An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Knotty Veneer » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:03 pm

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.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:33 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote: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... 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.
Though I agree with you to an extent I also have to say that a "front room" group can offer practical support to people in situations where there is no chance whatsoever of an official centre opening (for a number of reasons from financial to a lack of qualified teachers, etc...) To use a Christian example, the original meaning of a church was the congregation of believers and not the physical structure. Mountain hermits don't have official temples but that does not mean that their practice is invalid. ;) You are right though that quantity does not equal quality BUT contact with a sangha, no matter how informal, even a site like this, can be a springboard into serious practice.
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.
Like I said, "from what I have seen", this means I am talking about my opinion.
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.
I said "most criticism", not "ALL criticism". I agree that the power imbalances between teacher and student are not a healthy basis for sexual relations. Stll, this does not mean that, in an informal student-teacher relationship where both figures are consenting adults, sexual relationships cannot be mutually beneficial.
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.
Maybe yes, maybe no. I imagine it would depend on how much money and power he shared with the central organisation. Unfortunately even Dharma organisations fall prey to worldly dharma.
I don't think he would have been let get away with the anti-sectarian hate speech 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.
Yes, well, it seems that Ole Nydahl has firmly tucked his tail between his legs since then. I imagine the religious organisation status of DW centres is based on them belonging to a recognised religious organisation (Karma Kagyu). Thus the relationship is symbiotic, not unidirectional. So it's in everbody's best interest that peace is maintained.
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PS The discussion in the link you posted was pretty crappy to say the least! Both from the side of the supporters of DW and the detractors.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Lingpupa » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:27 am

gregkavarnos wrote:... and the criticism from Europe (where TT is more "popular") ...

??? Speak for yourself. From my POV (Hamburg, Tuscany, UK) it looks different.
Speaking for myself, of course.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:41 am

Lingpupa wrote:??? Speak for yourself. From my POV (Hamburg, Tuscany, UK) it looks different.
I mean in comparison to the US, in the US they do not have anything like the Dhagpo Kagyu Mandala http://www.dhagpo-kagyu.org/index.htm , for example, do they? Anyway, it's hard (and absolutely useless) to gauge the sphere of influence of either Karmapa, since there has never been a census done. Everybody can really only speak from their point of view. The issue was raised in regards to DW anyway. The discussion here is about DW. Did you read the article? Do you wish to comment on its content or did you just drop in to wave the home team football scarf?
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby heart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:06 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Lingpupa wrote:??? Speak for yourself. From my POV (Hamburg, Tuscany, UK) it looks different.
I mean in comparison to the US, in the US they do not have anything like the Dhagpo Kagyu Mandala http://www.dhagpo-kagyu.org/index.htm , for example, do they? Anyway, it's hard (and absolutely useless) to gauge the sphere of influence of either Karmapa, since there has never been a census done. Everybody can really only speak from their point of view. The issue was raised in regards to DW anyway. The discussion here is about DW. Did you read the article? Do you wish to comment on its content or did you just drop in to wave the home team football scarf?
:namaste:


They do have Karma Triyana Dharmachakra http://www.kagyu.org/ , it is the same as Dhagpo Kagyu Ling but in the US.

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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:11 pm

Sometimes I get the feeling that people don't actually read threads before commenting:

THE SUPPORTERS OF THE KARMAPA THAYE TRINLEY DORJE HAVE MANY LARGE CENTRES AND FACILITIES IN EUROPE (like Dhagpo Kagyu Ling) BUT NOT IN THE US, THIS IS WHAT LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT KTTD IS MORE "POPULAR" (WITH APOSTROPHES) IN EUROPE THAN HE IS IN THE US. KOTD HAS MANY MORE LARGE CENTRES IN THE US THAN IN EUROPE blah, blah, blah...

Am I clear now?
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Jikan » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:01 pm

Speaking anecdotally, I think it's true: Karmapa Urgyen Trinley has more followers in the US & Canada than Thaye Dorje, while the situation is reversed in Europe. I'd always thought this was largely a consequence of Diamond Way and the activities of Ole Nydahl: in exchange for support and legitimation from Shamarpa, Nydahl organized his centers & institutional work around Shamarpa's banner. Hence, Europe. Meanwhile, in North America many Kagyu organizations (including those founded by Kalu Rinpoche & Trungpa Rinpoche) moved the other direction, and their followers followed.

