Western geshes and khenpos

A forum for scholastic discussion/debate.

Western geshes and khenpos

Postby smcj » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:18 pm

I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:04 pm

smcj wrote:I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?
You are including those that have been given the tile honorarily?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9212
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby smcj » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:06 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
smcj wrote:I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?
You are including those that have been given the tile honorarily?

Yeah, I've heard rumors that GMR didn't complete the training, but I wasn't clear on the details. I'm under the impression the George Dreyfus did, however. But those are the only two I've heard of as of this date. Generally it is not an avenue of interest worthy of decades of hard work for us Westerners.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:09 pm

My first Buddhist teacher here in Greece (Στάθης Λιακόπουλος) was honorarily bestowed with the title geshe (by HH Penor Rinpoche) for his work in translating Buddhist literature and organising the fledgling Buddhist community here in Greece.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9212
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby justsit » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:21 pm

Karl Brunnholzl is Khenpo.
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Tom » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:45 pm

Also, Geshe Nicholas Vreeland...

The Geshe title has a number of levels and the one that really counts is the title Geshe Lharam. With the other levels of Geshe awarded there is not the same guarantee around the level of scholarship achieved. I am not sure how many Westerners have achieved the Lharam level but Dreyfus did and also I heard that Ian Coghlan (Jampa Ignyen) all but took the test. Does any one know other Western Geshe Lharampas?
Last edited by Tom on Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby justsit » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:45 pm

Some discussion on the qualities of Khenpo from the KTD blog :

Individuals who wish to pursue Dharma studies usually enter and complete a course of studies in a monastic college or shedra. Those who excel in their studies and are outstanding teachers must be appointed by a lineage holder or the head of a monastery.

A khenpo must possess learning in five areas of Buddhist scriptures: Abhidharma (scriptural collections that analyze all types of phenomena); Pramana or Valid Cognition (classifications of mind and reasoning); Vinaya (presentations of monastic discipline); Prajnaparamita (scriptures on ultimate wisdom and the bodhisattva path); and Madhyamaka or Middle Way (refutations of all assertions and identification of emptiness).

However being a khenpo is something more than mere learning alone: they must possess three qualities: learning, nobility of conduct, and an excellent altruistic intention and the ability to help others (khay-tsun-zang sum). Just being learned but behaving improperly with a worldly motivation does not make a khenpo. All three qualities must be complete. Otherwise, an ordinary householder with a Phd. in Buddhist studies would be a khenpo.
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby smcj » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:52 pm

justsit wrote:Karl Brunnholzl is Khenpo.

According to the he Naladabodhi website he has the traditional Kagyü title of “dharma tutor” (Tib. skyor dpon).

My first Buddhist teacher here in Greece (Στάθης Λιακόπουλος) was honorarily bestowed with the title geshe (by HH Penor Rinpoche) for his work in translating Buddhist literature and organising the fledgling Buddhist community here in Greece.

Geshes are Gelugpas. Khenpos are Kagyu, Nyingma and I think even Sakya scholars.

The Geshe title has a number of levels and the one that really counts is the title Geshe Lharam. With the other levels of Geshe awarded there is not the same guarantee around the level of scholarship achieved. I am not sure how many Westerners have achieved the Lharam level but Dreyfus did and also I heard that Ian Coghlan (Jampa Ignyen) all but took the test. Does any one know other Western Geshe Lharampas?

My understanding is that the geshe degree actually does mean that they intellectually understand what they are talking about. What I've been led to believe is that a Lharam geshe is like the class valedictorian, or something.

The KTD website Justsit linked says that the two most senior khenpos for the Karma Kagyu (Orgyen Thinley branch) are Thrangu R. and Khenpo Tsultrim R. So my sourcing and quoting Khenpo Tsultrim means that he is one of two authoritative voices on the subject matter at hand. I'm not misrepresenting what he has written/taught. It is current Karma Kagyu view.
Last edited by smcj on Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby justsit » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:00 am

Website may not have been updated? Karl's Khenpo status was made public over a year ago.
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Tom » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:01 am

smcj wrote:
justsit wrote:Karl Brunnholzl is Khenpo.

According to the he Naladabodhi website he has the traditional Kagyü title of “dharma tutor” (Tib. skyor dpon).

My first Buddhist teacher here in Greece (Στάθης Λιακόπουλος) was honorarily bestowed with the title geshe (by HH Penor Rinpoche) for his work in translating Buddhist literature and organising the fledgling Buddhist community here in Greece.

