gregkavarnos wrote:Hate to be the one to inform you, but it is already working, there are more than 600 Diamond Way centres worldwide.
I rather think that is a matter of opinion. If it is a truly beneficial and useful organisation it will continue to grow and stabilize after Ole's "parinirvana". Unfortunately, I think Diamondway currently runs on the energy of Ole's massive personality and we'll see how long and in what form it survives after he's gone. That said, I think there are many people who are introduced to Buddhism via Diamondway and it serves a purpose as conduit rather than a whole path.
The much touted 600 centres is something I suspect too might be an over exaggeration. I have been involved in Dharma centres for c 20 years and have many friends in a variety of Buddhist traditions who have done similar. Buddhist centres tend to be like field mushrooms there can be dozens in the morning but by the afternoon they soon evaporate. I suspect most of the Diamondway centres are member's front rooms rather than centres with their own premises (whether owned or hired) and consistent weekly programmes of events. The NKT which is a much slicker and better funded and even more agressively prosletyzing than DW does not have as many centers as that. But I will admit even if the true figure is only 100 or even 50 - that is impressive. But quantity is not the sames as quality.
gregkavarnos wrote:From what I have seen, the organisation does not operate like a cult. Students are encouraged to receive teachings and transmissions from recognised masters, there is none of the paranoia and secrecy of other cult groups BUT there is a great deal of adoration for Ole Nydahl. He is, unfortunately, the type of person you either love or hate.
Again that may be matter of opinion. The folks over at the Rick Ross cult site have over a hundred pages devoted to Ole and Diamondway: http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,59830 and basically too many people just don't like him and DW from other Buddhist groups (not just other Karma Kagyupas) for one to dismiss the accusations lightly.
gregkavarnos wrote:I find that most of the criticism of the group comes from an American Protestant puritanist mind set (this is kind of humorous for us here in Europe when you take into account the humanistic (and lay) nature of European Protestantism) and does not really have any basis in the teachings of Buddhist sexual ethics. Many times I also discern a certain "jealousy" in the critiques of the, currently, highly sucessful nature of the organisation.
You know I've seen this argument come up so many times over the years with regard to Ole's behavior. If you criticise his sleeping around it's because you are a prude. No I am neither American nor come from a protestant background nor a prude and I think Ole needs to be asked serious questions about the use of his position to acquire partners for his own sexual gratification rather than any benefit to them. It's what people used to criticize the likes of Osho for. Even Shamarpa has criticized Ole on his teachings on sex.
Some figures may be jealous of Ole but I think more oppose him because they think he abuses his position and debases the tradition by his behavior.
gregkavarnos wrote:Another invalid basis for many critiques is the fact that the organisation actively supports the 17th Karmapa Thaye Trinley. I imagine that if DW supported, and was guided by, the 17th Karmpa Urgyen Trinley then the criticism from the US (where UT is more "popular") would lessen and the criticism from Europe (where TT is more "popular") would grow. Mind you, there are a fair number of critics of DW from within the mandala of Thaye Trinley too. Most of the time I find this criticism comes from qualified European lama that don't have the charisma to develop their "schools" to the level that DW has grown.
I would not criticize Ole on these grounds. He's free to follow whomever he pleases. It would be interesting though to conjecture where Ole and Diamondway would be if the Karmapa controversy had not taken place. I think he has much more clout and much more of a free hand in the Sharmapa/Thaye Dorje wing of the Karma Kagyu than he would have had in a united Karma Kagyu. I don't think he would have been let get away with the anti-Muslim comments and sexual hijinks. When Shamarpa criticized him a couple of years ago he (Shamarpa) was slapped down pretty quickly with the threat of a lawsuit. For someone so devoted to the tradition like Ole, I would have thought that threatening one of your gurus with legal action is not perhaps the best way to preserve your samayas.