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Http://buddhism-controversy-blog.com is operated by Tenzin Peljor.

Disclaimer

About the Blog
I saw a need for an informal blog addressing certain controversial issues related to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet, the Dalai Lamas and Buddhism in general. Since many years now, there is a great amount of distorted, misleading or superficial information online about these topics that are often posted based on active one-sided campaigning, a lack of knowledge, political and personal agendas etc. There have been also active and successful trials to manipulate Wikipedia articles.

Media often lack the background knowledge, time, clarity and understanding of such complex issues as addressed on the blog and very often Media miss to ask true experts in those fields to offer balanced and factual correct information. The blog aims to balance this perceived imbalance in the public domain by addressing different issues and by providing background knowledge or links to sources that offer sober information or at least another perspective. What is been linked is not necessarily the opinion of the blog owner.

I don’t consider myself an expert in any field but rather as someone who tries to understand complex things. Another wish of mine is to protect open seekers from unreliable, less differentiated, semi-true or twisted information that increase ignorance, hostility and attachment. My wish is that the information and links provided here increase understanding and not negative emotions, and that they serve as a condition that people can make up their own minds.

The blog had different names.
In July 2013 the Blog was renamed to http://buddhism-controversy-blog.com.

Guest Posts

Guest posts do not necessarily reflect the point of view of the blog owner. They are added to allow a constructive discussion from different angles. Most guest posts are written anonymously because the authors wished to be anonymous. However, the real name of the author of any guest post and his or her background is known to the blog owner.

Further Information

To receive neutral information about any Buddhist organisation or teacher one can contact INFORM, founded in 1988 by Professor Eileen Barker with the help of British Home Office funding and the support of the mainstream Churches. It is based at the London School of Economics.

A range of mainly academic papers that clarify some of the issues addressed here can be found on this website: http://info-buddhism.com.

About me

tenzinMy name is Tenzin Peljor (Michael Jäckel).

I am a fully ordained Buddhist monk.

firehorseSome people said it helped them to know that my Asian astrological sign is “fire horse” ;-)

Comments

  1. Gisela Meyers says:

    Ven. Peljor,

    I apologize if this comment comes through twice, my computer froze up.

    I hope you don’t mind that I linked to this blog from the community comments section of The Capitol Times newspaper in Madison, WI:

    http://www.madison.com/tct/news/stories/297004

    Thank you for having the courage to set up this website and for informing newbies like myself about Dharma and some of the politics of Buddhism. :)

    Sincerely,
    Gisela in Wisconsin (USA)

  2. Congratulations Ven Tenzin – you are courageous and making a positive difference,
    Thankyou!

    emily

  3. Dear Tenzin la,

    I think it is must to counter the unfounded and baseless allegations of the Shugden supporters against HH the Dalai Lama. I am a monk of Sera, and have tried to give the following account of the visit of HH the Dalai Lama to Sera, as opposed to the lies of Shugden supporters in their website wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.blogspot.com.

    Regards,
    Tsering

    Scandalous feeding on rumors and gossips by pro-Shugden

    The pro-Shugden website lately ran a number of “stories” in an attempted discrediting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The one that particularly all the pro-Shugden websites are trying to “promote”, rather unsuccessfully, is the falsehood that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not the real incarnation of His predecessor. Rather the Shugden supporter websites (WSS and Wisdom Buddha blog) goes as far as to such a rumor-mongering of implicating His Holiness the Dalai Lama to a Muslim pedigree.

    Nothing is far from the truth. The Shugden supporters have mostly based their so-called reports on rumours, purposely created by them for their own consumption. The alleged theory that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is not the true reincarnation of the Dalai Lamas is based on an anonymously published booklet called the “Expressing the Ocean of Truth” (tib lit: gtam drang bden rgya mtso) that was circulated in around year 2000-01. Other than this, there is nothing substantial that Shugden supporters could prove of their assertion.

    This booklet, as could be seen, deals in its entirety on the person of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with unsubstantial and baseless claims and allegations. The purpose as said above, is solely to malign the reputation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and nothing else.

    Although there are differing opinions as to the source of this booklet, many believe it as handiwork of Shugden supporters themselves with assistance of other adversaries deeply antagonistic towards the Dalai Lama. Particularly among them are Gangchen Lama and Nga-Lama Lobsang Yeshi alias self-proclaimed Kundeling Rinpoche who conspired with their Communist masters to belittle His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the eyes of international community. The current flooding of Internet with all sorts of such unfounded and baseless rumours is seen by large number of people as working towards this direction only.

    Moreover, by calling Taktser, the hamlet in Amdo Kubum where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was born, as a Chinese Muslim village is implying that the area belonged to China, thus flagrantly contradicting the historical facts and holding out the historically Tibetan area to PRC.

    The second unjustifiable allegation that the pro-Shugden has made in their writings is about the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The writers in the same website, says that the monks in Sera and Ganden are not happy with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It further claims that the monks are wary of His Holiness again speaking on the “Shugden issue” and inspiring “provocation.”

    This assertion of the Shugden supporters are absolutely untrue. The visit, first of all, is heartily welcomed by all Tibetans from all walks of lives, including the monks of Sera monastery barring few handfuls of Shugden supporters. We as a monk community, feel it very fortunate to once again be in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to blessed by his kindness and benevolence. And by saying so, I also meant many of those who follow Shugden propitiation, if their claims of respecting His Holiness are not mere empty words.

    Secondly, the purpose of the visit is to initiate many hundreds of monks into “Bikkhu”, who otherwise may have to go to Dharamsala to receive it. It is His Holiness’ compassion that foresaw the difficulties of many monks to travel to Dharamsala, including the financial difficulties that He has decided instead to come to Sera to perform the ordination, relieving the many hundreds of monks of their difficulties.