The more interesting question to me is why & how Nydahl established so many centers when, where, and how he did. Any insight on this?
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby heart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:06 pm

Jikan wrote:Speaking anecdotally, I think it's true: Karmapa Urgyen Trinley has more followers in the US & Canada than Thaye Dorje, while the situation is reversed in Europe. I'd always thought this was largely a consequence of Diamond Way and the activities of Ole Nydahl: in exchange for support and legitimation from Shamarpa, Nydahl organized his centers & institutional work around Shamarpa's banner. Hence, Europe. Meanwhile, in North America many Kagyu organizations (including those founded by Kalu Rinpoche & Trungpa Rinpoche) moved the other direction, and their followers followed.

The more interesting question to me is why & how Nydahl established so many centers when, where, and how he did. Any insight on this?


No, I think it is wrong. Most people are supporting Thinley Dorje or both candidates her in Europe.

Ole Nydahl is a very charismatic person, the teaching he does at first is mainly about his own devotion and a lot of hugs added.

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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:23 pm

Jikan wrote:The more interesting question to me is why & how Nydahl established so many centers when, where, and how he did. Any insight on this?


Well, depending on whether you are impressed or distressed by Ole, it is either because of his great devotion to the lineage or his massive ego.

What is certain though is that Ole and Diamondway have an entirely disproportionate role in the current history of the Kagyu lineage. Despite the wishes of moderators and other posters one cannot have a thread about Diamondway and not include some mention of the Karmapa controversy. DW constitutes the largest body of supporters in the Shamarpa/Thaye Dorje wing and the latter would be in a less salubrious position without the platform and, no doubt, the funding Ole and DW provide.

As the article (which is the inspiration of this thread) suggests DW is at a crossroads and this has repercussions not just for DW or the Shamarpa/Thaye Dorje wing but for the lineage as whole. The growth years of DW are probably behind it now (although I doubt it was ever as big as was advertised, Ole could get a big crowd together for special events). Ole is in his early 70's and I don't think he'll be able to keep the punishing travel schedule and party lifestyle going much longer. The recently created Europe center is probably also a retirement home for Ole, I imagine.

Unless a figure can emerge with similar charisma to Ole from within DW (as Pema Chodron did from within Vajradhatu after the death of Trungpa and the disgrace and death of his Vajra Regent) it will not be able to sustain its numbers. It's what happens when any organization that is based around a single charismatic leader loses him/her. And this will certainly have a negative effect on the candidacy of Thaye Dorje. I believe (and I may be wrong) that many of DW's members first allegiance is to Ole rather than the lineage. They get off on his energy and without it will lose interest in DW.

That said I think we are probably in the end game as regards the controversy. What happens with DW will serve to hasten or prolong that - something that no other Dharma group is in a position to influence which makes DW unique. Only the death of one of the principals would have a more direct effect, I think. Although it is unlikely to ever be resolved cleanly, DW will play a role in when (though probably not how) it is resolved and that will affect all Karma Kagyupas.

As to how and where he created group's centers - I don't where he got the money. As I've implied there are probably not that many actual bricks and mortar centers (or even rented rooms above New Age bookshops) so initially lots of money may not have been needed. As to where, Ole clearly had a plan in the early '90s to evangelize in countries where there were no other Kagyu or other Tibetan Buddhist teachers - principally in Eastern Europe and in South America. It is notable that he has been less successful in countries where Kagyu Dharma centres were already flourishing and in the Anglophone world generally which is where lamas first tended to establish themselves when they left India.
Last edited by Knotty Veneer on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Kelwin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:40 pm

Why is DW a succes? You can say a lot about the lamas involved, but 2 other things stand out:

1) It's the only group I've seen where you can come in and do a powerful varjayana practice in your own language, in completely understandable way, without the typical mumbo jumbo, on the first night you visit a centre.
2) The people are fun, friendly, and enjoy life. The atmosphere of most groups makes it very easy to connect on a social level.

