are not keeping the three vows
who keep on with a root downfall, who are miserly with the Dharma,
and who engage in actions that should be forsaken.
Those who worship them go to hell and so on as a result."

-Manjushrikirti's Ornament for the Essence as quoted in Lord Tsongkhapa's Tantric Ethics pg 46
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby heart » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:12 pm

catmoon wrote:Maybe the future of Japanese Buddhism WAS in Shoko's hands. Apparently he dropped the ball.


Yeah, indeed.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby heart » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:14 pm

Sheila wrote:I haven't seen anything to indicate that Tibetan Buddhism has a bad name.

There are definite hazards. A sore posterior from listening to hours of great teaching on works of Atisha, sore fingers from weeding garlic mustard on the center grounds, and a sore belly from laughing at the humorous perplexities of life.


Yes, it certainly is miserable :smile:

/magnus
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Matylda » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:55 pm

Raksha wrote:
Sheila wrote:With all due respect, I don't think showing human kindness to anyone is considered messing up, at least not in Buddhism.

His Holiness told Shoko Asahara, 'The future of Japanese Buddhism is in your hands' Doh! I'm not doubting that His Holiness' motivation was pure, as always, I'm simply saying that he seriously misjudged this chap. So I repeat, even the greatest Lamas can occasionally mess up.
:namaste: R.



Yeah.. they do mess up. Actually AS brought a lot of money to HH. it was at least one million dollars according to the JTV so he received very nice and cordial reception. HH was telling AS many nice things, including a future of Japanese Buddhism. But AS was a serial killer, he killed at least 100 people and grilled them in a huge microwave machines.. anyway the stink was so bad that people from nearby village complained about it before the truth was discovered.

AS was a perfect idiot, his speeches were a total nonsense. Somehow some young people listened to him and followed. Some of them were good scientists so they helped him to produce sarin gas and other weapons.

As for the rich people if they did not give away voluntarily their money, he just killed and robbed them, sometimes the whole family. Same happened to his opponents and escapees from his camp. His men would just follow them give shot of sarin directly in the body, kidnap and grill them... he told his people he is doing phowa for those killed so killing was justified and ok.

They had their own prison.. for those who disobeyed. And also they tortured people, caused death from starvation etc. Police saved some of them who were imprisoned, so the siege of the compounds was a real liberation for them.. the view was so terrible, human skeletons like in Nazi camps. TERRIBLE.

By the way AS was selling very well Tibetan Buddhist practices.. Guru Yoga was for 15 thousand dollars... so other practices. This man was biggest shit I ever seen or heard about.. he was a real demon. Well HH said what he said.. then after sarin attack when the crew from JTV tried to talk to HH they were just kicked out by administration officers from the office of HH, and HH never showed up neither gave comment or apologized. This is sad I think.. and still he has opinions about Japanese Buddhism. It is ok for him.. well.

Unfortunately for HH DL Japanese police forces discovered some tapes at different locations in Tokyo about AS visit at HH place.. it was shown on the JTV and the situation for HH in Japan was grave... his image was on posters of most dangerous and deadly cults... it was at that time for Tibetan Buddhism unfortunate bad image.. it was really sad.

And members had very fancy ''buddhist'' names, like Maitreya etc.

Those were things I could see on tv.. nothing like gossip or so. It was open public info in the public media... I think there were more details, but now I do not remember all, it was almost 20 y. ago.

To say that he was a promise for japanese Buddhism or that he ''dropped the ball'', is at least completely insensitive. He killed hundreds [police found many human remains after grilling], poisoned thousands of people [they still suffer terribly from poisoning having several health problems related to the attack, from time to time you can see a program about those poisoned people on jtv], killed with cold blood even entire families including children (!), robbed innocent... well what to say? Is there any sensible comment to it?

Those people were not Buddhist, including AS himself, it was personal cult of a demon. A real demon, not just some faith.. they had no knowledge of Buddhism whatsoever, what was clear from AS ''teachings''.. just a demon.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Sheila » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:16 pm

Well...we are responsible for our own karma. All the diplomats, world leaders, family members, and regular people who were kind to Jeffrey Dahmer (or other serial killers) on a daily basis--they're not responsible for his terrible acts.

