The DJKR Topic

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The DJKR Topic

Post by tiagolps » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:18 pm

Alright, It has happened again that DJKR has said something on Facebook that has left people screaming for his head, or at least his title has an authentic teacher.

The object of controversy itself was either removed by Rinpoche or by Facebook itself. There are images of it on facebook so if you must, then go and look for it, I won't post it. If someone else wishes to, go for it.

People are calling it a bad joke, others light humour. I personally didn't see anything wrong with it. But Rinpoche's name has not been clean lately and I feel this will just make it worst. Discuss your view of DJKR.

MOD NOTE - In order to facilitate discussion, here is a link where a brief explanation of the controversy and subject message can be found: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbu ... tract.html
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by philji » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:39 pm

I read it, thought it mildly amusing but was suprised how much effort went into putting it together.. Was it worth it...who knows? We don’t even know for sure that Rinpoche wrote it... but yes it has got everyone buzzing around with the loud noise of right and wrong once more.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by emaho » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:18 pm

I've read it and I've been wondering if his account got hacked or if he was trying to be funny. For those who haven't seen it, it was a parody (?) (or not) of some kind of contract or disclaimer between a student and a teacher to be signed before having sex with each other. I found it very tasteless and stupid. It's an open secret that DJKR is having affairs with his students, but I've never heard any complaints about abuse. Since more and more people seem to be thinking that the very act of a teacher having sex with his students is abusive per se it seems that DJKR is getting more and more defensive, which may also partially explain his weird reaction to the Sogyal affair. I personally think there's nothing wrong with a teacher having sex with his students as long as it's consensual and the students are grown up. I think he really shot himself in the foot with this stupid post.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:26 pm

Personally I thought the humor was in bad taste, but that he made some valid points.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by emaho » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:16 pm

I don't know where and what exactly people are saying who are
tiagolps wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:18 pm
screaming for his head, or at least his title has an authentic teacher.
my own criticism is only that it was distasteful, more like the humour of a thirteen year old. And, obviously, not very clever.

The question that might be meaningful to be discussed is, whether or not it is unethical for a teacher to have sex with his (or her) students. As long as the teacher is not a monk and the students are consenting adults I don't see any problem. Do the people who are criticizing him have any arguments on their side from a vajrayana point of view?
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:08 pm

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:38 pm

My take:

I am less concerned with teachers boffing their students in particular than I am with the Misogyny that seems to underlie some aspects of Tibetan culture, and how that could combine with the present situation. Personally I am not some puritan who thinks that "improper" relationships (which realistically, happen all the time, including to people who profess to be on the Straight and Narrow) are a problem of and within themselves, nor do I think such relationships constitute abuse by definition.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Adamantine » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:10 am

Rather than satire, in the midst of fallout from the Sogyal, Norlha, and Weinstein scandals and the avalanche of #metoos all over social media and the press I'd prefer (admire even) a response from a male Lama—any Lama—more along these lines:
Men can start putting in some of the work women have long done in offering testimony. They can come forward and say “me too” while sharing how they have hurt women in ways great and small. They can testify about how they have cornered women in narrow office hallways or made lewd comments to co-workers or refused to take no for an answer or worn a woman down by guilting her into sex and on and on and on. It would equally be a balm if men spoke up about the times when they witnessed violence or harassment and looked the other way or laughed it off or secretly thought a woman was asking for it. It’s time for men to start answering for themselves because women cannot possibly solve this problem they had no hand in creating.
from https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/o ... -men.html?
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Adamantine » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:47 am

emaho wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:16 pm
I don't know where and what exactly people are saying who are
tiagolps wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:18 pm
screaming for his head, or at least his title has an authentic teacher.
my own criticism is only that it was distasteful, more like the humour of a thirteen year old. And, obviously, not very clever.

