A Warning Letter from Lama Ole Nydahl: Don’t Mix Tantric Methods and Teachers

Dearest Diamond Way students and friends,

A few words of timely advice:

I understand that many of you, who haven’t had the Phowa practice yet, are now looking to receive this timeless experience.

Recently, at the great initiation of Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche’s monastery in Nepal, I spoke to Dupsing Rinpoche whom I didn’t know but who had apparently been contacting our Diamond Way centres and offering his teachings, among them Phowa. I told him that our strength lies in the fact that we only take teachers who have been sent directly by Karmapa. Furthermore, he agreed that there are many Phowa-lineages and promised that to avoid confusion he will never mix into our Diamond Way practices and centres but instead do his own work.

Our Diamond Way centres should stay with our transmission as blessed by the 16th Karmapa, who always stopped any mistakes on the tantra-level. Concerning Phowa, our method is the Drikung-Kagyu practice given by Ayang Tulku to Hannah and me in the presence of the 16th Karmapa in Rumtek, Sikkim in 1972 with the wish that I should teach it to our many friends. This was also requested and blessed later by Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche and many of our highest lamas. Handled like this, it has brought perfect results to at least a hundred-and-twenty-thousand students so far.

Even If Dupsing Rinpoche or anybody else may have a similar text to the one we are using, it is not the same living transmission. Our observation and experience and – more importantly – that of our great Karma Kagyu lamas Hannah and I learnt from over the last 45 years, warn all students against mixing deep and tantric methods and teachers.

Tibetans never mix practices from different lamas and Vajrayana transmissions, even if they have the same lineage-lama and use the same texts; this is because it is known to lead to unending and fruitless discussions rather than a deep inner growth and lasting experience.

I therefore advice strongly against bringing confusion into our practices by taking tantric methods from teachers not sent to our DW centres by Karmapa. There will certainly be enough people for good and hard working lamas to create their own centres and organisations upholding their own methods.

Most Venerable Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and myself advise our Diamond Way students eager to learn Phowa to begin with the preparation which has been so effective in the past: please do at least half a million OM AMI DEWA HRIHmantras. Meditating on the Red Buddha over your heads, you will receive the blessing of the pure land and our noble lineage. Furthermore, as the great 16th Karmapa often stated, our main practices remain the Ngöndro and the exciting Karmapa meditations leading to the Great Seal teachings of full enlightenment. Over the centuries this created timeless human growth.

For the basic and fundamental teachings leading to Phowa we have several hundred qualified Diamond Way teachers and I aim to give Phowa courses as soon as possible again. Therefore, if you start the OM AMI DEWA HRIH mantras and continue polishing the floor with your prostrations I shall give the practice when conditions come together. Joining in the stream of awareness already created, your results will be powerful and connected to modern life.

Countless best wishes and may we meet soon again.

Long Live our noble Karma Kagyu lineage!

Yours, Lama Ole

P.S. The focus on and deep practice of one method at a time is what brings lasting results.

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A brief commentary by the person who leaked the letter

Dupsing Rinpoche is a Karma Kagyu lama following – just like Ole – Thrinle Thaye Dorje as Karmapa. Dupsing Rinpoche is one of my teachers, so I know him quite well.

He did not contact Ole’s centers, in fact – to my best knowledge – Ole’s German students contacted Dupsing Rinpoche and requested him to give teachings (though not within Ole’s facilities). Ole wants to keep total control of his group but does not have enough courage to make this clear, so instead of telling things like they are, he spins stories such as those in this letter. Of course anyone who has studied with Tibetans will know that what Ole says there is non-sense, but his students never had a chance to personally study with Tibetan teachers, they only attend public lectures and empowerments given by the teacher whom Ole personally invited and whom he kind of oversees.

This being so his students have no knowledge on how Tibetans conduct themselves when it comes to Dharma and think of sectarianism as being not only norm, but also a requirement.

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Comments

  1. To gain control over the mind of your followers, that is what some “Lamas” try to apply.

    This is very different to “work with the students mind”.

    I have experencied such trials as long as I was a Rigpa-student of ESLF
    (Eldest Son of Lakhar Family).

    What I saw was that most of the students didnt stay for longer. In the local groups I knew was the flucuation very high.
    After 5 years the personnel and the followers had been completely different people, and so after the next five years, and then afters the next five years.
    So the efforts made to keep people staying was reinforced, more manipulation, more promising promos, more nice pictures of smiling happy people.

    To have a look from a certain distance back, all this actions seems to me quite questionable, since there are very few students learn in sustainable ways, instead becoming Dharmaresistant through abusive patterns, applied from both sides, teachers and students.

    • So Drikung Kagyu is okay, but Karma Kagyu is not? Sorry, Ole, you lost me there, I guess I just don’t have a karmic connection. Ayang Rinpoche teaches TWO phowas, one Drikung, and one Nyingma. I like Ole in general, but this just sounds like “it’s important that I’m in charge.”

    • Dave Djinpa says:

      I think what Ole is doing is his old game to keep the doors closed for any other teacher and teaching he has not received until now. I know Ole since 1978. And the above mentioned Ayang Powa transmission, this is Drikung Kagyü. Ayang and Ole had a controversy at that historical time he was teaching powa in Germany. That was early 80’s. Ole did push out Ayang for reasons of following mainly the Drikung lineage and not the Karma Kamtsang lineage. If he now sticks to this Drikung text after the trouble this is bizarr. After the controversy with Ayang and Ole, Ayang Rinpoche was not seeing again in Germany. So what he really want is, absolute control about the Diamond Way. Of course you can take other transmissions from other masters and other lineages. This is no contradiction. What I have seen is, Ole pupils develop a sense of paranoia about other teachers, teachings and lineages, like, they are just plotting the next conspiracy to take over Diamond Way. This gives rise to hostile feelings about other teachers and teachings. Luckily I have studied 5 years higher Buddhist fields of knowledge in KIBI, and have done traditional 3 year retreat. So this thought of learning he is going to publish is not part of any type of Buddhism I came into touch. I can lean back and laugh about this warning which is self-serving and misleading the public in large. He should disclose his real motivation about it. Sorry Ole no good job this time! Time for change. With best wishes for all. Dave

  2. This thing again points to a deeper problem within the export of Tibetan cultures to the West. It too points to a problem that not only people like like Ole have. That problem is absent knowledge about how the historical process functions. Especially it is about the believe that there is an essence which is transported from the Tibetan Plateau to the West. Most people practicing Buddhism (not only Tibetan) have this problem. The fight against mixing things is futile and ridiculous. Basically it is reactionary and politically deeply conservative. The least thing people should do is to look for advice with persons like Christoph Spitz who recently dissociated himself from the Tibetan Center in Hamburg because this center being of the same kind as the cult of Ole: deeply a-historic and reactionary.

    • Why not considering it the other way around too: “This thing again points to a deeper problem within the export of Western cultures and problems into Indo-Tibetan Buddhism”? Always pointing to the other side might not really help and cannot explain the complex arising of such things. Ole is a Westerner and the Diamond Way – one of the largest German Western Buddhist organisations (the Asian Buddhist community in Germany is larger) – as well as their poor education in terms of Buddhism, is primarily a Western and not a Tibetan phenomenon or has Ole Nydahl any Tibetan followers?

      Westerners being proud of their enlightenment but being grown up under capitalist ideals of self-optimization, self-realization, competition, fault finding, lacking often self-esteem, tending to be narcissistic, longing to belong to a party / a brand / to an elitist group, longing for identity with something better, higher than they often regard themselves etc. are prone to such elitist, sectarian groups that offer identity with a “higher,” “wiser,” elitist-self.

      I didn’t hear or read that Christof said the Tibetan Center in Hamburg “being of the same kind as the cult of Ole: deeply a-historic and reactionary.” However, it seems to be a matter of fact that the centre circles now around Geshe Pema Samten and the idea of different visiting guest teachers and Geshe Pema Samten being one of many as well as the very open approach of the centre has been dropped.

      I agree that one of the key problems in all of this is the grasping to an essence and the absence of knowledge about how the historical process functions. But there are more causes like, for instance, the overemphasising of the guru which makes the wish to be a guru a desirable goal for weak and narcissistic selves. From the pov of a person with a narcissist personality disorder what could there be better in the world than being a guru: always being admired, the centre of attention, never being criticised, people at your service, always in praise of you …?

      • Hi Tenpel,

        I did not mean to “point to the other side”. I mean the process which, of course, involves all sides.

        Regarding the problem of narcissism you mention, this problem has been topic for several years now in the non-buddhism discussions.

        What happened in Hamburg seems to be of the same order as what is happening within the Diamond Sangha. It is about power, narcissistic leaders and a stark misrepresentation of Mahayana philosophy.

        • Hi Matthias,
          thank you.

          Then I guess I misunderstood you. Over the last weeks a lot of people posted here denouncing Indo-Tibetan Buddhism altogether – which I feel to be very unfair. My approach is to start from dependent arising and to really understand the phenomenon under investigation first, seeing all sides, considering cultural aspects, different values etc.

          With respect to Hamburg. According to the information I got and putting different stories together, Hamburg reminded me a bit on the early years of Kelsang Gyatso at Manjushri Centre (Kelsang had a great interest in the running of the centre and was able to gradually remove all people not in line with his own interests, including the other Geshes teaching there). Yes, it seems its about power. And it looks like its not a good direction they are taking. It seems to become a lama centred Centre and it seems they are gradually loosing all the good qualities they once had – including their openness. So many good people have left the centre … really tragic!

          • Hi Tenpel,

            I never would “denounce Indo-Tibetan Buddhism altogether.” The non-buddhist critique is aiming very much at the arrogant side of Westerners who are unaware of their own restrictions in identifying the meaning of the heritage of other cultures.

            Let’s hope a more (self) critical approach is in the becoming. I think some very slight traces in this direction are detectable. But I am not so sure because I do not watch the scene closely at the moment. On the other side one can also see that the kitsch-side of the reception of Buddhism in the West is still rising….

            • Hi Matthias,
              thank you, “the arrogant side of Westerners who are unaware of their own restrictions in identifying the meaning of the heritage of other cultures”.
              This sounds very good to me ;-)

              “the kitsch-side of the reception of Buddhism in the West is still rising…” can you give me an example?

      • I have met Ole a couple of times and have close friends who are deeply into DWB. I have a ton of reservations about the organisation and about Ole. But the warning letter posted here doesn’t seem to me threatening or wrong. Is it because he is stressing students not to mix tantric masters and just stick with one? In Vajrayana this sentiment can be found throughout the ages, I don’t really see how this advice is anything new. Having said that, the prospect of a student feeling they need to stick with Ole is slightly alarming.

        I’m not convinced this is a Western problem. You have previously discussed about Tibetan teachers such as Sogyal Rinpoche and Geshe Kelsang whom you also describe as narcissistic, self-inflated, etc. There are similar stories told in the East.

        As for DWB followers, my own experience of them is mixed. I agree with you that there seems to be a lack of background/depth in their teachings and books. On the other hand, many of them seem to be very knowledgeable, dedicated Buddhists, often doing courses in Nepal, studying under other teachers, etc. They take their Mahamudra preliminaries very seriously and often have a steady, daily personal practice.

        At the end, the real problem with DWB is straight-up racism and the strange attempt to back up bigotry with the doctrine of karma.

        • I wrote you a detailed answer but lost it due to that my computer shut down for an update … that’s why now only a brief not so detailed quick reply.

          The “sentiment” of “not mixing” is not based on the Dharma if you investigate more closely. Traditions are a bunch of different lineages and are also not static or unchanging. There is no final essence to any tradition (or Dharma) either and different practices or transmissions were added later to traditions, they change over time. Moreover, an individual practitioner has the choice to include other practices from other traditions or lineages into his own daily practice. Having different tantric teachers or different tantric lineages is not a problem in general. When it comes to practice you just stick with the respective lineage and its instruction. The Mahayana Sutras clearly state that a Bodhisattva seeks, practices, transmits, gives all of the Dharmas there are in all the universes in order to help sentient beings. There is no talk in the scriptures to avoid genuine Dharma or to avoid genuine teachers if it is beneficial for you or others. Different Dharma practices can be combined and mutually complement or support each other. Gampopa combined the Lojong instructions of his Kadam masters with the Mahamudra instructions of Milarepa and Gampopa transmitted both to his students. Tsongkhapa recommended the combination of three different tantas (with three different lineages), Heruka, Yamantaka and Guhyasamaja. The more detailed instructions on the completion stage of Guhyasamaja can be combined with the other tantras etc …

          For the sake of differentiating this topic, here some quotes from Jamgon Kongtrul, a great and important lineage master of the Kagyue school, which Ole claims to present:

          A wise person will have faith in the teachings of all orders, will love the Dharma found in each just as a mother cherishes all her children. A wise person’s mind is vast like the sky, with room for many teachings, many insights, many meditations. But the mind of an ignorant sectarian is limited, tight, and narrow like a vase that can only hold so much. It is difficult for such a mind to grow in Dharma because of its self-imposed limitations. The difference between the wise Buddhist and the sectarian Buddhist is like that between the vastness of space and the narrowness of a vase.
          — Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

          Just as a king overpowered by self-interest
          Is not worthy of being the protector of the kingdom,
          A sectarian person is not worthy of being a holder of the dharma.
          Not only that, he is unworthy of upholding even his own tradition.
          — Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

          The noble ones share a single ultimate view, but arrogant ones bend that to their own interests. Those who show all the teachings of the Buddha as without contradiction can be considered learned people. But who would be foolish enough to think that those who cause discord are holders of the dharma?
          — Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

          The scholars and siddhas of the various schools make their own individual presentations of the dharma. Each one is full of strong points and supported by valid reasoning. If you are well grounded in the presentations of your own tradition, then it is unnecessary to be sectarian. But if you get mixed up about the various tenets and the terminology, then you lack even a foothold in your own tradition. You try to use someone else’s system to support your understanding, and then get all tangled up, like a bad weaver, concerning the view, meditation, conduct, and result. Unless you have certainty in your own system, you cannot use reasoning to support your scriptures, and you cannot challenge the assertions of others. You become a laughing stock in the eyes of the learned ones. It would be much better to possess a clear understanding of your own tradition.

          In summary, one must see all the teachings as without contradiction, and consider all the scriptures as instructions. This will cause the root of sectarianism and prejudice to dry up, and give you a firm foundation in the Buddhas teachings. At that point, hundreds of doors to the eighty-four thousand teachings of the dharma will simultaneously be open to you.
          — Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

          I agree with that they are really keen in practicing the Ngöndros and to accomplish them. Very diligent! I am not so sure how many knowledgeable people they have. It might be mixed (as your experience is mixed) based on variety. However, the tiny bit I read in their magazine “Buddhismus heute” or what I heard from people who were at their centres or people who listened to Ole’s talk or Ole’s own appearance in the TV, there was not much of a substance in knowledge. At one point I read one of their articles about the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions by a “travel teacher” in their magazine “Buddhismus heute”. The article was awful and expressed a lack of knowledge and sectarianism: only with Diamond Way you can achieve Buddhahood in one life time, the Gelugpas only study and don’t meditate – with the Sakyas there was another problem (too much debate or so when I remember correctly) … However, such weaknesses don’t deny that there are not also some knowledgeable people but they seem not have to brought the DW on a good level.

          Last year or so, I remember, Ayang Rinpoche was not too critical with Ole / DW and saw use in their activities. (Maybe he referred more to the Phowa lineage he transmitted to Ole.)

          I agree with the last sentence.

          • Yes that is true, Ole has invented a kind of myth about the different Buddhist schools: the Nyingma have a problem with anger or aggression, so their practice is aimed at transforming that; the Sakya are too proud; the Kagyü have an issue with desirous attachment and are therefore very affectionate with each other (…) and the Gelugs are intellectuals, which is why they only study and debate. The Kagyüs meditate the most.

            A very odd idea. The bulk of most of Ole’s talks (and Tomek, etc) has little to do with Buddhism and consists more of his thoughts, opinions and feelings about Buddhism, politics, Muslims and women.

          • “Tibetans never mix practices from different lamas and Vajrayana transmissions, even if they have the same lineage-lama and use the same texts; this is because it is known to lead to unending and fruitless discussions rather than a deep inner growth and lasting experience.”

            I have practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1978 and have never heard this. It is clearly self serving rubbish. This looks suspiciously like a tibetan trying to fill the spiritual void left by the passing of the Shamar Rinpoche, in the hope that an already misguided group should not stray further from the truth on Oles passing. Power games, in both directions.

          • To come back to the ‘Warning letter’ from Ole above, I just came across this and thought it might be useful as a comparison.

            HH XIV Dalai Lama:

            “If you have a special connection with the Sakya lineage and Vajrayogini then it’s okay to do that practice. But if you are a Gelugpa practitioner you must do Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, and Yamantaka and follow Tsongkhapa’s works.”

            To me this is similar advice: the student is advised to stick to the teachings within his lineage. If we look at the Warning Letter in isolation (disregarding Ole’s other facets), it doesn’t appear to be radically different from what other teachers might advise.

            • No, there is a huge difference in what HHDL says, because he hints karmic relations which give space for individuality, space to deviant behaviour from the norm to stick to the lineage. And if you read the comment by the person who leaked the letter, the letter by Ole must be seen in context to keep control over his students and by misinforming them in order to keep that control. Whoever knows the writings and teachings of the Dalai Lama knows how much nuanced he is, this cannot be really compared to the rough black and white and uninformed character of Ole Nydahl and his writings. And then also the quote you gave from the Dalai Lama: it must be seen in context! I know a person who studied for years in a monastery of the Gelug school but had a closer connection to the Nyingmas. This monk sought the advice of HHDL and HHDL advised him to change to a Nyingma monastery and to study there.

              • Thanks for your reply. I don’t doubt your points at all and agree that HHDL is far more nuanced than Mr Nydahl and indeed there is no point to even compare the two. My motive was to show just the words black on white and see how similar they are. Aside from my oppinions about Nydahl and DW, I also do not want to taint the evidence with my opinions or by sweeping conclusions.

                In other words, I suppose for a “good DW Buddhist” with good intentions, Ole’s letter may seem rather normal within a Buddhist context.

      • dharmaanarchist says:

        Maybe this this tendency of my group is right/your group is questionable attitude in westerners comes from our Christian heritage.

        Where a lot of interpretations of the Christian teachings were competing with each other to be the “only valid” truth. Where you were either catholic or protestant, or a hutterer, or a quaker, or a this or that and all of those claimed to be the only true Christianity and you are either exclusively one or the other

        • Maybe this this tendency of my group is right/your group is questionable attitude in westerners comes from our Christian heritage.

