Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

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conebeckham
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by conebeckham » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm

dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:33 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:10 pm
dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:14 pm


As someone who has friends within Diamondway organization, I can tell you that the number of people who are literally afraid of attending teachings of other teachers is quite high. I remember that when Beru Khyentse Rinpoche was in Vienna more than two years ago, there were only five people from Ole's group among those present and none of them were from Austria or Slovakia. One of them told me that she came there despite being warned by the Diamondway organization that she should not attend. People who chose to ignore such warnings are often shamed within the group for going against lama and being confused.

It would absolutely make sense to ask Ole to provide concrete citations whether by 16th Karmapa, Kalu Rinpoche, 17th Karmapa or his other teachers to support his claims, but no-one ever did, or at least not boldly and publicly. This situation is comparable to Trump in the USA, when he says: "People say...or...Everybody says...," when in fact it is only him who says this.
I hesitated before answering this believe me, because I didn't want to be misunderstood as being in any kind of Nydahl camp. But the 16th Karmapa definitely did endorse Nydahls teaching role..which endorsement did not amount to recognising him as a guru..
I know this because I was there.
Of course much has changed since then.
That is not a question here, and I am not arguing that Ole was not given a role of teacher, but that 16th Karmapa would wish that Ole's students receive teachings only from him alone and teachers whom he inveted to teach on specific topics and from no other source.
There's a letter from HH Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje which says that Ole and Hannah were authorized as instructors for those first encountering the Buddha Dharma, but that letter specifically notes that they were primarily heads of the Dharma Centers in Europe at that time (1978), and that they had arranged for visits of "highly accomplished and learned lamas" to bestow empowerments and teach, etc. In 1979, there was another "Certification" which gave Ole and Hannah the authorization to bestow refuge and bodhisattva vows to students in the absence of qualified lamas. (Emphasis mine).

Subsequently, Ole and Hannah derived their support from HE Shamar Rinpoche and a few others. Khenpo Chodrak Rinpoche wrote a letter regarding Ole being entitled to the title of "Lama" in 1995, and Shamar Rinpoche wrote a confirmation letter.

There's nothing in any of the documentation regarding Ole and Hannah restricting the visits or instruction of various teachers, and in fact, reading between the lines, it would seem that "qualified lamas" would have been preferable instructors. But over time, the Diamond Way organization developed under Ole's direction and I see nothing official from any high Kagyu Lamas to support any critique of that direction. Anyone who researches the curriculum and methods of the organization, and compares them to other Kagyu centers or institutions, would recognize different emphasis, and likely different target audiences. Shamar Rinpoche himself started BodhiPath, which differs in several respects from a more orthodox or traditional Kagyu curriculum as it has historically existed. And of course we have the example of Trungpa Rinpoche, and now of the whole Shambhala system. So, even Kagyu Lamas do not subscribe to some monolithic system, it seems. Ole made some public comments regarding not "mixing" various traditions, and I believe he was specifically referring to "Phowa"--Diamond Way teaches a version of Phowa which comes from Drikung tradition in fact, and is not the more common tradition taught by Karma Kagyu--which actually comes from NamCho Mingyur Dorje's Nam Cho Amitabha corpus!

Given the audience, I think the admonition not to "mix" traditions--provided one is talking about practice--is not a bad instruction. But "banning" other presentations, which to be clear I don't know that Ole has done, though there is conjecture to that effect--seems to be a bit strong. Having two (or more) different Phowa transmissions, for instance, is not at all a bad thing for anyone. Trying to practice them all together is mistaken, but this should be clearly explained to beginners in the practice before they undertake a retreat or practice.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:48 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm


Given the audience, I think the admonition not to "mix" traditions--provided one is talking about practice--is not a bad instruction. But "banning" other presentations, which to be clear I don't know that Ole has done, though there is conjecture to that effect--seems to be a bit strong. Having two (or more) different Phowa transmissions, for instance, is not at all a bad thing for anyone. Trying to practice them all together is mistaken, but this should be clearly explained to beginners in the practice before they undertake a retreat or practice.
I think we are dealing with two categories of statements.