If showing normal human kindness, or human fellowship, automatically makes us a bad person when other people in our lives then go on to do something awful, that would be a sad reality. The truth is, it only makes them an awful person--not us, and not all the other humans in their life.

The Dalai Lama who met Shoko Asahara, the world leaders who cordially met Hitler in the 1930s, the friends and acquaintances of Jeffrey Dahmer--none of these innocent people are clairvoyant, none of them have magical powers that can predict the future. They aren't able to forecast another's terrible actions. So, since we can't know ahead of time what anyone's actions will be, the only proper thing to do is show human kindness.

The Dalai Lama also met Mao Zedong, who went on to be responsible for countless millions of deaths. The Dalai Lama was friendly to him and showed him human kindness, because this is what he believes is important. If the Dalai Lama met a murderer tomorrow, he would show him human kindness.

It's easy to try to find wider blame for awful things, but in reality the ultimate blame lies within samsara and within each individual's choices in samsaric life.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Matylda » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:57 pm

Sheila wrote:Well...we are responsible for our own karma. All the diplomats, world leaders, family members, and regular people who were kind to Jeffrey Dahmer (or other serial killers) on a daily basis--they're not responsible for his terrible acts.

If showing normal human kindness, or human fellowship, automatically makes us a bad person when other people in our lives then go on to do something awful, that would be a sad reality. The truth is, it only makes them an awful person--not us, and not all the other humans in their life.

The Dalai Lama who met Shoko Asahara, the world leaders who cordially met Hitler in the 1930s, the friends and acquaintances of Jeffrey Dahmer--none of these innocent people are clairvoyant, none of them have magical powers that can predict the future. They aren't able to forecast another's terrible actions. So, since we can't know ahead of time what anyone's actions will be, the only proper thing to do is show human kindness.

The Dalai Lama also met Mao Zedong, who went on to be responsible for countless millions of deaths. The Dalai Lama was friendly to him and showed him human kindness, because this is what he believes is important. If the Dalai Lama met a murderer tomorrow, he would show him human kindness.

It's easy to try to find wider blame for awful things, but in reality the ultimate blame lies within samsara and within each individual's choices in samsaric life.


Well, I think HH DL had to meet Mao, the biggest demon of the XX century.. nobody was biggest liar, murder and all worst one can imagine... HH had no way to refuse, Tibet was already in Chinese hands. But Asahara, he is a case of HHDL becoming victim of his own views about Japan and Japanese Buddhism. I heard him talk sometimes very strange things... what happened with HH and Asahara is no surprise in HH kept to such opinions about Japan.

We can compare politics of course, and how Hitler was in fact admired by many politicians in the 30. But politics is not a religion, am I right? One does not have to support Mr. Nobody, who comes out of the blue with money. It is my critic.. otherwise I love HHDL anyway he is very good teacher and to listen to him is very nice. as far as he talks about things he knows :)

Japan is still something else. Anyway he comes still quite often and meets people in Japan. Nobody said anything bad about HH 20 y ago after AS... there was silence, deep silence... guess what it means, but I am talkative :D ... Now is ok, Japan had reconciliation with HH :D
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:09 pm

long
Raksha wrote:When Karma Thinley Rinpoche was asked to take sides in the Karmapa controversy he said ' Perhaps they are both the Karmapa.' :smile: . In this way he is one of the very few to have remained completely neutral. His student Jampa Thaye has however chosen to take sides. This has required him to make certain political alliances, which he might ordinarily have avoided. For the same reason, the other faction has had to make equally regrettable alliances. What a mess!
:namaste: R.

I was hoping that someone else would address this, but as they haven't I feel honour bound to.
Lama Jampa Thaye has in fact made strenuous efforts to AVOID taking sides..that includes developing a relationship with both Karmapas...He has a long established relationship with Thrangu Rinpoche who he considers to be one of his main teachers.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Luke » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:24 pm

Yes, it is indeed a horrible thing when religious teachers sexually abuse their students. It is extremely damaging for the image of their religion as a whole.