          This is not my attitude.

          Where a lot of interpretations of the Christian teachings were competing with each other to be the “only valid” truth. Where you were either catholic or protestant, or a hutterer, or a quaker, or a this or that and all of those claimed to be the only true Christianity and you are either exclusively one or the other

          This might be a motive for some but not for me.

          —–

          The point for me is that it is a matter of fairness and care (having the spiritual, emotional and also material welfare of Buddhist newcomers in mind) to provide also critical information so that any newly interested person in Buddhism has a fair chance to make up his or her mind before they commit to any Buddhist group. If they disregard or ignore it, this is their business and what follows based on having read the information is their own responsibility and a matter of their taking care of themselves.

          When I encountered Buddhism I doubted the Buddhist group (NKT) and its German representative (Gen Kelsang Dechen) who skilfully manipulated me to see her as “your teacher”. My friends and gut feelings warned me and I indeed followed the doubts they raised in me and tried to find out if there are any controversies regarding the group. I went to the cult information centre of the Senate of Berlin: they had no controversial information about the group (this was in 1995/96). No Buddhist whatsoever spoke up or warned me to be careful. So based on 1) my lack of knowledge about Buddhism, 2) my naivety that a) what comes under the label of Buddhism is good, b) people who offer Buddhism are good people – no dangers on the wide horizon, 3) that there was no critical information available and no Buddhist spoke up, and 4) my Karma, I stepped into and finally totally committed to a very dangerous and sectarian group that really messed up my spiritual live (and that of others). The whole took me 10 years of my life (including the healing). Sparing any person something like this, is a great thing, I think.

          But for people to make up their mind before they commit to any group or at least to be cautious, critical information must be available. These groups have usually a great PR arm, a lot of money they spend to make people aware of themselves (glossy and media savvy flyers, websites, domain names …), and they don’t tell people about their controversial sides. (They have also their own people on Wikipedia who do all sorts of things to get criticism removed … [1], [2]). So, they dominate very often the public perception and appearance of their group – also using lawyers or legal threats to get critical information removed.

          If any person had informed me well when I was looking for to get critical information it would have spared my a lot of pain and trouble (including thoughts of suicide and deepest despair). Luckily my experience didn’t break me but at the end (after having been able to transform it) only enriched me; however, some people leave groups with an unhealthy structure or unhealthy teachers with a deep damage for the rest of their life and the damage might also have a bad influence for their future lives. To spare even a single person the pain I had – or anybody of my friends, or other initially open seeker had or still have – is worth the work. This is where I come from. This thought btw, was put into my mind by a person who left my own former cult. When he tried to downplay the damage we experienced, another more damaged person said a few sentences which expressed his deep mental pain. What he said was so powerful that the person who downplayed the damage got silent for a long time – being deeply touched. Then after a long time he said to me: “To spare even one person that experience, what a blessing.” OK, I got it. I had to do sth.

          So it is not about who is right or who is wrong but to share information people might need in order to get a better basis for making an informed decision.

          Thank you for your comment, which I see also as a reminder not to fall into this trap you hint in your comment.

          • I remember in 1976 when Kalou Rimpoche gave Mahakala Pernachen in Paris ,Kagyu Dzong Center, 24 rue Philippe Hecht….
            Ole received the bumpa benediction and then began shaking and showing his teeth, like in vaudou transe or something like : quite funy and ridiculous for the assistance…:-)
            In Plaige he was distributing to everybody the Karmapa guruyoga…
            So I modestly think that the XVI° Karmapa did maybe few mistakes :
            – Giving responsability to Ole who’s behaviour and teatchings are seen as limited and sectarians by many, even if approved by the Karmapa N°2 (Shamar one).
            -Giving his aprobation to Trungpa & his regent, With the alcoholized “crazy wisdom” & Aid’s scandal
            -Giving responsabilities to Sitou,Shamar,Gyaltsap,Kongtrul not seeing their lack of understanding of what to do keep their lineage safe…instead of fights at Rumtek,money laundering suits, and chinese political approval imbroglio in the reconizing of the “tulkus” in Pelpung area etc…
            A very sad story indeed, but all my most respectuous thoughts and confidence go to the late Pawo Rimpoché who was a sun in this dark age.

            • Well the fact is that Ole did not become “lama” until some 7-8 years after passing of 16th Karmapa, and he first started to officially use that title in early 1990’s. Also Karmapa did not appoint Situ, Shamar, Gyaltsab and Kongtrul, the comity of the 4 regents was formed only some time (I think 3 or 4 years) after Karmapa´s passing, so they basically gave responsibility to themselves. Trungpa was well out of control so I guess there was not much that could be done. Karmapa is not a boss of other lamas in a way that he could force upon them no to do certain actions. The AIDS scandal also happened in 80’s. Tendzin contracted HIV in 1986. I would not blame Karmapa for the things that happened after his death in 1981.

              Ole has quite a leverage over Shamarpa’s branch of Karma Kagyu. Even when Shamar Rinpoche was alive and allowed himself a liberty of openly criticizing Ole (though the basis for some of the criticism was misinformation on Shamar Rinpoche’s part), Ole threatened Shamarpa whom he claimed to be his teacher with lawsuit. When Khenpo Chodrag Rinpoche criticized Ole, he was pulled from his position as a director at KIBI. So Ole has money, he has lawyers, PR people etc. It is hardly possible for the Tibetans to do something about him. Also it is not a problem of Tibetans. Ole is a problem of Westerners. More people should speak out and expose his lies, sectarianism and manipulations. Or just plain use brains and not become his students, just because he is charismatic and says about himself how amazing he is. Basically is see Ole as Donald Trump of Tibetan Buddhism (incidentally they have same opinions on many topics as well as some speech mannerisms).

              • Thank you Petaaa. Thank you for this much needed differentiation!

                I received an email by a non-Buddhist. This person was asked to watch a livestreaman of Ole Nydahl during the Diamond Way Germany Congregation on 23rd March 16, 8:30 pm, at Kasseler Messezentrum. The person wrote that she was shocked about his slightly arrogant, nervous manner and his lack in concentration. But what shocked her more was that – according to her – Nydahl recommended to elect the right wing organisation Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), and Nydahl said that all people that come from countries with an islamic culture are uneducated, beat up their women and molest German women. According to her, nobody opposed Ole in any way when he said this.

                Later the day it came also to my mind while the NKT is a bit the Scientology of Buddhism (not in all respects), Ole might be a bit the Donald Trump of Buddhism (don’t know if in all respects).

                • I updated the details of this testimony in which the person reported about the “Deutschlandtreffen” of the Diamond Way at Kasseler Messezentrum on 23 March 2016. Is there anybody who saw it or who was present and who can confirm this? If yes, please send me an email or post here. Thank you. tenzin@gmx.org

                • Here is another testimony from the “Deutschlandtreffen” of Diamond Way with Ole Nydahl at Kasseler Messezentrum on 23 March 2016. Posted anonymously with permission from the writer who sent it via email:

                  I was on the “Deutschlandtreffen” the last weekend. Donald Trump of Buddhism might be a good description.

                  Quotes I remember:

                  Question from the audience: “When I watch the news I get a stomach ache about the way politicians are acting right now”
                  Lama Oles answer: “The only way out of that problem is to vote for AfD”

                  Another question from the audience was: “When we raise our voice against refugees, should we use our name or should we stay anonymous in order to protect us and our families”
                  Lama Oles answer: “If you live close to a camp for refugees you should not, because there might be people who translate your article or flyer for the refugees and then you are in trouble.”

                  Another quote: “If we don’t stop the refugees, they will become the majority here in Germany because they make many children and you only one or two. Their children will keep your children from learning the German culture and language. Maybe we won’t notice the facts of islamisation but our children surely will.”

                  At that point I left the room. The quotes are just what I remember by mind. I guess the Diamantweg-people didn’t upload that part on youtube or something. I hope I could help you!

                • Bernhard Labus says:

                  Does Your friend has a recording of this event?? – in partikular the recomenfing of AfD?

                  • No, there this person doesn’t have a recording of this event.

                    • It sounds like something he would say and I’m sure there will be some records of him saying it; he normally repeats the same stuff over and over again.

                      The problem is not his political views however; I think Buddhists often feel that they should lean to a more leftist approach, or they think Buddhism is only compatible with socialism. This is total nonsense of course, Buddhism transcends politics, is even anti-political to an extent. The problem is that Ole gives his political opinions as answers to spiritual questions, within a teacher-student context. It is more important for him that his audience hears his own pseudo-political thoughts rather than receiving actual dharma-related answers to their concerns.

              • Thank you Petaa for your explanations about some of Ole ways of acting vs other religious personalities of the Kagyu school, includind the late Shamar Rimpoche.
                I’m not surprised at all, but sad for the crowd loosing their time,money,and mind with him.
                Diamond way raised a lot of cash, and power too (mundane), and Shamar and his new recognized Karmapa were very friendly with Ole, thanking him officially for his “activity” during 40 years…
                http://www.lama-ole-nydahl.org/lama-ole/official-recognition/

                I don’t judge the XVI° Karmapa, i just try to understand if it’s not with a lack of clairvoyance that he enthroned Trungpa with the statement you can read here (1974 visit) :
                http://shambhalatimes.org/2013/06/15/beyond-the-shower-curtain/
                At the conclusion of his visit he issued a statement. It was entitled: “Proclamation to all Those Who Dwell Under the Sun Upholding the Tradition of the Spiritual and Temporal Orders.”

                It read as follows:

                The ancient and renowned lineage of the Trungpas, since the great siddha Trungmase Chokyi Gyamtso Lodro, possessor of only holy activity, has in every generation given rise to great beings. Awakened by the vision of these predecessors in the lineage, this my present lineage holder, Chokyi Gyamtso Trungpa Rinpoche, supreme incarnate being, has magnificently carried out the vajra holders discipline in the land of America, bringing about the liberation of students and ripening them in the dharma. This wonderful truth is clearly manifest.

                Accordingly, I empower Chogyam Trungpa Vajra Holder and Possessor of the Victory Banner of the Practice Lineage of the Karma Kagyu. Let this be recognized by all people of both elevated and ordinary station.

                Wonderfull tibetan proclamation, indeed.
                Ösel was entitled regent in april 1976, the last visit of the XVI° Karmapa in Boulder (para-military looking center) was in 1980.

                The sad and scandalous events you describe after the Kamapa’s death are obviously not his fault , but the responsability of teir authors, as usual,

                Anyway, “Show must go on” :-)
                http://www.chronicleproject.com/stories_99.html
                Best wishes of clairvoyance and longlife for all the rare authentic tibetan lineage holders.

                • Hi PP,
                  it appears to me that you come from a strong anti cult stance. A strong anti cult stance has as its marks a total condemnation of a system (see Dialogue Ireland) – or a group – based on hostility/aversion and a lack of differentiation. I don’t think it is of any benefit. Therefore, let’s differentiate,

                  1) qualities and faults can coexist, what is more dominant – qualities or faults – can change; but even if faults become temporarily more dominant, this does not deny a person’s good qualities, they can’t manifest at that time but can manifest later etc

                  2) clairvoyance has different levels and capacities, therefore, it has limitations, because of this errors can occur

                  To only claim worldly motives for money and power as the motivation of others is a thing that is very risky and for such an approach there is no certainty, because: 1) how can you be sure of others motives? 2) motives can be mixed or alternate, 3) as dharma practitioners such persons will strive to cultivate also a benevolent / altruistic motivation. Therefore, a one-sided, black and white perspective is not realistic and might distort reality.

                  I don’t want that this blog becomes an arm of anti cultists who throw out the baby with the bath water. I want that this blog offers differentiations, backgrounds, nuances, covers cross cultural issues, that people put themselves into the shoes of others, that people try to understand complex issues (“I want to understand!” – Hannah Arendt), that there is a type of enlightenment with respect to complex, controversial issues and not a repetition of black and white models of judging/understanding/approaching reality.

                  Please be so kind to consider this. Thank you, t

                  • Hi Tenpel,
                    I can assure you i don’t belong to any ant-cult stance, nor Dialog of Ireland and other organisation of this type. I’m just an individual shocked by what i saw and experienced in many places during 40 years in the tibetan buddhist sphere.
                    it’s beyond my understanding to take drunkards, drugs and sex addicts, money launderers,ordained monks having babies,for lamas or Mahasiddhas, with so-called tolerance pretexts.
                    In the Varjrayana i studied, the links (Samayas) between Guru (Lama) and the recipient-student suppose the knowing of the 14 root-failures for everybody receiving anutara-yoga empowerments, and of course more rules linked to the differents monk status.
                    I’m certainly quite tolerant for myself, less for the others, illusions are strong to deal with ;-) so i can sleep, and far from any crazy “Savonarole” of tibetan Buddhism.
                    Once I asked the wonderful late Pawo Rimpoche about results in practice of Milarepa Guru-Yoga and he kindly answered me about what is causal in this process with a cristal-clear example emanating from his own realisation.Impossible to forget!
                    In the Vajrayana, you go up or down like a snake in a bamboo once you are engaged in samayas.
                    This is not intolerance but, with nuances,the way it works.
                    But i have many doubts on the actual level of the transmission of Tantric buddhists teatching in the westeners mental continuum. A great opportunity to devellop compassion, no?
                    Cheers,Tenpel :-)

                    • karma dondrub tsering says:

                      it’s bit late to post a comment on this trend, but I obviously belong to the same generation as PP
                      I also met (briefly, alas, that wonderful old-style Tibetan gentleman that was Pawo Rinpoche) as far as it concerns Mr Nydahl, people or our generation are familiar with his antics (shaking when wisdom deities entered his body !!! the whole scene made a flop in front of the late Kalu rin po che who laughed his head off once in Sonada)
                      His Holiness the XVIth Karmapa, after years of insistance, refused to give Ole the title of bla ma, but granted him instead the title of “skyor dpon” – that is “repetitor”, in a monastery, a senior monk in charge of checking the memorization of basic texts by novice monks … waw! so tantrik!
                      Obviously Mr Nydahl had a real devotion towards His Holiness, but other rgyal sras were happy when Ole put his weight behind Shamar Rinpoche, only to go quickly in trouble with him, as someone mentions somewhere
                      as PP notes, M. Nydahl has few of the numerous qualities requested from a vajra-master … according to old-fahshioned Indian texts, of course
                      … but I see in PP’s post the mention about causality, this plus the PP initials make me wonder if
                      I maybe know PP? and if this refers to the time when Pawo rin po che was driving his wheel chair on top of his unfinished gompa in Bodnath?
                      if so , hello!

              • dharmaanarchist says:

                Honestly, it is a problem of Tibetans. Or of Tibetan masters of a certain generation it seems.

                Apparently the 16th Karmapa has given Nydahl some sort of dharma authority, just like Penor Rinpoche declared Stephen Seagal and that American lady without a dharma education a tulku and Trungpa named a promiscuous HIV positive guy his dharma heir.

                Then some abbot gave Michael Roach an honorary Geshe title and he promptly goes on a tantric guru trip..

                Tsem, Kelsang Gyatso, and a few other Tibetan buddhist “teachers” are self styled vajra holders, but those were at least not encouraged by some highly realized masters.

                What were they thinking when they nominated people without any proper education and extensive meditation experience? Power and positions are always a temptation and you don’t need clairvoiance to know how likely something like this is going to go wrong. Were they relying too much on some sort of mystic knowledge and too little of very basic common sense? Did they believe that westerners are for some obscure reason particularly immune to the 8 worldly dharmas?

                • 16th Karmapa gave Ole Nydahl only a task to organize centers in Denmark. Ole understood his role as a kind of evangelist and started to travel all over Europe founding groups. Lama Namse Rinpoche recalled a meeting with 16th Karmapa in 1977, where Karmapa told Ole: “You are not a Lama. You have met many Lamas, but you are not one of them. What you can do is tell others about Dharma, but you can’t act like a Lama”. I don´t know whether it was after passing of Karmapa or before, but Ole still insisted on getting a teaching title, so in the end he was awarded a title of Kyorpon (skyor dpon), which is basically a teacher assistant but only in an academic sense. Kyorpon can only give lectures on sutrayana topics and lead chanting during the practice, kyorpon is not responsible for his students the way Lama is. Later he still demanded some kind of written document that he is a a teacher, which was produced by Shamar Rinpoche in 1983. The document interestingly does not state that he is a lama in name, so for some reason Shamar Rinpoche chose to avoid title lama. http://www.lama-ole-nydahl.org/wp-content/shamarpa.htm Later (in 1995) another document was produced by Khenpo Chodrag Rinpoche – then a head of KIBI institute pronouncing Ole as a lama. However since then they two fell out and Chodrag Rinpoche has been an avid critic of Ole since early 2000’s. Still later since Ole was already awarded with the title several doccuments were produced to reconfirm Ole´s position as a lama. Now this is quite funny, because traditionally Tibetan lamas are not given a series of documents to reconfirm that they are lamas. A serious Dharma teacher does not require any such document, because his/her qualities and knowledge stand out and there is no doubt among their students and fellow lineage teachers that he/she is authentic master.

                  In my previous comment I said that Ole is a problem of Westerners and the reason is following. Yes he was acknowledged as a teacher by Tibetans, but it was not upon the insistence of Tibetans. Ole, Ole´s wife Hannah and some of his students kept bugging Tibetan teachers to give him a recognition, until they gave in. As far as I know, no Tibetans follow Ole as their teacher. If Westerners did not take him seriously, no one would. So it is up to the Westerners to solve this mess.

                  • Petaa, indeed the position of the late Shamarpa concerning Ole’s “lamahood” evoluted since 1983….if you read this letter written 30 years after the former one: http://www.lama-ole-nydahl.org/wp-content/shamar%20_rinpoche_lama_ole_nydahl.pdf
                    On the Sitou side you have a funny self-named french “rimpoche” : lama Denys rimpoche, a former student of Kalou Rimpoche, with also letters of congratulation from Sitou…
                    http://www.rimay.net/Denys-Rinpoche.html
                    When I met Lama Namse in the 70’s he was not entitled Rimpoche, what a wonderful progression or promotion! It’s maybe an other Lama Namse i met ;-)
                    The meaning of the word Lama seems to change from school to school…
                    Usualy, it’s given to a Tulku or a very well learned and realized practitioner, able to confer the four consecrations in a Mandala, with the blessings and samayas associated in an authentic lineage.
                    In the Sakya school, for example,Lama is equivalent of Guru, as i was told.
                    A simple retreat of 3 years is not enough to get this title, even if it’s now current to do so in some places with the success ( ans sad abuses) we know.
                    The only improvement in Ole’s apparence i can see with certitude since the 70’s is in his muscles.;-)
                    Enjoy it! :-))

                  • dharmaanarchist says:

                    Thank you for the clarification on the behalf of Ole Nydahl. I met their folks every year when they have a stall at our local vesakh festival. I was always assuming that Karmapa had declared him a lama/qualified dharma teacher of the lineage. He certainly behaves as if he had been, he certainly doesn’t seem to deny the rumours that he is an incarnation of some sort, that he somehow has it big time with the dharma protectors etc.

