Investigating fake lamas

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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:05 pm

Yudron wrote:Yes, that is how we look at things here, and --if it really is manipulative--as an American Feminist I certainly agree. I'd like to point out that it is not uncommonly a female disciple that is initiating things. Culturally, the lama would not see it as "using his position to convince students," he would just see it as an invitation for a mutually enjoyable encounter.


Well I am sure that has happened. But I reckon it's a lot less common than the other way around.

Even if a teacher has a student who makes it clear they are sexually available – he should proceed with extreme caution. In my twenties, I was an associate professor at a regional college for a few years and there were several occasions when some of my students would not have required much persuasion to get into bed. I was single and not much older than they but, realistically, it was just something that I could not countenance. I had a duty to keep it professional. It would have upset the whole teaching dynamic. I could not have been fired for it but I don’t think I would have got much support from my colleagues or my other students either. I don’t see the relationship between a Buddhist teacher and a student to be different in that regard.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Yudron » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:26 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Yudron wrote:Yes, that is how we look at things here, and --if it really is manipulative--as an American Feminist I certainly agree. I'd like to point out that it is not uncommonly a female disciple that is initiating things. Culturally, the lama would not see it as "using his position to convince students," he would just see it as an invitation for a mutually enjoyable encounter.


Well I am sure that has happened. But I reckon it's a lot less common than the other way around.

Even if a teacher has a student who makes it clear they are sexually available – he should proceed with extreme caution. In my twenties, I was an associate professor at a regional college for a few years and there were several occasions when some of my students would not have required much persuasion to get into bed. I was single and not much older than they but, realistically, it was just something that I could not countenance. I had a duty to keep it professional. It would have upset the whole teaching dynamic. I could not have been fired for it but I don’t think I would have got much support from my colleagues or my other students either. I don’t see the relationship between a Buddhist teacher and a student to be different in that regard.


I'm generally with you on this, Knotty, but I want to bring your attention to one thing. There are all kinds of lamas out there. The title means all kind of things in different lineages, as does tulku designation. However, my wisdom lamas are truly sublime adepts of the Great Perfection, they have togpa (realization)... and they have jyin lap (blessings). These are not just people who know a lot. Although I do not want to have sex with my lamas, I do feel that the times they touch me, such as the warm "head bonk" that is often offered, or the like, I definitely receive blessings. There is no alternative for Vajrayana practitioners; if we are going to move forward in our practice, we have to have devotion towards our root lama or lamas.

I'm not saying my lamas are better than other people's lamas! I'm saying we need to choose to connect to the very best lamas, and be sure they are someone we can imagine ourselves trusting. Then over months and years we can and build that trust into something really strong.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:10 am

It is still the responsibility of the Lama to be the most careful. His actions or inactions set the standard.

For example: Lord Tsongkhapa refused to perform Consort Practice because he didn't want to encourage his students to do unqualified Consort Practice or have Consort Practice be a cornerstone of his school (since it looks horrible from the outside). Thus even today, centuries later, Gelugpa Lamas hold Consort Practice at arm's length. As far as I can tell, the general attitude is: You should only do consort practice when a Dakini offers to be your consort.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Adamantine » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:42 am

Konchog1 wrote:It is still the responsibility of the Lama to be the most careful. His actions or inactions set the standard.

For example: Lord Tsongkhapa refused to perform Consort Practice because he didn't want to encourage his students to do unqualified Consort Practice or have Consort Practice be a cornerstone of his school (since it looks horrible from the outside). Thus even today, centuries later, Gelugpa Lamas hold Consort Practice at arm's length. As far as I can tell, the general attitude is: You should only do consort practice when a Dakini offers to be your consort.


