Four Young Tulkus In The West – Details About What Happened To Kalu Rinpoche

The Magazine Details has written an article about four young tulkus in the West. Of course they have taken only the examples of four persons who are interesting because they chose a somewhat different life style than expected. Therefore the insights the magazine is offering present only a fraction of the vast variety of Tibetan life and tulkus. But the article gives a pretty good insight into those four people’s live and thinking. The article by Joseph Hooper can be found here: “Leaving OM: Buddhism’s Lost Lamas“.

The article gives also details about what happened to Kalu Rinpoche who made known that he was abused as a child by Buddhist monks and that his tutor tried to kill him in a furious attack. Experts being asked about these accusations replied:

“I thought it was one of the most real things I’ve seen.” Robert Thurman, Columbia University professor

About the knife-wielding incident, Thurman wrote in a subsequent e-mail to the editor:

“Sadly, it all does seem credible to me … The whole thing just reeks to high heaven.”

The magazine quotes also Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche who is said to be “concerned about sexual abuse at monasteries”:

“I think this is something we should look at …” “It’s very important that people don’t forget: Buddhism and Buddhist are two different entities. Buddhism is perfect.”

Read More http://www.details.com/culture-trends/critical-eye/201208/leaving-om-new-buddhist-lifestyle?printable=true#ixzz21opmGz8Z

See Also

  Last edited by tenpel on May 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Comments

  1. yeshe vajra says:

    It is well known that sexual abuse happened in the monasteries of Tibet but many things were kept hidden, and not talked about due to the influence of power, prestige and position. If one is from a poor family and one gets the good fortune of studying in a monastery, then one was truly blessed. If even the child reported said abuse, the parents wanting the best education naturally choose to hush the incidents/abuse for the greater good (albeit smacking of family gain!).
    Additionally, with the power gradient in favour of those who hold on to institutional power (dynamics-the monasteries as power base), widespread abuse as rule of practice would never be brought up and those same practices would persist in the absence of some type of therapy to bring forth the issues. Romantic Buddhism, as part and parcel of that false sense of equity that it is alleged is part of Buddhism become propped up and the result is what is seen today.
    Now spiritual materialism (Chogyam Trungpa) has become the modus operandi of skillfull means in search of survival, hegemony and indecent exposure using Buddhism as another tool in the spiritual universe.
    om svasti siddham

    • From the way you phrase your comment, I detect a certain amount of chogyam trungpa ( spiritual materialism) Either you haven’t taken your pills or you’ve had too many
      Om svasti yehudi Menuhin

    • I cannot really follow, yeshe vajra …

      • NO NAME says:

        I’m afraid that’s because the macaroncally named Yeshe Vajra is not making a coherent point.
        If you e got something to say YV, say it clearly and make sure it’s intelligible- your comment is a pot pourri of ideas, phrases and prejudices, all thrown together in a random order. It has the appearance of being driven by a wish to be noticed rather than to make any useful, valid point and is reminiscent of contributions made here by some rather disturbed individuals. Could it be we have a troll on our hands?

        • not necessarily a troll. sometimes people can’t express themselves better …

          • No Name, I think you’re being a little harsh on Yeshe Vajra. I think s/he is no native English speaker, which makes the comment less easy to understand as a comment written by a native speaker. Apart from that, it’s quite obvious what s/he wants to express: There is and has been child abuse in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries (as well as there is and was child abuse in Western reiligious institutions.). This abuse has been hushed up in many cases due to the same reasons child abuse in religious institutions is hushed up anywhere in the world. It goes on, because it is still rarely talked about openly and is even less followed by consequences for the perpetrators who use romantiised clichés of Buddhism to cover up for themselves. I’m not sure what the last sentence means which I ascribe to the non-native speaker issue. Yet, I don’t see any reason for attacking Yeshe Vajra the way you did. Though her/his contribution might not be particularly inventive or well ordered and written, at least it doesn’t contain so many unfriendly and even derisive phrases as your two comments do, nor does s(he ask personally insulting questions concerning pills, insinuating the other person has severe mental problems. I personally found that bit with the pills a little rude, especially since you wondered whether Yeshe Vajra is a troll or not – asking questions like the one you did could well be interpreted as troll behaviour, don’t you think so?