                    Why isn’t Karmapa Thaye Dorje doing something about this mess? I mean, this guy is giving phowa transmission, that’s vajrayana and comes with samaya, isn’t it?

              • Soenam Zangpo says:

                I would just like to add that, although Nydahl’s political views are fairly standard neo-conservative rhetoric, holding poorly informed and divisive views, while dubious, is not in itself remarkable.

                Equally, his presentation of the Dharma is a fairly standardized rendition of Mahayana and the outer tantras that one may find in many introductory books on the subject, so while it may be somewhat questionable whether the holding of such divisive and dualistic views is really compatible with high level teachings, in regard to the limited aspirations of the organisation this is again perhaps simply due to poor education rather than wilful ignorance.

                The real issue for me here is that these two are not clearly separated, Nydahl does not express his political views privately but rather transitions seamlessly from one to the other during his Dharma talks, with the result that many of his followers seem to believe that such ignorant views are an expression of the highest wisdom, something which Nydahl does nothing to contradict – whether this is due to ignorance or is deliberately manipulative I cannot say, although the observation that the whole enterprise is one of narcissistic self-aggrandisement on Nydahl’s part would seem to bypass any motivation towards fidelity to the Dharma or to the spiritual maturity of his followers.

                • Believe me, his Dharma views are all but standardized. I have heard several of his talks on various topics and read some of his books. His position is: “Sutra is boring, tantra is exicting, you don’t need sutra, just have trust in tantra and practice it.” In the same breath he says his students should not be bound by samaya, because samaya is hard to keep. But without samaya there is no vajrayana practice. So how can his students practice anything, when he tells them to toss away the “boring and stiff” (in his words) sutra and yet they do not receive any serious training in tantra? He is cherry picking and presents his idea of Dharma – a Coca-cola light version of Dharma. His idea of Dharma practitioner is that you are basically a cool dude with nice girlfriend (or vice-versa), you party a lot and you serve the organisation. You do meditate, but doing it serious way (such as in retreat setting) is out of bounds. He presents whatever is agreeable to the materialistic culture of the West as Dharma and whatever is not agreeable, such as renunciation, ethics and diligent study and practice he hides and puts to the side as traditional and therefore unnecessary. He portrays Karma Kagyu lineage which has been a lineage of monastic meditators as a lineage of lay “yogis”. His idea of yogi is not someone who spends his life in meditation practice, his idea of yogi is someone who is unconventional. While there have been unconventional yogis, their lack of conventions lay in their departing from 8 worldly dharmas, Ole’s idea of unconventional is basically to be hedonistic, free minded – a hippie. He also tells his students that they should not aim for Buddhahood in this life, now what kind of mahayana teacher, let alone vajrayana teacher says that?

                  As for the above question, why Karmapa Thaye Dorje is not doing anything about it, I think he tried on several occasions, he tried to exert his influence to make Ole change his views, but it just ended with embarrassment of Ole and therefore as a loss for Karmapa. To explain more in detail. For example Ole expressed his harsh ideas about Muslims to one Czech newspaper, so Czech reporters questioned Karmapa when he was in Prague about his view on the Muslims which was diametrically different from Ole’s. For example Karmapa said in that interview that in Dharma we have no enemies but one – our own mind poisons. He asked Ole to stop advertising his opinions on Muslims, which he did for a year or so and then he went back to his old shtick. So Ole was embarrassed in front of his students for having such views when the two interviews where put side to side. But then Karmapa left for Asia and Ole made his own spin on the things turning his own embarrassment into Karmapa’s weakness. I have seen this tactic happen several times. Then Karmapa tried to make Ole’s organization to cooperate more with Dhagpo Kagyu – another organisation supporting Thaye Dorje but with a traditional outlook and practice of Karma Kagyu lineage. For several years there was a fierce resistance for Ole, who was dismissive of any such initiatives, saying that his people have nothing to learn form Dhagpo teachers, many of whom did 6 years or more of traditional retreat and that on contrary they should learn from his traveling teachers (who have very little knowledge of actual Dharma, but have a good experience with partying and praising Ole). So in the end there has begun a very limited cooperation in which Ole is invited once a year to give teaching in Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, which he boasts about everywhere and Lama Tonsang is invited to European center to give teachings. Also remember that if criticized publicly Ole is ready to retaliate against even his own teachers, as was the case with late Shamar Rinpoche:

                  http://www.tilogaard.dk/html/body_gamle_nyheder_2010.html#newsjuly2012

                  So to sum up it seems to me that Karmapa is trying to appease Ole and also to exert some influence on him, but not much can be done. Ole has set himself up as a great Lama and he sticks to this self-created image no matter what.

                  • Thank you again Petaaa for the clarifying comment.

                    I really appreciate your input and the information you share because, IMO, they allow to see and to put things into context, to have a broader perspective on it, and to consider some very important points in relation to the Dharma.

                    The water-downed and hedonist version of Buddhism Ole presents was also pointed out by some academics. However, academic Scherer, a student of Ole, played this criticism down. Another important point — not stressed by not involved academic observers — is the perversion of what a yogi is which you highlight here. I totally agree with this criticism.

                  • BTW here is also a word document on my website with

                    1) 06.07.10, An Answer by Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche to Questions Raised about Bodhi Path and Lama Ole Nydahl,
                    2) the reply by Ole to Shamarpa,
                    3) the reply by Shamarpa to Ole, and
                    4) the Newsletter No.56/10, by Shamar Rinpoche, Date: 09 September 2010:

                    http://info-buddhismus.de/Ole_Nydahl-Shamarpa.doc
                    But maybe all of this is already in the link you linked in your comment … I just collect these things when they appear in case they get lost.

                  • Soenam Zangpo says:

                    Well Petaaa, I guess your experience has been different to mine. What I found was that, underneath the superficial appearance of hedonism, there is in fact a deep seated neurosis, very fixed rule-governed behaviour, and a pressure to conform – as can be seen in the above letter from Ole with all its implied “warnings.”

                    While I think it is fair to say that the meaning of samaya may not be exactly the same as with all other lineages, there is no doubt in my experience that many Diamond Way adherents view themselves as a kind of vajra police – there is a strict adherence, through group pressure, to deifying the person of the lama (as a distortion of guru yoga combined with a lack of study of madhyamika), and this results in a personality cult – in my opinion this has been an issue for transmission of the lower tantras in general, perhaps even more so with Shaivism, and it seems to be compounded by western attitudes to both authority and religion – this may produce the appearance of free-thinking, free-living individuals, but upon closer examination can be seen to be utterly uncritical and mindless group-think.

                    • this may produce the appearance of free-thinking, free-living individuals, but upon closer examination can be seen to be utterly uncritical and mindless group-think.

                      Well said. I was always a bit amazed of their pride to be “free thinkers”, “free thinkers” who are unable to see Ole and themselves in a critical light – which means being unable to think freely with respect to themselves and their own authority. I also wondered why so many middle class people follow Nydahl although on the intellectual level he has not much to offer. My guess (after a discussion with a middle class woman fond of Nydahl) was, one aspect of his attraction for middle class people with a good educational background could be because he is authentic in his expressions. He doesn’t mind to express racist or islamophobic views. He is natural in being unconventional in this regard by having no restrained, by not minding what people think, he just says what he thinks – no matter how ill thought out it is. It appears to me, the middle class people who share some or most of his views but were educated to not express such views in public (because of political correctness, social pressure etc.) feel relieved that someone dares to express such views they wouldn’t dare to express but think for themselves too. In that way Ole becomes a therapist for such people. One follower praised Ole that way to me: “Ole is a great healer!” I wondered: “What is he healing?”

                  • Petaaa, do you know more about the coalition between the far right wing people and Diamond Way in Polen mentioned here?
                    http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/islamophobic-buddhist-sect-gets-planning-permission-for-meditation-centre-in-lambeth/

                    • Hi Tenpel,

                      not much more than is already written in that article, I know that Diamondway had several anti-islam initiatives in different countries across EU, but all of these were carried out by a citizen groups which “incidentally” were founded by or had Ole´s students as their members. It is however difficult to prove this connection. They have been very careful to avoid slip ups like the one that happened in Poland. His students have organized protests against Islam in Belgium in 2005 or 2006 if I remember right. And of course they have continued their involvement with such initiatives on individual basis. Ole held several “secret” meetings with his students involved in such campaigns, these were happening without knowledge of students not involved in these activities. I myself would not know if it were not for one of insiders who told me.

                    • Thank you, Petaaa.
                      If there are insiders from Diamond Way who know more about this or who can affirm or elaborate certain aspects or details, please share your knowledge.

                    • dharmaanarchist says:

                      tenpel, could you find any proof for the AfD comment by Nydahl?

                      There is the yearly vesakh festival in my town that the DBU holds and the local Nydahl center will probably have a booth there.

                      I feel highly uncomfortable that a group with an openly and violently racist spiritual leader (an AfD politician publicly suggested shooting refugees when they try to cross the border) will get a platform for advertising their organisation and teacher there.

                      I’d like to contact DBU office about it, but for that more than hearsay would be great.

                    • hi, da. There are two testimonies of two people who said this. One of them heard it directly while watching the video streaming, the other person was present at the meeting and heard it directly at the location, during the public question / answer section. I have the full names and email addresses of both witnesses. What else do you need as proof?

                      The best would be to have the recording (or maybe even more witnesses) but with the recording (since it was a live stream and DW won’t post this on YouTube or so) it is unlikely to get it. With respect to more witnesses, maybe more witnesses appear or write a message. In a way, if you have two persons whose testimonies seem to be trustworthy, and if what they describe is not in strong contradiction to earlier behavioural patterns of the teacher or his organisation, the likelihood that these are false testimonies is very low, isn’t it?

                      One of the witnesses asked the German Buddhist Union (DBU) – in which DW is a member (the strongest) – to give a public statement about this. So the DBU is been made aware of it and was asked to offer a public statement / declaration.

                      So what I say here is no hearsay, and as I said the DBU was informed about it, it was complained about it to the DBU by one of the witnesses, and the DBU was explicitly asked by that witness to offer a public statement regarding this – if possible.

                      ++++sorry for posting the comment anew, I lack time and comments written in a hurry in English by me are often too faulty++++

            • Tsem Tulku is currently exploiting the celebrated reputation of Ranging Rikpe Dorje, the XVIth Karmapa for his own self-promotion and fictive narrative, both on Twitter and his various cult websites.
              Tsem is using a photograph from the KTD Archive of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa for which he and Kechara has neither asked for permission to reproduce, nor has he credited the copyright holder or photographer. That is against the law and he knows it.
              It is extremely dubious the previous Karmapa – a true Rime advocate–endorsed the obscure rGyalpo as is claimed in Tsem’s fairy story, or indeed predicted anything in this regard, except the eclipse and final decline of Pobangka’s tainted sectarian agenda.

              • References to ‘Ranging’ Rigpe Dorje and ‘Pobangka’ prove you are a conspiracy theorist first rather than a genuine biddhust. Passing of paranoic fantasies as valid opinion is the realm of Tsin Sprulku
                5 minutes breathing meditation is more valuable than endless lifetimes of conspiracy theorising, then dreesing it up as virtuous by takingbuddhist charlatans as the object

                • So long as Tsem’s website displays messages like “I pray for the swift death of your Dalai Lama by King Dorje Sxxxen” a current comment presumably approved by Kechara’s moderator, I feel a critique is justified and valid. If you label this conspiracy theory, it is of no consequence to the facts of Tsem’s malpractice of ‘Buddhism’.
                  BTW, NO NAME, spellcheck is a feature of modern devices.

                  • Yes Brian, and spell checks dont correct Pabongka to Pobangkam only excitable angry buddhists

                    • If you are projecting anger, perhaps try breathing, walking or counting to 10.
                      Although ‘ba’ is pronounced ‘wa’, Pabongka stands as a reasonable phonetic rendering of ཕ་བོང་ཁ་པ་ .
                      In any case the point here is some people use the name and cachet of the 16th Karmapa and other famous lamas to enhance their own prestige. This includes it seems Lama Ole who–unlike Tsem–at least spent time with him. Tsem just steals his image and that of other famous people from the Internet and passes it off as Kechara’s intellectual property.

                    • Tsem also uses the images of HH Sakya Trizin to include him in his web advertisement mandala. I just visited Tsem’s website because Facebook showed an add by Tsem using an image of HH Sakya Trizin to draw attention to their site on my FB account. It looks like, Tsem or his people are using all great names and images of esteemed lamas to attract people to their website and to draw visitors into their version of Shugden history-fiction + to increase the number of visitors for the sake of being able to boast with more than 3 million views … Really ugly.

                      On the other hand, as a Buddhist, I try to keep peace of mind.

                • No Name 2 says:

                  The historical fiction by Tsem, the unrecognized “tulku”, are no different than the historical fiction “museums” the Chinese government created in Lhasa that depicted a fictional history of Buddhist monks murdering children and cannibalizing their corpses in rituals with things like skull cups as “proof”. That’s really convincing considering the monasteries in Lhasa were built with people meticulously removing worms from the soil by hand so they wouldn’t be hurt in the construction. Monks that won’t hurt a worm, but go around murdering children? CCP logic.

                  They take information, names, places, historical people that can’t refute them, and make up stories to suit their goals.

                  The shugden groups are particularly guilty of this because at some point they altered historical documents, such as the Dalai Lama’s biographies, to include prayers to shugden that they then claimed were written by various lamas. In the case of the Dalai Lama’s autobiographical records, they were unable to alter those Dalai Lama’s secret writings which were in code. The secret writings show great opposition to shugden and ZERO praise. So yes, view those prayers to shugden with skepticism because forgery is rampant.

                  The idea that a Rime lama would praise shugden is so absurd I wouldn’t give it any credence at all.
                  It would be like a KKK leader writing about the faults of racism, obviously it’s a fake document.

                  • The idea that a Rime lama would praise shugden is so absurd I wouldn’t give it any credence at all.
                    It would be like a KKK leader writing about the faults of racism, obviously it’s a fake document.

                    Ha ha ha. Well said. And indeed, the Shugden propagators invented prayers and claimed it was written by the 5th DL though there are no records in his works. This type of invention, dishonesty, distortion of history and deception seems to be indeed a trademark of Shugden propagators – not necessarily of each of Shugden followers but there is a common pattern that repeats itself as also all this WSS/ISC/Tsem etc stuff has shown. What makes me really sad – because I have respect for him is, that Trijang Chogtrul Rinpoche wrote a letter of praise to the Dalai Lama slanderous website ds-com. How can I regard a lama a lama who praises a website that is engaging in all types of wrong speech? Where is there any good discrimination or wisdom?

                    • I don’t have any problems with Trijang Rinpoche as long as he’s not decieving or trying to hurt people. Many other people base their religion on spirit worship or make contracts and they suffer or recieve some small benefit because of that. The issue with the NKT and Kechara House is that they maliciously stalk people and perpetrate underhanded lie campaigns for China that include cult brainwashing people with non-Buddhist teachings like having only one teacher or telling them that reading the Buddha’s teachings will only “confuse them”.

                      I haven’t heard of Trijang doing any of those things and I sympathize with his being hassled by the NKT, Kechara House, and other shugden groups. I would be skeptical of things he’s claimed to have said or wrote on ds.com unless there is a video or it is also on Trijang’s website. I don’t think Trijang will bother to correct ds.com since it would only trigger a smear campaign against him by ds.com like what happened when Kechara House (ds.com) stole money from Shar Gaden.

                      At the same time, I would not associate with Trijang because of shugden. I am not only a Geluk Buddhist, but also a Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya Buddhist and if Trijang is worshipping a spirit vowed to harm me then obviously I will not have contact with him. Tsongkhapa learned from the masters of Nyingma, Kagyu, and Sakya schools, so why can’t I? Worshipping shugden would undermine my relationship with all the lineages of teachings I possess and if people want to do shugden’s practice to harm me, then I will naturally put some distance between me and them since they are unreasonably malicious.

                      I respect that Trijang hasn’t been sucked into doing political attacks for China as much as other groups. In terms of Buddhist teachers, I don’t respect him because he’s doing practices to hurt the very schools that birthed Geluk. It’s contradictory for a Buddhist to honor commitments to malevolent spirits over commitments to preserving the Buddha’s teachings and benefiting sentient beings.

                      All the Buddhist schools aren’t rigid permanent structures. The four Tibetan schools will probably be replaced with new schools that are fusions of them all, just like Geluk is a fusion of older schools.

                    • Mhm. I don’t know where you com from and if you mean it honestly or if you just try to enter the blog in order to later spin the facts on other threads / topics. I deleted a comment by you on the Sandy Clarke post. I don’t want Tsem or Anti Tsem trolls here on the blog. There appear now frequently new commenters, including one who abuses the pseudonym “no name” which has been used by someone else for a long time on this blog. I deleted one of this new “no name” comments who – like you – attacked Sandy Clarke. And this attacking of Sandy Clarke seems to have been both of your main aims. What you write here seems just to be tactic to be approved. Do Tsem or Anti-Tsem trolls get more skilful by offering a mixture of somewhat agreeable comments and comments that file attacks against reasonable critics?

                      I changed now also the new “no name” comment to “no name 2”. Be aware no further comment might be approved if my perception of deceptive troll tactics gets more clear.

                      With respect to being careful what ds-com lists as documents, I totally agree with you. You can’t take for granted that it is correct what they write. On the other hand, they showed a document they claimed to stem from the Trijang Labrang and I used that and wrote to the Trijang Labrang if this is really correct. They didn’t reply. A witness had also identified a Geshe from Trijang Labrang participating in the anti-Dalai Lama protests. Therefore it seems there is a likelihood that it is true. However, to take it with a grain of salt is recommendable.

  3. »We are living in an age of rage. People are angry with government, with media, with religion, with migration, with Europe, with big business.«
    »… concerning is the ever-rising level of abuse, trolling and “astroturfing” (propaganda posting – an artificial version of a grassroots campaign) currently polluting what are often illuminating and stimulating discussions.
    »In response to this menace, some news sites, including Reuters, CNN and the Chicago Sun-Times, have abandoned comments altogether or heavily restricted them; others, such as the New York Times, pre-moderate every post.«

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/31/readers-editor-on-readers-comments-below-the-line

    This sums a bit what I experienced here on the blog too. However, all in all it was rather sane. By now 10,817 comments were approved.