Purists and traditionalists may have all kinds of ideas about the above. But I think these are causes for success.

Oh, for those who doubt the numbers, or whatever, if you want to get a bit of an overview, see http://www.diamondway-buddhism.org

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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:56 pm

Kelwin wrote:Why is DW a succes? You can say a lot about the lamas involved, but 2 other things stand out:

1) It's the only group I've seen where you can come in and do a powerful varjayana practice in your own language, in completely understandable way, without the typical mumbo jumbo, on the first night you visit a centre.
2) The people are fun, friendly, and enjoy life. The atmosphere of most groups makes it very easy to connect on a social level.

Purists and traditionalists may have all kinds of ideas about the above. But I think these are causes for success.


I think you make good points. From what I've heard people have a blast at DW. It's great to be in a fun atmosphere where there are lots of parties and so on and I think that attracts some people. Ole gives them permission to let their hair down. Especially young people who are rebellious and don't see why they should do all that study and sitting for years in retreat. Other than being fun though, is it spiritually useful? Does it help conquer hope and fear? Does it expand your compassion. If it does it is worthwhile. If not, it's a waste of time.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Kelwin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:16 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:I think you make good points. From what I've heard people have a blast at DW. It's great to be in a fun atmosphere where there are lots of parties and so on and I think that attracts some people. Ole gives them permission to let their hair down. Especially young people who are rebellious and don't see why they should do all that study and sitting for years in retreat. Other than being fun though, is it spiritually useful? Does it help conquer hope and fear? Does it expand your compassion. If it does it is worthwhile. If not, it's a waste of time.

Oh I have no doubt about it being useful! I've seen so many people grow in beautiful ways over the years. Let's not forget, despite his possible flaws, lama Ole does actually teach Buddhism :twothumbsup: It's so obvious, that part might actually be overlooked :tongue: He tells people to become mindful, openhearted, compassionate. He gives them practices to do it as well. And as mentioned before, the sangha is extremely motivated in doing ngondro, more than any other sangha I've met. And all the practices are authentic (I have modern and traditional transmission for most of them), and simply work really well.

Sure, some people will prefer something different. Me too, I left to find other teachers. But overall, it's definitely a good thing.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:02 pm

I believe it has a lot to do with the same thing that made Shambhala so sucessful: religious prudishness out the window, practices in a familiar language, charismatic leadership, direct link to an official lineage AND most improtantly, a de-emphasis on monastic religious hierarchy. You can practice and develop your practice without having the executioners axe of traditional three year retreat hanging over your head. When other organisations place as a prerequisite the presence of a qualified ex-three year retreatant (ie somebody that has completed a rereat and has has completed a teaching appreticeship) running things, it gives a certain message to the people coming to a centre to practice AND it limits how many centres one can have running. Few people have the time/energy/propensity to take part in a three year retreat and not all those that take part are capable teachers (retreatants are not really taught to be teachers, but to be practitioners). That said, it is quite amazing how many members of DW have completed, or are in the process of completing, Ngondro accumulations.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby conebeckham » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:47 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: You can practice and develop your practice without having the executioners axe of traditional three year retreat hanging over your head. When other organisations place as a prerequisite the of a qualified ex-three year retreatant (ie somebody that has completed a rereat and has has completed a teaching appreticeship) running things, it gives a certain message to the people coming to a centre to practice AND it limits how many centres one can have running. Few people have the time/energy/propensity to take part in a three year retreat and not all those that take part are capable teachers (retreatants are not really taught to be teachers, but to be practitioners). That said, it is quite amazing how many members of DW have completed, or are in the process of completing, Ngondro accumulations.
:namaste:


Interesting, Greg.
Would you say, then, that DW intentionally devalues strict retreat? Would you say that perhaps they value quantity (of teachers, centers) over quality?