            • Yes, I agree no name was harsh on Yeshe.

            • Now spiritual materialism (Chogyam Trungpa) has become the modus operandi of skillfull means in search of survival, hegemony and indecent exposure using Buddhism as another tool in the spiritual universe.
              om svasti siddham

              You’re right, this is not troll language- its conspiracy theory, imagining a huge sexually abusing corporate beast hiding under the desks of monastic business moguls intent on preserving their image of purity for the purpose of profit and reputation
              It’s worse than trolling
              As for the sign off, pseudo spiritual Sanskrit,it’s an attempt to establish the authors own spiritual superiority, spiritual materialist language at its worst
              I wonder if Barbara defends YV simply because she/ he feels he / she has also fallen prey to this imaginary beast?
              Point is, there’s no organised policy of sexual abuse in monasteries, any more than there is one in the state school system. Such incidents are neither the norm nor are they considered acceptable. And they should certainly not be used as a pretext for attacking the whole of the monastic community or the world of spirituality
              Righteous indignation at an invented enemy, contempt and aloofness towards the system end that have produced generation after generation of enlightened masters is what I see. You’re right, ‘troll’ was far too simplistic a label to apply. YV is a far more complex phenomenon

              • I agree that the comment was far too generalising – and I didn’t understand the last sentence at all.
                However, criticism can be expressed frankly and politely. Scathing or sarcastic comments, polemics or cynicism won’t help any debate.
                We had this discussion already in the past: please be kind and polite even if you disagree strongly. Thank you!

                • Btw, just for the record, because the post reports about young tulkus in the West… Though Jamgong Kongtrul the fourth was raised in Nepal, he just announced his disrobing on Facebook and that he left the lab rang in April already. He wants to become a medical doctor.

                  Serkong Tulku also disrobed already a while ago, but I think he is still studying… In Switzerland I read an honest interview with the official recognised Tulku of Shantideva in 2005. It gave a clear insight into the hard struggles or friction of Tibetan tulkus between traditional Tibetan society and its huge expectations towards them and modernity.

                  Those things should be investigated fairly, honestly, with good intentions and based on a good understanding of their backgrounds. There are so many factors to be considered.

                  However, HHDL, as well as Dagyab Rinpoche and others such as former Tibetan exile prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche called different times to cease or burry this system. But for the monasteries, labrangs and the administrative instituts of the respective traditions this seems not to be appealing …

                • Little boxes on the hillside
                  Little boxes made of ticky tacky
                  Little boxes on the hillside
                  Little boxes all the same

                  There’s a pink one and a green one
                  And a blue one and a yellow one
                  And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
                  And they all look just the same

                  And the people in the houses
                  All went to the university
                  Where they were put in boxes
                  And they came out all the same

                  And there’s doctors and lawyers
                  And business executives
                  And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
                  And they all look just the same

                  And they all play on the golf course
                  And drink their martinis dry
                  And they all have pretty children
                  And the children go to school

                  And the children go to summer camp
                  And then to the university
                  Where they are put in boxes
                  And they come out all the same

                  And the boys go into business
                  And marry and raise a family
                  In boxes made of ticky tacky
                  And they all look just the same

                  Then there are others who become Buddhist
                  And they all learn how to be calm and nice
                  Then they abandon individuality
                  And they all look just the same

                  There’s a pink one and a green one
                  And a blue one and a yellow one
                  And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
                  And they all look just the same

              • No Name, to answer your question (“I wonder if Barbara defends YV simply because she/ he feels he / she has also fallen prey to this imaginary beast?”): No, that’s not the case. I simply didn’t like the condescendence of your language and the lack of compassion it shows. As I far as I understood Yeshe Vajras comment, s/he did not talk about ORGANISED child abuse, so where do you get that from? Once again, you’re working with insinuations and innuendo. I wonder why you feel the need to behave this way, Don’t you realise that your contemptuous way of criticizing and exposing others reveals more about yourself than it does about the ones who are at the receiving end of your words?