    Thirdly, whereas the retaliating against the actions of Shugden supporters is concerned, it would have been done a long time back if it were not His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice to His followers to observe restraint. The way some of the Shugden supporters engaged themselves, for their own vested interest, in cheap politics founded on a particular faith is rather disquieting and condemnable.

    The Tibetan people as whole are deeply hurt by the actions of few of the Shugden activists for such a plot to incite communal disharmony and discrediting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. At the same time we do not blame all the followers of Shugden for such actions, for their sheer lack of insight into the true nature of the course that their self-proclaimed well-wishers and leaders are leading them to.

    Therefore, this is also a time for those Shugden followers, who regard the Tibetan national interest as supreme, to rethink over the actions of some of their so-called well-wishers that is apparently in line with the avowed strategies of PRC to foment division and instill crack in the Tibetan people’s unity.

    The Tibetan people as a whole, in spite of the attempt to dent, stands firm in their conviction to follow the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at both spiritual and secular level.

    The recent Special General Meeting in mid November that saw the representation of all walks of lives of the Tibetan people, reaffirmed the supreme leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and therefore, harping otherwise by few handful of Shugden supporters would do nothing good except distancing themselves from the mainstream Tibetan society.

  4. Thank you Tsering-la!

    I appreciate that you took time to explain the point of view from Tibetan monks in India.

    I also agree with you that it is a must to counter the unfounded and baseless allegations of (some of) the Shugden supporters against HH the Dalai Lama – who are very active to spin the facts. So thank you very much.

    Feel free to offer more information. The other monk who offered information in the past to counter the wrong claims has to study and no time. So if you feel something should be corrected or you wish to write a post / comment / article on points you think they should be addressed, please feel free to do it.

    With respect to Gangchen Lama and Lobsang Yeshi usually both do not cooperate with NKT very much. Gangchen Lama not at all and Lobsang Yeshi (Kundeling) only as far as it is bearable or seems to be beneficial for NKT.

    NKT is doing their own thing solely related to the leading of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Most of them have no idea at all about Tibetans, Tibetan Society, monastery life, Vinaya and living in exile and about Tibetan custom and attitudes. Due to this cultural ignorance and the misleading guidance of their leadership they are just misled by being filled with a set of misinformation, similar as the PRC is spreading, and express their confusion via their websites and blogs.

    Gangchen Lama and Lobsang Yeshi may be very active in India or China, but in the West all the websites and spin have their origin within the NKT based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s guidance.* That’s why I engage to counter at least a bit their spin, this I see as my responsibility as a Westerner who was misled by NKT in the past as well.

    Best Wishes, t
    * there are only some very rare exceptions of misinformation in the West not based on NKT’s or their WSS activities.

  5. Thanks Tenzin la,

    I would appreciate if it is possible for you and others to counter the pro-Shugden accusations specifically on the “visit” of HH the Dalai Lama to Sera in Feb 09. You might have seen that they also tried to show that Trijang Rinpoche’s thrones have been removed from Ganden at the orders of HH. But this is absolutely incorrect and the thrones are still there. I happened to be there recently. It is the pro-Shugden Dokhang House, now break-away from Shartse, that have taken away all the religious artefacts that late Trijang Rinpoche had donated to shartse monastery, all at their will. Hope you also know of this…

    Just for your information..

    Tashi Delek!!
    Tsering

  6. Thank you Tsering la! I’ve sent you an email and post your two comments as a separate post on the blog. Tashi Delek! Tenzin

  7. Tenzin,i feel for you..!Like you i am an ex NKT student.But where we differ……….and i beg to disagree with you on this point.! is GKG is not doing anything wrong…!he is implementing his teachers wishes..!H.H. trijang rinpoches wishes for the west….!!!Seems to me like there is stuff going on in this world…..that 2 be honest u would be well advised 2 stay out of….. the actions of holy beings!! unless you are a holy being…i do not know..!!!!!!!!H.H. zong rinpoche was one of my gurus……and H.H. the Dalai lama.If i could give you one bit of advice it would be this,,,,,,,,concentrate on your own practice,forget trying to influence the bigger picture..!

  8. I just recently e mailed you…..because i am concerned about you…!it was deleted.
    !! you are meddling in things that are way beyond your spiritual growth.!!!Do you not think that it has all been worked out before………like before china invaded tibet……….!think about it…….please….!

  9. hi jaco,
    thank you for your compassionate comments. i agree that it is far more better not to get involved. however, also due to the silence and lack of courage of other Buddhists i got involved in this issue and i think every one who can be protected, the work is worthwhile for.

    you say:
    “is GKG is not doing anything wrong…!”

    i disagree with you here. someone who holds wrong views, denies well known facts and blames HHDL as the sole source of the problems in this issue, and based on this wrong judgement and misinformation leads his students to slanderous actions against HHDL and other Buddhists is performing negative actions. there is nothing correct in this. much more as many of his followers become very hostile, pride and aggressive. this is no path to liberation. i have more evidence for my disagreement but i don’t wish to extend this here.

    you say:
    “he is implementing his teachers wishes..!H.H. trijang rinpoches wishes for the west….!!!”

    i think this is a wrong information spread by GKG/NKT, to justify the own actions. there is no evidence that this claim is true besides the existence of this claim made by NKT. Trijang Rinpoche is dead and can’t confirm it. NKT is not known to be honest and accurate.

    there is no Buddhist master I met or asked who regards the actions of GKG as being correct. Also Lama Gangchen and Gonsar Rinpoche keep a long distance to GKG.

    you say:
    “Do you not think that it has all been worked out before………like before china invaded tibet……….!think about it…….please….!”