The question that might be meaningful to be discussed is, whether or not it is unethical for a teacher to have sex with his (or her) students. As long as the teacher is not a monk and the students are consenting adults I don't see any problem. Do the people who are criticizing him have any arguments on their side from a vajrayana point of view?
Well to follow up with your and JD's posts: I believe that first and foremost if someone has taken on the role of Vajra master then they should have some ability to discern the capacities and needs of disciples and intuit if a potential sexual relationship will adversely affect the disciple via the power dynamics or in any other way. However from the sheer number of fallouts we hear about publicly or privately this seems to be rarely achieved.

Secondly, as Namkhai Norbu often advises: "work with your circumstances" which he also explains as conforming to the laws of the land you are in. Here in the USA, in a number of states if a Lama is the head of a religious non-profit then it is simply illegal for them to have any sexual contact with members of their sangha. See here: http://www.adultsabusedbyclergy.org/statelaws.html
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by shaunc » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:56 am

That's interesting. I honestly never thought that it would be a crime anywhere. Distasteful, sure, but that's only my own personal opinion but if it is a crime that makes it a whole new ball game.
It still perplexes me why it would be a crime, after all, we're talking about adults.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by caligirl » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:09 am

I don't quite understand how some lineages of tantric yoga can be continued if the lamas who are not monks are prohibited from having sex (with possibly also a female in the same sect?). Do people expect these lamas to miraculously just “get it” and educate us without going through a householder’s life, if his lineage is indeed designed as mastered by householder gurus? If not, then do they expect these lamas to have relationships with non-Tibetan-Buddhists? If not, do they mean these lamas should only have relationships with female masters of equal qualifications, whose population is disproportionately smaller than that of male teachers? I am not a householder’s student, and never interested in becoming one, but I am curious how people’s expectations are for Tibetan Buddhism.

Boys will be boys. If they didn’t take a vow of celibacy, they have every right to do what a householder does. They are not monks, professors, or shrinks. As for the law, DJKR said it. Naropa broke the law in order to study under Tilopa. I’m not saying we are all outlaws, but there is a different idea of perseverance in Tibetan Buddhism when it comes to pursuing something even more important in life than abiding the law. Laws are subjective. The lamas in China can break the law by just hanging a picture of HHDL. So?

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:43 am

In some U.S. states clergy/congregate intimacy is a crime. In most states it is a civil matter, regulated by fiduciary laws. Depending on the specific state, it is possible for the congregant to successfully sue even if they are the ones that initiated the relationship, and even if it continued for years. In those states it is the legal responsibility of the clergy to prohibit such a relationship from ever happening, regardless of the congregant’s wishes, intentions, or desires.

I suspect DJKR, and the greater community of lamas, will in the future come to understand the US legal ramifications better. However the Sogyal R situation is playing out in France, so the lessons of how it works in the USA will not be learned from that situation.

The laws of the US should suffice to address the problem. However, having said that, DJKR’s point that mundane perspectives don’t jive with the Vajrayana is important. At some point a Vajrayana practitioner has to let go of their criticisms, objections, and opinions. It’s just unfortunate DJKR is highlighting that in the context of these scenarios.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Powerful bliss » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:58 am

From my perspective there can be consent in a sexual intercourse even if there is an imbalance of power. For instance, my cousin doctor has married his student future-doctor 6 years younger. But I see a problem when a teacher uses the Dharma to get some sex. Easy to spot if the student would never sleep with him if he was not a dharma teacher. Then, the teacher is acting according to his self-interest and not in the best interest of his student. If I recall well it is a breach of his own samaya.
Conclusion, except in a few cases where a true relation develops between a teacher and one of his student, dharma teachers should abstain to have sex with their students. In the case they can’t find sex in any other way, it is a proof that they would really be misusing their role and the Dharma.

Now, here is a mail I have sent to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:
“September 1, 2017

Dear Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche,

I was told that in order to get an answer to this letter, it should be short. So I will get straight to the point. In your book “The Guru Drinks Bourbon?”, you mention the practice of “sex as an offering”. The way you describe it, it seems a practice different than the relation of a guru with qualified consorts.

