Crisis at KPC in Maryland

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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:25 am

Yudron wrote: Maybe better to use the Catholic system and confer sainthood posthumously.


Well that's kind of our system too, right? What with special signs at death and so forth. . . :P

I mean, if Akhon Lamo went rainbow body most of the folks here would be eating shoes for some time. . .
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby kirtu » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:06 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Yudron wrote: Maybe better to use the Catholic system and confer sainthood posthumously.


Well that's kind of our system too, right? What with special signs at death and so forth. . . :P

I mean, if Akhon Lamo went rainbow body most of the folks here would be eating shoes for some time. . .


Well, I expect her to demonstrate signs upon her death. However, it would be better if she deepened her practice in this life (true of everyone of course).

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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Yudron » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:04 pm

I feel that people who want to learn how to handle emotional upheavals should do a group three year retreat under closely supervised by an excellent lama. That skill may sound mundane, but is an essential basis for practice. There are a few excellent lamas who have not done so, but they were guided closely directly under the supervision of their lama, serving them under all kinds of conditions. Even though folks may be educated and be good meditators, I feel that people should generally only by authorized to teach if they have that kind of background. This is no commentary on the above mentioned lama, but I see in myself that I have grown a lot in my emotional capacity--and my capacity as a leader--from this kind of close supervision by a wisdom lama, but I still have a long way to go.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:07 pm

Yudron wrote:I feel that people who want to learn how to handle emotional upheavals should do a group three year retreat under closely supervised by an excellent lama. That skill may sound mundane, but is an essential basis for practice. There are a few excellent lamas who have not done so, but they were guided closely directly under the supervision of their lama, serving them under all kinds of conditions. Even though folks may be educated and be good meditators, I feel that people should generally only by authorized to teach if they have that kind of background. This is no commentary on the above mentioned lama, but I see in myself that I have grown a lot in my emotional capacity--and my capacity as a leader--from this kind of close supervision by a wisdom lama, but I still have a long way to go.


:good:

I also think that being regarded as a teacher and a leader before one has done extensive retreat and study under a wisdom lama can be disastrous for one's practice. One can feel that one is a "living Buddha" and that the mere recognition as a tulku (which is not uncommon in Tibetan culture) means that one has nothing more to do, that one is entitled to be served by ordained sangha rather than serving them and that any lustful, greedy, arrogant or angry activity is somehow pure rather than the expression of the kleshas.

I think the key as Yudron points out is an attitude of service and humility. When others look up to you, it's really easy to start believing your own hype.
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:39 pm

Frank Herbert time

“Power doesn't corrupt and absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, power attracts the corruptible.”

“The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.”
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: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:18 pm

Most of the Geshes I know are not so impressed with people just because they carry the title Rinpoche. Tulkus do have a lot of privileges but they will not be respected by their peers at the monastery unless they put effort into their studies or practice, even if many lay people come for blessings.

HHDL has said many times that a fully trained Geshe or Khenpo who practices is more useful than 5 tulkus who haven't received proper training.

If they have this great potential but do nothing to realize it, said one of my teachers, then the title is like a gateway to the practice of the 8 Worldly Dharmas.