    No, it hasn’t all been worked out before, otherwise there would be no need to involve us westerners in this issue. Although it is a Tibetan issue, and no westerner should get involved, as some Tibetan lamas have involved us westerners and some are very active to misinform westerners, i think some westerners should at least correct what’s going wrong in that context. The Tibetans will work it out for themselves. I prefer to leave it to Tibetans.

    thank you for your urgent reminder, i agree this all is a hot topic, and better not to work too much on it. on the other hand if nobody cares it is not good either.

    warmest regards, t

  10. jaco,

    I do feel for you too, the typical NKT/WSS tatic to show ‘compassion’ and ‘loving kindness’ toward those who disagree with them.

    KG is not doing anything wrong?? he just followed his teacher’s wishes to spread the ‘pure dharma’ to the west’??? are you kidding us???

    you mean the way as the spiritual guide, the have done so much damage to his student, the way he slander others spiritual guide through all the baseless allegation, which purely one sided from WSS/NKT is KG teacher’s wishes???

    Of course, due to the ‘publicity’ which WSS/NKT these day has received, to those who concern (esp from WSS/NKT) will sure ‘advise’ others who know the others dark side of the organization to ‘stay of out it’.

    If you really ‘feel’ for your mother sentient beings, use you own logic, awareness and analyzation to judge yourself how much damage have WSS/NKT have done to those people who sincerely seek growth on their spiritual path, and yet ruin themselves completely due to the maniplation of your ‘pure lineage’.

    Are all the above the wishes from KG’s teachers…??
    Tenzin is right, this is one of the fabrication from KG to his students to judify his malice yet the most uncompassionate action.

    • KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

      Hi everyone

      I am so happy knowing from the depth of my heart:

      DHARMA WILL WIN !

      And I am so deeply happy being involved in some most important discussions that reveal the Truth, and I will give my life for pure Dharma; I will not burn myself but spend all I am and have for fulfilling my promise of Tantric Bodhichitta ;-). Dorje Shugden (Dholgyal) enables this!

      Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso teaches pure Dharma, that is why I have come to know a little bit about Buddha’s Intention and that is why I clearly know that I can freely offer my life – for the benefit of all living beings. This is just wonderful! I can rely upon my Holy, kind and precious, most generous Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the root of Spiritual Paths!

      I go now and spend my time with contemplation and meditation, plus I am trying to putting Buddha’s Instructions into practice in my daily life, although I would very much like to enter into debate for every of these many arguments – with my Guru/Yidam, The Three Jewels, as my motivation only. But I realise it is more important to work on the accomplishment of the Path for all living beings :-)

      With love.
      Kelsang Gyaltsen
      (kelsang.gyaltsen.sa@gmail.com)

      • Oh my Buddha!

        … usually I say if you were 4 years in NKT you need 4 years to get free of the “brainwashing”, if your were ten years in NKT you need 10 years to get rid of the “brainwashing” … there seem to be also the cases of “no return”.

        • KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

          Dear tempel, and others,

          These your words are not based on Buddha’s Teachings, they are not filled with love, compassion, bodhichitta, they do not come from any of Buddha’s 84’000 Teachings; or am I wrong?

          I feel, most of what I read in this blog is wrong practice!

          THIS IS A WASTE OF TIME !

          I love emulating Buddha and so try to copy the way he acts, talks, thinks … even accomplishing wrathful actions with a loving heart and the Wisdom Sword in my right; and I know – THIS is the way to become an Awakened One myself one day.

          My wish is: May you find this Path :-)

          With (wishing) love.
          Gyaltsen

  11. Jaco,

    just a bit more to add, Jaco. Since you ‘feel’ for your mother sentient beings. I have more ‘feeling’ to share with.

    Just imagine, how do you ‘feel’ for your most loved ones, most closer to you yet ruined in their spiritual path, those who lost their refuge, due to the damaged done by your ‘holy being’???

    It is easy to say that those who being harm are ‘apologist’, that these are their ‘karma’ to ‘experienced’ the harm. Again, while in buddhism context, in certain degree i have to agree that what we ‘experienced’ are our ‘karma’, but this is not wise for a ‘holy being to give such excuse after he have done so much damage to his students. Especially he knew for long that the wrong doing of his disciple, instead of the taking a right attitude to solve the problem, look at the root problem of what happen in his organization, he simple told his students to shut up or get out. And even NKT have threaten to take libel action to those who dare to speak up and shared their personal experienced. Those personal experience are not fabrication, and it testify with a lot members, if NKT REALLY didnt have done such thing, why to they afraid of people to speak up??? They must be up to something, IMHO.

    Politically, though he ‘claimed’ that he have no interest to involve in politic, but look what happened?? Of course, WSS/NKT are so ‘compassionate’ to have all the ‘well meant’ protest’ to ‘speak up’ for those ‘spirit worshiper’…??? They are SO ‘compassionate’ till the extent that to ‘fabricate’ and ‘self generate’ those article which can prove NOTHING but simple with all sort of nonsense (article like ‘Lama Policies’ and ‘False 14th Dalai Lama), with no proper references and reliable resources???

    Again, may I ask, WHO DO WSS/NKT TRYING TO FOOL???

    Yes, everyone should concentrate in our own practice, INCLUDE THOSE WHO IS WSS/NKT, instead of going around to have their ‘well meant protest’ and ‘self generate truth’ in their own blogs and links, would you think that they shall exclude to ‘concentrate in their own practice’ and at least take care of their own students in their organization???

  12. Sorry typo error again :)

    i mean INCLUDE THOSE WHO ARE IN WSS/NKT…

    And would you think that they should also need to concentrate in their own practice…

  13. Wow!!!! i was not trying to point score lhundrup.I left the nkt after they took every other lamas books off the shelves.Do i agree with the demonstrations against H,H,dalai lama …no i do not.I have honestly not lost faith in either geshe kelsang or the dalai lama…because i refuse to concentrate on the bigger picture which i am not qualified to understand…and it was a hard decision to come to i will tell you.!!The present dalai lama as far as i am concerned …has had the hardest job of them all..and will be remembered as the greatest…(possibly the last ,we shall see!)..!Zong rinpoche commented that buddhism in tibet is finished/over …!. We all know the chinese have seen to that,as painful as it is to contemplate …!Where are all the buddhist monks and nuns who were slaughtered by the chinese????????????Where is it fertile for tibetan buddhism now……the west…….of course there are geshes…etc in the nkt just as in the fpmt!For your information i believe also that there will be a coming together of the fpmt.nkt……etc in the future .Sorry if i offended you.!peace.!