I wanted to inform you that today this extract of your book leads to some mislead interpretations. For instance, in the Rigpa Sangha it is used to justify the past actions of Sogyal Rinpoche and his escort of “dakinis”. Without gossiping (it is well documented in the media), take the Rigpa experience of Mimi in her twenties. When Sogyal Rinpoche told her to undress she thought it was an order and a test from the guru. When she finally could leave Rigpa, she shared her story with the inner circle. The answer was that she should feel blessed to have been in contact with the master.

There are also the legal consequences of a false interpretation of this practice, it can be considered in many countries as sexual abuse according to the law. For instance under the Dutch law, there is an "unequal relationship" clause that recognizes differing social/power situations. The power situation is not difficult to establish when it is one main principle of the Vajrayana. From a legal aspect, it is even more severe if the woman is part of the organization as a benevolent. So basically, the extract from your book may be used in courts.

I wish you could clarify your view on this practice as I am convinced that your intent is not to justify harmful or coercive situations.

Respectfully and with warm wishes,”



I received this answer:
“In response, Rinpoche said he has clarified this so much in The Guru Drinks Bourbon that he cannot understand what your problem is or whether you find something misleading or an error. Rinpoche said the whole book is the reference and explains that you can offering everything, including sex, shit and everything else. But Rinpoche says you need to read the whole book, not just one section out of context.”


Here is the extract from the book:

“The benefits of making offerings to the guru are inexhaustible and infinite. It is the supreme method for accumulating merit because the guru is the source of both merit and wisdom. By the blessings of making offerings to the guru, you will be better able to contemplate ultimate truth, and you will long for it more and more. Often people long only for the guru’s blessings for longevity or success in worldly activity, but the quintessential blessing of the guru is for the greater ability to understand the Buddhadharma in general and in particular the intricate teachings of karma and shunyata, and to conceive the inconceivable and express the inexpressible teachings.

SEX AS AN OFFERING
In the tantric texts there is not one single shloka that says a student should offer gold but should not offer sex to the guru. Similarly, there is nothing that says you should offer tomatoes but not onions. The value of the practice of offering very intimate things like sex depends so much on the individual. If you encounter a master who has a reputation for roving eyes and flirtatiousness and you find that unacceptable, simply don’t get close, or wear a blanket or fluffy clothes”.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:40 am

smcj wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:43 am
It’s just unfortunate DJKR is highlighting that in the context of these scenarios.
I disagree. If you don't apply it in these scenarios, where do you apply it?

I remember one time when a teacher had died of an illness, I mentioned something about the unavoidable mechanism of karma (my statement was not intended as an attack or criticism of the teacher, just the recognition of a fact) and all hell broke loose.

Seems people forget that the Buddha died. They also forget the admonishments handed out by the Buddha to his grieving students during his last hours and during the funeral to all the self-flagellates.

Now I ain't saying DJKR is a/the Buddha (though I am sure to some of his students he is), but if this is not the correct time to talk about the grasping and goal oriented attitude of lamas AND students, when is it?

Now is the time to point out the shortcomings of teachers AND students. Now is the time for EVERYONE to engage in a little ομφαλοσκόπηση (as it is known in the Orthodox Christian monastic community) instead of pointing fingers.

Some may say that DJKR is pointing fingers and "enabling", but to me it seems like an overt attempt to draw attention to student's own failings AS WELL. I believe that we see a lot of people pointing fingers at others, but very few pointing fingers at themselves TOO.

Everybody involved in these incidents (except maybe for one instance) are intelligent adults. Saying that it is 100% the teachers fault is tantamount to saying that the students involved are dribbling idiots incapable of rational thought and the capacity to make reasoned decisions.
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"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."
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by smcj » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:13 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:40 am
smcj wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:43 am
It’s just unfortunate DJKR is highlighting that in the context of these scenarios.
I disagree. If you don't apply it in these scenarios, where do you apply it?
Good point.
Everybody involved in these incidents (except maybe for one instance) are intelligent adults. Saying that it is 100% the teachers fault is tantamount to saying that the students involved are dribbling idiots incapable of rational thought and the capacity to make reasoned decisions.
I agree with you. But current laws in the US don’t see it the way you and I do.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by tiagolps » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:41 am

smcj wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:13 am
I agree with you. But current laws in the US don’t see it the way you and I do.
Those laws seem to be made with Protestant Christianity in mind.
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Enjoy the domain of the tranquil nirvana.
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You overcome even the greatest of evils.