Well, that is viewed through the POV of the Gelug school as a virtue of their school and a reason to celebrate. From the Nyingma POV abandoning one of the essential modalities of union practice for qualified yogis because of fear of unqualified people doing it or concern with what it looks like from the outside would be a huge loss for all. Of course, in the Nyingma school most tertons require consorts either for the right circumstances to reveal their terma or for their longevity, or both.. so without a living lineage of union practice it seems there wouldn't be much left of the Nyingma lineage. Also, many lineages are kept through familial descent. So you can pronounce the views of the Gelug school to put that sensibility out there, but you must understand the essential importance of a living tradition of union yoga --using physically embodied consorts-- in the other schools, and specifically for the Nyingma tradition.

Perhaps the Gelug view is more or less that a few rotten apples can spoil the barrel, so just visualize your apples because some apples inevitably will rot.
In contrast, I'd say in regards to this issue the Nyingma view may be closer to: maybe some rotten apples are inevitable, but without their seeds no glorious apple trees would ever grow.

OK, clearly that's not quite right but don't sue me over it.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:04 am

Adamantine wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:It is still the responsibility of the Lama to be the most careful. His actions or inactions set the standard.

For example: Lord Tsongkhapa refused to perform Consort Practice because he didn't want to encourage his students to do unqualified Consort Practice or have Consort Practice be a cornerstone of his school (since it looks horrible from the outside). Thus even today, centuries later, Gelugpa Lamas hold Consort Practice at arm's length. As far as I can tell, the general attitude is: You should only do consort practice when a Dakini offers to be your consort.


Well, that is viewed through the POV of the Gelug school as a virtue of their school and a reason to celebrate. From the Nyingma POV abandoning one of the essential modalities of union practice for qualified yogis because of fear of unqualified people doing it or concern with what it looks like from the outside would be a huge loss for all. Of course, in the Nyingma school most tertons require consorts either for the right circumstances to reveal their terma or for their longevity, or both.. so without a living lineage of union practice it seems there wouldn't be much left of the Nyingma lineage. Also, many lineages are kept through familial descent. So you can pronounce the views of the Gelug school to put that sensibility out there, but you must understand the essential importance of a living tradition of union yoga --using physically embodied consorts-- in the other schools, and specifically for the Nyingma tradition.

Perhaps the Gelug view is more or less that a few rotten apples can spoil the barrel, so just visualize your apples because some apples inevitably will rot.
In contrast, I'd say in regards to this issue the Nyingma view may be closer to: maybe some rotten apples are inevitable, but without their seeds no glorious apple trees would ever grow.

OK, clearly that's not quite right but don't sue me over it.
Ah, sorry for being unclear. I wasn't talking about Consort Practice. Rather, I was giving an example of a Lama thinking about how his actions or inactions would effect his entire school and all his disciples and then acting for their benefit. Whether Lord Tsongkhapa was right or not is another discussion. Of course, various schools will each have their own legitimate perspectives on various practices and rituals.
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:48 am

Yudron wrote:I'm not saying my lamas are better than other people's lamas! I'm saying we need to choose to connect to the very best lamas, and be sure they are someone we can imagine ourselves trusting. Then over months and years we can and build that trust into something really strong.


This situation where female students can become attracted to their teachers (whether it is a freshman student for her college professor or a Dharma student for a lama) strikes me as just the manifestation of a female biological imperative to seek out the Alpha Male in a group as the best potential mate. Also, being the main guy’s squeeze is a sure way up the pecking order in the social group. I remember, for example, hearing from a former female member of Ole Nydahl’s Diamondway group that, rather than being appalled by his promiscuity, women would compete to become part of his harem. Clearly, thinking with an organ other than their brains.

While the teacher/student bond is central to the vajrayana (and other forms of Buddhism) I think introducing sex into it runs the risk of undermining the whole relationship – not unlike when good friends sleep together and risk ruining a wonderful friendship because jealousy and the like begins to creep in.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby futerko » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:32 am

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Yudron wrote:I'm not saying my lamas are better than other people's lamas! I'm saying we need to choose to connect to the very best lamas, and be sure they are someone we can imagine ourselves trusting. Then over months and years we can and build that trust into something really strong.