  14. Re my last post….!Forgot 2 mention something in my last post…..(where it is i do not know?)of course H.H and geshe kelsang ….know all this.!If they do not …..!!!!!what is the point of having faith in either of them…!

  15. dear jaco, nice to see that you were probably honest in your approach. I think lhundrup – liked others and also me – have a lot of experience with fake commentaries and manipulation by NKT members, so please try to understand lhundrup’s scepticism and judgement based on such experiences.

    with respect to your point, i also try to get the complete picture and i agree that the present Dalai Lama is probably the greatest of all – also one of my Kaguye teachers expressed it that way – however, with respect to Geshe Kelsang and NKT, I think it is not appropriate to fool oneself about reality as it is.

    i keep my points as stated before until they are disapproved. i have reasons for stating this and until now they were only be proved to be valid. i heard that zong rinpoche has certain views, and his incarnation also with respect to Geshe Kelsang, however, I don’t share those i heard, and the reasons which were given by his incarnation i proofed and it turned out that they are not valid. i really checked this.

    the main things i learnt from nkt, and those lamas still propagating shugden, is that it does not help to follow views which do not accord with reality. this includes to project faults where there are no faults or to neglect faults where there are faults or to follow a narrow-minded guru-reliance approach.

    the Buddha always had a realistic approach, and my new teachers – including HH the Dalai Lama – have such a realistic approach as well.

  16. The smear thing on the nkt website……sucks!!!!!!!!!In my opinion they should know better!!! it accomplishes nothing!!!! except 2 piss people like me off..!!!!! who aint in anyones pocket,i came across your name on there..!I do not get it and i do not agree with it..!!! like the demonstrations against his h.h.the dalai lama !!!!!!! but…yea…….(hehe)there is always a but…….!let people practice what they want…..for it is not you who will sow what they reap..!!!!!be it spiritually advantageous or not….!!!!!!!!!

  17. I once heard neil elliott.. (thubten gyatso)quote geshe kelsang.Geshe kelsang apparently said something on these lines…”I did not introduce dorje shugden practice..it was here when i came!”I came meaning manjushri institute….!This was well before all the current controversy…early eighties…..Did geshe kelsang …just continue with the protector which lama yeshe had introduced or not.????????

  18. If you read Kay’s research while FPMT reduced Shugden practice and shifted to Palden Lhamo, GKG pushed Shugden practice even more than previously.

    I think Shugden worship was (maybe even unconsciously) abused to spilt the community more. By putting more emphasize on Shudgen while those devoted to FPMT objectives shifted to Palden Lhama deepened the rift. So it was from that perspective a political tool. (However, this is just my interpretation.)

  19. How are you my friend…!the last post the hologram one said to me tantra.!mere appearance..!do you agree…?science is coming ever more closer …..ever more closer to the prasangika view of emptiness ultimate reality! shakyamuni”s ultimate intention….!peace.!

  20. Hi jaco,
    I didn’t follow your link but sent it to a friend who is an artist and Buddhist. He and his wife are professionals with respect to holograms, he replied (translated from German):

    “Since now even Science comes more close to enlightenment and create a holographic model (everything is a projection) also confusion and wrong views must increase. Indeed no easy task for you. The dangerous tool of mara is to give us for everything an explanation.”

    It looks like he wasn’t much astonished or convinced by it…

    Though I can’t say anything because I didn’t read it until now.

  21. Tenzin……i do not know what 2 really say to your response to my post…!I sent it to you in good faith!!It was just an observation that science is coming closer to …..the lack of inherent existence in things.!Why confusion and wrong views re your friends…..i do not know..!!Maybe they are experts in holograms……!but 2 put your faith in them .well that is your choice…!peace….!

  22. Dear Tenzin Peljor,

    I “stumbled” onto this site this morning and though I’ve only had a brief period of time to peruse it, I will definitely be back. I wanted to say, first and foremost, how impressed I am with what you are doing! Very courageous! Extremely important work!

    My late teacher, Gen Lamrimpa, wrote several texts on why one should not propitiate this spirit, one of which I’ve had translated. I know quite a lot about this controversy and have put myself out there to some extent (not quite like you) engaging with others on it (various Buddhist websites, HuffingtonPost, etc.) and I know what it’s like to be attacked by some of these people.

    At any rate, just wanted to thank you for doing this and will be returning to peruse further.

    • Hi Bill!
      Thank you very much, it is always nice to see that some appreciate the effort and that some find it helpful too.

      In case you would like to offer something written by your teacher, Gen Lamrimpa, with respect to this or similar issues, I would be happy to post it on the blog or my website*—e.g. your translation of one of his texts regarding Shugden.

      Many are not aware that there are quite a lot of high lamas who opposed this being. So I think it would be good to know what Gen Lamrimpa said about it.

      But this is just a suggestion/idea…

      Don’t hesitate to comment where you find it needed or useful here on the blog. Reasonable input, corrections, and proper information are always highly appreciated.

      Very best,
      tenzin

      * http://info-buddhism.com/

      • Great to make the connection! I will write more later as I am late for work. I think the idea of giving you a copy of Gen-la’s text is a good one. Will discuss this with you further.

        Until then, the very best wishes,
        Bill

  23. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    Dear Tenzin Peljor,

    What, if we dissolved this blog into emptiness?