                • While I agree that “no name” has a tendency of being highly judgmental, condemning and that he can put down people very harshly, it is also the case that often he has a point too. I have asked different times “no name” (also via email) in the past to be more polite and not putting down people here on the blog or in the comment section. I appreciate your comment and your reminder here, Barbara.

                  However, coming back to the comment by Yeshe Vajra, don’t you think that this claim “widespread abuse as rule of practice would never be brought up and those same practices would persist in the absence of some type of therapy to bring forth the issues. Romantic Buddhism, as part and parcel of that false sense of equity that it is alleged is part of Buddhism become propped up” is not far too generalising? And how is it backed up with any evidence? Nobody denies that abuse happens or happened but “widespread as rule of practice”? And are all those who can see the qualities of Tibetan Buddhism and deeply appreciate it, part of a “Romantic Buddhism” movement?

                  (I don’t understand the meaning of “propped up” …)

                • ” Don’t you realise that your contemptuous way of criticizing and exposing others reveals more about yourself than it does about the ones who are at the receiving end of your words?”
                  One of the things I note about many western Buddhists and some in the east as well is how they use the dharma as a basis for criticising and condemning others, telling them what to do rather than looking at themselves. your posts are very fine examples of this.
                  The dharma is a mirror with which we should examine ourselves, not a tick list for forming negative character evaluations of others
                  Don’t worry J ‘ Barbara’, you’ll get used to it.. I hate to surprise you but we are all different. Sometimes, what appears as compassion is intense spiritual ego, while what appears to be negative and wrong can be the good in disguise- until we’re enlightened we just can’t know.
                  In the meantime it’s best to stick to using the dharma for judging oneself, not using it as a little rule book wihich we use to tell others off with, while simultaneously surreptitiously asserting our own superiority
                  No animosity- a genuine comment with a smile and a sigh
                  We are all different and all learn and progress in our own way- thanks for your advice but I will stick to being natural- can’t please everyone all the time

                  • The dharma is a mirror with which we should examine ourselves, not a tick list for forming negative character evaluations of others…

                    Isn’t this what you do also (at times), »negative character evaluations of others«?

                    Your very answer to Barbara is exactly that, a »negative character evaluation« of Barbara, because you portray Barbara as a negative character. According to you she has these faults:
                    1) she uses Dharma as basis to condemn and criticise others, telling them what to do
                    2) she doesn’t use Dharma to examine herself, but uses it as a »a tick list for forming negative character evaluations of others«
                    3) she is ignorant because she can’t recognise (your!) »good in disguise«
                    4) she is surreptitiously asserting her own superiority

                    Barbara’s criticism is very explicit »I simply didn’t like the condescendence of your language and the lack of compassion it shows.«, though it is phrased as a fact and not as her personal judgment (but you also state your judgements about her and others as facts).

                    Barbara does the same as you do as far as I can see, however, she is not the only one who felt about your writings / tone as she expressed it here. We had this discussions different times in the past already…

                    Though I can’t read your nor Barbara’s mind, I wonder if these four points you issue against Barbara don’t fall right back on you?