This situation where female students can become attracted to their teachers (whether it is a freshman student for her college professor or a Dharma student for a lama) strikes me as just the manifestation of a female biological imperative to seek out the Alpha Male in a group as the best potential mate. Also, being the main guy’s squeeze is a sure way up the pecking order in the social group. I remember, for example, hearing from a former female member of Ole Nydahl’s Diamondway group that, rather than being appalled by his promiscuity, women would compete to become part of his harem. Clearly, thinking with an organ other than their brains.

While the teacher/student bond is central to the vajrayana (and other forms of Buddhism) I think introducing sex into it runs the risk of undermining the whole relationship – not unlike when good friends sleep together and risk ruining a wonderful friendship because jealousy and the like begins to creep in.
I think the attraction to be close to the "top" for the sake of status can apply to both genders, and your argument from biology is tending towards shaky ground here. Strange that you mention Diamondway, as this sort of clamouring for attention can be seen by both genders in that environment. This may just be a result of a Lama having a busy schedule, or may also be based on a misunderstanding of what devotion actually entails.

It is a truism in any teaching situation that the most attention grabbing students will try to control the situation to their advantage. It is really up to the teacher to define who is in control of this and not allow it to skew the group dynamic.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:58 am

futerko wrote:I think the attraction to be close to the "top" for the sake of status can apply to both genders, and your argument from biology is tending towards shaky ground here.


I agree on both counts. Biology is not the whole story here - that would be too sweeping a generalization. Being the big guy's girlfriend is a powerful position as it makes you the de facto gatekeeper for all the other students. Perhaps this is what makes sleeping with the lama attractive to a certain type of female student.

futerko wrote: Strange that you mention Diamondway, as this sort of clamouring for attention can be seen by both genders in that environment. This may just be a result of a Lama having a busy schedule, or may also be based on a misunderstanding of what devotion actually entails.


I dunno. I was just relating an example I had heard from a group where the leader is well-known for hitting on his students.

futerko wrote:It is a truism in any teaching situation that the most attention grabbing students will try to control the situation to their advantage. It is really up to the teacher to define who is in control of this and not allow it to skew the group dynamic.


I think that is the main point. In any teaching situation, the teacher has to think of the group dynamic. When I taught college, all of my male colleagues (no matter what their age or looks, BTW) reported students having crushes on them from time to time. It went with the territory and as a teaching professional one needs to be aware of it and deal with it in a manner beneficial for all one's students. I can't really see why Buddhist teachers would think any differently if they are serious about what they are doing.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Harold » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:53 am

Can a dharmpala emanate or reincarnation as a human being or only thorough a Kuten an Oracle?
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:01 am

Harold wrote:Can a dharmpala emanate or reincarnation as a human being or only thorough a Kuten an Oracle?
Only through an Oracle I believe.
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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:52 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Harold wrote:Can a dharmpala emanate or reincarnation as a human being or only thorough a Kuten an Oracle?
Only through an Oracle I believe.


Ole Nydahl claims to be an emanation of Mahakala Bernagchen. Don't know who supports him in this though.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:57 am

Can you cite where he claims this?
If it's true it is disturbing, but such claims should be backed up.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Stewart » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:01 am

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
Harold wrote:Can a dharmpala emanate or reincarnation as a human being or only thorough a Kuten an Oracle?
Only through an Oracle I believe.


Ole Nydahl claims to be an emanation of Mahakala Bernagchen. Don't know who supports him in this though.


I've definetly heard this before too....source may be tricky to find though.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:13 am

Well, without a source, it's just heresay and gossip. :shrug:
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:21 am

JKhedrup wrote:Can you cite where he claims this?
If it's true it is disturbing, but such claims should be backed up.


