Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

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DiamondSutra
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by DiamondSutra » Sun May 18, 2014 10:58 am

By the time I made my last post there were already two more posts.

The dateline episode was pretty far off the mark and Ian's family was never around DM, any ways you all can believe what you want. I don't have to read the article and I'm not going to.

The whole thing is really heart breaking and not just because of Ian.

It's not a joke to me and all the made up stories and all that is very disrespectful.

JKhedrup
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by JKhedrup » Sun May 18, 2014 11:06 am

You certainly don't have to read the article. My point is that it is not just Rolling Stone and Playboy. You indicated these two sources might not be credible, so I mentioned Dateline and NYT as they are considered pretty mainstream media.

Other than reading the information available, and speaking to the former students that reached out to me, I am not sure how else you expect me to inform myself. As I said, this is a public safety issue. I think we are beyond the point of critiquing MR's brand of Buddhism at this juncture and I don't want his community to be further isolated. Re-integration with the broader Buddhist community might be possible and is the way to go to ensure the future welfare of Diamond Mountain students.

I would not question their sincerity or commitment, just their qualifications.

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Palzang Jangchub
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Palzang Jangchub » Sun May 18, 2014 11:13 am

The New York Times wrote:Others spoke of bizarre initiation ceremonies at Diamond Mountain. Sid Johnson, a former volunteer who also served on its board of directors, said his involved “kissing and genital touching.” Ekan Thomason, a Buddhist priest who graduated from a six-year program there, said hers included drawing blood from her finger and handling a Samurai sword, handed to her by Ms. McNally.
The New York Times is considered by a great deal of people to be a reputable source. And they decided to print references to the experiences claimed by Sid Johnson and Ekan Thomason.

DiamondSutra, what qualifies you --- or indeed any of us --- to label these assertions as "make believe stories" and dismiss them wholesale? Johnson and Thomason claim to have been there and experienced these things. In your own words, none of us can even claim we were there. So why such disregard?

Also, what's with the insistence that these people were only there for a few weeks or a couple months. Are you implying they didn't have context or the whole picture, and that you do?
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"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་སྐྱབས་རྗེ་མགར་ཆེན་ཁྲི་སྤྲུལ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ་ཁྱེད་མཁྱེན་ནོ།།
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DiamondSutra
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by DiamondSutra » Sun May 18, 2014 11:16 am

Jkhendrup, I wasn't referring to you when I said you all can believe what you want.
I appreciate you helping to bring this thread back to reality.

Everything you said really needs to be addressed. And there is alot more then just those things too. But there is so much to get into and so many obstacles and it's just so much and the reality is really so crazy and there are so many factors involved and it's really just alot.

JKhedrup
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by JKhedrup » Sun May 18, 2014 11:19 am

I understand it must be overwhelming, and I am sympathetic to what you and other connected to the events must be experiencing.

I will not participate further here but am available via PM if I can be of any assistance.

DiamondSutra
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by DiamondSutra » Sun May 18, 2014 11:23 am

Karma, you can believe whatever you want!

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun May 18, 2014 3:08 pm

DiamondSutra wrote:It's not a joke to me and all the made up stories and all that is very disrespectful.
Which made up stories are you referring to?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

smcj
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by smcj » Sun May 18, 2014 3:28 pm

FWIW I've been to the GMR center here in L.A. It was very nicely run, very together. I always thought that the frivolous and hedonistic culture here in L.A. did not allow for people to get serious about Dharma, but a good number of the people on the retreat in question were from L.A. GMR came here once and gave a talk on Sautantrika that I attended, and it was very informative.

That's not an endorsement by any means, just the extent of my experience there.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Grigoris
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Grigoris » Sun May 18, 2014 5:01 pm

DiamondSutra wrote:Jkhendrup,
You have a lot of wisdom.
A lot of things, even now still break my heart.
I cried when I watched the dateline.

What you said has alot of truth but if that discussion is only worth having if it is had free of the make believe stories.
You keep harping on and on about "make believe" stories yet you do not point to anything in particular.

Did McNally stab Thorson or not?

Did they run off to play mountain yogis, an escapade that cost Thorson's life and nearly killed McNally too, or not?

Is McNally unqualified to use the title of lama or not?

Come straight with some info and stop playing the "mysterious stranger that knows more than they say".

Why should I trust you as a reputable source anyway? You are just an anonymous user on an internet forum. The journalists that wrote the articles penned their name under what they said.
"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."
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Nemo
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Nemo » Sun May 18, 2014 6:12 pm

It looks like sweeping things under the carpet is no longer an option now that the internet exists. DM and GMR need to deal with what caused this disaster. I hope they clean house and wish them the best.