I am not directing my comments at Jetsunma in particular, as I don't know her. I am making a general observation about how titles are not a failsafe guarantee that a teacher is qualified to lead students in their spiritual practice.
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: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby anikunzangdrolma » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Thank you for the discussion about the crisis KPC MD is now facing. I am a student and ordained nun of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo's, and currently living in MD. I hope I can clarify some of the issues raised, and certainly seek out clarification and post it if I don't know the answers. I was ordained by HH Penor Rinpoche at NY Palyul Retreat in 2000.
1.The Temple is a beautiful building, as has been noted. It was found by following very specific instructions from HH Penor Rinpoche as to what the building would look like. Thus the choice of location and building was determine by HHPR wisdom mind.
2. The full name bestowed upon our Temple/organisation by HHPR was Kunzang Odsal Palyul Changchub Choling, or Fully Awakened Glorious Dharma Continent of Absolute Clear Light. A moment contemplating the English translation of the name HHPR blessed us with reminds us that the Temple is in no way ordinary; it is a precious, sacred place where the potential of prayer and practice is already accomplished and fully awake.
3. Because of this extraordinary and direct link to HHPR we do not consider the Temple as just a building, and so we are committed to preserving the current Temple and the inherent blessings for everyone who visits.
4.Our 24 hour prayer vigil for World Peace and the end of suffering began in April 1985, and has continued unbroken to this day. That is 28 years of prayer around the clock; our Prayer Room has held these prayers, and people comment on the peaceful energy they experience.
5. The building that was purchased, as per HHPR instructions, was at that time a private residence. When KPC purchased it in 1985, an application was made for a Use and Occupancy permit, but there was a lapse with follow-up on some requirements. At a recent meeting with the County it was determined that the building does not comply with current standards. KPC is committed to complying with all regulations, and has already been working with an architect to determine the most cost efficient ways to upgrade the building.
6. We do not have a final figure for the entire upgrade, but the initial professional estimate exceeds $1,000,000.
The extensive renovations will have to include:
• fire separation (i understand that to mean internal firewalls),
• electrical and plumbing work,
• storm water management throughout the grounds,
• installation of extensive sprinkler systems throughout the building
• fire truck access.
7. I am aware of the controversy that surrounds Jetsunma, and most especially of the role that the lies and twisted truths expressed by convicted felon William Cassidy (convicted and served time for sexual assault and arson) have played in inflaming people's minds about Jetsunma. Having been blessed to attend Palyul Retreat for a number of years while HHPR was still Playul Throneholder, I have heard with my own ears Holiness address this matter from the Throne on two occasions, where he soundly affirmed his support and recognition of Jetsunma as a pure Tulku. Whatever opinions anyone has about Jetsunma, her authenticity, her commitment to her Root Guru HHPR and maintaining the purity of the Palyul lineage and whether she lives a life committed only to compassion and the end of suffering are just opinions from ordinary mind. Holiness recognised Jetsunma as a Tulku and the incarnation of Ahkon Lhamo, formally enthroned her and throughout his life paid homage to her and her activities. Other Great Lamas have done the same.
I am grateful to have connected with Jetsunma and through her HHPR and HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, and to have received countless blessings.
I will try and answer any questions re the current situation as best I can. Thank you.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Stewart » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:22 pm

Say what you will about Cassidy's past, I'm no fan of his... But the flame was between him and people on your side on social networks was disgusting... Including ordained Sangha from KPC. Anyway comment on this?
s.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:00 am

And her Cyber Police have found this thread already. This is one of the reasons I think Akhon Lhamo's group is creepy and cultish.
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: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby pueraeternus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:50 am

Konchog1 wrote:Frank Herbert time

“Power doesn't corrupt and absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, power attracts the corruptible.”

“The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.”


"Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect all who seek it."

"We should grant power over our affairs only to those who are reluctant to hold it and then only under conditions that increase the reluctance." - Bene Gesserit coda memo from Darwi Odrade.
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.

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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby anikunzangdrolma » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:35 am

Say what you will about Cassidy's past, I'm no fan of his... But the flame was between him and people on your side on social networks was disgusting... Including ordained Sangha from KPC. Anyway comment on this?

I first want to say that anything I write is coming from me, which inevitably involves limitations in understanding. I was living in a fairly remote place in AZ until a year ago, when i moved to MD. So I have not been very active on Twitter. However, I have seen things Cassidy wrote and was I involved in taking out a restraining order against himon behalf of KPC and our Sangha . This process was approved by a Judge who reviewed the material he had written, which included serious threats (and the order was renewed for a following year).
We live in a degenerate time, where there is a lot of confusion and in which there are many attacks on pure Dharma. As I said before, I realise there are people who question Jetsunma's purity and authenticity, but I listen to those Great Lamas who are acknowledged to be accomplished, and who respect and support her and her activities, and who recognise that she too is a pure accomplished Teacher.
Orgyen Kusum Lingpa,a Terton and Nyingma lineage holder, revealed a long life prayer for Jetsunma that refers to her as White Tara and Mandarava as well as the first Ahkon Lhamo,
Knowing that Jetsunma is an emanation of White Tara, as per this revelation, then I also know that all her activities arise from awakened mind and can only serve the purpose of Bodhicitta, awakened compassion, which is to end suffering. I cannot separate her pure nature from her actions or speech, or judge them with an ordinary frame of reference. When Jetsunma speaks or tweets it can only bring benefit. In the case of her ordained - who like me operate from ordinary mind - if any of us is doing anything that is inappropriate, I know that Jetsunma will call us on it and hold us accountable. She will do everything she can to uphold the purity of the Dharma and our Lineage. If somehow others consider it disgusting, I can only say that IMHO White Tara is incapable of doing anything disgusting.
This may not have answered your question, but I hope it is some help.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Adamantine » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:59 am

