Tulkus who have rejected their role

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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby muni » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:22 pm

AlexanderS wrote:I've personally been very impressed with more or less all the tulku's i've met and I feel very fortunate to have met them and received teachings from them.



Is to actually meet one the same as to merely meet a person who is called tulku? Or is this the important difference?
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby AlexanderS » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:34 pm

muni wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:I've personally been very impressed with more or less all the tulku's i've met and I feel very fortunate to have met them and received teachings from them.



Is to actually meet one the same as to meet a person who is called tulku? Or is this the important difference?


I don't think I understand your question. I have not been impressed with them because they were Tulkus, but because they ones I've met have an immense presence and are able to transmit the teachings with great skillfullness and warmth.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby muni » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:36 pm

AlexanderS wrote: great skillfullness and warmth.


You understood my question. Thank you.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby AlexanderS » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:54 pm

Great :)
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Tom » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:18 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Tom wrote:
Simon E. wrote: I would politely point out sir or madam that there has not 'always ' been Tulkus.


Can not haz tulkus? So, when did Buddhas start emanating?

Whoops. :smile: ( my grammar ! )
Buddhas HAVE always been emananting. The concept of tulkudom is relatively recent.


So, then you agree there have always been tulkus (in Tibetan the word for emanation is tulku).

Tatpurusa (love the name) never claimed the recognition of tulkus stretches back indefinitely.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:32 pm

Lets go beyond point scoring over issues of semantics shall we Tom ?
In the sense that it is an arising that happens atemporally ,emanations are not limited in terms of time.
However to equate that with the whole vast political/social structure that has grown up around the 'tulku' model is disingenuous.
This debate is not posited on a platonic ideal world. It is about what is going on on this blue planet.
Where a large proportion of 'tulkus' are kicking over the traces.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Tom » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:46 pm

Simon E. wrote:Lets go beyond point scoring over issues of semantics shall we Tom ?
In the sense that it is an arising that happens atemporally ,emanations are not limited in terms of time.
However to equate that with the whole vast political/social structure that has grown up around the 'tulku' model is disingenuous.


Tatpurusha's point was hardly semantic, but your objection I thought seemed to come from a lack of understanding about the semantic range of the term tulku. Of course not all tulkus are emanations, but to accept such things as emanations and at the same time reduce the idea of tulkus to a political/social structure is what I find disingenuous. So this was not about point scoring for me, but sorry if I have offended. I will leave it there.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:51 pm

Glyn wrote:Please share stories of Tulkus who have rejected their roles and are doing other things with their lives? The only ones I can think of are somewhat controversial, with the exception of Osel Torres, who is now teaching a bit.

This is the OP.
the thread had drifted, as threads will, to an examination of the whole tulku model.
I have stated my own view elsewhere. It is that a large majority of 'tulkus' are 'recognised' for reasons of political advantage.
When this happens to western born boys the dissonance they experience in the absence of the social apparatus which reinforces and validates the role, a proportion of them find that dissonance too great to bear.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Simon E. » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:58 pm

Tom wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Lets go beyond point scoring over issues of semantics shall we Tom ?
In the sense that it is an arising that happens atemporally ,emanations are not limited in terms of time.
However to equate that with the whole vast political/social structure that has grown up around the 'tulku' model is disingenuous.


Tatpurusha's point was hardly semantic, but your objection I thought seemed to come from a lack of understanding about the semantic range of the term tulku. Of course not all tulkus are emanations, but to accept such things as emanations and at the same time reduce the idea of tulkus to a political/social structure is what I find disingenuous. So this was not about point scoring for me, but sorry if I have offended. I will leave it there.

Well we none of us ever stop learning, and I am sure I have not come to the end of my learning and this and other aspects of Dharma...I met my first ' tulku' in 1964, since then my own views have moved along a spectrum..my current position I have stared above.
But I suspect that it is a topic which will always generate heat rather than light..so I too will leave it there.

:namaste:
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Jikan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:14 pm

It's not just an issue of semantic range in the term "tulku." I'd argue instead that the term covers more than one distinct meaning, and not just a range of one meaning. Some of these include:

*the translation from the Sanskrit nirmanakaya

*the notion of a realized person intentionally coming back to human form again and again to be of benefit

*the notion of certain enlightened qualities emanating again

*the historically- and culturally-specific institution of the tulku, which has been described in this thread as "institutionalized child abuse."

It seems to me that the last definition has often been at odds with the others in the course of this discussion. For instance: One can claim that there have always been tulkus in the sense that there have always been nirmanakaya. But one can't say there have always been tulkus by the last definition, since we can trace the history of this institution's emergence and development through time in a specific context--and by this definition, it makes little sense to claim that there will always be tulkus, since we all know that compounded things such as social institutions are impermanent.

My point is that much of what appears to be disagreement in this thread actually amounts to well-meaning people often talking past each other.