I should clarify – after a look around I can find no statement where Nydahl himself directly claims to be an emanation of Mahakala – although there are direct claims by students. I do remember something on youtube but cannot find it presently (if it is even still there).
However, he often cites that the 16th Karmapa referred to him as “Mahakala” (as well as the reincation of a Khampa general. Nydahl identifies himself as a dharma protector of Karma Kagyu lineage and his long life prayer by Loppon Tsechu underlines this claim: http://blog.dwbuk.org/lama-ole-nydahl/l ... -rinpoche/).
Nydahl’s claim (apparently originating in a statement of the 16th Karmapa) is to have some sort of supernatural status linked with Dharmapalas, if not Bernagchen specifically. I think he hints and lets his eager followers fill in the detail for themselves.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:52 am

I find much of Ole Nydahl's behaviour apalling and some of his teachings rather odd. Here in Europe I encounter many people who felt unhappy with how they were treated in his organization. There are some, however, who seem to be satisfied.
He is very sure of himself (I don't think even his students would call him humble) and the Bernagchen story strikes me as plausible.
At the same time though, claims should be sourced because even though I don't particularly like Lama Ole or his approach, it wouldn't be fair to make claims without being able to back them up.
The prayer posted does lend some credibility. Still, it would be better to have a transcript or clip of ON actually saying this.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Knotty Veneer » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:05 pm

JKhedrup wrote:I find much of Ole Nydahl's behaviour apalling and some of his teachings rather odd. Here in Europe I encounter many people who felt unhappy with how they were treated in his organization. There are some, however, who seem to be satisfied.
He is very sure of himself (I don't think even his students would call him humble) and the Bernagchen story strikes me as plausible.
At the same time though, claims should be sourced because even though I don't particularly like Lama Ole or his approach, it wouldn't be fair to make claims without being able to back them up.


OK I withdraw the remark above – Nydahl does NOT explicitly claim to be an emanation of Bernagchen.

However, it would appear that the idea that he is an emanation of Mahakala is common among Diamondway membership. See this interview between Buddhismus-heute – a German Diamondway magazine – and Thaye Dorje: http://www.buddhismus-heute.de/archive. ... _0.de.html (Eng trans: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... cQ7gEwBzgK)

As I said above:

Nydahl’s claim (apparently originating in a statement of the 16th Karmapa) is to have some sort of supernatural status linked with Dharmapalas, if not Bernagchen specifically. I think he hints and lets his eager followers fill in the detail for themselves.

This is a singular claim by any Tibetan Buddhist teacher AFAIK.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Stewart » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:24 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:I find much of Ole Nydahl's behaviour apalling and some of his teachings rather odd. Here in Europe I encounter many people who felt unhappy with how they were treated in his organization. There are some, however, who seem to be satisfied.
He is very sure of himself (I don't think even his students would call him humble) and the Bernagchen story strikes me as plausible.
At the same time though, claims should be sourced because even though I don't particularly like Lama Ole or his approach, it wouldn't be fair to make claims without being able to back them up.


OK I withdraw the remark above – Nydahl does NOT explicitly claim to be an emanation of Bernagchen.

However, it would appear that the idea that he is an emanation of Mahakala is common among Diamondway membership. See this interview between Buddhismus-heute – a German Diamondway magazine – and Thaye Dorje: http://www.buddhismus-heute.de/archive. ... _0.de.html (Eng trans: http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... cQ7gEwBzgK)

As I said above:

Nydahl’s claim (apparently originating in a statement of the 16th Karmapa) is to have some sort of supernatural status linked with Dharmapalas, if not Bernagchen specifically. I think he hints and lets his eager followers fill in the detail for themselves.



I have definelty seen it implied that Ole is linked with Bernagchen, as in he is/is and emanation of him...so it is out there somewhere.
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Re: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:49 pm

Stewart wrote:I have definelty seen it implied that Ole is linked with Bernagchen, as in he is/is and emanation of him...so it is out there somewhere.
If I remember correctly, the 16th Karmapa once made a passing comment about Ole's ferociousness being due to his association with the protector, and an urban legend then sprung out of that one statement and is continuing to bore us all to this very day.
:namaste:

Ooooopsssss, I just noticed that Knotty Veneer said the same thing, sorry for being repetitive.
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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: Investigating fake lamas

Postby Stewart » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:53 pm

who cares anyway/ eh? :smile:
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