Having known HH Kusum Lingpa for many years and attended quite a few teachings, wangs, and even a retreat with him I have absolute confidence he was the real deal. That said, he did not approach anything whatsoever in a conventional way. In his own words, he was a "crazy-beggar-thief" Lama. He often enacted elaborate schemes to confront people with their own limitations or arrogance, or small-minded judgements, etc. He also enacted elaborate and even militant fund raising techniques, which sometimes appeared to even eclipse the teachings, drawing attention to the habitual material grasping innate in our conditioning. . in Tibet he would give everything away, unless it was for his Gompa or a specific project like the big stupa. . In my mind, he was the genius performance artist of the yogis. As has been recounted on Esangha and elsewhere, when he first came and shook things up on the West Coast, he began recognizing tulkus left and right.. which totally polarized the sangha he was eviscerating because ones he recognized became inflated and ones he did not became envious or resentful, etc. I was not there, this is second or even third hand but it seems to fit with my own observations of his activities. Is this a controversial teaching method? Absolutely. Did it perhaps purify innate spiritual materialism by drawing it out into the open to be lacerated? Perhaps. In many ways we can not judge a master like him, in the same way you say Jetsunma Akhon Lhamo can not be judged. I don't know her, and I can not vouch for her.

Penor Rinpoche was not one of my own Gurus. . He also recognized Steven Segal. My pure vision would struggle with that.

But regarding Kusum Lingpa's recognition of J.A.L? There may have been many layers and levels and reasons for this, beyond the most apparent one. I don't know if I could just accept it in the pious way you have and leave it at that. Just a thought, grist for the mill perhaps. That said, I do absolutely hope she is a pure emanation of Tara and Mandarava, certainly the world needs one.

~A
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby anikunzangdrolma » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:18 am

Thank you Admantine for a considered response. I never met HH Kusum Lingpa, but know he was an extraordinary Teacher.
I also have *never* thought of myself as pious! lol Perhaps in expressing why I have zero doubt about who Jetsunma is, I should have also said something as you did
Having known HH Kusum Lingpa for many years and attended quite a few teachings, wangs, and even a retreat with him I have absolute confidence he was the real deal.

While the recognition of Jetsunma by Great Lamas is a point of reference I encourage everyone to contemplate before making judgment, it is my experience as her student that leads me to say "I have absolute confidence she is the real deal". But if I say only that, then it can be too easily dismissed as of no significance.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby mgrissom » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:44 am

Adamantine wrote:Having known HH Kusum Lingpa for many years and attended quite a few teachings, wangs, and even a retreat with him I have absolute confidence he was the real deal. That said, he did not approach anything whatsoever in a conventional way.
~A


HH Kusum Lingpa was amazing. He helped me a lot. I was up for a job at a defense contractor and under a lot of pressure to take it because of my finances. I guess my karma with them was really strong because they told me to name my salary. (It wasn't supposed to be involved with weapons, just travel arrangements, but the temp job started changing.) During empowerments he kept turning to me and saying, "Do Not Make Bombs Do Not Make Bombs" over and over again. I stayed poor, yay!

To address your other question:

'Say what you will about Cassidy's past, I'm no fan of his... But the flame was between him and people on your side on social networks was disgusting... Including ordained Sangha from KPC. Anyway comment on this?'