                    I guess, because you think you do »good in disguise« it is different but how do you know that Barbara doesn’t do »good in disguise« also, and therefore is doing exactly the same as you do, thinking its justified and correct?
                    Do you know Barbara’s mind? »… – until we’re enlightened we just can’t know.«

                    • I think you’ll find I don’t use the dharma as my checklist for formulating criticisms- I’m just critical!
                      Sometimes I think you overthink things Tenzin. Just because people don’t fit projected stereotypes of ‘spiritual’ doesn’t mean they’re not practicing. There are 84000 teachings because we are all individuals and what’s right for one of us is poison for another
                      Your listing of what you perceive to be my criticisms and bouncing it back at me is exactly the sort of response one gets in dharma centres when i raise my point- it’s the two wrongs don’t make a right argument. However, what if I’m not wrong.p? What if my evaluation is correct. Does the fact that I’m also doing the same make my criticism wrong ? I think not
                      Anyway, my main point is I don’t use the dharma as my criteria for criticism – I’m just critical from my own perspective- if that accords with dharma, so be it!
                      Dharma is not for telling others how to act; its for regulating ones own behaviour
                      I wonder what you’d say if the Buddha said that? Oh he did!

                    • Ram Das used to tells a story about his mentally ill brother and about how we are all crazy
                      He recounts how he walked into a room to find, on one side of the table his brother, and on the other side a man who thought he was a psychiatrist
                      This is your page Tenzin sSo you have final say but I would ask you to question your view of yourself as the person who holds the correct view and uses the page to correct the views and words of others
                      You might be right some of the time, you might even be right most of the time but I’m pretty sure you’d agree that you can’t be right all of the time.
                      Always correcting others, even where they may not be at fault, can lead to all sorts of problems, perhaps foremost among them being it prevents one from understanding others or learning from them.
                      I have the greatest respect for you and your ordination. But we are not all carbon copies and we each have our own way. For you, for instance, your celibacy may be an expression of renunciation; for others it might be an expression of deep seated disturbed thoughtpoint is we are all different and if the way someone behaves doesn’t always fit our world view, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong- they’re just different.
                      Some years ago, I had a colleague who continuously told me what was wrong with me, and what I needed to do to be ‘better’. ( something none of my gurus has ever done)I broke off the friendship because I realised this giving instructions and correcting others was his way of not looking at himself, as well as reinforcing his sense of spiritual superiority. To this day, he continues to surround himself with. Younger, inexperienced people, who see him as some kind of guru. Funny thing is,noes done no real practice down the years, just told others what he/ the Buddha thinks.
                      There but for the grace of God….
                      I was critical of YV because he attacked the institutions of the Sangha Jewel by claiming that it was run by a corporate sexually abusing beast – I consider my response correct. A little rude perhaps but correct. Barbara then gave me a lecture on how ‘ undharmic” my behaviour was. My response? Look at yourself and don’t use Dharma to tell others how to be- I think that’s correctcorrect.
                      Now I get, well why don’t you apply the same principles to yourself. I DO! In fact I’ve been applying the dharma to my continuum since you were twelve years old. So how about giving me the benefit of the doubt for once?

                • BTW, Barbara, I would also appreciate an answer to my question about the generalising comment by YV and the lack of evidence to support such a generalising claim …