This video relates to this topic. I think one key issue it raises is that Tibetan Buddhist parents shouldn't so blindly trust their lamas with their children, especially when they have only know their lamas a few years. Adults can deal with difficult situations, but children shouldn't be placed into them.



Konchog1 wrote:"Distance yourself from Vajra Masters who are not keeping the three vows
who keep on with a root downfall, who are miserly with the Dharma,
and who engage in actions that should be forsaken.
Those who worship them go to hell and so on as a result."

-Manjushrikirti's Ornament for the Essence as quoted in Lord Tsongkhapa's Tantric Ethics pg 46

Excellent advice! People should also follow the old advice of spending many years observing the conduct of a lama before committing to him/her. Often people become "starstruck" with their lamas too soon and go into the "I believe! My teacher's a buddha! He/She can do no wrong! Hallelujah!" mindset. Whereas if one watches a lama calmly and honestly over many years, his or her good or bad qualities will gradually become apparent.

I would like to add that all the Tibetan Buddhist lamas I have had contact with over the years conducted themselves in ethical and honorable ways which were consistent with the Buddhist traditions they represent. If the ethical lamas of the world would speak out more forcefully against the few abusive lamas, this would help allay many suspicions. Silence breeds suspicions.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby philji » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:28 pm

Simon E. wrote:long
Raksha wrote:When Karma Thinley Rinpoche was asked to take sides in the Karmapa controversy he said ' Perhaps they are both the Karmapa.' :smile: . In this way he is one of the very few to have remained completely neutral. His student Jampa Thaye has however chosen to take sides. This has required him to make certain political alliances, which he might ordinarily have avoided. For the same reason, the other faction has had to make equally regrettable alliances. What a mess!
:namaste: R.

I was hoping that someone else would address this, but as they haven't I feel honour bound to.
Lama Jampa Thaye has in fact made strenuous efforts to AVOID taking sides..that includes developing a relationship with both Karmapas...He has a long established relationship with Thrangu Rinpoche who he considers to be one of his main teachers.

Not any longer does he avoid taking sides.....
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:12 pm

Luke wrote:Yes, it is indeed a horrible thing when religious teachers sexually abuse their students. It is extremely damaging for the image of their religion as a whole.

This video relates to this topic. I think one key issue it raises is that Tibetan Buddhist parents shouldn't so blindly trust their lamas with their children, especially when they have only know their lamas a few years. Adults can deal with difficult situations, but children shouldn't be placed into them.



.



thanks for the video.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Adi » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:01 am

plwk wrote:...So if you are attracted to Tibetan Buddhism, have read some books and learned some meditation techniques and now want to delve in deeper – how do you guard against being fooled by a charismatic charlatan? What criteria do you apply to your search for an authentic teacher?


There is excellent advice and instruction on these very questions given in the book Words of My Perfect Teacher and the companion commentary.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1570624127/ref ... ive=380549

http://www.shambhala.com/authors/o-t/pa ... her-i.html

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby mandala » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:57 am

I think the key point from the OP's article is:

He [HH Dalai Lama] also cautions against rushing into commitment to a lama. "In Tibet", he says, "it could take 12 years before a lama-disciple relationship was established." He points out that it is a big responsibility and should not be undertaken lightly by either party.


It seems to me that many of the less scrupulous Lamas also heavily push the teachings about guru devotion and scare the bejusus out of students with subtle, or not so subtle, threats about what will happen if they leave or speak out against them.

It's a psychological minefield that could very well be avoided if one was to heed the above advice.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby lobster » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:10 pm

honestdboy wrote:Actually, I'm more worried about the finger-pointing students who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name.


:twothumbsup: How many great, sincere, inspiring teachers do we need? Where should our focus be? Naughty lamas keep the pot stirrers busy. :stirthepot:

. . . and now back to the gossip . . . :popcorn:
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:18 pm

Agreed. But we can give general advice to people so they can make their own investigation of teachers, and help prevent them from falling into abusive relationships.