I can only speak for myself. Dealing with Cassidy was hard.

There were so many Tweets, they never let up (I think he and his girlfriend took shifts). They were nasty and really crude. When you see a friend being mistreated you want to defend them, and when it's your teacher, you absolutely want to dive in there to protect them.

Jetsunma indicated to me that I should stay out of it, but I just couldn't. I was okay when Cassidy went after me personally, but got upset when he went after new people who defended Jetsunma. A friend of mine pointed out his strategy was to isolate Jetsunma by attacking anyone who leaped to her defense.

Anyway, I got a painful look at my pride and tendency to exaggerate my knowledge. I could win a debate. I walked away feeling over-inflated and thinking, "Er. I should've stayed out of this..." But some of my friends were impressed with me. So Jetsunma then followed it up by asking me to write a "scholarly" post. I actually tried, lol! I discovered I didn't have the scholarly knowledge to do such a thing and had to admit to her, hat in hand, that I was no scholar.

In my experience, that's how she's taught me. She gives me directions. I, uh, usually ignore them. And then she turns it into a teaching that shows me the negative quality that caused me to ignore her in the first place. I don't look that good in the process.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Yudron » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:18 am

mgrissom wrote:
Adamantine wrote:Having known HH Kusum Lingpa for many years and attended quite a few teachings, wangs, and even a retreat with him I have absolute confidence he was the real deal. That said, he did not approach anything whatsoever in a conventional way.
~A


HH Kusum Lingpa was amazing. He helped me a lot. I was up for a job at a defense contractor and under a lot of pressure to take it because of my finances. I guess my karma with them was really strong because they told me to name my salary. (It wasn't supposed to be involved with weapons, just travel arrangements, but the temp job started changing.) During empowerments he kept turning to me and saying, "Do Not Make Bombs Do Not Make Bombs" over and over again. I stayed poor, yay!

To address your other question:

'Say what you will about Cassidy's past, I'm no fan of his... But the flame was between him and people on your side on social networks was disgusting... Including ordained Sangha from KPC. Anyway comment on this?'


I can only speak for myself. Dealing with Cassidy was hard.

There were so many Tweets, they never let up (I think he and his girlfriend took shifts). They were nasty and really crude. When you see a friend being mistreated you want to defend them, and when it's your teacher, you absolutely want to dive in there to protect them.

Jetsunma indicated to me that I should stay out of it, but I just couldn't. I was okay when Cassidy went after me personally, but got upset when he went after new people who defended Jetsunma. A friend of mine pointed out his strategy was to isolate Jetsunma by attacking anyone who leaped to her defense.

Anyway, I got a painful look at my pride and tendency to exaggerate my knowledge. I could win a debate. I walked away feeling over-inflated and thinking, "Er. I should've stayed out of this..." But some of my friends were impressed with me. So Jetsunma then followed it up by asking me to write a "scholarly" post. I actually tried, lol! I discovered I didn't have the scholarly knowledge to do such a thing and had to admit to her, hat in hand, that I was no scholar.

In my experience, that's how she's taught me. She gives me directions. I, uh, usually ignore them. And then she turns it into a teaching that shows me the negative quality that caused me to ignore her in the first place. I don't look that good in the process.


I really like this post--I feel you are talking from the heart here. When Cassidy briefly targeted me and blasted me for only about a day under various sock puppets, he implied that he was going to send people to come after me, and I was concerned they were going to show up at my door. Especially because he is a convicted felon for arson. So, I know that there is a lot of stress involved.

I missed the Twitter wars, but I really recommend reading Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva on the topic of what to do when someone attacks our teachers. It says very clearly not to respond. Wisdom lamas do not need defending, it is only our emotional need that drives us to defend. You seem to see this clearly now, and it took me a long time to learn, too.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Yeti » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:42 am

We only need to look at HH Dalai Lama for an example in how to not react negatively to attacks. The way He conducts Himself is a profound teaching to all of us.

http://sogyalrinpoche.org/portfolio/why-bodhisattvas-dont-defend-themselves/

I have this tendency to defend myself too, but over time, I have found my teachers advice to just let it go to be the best in the interest of all.

