DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

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DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:22 pm

Original here: https://www.facebook.com/djkhyentse/pho ... =3&theater
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"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:22 pm

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"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:23 pm

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"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Nemo » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm

Delicious. The moralizing against Myanmar has been getting on my nerves for some time. Moralizing that started with the BRI development of infrastructure, oil pipelines and ports in Myanmar.

I feel the West is past it's prime on many levels. If I didn't have commitments here I would go to new lands.

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:48 pm

Disgusting.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:37 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:48 pm
Disgusting.
You don't like the letter? Why, pray tell?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Aryjna » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:02 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:37 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:48 pm
Disgusting.
You don't like the letter? Why, pray tell?
He goes on and on describing how 'the west' is terrible and 'the east' is wonderful, in a ridiculous way.

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Miroku » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:41 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:02 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:37 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:48 pm
Disgusting.
You don't like the letter? Why, pray tell?
He goes on and on describing how 'the west' is terrible and 'the east' is wonderful, in a ridiculous way.
I think his critique is a deserved one. He points at the cultural and economical pressure that put on asian countries which causes them to lose their own culture, norms and traditions in exchange for the righ to be called "developed". I can kinda get behind that. It made me realize how nowadays it is hard to find a czech cuisine in czech restaurants in Czech Republic. Which is a shame. The meals are fatty, simple, but tasty. So to a certain degree it happened even in Europe. The cultural dominancy of Anglo-saxon countries can be felt quite heavily.

What I find most interesting is the comparison of asians taking over the western norms in a desire to replicate and appreciate western music, however westerners not doing the same when adopting dharma. Which I think would be quite interesting to ponder a bit more.

However, the support to Aung San Suu Kyi is a bit too strange. I honestly have zero idea how it is there with the muslims, except for the fact that it for sure is a horrible situation. I wonder how is Aung San Suu Kyi connected to it? Isn't she a leader of Burma? Shouldn't she be in the position to do sth about it?
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Aryjna » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:51 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:41 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:02 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:37 pm
You don't like the letter? Why, pray tell?
He goes on and on describing how 'the west' is terrible and 'the east' is wonderful, in a ridiculous way.
I think his critique is a deserved one. He points at the cultural and economical pressure that put on asian countries which causes them to lose their own culture, norms and traditions in exchange for the righ to be called "developed". I can kinda get behind that. It made me realize how nowadays it is hard to find a czech cuisine in czech restaurants in Czech Republic. Which is a shame. The meals are fatty, simple, but tasty. So to a certain degree it happened even in Europe. The cultural dominancy of Anglo-saxon countries can be felt quite heavily.

What I find most interesting is the comparison of asians taking over the western norms in a desire to replicate and appreciate western music, however westerners not doing the same when adopting dharma. Which I think would be quite interesting to ponder a bit more.

However, the support to Aung San Suu Kyi is a bit too strange. I honestly have zero idea how it is there with the muslims, except for the fact that it for sure is a horrible situation. I wonder how is Aung San Suu Kyi connected to it? Isn't she a leader of Burma? Shouldn't she be in the position to do sth about it?
Of course, acts of governments of western countries such as bombings etc. are terrible, as are those of governments of eastern countries. But his phrasing and the way he writes indicate that he is generalizing to a degree where every single person born in a western country is horrible, while everyone from an eastern country is a naive but good-natured victim. The impression he gives me is that he is blatantly racist and has the understanding of a 10 year old child. I was still somewhat giving him the benefit of the doubt until now, but I can no longer take him seriously after reading this.

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:56 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:37 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:48 pm
Disgusting.
You don't like the letter? Why, pray tell?
No time to really discuss it in depth (and it does deserve in-depth discussions) but... it is a vitriolic, rambling piece that confuses lots of issues and, as most things DJKR has recently posted, obscures so much more than it reveals.

I am the first person to admit that the vast majority of our politicians are Eurocentric (or rather UScentric), and that what they are doing is mostly in perfect continuity with colonial exploitation. To say that modernity is a juggernaut that reduces all Other to the marketable, profit-driven Same is to state the obvious, too. And I naturally wholeheartedly agree that Buddhism is being abused as it is being grafted onto European/American trees.