  4. @ ALL. Pls back to topic. The post is not about Tsem.

  5. A couple of years ago I wrote an article about Ole & DWB which I then forgot about. I recently completed it, for anyone interested, the PDF can be read here:

    https://middlewayshugden.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/a-diamond-in-the-rough-final.pdf

    • A long article … will try to take time to read it. Thank you.

    • Hi maik108, I read your article and find it pretty well balanced. Just some factual remarks. Both Thaye Dorje and Orgyen Thrinle are Seventeenth Karmapas, not Sixteenth (page 3 of your article). As for sutra study and practice in Karma Kagyu tradition (pages 17-18). It is not only a core part a Karma Kagyu tradition but it is (and has been) also done by all Karma Kagyupas except of Ole´s group. The root texts for sutra study in Karma Kagyu tradition is Gampopa´s Jewel Ornament of Liberation, 7th Karmapa´s commentaries on Madhyamaka, Asanga´s Uttaratantrashastra and some other commentarial works by successive Karmapa tulkus on the topics of prajnaparamita, vinaya, tathagatagarbha and madhyamaka. As for sutra training Lojong practice is done either based on the texts of 6th Shamarpa, or more commonly Jamgon Kongtrul´s manual on Lojong, in addition to that Taranatha´s manual on lamrim meditation practice manual is used as well, especially in 3 year retreat. So to say that Karma Kagyu is focused on much more on tantra than any other sarma lineages is not really correct. My experience is with Karma and Drikung Kagyu and I have some knowledge on the scope of practice and study in other surviving Kagyu lineages and all of them study and practice both sutra and tantra, of course tantra is emphasized more, but sutra study and practice form indispensable part of every Kagyupa´s training and path, be it Drugpa, Drikung, Taglung, Barom or Karma Kagyu. The sole exception might be a very small but still surviving lineage of Rechung Kagyu, which although includes some sutra training it is just the basic outline – a summary of the most eesential amount of teachings for tantric adepts.

      • Thank you Petaa, well spotted. That was a silly mistake, I have corrected it now, thanks.

        I will need to look into this issue about the lineages contained within the karma-kagyü more closely. Thank you however for your thoughts and insight. What I wrote was based on things I have read and found while doing research. It seemed as though the karma-kagyü may have lost Gampopa’s inclusion of Lamrim along the way. However, I have no direct experience like you, so you are possibly right. Nonetheless, another friend of mine from Dechen who has studied the Kagyü traditions a lot agreed that although Sutra study is of course a major part of the practice, there is less emphasis on its application in meditation and less emphasis on sutric moral conduct. Perhaps?

        • So far I only read page 1 but I think there were also good press coverage in Germany when I remember correctly especially by the Stern. The DW have a lot of journalists and are media competent. Will try to read more, nice to see that people give feedback to you.

        • According to my experiences and observations, I agree with Petaaa.

          Gampopa is not lost at all. In our Kagyu Rime centre it has been taught, it is currently been taught in another Kagyu group associated with us in Berlin, and it is/was being taught in other Kaygu groups in Germany.

          The Karma Kagyupas in Europe stress usually initially more the cultivation of calm abiding / settling the mind via different concentration methods based on sutra practices (or part of Mahamudra but still based on/belonging to sutra).* I always felt that this approach is very useful for Westerners because Westerners in general lack a calm and relaxed mind the most. A stable, calm mind is the best basis for practice too. That’s‚ why I always found the Kagyupas are wiser and more compassionate in their approach in the West than the Gelugpas who rather flood newly interested people with information/concepts without offering plenty of skilful means to settle the mind / concepts first as the Karma Kagyupas usually do – or the Gelugpas go even to the extreme to stress the guru as the utmost very basis of any spiritual progress while the Kaygupas stress in general (at least Gampopa) rather the Buddha Nature. (To stress the Buddha Nature is far more suitable especially for people who suffer from a lack of self-esteem or a tendency to hate or denigrate themselves.) Also HE Sangye Nyempa Rinpoche taught Gampopa in Germany. Other Lamas, like Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche taught Mahamudra, Chöd, Lojong … – or the Heart Sutra based on a commentary of the Jonang tradition for instance.

          However, it looks like Kagyupas don’t stress much analytical meditation. I think this is based on their view of Buddha Nature. If the mind settles or is relaxed, all good qualities can manifest naturally.

          There are however some exceptions who seem to stress tantra more than sutra in the West like Garchen Rinpoche. So there is variety too. The Nyingma Kagyu teacher of our centre stresses mainly basic teachings or cultivating concentration and a good heart. He taught also Lojong, 37 practices of a Bodhisattva, Dhammapada etc., and he gave (at another place) a commentary to Gampopa’s Lamrim which exists also as a book or he gave commentaries to Bodhicharyavatara or Mahayanasutralamakara or Uttara Tantra Shastra etc. (all of these are sutra teachings). Rarely he gives empowerments or commentaries for tantric practices. He is really close to the people’s needs and capacities.

          * Based on that observation and experience I was a bit surprised when a woman started to attend the meditation course I gave because her was said in Ole’s group that meditation is not for beginners or so. She was discouraged to learn to meditate she said. So she came to our Kagyue Rime centre.

          So all in all an exploration must consider how the Karma Kaygu school transmits their teachings in the East and in the West. And where it is been transmitted. For instance, you can study a shedra which involves the study of a lot of Sutras or you can do a three year retreat which includes also Lojong (sutra) and the Six Yogas of Naropa (tantra). But unlike the Shedra the 3-year-retreat might stress more tantric practices.
          And then there is of course the wisdom of individuality. You have the choice or can make that choice what you want to focus on your path more, sutra or tantra.

          Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche offered monks and nuns in Germany to study at his place in India for free. Its the Vajra Vidya Institute – for Buddhist Studies http://vajravidya.org Look at their curriculum: http://vajravidya.org/curriculum.html it has a lot of sutra teachings! (I wanted to study there but was not sure if India is the right place [visa problems, wanting to be able to support also the Berlin centre]. When I had the choice to study in Italy, ILTK, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche said I should study in Italy but if problems arise in Italy I could still come to his place in India to study. [The study in Italy was also for free for monks and nuns.])

    • Soenam Zangpo says:

      Hi maik108, thank you for submitting that interesting article, I think that you have thoroughly considered each facet in isolation, but maybe not fully taken into account how the various parts come together.

      To give an example of this, I read a piece by Bernard Scherer about attitudes to homosexuality in DWB. He showed how, when taken in isolation, Nydahl did not make such explicit homophobic declarations, however, due to the nature of the teacher-student relationship, these small ripples from the lama resulted in rather large waves in the wider sangha.

      I would say the same in reply to Petaaa’s post, as Gampopa´s Jewel Ornament of Liberation was in fact a text I studied at my time with diamond way, however it was the interpretation of that text which was problematic – any consideration of the six paramitas was firmly aimed at external considerations rather than self-examination, reflected in Nydahl’s discourse in his talks, which basically resulted in identity politics – this highlighted a complete lack of understanding of the fundamental idea that, “in Dharma we have no enemies but one – our own mind poisons.”

      So I think that, while it may be accurate to say that Nydahl’s tendency to become distracted by his own discursive thoughts may not be so extreme in itself, the result in the wider group is of a very strong narcissistic identification combined with a need to project blame outwards, as is precisely demonstrated by the opening quotation in maik108’s document,

      “How dare you continue this stupid slander against his most holiness Lama Ole Nydahl?! It must be the work of some loser who is probably mentally ill, stupid or a criminal. Losers only slander Diamond Way Buddhism when they have something to hide themselves! Why else would you try to project your hopelessness onto the most ethical group on the planet?”

      • Hi Soenam,

        Thanks for your reply! Yes, I would tend to agree with what you’re saying here; there are many comments and/or actions by DWB teachers that may only be implicitly racist/islamophobic/homophobic and so on, but as a group, these rather simple causes create wide-spread ripples, often resulting in waves. What you said about identity politics: this was also my observation. Ole’s talks place a lot of weight on identifying oneself with the karma-kagyu diamond way group and one gets the feeling that they are encouraged to feel incredibly proud about being a part of the group. Naturally, this amplifies notions of ‘others’ and even ‘enemies’, such as in this case Muslims, blacks, etc.

        Very interesting to hear that you studied ‘Jewel Ornament of Liberation’ during your time in DW, I was really not aware they studied that text. Thanks for the information.

      • A brief note just from remembering what I kept in mind after I read Burkhard Scherer’s papers a while ago. Scherer gives indeed an interesting perspective on DW with a lot of new and interesting insider information – especially about Ole’s stance on homosexuality. However, sorry, but IMO Scherer is tendentious (or biased). Why? He wipes away the right criticism by Dr. Ruch (hedonistic approach) and by Prof Dr Martin Baumann (superficial teachings) without going into the details of their criticism, using good arguments to refute them but rather attacking the critic (especially Dr Ruch). Scherer is a student of Ole. IMO, his bias to Diamond Way is also eminent from one of his books, “Buddhismus – Alles, was man wissen muss

        With respect to only two pages of that book dealing with the Vajrayana, I wrote on Amazon:

        Ich habe aus Neugierde in das Buch hinein gesehen, denn der Autor war mir als Verfasser zweier akademischen Arbeiten zum Diamantweg Ole Nydahls ins Auge gefallen. Diese Arbeiten fand ich tendenziell, da sie berechtigte Kritik einfach so wegwischten (durch Herabsetzen des Kritikers Dr. Christian Ruch zB) ohne inhaltliche Auseinandersetzung (Scherer ist Schüler Ole Nydahls). Nun las ich das Kapitel im hier vorliegenden Buch “Ausblick: Buddhismus im Westen, Buddhismus für den Westen”, S. 165-166, und in der Tat widmet Scherer sehr parteilich fast eine Seite nur dem Diamantweg Nydahlscher Prägung (als wäre das die einzige buddhistische Gemeinschaft, die Vajrayana Lehren anbietet), erwähnt keine einzig andere Gemeinschaft oder dass es solche überhaupt gibt und zusätzlich verneint er eine Existenz des Vajrayana im besetzten Tibet und prognostiziert, dass der tibetische Buddhismus tibetischer Prägung aussterben wird. Indirekt verbreitet damit Scherer Nydahl-übliche Propaganda: das Vajrayana (=”Diamantweg” auf Deutsch) wird im Westen durch den Dimantweg Nyadahls (die sich als Elite Gruppe wahrnimmt) überleben, seine Wurzeln werden jedoch aussterben oder existieren nicht mehr. Keine Glanzleistung für einen Wissenschaftler.

        I lack time to translate it but basically, IMO, Scherer parrots the claims by Nydahl and Diamond Way in a really unreflected and ill covered – if not manipulative – manner.

        • A brief story: a former Ole Nydahl / DW follower told me that during the Karmapa controversy Ole recommended not to meditate on Chenrezig/Avalokiteshvara because it would make people too weak.

          It follows, great compassion or the practice of Chenrezig/Avalokiteshvara is what makes you weak and undermines your fighting spirit, therefore it is not recommendable in times of dispute and fights. IMO, DW and its mental set up reminds me on the demi-god realm.

          However, my mental setup is not better (I have to fight my own delusions), so maybe I shut my mouth now.

          • I noticed similar things, both from Ole as well as from his students: if you want to help others who are suffering, practice Avalokiteshvara, if you want to overcome desire practice Dorje Phagmo or various union deities, if you want to overcome hindrances or problems, practice wrathful deities like Mahakala. So in one sense, his ‘advice’ that you mention above is not wrong per se; I suppose most Buddhists would agree that different deities have different functions and may be more suitable to one situation than another. But with Ole, there seems to be an externalization of the Buddha qualities, almost an inherent and thus separated aspect. For example, Chenrezig is compassion and therefore he is not wrathful, etc.

            This is strange because, as you wrote previously, other aspects of the tradition tend to focus more on buddha-nature existentially and on deities and Lamas as reflections of that nature. Diamond Way have linked these rather nice articles from Shangpa Rinpoche on the subject here:

            http://www.diamondway-buddhism-university.org/en/buddhism/Tibetan_Buddhist_Articles/meditation/yidams.html

            • For a person who exploited / exhausted herself (himself) too much because of an overdosis of “emotional empathy” (you feel what the other person feels), who misapprehends emotional empathy with compassion, or whose meditation on compassion sets herself under pressure to exploit herself even more (while neglecting in a harmful way the own welfare (self-compassion or self-respect) an advice to stop to meditate on compassion might be suitable because it stimulates negative mental habits – like for meditators who have too much lung (wind energy) an advice to stop to meditate for a certain period of time might be suitable. In that sense, I agree that an advice to stop to meditate on compassion is not bad per se.

              However, here Ole gave an advice for his whole group who was deeply involved in the Karmapa quarrel – a big fight – to stop to meditate on compassion because compassion makes you weak and this is just bullshit. Compassion in general makes you even stronger and gives you the right motivation to act. The danger in times of quarrel is that you mistake your own anger and hate, your own picture of an enemy, as compassion and you act based on hate and anger and at the same time you delude yourself that you act based on a good motivation while your motivation is based on anger and hate. An action based on anger and hate is neither a “wrathful” action nor wholesome/virtuous its non-virtuous. You could observe this mistaken perception and wrong justifications also well with many of the NKT Anti-Dalai Lama protesters.

              To say compassion makes you weak and in times of crisis / fight you should not meditate on it to a general audience who is involved in a big fight shows for me that someone has not understood the Bodhisattva path and its innermost forces well, as well as that the person has no real clue about compassion and the dangers of hate sneaking in one’s mind. In times of crisis the force of compassion of a Bodhisattva increases even more and the Karmapa controversy was a good chance for both sides to increase their compassion. Wrathful action is a high realisation for an advanced tantric practitioner, it can happen at times also on a beginner stage but rather accidentally. To act wrathfully in the tantric sense without having compassion is a contradiction.

              • Yes I agree completely, it’s a bit like the typical republican attitude we see in American politics: compassion is weakness, consideration and care for others is weakness; retaliation and violence is strength. Extremely sad and as much of a departure from Buddhism as is possible. Also I concur with your description of wrathful actions and the need for the practitioner of such actions to be highly realized (and thus highly compassionate!).

                From outer appearances, it does not seem that Ole qualifies. My only disagreement with you, or perhaps just a different angle, is that we cannot conclude that hate or anger are involved in Ole’s ‘advice’ about not meditating on Chenrezig. Perhaps it is just a misinformed approach.

                • I fully agree – including “we cannot conclude that hate or anger are involved in Ole’s ‘advice’ about not meditating on Chenrezig”. It was not my aim to claim this in any way.

                • dharmaanarchist says:

                  A misinformend approach that paves the road to vajra hell as I understand it.

                  Misunderstanding the vajrayana teachings to justify real aggression as wrathful buddha activity is the slippery slope that will lead there.

            • Soenam Zangpo says:

              The article from Shangpa Rinpoche is based on a combination of Yogacara and Vedic theories rather than Madhymaka. This explains why Nydahl believes he has grasped the “truth of being” rather than his own mental projections.

            • Soenam Zangpo says:

              Here is a more detailed analysis of the obvious mistakes found in the link;

              http://www.diamondway-buddhism-university.org/en/buddhism/Tibetan_Buddhist_Articles/meditation/yidams.html

              In paragraph 2
              “In order to experience the purity of all things… on the relative level things appear… ”

              In Madhyamaka analysis, “things” are arrived at through inference from appearances – so the phrase “purity of all things” is meaningless – either there is purity (as the display of appearances) or there are things (as mental inferences derived from the pure display).
              “Things” do not appear, there are only appearances which are the display of mental contents, the appearances are not of anything else, and certainly no “things”.

              paragraph 3
              “the true nature of all things is emptiness… to understand the true nature of things…”

              Again, there are no “things” which possess a true nature – the nature of appearances is emptiness, and this belies the idea of “the nature of things,” which is merely mental inference abstracting from those appearances.

              paragraph 4
              “the mere appearance of things… the way we relate to things… Because things in themselves are empty…”

              No, there are no things, and certainly no things-in-themselves which are empty – this is ontology, it presumes that there are “things” which have a true nature – “they” do not appear because there is no they, there are only appearances as “unobstructed self-expression,” the idea of that display being the “truth of things” is totally incorrect.

              “The various methods of the Vajrayana are used in order to understand that”

              No! – the methods of Vajrayana take emptiness as its basis, not as its path as something that needs to be arrived at through practice.

              paragraph 5
              “For the practice of the Vajrayana, one needs the view that things only appear on the relative level but in their true nature they are not really existent.”

              No – there are no “things” – “things” do not appear on any level, they are inferred through mental activity – they have no “true nature” due to the fact that there are no “things” and “things” do not appear, only appearances appear, not things.

              “what it is all about is to connect both of them so that they are not constantly contradicting each other”

              Again – emptiness is the basis, not the aim, path, or result!!! – the aim is not to connect the mistaken inference of separate objects with the perceived display of appearances – the recognition that there is only an uninterrupted display of appearances which are mental contents is the starting point for practice… we haven’t even approached the nature of mind itself, all we have done so far is consider the nature of mental contents!

              • deleted, this seems to be a troll who was banned already

                • Soenam Zangpo says:

                  Hi PP,
                  The text in the link explains two views – it distinguishes between ignorance and relative truth, which is useful, however it then says that the aim of Vajrayana practice is to achieve the unity of those two views, which is clearly incorrect in two ways,

                  firstly, it does not even approach the idea of absolute truth, it merely distinguishes between ignorance and relative truth in regard to objects for consciousness, which is correct, however it then talks of unifying those two views. I have heard many teachings on the unity of relative and absolute truth, however I am struggling to recall any on the unity of ignorance and relative truth.

                  secondly, it claims that the aim of practice is to achieve such a view, when in fact this is viewed as one of the four ways of straying. This is because emptiness is the basis for the path, not something to be arrived at through practice as some kind of achievement – see, for example, Dakpo Tashi Namgyal. Mahāmudrā: The Quintessence of Mind and Meditation, pp. 293-95.

                  Thank you for the recommendation, I recall that it is a very insightful book – do you have a page reference to the relevant part you are referring to?

  6. It’s true Buddhists only have one spiritual teacher, BUDDHA. All these other people we call lama are just provisionally supplying the teachings from the BUDDHA. If a lama wants to make themselves out to be the sole provider of teachings they should go and make their own religion and see how many people actually want to learn from THEM instead of the Buddha.

    Any teacher that says you can have only one teacher is trying to create a personality cult and they should be completely avoided.

