Vajrayana in China

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Vidyaraja
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Vajrayana in China

Postby Vidyaraja » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:38 am

I apologize if this question has been asked before, but what is the situation with Vajrayana in China? Obviously due to the political circumstances of recent times there is tension, and many (most?) Tibetans fled to India and elsewhere after China invaded. What I am wondering is, are there Tibetans practicing their religion in either Tibet proper or among the Tibetan minorities in Sichuan or elsewhere? What about Tibetan Buddhism among non-Tibetan minorities, such as Mongols or others, such as the Qiang, who practice this tradition? Do Han Chinese practice Vajrayana in any significant numbers?

For these individuals that do practice this tradition, Tibetan or non-Tibetan, do they face discrimination, suppression, or are they looked at with suspicion by the Chinese government?

Though some may not call it Vajrayana, is there any Shingon Buddhist or other esoteric/Tantric based Buddhist practices within China?

Thanks in advance for any information anyone can provide.

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Indrajala
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Indrajala » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:46 am

I was strolling around Guangzhou once and found a shop selling all manner of statues and other such items from Tibet.

Tibetan Buddhism is to be found all around China, though you won't find images of the Dalai Lama. Lamas don't have religious freedom. Buddhism in China is supervised by the state as they're paranoid about it.

However, Tibetan Buddhism is somewhat popular in Taiwan. There are also Shingon groups which have their roots in Japan. Some Taiwanese went to places like Koyasan to get the training and empowerments before returning and starting organizations around Taiwan. Some are more successful than others. There are a few officially tied to Koyasan (being branch temples of Koyasan), too. It isn't really significant though. There's actually widespread bias against Shingon and Tibetan Vajrayāna practitioners in Taiwan, especially the latter because of consort practices.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Yudron » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:41 am

Tibetan Buddhism is practiced widely in the ethnically Tibetan areas of the PRC. The Chinese are concerned with keeping things politically under control, so they visit monasteries frequently, and have mandatory meetings where everyone has to denounce the Dalai Lama and so forth. They have spies everywhere, including Tibetans, so there is an atmosphere of constant paranoia. They monetarily reward lamas for supporting them, and for spreading negative rumors about monasteries and other lamas who are thought to support the Tibetan cause. So, along with the paranoia, there is apparently a lot of negative gossip that circulates about lamas, and there is no way of knowing what is true and what is false.

There are a lot of Chinese people who are serious students of Tibetan Buddhism in the PRC. The government does not like that, so the lamas downplay the number of Chinese students they have.

The PRC now has to approve new tulku recognitions in their country. I don't know how the monasteries are working with the relatively recent regulation.

The political -- mostly Gelugpa -- monks and nuns who are protesting and self immolating are stimulating crackdowns by the government that makes everything even tighter for Tibetans in their area.

There are also Christian missionaries in the ethnically Tibetan regions, and I've heard they meet with some success with young people who feel little connections with the old-style Buddhism of their parents and grandparents' generation.
Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

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Salomon
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Salomon » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:46 am

What a nightmare, thank you for sharing this, both of you and thank you for the OP for bringing this subject.
This will probably affect my travel to China.

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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Yudron » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:20 am

Author of Buddhist young adult fiction. Vlogger at Wisdom and Compassion: Grandma Yudron's Totally Chill Vlog on Meditation and Tibetan Wisdom Blogger at Very active on Twitter.

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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby plwk » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:15 am


jmlee369
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby jmlee369 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:46 am

The video of the fire puja is an example of the Shingon transmission in Taiwan, if I remember correctly.

As for the situation in Tibet, I don't think it is as grave as the OP may have pictured it. It's certainly not ideal, but there the religiosity of the Tibetans is still strong, and the Chinese do have a great interest. Somewhat dated news, and Larung Gar has faced trouble too, but a summary of things as they were some time ago: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=5799&t=1

Khenpo So Dhargye is continuing Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche's legacy. http://www.zhibeifw.com/English/ssjs/

I'm surprised to hear that Shingon isn't received all that while in Taiwan; I take it the issue is related to the lack of bhikshu/ni ordination?

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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby michaelb » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:28 am

Might be best to avoid posting links to phayul.com. Chinese government paranoia and aggression ensures the website is riddled with viruses and assorted malware. All monasteries in Tibet now have permanent Chinese government officials on site to ensure everyone's behaving themselves and not inciting splittist activities against the mother land. Tibetans are very pragmatic people and some lamas are working with the authorities to ensure their monks and nuns are able to carry on their practice with as little interference as possible.
Anyway, here's a link to information on the new Chinese policy on human rights watch website.
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/16/chin ... irect-rule

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Vidyaraja
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Vidyaraja » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:46 pm

Then I imagine studying or participating in tantric/esoteric Buddhism in China, which is already limited in numbers, wouldn't be the best place to do so. I was just wondering because I am attracted to tantric Buddhism and had future plans of teaching English abroad in (mainland) China, so I figured I'd ask what the situation is. Perhaps if I go there I might discover something while on the ground, but it won't be good if there is a constant aura of suspicion and paranoia.

I appreciate everyone's input though.

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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:56 am

If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

- The Open-Ended Proof from The Panoplia Prophetica

uan
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby uan » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:35 am


ngodrup
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby ngodrup » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:34 am

I know a Tibetan-American, i.e. a Tibetan born in Tibet, who
is now a citizen of the USA who recently visited Tibet. This person
was required to attend special meetings "to learn about all the progress
and positive changes the Communist Party of China has brought." But
the other US Citizens in the group, were not required to attend.

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Vidyaraja
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Vidyaraja » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:08 pm


uan
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby uan » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:43 am


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Huifeng
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Huifeng » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:27 am



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Indrajala
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:08 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

uan
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby uan » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:28 pm


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Indrajala
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:31 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

uan
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby uan » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:05 pm

How does it work from the Lama's side of things? I'm sure they are open with some types of initiations, but not with others (at least it would be based on the relative level of the practitioners practice, commitment to keep samaya, etc.).

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Indrajala
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Re: Vajrayana in China

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:09 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |


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