I agree that not all three year retreat graduates may be suitable Dharma teachers. But I'd bet that three year retreatants have a more complete, and I daresay a more developed, practice, in general. For what it's worth, many more "traditional" centers, Kagyu and Non-Kagyu, do have teachers, at various levels, who have not completed 3 year retreats. But the complete contents of the Kagyu transmissions require a certain amount of strict retreat, I think--perhaps not a 3 year retreat, but some sort of disciplined retreat program, for sure. It's fine to propose an alternative for those who are not able, willing, or ready to undertake lengthy strict retreats--and, in fact, every Dharma center I've been to does this--but to dispense with, or devalue, long retreats seems to be missing one of the key elements of Vajrayana.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Knotty Veneer » Tue May 01, 2012 10:12 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I believe it has a lot to do with the same thing that made Shambhala so sucessful: religious prudishness out the window, practices in a familiar language, charismatic leadership, direct link to an official lineage AND most improtantly, a de-emphasis on monastic religious hierarchy.


I don’t think what you say about Shambhala bears scrutiny. The years of charismatic leadership did not exactly end well for any involved – Trungpa died of cirrhosis, Thomas Rich (the “Vajra Regent”) and one of his students died of AIDS-related illnesses, and much pain and confusion ensued all round thereafter.

Shambhala today is a much more sober (in all sense of the word) organization – and has been for many years. Trungpa’s “crazy wisdom” style certainly attracted people to Shambhala/Vajradhatu but ultimately caused it to lose its way. It did manage to find its way back but the nature of the organization has changed a lot. It could have collapsed completely in the late ‘80s if it had not changed direction and also been open to the lineage coming in and straightening things out.

You mention “religious prudishness”, “de-emphasis monastic hierarchy” etc.. I have always sensed a tension in DW between a devotion to the Karma Kagyu lineage and a dislike of how it preserves and transmits the teaching. Several years ago, I read a book by DiamondWay called “Rogus in Robes” in an attempt to understand more about the Karmapa controversy and I came away astounded by the negative attitude it displayed towards the Karma Kagyu hierarchy in particular and Tibetans in general (I remember the term “country bumpkins” was used at one point). It is this ambivalence has lead to the uneasiness that clearly exists between Diamondway and more traditional sections of theSharmapa/Thaye Dorje wing and makes what will happen to the organization post-Ole more unclear.
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 01, 2012 11:00 am

conebeckham wrote:Interesting, Greg. Would you say, then, that DW intentionally devalues strict retreat? Would you say that perhaps they value quantity (of teachers, centers) over quality?
The above rant was just my opinion in regards to the "quantitative" success of DW centers. The truth is though, that the practices at DW centers do not require the presence of a trained lama. You can get away with a tape recorded guidance through the practice, what happens with the questions that may arise as a consequence of either the guidance, or the experiences one has during the practices, is a different story.
I agree that not all three year retreat graduates may be suitable Dharma teachers. But I'd bet that three year retreatants have a more complete, and I daresay a more developed, practice, in general.
We are kind of digressing from the topic here but it's an important question... A ex-three year... may have a developed practice BUT if they do not know how to pass on the knowledge (ie they are not proficient in didactic techniques) then their developed practice merely remains theirs. Now while that is not bad per se, the question arises as to whether three year retreats should be a precondition for teaching, or whether maybe a pastoral approach (like that utlised by many Zen schools in the US) would be more useful? Would it, maybe, be more useful for teachers to have a firm grounding in the 4NT, DO, knowledge of karma, Abhidharma and basic practices: Ngondro (ie Guru Yoga), Chenrezig, Tara, Amitabha and a basic protector practice, since most practitioners coming in off the street will never "progress" further than that, thus allowing ex-retreatents the freedom to deal with the nuances of the more complicated practices? Allowing qualified lama to deal with more serious students, students that are seriously considering retreat themselves?

This would also free up qualified lama to focus on their personal practice too, instead of, on a daily basis, having to play the social worker, psychological therapist, etc... You see learning the yogas of Naropa, the drum beats for the protector practice or the mudra for yidam practice do not prepare one for the abovementioned roles.
For what it's worth, many more "traditional" centers, Kagyu and Non-Kagyu, do have teachers, at various levels, who have not completed 3 year retreats.
Not officially they don't. Like, I have permission from my teachers to teach shine, but no official training and/or permission. This is problematic to an extent because, okay, I may teach shine but my "students" come to me with all sorts of questions. For the tough ones I try to steer them towards qualified lama, but given the isolated (geographically) nature of where I live, apart from bringing a qualified teacher out once a year, well...
But the complete contents of the Kagyu transmissions require a certain amount of strict retreat, I think--perhaps not a 3 year retreat, but some sort of disciplined retreat program, for sure. It's fine to propose an alternative for those who are not able, willing, or ready to undertake lengthy strict retreats--and, in fact, every Dharma center I've been to does this--but to dispense with, or devalue, long retreats seems to be missing one of the key elements of Vajrayana.
I don't think what I outlined above devalues three year retreats, but for me it is like taking a high ranking professor of nuclear physics and getting them to teach basic vector theory to 15 year olds. The amount/type of knowledge seems unecessary in the specific context.