  7. Here are two YouTube Videos in which Ole Nydahl misinforms the public about Muslims, spreading stereotypes:

    Nydahl: A quarter of all the people in the world are Muslims today. But you have to say, you can be Muslims at home but not in our countries. That is what we have to say. Sorry, we can’t use you here we have equality of sexes, we have freedom you know, we have separation of state and church. So we have all those things, right? … I am sorry you have to go home if you want to live like that you cannot destroy our freedoms. Question: Since they become stronger and stronger shouldn’t one use to dialogue with them? Nyadahl: No, because they cannot make any dialogue. … They cannot change and they also cannot integrate … its against their law, against their religion. … From their Quran, they have to change us, they have to make us Muslims, every country has to be Muslim, everybody has to be a Muslim.

    Here his views in given in a German broadcast:

    Nydahl: In relation to the terror attacks in Brüssel and Paris he says: “I think, this is all in the Quran, all this what you have to do and … you get an order from high up, from Allah or so, and then you get worked up yourself in it, killing unbelievers and at the end what do we get? We get Brussel and Paris. Great problem. People had to read the Quran and had to understand that it is valid for all of us. Then they wouldn’t have brought so many people over the borders or even rescued from the water (laughs). Question: Do you see a way out of the violence? Nydahl: Everybody who gets violent will be send back home. This would be best. Then you will really learn to like the deep peace here, and you will feel well with it. Question: In June 2015 you got a prize by an UNESCO organisation. What does it mean to you? Only that they recognised me and my friends and so on. It was for freedom of speech. It could have been also for harmony but this does not always go together. …*

    * “On June 13, 2015 Lama Ole Nydahl received the prize which was given for the first time for dialogue, coexistence and peace of the UNESCO Association for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Malaga (Spain). The award was presented to him and his late wife Hannah Nydahl for their contribution to the promotion of freedom of expression, compassion, peace and goodness. As other award winners the Association honoured Pope Francis I.” http://lama-ole-nydahl.de/news/unesco-preisverleihung.html

    Rough transcript which is incomplete and translation from the German made by Tenpel.

    • It’s baffling, truly baffling. This to me is valid proof (as far as proof goes…) that he doesn’t have the slightest understanding of conventional reality…. nor ultimate reality for that matter, not to mention a lack of compassion, equanimity or worldly understanding of the ‘Muslim situation’.

      • Thank you for your comment.

        I wondered if I am alone in my perception how crazy this guy is in what he claims here. BTW, at the end of the interview with the German broadcast, Ole fonds the backside of the female journalist and gives her a kiss. The journalist from a public German broadcast does neither oppose Ole’s absurd claims about Islam nor his sexist approach …

        • I have to correct myself. I just learned that Nordhessen Rundschau is not a public German broadcast (“öffentlich rechtlicher Rundfunk”) but a private one, a GbR. Please accept my apology for this error.

    • I have almost no experience with Muslims, but I can imagine a religion like that existing that is hostile to all other religions and forces people to convert. The history of Islam does include such forced coversions and the destruction of other religions, as does Christianity. Judaism’s history doesn’t involve conversion, they just murder people of other religions for land.

      I know there are Muslim groups that want to force people to convert or kill them, ISIS is an example. I also know there are Muslims that don’t have any intention of forcefully converting people. But the question is, which of these attitudes towards conversion is actually Islam? If historical Muslims are the standard, then ISIS is the real Muslim group in this regard and the ones that aren’t out to convert people are just Muslim in name.

      If this was true, and Islam was like Ole said, would we then accept his position on Islam? Or would we reject it?

      I personally don’t want to be Muslim and I would go to war to prevent Sharia law from taking effect in my own country. Being a homosexual it’s not possible for me to live in a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim controlled country because they are all murderous towards homosexuals even though homosexuality is normal. Yes, humans are naturally bisexual just like thousands of other species because we don’t just have sex to reproduce. The stigma of homosexuality in the Western world was created by a schizophrenic named Moses that also demanded people cut off part of their son’s penises and kill people that did work on Saturdays.

      I’m not really writing this to defend Ole. What he is doing is no different than saying students can only have one teacher, which is bogus. Putting that kind of controlling guilt trip on students to restrict their access to the Buddha’s teachings takes an extremely inflated ego.

      • You have no experience with Muslims but you can imagine hostile images of Muslims. Well, you follow the route of ill informed Americans and Donald Trump: “47% of Americans know no Muslims. And, of course, those with negative views of Muslims are more likely to know none.” – Glenn Greenwald.

        What type of informed discussion should this ignorance create?

        Islam has tolerant and less tolerant branches. The least tolerant branch developed from Wahhabism. In the past there were Muslim governed countries who were extremely tolerant to other religions, including Jews, Christianity and Buddhism. There were also Muslim principals who protected Buddhist minorities. The whole thing is – as most of the things are – extremely complex. However, images of enmity which invoke hostility and fear based on ignorance about conventional reality reduce complexity and erode intelligence and differentiated views which could enlighten oneself and others.

        Of course violence and forced conversion exist in Islam and Christianity, but they exist also in Buddhism(!). In Tibet monasteries were forcefully conversed to other branches of Tibetan Buddhism (not only the Gelugpas did this but also Kagyuepas). Its a Buddhist country, Burma, where the “most persecuted minority in the world”, the Rohingyas, live and the Rohingya Muslims are persecuted and killed by Buddhists. Based on that violence – or the raping and torture of Tamils by Buddhists in Sri Lanka – can you validly infer from this that all Buddhists are intolerant and violent as Ole Nydahl wrongly does it with respect to Muslims?

        If all Muslims were as Nydahl is portraying them – there are 1,600 Million – they could have conversed and converted already the rest of humanity but they didn’t.

        ISIS by the way has NOTHING to do with Islam. The Islamic State (IS) was founded by Iraqi secret officers who were removed from office after the US has illegally occupied and destroyed their land. Its their way to get back to power and they just exploit the hopeless youth for their political battle in those countries and the West by offering an extremely simplified and distorted version of “Islam” and giving the youth a distorted perspective of livelihood. You would do well to get better informed instead of spreading this undigested heap of misinformation – based on semi-truths, untruths and some truths – here.

        Sorry, I don’t want to offend you, but I cannot tolerate this uninformed, one-sided, hostile rubbish on my blog.

        BTW, Buddhism also brings you problems if you are homosexual – at least if you follow the Mahayana texts which appeared from the 4th century onwards. According to these scriptures, sex between the same sex is sexual misconduct. This is also the position accepted in Tibetan Buddhism.

        So Buddhism according to you has also schizophrenics ;-)
        Ha ha ha. Nothing better with Buddhists ;-)

        • There is a big difference between what Buddhists do and what Buddhism teaches. Islam teaches to forcefully convert people according to the Quran, Buddhism rejects that practice. I have read some of the Quran, it’s about as sane and peace loving as you could expect from any Judaism based religion.

          I don’t recognize supposedly Mahayana texts that say homosexuality between consenting people is sexual misconduct for lay people. Anyone can write some hateful trash on a sheet of toilet paper and say it’s a sutra. The Bodhisattva vows require me to respect the Mahayana sutras, but they don’t say which are authentic and unaltered. If the Bodhisattva vows required me to accept anything called a Mahayana sutra I wouldn’t have taken the vows because some of these so called sutras are obviously fakes.

          You’re far too quick to denigrate your own religion for the sake of being politically correct Tenpel. If all religions are equal, why bother being Buddhist? It’s definitely not the easiest religion to follow.

          • Many of Mohammed’s actions were rooted in violence – especially in Medina. I can agree with that.

            But the Quran is also not taken literally by all Muslims and there are tolerant interpretations and branches – as I said already.

            The Kalachakra Tantra is describing an apocalyptic vision of a battle between the Muslim world and Buddhism but Buddhists would usually not take this literally what is been said there. Its similar with the bible. Just to quote from the Quran without considering the interpretations and branches of Islam you are always at risk to utterly misrepresent a religion as the Trimondis and Goldner do it with Tibetan Buddhism (much quoting from the Kalachakra Tantra) to establish a wrong image of a violent, cruel Tibetan Buddhism.

            You should get to know the Mahayana texts and its authors as a Buddhist, obviously you don’t have a clue. It are Vasubandhu and Asanga, two authorities of Mahayana Buddhism, whom you can hardly establish as “Anyone” who “can write some hateful trash on a sheet of toilet paper”. I didn’t say its in the Sutras. Just washing away from Buddhism what you don’t like as “fakes” is far too easy and misleading.

            I don’t denigrate my own religion, unlike the pride Ole Nydahl club I have some self-esteem which gives me the power to be critical with my own religion and myself. True self-esteem doesn’t mind being criticised but in fact is happy if faults are pointed out correctly; such self-esteem has also no problems to correct own faulty claims. I consider your claim

            You’re far too quick to denigrate your own religion for the sake of being politically correct Tenpel.

            as a projection of your own pride and ignorance regarding these topics and Buddhism. Instead of attacking that ignorance and pride you attack my person as being motivated by political correctness – which is plain wrong ;-)

            If all religions are equal, why bother being Buddhist? It’s definitely not the easiest religion to follow.

            I didn’t say that all religions are equal, did I? If you appreciate Buddhism it would be great to question yourself and your own attitudes. As you said, “It’s definitely not the easiest religion to follow” but it looks like some people use Buddhism as an ornament to decorate their ego, instead of questioning themselves – questioning joyfully if their own attitudes are based on ignorance, aversion, attachments, pride or ego clinging … and gratefully & humbly correcting oneself if faults are correctly pointed out …, indeed “It’s definitely not the easiest religion to follow” ;-)

            • You’ve turned into a mudslinger Tenpel.
              “Well, you follow the route of ill informed Americans,…” — This is prejudical bigotry and mudslinging against Americans.

              “According to these scriptures, sex between the same sex is sexual misconduct. This is also the position accepted in Tibetan Buddhism. ” —- BS. I’m openly gay and have never been told this. If after 2 decades of attending teachings by Tibetan lamas they didn’t have the guts to tell me this, then they must not have any issue with homosexuality or they’re deceptive about what their religion teaches.

              “Sorry, I don’t want to offend you, but I cannot tolerate this uninformed, one-sided, hostile rubbish on my blog.” —- According to you Tenpel. Here you are judge and jury while you spout bigotry against Americans and refuse to impartially address the issue of hostility between religions.

              On one hand you act like hostile Muslims don’t exist and then you attack “Buddhists” in Myanmar when you know that the Myanmar regime killed thousands of monks and replaced them with government shills to create hatred between the Buddhists and Muslims to distract from their rotten military dictatorship controlled by China for cheap labor and to steal natural resources from the Burmese people.

              The Buddhist religion forbids killing people because of their religion. Anyone can call themselves Buddhist and commit atrocities. Obviously we have to have a litter discernment to see if they actually are Buddhist before blaming Buddhism.

              Texts are altered all the time. That’s why there’s so much variation between versions of the same text. We have to use our brain and see if a text matches the core Buddhist teachings to determine if it is a genuine Buddhist text or a fake.
              There are thousands of species that exibit homosexuality. Our closest animal relatives are bisexual because they use sex for more than just reproduction. Enlightenment is a mental task and the menntal factors of homosexual desire and heterosexual desire are almost completely identical. All sexual activities that homosexuals do, heterosexuals also do. I am right to cast doubt on things supposedly written by wise Buddhists that act as if there is some fundamental distinction to be drawn between homosexuality and heterosexuality.

              • There is no doubt that Mahayana Buddhism contains teachings that consider homosexual practice sexual misconduct. It is also true that this is not to be found in the suttas. But the suttas have other odd things relating to sexuality, such as a transgender or intersex person not being allowed to ordain or take certain vows.

                Like you I openly disagree with these teachings and see them as expressions of cultural stigmas of the time. But we shouldn’t pretend that Buddhism is a perfect religion that everyone can agree with. I know that the NKT ‘removed’ the classification of homosexuality as sexual misconduct and many “modern”, western groups undoubtedly are not teaching it. The Dalai Lama has, albeit only recently and not without some restraint, accepted homosexuality as ok. But then, many of these modern groups have many other problems…

                Buddhism in general (and here I am being very generic) does not encourage or celebrate sexuality or sex in any way. It is generally seen as an obstacle, an object that creates strong desirous attachment in people and is thus to be approached with caution or avoided. I believe that the Vajrayana radically changed this approach and celebrates sex on a profoundly mystical (and also natural) level, though not everyone agrees that that’s true.

                At the end of the day, all branches of Buddhism are concerned with transforming the mind, so I would say sex and sexual orientation are not of that much importance in Buddhism.

                • Thank you Maik for your comments.

                  But the suttas have other odd things relating to sexuality, such as a transgender or intersex person not being allowed to ordain or take certain vows.

                  The cases of eunuchs and hermaphrodites not being allowed to member of the ordained Sangha had reasons in what happened after they were ordained. I think I remember the story of an eunuch who asked other monks to penetrate him. Based on this the Buddha said that eunuchs can’t become members of the Sangha. Also seriously sick or handicapped people could not become member of the ordained Sangha because at one one point people used the ordination to have security a Sangha that cares for their health and livelihood (like a free hospital). So, for all those rules in the Vinaya there are clear reasons which make sense in the context of the time and based on the experiences been made.

                  To leave out the classification of homosexuality as being sexual misconduct in Tibetan Buddhism should be based on good reasoning. The NKT never provided any but just didn’t mention it or dropped it. It is Tsongkhapa who explicitly lists this in his Lam Rim Chen Mo – based on Asanga and Vasubandhu.

                  As far as I got it, though the Dalai Lama stated different times very clearly that people should not be discriminated based on sex, sex preferences and race etc., he still considers Asanga and Vasubandhu as authoritative in this regard. When I remember correctly he said to Jeffrey Hopkins to not accept this teaching by those authors needs good reasons. This can be all found in the text and the links I linked already – including a statement in support of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. So some knowledge of the scriptures and good reasons are required in order to come to terms and to find a standpoint that is not based on likes and dislikes but good reasons and scriptures.

                  Buddhism is a religion that tackles the mind poisons, especially attachment. Sexuality is thought about from that perspective. If you want to become an Arhat or a Buddha who has abandoned all of the mind poisons and their seeds (or even latencies) – incl. attachment – for ever, you have to find another approach to sexuality and let it gradually go. There is discussion if sexual conduct requires always attachment or not. The Vajrayana – the Highest Yoga Tantra to be more specific – used on the completion stage level. Before that you have mastered the creation stage level which means (when I remember correctly) you can mediate for four hours on the coarse and subtle aspects of the mandala (the subtle aspects are for instance the implements of the deities like tiny vajras at spots of their body) for four hours single pointedly. On a later level of the completion stage level, after you were already able to bring the winds into the lower opening of the central channel. Later you try to dissolve them into the heart chakra etc. However, there is one wind that is hardly to dissolve, the all pervading wind, and to be able to dissolve that (I can’t remember, but think into the heart chakra?) you need a tantric consort. So the tantric consort is not AT ALL ABOUT sex but a tool to control the inner winds and to dissolve then in order to manifest the clear light and to meditate on emptiness. I wrote a bit in German here about the context based on Nagwang Palden’s “Paths and Ground of Secret Mantra”. There is also discussion – but only very few have that view – if you can dissolve that wind without a tantric consort.

                  I don’t know where you take this claim from “celebrates sex on a profoundly mystical (and also natural) level”?
                  I agree at the end the getting rid of the mind poisons and the cultivation of qualities and to bring them to perfection (or to make them strengths or powers) is the key issue.

                  • Hi Tenzin, thanks for your post. The reasons Buddha gave are as you said based on a variety of sound factors. That is what I meant in my reply to Goe, that they are normally contextual, relating as they do to the time, cultural customs and other events.

                    The NKT was just an example. As was quoted above, Lama Yeshe also ‘got rid of’ the inclusion of homosexuality under sexual misconduct. You are of course right: any change or emission of Buddha’s teaching needs solid reasons. I am not aware exactly of what these might be, as I have not felt personally the need to justify the non-inclusion of homosexuality into sexual misconduct. But I believe the ‘reasons’ are apparent in a shift of focus: the emphasis is on sexual actions that harm others and oneself. I know that some teachers in the NKT spoke about this and explained that a teaching such as this one is contextual; it needs to be able to adapt to the time and place of its audience.

                    As for Vajrayana, it gets very subtle as you know and perhaps difficult to debate here. The function of the consort is not completely unrelated to sex as you said, because it is utilizing the same prana and nadi. Even meditation on tummo does this, which is why many New Agie ‘tantric sex’ groups have tuned into this (Kundalini, Candali, etc). I would turn your attention to Lama Yeshe’s (wonderful) book ‘Inner Fire’ in which he talks about this a lot. Of course the consort practice in HYT is not about sex, it is about getting the winds to dissolve in the central channel and getting the drops to melt for the sake of attaining the clear light mind or vajra body. (Your note about attaining the same state without a consort is indeed said to be part of the Ganden tantric lineage, but I don’t know the exact sources).

                    But there are relations: the depiction of Buddhas in union (yab-yum, etc), the naked and aroused Dakinis and so forth, these are what I was referring to when I spoke of a mystical and natural celebration of sex. Perhaps this was badly worded; hard to explain…! It’s a bit like in Sutra & Mahayana one might approach sex as an impurity and suppress it. In Tantra it is (like all other desires) transformed; but more profoundly than other desires, as it directly relates to the winds and drops that can aid tantric meditation. Sexual bliss also is linked in this way with Great Bliss (though of course being vastly inferior).

                    • …allow me to add here, that Ole’s emphasis on free love and emphasis on sexual bliss seems extremely misleading to me. In his case, the sexual aspect is given far too much weight and not enough explanation and reasoning.

              • I lack time for further detailed discussions. This Nydahl topic consumed already too much of it …
                However, my 2 pennies …

                You’ve turned into a mudslinger Tenpel.
                “Well, you follow the route of ill informed Americans,…” — This is prejudical bigotry and mudslinging against Americans.

                What I said is based on reason and not mudslinger. You said “I have almost no experience with Muslims, but I can imagine a religion like that existing that is hostile to all other religions and forces people to convert.” According to Greenwald, “47% of Americans know no Muslims. And, of course, those with negative views of Muslims are more likely to know none.” BTW, this is also true for those foreign and Muslim hostile East Germans in Dresden and Leipzig from which Pagida (AfD) started. I just align your own statement and views with those who share your experience and have similar views. I don’t think its mudslinging, my intention is to point out a certain mental pattern. In general, according to a summery of a research I remember, those who know Muslims have less negative views about them.