    I go further:

    This blog, what causes it and I myself (The three Spheres)
    are all empty of inherent existence.

    Let’s rather discuss Buddha’s Instructions,
    this would be more beneficial!
    … because we then definitely will enjoy positive results :-)
    (instead of creating more and more suffering for ourself and others!)

    With love.
    Gyaltsen

    • I think Frank has already given pretty good advice when he said earlier:

      Temper your Pure View with the wisdom of “Clear View.” Try to see all sides of a situation or a person and keep your mind and heart open to receive the truth, no matter how painful it may sometimes be. In this way you protect yourself and others from spiritual abuse and its’ devastating disappointments.

      There is nothing I could add from my side.

      • KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

        So I won the debate! DHARMA WILL WIN!

        • When I left NKT and we met Trijang Chogtrul Rinpoche, the incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche, in Swiss, I picked up a book by Geshe Rabten in the bookshop of Tharpa Choeling. He said something like: We should not become like soldiers in a battle, lying in the ditch and shooting with the Dharma at others.

          • KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

            How correct!

            We know the truth – but are we living it from our potential?

            In early days, when someone won a debate, the loser changed (together with his complete entourage) to the religion or tradition of the successful One …

            With love.
            Gyaltsen

            • Even if you had won, I fear NKT wouldn’t except me. I would come with an image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and with books not written by Geshe-la. Not only this I would also rely on non-NKT teachings, and I would praise the Dalai Lama for his really existing qualities. What will NKT then do with me? Shreddering the image, burning the books, teaching me that only Geshe-las books are pure?

              BTW, if Je Tsongkhapa would lock on the doors of NKT NKT wouldn’t let him in either. Because he would not only have splendid knowledge about Sakya and Kagyue (and his own school of thought), he would also start to refute the wrong understanding within NKT, he would challenge and correct the misunderstandings, as he had done it throughout his life. He might even bring his own and other master’s books with him (except he knows them all by heart which is not too unlikely), Sutras and Tantras unheard by NKT. NKT would reject him as an heretic – accept he would obeys to Geshe-la and teaches only his books, abandoning the own texts and those of other masters. NKT would also have problems with Je Tsongkhapa and Atisha who both had splendid knowledge and practice of the Vinaya, who were fully ordained … Imagine, now Je Tsongkhapa granting a Kalachakra empowerment, not received by Geshe-la … or Atisha, granting the Sixteen Drops of the Kadampas … what an amount of fear and confusion would arise in the NKT system ;-)

              • Excellent reply. Well said.

                • BTW, thank you Jigje for your very helpful replies on the “dog-post” :-) The discussion became a bit heated there. I appreciate your reasonable comments.

                  • Happy to add my two cent’s worth. I think you do an excellent job as moderator and your grounding in the Dharma adds a lot to each exchange. What you have to offer others as a survivor is simply inestimable, however. And having been on the “inside” gives you added insights into the mindset of those who have been “captured” by GK and the NKT! That’s worth a lot! Especially to those who come to your site as active NKT members (who might be teetering on the edge of leaving) and those who have managed to escape. But even those like myself benefit immeasurably. I hold you high in my regard for all you’re doing (and have already done). Really. I hope someday we get to meet.

                    • Thank you for your words of encouragement. I tend to distrust rather what I do and to feel not very comfortable with doing it. But in the past I felt, something has to be done … It’s very helpful for me to be encouraged in that way. Thanks a lot! I would be happy to meet you someday too. (As said, now I really need a break …)

        • quite mad

  24. äh. I must admit, I replied to the posts by Kelsang Gyaltsen thinking they were posted in the “dog-post” comment section. I only recognize now that they were posted in the “Impressum”. In the admin dashboard this is not so clear and usually I reply from there. So if my replies were a bit out of context, I do apologize.

    KG; no need to delete the blog, the blog has its function. The function is to balance and correct the misleading teachings and statements by NKT/WSS/KG and to form a bridge for those who have been led astray or who have been abused to have a somewhat better transition.

  25. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    To everybody involved,

    Yah, if only everyone could abandon mistaken conceptions and appearance, then no negativity would be created in this blog anymore.

    I did not want to delete it, I asked everyone posting or reading to dissolve it into emptiness, then from that moment, it is superfluous.

    At least a try! This is what I do.

    With love.
    Gyaltsen

  26. Dissolving the blog into emptiness means to see its lack of inherent existent or its dependent arising. If that is been done, there should be no grasping, no aversion, no attachment, no confusion any more.

  27. For the benefit of others and myself:The Tibetans didnt have a word for Buddhist. They used the term ‘nangpa’ or ‘inner being’. If the meaning of this isnt clear, we should consider the saying by TzongKaPa, that our religious practice should be like a lamp inside a vase, which illuminates the inside but is not visible from the outside.
    That said, there is much talk here of ‘dissolving things into emptiness’
    I would just like to add that, from my thoroughly naive intellectual perspective , for Mahayana Buddhists, there are no ‘things to dissolve’, ‘things’ ARE emptiness. Asserting the existence of something that needs to be dissolved both contradicts the import of the Heart Sutra (form is emptiness, emptiness is form) and smacks of the fault Gorampa claimed was inherent in TzongKaPas view, namely that it could easily be interpreted as an assertion that relative appearances are false and impure (a Hinayanist view), while their emptiness is real and pure. Such dichotomies are the realm of philosphers and debaters but do not necessarily reflect the experience of the Mahayana yogin.
    I suspect this easily made mistake to be one of the main reasons behind the dreadful feelings of worthlessness followers of certain teachers experience and a misinterpretation that feeds the negative, critical aspect of spiritual ego: Impure ‘me’ is bad, the absence of ‘me’ is therefore good. Not much room for happiness in such an approach. Ive never understood when people talk of ‘having compassion for oneself’, but I can certainly understand how people can turn the Dharma into weapon of guilt and a weapon of self hate: a stick with which to beat themselves

    Just a thought

    • Thank you an.on!

      Utter correct, nothing has to be dissolved into emptiness. At the moment I cannot remember if the terminology of “dissolving into emptiness” is unique to NKT. If not the phrase might just be used as a reminder to “dissolve” ordinary conceptions of inherent existence “into emptiness”, which means to remind oneself that nothing exists inherently / independently, the very foundation of Vajrayana practice.

      I assume behind Gyaltsen’s statement lies a more profound misunderstanding I met quite often in NKT: that because things are empty, they don’t exist at all and you can label things therefore as you like because they are empty and you “impute the term that is most beneficial”. So isn’t it more beneficial to see your spine as mount meru (the centre of the world) than to see it as an aching suffering bone aggregation? (An argument Gyaltsen mentioned.)
      Personally, I found there is a certain type of Nihilism prevalent within NKT, that is quite dangerous. Also understanings like “if you do it with a good motivation the action is good.” “If you keep divine pride (to be Vajrayogini) every action, even negative ones, lead you to enlightenment (to Vajryayogini’s state).” If you have “pure view” your “actions are pure”. They are not totally incorrect but can be easily slightly misunderstood, and if that’s the case, these misunderstandings lead one astray. There are a reasons why those two persons who have in a way at best absorbed and represented the NKT doctrine, Elliot and Wass – Kelsang Gyatso’s very much praised successors, finally fell over sexual relationships, and got lost on the way …

      Kelsang Gyatso also claims (which is refuted in Gelug tradition itself) that ordinary conceptions (ordinary pride) and ordinary appearances (not to see everything as appearances of the deity, bliss and emptiness; celestial mansion etc.) are the root of Samsara. If this were the case, then Hearers and Solitary Realizers could not be liberated by their own paths, because they don’t have teachings how to overcome ordinary conceptions and ordinary appearances, hence this teaching claims finally that they would have invalid paths and cannot attain liberation which is a breaking of one of the root tantric vows (to belittle the Hinayana). According to my information, Kelsang Gyatso admitted, that he has never studied the Tantras.

      There might be more which has to be investigated. All in all my observation is: NKT is rather like a Christian group: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the sole source of salvation, you must utter obey him, then you can have salvation, if not you risk to go to hell. Combined with Western culture with the tendency of weak selves and a tendency to either look down on oneself (up to self-hate) or to feel better than others, and looking down on others (two extremes but same process of thinking) + a tendency of black & white thinking + a tendency to elevate oneself by seeing the own ethics as superior to others’ ethics + the tendency to look for outer salvation NKT is quite an interesting and somewhat ‘lingering damaging’ system.

      Have a look onto this video: http://vimeo.com/2103260#at=0 What do you think? A NKT centre as Vajrayogini’s palace … “it’s not an ordinary building” “it will be a holy palace” “you should become a king or queen, either King Heruka or Queen Vajrayogini” … Outside NKT I’ve never ever heard someone talking like this to listeners. In a way the Tantric teachings seem to be applied on the NKT as the pure realm, pure palaces and outside of NKT there is the impure world with such “evil beings”, “dictators” etc. as “the Dalai Lama”. Also there is a strong grasping for inherent existent purity within NKT …

  28. Kelsang Gyaltsen’s shouted comment “DHARMA WILL WIN” is very interesting. Is this a win or lose proposition? Doesn’t Kelsang Gyatso say over and over again that “everything becomes emptiness”? If everything becomes emptiness, doesn’t that mean that Dharma, itself, becomes emptiness? What about the emptiness of emptiness that Kelsang Gyatso teaches in a very limited way?

    The Maha Prajnaparamita says “all dharmas are forms of emptiness; not born; not destroyed, not stained, not pure, without gain, without loss.”

    It is through deep meditation that we can free ourselves from grasping at concepts, even concepts of Dharma, even concepts of lamrim, even generic images. Everything that is formed into words or images is just conceptual thinking…those things we grasp onto in order to make ourselves feel secure. I’m guilty of doing it, as we all are. There is no security. (Sigh!)

    teaches (albeit in a very limited way

  29. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    Dear everyone,

    Would you kindly allow two last thoughts, please? For me this is practice :-)

    There is so much shallow, not correct, wrong, even lies in these statements! But entering into debate for every single one is simply too much; therefore everything is implied in the following two:

    1. Everything IS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN empty of inherent existence, even emptiness itself (very clearly taught :-) by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso), enlightenment etc. and (!) teachings of whoever we get or to whoever we grant them; only we (the wanderers) because of mistaken conceptions and appearance create ourselves whatever appears to us from our karma in samsara… If we had realised that all phenomena are empty, we would never ever again perform wrong actions. And this means, that everbody must check now for him- or herself where we are at every moment of our practice; as soon as we have realised emptiness (of course based on Bodhichitta – so that we do not end in solitary peace) directly, this is proof that our practice was correct, and I am looking forward to this moment very much! It is too easy to just talk of NKT as one, this is loose I think; I now go and re-read of Eight Verses of Training the Mind (Geshe Langri Tangpa) about the emptiness of the (8) extremes, which explains perfectly the truth between inherent existence and non-existence, especially singularity and plurality!

    2. If we practiced Dharma purely there would be no need engaging in abandoning to cherish other living beings; I was part of a demonstration against wrong actions only (!) and not in general the Dalai Lama (please read: http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/dalai-lama/why-expose-dalai-lama/)! I learnt to practice the four actions (including wrathful ones) only with a loving heart in my left and the wisdom sword in my right; means I learnt to act as Dorje Shugden (Dholgyal) teaches it according to Kyabje Trijang’s (which is Buddha’s) instructions. And so the link to 1. is correctly established.