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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:57 pm

In the context of his response to the Sogyal debacle (which, tbh, I found much more off-putting) it is a mess. He is trying to eat his cake and have it at the same time.

The Sogyal letter was along the lines of "your guru-qua-guru is a Buddha, that is all you need to know (and if you disregard it, you will have only yourself to blame for the Horrible Things that Will Happen)." Here he is joking about gurus-as-fallible-human-beings, "who are not omniscient, not omnipotent, and not well trained; who don’t give enough preparatory training on the prerequisites to their students; and who get carried away by their own self-agendas and, from time to time, by their hormones." It is traditional fire and brimstone for students, liberal leniency for the teacher, it would seem.

If I say that I see no reason why it would be OK for a Buddhist teacher to sleep with their students while it is not OK for psychologists and psychiatrists to have sex with their patients (or for any school/university teachers to sleep with their students), people tell me that the difference is enormous: the guru is a realised Buddha, and he or she will use whatever upaya is necessary. But here we are told that the guru will occasionally have sex with their students because of their getting "carried away" by their... hormones. Or their "need" to "have a fulfilling sex lives." The realised Buddha's "wish to have a fulfilling sex life"?

This particular passage is quite revealing, I think: "We are sensitive to the special needs of Gurus and Rinpoches who desire to save all sentient beings yet also wish to have fulfilling sex lives." The language of the middle part is as traditional as it gets. As far as the language of the first and above all second part goes, well, you will not find it in any tantras (let alone in Vajrayana hagiographies) -- but open any of the papers (or psychology handbooks, or whatever else produced by the post-60s West), and lo and behold!
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:14 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:57 pm
In the context of his response to the Sogyal debacle (which, tbh, I found much more off-putting) it is a mess. He is trying to eat his cake and have it at the same time.

The Sogyal letter was along the lines of "your guru-qua-guru is a Buddha, that is all you need to know (and if you disregard it, you will have only yourself to blame for the Horrible Things that Will Happen)." Here he is joking about gurus-as-fallible-human-beings, "who are not omniscient, not omnipotent, and not well trained; who don’t give enough preparatory training on the prerequisites to their students; and who get carried away by their own self-agendas and, from time to time, by their hormones." It is traditional fire and brimstone for students, liberal leniency for the teacher, it would seem.
So should the teachers be seen as Buddhas or as fallible human beings? If you say "a bit of both" then you have to clearly outline exactly how much of each in order to avoid future misunderstanding. If you say "neither" then you need to come up with something new coz clearly the current situation is not working.
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"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."
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:23 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:14 pm
So should the teachers be seen as Buddhas or as fallible human beings? If you say "a bit of both" then you have to clearly outline exactly how much of each in order to avoid future misunderstanding. If you say "neither" then you need to come up with something new coz clearly the current situation is not working.
If you have to pretend to see your guru as a Buddha, you already have failed to see them as a Buddha. Therefore, you have no choice but to see them as an ordinary person, since in fact you do see them as an ordinary person. So let's not kid ourselves here. Most of us perceive our teachers to be no different than ourselves, other than the fact that they have knowledge and experience we may not possess at the moment, but to which we aspire.
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Re: The DJKR Topic

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:27 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:23 pm
If you have to pretend to see your guru as a Buddha, you already have failed to see them as a Buddha. Therefore, you have no choice but to see them as an ordinary person, since in fact you do see them as an ordinary person. So let's not kid ourselves here. Most of us perceive our teachers to be no different than ourselves, other than the fact that they have knowledge and experience we may not possess at the moment, but to which we aspire.
I would have to agree with you and also add that they, like us, also possess an inherent potential for enlightenment.

Personally though, I reckon this all went to hell when we started to deify the Buddha, giving them all sorts of extraterrestrial charactersitics instead of just viewing him as a human who reached the peak of their potential.
"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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