                “According to these scriptures, sex between the same sex is sexual misconduct. This is also the position accepted in Tibetan Buddhism. ” —- BS. I’m openly gay and have never been told this. If after 2 decades of attending teachings by Tibetan lamas they didn’t have the guts to tell me this, then they must not have any issue with homosexuality or they’re deceptive about what their religion teaches.

                Not being told about it doesn’t mean that those teachings from genuine Mahayana teachers, who are generally considered to be authorities – who are lineage gurus (!) from the so called “vast lineage”: Maitreya, Asanga, Vasubandhu – don’t exist. The Dalai Lama was explicit about this and received a lot of criticism when he said this, other Lamas you met seem to follow another approach. I don’t know what drives them. In general Tibetan lamas are quite conservative. There are few exceptions. It will be always individual why and how a Tibetan lama mentions or doesn’t mention this.

                However, the point is, in Buddhism nobody has to accept this if you have 1) good reasons and 2) knowledge of or quotes from the scriptures or the Buddha. Buddhism doesn’t mean to accept things just because authorities say this or that. BUT, again, not accepting teachings requires good reasons and first of all, the knowledge that these teachings exist and are (still) generally accepted.

                “Sorry, I don’t want to offend you, but I cannot tolerate this uninformed, one-sided, hostile rubbish on my blog.” —- According to you Tenpel. Here you are judge and jury while you spout bigotry against Americans and refuse to impartially address the issue of hostility between religions.

                Goe, didn’t you tell that “I have almost no experience with Muslims, but I can imagine a religion like that existing that is hostile to all other religions and forces people to convert.”, and isn’t what you tell about Islam one-sided and what you know about Buddhism and expressed here superficial? So why can’t I point this out to be “uninformed, one-sided, hostile rubbish”? You offer a mix of semi-truth, untruths, with some truths that supports your imagination of a cruel and violent Islam. You do not even know that ISIS is not a Muslim group but a political group founded by Iraqi secret officers who exploit aspects of Islam, offer a distorted version of Islam to young men who don’t have much perspective for their livelihood in their countries in East and West, in order to gain power. Muslims have said again and again that what ISIS does has nothing to do with Islam. I think my judgement of this mix of ill informed (or misinformed) writing of you still stands. It might be (or might appear) arrogant or harsh to be that direct but I was thinking its better to get to the heart of your imagination of Islam.
                BTW: In case you are from Diamond Way, I guessed, you will appreciate “freedom of speech” and criticism, because isn’t this what Ole praises? Doesn’t he like people who can think for themselves? Maybe, I just absorbed his exhortations and what he claims for Diamond Way people in this regard very well ;-)

                On one hand you act like hostile Muslims don’t exist and then you attack “Buddhists” in Myanmar when you know that the Myanmar regime killed thousands of monks and replaced them with government shills to create hatred between the Buddhists and Muslims to distract from their rotten military dictatorship controlled by China for cheap labor and to steal natural resources from the Burmese people.

                Why should I stress that hostile Muslims exist? Its a matter of fact I don’t have to repeat. It is you who seems to ignore that there are peaceful and tolerant branches of Islam and who seems to ignore the violence done by Buddhists (including Buddhist monks) against Muslims exists. That’s why I changed focus. The fact still stands, the so called (AI, HRW, BBC) “most persecuted minority in the world” are supposedly the Rohingya Muslims and they live in a Buddhist country. Just get aware of this and try to see the more complex picture of reality. This is why I mentioned this.

                The Buddhist religion forbids killing people because of their religion. Anyone can call themselves Buddhist and commit atrocities. Obviously we have to have a litter discernment to see if they actually are Buddhist before blaming Buddhism.

                I didn’t blame Buddhism. I just pointed out that Buddhists can also be very violent (up to and including torture) as Muslims can be. Ask those people if they consider themselves as Buddhists, of course they do.

                Texts are altered all the time. That’s why there’s so much variation between versions of the same text. We have to use our brain and see if a text matches the core Buddhist teachings to determine if it is a genuine Buddhist text or a fake.

                If you read the talk by Prof Cabezon I linked on my website or if you hear/read Alex Berzin’s talk about this topic and if you follow the links added at the end of Prof Cabezon’s talk, you can see that all of it stimulates a critical debate. Asanga’s and Vasubhandu’s texts are still considered to be genuine texts, however, if you have good reasons and if you know the statements of the Buddha (one research, a PhD research, when I remember correctly, clearly says that there is NOTHING AT ALL the Buddha said about homosexuality [this is also what my Theravada friends say], the Buddha referred to adultery when speaking about sexual misconduct in the context of householders (nowadays called “lay people”)), you can just object these statements but an objection should be based on 1) good reasoning and 2) the scriptures and what the Buddha said respectively.
                However, in general, the approach in Buddhism is, that objections with respect to Buddhist teachings (or teachings given in the context of Buddhism) should never be based on likes and dislikes.

                There are thousands of species that exibit homosexuality. Our closest animal relatives are bisexual because they use sex for more than just reproduction. Enlightenment is a mental task and the menntal factors of homosexual desire and heterosexual desire are almost completely identical. All sexual activities that homosexuals do, heterosexuals also do. I am right to cast doubt on things supposedly written by wise Buddhists that act as if there is some fundamental distinction to be drawn between homosexuality and heterosexuality.

                This is not a good reason. Your reason is basically, “because thousands do it it must be right.” It follows, because thousand ISIS people cut off the head of their enemies (or animals and men kill each other), it is right to do so.

                • And ISIS is distorted Islam because some other Muslims and you say so? Mohammed’s been dead for quite a while. Who exactly is the authority in Islam that can say one version is distorted and another is not? Definitely not you Tenpel.

                  Next you’ll be saying that Mohammed was not a Muslim because he had people massacred.

                  American’s are not a homogenous group. Saying “ill informed Americans” could just as easily be replaced with “ill informed Germans” because there are ill informed people in both groups. But you’d object to someone using ill informed Germans to describe ignorance right?

                  • I see you cannot accept good arguments and take refuge now in the burden of proof reversal and rhetorics.

                    It is you who made this false claim here without offering any shred of valid evidence: “If historical Muslims are the standard, then ISIS is the real Muslim group in this regard and the ones that aren’t out to convert people are just Muslim in name.”

                    I gave reasons and pointed out that this is not true. Among my arguments were that ISIS was created by a former Iraqi secret officer (some sources say over 100 former Iraqi secret officers make up IS), and its a military group that seeks to get power after the USA have destroyed their country and many of them lost power and their jobs. So its about power and control, jobs and livelihood and not religion.

                    Experts repeatedly stated that the IS just abuse Islam, and offer a totally distorted version of Islam, many Muslims clearly distanced themselves (including Saudi Arabia who considers them to be their enemy), and even Muslims who worked for the IS said in interviews (which I watched) that what ISIS does has NOTHING at all to do with their religion – and they left ISIS, they became defectors.

                    To give you a brief overview about the facts:

                    Criminologists see IS as a mafia-like holding company out to maximize profit. Scholars in the humanities point to the apocalyptic statements by the IS media department, its glorification of death and the belief that Islamic State is involved in a holy mission.

                    But apocalyptic visions alone are not enough to capture cities and take over countries. Terrorists don’t establish countries. And a criminal cartel is unlikely to generate enthusiasm among supporters around the world, who are willing to give up their lives to travel to the “Caliphate” and potentially their deaths.

                    IS has little in common with predecessors like al-Qaida aside from its jihadist label. There is essentially nothing religious in its actions, its strategic planning, its unscrupulous changing of alliances and its precisely implemented propaganda narratives. Faith, even in its most extreme form, is just one of many means to an end. Islamic State’s only constant maxim is the expansion of power at any price.

                    Sorry Goe, get informed and see the complexity of reality (this requires complex thinking and a sober knowledge basis too, therefore it is NOT EASY and it takes some time). The world cannot be comprehended by ignorance and a lack of understanding of conventional reality. Buddhism is not about taking refuge in prejudice and ignorance or black and white patterns of thinking. As you said, “It’s definitely not the easiest religion to follow” ;-)

                    • With respect to young men joining ISIS, 1) a good thing:

                      As part of the mentorship program, which runs out of a local mosque where Aziz is an instructor, young people receive lessons on social justice and take part in community volunteer activities intended to provide a sense of purpose and responsibility. “We have study sessions where we focus on critical thinking and teaching young people the consequences of their actions. We also look at the lives of people in the past who confronted situations of injustice without resorting to violence, like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and historical figures from Islam,” he says. “The purpose of all this is to show young people they are part of something greater than themselves. We do volunteer work in the broader community, particularly with senior citizens, and the kids start feeling like their lives are part of something big and meaningful.”

                      b) a look at its causes:

                      But for those who are at risk for radicalization, political events are a prime driver. “We shoot ourselves in the foot when we try and look for single root causes for social phenomena like this, but the elephant in the room is always foreign policy. Nobody wants to address it, though in my experience, its the No. 1 reason that young people get angry,” Aziz says. “Muslim communities have existed in Western countries for a very long time, but the issue of homegrown terrorism only arose over the past decade with the Iraq War and this period of extended conflict in the Middle East.”

                      “There is injustice going on in the world, and unless you do something to mitigate those problems, you’ll always end up treating symptoms but not the disease,” Aziz says.

                      https://theintercept.com/2016/04/07/a-better-approach-to-countering-violent-extremism/

                  • Hi Goe, reading your posts I was somewhat reminded of Sam Harris, I wager you know of him? I sense the same arguments that he uses in your points.

                    Sam Harris loves to point out that true Muslims are those who take the Koran to the extreme, those who fly planes into buildings. The majority of Muslims who are kind, peaceful people are not really Muslims. Interestingly, Christians who have committed heinous crimes are deemed by him to be ‘Christian by default’, i.e., it wasn’t their Christianity that inspired their crimes.

                    This is a convenient argument but also a nonsensical one. The retaliation by ISIS against Paris was hardly Islam-related, despite what ISIS claim to stand for, but a retaliation against continued secular, violent interference.

                    Sam Harris follows this logic by adding that most Christians, Jews or Buddhists are not really Christians, Jews or Buddhists – they are wise enough to know that their religion is simply a load of BS. Sadly, those uneducated desert nomads living in the Middle East actually take their book seriously and really believe in it. Harris however (as has been pointed out by numerous authors) has neither any training in or understanding of religion in general, nor of Islam specifically. If he did he wouldn’t be able to suggest that Islam has ‘more of a theological basis’ for terrorism than Christianity or Judaism, because it doesn’t.

                    More importantly – and more in line with Buddhism – I wonder what the benefit is in vilifying Muslims, or as Harris does, separating the good ‘fake’ Muslims from the bad ‘real’ ones? Just a thought.

                    I’d be interested to read a reply from you regarding my post above about Islamic meditation and the connections between Islam and Buddhism.

                    • I’ve never even heard of Sam Harris and I doubt it’s worth searching for.

                      There are bad religions. I can make up a religion right now that requires converts to kill 300 people to get into heaven, even torture them to death. I don’t care what “experts” have to say when historically Islam has caused people to commit murder on a massive scale to create caliphates. Sharia law still is the cause of executions of homosexuals and “heretics”.

                      Tenpel, this debate would move forward if you would acknowledge my points and either proof them false, irrelevant, or accept my point. Are you sure you’re not an American Tenpel?

                      Your reasons for why ISIS is not Muslim make no sense. All caliphates were created so someone could take power over that region. That those people were Iraqi doesn’t invalidate their religious affiliation.

                      I have no doubt that the US and Israel and their weapons industry are involved in fueling ISIS.

                      And I don’t entertain the idea that it is a fact that Muslims destroyed the World Trade Center by flying planes because the building was clearly demolished by detonations, not planes. So who is really responsible? I think the weapons industry/USA/Israel and maybe some oil competing groups are the only real possibilities. And Osama Bin Laden was always working for the USA and Israel.

                      Right now, who is ISIS attacking? Who is benefitting from this? USA, Israel, weapons industry, and the oil industry for the limited time remaining where we use petrol for transportation.

                      That’s not to say the Muslims being killed by ISIS are innocent. If they support Sharia law that kills homosexuals and heretics then they can’t be innocent can they?

                    • You are not interested in what experts say so you are willingly holding on to a view that you yourself indirectly admit knowing very little about.

                      It seems you are deeply concerned about sharia law – as Lama Ole is – and that it may one day take over the west. This will not happen, first of all. You also equate Islam with doctrines of torture and murder on a massive scale. Purely statistically speaking, Christianity has a body count tenfold that held by Islam, but I suppose that’s besides the point.

                      You last statement seems to indicate that people holding a view that sharia law is correct should be killed. Perhaps you also feel that people who do not agree with homosexuality should be killed. In which case perhaps it is you with the rather extreme mindset.

                      Nonetheless, please have a look at what I wrote below concerning the more spiritual aspects of Islam.

                    • Thank you Maik for your contributions. I really appreciate it!

                      I hope in general that correct information can still reach people.

                      Thank you very much for your contributions and pls continue to help/share your knowledge. Even if Goe cannot use the information currently, to get a more differentiated perspective of complex reality, maybe it benefits him in the future or someone else is been benefitted reading it.

                      For me it is helpful.

                    • @ Tenpel, no problem it is my pleasure, thank you for the platform! It is an important subject and especially now when you can apparently find more and more ‘islamophobia’ even in Buddhism, example:

                      https://buddhistletteronislamophobia.wordpress.com/

                      It occurred to me that there is often an attempt to separate ‘bad Muslims’ from good ones by saying that the ‘bad ones’ are not really Muslims, because Muslims wouldn’t do the terrible things they do (unless you’re Sam Harris who says the opposite). Perhaps this is one of Goe’s issues.

                      I’m sure many ISIS members are Muslim, some possibly very devout, others not. Similarly many Spanish missionaries reaching the Americas in the 16th century were very devout and religious while others had different motives. Both were involved in the systematic killing and forced conversion of the natives.

                      Similarly, what makes a person a Buddhist and what makes you ‘not a Buddhist’? If I consider myself a Buddhist but I drink beer and smoke weed, am I not a Buddhist? If I live a very pure, celibate and sober life, following all the vows but harbor negative views about others and am filled with self righteous pride, am I not a Buddhist? The point is, once all delusions have been negated, all that is left is enlightenment, at which point I am a Buddha. And a Buddha has no need to be a Buddhist.

                      Therefore any Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Jew etc will be a person with endless amounts of imperfections. Instead of pigeon-holing a vast array of different cultures and races into the ‘terrorist box’ because they are Muslim, it is far more realistic to take a psychological approach and see acts of terror, hatred and violence as manifestations of delusion – something all living beings are guilty of. The designation of ‘Muslim’ or ‘Buddhist’ is then just something labelled on to the surface and has little to do with the real issue.

                      Apropos Islam and Denmark (back to Lama Ole), I did some research into the issue as I have relatives there who are terrified by the Muslim ‘threat’. My findings are here, for anyone who might be interested:

                      https://middlewayshugden.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/veiled-terror-the-muslim-and-the-lion-a-look-at-islamophobia-in-northern-europe-its-roots-and-implications/

            • Soenam Zangpo says:

              we can debate our perceptions of others’ ideologies endlessly and fall into exactly the same trap that Nyadhl does, constructing his own ideology in relation to a straw man argument

              In the first video he says, “it’s two systems which are generally opposed, and where one system wants to change the other system.” This would seem a fairly uncontroversial claim, but then he says,

              “We’re willing to let the Muslims be Muslims in their Muslim world, right, but they, from their Qur’an, they have to change us and make us Muslims…”

              bear in mind that he is referring to an area which has had a U.S. military presence for almost the entire past 13 years, one of the aims of which was to install “democracy” in the region

              the fear seems to be that, even though we have invaded their country and unsuccessfully tried to impose our values on them, that they not only have the exact same fantasy of doing it back to us, but that they will be far better at it

              it seems the greatest irony that the idea that “we would be happy for you to stay at home and mind your own business” should come from Nydahl, while his projected fear of their imagined future actions is equally mirrored by our own real actions – a very clear example of narcissistic mirroring, just like a person who carries a knife through fear of being attacked, by his very actions, thereby increases the likelihood of the very thing he claims to want to avoid.

              • First of all, try to see Ole in his context, namely as a middle-class Dane. I’m half Danish with many Danish relatives, all of whom are completely terrified by the prospect of being forced into sharia law: a completely ridiculous fear, of course, but they are buying the media hype. A few pictures of blonde women who were beaten up by a violent Middle Eastern boyfriend have been circling the media non-stop in the last year and everybody is taking the bait.

                As for Islam, it appears some bloggers here believe it to be, at the very least, strongly opposed to Buddhism. May I offer a correction; unlike Christianity or Judaism, Islam actually teaches an official form of meditation. The dhikr system contains four graduated stages of meditation, called taffakur, tasbih, muraqaba and murabita. Tasbih is essentially mantra meditation while muraqaba has striking parallels to tranquil abiding / samatha practices. With a bit of a stretch of the imagination, Murabita is essentially tantric deity practice. Too much for me to get in to, but I’d encourage interested people to study these topics, they are fascinating.

                There is also more mysticism relating to cosmology, metaphysics and the workings of the human body to be found in the Qoran than in the Bible, for example. Many concepts remind me strongly of Vedic ones, such as the concept of ‘qudra’, which is essentially brahman.

                Like Tenpel said, the famous ‘Islamist terrorist’ view we have is an elaboration of the Wahhabi. This view of extremist Muslims has been propagated by the West since 1979, when Afghanistan was wedged between an ideological power struggle between the USA and USSR. For the sake of protecting their own interests, the Americans under President Carter declared the Persian Gulf as deeply threatened by Communism and in dire need of US protection. In this time of upheaval and violence, the Moujahedeen – Islamic fundamentalists strongly opposed to both US and Russian influence – began rising in power. The US knew there was a possibility of a damaged nation being taken over by radical extremists hell-bent on revenge, as was the sentiment within Iran by 1980, which led to the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

                There are doubtlessly misogynistic societies in some regions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. But they are often Christian, not just Muslim. Not to mention certain Buddhist traditions as well. There are also doubtlessly extremely angry Middle-Eastern men and women who have been suppressed, bombed and smeared by the US and their allies for decades. But a little intelligence and looking behind the scenes should prevent anyone from taking the Nydahl-route of prejudice generalization.

                • Soenam Zangpo says:

                  Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:

                  “If we lose nonduality, and if Buddhism really puts the importance to morality, it will become very dangerous, because then the value of a practitioner will be judged by who is morally good or right, and this is very dangerous. Somebody could be very good with morality, but they may have no compassion. They may not have the understanding of the truth. And because there is no understanding of the truth, there is no compassion. Morality actually becomes sort of pillar of our pride and arrogance. So the whole purpose of morality is again defeated. Therefore, the morality of Buddhism has to accompany with nonduality.”

                  • deleted, this seems to be a troll who was banned already

                    • Soenam Zangpo says:

                      It is interesting PP, that you find it personal, whereas to me it seems a very clear and straightforward explanation in keeping with my understanding of many other authors on the topic – this alone would make me question the position from which you formulate (I use the term loosely) your idiosyncratic opinion.
                      That you also feel the need to resort to an argument ad hominem based on your apprehension of others’ equally idiosyncratic opinions only serves to further isolate this distortion.

                    • Comments by “pp” were deleted. Seems to be a troll who was banned already.

            • I erred, there is at least one guy who takes the battle in the Kalachakra tantra literally and builts stupas AGAINST another religion – euphemistically mantled as “protecting”:

            • According to Nydahl you need Stupas in order to “pacify and transform sources of negative energy”.
              But where is this negative energy coming from? According to Nydahl it comes from the South, from Africa …

              Newly added on Tuesday 28th June, 2016:

              • dharmaanarchist says:

                Erm, and they think that Guru Rinpoche will protect Europe from the evil immigrants from the African continent?????

                SERIOUSLY????

                Padmasambhava came from an area that is nowadays Pakistan/Afghanistan, a place where a lot of today’s refugees come from. Later in his life he migrated to India and then Tibet. He was an immigrant in the later part of his life.

                By the way, in my street there is a smaller refugee shelter (about 100 of them), and so far we have had zero problems with those people. Not even a stolen bicycle to complain about.

                • Maybe we have more problems with Ole and his people than with any refugee ;-)

                  His militarist attitude and his idea of defending Buddhism, the own religion, with violence is nothing else than the so called “outer jihad” – one of three types of jihad. Also his polyandry is not different to his object of criticism. Though formally he agrees that his ladies could have other partners, he ignores the issue and said that his partners say they are only with him: “aber sie sagen selbst, dass sie nur bei mir sind.”

                  • Soenam Zangpo says:

                    Indeed Tenpel, it would seem a rather obvious neoconservative strategy to claim to be defending the “traditional values” of freedom and equality by systematically undermining them and replacing them with patriarchal despotism, as clearly outlined in the work of George Orwell, and even in the plot of Star Wars!
                    (I wonder if it is any coincidence that the perpetrators of such an insidious discourse all seem to come from the same demographic)

                    • With Ole and his followers it is at times bizarre, eg being proud to be independent thinkers they don’t have the mental freedom to question themselves and their leader Ole and his approach. This is a closed door for these self-proclaimed free thinkers. They can’t even see that Ole teaches and lives basically attachment, a hedonistic version of Buddhism. Yet, they think they are the inheritors of Buddhism/Karma Kagyu …
                      What to say. Maybe I shut up otherwise I risk to become cynical. It’s easy to be outraged but it’s harder and it takes more time to change things to the better – a Dharma friend just wrote to me.

                  • And Ole is also somewhat the prophet, sent by the all knowing 16th Karmapa to spread Buddhism. He has the quickest, the best, the only path, superior to any other path. He is the powerful inheritor of the Karma Kagyu tradition, superior to the old fashioned Tibetans, who brings a modernised but stainless form of Buddhism to the Western unbelievers. And Ole saves his converted followers and those yet to come from the evil and dangerous Muslim unbelievers.

                    He, as the true Buddhist prophet, can also tell you what Kagyu lamas are genuine and who are not. He knows, you know.

                    Because of His greatness of course He and his followers possess also domains like http://www.buddhismus.de, http://www.buddhismus-nord.de, http://www.buddhismus-sued.de, http://www.buddhismus-heute.de, http://www.buddyzm.pl, http://www.buddhism.ru, http://www.buddhismus.at, http://www.buddhismus.org etc. HE is Buddhism. His web domains and the namse He and his followers use indicate clearly that they are and possess also the karma kagyue tradition of different countries, e.g Karma Kagyu Österreich etc. So, He, the messanger of the holy Karmapa, the prophet, He is the true one, the only. Hail to him!

                    • This does seems to be the attitude within DWB. Ole also often openly declares that certain traditional teachings, such as for example the length of time a being remains in bardo, are wrong. Why? Because he has seen it differently in his own meditation…!

                      What I would add to this however, is that Diamond Way have a very strong identity issue: they always stress that they are Diamond Way Buddhists, that they are part of Kagyu, etc; they rarely say ‘I’m a Buddhist’. This always struck me, as I have not experienced it from other groups.

                      The ‘good’ thing about it all is that there is 100% transparency with Ole (thou possibly less so with the DW institution).

                      I think we should also question the actions/sanctions of the 16th Karmapa, who essentially got Ole started and prompted him to bring his teachings to the West – knowing very well who Ole was and what kind of things were important to him. The continued endorsement of Ole by Shamar Rinpoche also needs to be factored in to this whole story; three decades of obscure dialogue and behaviour between Tai Situ and Shamarpa, the other two regents, along with the whole Karmapa controversy also factor in to this.

                      It almost looks like the Karma Kagyü went through a bit of a bump in the road during and after the second half of HH the 16th’s life and perhaps there is some hidden karma being made to run through the mills. Perhaps if their organisation had been clearer, stronger and more concise, there wouldn’t now be a racist Dane with a taste for girls who could be his granddaughter running around preaching tantric-stupa-powa.

                      (I have deep respect for the lineage, this is not a criticism of the Karma-Kagyü :-) )

                    • …actually my last paragraph is unfair, this comment about Ole was too divisive and mean-spirited. My apologies, I have no intention of smearing Ole as a means in itself.

                    • It looks like to me how Kelsang Gyatso claimed or derived a mission for himself from Trijang Rinpoche so did it Ole Nydahl with the 16th Karmapa. These people with a missionary drive have a tendency to justify it with claims of higher forces and being empowered to do so. What ever they say about these forces (Trijang Rinpoche, 16th Karmapa in that context) has more to do with them and their justifications than with those people they point to or talk about. So, I would be careful to take either KG’s or Ole’s claims of their messenger status to seriously but would consider it always as not really reliable.

                      With respect to Shamarpa and Tai Situ Rinpoche and their relation, I don’t know but what I know is that Shamarpa’s incarnations were prohibited to be localised or recognised by the Dalai Lama institution (the Gaden Podrang, the political institution), due to certain political trouble making. The 16th Karmapa asked the 14th Dalai Lama to lift that ban what he did … and the recent occurrences rather indicate that there might have some reasons to prevent Shamarpa to get back to power … However; I didn’t look too much into this issue. And maybe I got it wrong. All in all it appears that Shamarpa quitted the agreement the four closest students of the Karmapa once had about the incarnation. He made up his own stories and he involved others in it in – it seems – rather nasty / deceptive ways, like involving this great Sakya Lama, Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, whom he claimed had recognised his Karmapa candidate but being asked Chogye Trichen Rinpoche stated that he didn’t recognise Shamarpa’s candidate … embarrassing. However, its past.

                    • I suspect maik108’s remarks of April 8, 2016 about the 16th Karmapa are informed by dolgyal cult hearsay. Kelsang camp followers sitting around, drinking coffee and gossiping (albeit with ‘deep respect’) about the ‘inferior lineages’, right?
                      Once again, aspersions cast by western dolgyal cultists about the 16th Kamtsang hierarch, who passed away 35 years ago, are meretricious.

                    • Hi Tenpel,
                      As you know we don’t agree about Geshe Kelsang, but I understand your connection. Nonetheless, objectively speaking, there are differences in their ‘usage’ of their root gurus. Although the NKT use the Phabongkha – Trijang lineage to strengthen their authenticity, Gyatso was not known to shout about his Lama, his mission or that his Lama had recognized in him special qualities (by shout I mean ‘laut reden’). Ole on the other hand uses every opportunity he can to blow his own horn, whether its talking about how Karmapa saw something special in him, how other Tibetan Lamas recognized him as a protector deity or how Shamar Rinpoche authorized him to be a fully fledged guru.

                      I know very little about the Karmapa affair myself, so I have no authority to say anything concrete about it. I generally felt more of an inclination to lean towards the Thaye Dorje camp, simply because he was appointed by Shamarpa, which seemed to be more in line with the history of the Karmapas, despite his possible shortcomings as an authentic figure.

                      On a personal note, my gut feeling has always told me that Tai Situ Rinpoche is one of the dodgiest Karma-Kagyü guys I have seen. But that has no weight, of course. Perhaps he’s a lovely guy :)

                    • Hi Maik,
                      Kelsang Gyatso made himself the messenger of Trijang Rinpoche like Ole made himself the messenger of the Karmapa.

                      With respect to KG it is already well illustrated by the fact that while – so it appears, see David Kay – that Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa (FPMT) said that they sought the advice of HHDL, KG/NKT via Jim Belither made the story that Trijang Rinpoche’s advice was sought – leaving out any mentioning of HHDL. Then KG didn’t mention his own main teacher, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, nor did he mention that he received only few teachings by Trijang Rinpoche but made Trijang Rinpoche at the cost of all the lamas who really taught him his central guru. He set up a pure supreme guru, an enlightend being (like Ole with Karmapa) to present himself as his inheritor. For me this is only obvious. The history, the NKT spins and writings etc., the rewriting of NKT history tell exactly this (invented) story. However, I don’t see a point to argue with you about this because I accept your right to see and interpret this differently and I am not enthusiastic to “convert” you to my view ;-)

                      It is true that KG has a more restrained way to web his story – he wouldn’t shout it out – but it is still a story with a pure being and he as his pure inheritor and messenger in the West, it reads like this (written from former NKT secretary Belither):

                      He studied both philosophical and practical subjects of Buddhism under many highly qualified teachers, especially Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. After leaving Tibet in 1959, he spent the next eighteen years mainly emphasizing retreat in various locations in the Himalayan region and northern India.

                      Geshe Kelsang arrived in England in late August 1977 at the invitation of Manjushri Buddhist Centre, then Manjushri Institute. Manjushri Institute had been established in 1975 by Lama Thubten Yeshe, also a disciple of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and a former classmate of Geshe Kelsang. He encouraged his English students to establish a centre in England and promised to arrange for a Teacher to be sent. After initially organizing courses in the London area, Manjushri Centre moved to Conishead Priory near Ulverston, on the northwest coast of England, in August 1976. Lama Yeshe had already begun looking for a suitable Teacher. At that time, Geshe Kelsang had accepted an invitation by the Christian monk and writer, Thomas Merton, to live and teach in a centre planned in Canada, but after Thomas Merton’s tragic death this was no longer possible. Geshe Kelsang was then free to come to England, and Lama Yeshe requested Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche to ask Geshe Kelsang to become Resident Teacher of Manjushri Centre. Geshe Kelsang later recounted that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche asked him to go to England, teach Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Chandrakirti’s Guide to the Middle Way and Lamrim, and then check whether there was any meaning in his continuing to stay.

                      The problem with these claims is, that KG didn’t study many “philosophical and practical subjects of Buddhism” with Trijang Rinpoche because Trijang Rinpoche was the junior tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama and not of Kelsang Gyatso – a no name monk. Trijang Rinpoche taught HH the Dalai Lama and Dagyab Rinpoche often together, but to my knowledge, in general, there were no other tulkus among these two high incarnated lamas – and not at all was there any unknown monk called Kelsang Gyatso. Of course KG could receive public teachings or public empowerments and privately some transmissions from Trijang Rinpoche but to claim to have received “philosophical and practical subjects of Buddhism … especially Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche” is a myth he created and it is misleading. The second problem is, obviously FPMT had told the story differently to David Kay who writes in his research that

                      Manjushri Institute was a centre for which Lamas Yeshe and Zopa had grand designs, and they apparently sought the advice of the Dalai Lama when choosing Geshe Kelsang to fill the responsible position of overseeing its spiritual development. He accepted the invitation and moved into Conishead Priory in 1977 along with his translator to oversee the ‘General Programme’ of Buddhist studies.

                      Just considering these two spins you can conclude how reliable the third claim is, mentioning Trijang Rinpoche, which claims “Geshe Kelsang later recounted that Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche asked him to go to England…”. Later the NKT further spun the story that Trijang Rinpoche had asked Kelsang Gyatso to uphold “this stainless tradition” in the West etc.

                      If you see and understand how overstressed Trijang Rinpoche is in NKT (KG established this via Jim and his closest students), how much neglected the senior teacher of HHDL, Ling Rinpoche is (senior in rank, Trijang Rinpoche was junior in rank to Ling Rinpoche … and later even a statement by Ling Rinpoche in the preface of one of KG’s book was deleted … why? Why eradicating Ling Rinpoche?), how the DL is been denigrated and no other high lama than Trijang Rinpoche (and Pabongkha) is much stressed, it becomes evident how Kelsang Gyatso made him the inheritor and messenger, the prophet of Trijang Rinpoche in the West (Trijang Rinpoche as the highest of the highest – ignoring that HH the Dalai Lama is higher in rank to Trijang Rinpoche) … so KG spun skilfully a story of an omniscient master whose messenger and true heir he is, just as Ole did it with the 16th Karmapa.

                      Ole on the other hand uses every opportunity he can to blow his own horn, whether its talking about how Karmapa saw something special in him, how other Tibetan Lamas recognized him as a protector deity or how Shamar Rinpoche authorized him to be a fully fledged guru.

                      KG blows the horn only less noisily but he blows it effectively and his uninformed Western students are stuck in awe, reference and blind belief – not seeing the spins he made …

                      I know very little about the Karmapa affair myself, so I have no authority to say anything concrete about it. I generally felt more of an inclination to lean towards the Thaye Dorje camp, simply because he was appointed by Shamarpa, which seemed to be more in line with the history of the Karmapas, despite his possible shortcomings as an authentic figure.

                      I made up my mind by reading the writings of both camps, starting initially with what was published by Ole and Sharmapa themselves and what made me wonder was a) a very rude and aggressive letter by the Shamarpa – full of anger b) a very peaceful and inspired letter by the Shamarpa after he met the Dalai Lama. Only some years later I got to know how the 16th Karmapa’s four main disciples had an agreement and how Shamarpa split away from that and told his own story, based also on lies and deception. For me then it was clear. It became even more clear when I met some great Kagyu masters and received teachings from them, including Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, Sanyge Nyempa Rinpoche, Minygur Rinpoche – almost all of the great Kaygyu lamas decided for Tinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa and there I didn’t see any spite or aggression. Later a person told me a story about how Shamarpa got totally angry and shouted in a car because some scientists didn’t treat him as the GREAT Shamarpa. He complained that they didn’t understand who he really is “I am the Shamarpa of Tibet” he shouted in the car. Ok. Not my taste.

                      I never met Tai Situ Rinpoche. So I cannot say anything. But the lamas I mentioned here from whom I received teachings and whom I met, all of them I experienced only in the best ways.

                    • Hi Tenzin, thanks for your in-depth reply, I have read it a few times and tried to see it from your perspective.

                      I agree that there is not much point for us to discuss these aspects of the NKT again, as we have done so at length previously. I would only be re-hashing previous reasons for why I don’t agree with all your interpretation of GKG and the NKT history (some of them I agree with), so I won’t :-)

                      But just briefly, you seem to suggest that Trijang is literally used as a kind of phantom by the NKT and that, very possibly, GKG never had teachings from him. Meaning also that Trijang’s own forewords and prayer for GKG’s long life are fake (possibly drafted by Jim?). I don’t think that’s the case.

                      Back to Ole: Same issue here: It feels a bit like you are taking HH 16th Karmapa out of the picture and suggesting he was simply used as a kind of propaganda tool. I agree in so far that Ole and the organisation use the ‘Karmapa’ card as often as possible, as it is a convenient bit of authority. But there is also no doubt that Karmapa was fond of them and clearly felt Ole would be more than an adequate teacher for the entire Western world. The connection between the 16th and hence the Karma Kagyü tradition and Ole Nydahl is not a hoax, it is authentic. As for the stories about Shamarpa, we can of course discuss allegories like the one about him getting angry in a car, but this remains pure hearsay. I’m sure Tai Situ gets moments of anger… perhaps when he drops his Armani sunglasses or forgets to trim his sideburns. But who knows, right?

                    • Maik’s smarmy and cynical asides about Tai Situ are inappropriate and offensive. Rest assured your ignorance will be rewarded. Do you feel Tibetan dharma is simply for your amusement?

                    • I didn’t have time to read Maik’s last two comments nor his Ole article. But in general I am sceptical about his expertise on the Karmapa issue because I fear it will be influenced by NKT views of Tibetan politics and the Dalai Lama. A Kagyue follower of the other Karmapa, who read Maik’s article, found faults and said he must be strongly influenced by the Thaye Dorje camp. However, at the moment I can’t judge this.

                      For a neutral academic paper and expertise (given for a court case in Australia and posted on my website with permission from Prof. Geoffrey Samuel) about the role of the (office of the) Dalai Lama in the process of recognition of tulkus see the following paper:

                      The Recognition of Incarnate Lamas in Tibetan Buddhism and the Role of the Dalai Lama by Geoffrey Samuel

                      Here is an academic’s analysis written by Helen Waterhouse (rather not critical at all with NKT but highly likely neutral in the Karmapa issue) – she also relied on Samuel’s expertise: Who is the Karmapa? Western Buddhist Responses to a Challenge to Traditional Religious Authority

                      Because I fear (since Ole and his camp is similar media savvy and driven by a similar missionary drive as the NKT) that information of the Thaye Dorje camp is dominant online, I add here a preface written by the Office of the Trinley Dorje Karmapa office which might be able to fill gaps of information or to put spin of informations into context. Its not so much about taking sides but rather to share just this view.

                      To understand the ramifications of the controversy surrounding the identification and recognition of the 17th Karmapa it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of the working of the Tibetan Buddhist system itself.

                      Tibetan Buddhism consists of four main Schools which are:-
                      (a) the Nyingmapa School, the oldest, founded by Guru Padmasambhava in the 8th Century,
                      (b) the Kagyupa School, established around the 10th Century by Marpa, the Tibetan disciple of the Indian sage Naropa,
                      (c) the Sakyapa School, founded in 1262 by the Tibetan master Khon Konchok Gyalpo,
                      (d) the Gelukpa School, founded by the Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), a Tibetan monk and scholar.

                      Each of these Schools has many sub Schools, including the Karma Kagyud sub School, the dominant sub School of the Kagyu School. The Karmapa is the supreme Head of the Kagyu School.