,... and hopefully I won't hear anymore reports of bisexual Caucasian Chinese spies named Michel Roche/Michael Roach up here in Canada.
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Last edited by Adamantine on Sun May 18, 2014 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed typo

smcj
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by smcj » Sun May 18, 2014 7:19 pm

Spies? :spy:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Zhen Li
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Zhen Li » Mon May 19, 2014 7:19 am

I do sometimes wonder if DM is so far gone as to be a (dangerous) cult, and what it'd be like if it was in 'communion' with mainstream Buddhism.

JKhedrup
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by JKhedrup » Mon May 19, 2014 7:44 am

Since MR has stated he doesn't really have that much interest in Diamond Mountain anymore (statements are on the internet for those who wish to look), I wish that he would turn over its spiritual direction to a qualified and trained teacher who is willing to be there with the people for at least six months out of the year.

Since people are giving up their lives to move to the middle of the desert and in many cases engage in solitary retreat, I think the least they deserve is a fully qualified Buddhist master willing to devote half of every year to the guidance of the practitioners who make all those sacrifices.

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Zhen Li
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Zhen Li » Mon May 19, 2014 7:53 am

Deserts can be beautiful, full of life in unexpected places. But they also can turn you crazy quite easily.

5heaps
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by 5heaps » Mon May 19, 2014 12:14 pm

Zhen Li wrote:I do sometimes wonder if DM is so far gone as to be a (dangerous) cult, and what it'd be like if it was in 'communion' with mainstream Buddhism.
easily one of the top 3 sanghas in the US

then again most centers are very low quality, so thats not hard

much of the sangha is international ie. they flew in for the 5 week terms and many flew in from other states. most ppl there have very many teachers and experience in other lineages etc, you really dont quite have a clue what youre talking about :smile:

there are some problems, as there always are, but the caliber of people there far exceed the majority of dharma students in general. its basically a bunch of psychologists, architects, singers, artists, bankers, scientists, business ppl, studying dharma together

Malcolm
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Malcolm » Mon May 19, 2014 1:28 pm

5heaps wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:I do sometimes wonder if DM is so far gone as to be a (dangerous) cult, and what it'd be like if it was in 'communion' with mainstream Buddhism.
easily one of the top 3 sanghas in the US
Who are the other 2?
then again most centers are very low quality, so thats not hard
That is a pretty serious criticism. Upon what do you base it? Have you been to most of the Sanghas in the US?
there are some problems, as there always are, but the caliber of people there far exceed the majority of dharma students in general. its basically a bunch of psychologists, architects, singers, artists, bankers, scientists, business ppl, studying dharma together
Sounds like any number of Sanghas in the US, not only three. Pride is fine, arrogance, well...

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Nemo
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Nemo » Mon May 19, 2014 1:40 pm

5heaps wrote: easily one of the top 3 sanghas in the US

then again most centers are very low quality, so thats not hard
there are some problems, as there always are, but the caliber of people there far exceed the majority of dharma students in general. its basically a bunch of psychologists, architects, singers, artists, bankers, scientists, business ppl, studying dharma together

I am wondering what the other two are and the criteria.

Norwegian
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by Norwegian » Mon May 19, 2014 2:14 pm

I just want the entire Top 10, because clearly 5heaps has the inside info here. So he should share with us the Top 10 Sanghas, give us the criteria for being on this list, and the rundown of these sanghas. I am, like you are, waiting for 5heaps answer.
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The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

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T. Chokyi
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by T. Chokyi » Mon May 19, 2014 2:22 pm

Nemo wrote:
5heaps wrote: easily one of the top 3 sanghas in the US

then again most centers are very low quality, so thats not hard
there are some problems, as there always are, but the caliber of people there far exceed the majority of dharma students in general. its basically a bunch of psychologists, architects, singers, artists, bankers, scientists, business ppl, studying dharma together

I am wondering what the other two are and the criteria.

Seems three are mentioned here:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 956#p16956

:sage:

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kirtu
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Re: Death at Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat in Arizona

Post by kirtu » Mon May 19, 2014 2:42 pm

5heaps wrote: easily one of the top 3 sanghas in the US
What complete nonsense.
T. Chokyi wrote:Seems three are mentioned here:

http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 956#p16956

:sage:
Hopkins doesn't have a sangha although he is a highly respected translator.
Berzin's students are mostly not in North America.
ACI is a study program/institute. Pre-looney-tunes Roach is in fact something to study.

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