This article on the Buddhist channel is relevant here, though the author is speaking from a traditional Theravada perspective. Still, I think his points about abusive personality types are spot on:

http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id= ... pM_cuL3M6I

Are You a Member of a Cult?
By Gurugaveska, The Buddhist Channel, Nov 18, 2013

Excerpts:

Profile of a Cult Leader

A typical profile of the personality traits of a cult leader1 is basically that of a sociopath or psychopath2 which may comprise any or all of the following:

Glib and Superficial Charm - the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. A psychopath is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything - never gets tongue-tied. He can also be a great listener to simulate empathy while zeroing in on his targets' dreams and vulnerability, so as to be able to manipulate them better.

Grandiose Self-worth - a grossly inflated view of his abilities and self-worth. He is self-assured, opinionated, cocky, and a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

Need for Stimulation or Proneness to Boredom - excessive need for novel, thrilling and exciting stimulation. He takes chances and risks. Psychopaths often have low self-discipline and fail to carry tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

A Pathological Liar - shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever. In extreme form he is deceitful, underhand and unscrupulous.

A Manipulative Con-man - uses deception to cheat, con or defraud others for personal gain. This is distinguished from mere lying and deceit as exploitation and callous ruthlessness are present, reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims.

Lack of Remorse or Guilt - lack of feelings or concern for the loss, pain, and suffering of victims. This is usually demonstrated by a disdain for his victims.

Affected Show of Warmth - superficial, open gregariousness and warmth. This is a façade behind which lies emotional poverty, interpersonal coldness or a limited depth of feeling.

Callousness and Lack of Empathy - cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless. He is dispassionate, coldhearted and lacks positive feelings towards people in general

Parasitic Lifestyle - intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others.

Poor Behavior Control - expressions of irritability, annoyance and impatience stemming from inadequate control of anger and temper. He acts hastily and uses threats, aggression and verbal abuse to intimidate.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior - variety of brief, superficial relationships; numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners. He has a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity (rape) or of taking great pride in discussing sexual exploits and maintains multiple relationships at the same time.

Early Behavior Problems - variety of behavior problems. Prior to age 13, problems include running away from home, lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, arson, glue-sniffing and alcohol-use. In his juvenile years there is criminal behavior that shows antagonism, exploitation and manipulation which reflect ruthlessness and tough-mindedness


Sometimes he gives you presents and a position within the organization to make you feel special. Other followers also try to impress upon you that the leader is a wonderful and compassionate person with special spiritual power. Very often he is looked upon as a guru. This is the beginning of the spider's web! And before you know it, you are a willing and enthusiastic member of the organization and proffer your services with zeal voluntarily.

Thereafter, he will inculcate in you his spiritual philosophy and knowledge. He loves giving long speeches and sermons, and often repeats himself - a ten-minute sermon can extend to 5 or 6 hours. He loves to listen to his own voice and impress his followers with whatever knowledge he may possess. In the process, he also demonstrates his healing powers to impress you. He may pass on profound teachings which are in tune with your state of mind and well-being. In between sermons or spiritual lectures, he puts fear into your mind that if you should leave the organization and break certain rules or vows you and your family members will face misfortune or untimely death - in short, emotional blackmailing and brainwashing.

You are assigned certain tasks within the organization and are loaded with more and more work until you have no time for your friends and family. This is how he isolates you and makes you dependent upon the organization. You are made to work long hours to the point of exhaustion - mind, body and soul. With the fear already inculcated in your mind, you have no choice but to carry on working as he controls your mind when you are hopelessly weak and exhausted. You have become an easy target for manipulation and influence.

So long as you are obedient, you are deemed a good member and will probably be promoted to a higher position or are roped into the leader's inner circle to make you feel even more special. In a cult organization, the leader always creates a cell within a cell. Each member in the cell is told he is the chosen favorite assistant, and to keep this to himself. So in such a situation, each of these members feels that he is very important to the guru and the organization. However, what they don't realize is that each is independently asked to spy on other members. The guru thus controls the organization through divide-and-rule.