Again, this is all just my opinion. I am just saying that I can see the logic behind the way DW is organised AND it is quite clear (based on the sheer size of the organisation) that the specific approach works. Now whether the aim is quantity not quality, I don't think the choice is intentional, BUT DW does act as a entertaining introduction to serious practice and as a filter/funnel towards a traditional organisation. Like I said in the previous post, the fact that so many DW members have completed/are in the process of accumulating Ngondro practices is a valuable contribution in of itself. Wouldn't you say so?
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 01, 2012 11:04 am

Knotty Veneer wrote:I don’t think what you say about Shambhala bears scrutiny.
The comment was purely in regards to the initial popular appeal of this ideology, it was not an analysis of where it will (in the case of DW, and has, in the case of Shambhala) ultimately lead. You have a nasty habit of pulling my comments out of context. Please refrain from doing so.
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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
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Sherab Dorje
 
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 01, 2012 11:10 am

Dear Dhondrup,
From this post here viewtopic.php?f=50&t=7407#p96774 earlier in the thread:
gregkavarnos wrote:My take on the DW issue: Ole Nydhal seems to lack official credentials as a lama (official by strict Karma Kagyu standards), that is 100% for sure. As a positive DW has the backing and support of an official lineage. Now, of course, some may deny this since it is (currently) affiliated to the 17th Karmapa Thaye Trinley Dorje, BUT it was set up under the auspices of the 16th Karmapa AND it has the backing of the Sharmapa who was officially recognised by the 16th Karmapa (and the Tibetan government in exile). This puts it in a completely different league to Triratna, Aro and NKT. It puts it closer to, though not in the same category as, the original Shambala (with the major difference that Chogyam Trungpa was, undoubtably, an officially recognised teacher).
The comment I made above was just an elucidation of this.

Wouldn't it be great if people read whole threads before posting and not just the last page? It would save so much time and effort!
:namaste:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Tue May 01, 2012 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
"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
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby conebeckham » Tue May 01, 2012 5:11 pm

Based on the accounts here, and on my limited experience, I'd say DW may provide a useful service in terms of the Dharma. Any connection to the Dharma is good, or so I've heard--but in the Vajrayana, realization is contigent, in large part, on the blessing of the Lama. Kagyu lineage stresses this. If DW acts as a door, and people become exposed to some practices and some basic ideas and concepts, that's fine. but equating DW with centers that have resident Lamas, retreat graduates, people who are actually empowered to transmit the blessings of the lineage, strikes me as wrong.

Kamtsang Ngondro is part of the Path of Liberation, the Path of Mahamudra, which is taught in Chagchen Ngedon Gyatso and other texts. I think it's great that people practice the ngondro. One needs a Vajrasattva empowerment, from a qualified Lama--and I understand DW centers have Lamas visit who bestow these empowerments. I question whether Ole was given the authority to bestow empowerments, --though I understand he was authorized to teach the Longchen Nyingthik Powa, and perhaps some other practices. At some point, if one is practicing The Path of Liberation, one needs to have a close relationship, over a long period of time, with a qualified Lama who can train students using the methods in the texts. Are those who complete Ngondro at DW centers moving on in this regard? Do they have someone who can function as a Mahamudra teacher?
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Re: An interesting academic analysis of Diamond Way

Postby heart » Tue May 01, 2012 5:43 pm

I think DW is a kind of thin soup, but who am I to judge that. Thin soups also seem to be the latest trend in Dharma. But I have serious doubts of Ole Nydahl and I think his organization have some cultist overtones based on several long discussions with members and former members.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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