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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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:
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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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
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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.
If you use the word 'mind' without defining your terms I will ask you politely for a definition. :smile:
This is not to be awkward. But it's really not self-explanatory.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by SuryaMitra » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:30 am

I think Ole did actually thought Phowa from Drikung , that he learned from Ayang Tulku, but that was long time ago. For the last 20 years or more, the Phowa he teaches is from Longchen Nyingthig.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Kelwin » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:07 am

Correct! Although Ole advices his students to stick to one lineage, he has indeed recieved transmissions from several lineages himself. Many positive and negative opinions are possible on that matter, but I feel no need to go into that right now. Here is what he said himself about the subject of phowa:
Dearest Diamond Way students and friends,

Here, a supplement to my previous letter about the Phowa transmissions we are using.

Please be aware that in addition to the Drikung Phowa from 1972 I was also given the full Nyingma Phowa transmission, "Künzig Lame Shalung" of the Longchen-Nyingthig tradition from Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche and from Tenga Rinpoche, which adds its powerful blessing.

The above-mentioned transmissions are what I have been using since 1987 - from the first Western Phowa course in Graz, Austria - and which I will continue into the future. They are certainly the reason behind the worldwide and outstanding results we have from the Phowa practice.

May the blessing of these great lineages continue!

Yours, Lama Ole
'I will not take your feelings seriously, and neither will you' -Lama Lena

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by philji » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:19 am

What would be Ole’s view on someone( a student of his let’s say) receiving transmissions from Ayang Rinpoche. Since he himself received the Phowa transmission from Ayang Rinpoche.?
Is this attitude of sticking to one teacher the same approach that Lama Jampa Thaye in his Dechen community takes?

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Gatinho » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm

There's a difference between general teachings and empowerments of course - but I for one would not receive teachings from another Lama unless I first cleared it with mine. This is partly just basic respect and etiquette - but also about potential confusion arising from differently nuanced teachings and so on. Having said this the Lama with whom I took refuge said specifically and unprompted that I could go for teachings from any Kagyu Lama (so clearly his idea was to keep it within a certain school).

On top of this is all the complexity of Tibetan religio-politics - who sits on which throne etc. and although I tend to think this cultural I deal with it by just not getting involved. It is they who need to sort this out and not me. Basically I try to avoid the idea that I am window shopping for the best or highest teacher/teaching - which is a modern western phenomena. Spend a long time (12 years ?) analysing your teacher and if you choose them then just stick with them - all else is just general interest and reading round the subject which we need because we are not culturally Buddhist.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Karma Dorje » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:00 pm

When we take teachings from a lama, we are not swearing fealty to them. We are undertaking to practice what they have taught. Whether someone has been endorsed as a teacher or been given a title, we should still inspect them to see if they represent both the buddhadharma as we understand it *and* our own values.

If the teacher's values differ from our own in important ways and we can't work with those differences, I feel it's pretty clear that we should find another teacher. There is no shortage of teachers now that do not have such proscriptions on practicing other lineages. Like most things in life, caveat emptor applies. We can maintain gratitude for having been introduced to the dharma, and still move on. I know of many instances where the students have clearly made more progress than the teacher. Sometimes that means one has outgrown the former relationship.
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Miroku » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:01 pm

As long as you respect the teacher, teaching, sangha and samayas you can go to different teacher. We are independent. Yes we can ask a teacher if he/she thinks if it would be good to receive teachings from other lama (for example if you are part of some practice curriculum), but I honestly think it is your own business. Just dont mix lineages (meaning that you wont do longchen nyingthing ngöndro in karma kagyu way with karma kagyz tree etc.) that doesnt work. Just have respect, easy.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
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You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Gatinho » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:14 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:01 pm
As long as you respect the teacher, teaching, sangha and samayas you can go to different teacher. We are independent. Yes we can ask a teacher if he/she thinks if it would be good to receive teachings from other lama (for example if you are part of some practice curriculum), but I honestly think it is your own business. Just dont mix lineages (meaning that you wont do longchen nyingthing ngöndro in karma kagyu way with karma kagyz tree etc.) that doesnt work. Just have respect, easy.
Just to clarify what I said above - checking with my Lama is what I choose to do deliberately. What other people do is of course up to them. I am very much a distant satellite of the dharma community I am associated with through my teacher and tend to go and receive a specific teaching and then go away for a few years to practice it. Part of that is on my side to keep the connection live through samaya. I am sure other people get benefit from doing things differently.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Miroku » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:49 pm

Gatinho wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:14 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:01 pm
As long as you respect the teacher, teaching, sangha and samayas you can go to different teacher. We are independent. Yes we can ask a teacher if he/she thinks if it would be good to receive teachings from other lama (for example if you are part of some practice curriculum), but I honestly think it is your own business. Just dont mix lineages (meaning that you wont do longchen nyingthing ngöndro in karma kagyu way with karma kagyz tree etc.) that doesnt work. Just have respect, easy.
Just to clarify what I said above - checking with my Lama is what I choose to do deliberately. What other people do is of course up to them. I am very much a distant satellite of the dharma community I am associated with through my teacher and tend to go and receive a specific teaching and then go away for a few years to practice it. Part of that is on my side to keep the connection live through samaya. I am sure other people get benefit from doing things differently.
Then it is good. If your lama told you to do this then I would be slightly cautious :D But that is me. Whatever works for you.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
~ Padampa Sangye

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:18 am

Gatinho wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm
window shopping for the best or highest teacher/teaching - which is a modern western phenomena.
Believe me it is not just a western phenomena

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Aryjna » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:45 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:18 am
Gatinho wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm
window shopping for the best or highest teacher/teaching - which is a modern western phenomena.
Believe me it is not just a western phenomena
Nor is it modern.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Gatinho » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:30 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:45 am
Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:18 am
Gatinho wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:38 pm
window shopping for the best or highest teacher/teaching - which is a modern western phenomena.
Believe me it is not just a western phenomena
Nor is it modern.
Well I may be wrong of course - but the impression I get from reading the early days of lineages and the Tibetan/Indian culture and so on - is that the limitations of travel and communication meant that most practitioners had a fairly narrow range of choice in either the sect or individual teacher. It certainly wasn't like today with google and skype teachings I'm sure you'd agree.

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Re: Ole Nydahl´s sectarian meltdown

Post by Gatinho » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:34 pm

Miroku wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:49 pm
Gatinho wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:14 pm
Miroku wrote:
Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:01 pm
As long as you respect the teacher, teaching, sangha and samayas you can go to different teacher. We are independent. Yes we can ask a teacher if he/she thinks if it would be good to receive teachings from other lama (for example if you are part of some practice curriculum), but I honestly think it is your own business. Just dont mix lineages (meaning that you wont do longchen nyingthing ngöndro in karma kagyu way with karma kagyz tree etc.) that doesnt work. Just have respect, easy.
Just to clarify what I said above - checking with my Lama is what I choose to do deliberately. What other people do is of course up to them. I am very much a distant satellite of the dharma community I am associated with through my teacher and tend to go and receive a specific teaching and then go away for a few years to practice it. Part of that is on my side to keep the connection live through samaya. I am sure other people get benefit from doing things differently.
Then it is good. If your lama told you to do this then I would be slightly cautious :D But that is me. Whatever works for you.
Ahhh. Thanks. If you only knew my phobia for being told what to do :)

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