The first is where a respected Master tells you "don't get lost in practices, you have to stay focused and avoid confusion, you must be honest with yourself about your limitations", all while letting students have autonomy to make their own decisions. I'd argue that this is the authentic version of such advice, because the only way for us to actually overcome our confusion is too reckon with it via our own volition, no one can force us to not be confused, to not collect empowerments willy-nilly, whatever. If our Karma of mind is pushing us in the direction of this sort of thing, the only thing that will change that is our awareness of our own condition, not a teacher bullying us into not doing something.

The other type of advice (which this appears to be) is where the teacher attempts to circumvent the students entire right to choose, based on some rote, parochial approach to study and practice. I don't doubt it attracts or convinces some people, but personally such advice triggers my own bullshit detector almost immediately, It seems to indicate someone who feels their authority is being questioned, rather than someone concerned with the welfare of Dharma students.
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by dzoki » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:53 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:48 pm
conebeckham wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm


Given the audience, I think the admonition not to "mix" traditions--provided one is talking about practice--is not a bad instruction. But "banning" other presentations, which to be clear I don't know that Ole has done, though there is conjecture to that effect--seems to be a bit strong. Having two (or more) different Phowa transmissions, for instance, is not at all a bad thing for anyone. Trying to practice them all together is mistaken, but this should be clearly explained to beginners in the practice before they undertake a retreat or practice.
I think we are dealing with two categories of statements.

The first is where a respected Master tells you "don't get lost in practices, you have to stay focused and avoid confusion, you must be honest with yourself about your limitations", all while letting students have autonomy to make their own decisions. I'd argue that this is the authentic version of such advice, because the only way for us to actually overcome our confusion is too reckon with it via our own volition, no one can force us to not be confused, to not collect empowerments willy-nilly, whatever. If our Karma of mind is pushing us in the direction of this sort of thing, the only thing that will change that is our awareness of our own condition, not a teacher bullying us into not doing something.

The other type of advice (which this appears to be) is where the teacher attempts to circumvent the students entire right to choose, based on some parochial approach to study and practice. I don't doubt it attracts or convinces some people, but personally such advice triggers my own bullshit detector almost immediately, It seems to indicate someone who feels their authority is being questioned, rather than someone concerned with the welfare of Dharma students.
It is preciselly as Johny Dangerous writes, Ole's idea is not about taking a part of practice from one lineage and mixing it with parts of practice from other lineage, but receiving teachings from other lineages altogether. Here is his statement, which makes it very obvious:

https://buddhism-controversy-blog.com/2 ... -teachers/

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:53 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm
dzoki wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:33 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:10 pm


I hesitated before answering this believe me, because I didn't want to be misunderstood as being in any kind of Nydahl camp. But the 16th Karmapa definitely did endorse Nydahls teaching role..which endorsement did not amount to recognising him as a guru..
I know this because I was there.
Of course much has changed since then.
That is not a question here, and I am not arguing that Ole was not given a role of teacher, but that 16th Karmapa would wish that Ole's students receive teachings only from him alone and teachers whom he inveted to teach on specific topics and from no other source.
There's a letter from HH Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje which says that Ole and Hannah were authorized as instructors for those first encountering the Buddha Dharma, but that letter specifically notes that they were primarily heads of the Dharma Centers in Europe at that time (1978), and that they had arranged for visits of "highly accomplished and learned lamas" to bestow empowerments and teach, etc. In 1979, there was another "Certification" which gave Ole and Hannah the authorization to bestow refuge and bodhisattva vows to students in the absence of qualified lamas. (Emphasis mine).

Subsequently, Ole and Hannah derived their support from HE Shamar Rinpoche and a few others. Khenpo Chodrak Rinpoche wrote a letter regarding Ole being entitled to the title of "Lama" in 1995, and Shamar Rinpoche wrote a confirmation letter.

There's nothing in any of the documentation regarding Ole and Hannah restricting the visits or instruction of various teachers, and in fact, reading between the lines, it would seem that "qualified lamas" would have been preferable instructors. But over time, the Diamond Way organization developed under Ole's direction and I see nothing official from any high Kagyu Lamas to support any critique of that direction. Anyone who researches the curriculum and methods of the organization, and compares them to other Kagyu centers or institutions, would recognize different emphasis, and likely different target audiences. Shamar Rinpoche himself started BodhiPath, which differs in several respects from a more orthodox or traditional Kagyu curriculum as it has historically existed. And of course we have the example of Trungpa Rinpoche, and now of the whole Shambhala system. So, even Kagyu Lamas do not subscribe to some monolithic system, it seems. Ole made some public comments regarding not "mixing" various traditions, and I believe he was specifically referring to "Phowa"--Diamond Way teaches a version of Phowa which comes from Drikung tradition in fact, and is not the more common tradition taught by Karma Kagyu--which actually comes from NamCho Mingyur Dorje's Nam Cho Amitabha corpus!

Given the audience, I think the admonition not to "mix" traditions--provided one is talking about practice--is not a bad instruction. But "banning" other presentations, which to be clear I don't know that Ole has done, though there is conjecture to that effect--seems to be a bit strong. Having two (or more) different Phowa transmissions, for instance, is not at all a bad thing for anyone. Trying to practice them all together is mistaken, but this should be clearly explained to beginners in the practice before they undertake a retreat or practice.
:good:
Neatly contextualised. Thanks.
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Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by conebeckham » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:56 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:48 pm
conebeckham wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm


Given the audience, I think the admonition not to "mix" traditions--provided one is talking about practice--is not a bad instruction. But "banning" other presentations, which to be clear I don't know that Ole has done, though there is conjecture to that effect--seems to be a bit strong. Having two (or more) different Phowa transmissions, for instance, is not at all a bad thing for anyone. Trying to practice them all together is mistaken, but this should be clearly explained to beginners in the practice before they undertake a retreat or practice.
I think we are dealing with two categories of statements.

The first is where a respected Master tells you "don't get lost in practices, you have to stay focused and avoid confusion, you must be honest with yourself about your limitations", all while letting students have autonomy to make their own decisions. I'd argue that this is the authentic version of such advice, because the only way for us to actually overcome our confusion is too reckon with it via our own volition, no one can force us to not be confused, to not collect empowerments willy-nilly, whatever. If our Karma of mind is pushing us in the direction of this sort of thing, the only thing that will change that is our awareness of our own condition, not a teacher bullying us into not doing something.

The other type of advice (which this appears to be) is where the teacher attempts to circumvent the students entire right to choose, based on some rote, parochial approach to study and practice. I don't doubt it attracts or convinces some people, but personally such advice triggers my own bullshit detector almost immediately, It seems to indicate someone who feels their authority is being questioned, rather than someone concerned with the welfare of Dharma students.
I agree with everything you've said, and I expect that this "advice" does conform to the second instance, though I'm not sure. Certainly, no one above Ole ever explicitly endorsed any restriction imposed by Ole, that I know of.......and I just read the linked statement Dzoki provided. It seems to embrace both types of advice, but more clearly the second. The comments regarding what really happened--how students reached out to a Lama, while Ole claimed the Lama had reached out to him--are illuminating.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:23 am

I have it on good authority that Nydhal has been looking for support for various of his positions from a well known Lama..while still advising his students not to attend that Lama's teachings for fear of 'confusion'.

Something about cake and eating it too isn't it? :shrug:
'We have a physical body with its various needs. Each day we have to eat, sleep, rest and so on.
This is our reality and we can't ignore it'

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.

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Lingpupa
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Lingpupa » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:28 am

gyamtsotrinle wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:35 pm
... Ole´s great contribution spreading of BuddhaDharma. I know that he is not only him who is in this role, also there is Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Namkhai Norbu RInppoche, and some others...
Actually, if I may say so, quite a lot of others, though most are less well known as they did not get up to Trungpa's antics or create the sort of circus that surrounds Nydahl.

A couple of them are amongst the teachers most important to me, and when I asked one of them if it was ok to take teachings from someone else (younger, and from a different lineage) the response I got could be described as "gone out". Of course - any of his students could take teachings from any other lama.

Just my two penn'orth. (As my Dad used to say.)
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

Simon E.
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Simon E. » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:36 am

Well, whatever you might think of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche he actively encouraged his students to seek out teachings from others. Including teachers who were not Kagyu.

For which he was criticized.
'We have a physical body with its various needs. Each day we have to eat, sleep, rest and so on.
This is our reality and we can't ignore it'

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu.

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