                  • Dear Tenpel,
                    you asked me to comment on the validity of Yeshe Vajra’s claim. I’ll do that, but please let me first explain that in my first post, I simply tried to SUM UP (sorry for the capitals, I don’t mean to yell and would have preferred italics…) the content of her/his comment as far as I understood it. And of course I don’t think that “all those who can see the qualities of Tibetan Buddhism and deeply appreciate it, [are] part of a ‘Romantic Buddhism’ movement”, as you put it. I wrote that it is ” the perpetrators who use romanticised clichés of Buddhism to cover up for themselves” – once again, this is how I understood the comment, and it doesn’t neccessarily reflect my own personal point of view nor does it mean that I’m supporting the claims Yeshe Vajra made. It goes without saying that such claims should not be presented as facts as long as they can’t be validated with solid evidence, and yes, you’re right, her/his claims are generalising, I totally agree on that, and the last sentence is quite cryptic, I agree on that, too. But as you yourself wrote, “scathing or sarcastic comments, polemics or cynicism won’t help any debate”. That’s what I felt, too, when I read No Name’s comments, and that’s why I commented on them instead of Yeshe Vajra’s comment.
                    Concerning your remark about me presenting my personal judgement on No Name’s language as a fact – perhaps I should have written explicitely that IN MY OPINION No Name’s language sounds condescendent and shows lack of compassion, ok, that wasn’t very precise of me. Yet on the other hand, Tenpel, so sorry, but telling someone that “either you haven’t taken your pills or you’ve had too many” IS condescendent and definitely shows lack of compassion because it’s plainly defaming, and I think there’s no way denying that. However, I think I didn’t write anything that could be read as a judgement on No Name’s character, negatively or otherwise, nor did I give any advice or told anybody what to do (at least that’s what I feel, and if you think otherwise, please let me know so I can clarify these points). I asked questions and stated my assessment of his behaviour towards others, his language and the rhetorical devices he is using, using phrases like “I think” or “I personally found” to make clear that what I’m stating is my personal impression. If I didn’t make that clear enough or sounded patronizing, I apologize for that, it wasn’t my intention.
                    Still I’m puzzled why you, No Name, are reacting so strongly to what I wrote, accusing me of using the Dharma as ” a basis for criticising and condemning others” and as a “tick list for forming negative character evaluations of others”. I was simply criticising your way to criticise other people’s comments, for God’s sake, so what makes you think I was evaluating your character by that? And why do you feel the need to tell me things like “we are all different” – now, that was BIG news for me! – or to give me the advice to not to use the Dharma as a “as a little rule book wihich we use to tell others off with, while simultaneously surreptitiously asserting our own superiority”? Dear No Name, thanks for giving me advice on how to use the Dharma, but I didn’t ask for it. And by the way, how do you know that I’m using the Dharma for anything at all, good or bad? Just because I’m commenting on a Buddhist site? For all you know, I could have a Christian, Jewish or Muslim background, or no spiritual background at all, if it comes to that. You see, I think this shows you’re acting (and judging) on the basis of mere assumptions which unfortunately means your arguments are built on sand. And where did I “tell you off”? How did I assert my “own superiority”, surreptitiously or openly? Was it that I dared not liking your use of language and saying so? Please clarify, and please do it on the basis of what I actually wrote and not on the basis of what you think is going on in my head. I’m sorry, No Name, but the first thing that came to my mind when I read your latest post was a quote from the bible, the one with the speck of sawdust and the plank. So please stop patronizing me and take a look in the mirror you’ve spoken of.

                  • No Name, you said:

                    “However, what if I’m not wrong.p? What if my evaluation is correct.”

                    What if everyone you have ever debated with on this website is right? What if Barbara’s evaluation is correct? What if all of mine were in our previous discussions? I highly doubt you’d ever admit to that.

                    “Always correcting others, even where they may not be at fault, can lead to all sorts of problems, perhaps foremost among them being it prevents one from understanding others or learning from them.”

                    Isn’t that exactly what you do? And furthermore, isn’t that ALL you do on this blog? Your ‘No Name’ character is a rather sickeningly self-righteous and hypocritical one, albeit with a notable background in Buddhist knowledge. Hopefully you yourself are different from the character you put on here.

                    • And so on, ad infiinitum
                      There’s nothing quite like watching people spend all day quarreling on the internet, unable to accept that someone has a different point of view to them. It reflects a deeply narcissistic belief that not only should everyone think the same way as them, but that they can make them do so.
                      I am very happy with who I am Maik and Barbara- however, if I ever need advice on how to be I will look you both up
                      Not

  2. I updated the post by adding a new link to a Facebook post by Dzongzar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche “Time for radical change in how we raise our tulkus” which is also a reply to Facebook statements by the 4th Jamgong Kongrul Rinpoche who resigned from his position and announced to become a medical doctor: https://www.facebook.com/djkhyentse/posts/1475606565798153

    Yangsi Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche’s statements on FB regarding his stepping down were deleted.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Four Young Tulkus In The West – Details About What Happened To Kalu Rinpoche 2012/07/27 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: