We should be able to rejoice in all 84 000 gateways of dharma, and not just those that agree with our preconceptions and agendas
But it has to work both ways...
I agree, but my perception is very different. The agenda I see in Vajrayana and to a lesser extend the Vipassana movement is to divorce Buddhism from monasticism entirely, ruling it out for Westerners. This does a great disservice to the dispensation of Lord Buddha, which, like it or not, is very much grounded in monasticism. I am not saying that it is not wonderful we have lay teachers, but that the monastic tradition is not something disposible.
I am also not sure about your comment about ambition, I find it very disturbing. Perhaps it is based on an interaction with one or two people but to make such a sweeping statement is irresponsible. How many of the most successful and popular Western teachers of Buddhism are actually monks and nuns? How many translators? How many authors of Budhist books? They are overwhelmingly lay. Linking monasticism with ambition is an unfair generalization.
Many Westerners who want to ordain are humble and hope to fade into the background. They are happy to do jobs like administration and maintenance to keep the dharma centres going, an essential service. Despite their contributions, many are seen by the centres as simply "another mouth to feed". I realize that if I were not translating, that is likely how I would be viewed as well- which is indeed sad.
With proper training we could have some wonderful Western monks and nuns in Tibetan Buddhism just like they do in the Thai Forest Tradition. People who exemplify a different way of living and a commitment to living as simply as possible.
But this will never happen, because of the aversion many Westerners in our tradition have for monasticism, especially when undertaken by Westerners. Lamas and Rinpoches can repeat again and again the benefits of this way of life, but as long as the Western lay community remains uninterested in Western monks and nuns,completely ambivalent, nothing will change.
I for one think that's sad because this way of life has been a tremendous source of joy. I have learned humility, discipline, the Tibetan language and vast amounts of dharma since I have become a monk. There is a huge amount of work I have to do to become a half-decent practitioner. But my ordination has helped me progress closer to that.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin