Was CTR the first lama in the US?

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PeterC
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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by PeterC » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:26 pm

_R_ wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:01 pm
Like the third Jamgön Kongtrül explained to Trungpa's students, "You shouldn't imitate or judge the behavior of your teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, unless you can imitate his mind."
If only instead of Trungpa the first famous lama teaching in the US had been a very strict disciplinarian, very observant of sila. That would have saved us so much ill-informed BS.

The entry of Trungpa into a discussion about Dharma is a bit like the point in non-dharma conversations where someone brings up Hitler. No good comes of it.

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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by Adamantine » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:30 pm

PeterC wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:26 pm
_R_ wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:01 pm
Like the third Jamgön Kongtrül explained to Trungpa's students, "You shouldn't imitate or judge the behavior of your teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, unless you can imitate his mind."
If only instead of Trungpa the first famous lama teaching in the US had been a very strict disciplinarian, very observant of sila. That would have saved us so much ill-informed BS.

The entry of Trungpa into a discussion about Dharma is a bit like the point in non-dharma conversations where someone brings up Hitler. No good comes of it.

Tarthang Tulku came in 1969,
Dudjom Rinpoche came in the early 1970’s...

They both displayed much more conservative conduct than CTR, however they were both extremely influential as well. The reason CTR had such a big effect is in part because of his behavior, which was easily relatable for all the drug and free-love obsessed youth of the 1970’s. However he wasn’t necessarily the first in the US. I believe Tarthang Tulku may have beat him or at least tied him.
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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by pemachophel » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:15 pm

The first TB Teacher I know of in the U.S. teaching Westerners was Geshe Wangyal in Freehold, New Jersey at the Kalmuk temple there. He was the first Teacher of a number of now-famous Teachers, such as Robert Thurman. Geshe Wangyal, a Mongolian Gelukpa Geshe sent to the U.S. by H.H. the Dalai Lama, kept very strict shila. I believe He was the first TB Teacher of Bob Craggen of the Dzogchen Community who sometimes posts on Dharmawheel as Old Bob.

Tarthang Tulku was definitely here in the U.S. and active before Trungpa Rinpoche. I corresponded with Him in Berkeley in the summer of 1970.

Next came Sonam Kazi and the Longchen Nyingthig Buddhist Society in NYC in the fall of 1970.

Then came Trungpa Rinpoche in, I believe, 1971.

It was Sonam Kazi and Tarthang Tulku Who invited H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche to come to the U.S. for the first time in 1972. Tarthang Tulku invited H.H. to California and Sonam Kazi invited Him to NY/NJ. H.H. gave the Longchen Nyingthig Three Roots to Mr. Kazi's students in Pompton Lakes, NJ. As a BTW, Jim Valby of the Dzogchen Community was my guest at those wangs.
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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by Adamantine » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:14 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:15 pm
The first TB Teacher I know of in the U.S. teaching Westerners was Geshe Wangyal in Freehold, New Jersey at the Kalmuk temple there. He was the first Teacher of a number of now-famous Teachers, such as Robert Thurman. Geshe Wangyal, a Mongolian Gelukpa Geshe sent to the U.S. by H.H. the Dalai Lama, kept very strict shila. I believe He was the first TB Teacher of Bob Craggen of the Dzogchen Community who sometimes posts on Dharmawheel as Old Bob.

Tarthang Tulku was definitely here in the U.S. and active before Trungpa Rinpoche. I corresponded with Him in Berkeley in the summer of 1970.

Next came Sonam Kazi and the Longchen Nyingthig Buddhist Society in NYC in the fall of 1970.

Then came Trungpa Rinpoche in, I believe, 1971.

It was Sonam Kazi and Tarthang Tulku Who invited H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche to come to the U.S. for the first time in 1972. Tarthang Tulku invited H.H. to California and Sonam Kazi invited Him to NY/NJ. H.H. gave the Longchen Nyingthig Three Roots to Mr. Kazi's students in Pompton Lakes, NJ. As a BTW, Jim Valby of the Dzogchen Community was my guest at those wangs.
Thanks for that detailed history. Although these Lamas have had great impact, it’s precisely CTR’s notoriety that makes him so talked about, to the point of mistakenly assuming he was the first major Lama to teach Dharma in the U.S. It’s a bit unusual too that DJKR has so publicly admired and lauded CTR over the years in ways we don’t really hear him doing publicly towards his own grandfather Dudjom Rinpoche or his father Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. Or maybe I’ve simply missed those talks or interviews?
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by PeterC » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:33 am

pemachophel wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:15 pm
The first TB Teacher I know of in the U.S. teaching Westerners was Geshe Wangyal in Freehold, New Jersey at the Kalmuk temple there. He was the first Teacher of a number of now-famous Teachers, such as Robert Thurman. Geshe Wangyal, a Mongolian Gelukpa Geshe sent to the U.S. by H.H. the Dalai Lama, kept very strict shila. I believe He was the first TB Teacher of Bob Craggen of the Dzogchen Community who sometimes posts on Dharmawheel as Old Bob.