    I have made the experience that you will easily find explanations that disparage my thoughts because of your (own karmic) experiences that now shape your actions, and so I am curious about what you will say.

    Thanks to your openhearted comments I can come to check my understanding of the Three Jewels and therefore I am really grateful for your sparring! I with my limited capacities can get to gaining a deeper insight into your minds!

    With love.
    Kelsang Gyaltsen

    • uuh. to be able to perform “wrathful actions” is a high tantric accomplishment. even if you have it you should not speak in public about this. of course nkt practitioners have to justify the abusive and aggressive language of shouting noisily and with mega phones “Liar”, “hypocrite” or calling the Dalai Lama a “saffron-robed muslim” etc. but the reasons of justification are ambiguous (at least). most of the protesters don’t have an accomplishment of high tantric attainments like “wrathful actions” (if there is one at all who has it), and it was anger, and aggression the protesters spread. I observed this myself and also neutral witnesses felt like this. Where there is anger and aggression there cannot be love at the same time. also as a participant of the first protests of NKT from 1996-98, I can assure you that it was rather shocking for me to be faced with such an amount of hate and aggression from NKT protesters. When we were more friendly, not shouting, only wearing the banners (Geshe-la created) in a rather peaceful manner, the british monks (undercover in suits) scolded us to be more “wrathful” and not to smile, and they were very upset when we were not really willing to do so.

      I asked a Tibetan Rinpoche how he felt the last protest campaign when he was in England: He replied: “Uhhh. So much aggression.” I think, the claim it is love but not aggression does not meet reality. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche for sure would not teach you to imagine yourself as Dorje Shugden, shouting the Dalai Lama a “Liar” out of “love”. His reincarnation left Swiss and India to escape the fanatical Shugden followers (who planned to murder his assistant in order to put the blame on the TGIE/Dalai Lama). Please, show me the instruction were Trijang Rinpoche tells you you should imagine yourself as Dorje Shugden and then perform wrathful actions.

  30. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    … and by the way:

    Hearers and Solitary Realizers have realized emptiness directly!

    … so, mistaken conceptions is gone for them already, isn’t it?

  31. KG -all you expose is your own naivety when making such statements-I will pray for you

  32. john swainson says:

    Excuse my naivety.

    Are you saying Hearers and Solitary Realizers were at the demos?

  33. If that q is addressed to me John, my ref to naivety referred to both Tenzins point above but also to the fact that,amongst Tzong Ka Pas followers, there is considerable debate as to whether Shravakas actually achieve genuine liberation. At best they are said to only realize a gross selflessness of persons, at worst, they are reborn in the formless realms. Again the selflessness they supposedly realise is not the same as the selflessness realised by Prasangikas.KGs comment therfore demonstrates a very superficial understanding, based primarily on interpreting popular literature for the Western audience

  34. Also
    “so, mistaken conceptions is gone for them already, isn’t it?”

    implies Shravakas have removed mistaken thinking but they still cling to self of phenomena so thats wrong

    “isnt it” is NKT insider language emanating from Neil Elliott-it was always a favourite cute suffix of his, while he flicked both hand outwards–seen it?

  35. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    Hello everyone,

    Teachings ‘Stages of the Path’ (Tib. Lamrim)
    Atisha (AD 982 – 1054)
    Benefits of Bodhichitta

    Hearers and Solitary Realizer Foe Destroyers (who have been practicing pure deeds for a long time) are far superior to ordinary beings who have not yet entered spiritual paths, because they have realized renunciation, completed the three higher trainings of Hinayana paths, and gained the realizations of the four noble truths. They have attained tranquil abiding and superior seeing, and they possess clairvoyance and miracle powers.

    They have realized emptiness directly and thereby abandoned all delusions and attained liberation.

    However, compared with Bodhisattvas, Hearers and Solitary Realizers are like candlelight against the brilliance of the sun.

    The good qualities of Hearers and Solitary Realizers are like ornaments made of gold, but bodhichitta is like a diamond.

    With love.
    Kelsang Gyaltsen

  36. john swainson says:

    Hi Anon

    No my reference was not for you. It was a question for Kelsang Gyaltsen. His agument seemed to say that those protesting were doing so with minds of compassion, having achieved a state of training the mind, usually achieved only by having great understanding and experience.

    Kelsang Gyaltsen, you have given me a definition of the terms but not an answer to the question.

  37. I love this quote:
    If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.
    SUZUKI-ROSHI

    What do you think, Gyaltsen? Does it spark any insight in you?

  38. Dear Kelsang Gyaltsen

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially if it is used to prove ones own superiority.

    While Atisha was one of Bengals greatest pandits. his views are among a myriad of those of other philosophers of India and Tibet.,The quote you produce does nothing to settle the arguments among the followers of different traditions over exactly what it is that Shravakas realise.
    There are arguments over whether shravakas realization (that of the dependantly imputed selflessness of the individual) can on that basis alone lead to release from samsara, or whether such beings must also realise the dependantly imputed selflessness of phenomena Again, is this emptiness the shravakas realise the same as the emptiness beyond extremes taught by TzongKaPa? (Gelugpas say no) Again it is clear that you see emptiness as a non-affirming negative. Does this mean that you believe that those who assert intrinsic emptiness are mistaken and not enlightened? Or do you side with Gorampa and those scholars who hold the view beyond elaboration and suggest both of the former positions to be incorrect? As I say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when we think we need study no more

    Life gives us little time to argue with others who will clearly never accept defeat and offer the victory to others, despite statements to the contrary.It appears your wish is to waste time and distract by debating at a superfical level with those you see as .opponents..I do not have time to waste trying to prove to someone who is so convinced of their correctness that they are wrong-far too samsaric a pastime IMO

    My advice would be to stay off this page unless you have something to contribute to the debate over the NKTs activities, rather than using it as a place to prove you know more than anyone else here about what constitutes genuine Buddhism

  39. Perhaps, in order to bring the discussion back to the point AND accomodate KG, KG can point to which of Atishas works tells us to use abusive and aggressive language, shouting noisily with mega phones “Liar”, “hypocrite” or calling the Dalai Lama a “saffron-robed muslim” etc? Surely there must be quote to justify this?.