If a member is suspected of being insubordinate or disobedient, he or she is placed in the middle of a room and verbally, sometimes physically, abused by other members for hours or days under the guise of religious training or group therapy until the victim breaks or simply gives in to avoid further such punishment. The member is then forced to make false confessions verbally and in writing - much like an Inquisition!
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
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby narraboth » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:07 pm

Matylda wrote:
Sheila wrote:Well...we are responsible for our own karma. All the diplomats, world leaders, family members, and regular people who were kind to Jeffrey Dahmer (or other serial killers) on a daily basis--they're not responsible for his terrible acts.

If showing normal human kindness, or human fellowship, automatically makes us a bad person when other people in our lives then go on to do something awful, that would be a sad reality. The truth is, it only makes them an awful person--not us, and not all the other humans in their life.

The Dalai Lama who met Shoko Asahara, the world leaders who cordially met Hitler in the 1930s, the friends and acquaintances of Jeffrey Dahmer--none of these innocent people are clairvoyant, none of them have magical powers that can predict the future. They aren't able to forecast another's terrible actions. So, since we can't know ahead of time what anyone's actions will be, the only proper thing to do is show human kindness.

The Dalai Lama also met Mao Zedong, who went on to be responsible for countless millions of deaths. The Dalai Lama was friendly to him and showed him human kindness, because this is what he believes is important. If the Dalai Lama met a murderer tomorrow, he would show him human kindness.

It's easy to try to find wider blame for awful things, but in reality the ultimate blame lies within samsara and within each individual's choices in samsaric life.


Well, I think HH DL had to meet Mao, the biggest demon of the XX century.. nobody was biggest liar, murder and all worst one can imagine... HH had no way to refuse, Tibet was already in Chinese hands. But Asahara, he is a case of HHDL becoming victim of his own views about Japan and Japanese Buddhism. I heard him talk sometimes very strange things... what happened with HH and Asahara is no surprise in HH kept to such opinions about Japan.

We can compare politics of course, and how Hitler was in fact admired by many politicians in the 30. But politics is not a religion, am I right? One does not have to support Mr. Nobody, who comes out of the blue with money. It is my critic.. otherwise I love HHDL anyway he is very good teacher and to listen to him is very nice. as far as he talks about things he knows :)

Japan is still something else. Anyway he comes still quite often and meets people in Japan. Nobody said anything bad about HH 20 y ago after AS... there was silence, deep silence... guess what it means, but I am talkative :D ... Now is ok, Japan had reconciliation with HH :D



For the AS case... I heard my own teacher, Khamtrul Rinpoche mentioned about this openly. He said that he is extremely regret to introduce As to HH. At that time, rinpoche visited Japan to give teaching, and AS visited him, showing the interests of supporting HH financially. So Rinpoche made a link, then this and that happened.
First of all, we don't know how AS described himself to Rinpoche and HH, maybe all lie. As is a big lier anyway. Therefore, I am not even sure HH did say lots of good thing to AS, it's all AS and his organisation saying so, right? Obviously they used HH to promote themselves. Just unfortunately HH accepted him as a visitor and sponsor... a student? maybe, but you can easily be HH's student if you go to HH's teaching, there can be one thousand people there anyway.
I think Japanese people understand that, and they have better respect to monks anyway. When you mentioned that, I can imagine Japanese people will keep silent, but that doesn't mean many of them have bad feeling about it. Some maybe.... To be straight, don't guess what does Japanese silence mean, they are very innerish people and often hold their tongue anyway. I wouldn't say I can guess what they mean even I am a Chinese, not to mention a westerner. But if I have to guess from my experience working with Japanese, I will say they simply want to avoid any controversial things or debate, if they don't know you very well.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:13 pm

I don't understand why there is a photo of HHDL in the article, with a vague reference to some warning he may have given at one time or another, when there is no other mention of him in the article.