Tarthang Tulku was definitely here in the U.S. and active before Trungpa Rinpoche. I corresponded with Him in Berkeley in the summer of 1970.

Next came Sonam Kazi and the Longchen Nyingthig Buddhist Society in NYC in the fall of 1970.

Then came Trungpa Rinpoche in, I believe, 1971.

It was Sonam Kazi and Tarthang Tulku Who invited H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche to come to the U.S. for the first time in 1972. Tarthang Tulku invited H.H. to California and Sonam Kazi invited Him to NY/NJ. H.H. gave the Longchen Nyingthig Three Roots to Mr. Kazi's students in Pompton Lakes, NJ. As a BTW, Jim Valby of the Dzogchen Community was my guest at those wangs.
Yes - I didn't mean to ignore the fact that there were great teachers in the US and elsewhere before Mukpo Sr.

It's just frustrating that his antics continue to occupy such a prominent place in the thinking of many US students of the Vajrayana.

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Re: DKR - How Will You See the Guru?

Post by Lingpupa » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:02 am

PeterC wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:33 am
It's just frustrating that his antics continue to occupy such a prominent place in the thinking of many US students of the Vajrayana.
I'm not keen on "me too" posts, but, yep, too true.
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Sādhaka » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:07 am

Lingpupa wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:02 am
PeterC wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:33 am
It's just frustrating that his antics continue to occupy such a prominent place in the thinking of many US students of the Vajrayana.
I'm not keen on "me too" posts, but, yep, too true.

The behaviors of his “regent” was the most embarrassing part. Not to say that Chögyam Trungpa was 100% responsible for his behaviors of course.
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by pemachophel » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:39 pm

I forgot to mention that a high Gelugpa Tulku, Rato Khyongla Rinpoche, started living in NYC in 1968. He used to visit the Tibetan antique shop in the Village I managed for my Teacher's wife. However, as far as a I know, He didn't start teaching publicly in the U.S. before 1975. At the time I knew Him, He had disrobed, but He always seemed pretty proper to me. At the time, I had no idea how high a Tulku He was within the Gelug order.
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Adamantine » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:41 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:39 pm
I forgot to mention that a high Gelugpa Tulku, Rato Khyongla Rinpoche, started living in NYC in 1968. He used to visit the Tibetan antique shop in the Village I managed for my Teacher's wife. However, as far as a I know, He didn't start teaching publicly in the U.S. before 1975. At the time I knew Him, He had disrobed, but He always seemed pretty proper to me. At the time, I had no idea how high a Tulku He was within the Gelug order.
Interesting, so Sonam Kazi’s wife ran a Tibetan Antique shop which you managed? I thought most orthodox Tibetan Buddhist views on selling old/consecrated items was that it was improper and would offend the protectors.

So did you know Rudi / Swami Rudrananda? Probably one of the biggest Asian art dealers of that time.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by pemachophel » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:29 pm

Adamantine,

Actually, we were not allowed to sell any rupas, consecrated or otherwise. So no statues, no thangkas, no rice-paper block-prints of Deities. We only sold "ethnographica," i.e., Tibetan chatzkes. We did sell bells and dorjes, phurbas, and malas, both new and antique. At that time, there were still a lot of authentic Tibetan antiques available. We kept a thangka of Thangtong Gyalpo on our wall, but it was not for sale. I sometimes did buy (for my personal collection), thangkas and statues from people coming back from India/Nepal would bring to our shop. The store was called Kangchen Dzod Nga (i.e., Kanchenjungnga), but because no one knew what that was or how to say it, it was usually referred to as the Tibetan antique shop on Thompson St. (We started on East 5th St. between the Bowery and 3rd Ave.)

Rudi was the one selling rupas. Also Ohni Z (a.k.a. Jane Mulder), sold rupas at her "Western Paradise of Ohne Z" on W. Broadway in Soho. However, she put a lot of her ethnographica in our store. She was the New York front for the notorious Simon White in KTM. (Ohne was murdered a few years ago in her bathtub in Anchorage, Alaska.) Juan Li, a Cuban-Chinese dealer, also sold his ethnographica through us. We often sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History, the Newark Museum, and the Field Museum in Chicago. John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the supermodel Samantha Jones, and Patti Smith were also customers. H.H. the Dalai Lama's brother, Tenzin, had his store up-town on Madison. He sold a lot of clothes and jewelry. His collection of antiques was much less than ours, but his store of currently produced arts and crafts was always better than ours.

Yes, I did know Rudi. We would visit each other's stores from time to time. Sometimes he bought from me, never the other way round. Too expensive and way too questionable sourcing.

So many memories. So many stories.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Sherab Rigdrol » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:06 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:29 pm
Adamantine,

Actually, we were not allowed to sell any rupas, consecrated or otherwise. So no statues, no thangkas, no rice-paper block-prints of Deities. We only sold "ethnographica," i.e., Tibetan chatzkes. We did sell bells and dorjes, phurbas, and malas, both new and antique. At that time, there were still a lot of authentic Tibetan antiques available. We kept a thangka of Thangtong Gyalpo on our wall, but it was not for sale. I sometimes did buy (for my personal collection), thangkas and statues from people coming back from India/Nepal would bring to our shop. The store was called Kangchen Dzod Nga (i.e., Kanchenjungnga), but because no one knew what that was or how to say it, it was usually referred to as the Tibetan antique shop on Thompson St. (We started on East 5th St. between the Bowery and 3rd Ave.)