Geshes are Gelugpas. Khenpos are Kagyu, Nyingma and I think even Sakya scholars.


I think the Kadampa masters first used the title Geshe. It seems that Bon teachers also use the title Geshe. Does anyone know if that has a long tradition? And are there any Western Bon pa Geshes?
User avatar
Tom
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:12 pm

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby smcj » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:09 am

Tom wrote:I think the Kadampa masters first used the title Geshe. It seems that Bon teachers also use the title Geshe. Does anyone know if that has a long tradition? And are there any Western Bon pa Geshes?

Gelupas are the descendants of the Kadampas. Same DNA with a bit of Kagyu and Sakya thrown in.

Bon geshes? Doesn't sound right. I can't see them having any overlap with Gelugpas.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby justsit » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:24 am

Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is Geshe. See his website. Maybe there are others? :shrug:
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby conebeckham » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:28 am

Bonpos definitely use the term "geshe."

And yes, Karl Brunnholzl was given the title of Khenpo a while back....
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:33 am

smcj wrote:
Tom wrote:I think the Kadampa masters first used the title Geshe. It seems that Bon teachers also use the title Geshe. Does anyone know if that has a long tradition? And are there any Western Bon pa Geshes?

Gelupas are the descendants of the Kadampas. Same DNA with a bit of Kagyu and Sakya thrown in.


This is a common myth. The historical facts are however that Tsongkhapa was Sakyapa originally, studied at Sakya, and refers to himself as a Sakyapa in some early commentaries. Further, his two main students were Sakyapas. It is indeed true that since his first master was a Kadampa Geshe, he always maintain an obvious affection for Lam rim, but in his training he was a Sakyapa. Most of the transmissions in Gelug come through Sakya because it is a little know fact that the Sakyapas were and still are the richest school in terms of total number of gsar ma tantric lineages from India. Probably because they were among the wealthiest religious families in Tsang. The Kagyu sngags mdzod is quite small when compared to the rgyud sde kun bdus.

Initially, Gelug was called Sakya gsar ma, i.e. new Sakyapas, until it was renamed Ganden pa after Tsongkhapa's monastery in Lhasa. "dge lugs" is a corruption of i.e. dga' lugs, short for dga' ldan pa'i lugs, i.e. "the school of the dga' ldan pas." The proper name for the Gelug school is actually "Ri bo dga' ldan pas", those of Tushita Mountain.

It is also true that Tsongkhapa received important transmissions from Drikung as well.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11731
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby smcj » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:47 am

Malcolm wrote:
Gelupas are the descendants of the Kadampas. Same DNA with a bit of Kagyu and Sakya thrown in.


This is a common myth.

Very common. Kalu R., who was pretty Rime, called the Gelug school "re-codified Kadampas".
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:53 am

smcj wrote:[
Very common.


Yup, as time grew on later Gelugpas needed to cover up the fact that Tsongkhapa started out as a Sakyapa because his views came under such harsh criticism from Sakya scholars such as Gorampa. But you must remember, Tsongkhapas main Guru was Rendawa Zhonnu Lodo.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11731
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby justsit » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:56 am

And, we now have the first Western woman Geshe.Geshe Kelsang Wangmo.
User avatar
justsit
 
Posts: 641
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby theanarchist » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:18 am

smcj wrote:I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?



Michaal Roach has been given the title honorarily and is now running a bizarre wannabe tantric cult.
theanarchist
 
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:26 pm

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:34 am

smcj wrote:I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?


I wonder why you are asking the question. Not to be provocative but just asking.

My understanding is that that not all geshes are empowered to teach. I get the impression that a geshe would have a very thorough understanding of the theory but not necessarily be so strong on practice. I'm not so sure about khenpos, but I think this title more specifically designates them as teachers.

It might be more useful to know which westerners are empowered to teach but I guess that would be a longer list.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
User avatar
Punya
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:50 pm

Re: Western geshes and khenpos

Postby Punya » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:39 am

theanarchist wrote:
smcj wrote:I know that there are at least 2 western geshes. There's Geshe Michael Roach and George Dreyfus. Are there any other geshes or khenpos from the western world yet? Thurman isn't a geshe, right?



Michaal Roach has been given the title honorarily and is now running a bizarre wannabe tantric cult.


It's a shame about Michael Roach. He seemed to have good intentions earlier on but somewhere along the line took a wrong turn.
Unless the inner forces of negative emotions are conquered
Strife with outer enemies will never end.
~Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
User avatar
Punya
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:50 pm

Next

Return to Academic Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Vajrasvapna and 2 guests

>