I'd assumed from the OP that this thread was to be about the "role," that is the institutional function of tulkus.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Jikan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:15 pm

I should add that it's still not clear to me why or how this thread began in the "personal experience" sub-forum. Perhaps some of us have some experience with this from the inside, as it were.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Glyn » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:41 pm

michaelb wrote:i knew a man in Tso Pema who had been recognized as a tulku as a young child. He spent much of his childhood at Rumtek and Sherab Ling. When he was 12 he was unwell and sent home to be with his family. During this time he made friends with some local boys and started smoking, drinking and doing other things his monastery didn't approve of. They decided they didn't want him back and he wasn't invited back. He said they were doing puja for his swift rebirth. He regrets doing this because if he was still a tulku he would be rich with nice clothes and a nice car, etc.



I think he was lucky, although he might have missed out on some educational opportunities, but the money and 4x4 would have become anchors in samsara.

From an individual point of view that is the tricky thing about the system, on the one hand you might get access to awesome teachings, study and retreat opportunities, but then the other side are the people in the labrang with their own motives, plus family members and people varyingly connected with the previous incarnation all wanting their share of the pie. And this is all before we get into how the eight worldly Dharmas can be stoked up immensely by being treated a certain way just because some people said you used to be a certain someone in a previous life.
"It's not ok to practice Dharma sometimes, just when you feel like it. You have to practice all the time" - Lama Rigzin Rinpoche.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby T. Chokyi » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:44 am

Glyn wrote:Please share stories of Tulkus who have rejected their roles and are doing other things with their lives? The only ones I can think of are somewhat controversial, with the exception of Osel Torres, who is now teaching a bit.


I'm sorry, I didn't read the whole thread. However here are some notes I have, you may enjoy this first link to Ossian's story as told by his mother Hetty on her blog:

Namtar of the Wee Lama Boy:
http://www.phantomlyoracula.com/2007/03/namtar-of-wee-lama-boy.html

Ossian short flick
Premiere Date: September 4, 1990
Filmmaker: Thomas Anderson

News of Ossian's mother's passing away. "My dear Hetty passed away on the 10th June 2011",
post at bottom of page...
http://ladylavona.blogspot.com/2009/07/hetty-maclise.html

Book: "Little Buddhas: Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions"
edited by Vanessa R. Sasson mentions Ossian & others...all around page 424 (find page 424) :

http://books.google.com/books?id=_TytPQ1gCvwC&pg=PA425&lpg=PA425&dq=Ossian+tulku&source=bl&ots=4l8Vu5uj7G&sig=5GYCFIdEDDjlQlnft4o171UEo3E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tLZxUo2zBYnQ7Ab4v4CoDw&ved=0CFgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Ossian%20tulku&f=false

Tulku Thondop's Book an interview on youtube (INCARNATION in three parts):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5fIEa9te1A

Besides this you might want to see the movie "My Reincarnation" with CHNN's son if you have not seen it already, it is really excellent imho. There is a kind of reluctance which is described in the video with the "whys" concerning CHNN's son to just kind of step into what he describes as a traditionally prescribed role...he didn't take to this idea of this role right away...some important details of their father/son relationship are shared in this video.

:namaste:
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby kirtu » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:55 pm

michaelb wrote:i knew a man in Tso Pema who had been recognized as a tulku as a young child. He spent much of his childhood at Rumtek and Sherab Ling. When he was 12 he was unwell and sent home to be with his family. During this time he made friends with some local boys and started smoking, drinking and doing other things his monastery didn't approve of. They decided they didn't want him back and he wasn't invited back.


This is very sad. The tulku lacked a mentor who would stand by him and/or knock sense into him until he came to his own realizations about samsara. Please note Chagdud Tulku's own teachers concerning this aspect. It's disgraceful that a monastery would abandon someone like this. At some point the tulku has to come to his own realizations but this can happen late depending on circumstances.

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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby SatSiri » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:34 pm

Example of a Dutch tulku that bailed out: Ruben Derksen. Last time I checked on him, he was a business tycoon in Vietnam. He is in Gesar Mukpo's movies. There is also an American tulku who was doing a Geluk geshe school and wants nothing with Buddhism anymore. One of these guys (won't say which for privacy reasons) was heavily molested and raped in the monastery where he was staying and saw and heard it happen all around him. The other also saw child abuse him in his monastery in India and wrote an urgent letter about it to HH. Reply of the Office: "Please mind your own business". He disrobed immediately.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby SatSiri » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:37 pm

What is needed in celibate monasteries of all faiths: minimum age of about 18 years old.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Nemo » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:36 pm

Some flame out pretty impressively. Most Tulku's who reject their role are never recognized. Some high Lama's recognize people but don't tell them for obvious reasons. None I knew considered it an aid to their practice. Generally unless they practice they are very unusual people. They do provoke strong reactions.

IIRC you only need to accomplish the first Bhumi to emanate a Tulku.(?) At that point you still have plenty of defilements but have recognized the nature of reality.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby theanarchist » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:49 pm

Glyn wrote:Please share stories of Tulkus who have rejected their roles and are doing other things with their lives? The only ones I can think of are somewhat controversial, with the exception of Osel Torres, who is now teaching a bit.



The incarnation of Lama Yeshe. He was a punk for a while I have heard.


But "tulku" doens't come with a particular role. That is attributed to them by the environment, but that's not actually what bodhisattva acitivity neccessarily is about.
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Re: Tulkus who have rejected their role

Postby Seishin » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Topic locked for review. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Gassho,
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