Rudi was the one selling rupas. Also Ohni Z (a.k.a. Jane Mulder), sold rupas at her "Western Paradise of Ohne Z" on W. Broadway in Soho. However, she put a lot of her ethnographica in our store. She was the New York front for the notorious Simon White in KTM. (Ohne was murdered a few years ago in her bathtub in Anchorage, Alaska.) Juan Li, a Cuban-Chinese dealer, also sold his ethnographica through us. We often sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Natural History, the Newark Museum, and the Field Museum in Chicago. John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the supermodel Samantha Jones, and Patti Smith were also customers. H.H. the Dalai Lama's brother, Tenzin, had his store up-town on Madison. He sold a lot of clothes and jewelry. His collection of antiques was much less than ours, but his store of currently produced arts and crafts was always better than ours.

Yes, I did know Rudi. We would visit each other's stores from time to time. Sometimes he bought from me, never the other way round. Too expensive and way too questionable sourcing.

So many memories. So many stories.
I know I always deeply enjoy your stories and hope that you continue to share them with us. :anjali:

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by humble.student » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:20 am

The Dilowa Hutukhtu arrived in the US in 1951...

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion ... khtu_.aspx

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:12 pm

humble.student wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:20 am
The Dilowa Hutukhtu arrived in the US in 1951...

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion ... khtu_.aspx
^^^Good find!^^^
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by humble.student » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:52 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:12 pm
humble.student wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:20 am
The Dilowa Hutukhtu arrived in the US in 1951...

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion ... khtu_.aspx
^^^Good find!^^^
Owen Lattimore brought him over to the US, and translated his memoirs as I recall. John Blofeld mentions him in his memoirs. I have a vague feeling he gets mentioned in Ossendowski's unreliable "Beasts, Men and Gods." He taught a bunch of the early American tibetologists.

A lot more could be said about him.

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by pemachophel » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:05 pm

I believe there is a Tilopa Tulku living in Erie, CO, the town next to mine. Don't know if He's a reincarnation of Delowa Hutuktu. Could be. I think the age of the Tulku I'm taking about would make this a possibility. I've never met this Tulku and rarely ever see or hear any mention of Him. I'm pretty sure He's Gelug.
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by haha » Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:47 pm

Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche with his family including Dezhung Rinpoche went to the United States in 1960 for a research project.

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:53 pm

humble.student wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:20 am
The Dilowa Hutukhtu arrived in the US in 1951...
http://www.studiesincomparativereligion ... khtu_.aspx
Owen Lattimore brought him over to the US, and translated his memoirs as I recall. John Blofeld mentions him in his memoirs. I have a vague feeling he gets mentioned in Ossendowski's unreliable "Beasts, Men and Gods." He taught a bunch of the early American tibetologists.
A lot more could be said about him.
Amazing. And that website has alot of interesting stuff on it.

I've actually wanted to read Ossendowski's book for a while, why do you call it unreliable?
Just the fact you mention these things is very interesting.

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:52 pm

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:53 pm

Amazing. And that website has alot of interesting stuff on it.

I've actually wanted to read Ossendowski's book for a while, why do you call it unreliable?
Just the fact you mention these things is very interesting.
From the very same site, on Ossendowski:

http://www.studiesincomparativereligion ... allis.aspx
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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by humble.student » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:04 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:53 pm
I've actually wanted to read Ossendowski's book for a while, why do you call it unreliable?
Just the fact you mention these things is very interesting.
Ossendowski's book is more a novel than a memoir, although he (and his editor) skilfully wove together truth and lies, for both political and commercial reasons. The article by Pallis linked to above gives a good idea; there is also a pamphlet in German by the explorer Sven Hedin calling him out on the journey into Tibet; and there is another French pamphlet on same too.

But it is enough to peruse the other memoirs of the time to gain better insight into the man and his motivations: he was a spy/diplomat as well as official in the Kolchak regime, and not some random geologist as he would have you think. His stay in Urga was much longer than the book would let on too, during which time he worked in an official capacity for Baron von Ungern-Sternberg. The infamous Decree no. 15, that was his doing too, mostly.

Compare and contrast the fate of certain characters as recounted in Ossendowski's book, and the memoirs of Alioshin, "Asian Odyssey" https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.208476 (which book incidentally also includes some interesting info on the Tsarist officers converting to Buddhism).

Why does the fact that I mention these things seem interesting to you?

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Re: Was CTR the first lama in the US?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:33 am

humble.student wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:04 am
during which time he worked in an official capacity for Baron von Ungern-Sternberg.
The reason I have heard of Ossendowski's book is because he discusses his time with Ungern. That is also why I am interested to read it
The infamous Decree no. 15,
What is that?
that was his doing too, mostly.
Ossendowski or Ungern?
Why does the fact that I mention these things seem interesting to you?
I guess we may have some similar interests.

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