  40. KELSANG Gyaltsen says:

    Dear everybody,

    Accepting defeat and offering the victory is a Bodhisattva’s practice of Taking and Giving. I have been engaging in these exercises over many years; Buddhas and Superior Bodhisattvas see what this means to my mind.

    When you have followed my posts you must have realized that I at least try not to offend others in their belief but stick to or help finding facts and correct information; my wish was the discussion to come to a cessation of unqualified offence and I must admit I am quite happy about the turn in direction, thank you!

    But I feel indeed, discussing with people using a different terminology makes it nearly impossible to find a common thread.

    And you are right, we have not the time to first find out exactly what we are talking about; so let’s just practice everyone …

    … and stop talking about other’s faults; I myself definitely commit negativity when doing so, because I have not the wisdom yet to seing your minds :-)

    I come to the conclusion that I would in first place like to work with my mind so that some day in future I can work with other’s minds without a lot of fuss according to Je Tsonkhapa’s Instructions.

    This implicitly is reply to all open questions, so for the moment I will not continue to hook myself in. But again: If someone would like to discuss on a personal level, pse contact me on kelsang.gyaltsen.sa@gmail.com.

    Wish you lots of success in guiding others to the state of Great Enlightenment!.

    With love.
    Gyaltsen

    • OK. Thank you maybe we stop at this point.
      I would not like to quote Atisha at this point and after this discussion but we could remind him and follow his advice.

  41. What exactly is the spiritual ego? What part does it play in our spiritual growth? This specific type of ego is; the sense of pride or feeling of specialness a spiritual aspirant might begin to feel as he perceives himself to be attaining what he believes to be important and valuable spiritual knowledge.

    For many students of spiritual growth, this specific type of ego we attach to our spirituality, is borne the in first moment it is perceived that a profound spiritual realization has been made. It is that part of self that feels it has accomplished something very special and it causes us to feel superior in relations to others because we believe we have made a realization that sets us apart from the masses.

    If we find ourselves at any point along the path of spiritual growth and expanding consciousness, feeling that we’ve arrived, conquered or accomplished something really spiritually superior, and that this accomplishment puts us above others in any way, we can rest assured, we’ve activated the spiritual ego.

    The type of ego often rears up within students of spiritual growth, However, the spiritual ego is also often alive and well in those whom you’d least expect to find it. Many spiritual teachers and gurus demonstrate a strong spiritual ego. For many of them, spiritual growth and inflated ego would seem to go hand in hand. It certainly begs asking, how much spiritual growth have we really achieved if we’re using our knowledge to hold ourselves apart from others?

    This can be evidenced in those teachers of spirituality who allow their perceived knowledge to give them a sense of specialness or a feeling of being in a different category of human being than those who they perceive to be living in delusion.

    Any spiritual teacher who mocks or in any way demeans or shuns those who he perceives as being ‘unenlightened’ in comparison to him/her, is undoubtedly demonstrating a strong spiritual ego. The fictitious teacher of the Jed McKenna series of books comes to mind here. For anyone familiar with Jed and his books, you’ll likely recall how he can barely stand to be in the company of those he deems as being ‘asleep.’

    Shining the light on this form of ego that aligns itself with our spirituality can be difficult indeed as this aspect of self hides itself very well. By its very nature is it sly and deceitful, often evading our awareness as it has a way of hiding behind the spiritual beliefs themselves that we hold so dear.

    A good indicator that this aspect of self may be at work is if we find ourselves holding on very tightly to those spiritual beliefs that we believe to be ‘true.’ Attachment to any belief is a sure sign that we are opposed to accepting the fact that we could actually be wrong or our truth could be incomplete.

    • Thank you, excellent!
      Who wrote this?

      • A Canadian lady, Faye Schindelka. She’s a bit new agey but this piece and that below hit the nail straight on the head. I think we can all recognise a bit of this in ourselves (and a bit in others too) I detect a hell of a lot of this in NKT followers, on their crusade to save the world and enlighten everyone Of course it is not restricted to the NKT, such naive zealotry is widespread.However, the divide between the spiritual and the mundane seems particularly pronounced when one reads the comments of certain contributors
        As the japanese say
        before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water
        after enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water

        • One can learn from everybody. It’s well put.

          What helped me to relax a bit this attitude is the work with prisoners, drug addicts and mentally ill people. They don’t like preaching, they don’t like that someone looks down on them or putting them down and preaching them how they should behave etc. They are very sensitive in this. If one wants really to help them one has to relax this ego trip to think one would be better.

  42. My own spiritual ego appears regularly,, particularly when I find myself engaged in debate about the subject of spirituality and spiritual growth. If I find myself holding tightly to my own beliefs, defending my point of view and looking down on another in any way for holding a view I deem to be inferior, I can rest assured this aspect of self is currently very active. Often the remedy is simply in seeing and acknowledging this. .

    If our goal is to eliminate the spiritual ego, we’ll likely find the task difficult, as that which we resist, persists. We’re far better off to simply see it for what it is, and to accept it. If we can understand where our need to feel special or superior comes from, what beliefs we’re harboring that contribute to this, then we’re at a definitive advantage in terms of unearthing the root of the spiritual ego.

    Once this aspect of self is identified, the next step really is to try to understand it and beyond that to simply accept it. With acceptance, it will lose its hold and dissipate. So long as we remain aware of all aspects of self, the spiritual ego included, they have little chance of running away with us. It really is about being aware, particularly about those aspects of self that we might prefer to keep hidden.

    With thanks to Faye for this

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