It has occurred to me that the Karmapa dispute came at a perfect time,
When so many in the west were diving into Tibetan Buddhism so quickly
because it made people realize that while the Dharma may be considered a perfect teaching,
The Karmapa dispute shook things up quite a bit, forcing people to realize that
real, sound trust in teachers cannot be based on Shangri-la fantasies.
I think scandals and sangha controversies serve a very good purpose this way
to keep meditators from dozing off.

It also serves as a reminder of the insidious nature of samsaric existence
that even learned masters must be vigilant, and can also commit negative actions,
how much more so for us ordinary Dharma students!
Chogyam Trungpa, whom so many are quick to point to as an example of scandal
in fact addressed this very issue,
of simply looking at one's teachers as a fool who has fallen in love
and is really blinded by what is in fact their own ego-clinging.
It is often easier to keep the precept against lying,
to others
that in is to keep from lying to yourself.
The first thing a skilled con-man does, is to pay compliments to the potential victim.
The rule of safety that I would suggest,
is that if you feel somehow special or important
as a result of your teacher's actions,
then scrutinize your own motivations first
and afterwards, examine your relationship with your teacher.
.
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.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Tom Watson » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:11 am

.

The following is an excerpt from the Preface in Alexander Berzin's book, Relating to a Spiritual Teacher: Building a Healthy Relationship, (Snow Lion, 2000). He offers the entire book online here.

The Present Book

The purpose of this book is to suggest several guidelines for consideration. I have written it based on textual research and on personal experience of Buddhist disciple-mentor relationships for thirty years, twenty-nine of which were spent living primarily with the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, India. Especially significant have been the nine years of disciple/apprenticeship I spent with Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche, the late Master Debate Partner and Assistant Tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, during which I trained and served as his interpreter, English secretary, and foreign tour manager. I also have drawn on nineteen years of experience teaching Buddhism in Dharma centers and universities in seventy countries. Unless specifically stated, the opinions and interpretations I have given are merely my own. I do not claim to speak with any authority. I merely hope that the textual information and personal insights given here may stimulate further thought and discussion.

The intended audience for this book includes both people already practicing Buddhism and potential students who wish to avoid the problems that others have previously encountered. Practitioners who have been abused by their teachers or who have been disenchanted or confused by their behavior may find it particularly helpful. In addition, those who are fervently devoted to their teachers may find useful points for helping to stabilize their emotions in the relationships. Although the book discusses student-teacher relations specifically in Tibetan Buddhism, those involved with other Buddhist traditions or with any spiritual path that involves relating to a teacher may also find it relevant.

Alexander Berzin
Berlin, Germany
May 30, 1999

.
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:52 pm

HH Dalai Lama's remarks on guru devotion (again from Alex Berzin's site)
http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... ript3.html

Potential Dangers of Guru-Devotion

So now if we go to the root, there is no emphasis on the importance of devotion. But if you go to these branches, like mahamudra or dzogchen, then guru-yoga is very important. That’s actually spoiling some of these lamas, and then their centers can become cults. Why? Because of forgetting the basic Buddhist teachings and focusing just on these branches.

Like Naropa, the main teacher of Marpa, the Kagyu lineage’s main figure. Naropa was one of the great scholars of the Nalanda institution. Then later he practiced Tantrayana looking like a beggar or sadhu. Naropa only had the potential to practice these things because he studied all the important texts available in the Nalanda tradition. But now some of the practitioners in the West – among Tibetans also, among the Ladakhis also – without knowing the foundation of Buddha-dharma, do whatever their lama says. Even if their lama says, “West is east,” he or she believes: “Oh, that’s the east.” That’s against the Nalanda tradition.

Of course the person who is really fully qualified in the basic knowledge about Buddhism is different from a lama who just sits on a high throne – like me on a high throne – but whose real experience is very limited. Now it maybe looks as if I’m a little bit jealous of these lamas! But according to my experience, I think they don’t have proper, full knowledge, and they just emphasize these branches. That creates a lot of misunderstanding. That’s important to understand.
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
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name

Postby Adamantine » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Since this topic is from long ago, and there doesn't seem like there's much to add other than rehashing negativity, I am locking it. If anyone feels there is a compelling new thing to post that would justify reopening it then please PM me.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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