But linking these processes to what Aung Sa Suu Kyi has been recently doing in such a way as to protest her being unfairly treated is just wrong. DJKR is obscuring the whole issue here, and playing a double game (many double games, actually, he has become a master when it comes to fence sitting). People are condemning Aung Sa Suu Kyi because her silence on the Rohingya genocide (and some of her words and deeds) are morally wrong. These people may very well belong to a culture that has committed atrocities, or even generously contributed (mildly put) to the situation which Aung Sa Suu Kyi's actions aggravate. It does not make Aung Sa Suu Kyi's silence less reprehensible, and it should not prohibit them from pointing it out. DJKR claims he is not excusing her -- but in a way he is, of course, as the eulogic first paragraph of the letter clearly shows.

Secondly, there is the tone and the style of the letter. Compare with the way other Buddhist teachers speak about sensitive issues in public. DJKR, our alt-Buddhist in the room, is really quite fond of taunting people. I like provocations. But it is a very dangerous game, and I think he cannot play it well.

Thirdly, the letter is just as massive a mess of prejudice and generalisation as some of the Eurocentric right-wing pieces are. His "Asian world" and "the West" seem just about as orientalist notions as the "Asian world" and "Europe" of the faithful defenders of Fortress Europe are (the value attached will be quite different, of course). There is quite a bit of label-sticking (in order to stigmatise) here as well. And there are so many straw men here, just think about his portrayal of the Japanese/Korean players of the Western music.

To use the categories he relies on: I would hate to see Asian Buddhist teachers bow down before "the West" as it is. The West as it is deeply, perhaps unredeemably, broken. Buddhism needs to be kept apart from consumerism, just as it must not be reinvented in such a way that it fits the contemporary "Western" mold. But IMO what he is doing is not helping in the least.
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Tsongkhapafan » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:16 pm

Buddhist Teachers should stay away from politics. This is a mistake.

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Miroku » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:53 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:51 pm
Of course, acts of governments of western countries such as bombings etc. are terrible, as are those of governments of eastern countries. But his phrasing and the way he writes indicate that he is generalizing to a degree where every single person born in a western country is horrible, while everyone from an eastern country is a naive but good-natured victim. The impression he gives me is that he is blatantly racist and has the understanding of a 10 year old child. I was still somewhat giving him the benefit of the doubt until now, but I can no longer take him seriously after reading this.
Definetly. Also the whole notion that west cannot point fingers since it has caused many genocides itself is also a BS (as pointed out by Octopus). In some aspects it is quite naive to say the least and Rinpoche actually sounds a bit butthurt. I am troubled the most by the way he overlooks the suffering and the fact that she fails to take an action or a stance. That makes me quite uncomfortable. However, at the same time I appreciate the critique but I am quite blind towards racism (one of many white priviledges). So I'll take your word on that.

In short what I am trying to say is to not throw away the baby with the bath water.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.
~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

Even non-buddhists have many virtuous accomplishments
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:03 pm

I am just going to comment on the issue of Aung San Suu Kyi.

She spent a total of 15 years under house arrest by the Burmese junta and this in spite of the fact that the party she is the leader of (the National League for Democracy) holding almost the absolute majority of the contested seats in the Burmese parliament.

Now she has been "free" since 2010 and the party she heads "holds political power".

I put the words in quotation marks because, in reality, the political wing of the military junta that ruled Burma from 1988 until it's dissolution in March 2011, may not exist but the military leaders of the junta still hold their positions.

So the question that arises in my mind when it comes to Aung San Suu Kyi's silence regarding the Rohingya issue is this: How much of her silence is due to her (possibly nationalistic) political beliefs and support of the current situation and how much of it is based in the fear that if the NLD is seen to side with the Rohingya, that they will the lose popular support of the Burmese people and Burma will slide quickly towards another puppet government of the military (and she will end up under house arrest again)?

Letus not forget that her husband died while she was under house arrest and she only managed to see him 5 times since her arrest, over a period of six years. She also did not get to see her children (who were living in the UK) from 1989 until 2011.

So... I can kind of understand DJKR's unequivocal support of her. Though I also agree that many of his arguments are unwieldy in places.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:08 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:03 pm
She spent a total of 15 years under house arrest by the Burmese junta and this in spite of the fact that the party she is the leader of (the National League for Democracy) holding almost the absolute majority of the contested seats in the Burmese parliament.

Now she has been "free" since 2010 and the party she heads "holds political power".

I put the words in quotation marks because, in reality, the political wing of the military junta that ruled Burma from 1988 until it's dissolution in March 2011, may not exist but the military leaders of the junta still hold their positions.