Even Guru Rinpoche was constantly attacked.

Some of my teachers have said often these issues are perpetrated form lifetime to lifetime, some going back to the time of GR in Tibet. It's hard to stop this habit, but it's just one of the habits we have to cut to become decent Dharmic people.

I think it's best to use the Dharma to disarm oneself. At least I have found this approach a little helpful and saved me from creating more trouble and strife. Sometimes I'd like to see a just world, but the great thing about the Dharma is it allows one to view the world with realism. When these issues are perpetrated it just detracts from the Dharma, IMHO. :soapbox:
"When a Dzogchen Yogi hears Shakyamuni Buddha turning the Wheel of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths he hears Samathabhadra proclaiming the most profound Dzogpachenpo." - Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:49 am

Both sides were caught up reacting and neither came out smelling of roses. This is the problem I think. I seem to remember one Zen guy who got caught up in the nastiness.
In times like these who can put their trust in any organization? Just understand the teachings and be active in implementing them. Dharma centers come and go. They are not really important. Keeping a dharma center alive is like maintaining a field of wild flowers. The flowers bloomed because of the genuine teachers instructions and inspiration. If the instructions and inspiration are missing then the flowers die out naturally. But there will always be other fields of flowers so it's o.k.
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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby kirtu » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:46 am

anikunzangdrolma wrote:... and who recognise that she too is a pure accomplished Teacher.


This is a misunderstanding on the part of westerners, esp. her students who are basically tulku worshipers. She was not accomplished as of a few years ago. She was not pure as of a few years ago (more on this in a bit). The title is not necessarily a reflection of reality. An example would be HH Dilgo Khytense who was recognized as a tulku as a young boy (perhaps at birth, I don't remember) and was not considered a high tulku but attained accomplishment through his own efforts, his own diligent practice.

Orgyen Kusum Lingpa,a Terton and Nyingma lineage holder, revealed a long life prayer for Jetsunma that refers to her as White Tara...


I haven't seen the prayer but this is a form of Tibetan poetics and is not in itself meant literally. In the long life prayer he referred to her as White Tara to invoke the blessings of White Tara.

can only say that IMHO White Tara is incapable of doing anything disgusting.


White Tara is incapable of doing anything disgusting. However there are no pure western tulkus at all and there are nearly no pure Asia/other tulkus either.

The recognition is not established accomplishment. The western mind is inseparable from degeneration and westerners have a great deal of purification and practice to do. There may be some western tulkus who are pretty pure, purity being a function of their place on the bhumis. In fact most tulkus are not even on the bhumis at all.

I have admired some of the activities of Akhom Lhamo and KPC but deepening practice and attaining accomplishment remains for all. Beyond that we still have samsara to empty and I pray for the rapid expansion of that activity.

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Re: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:51 am

:good:

We must be discerning with teachers, including taking a good look at their deeds in this lifetime. If this is how JAL's students are making the decision to follow her, I completely respect it.

It is true about the long life prayers. If they were meant to be taken literally, every geshe or khenpo whose students requested one would have to be viewed as an emanation of White Tara, Amitayus or Namgyalma.
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: Crisis at KPC in Maryland

Postby Adamantine » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:32 pm

Oh, yeah I have never seen this prayer either: maybe it could be posted here with both the working English translation and the original Tibetan?

refers to her as White Tara and Mandarava as well as the first Ahkon Lhamo
I took it that he actually refers to her as an emanation of White Tara and Madarava, and my comments were related to that. But as others have indicated it would make sense he is invoking these two in a long life prayer because they are some of the most common deities of long life. I really wonder what the original Tibetan says, and how someone familiar with styles of traditional poetic composition would interpret it in translation. It's quite possible the translator took some liberties or was a little confused and this has caused a big misrepresentation. Even if it does sound explicit then maybe it still is intended to invoke these blessings as others have indicated. Was this the only context where Kusum Lingpa made any reference to her being Mandarava? Such a big hoo-ha has been made about that over the years it seemed like he must have put her on a throne and made a big announcement or something.
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