So the question that arises in my mind when it comes to Aung San Suu Kyi's silence regarding the Rohingya issue is this: How much of her silence is due to her (possibly nationalistic) political beliefs and support of the current situation and how much of it is based in the fear that if the NLD is seen to side with the Rohingya, that they will the lose popular support of the Burmese people and Burma will slide quickly towards another puppet government of the military (and she will end up under house arrest again)?

Letus not forget that her husband died while she was under house arrest and she only managed to see him 5 times since her arrest, over a period of six years. She also did not get to see her children (who were living in the UK) from 1989 until 2011.
That is worth considering as well. I have always assumed she is not blackmailed into silence. I understand that her life is no longer in danger -- but this does not mean that she is not being forced to remain silent.
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Miroku » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:14 pm

Thanks Grigoris, that is an important piece of info.
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.
~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

Even non-buddhists have many virtuous accomplishments
~ Jigten Sumgon

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Grigoris » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:17 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:08 pm
That is worth considering as well. I have always assumed she is not blackmailed into silence. I understand that her life is no longer in danger -- but this does not mean that she is not being forced to remain silent.
Oh, I wouldn't assume that! The Greek Junta lasted from 1967-1974 but there are still avid supporters around, even in younger generations, that would happily beat you if you publicly disagreed with them (and they felt they could take you on). So I imagine what it would be like in present-day Burma. There would always be some schmuck around that would willingly take you out for a fist-full of dollars.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:46 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:17 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:08 pm
That is worth considering as well. I have always assumed she is not blackmailed into silence. I understand that her life is no longer in danger -- but this does not mean that she is not being forced to remain silent.
Oh, I wouldn't assume that! The Greek Junta lasted from 167-1974 but there are still avid supporters around, even in younger generations, that would happily beat you if you publicly disagreed with them (and they felt they could take you on). So I imagine what it would be like in present-day Burma. There would always be some schmuck around that would willingly take you out for a fist-full of dollars.
More or less what I had in mind. Also, everyone has a price tag, even if it is not attached to their life.
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Mantrik » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:30 pm

He could have written to the effect that whether past evils present evils or present evils, all such acts deserve condemnation. But that would be compassionate and non-partisan. I'm a bit confused by his 'sins of the fathers should be visited on the sons' logic about countries whose leaders were evil in the past.

In fairmess to his message I should be seeking to apologise to my Celtic ancestors on behalf of my Viking ancestors who it seems were pretty awful to them, and to my Irish ancestors for what my English ancestors did to them more recently. Just how far back would he like to go back in history to condemn present leaders as hypocrites because they condemn someone doing now what their own ancestors did long ago?

She is no worse than others connected with genocide, I suppose. Tibetans were incarcerated in far harsher conditions than hers,.......I don't recall any emerging and turning a blind eye to evil. Just about every part of the world has had a genocide, I expect, at some point in history. Does recency make her country's worse ? Go back far enough and there was plenty of slaughter in Tibetan history, so is he a hypocrite too?

The letter brings to mind Trump's totally honest admission that Western powers seem to need murderous regimes as allies, so will only condemn those they don't much care about. In his case, I suspect Burma refused to let him build golf resorts, or he would be praising them too.
Last edited by Mantrik on Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by Malcolm » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:34 pm

The problem with this letter is not his opinions, to which he is certainly entitled, the problem with this piece is his apparent lack of knowledge of facts of the history of the Rohingya and Islamic presence in Burma for nearly a millennia. So, as the saying goes, he is entitled to his own opinions, but he is not entitled to his own facts. The notion that the Rohingya were 19th century British imports is simply false.

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Re: DJKR letter to Aung San Suu Kyi

Post by PeterC » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:05 am

DJKr really needs to stay in his lane. His rambling anti-Western screeds and absurd, sweeping generalizations ("all those westerners...we asians...") just show the enormity of the chip on his shoulder. They make him look ignorant and probably diminish him as a Dharma teacher. Moreover he seems specifically ignorant of Myanmar - has he ever even been there?

ASSK is in a difficult position and I feel sorry for her: the Rohingya problem has been simmering for decades and won't be solved overnight. But she's not Mandela. If you're going to position yourself as the savior of your country, and then turn out to be not particularly effective in running the country (in part for reasons Grigoris mentions, but for other reasons too), you should expect these things to come back to haunt you.

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