                      Tibetan Buddhism is unique in its practice of Reincarnations, Enlightened Beings and Bodhisattvas (Tibetan- Rinpoches/Tulkus) reincarnating, after death, in a new body to continue the work of liberating all sentient beings from suffering. The Karmapa is renowned because this tradition of reincarnation (Bodhisattvas) in Tibet started with the 2nd Karmapa in 1110 and has continued in an unbroken line of succession up to the present Karmapa who is the seventeenth of the line. Subsequently, all the other denominations of Tibetan Buddhism adopted the practice of reincarnation. Now each School has its own lineage of high incarnate Lamas. Though each School has its own spiritual Head, the Dalai Lama, because of his position as the Head of the Tibetan Government, is generally accepted by all as the Pontiff of Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the present incumbent, because of his advanced spiritual attainment, wide learning and international acclaim.

                      The process of identifying an incarnate Lama after the death of his predecessor has, over the centuries, evolved into an exacting process whichis governed by very strict religious rituals and principles followed by all Schools. The rituals involve

                      a) prophecies, signs and indications left by the preceding incarnate showing the manner of his rebirth,
                      b) auspicious signs and occurrences during his conception and also at his birth,
                      c) signs and indications shown by the child during his growth, e.g. the recognition and identification of the belongings of the previous incarnate and recollection of events and persons associated with his previous life and
                      d) dreams and divinations seen by exceptionally holy persons pointing to the identity of the new incarnate.

                      However, in the case of the Karmapa, besides the above, there is a unique tradition that the previous Karmapa leaves behind a letter of prediction foretelling the manner of his rebirth.

                      The 16th Karmapa fled from Tibet and settled in Sikkim in 1959 where he proceeded to construct a monastery in Rumtek village, near Gangtok. The monastery is known as the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre and has become the new headquarters of the Karmapa in India. Before he came to India his headquarters in Tibet were at the Tsurphu Monastery, near Lhasa.

                      The 16th Karmapa died on 5th November, 1981. Following his death a Regency of the next four highest ranking Rinpoches of the Karma Kagyud branch, namely Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, was set up to oversee the religious affairs at Rumtek Monastery and also to search for and enthrone the 17th Karmapa.

                      Ugyen Trinley Dorje was discovered according to the Letter of Prediction left by the 16th Karmapa with Situ Rinpoche before he died (Annexure 1). He was subsequently declared by the Dalai Lama as the true reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, after the Dalai Lama was satisfied that the identification was correct (Annexure 2) and that it accorded with a revelation made to him in a dream (a video cassette exists where the Dalai Lama speaks about his dream).

                      Unfortunately, a dissenting group led by Shamar Rinpochee has come up with a rival claimant, Thaye Dorji, as their candidate. Shamar Rinpochee and his group question the genuineness of the Prediction Letter and refute the right of the Dalai Lama to have anything to do with matters pertaining to the Kagyud School, let alone the authority to recognize the reincarnation of the Karmapa. Suggestions have been made that the Gelukpa led administration of the Dalai Lama is trying again to revive its control and dominance over all the Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially over the Karma Kagyud School, as done in the past, and that Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche have surrendered the autonomy and independence of the Karma Kagyu School to the machinations of the allegedly Gelukpa administration of the Dalai Lama by involving him in the process of finding the new Karmapa.

                      While Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche have the highest respect and regard for the Dalai Lama they are no less zealous than Shamar Rinpoche in protecting the independence and autonomy of the Karma Kagyu School. In spite of this rival claim the remaining two regents, Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, proclaimed Ugyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. Kongtrul Rinpoche had died in April 1992, before the new Karmapa was discovered, but a videotape exists in which, while he was alive, he affirmed his acceptance of the Prediction Letter produced by Situ Rinpoche.

                      Shamar Rinpoche’s stand regarding Ugyen Trinley Dorje’s position as the 17th Karmapa has shifted over time. Initially, he questioned the Prediction Letter produced by Situ Rimpochee but later relented and agreed to accept the letter and not to question its veracity (Annexure 3). Subsequently, he again began to challenge the Letter, demanding that it be subjected to forensic tests. In the meantime, he put out some forensic evidence, gathered by his followers, to prove the Letter a forgery. He also asserted that the Dalai Lama, being a member of the Gelukpa School, had no standing in the affairs of the Karma Kagyud Order as the Kagyudpa School is separate and independent. He claimed that in the past the Dalai Lama’s recognition of the Karmapa’s reincarnation was sought since the Dalai Lama was the Head of the Tibetan Government. As the Dalai Lama was now in exile this was no longer required and since he was the highest Rimpochee in the Karnu Kagyud Order, after the passing away of the 16th Karmapa, it was his right by rank and authority to recognize and install the new Karmapa.

                      When making this assertion Shamar Rinpoche appears to overlook the fact that the 16th Karmapa felt it necessary, even in exile, to obtain the approval of the Dalai Lama when he himself was being installed as the 13th Shamar (Annexures 4 and 5, which consist of extracts taken from a book entitled “Karmapa the Black Hat Lama of Tibet compiled by Nik Douglas & Meryl White”, with a foreword written by the 16th Karmapa and copies of a letter in Tibetan, with English translation, written by the 16th Karmapa to the Dalai Lama requesting the Dalai Lama to give recognition to the present Shamar Rimpochee and the Dalai Lama’s letter conferring this recognition). Furthermore, even in the case of his own candidate, Thaye Dogi, Shamar Rinpoche initially tried to obtain the Dalai Lama’s recognition, which was not given (Annexure 6). In subsequent publications in favour of Shamar Rinpoche’s version, attempts have been made to give sophisticated and apparently plausible explanations regarding the letter he signed initially accepting the Letter of Prediction, the recognition given in the past by previous Dalai Lamas to the Karmapa’s reincarnations and also to the recognition given by the present Dalai Lama to his own reincarnation. However, these explanations have come as afterthoughts and even then they have varied over time.

                      It is not disputed that in the past various Shamar Rinpoches have played an important role in the search and finding of the reincarnation of the Karmapas. However, past Situ Rinpoches, Kongtrul Rinpoches and Gyaltsab Rinpoches have played equally important parts. In fact, on some occasions, other high Rinpoches of the Karma Kagyu School have played significant roles. Therefore, it is incorrect that the finding and recognition of the reincarnate of the Karmapa is the exclusive prerogative by right of Shamar Rinpoche’s rank and authority in the Karma Kagyu order. Even though Shamar Rinpoche holds the foremost position after the Karmapa in the Karma Kagyu Order yet Situ Rinpoche, Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, are not subordinate to him either in rank or spiritual authority. All four Rinpoches are held in equal religious esteem by all the followers of the Karma Kagyud lineage.

                      While the proclamation of Ugyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa was done after fulfilling all the traditional religious and spiritual requirements and formalities, as accepted by the majority of the high Rimpochees of the Karma Kagyud Order, by the Dalai Lama and also by the Heads of the other Schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Shamar Rimpochee, on the other hand, has not produced any evidence to substantiate his claim that Thaye Dorje, is the 17th Karmapa. He claims to have some items of evidence, saying that they will be revealed at the appropriate time. However, even after some ten or fifteen years, he has failed to come forward with any such evidence. At one time Shamar Rimpochee claimed that a high Rimpochee in Kathmandu, the Venerable Chogyer Trichen Rimpochee, possessed evidence left by the 16th Karmapa about his rebirth. However, on enquiry, the Venerable Rimpochee denied that he had any such thing (Annexure 7). Being unsuccessful in establishing the religious claim of Thaye Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, Shamar Rimpochee has instead embarked on a series of litigation in his attempt to gain control of Rumtek Monastery and thus obtain possession of the holy, sacred and valuable relics enshrined in the Monastery.

                      In addition to the religious formalities conferring recognition on Ugyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, he has also been recognized by the State Government of Sikkim (Annexure 8), by all the political parties in the State, with the Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee even stating in their Election Manifesto that the Party would work to bring the Karmapa to Rumtek Monastery (Annexure 9), by all the leading monasteries in Sikkim and by the majority of the Buddhists in the State (Annexure 10). Ugyen Trinley Dorje has also been accepted as the 17th Karmapa by the major Buddhist organizations and by Buddhist followers elsewhere in the country. (Annexure 11). He is an important member of the Indian Council of Religious Leaders (Annexure 12).

                      If someone is interested in the documents in Tibetan and English I can scan them too.

                    • Soenam Zangpo says:

                      Maik108 – “But there is also no doubt that Karmapa was fond of them and clearly felt Ole would be more than an adequate teacher for the entire Western world. The connection between the 16th and hence the Karma Kagyü tradition and Ole Nydahl is not a hoax, it is authentic.”

                      Where have you got this idea from? It is my impression that the 16th Karmapa sent Nydahl on his “mission” simply to get rid of him.

                      The only support that I have seen for your view is from diamond way sources, whereas independent comments are consistent with the quotation from Lama Namsen Rinpoche, “What you can do is tell others about Dharma, but you can’t act like a Lama”.

                    • Nice to see Brian return with his little personal opinions and allegations, welcome back! Tenzin, I would hope that you don’t take Brians uninformed views too seriously. And by the way, had any of you read my article, you would have found that it doesn’t concern the Karmapa affair. Instead, it is a paper on Ole, who he is, what he says, how he acts, etc. written from more of a social-political point of view.

                      How can my opinions or thoughts about the Karmapa issue be the result of NKT influence…? This is an odd thing to say. Furthermore, how can they be influenced by DW, a group that I never practiced with? Or is it that anyone who does not feel that Ugyen Trinley is necessarily THE authentic Karmapa is somehow a DW cult victim? Come on guys….!

                      Soenam, what did you mean by Diamond Way sources? As for the connection between the 16th and Ole, this is irrefutable and well documented. I can collect some sources for you, if indeed you really believe it not to be true. THe question I put to Tenzin was, are we really to believe that Ole & DW have no connection to the 16th and simply invented it for the sake of propaganda?

                    • Brian, I hope you don’t rejoice?
                      I like the answer of the NKT nun who said that she is happy that no person was damaged.
                      Indeed, great!

                    • Soenam Zangpo says:

                      Maik108, according to your pdf article,

                      “In 1968, him and his new wife Hannah travelled to Nepal… The Karmapa took a special liking to the couple… Through him, the Nydahls received all the major Kagyü tantric empowerments and initiations.

                      By 1972, the Karmapa appointed Ole as a fully qualified teacher of the Karma-Kagyü lineage and asked him and Hannah to return to the West to teach Buddhism. Much later on, Ole recounted that the Karmapa had specifically asked them to teach and introduce the four preliminary practices to Mahamudra, which are the Yoga of Vajrasattva, Guru Yoga (including praises and prayers to the sixteenth Karmapa, a tradition that started with the 9th Karmapa), mantra meditation and prostrations. In addition, they were told to teach yogas of Avalokiteshvara and Powa, or transference of consciousness.”

                      Now there are several subtle manipulations in this “official” version,

                      – according to Nydahl, the Karmapa “took a special liking to the couple” whereas according to Shamarpa it was in fact Nydahl that had developed such feelings, and in response (according to Shamarpa), “the 16th Karmapa advised him to calm down.”

                      – The letter from Karmapa to the Queen of Denmark states, “I have therefore entrusted them with the task of establishing a Centre and meditation centre in Denmark.” – (http://www.lama-ole-nydahl.org/wp-content/k_letter_01.pdf) – this is quite different from the claim that, “the Karmapa appointed Ole as a fully qualified teacher of the Karma-Kagyü lineage”

                      A brief glance at the dates, and it would certainly be very unusual in any lineage to find that someone receiving transmission would become “fully qualified” just a year or two afterwards…

                      Of course, this raises the question of the subtle meaning of certain words. I have heard Nydahl himself admit that he is not authorised to give empowerments, only the explanations, which in any other organisation would make him simply a “teacher” rather than a “Lama” …as the meaning of the word “Lama” is in fact “teacher,” this blurring of definitions is also exploited in this case.

                      – Finally, according to Shamarpa’s recollections (info-buddhismus.de/Ole_Nydahl-Shamarpa.doc), “Lama Ole came to India as a hippie who did everything with wild energy. Although His Holiness the 16th Karmapa advised him to calm down, he never criticized him directly as he was a westerner. Actually Lama Ole’s fascination with tantric sex is not exceptional, most of the western hippies who were interested in Buddhism liked it very much. In that respect he is not different from them, he has simply been louder than most about it.”

                      I think this makes it very clear why the 16th Karmapa sent him back home.

                    • By 1972, the Karmapa appointed Ole as a fully qualified teacher of the Karma-Kagyü lineage and asked him and Hannah to return to the West to teach Buddhism.

                      What’s this for a claim? What is the source of this claim? Is there any reliable source for it?

                      Rather unlikely that this is true in any way because it is not Tibetan custom to “appointed a fully qualified teacher”. The custom is to qualify yourself and then maybe someone asks you to teach or some people ask you to teach them. But what did Ole to qualify himself? A basic qualification is either having accomplished a shedra (study program for about a decade) or having done a three year retreat. None of this did Ole. Getting some transmissions and empowerments qualifies you for practice but not as a teacher – and not at all are you considered at such a state of poor education as a “fully qualified teacher of the Karma-Kagyü lineage” …

                      Thank you, Soenam Zangpo, indeed,

                      I have therefore entrusted them with the task of establishing a Centre and meditation centre in Denmark.

                      “– this is quite different from the claim that, ‘the Karmapa appointed Ole as a fully qualified teacher of the Karma-Kagyü lineage'”.

                      Ole seems to exercise the same type of myth building as Kelsang Gyatso does, and it seems Maik buys in both of their versions too easily …

                    • First of all, this post is not about Gyatso or the NKT. We have debated that elsewhere and, unfortunately, a lot of my arguments and points were not engaged by you or others there. So perhaps we can focus here on Ole & DW.

                      The quote above is perhaps wrongly worded, although HH XVI requesting Ole to teach in the west, even ‘only’ setting up a centre in Denmark, is quite an endorsement. But to be totally correct, your criticism is valid, he did not appoint Ole as a ‘fully qualified teacher’ in 1972. That came in 1983 from Shamar Rinpoche.

                      It also is correct that Ole never qualified to become a fully qualified teacher as he is not known to have fulfilled any of the traditional Kagyü studies or retreats that are necessary for such a title. Again, my article said as much. What is far more interesting to me, is his quality as a teacher and author, rather than his titles. And these are the things the article focuses on.

                      From what I have read, Hannah spent far more time in Nepal and under tutelage of various teachers, including HH XVI. Karmapa’s visit to the west were largely facilitated by the Nydahls and Hannah was often his direct interpreter. There are many photos and videos that show this, so it is true. Why the huge effort on your part to separate the Nydahls from the rest of the Karma Kagyüs?

                      If we want a sober discussion and critique of Ole Nydahl and the DW system it is of little use to white wash the fact that to many within the Thaye Dorje camp of the K.Kagyu school the DW is valid and authentic.

                      Finally, my article is a critical look at Nydahl and very very obviously not an endorsement of Diamond Way myth…!

                    • Hi Maik,

                      First of all, this post is not about Gyatso or the NKT.

                      true.
                      On the other hand NKT is much your background and also there the phrase “fully qualified teacher” is much stressed while outside of the NKT I’ve never heard it. If a teacher is qualified or not is usually not determined by a higher authority or by self-proclamation or by an announcement by the disciples but by what a person studied or meditated and what knowledge and insights a person has derived from it. Moreover, for a humble person (an attribute a “fully qualified teacher” in general would have) it would appear quite boastful to announce yourself as a “fully qualified teacher” because a “fully qualified teacher” is at the end only a Buddha.
                      However, these are just my observations and thoughts … To get deeper into it would need more knowledge about Tibetan customs and what the phrase in Tibetan of a “fully qualified teacher” is and how that is used in general.

                      Shamar Rinpoche was using it in the context of Nydahl at a certain point in time. Ok, Nydahl was his big ally then to get his own Karmapa candidate established in the West. To call Ole in such a context a ‘fully qualified teacher’ is highly likely based on a) existing doubts and attacks of Ole’s qualifications and b) political need. The question is rather what studies, retreats or insights make Ole a ‘fully qualified teacher’?

                      I didn’t know about Hannah interpreting for the 16th Karmapa. However, Hannah interpreting for Karmapa, Ole establishing centers … all of this can be done by faithful or enthusiastic disciples and no mission to be the inheritors or THE Karma Kagyue tradition can be derived from it. I don’t want to separate the Nydahls from the rest of the Karma Kagyüs, I want to put that guy and his activities in context. He presents himself and claims to be the Karma Kaygu tradition in the West, this is all fraudulent. (Again a similarity with the NKT in how they claim and present themselves to be the Kadampas … both groups are good in identity building, branding and advertisement + seeing themselves as elitist groups superior and more modern compared with Tibetans …)

                      If we want a sober discussion and critique of Ole Nydahl and the DW system it is of little use to white wash the fact that to many within the Thaye Dorje camp of the K.Kagyu school the DW is valid and authentic.

                      Finally, my article is a critical look at Nydahl and very very obviously not an endorsement of Diamond Way myth…!

                      To have a sober discussion about Ole Nydahl needs expertise. I don’t have this expertise. So I can only argue or question here and there. I just responded to a quote Soenam Zangpo pointed out as not being correct and I agreed with that and raised further doubts and asked for the sources and as you can see, you had to correct yourself but before that, indeed, you perpetuated a myth of DW (or a myth DW would like at least): Ole being established by the Karmapa as a fully qualified teacher of the Karma Kagyu school. And then I just added a version about the process of recognition of the Karmapa offered by the Trinley Dorje camp because a) a person who read your article wrote to me that you follow much the arguments of the Thaye Dorje camp, b) in general (like with the NKT) the announcement of the views and standpoints of the DW version of events (and therefore the Thaye Dorje camp) might be dominant online because the Ole group has a greater zeal, a greater missionary drive and is more media savvy. So just for the record, I added a brief summery of the Trinley Dorje camp version of events.

                      I asked one person – who really nows the stuff to comment here – but he seems to have either no time nor much zeal to do that as it appears because so far he didn’t contribute to the debate, entangling some of the tricky points a non expert would highly likely oversee or misinterpret …

                    • Thanks for your reply, I concur with much of what you say.

                      But I feel we are veering off on a tangent here. My article which was quoted above is really very much about the in-authenticity of Ole and a critical look at the distortions of Buddhism in his books and talks. So nowhere is there an implication that he IS a fully qualified teacher. Rather I only wanted to start with the platform of how he is viewed by many, give their side of the story and then engage in some critical analysis.

                      And then I just added a version about the process of recognition of the Karmapa offered by the Trinley Dorje camp because a) a person who read your article wrote to me that you follow much the arguments of the Thaye Dorje camp, b) in general (like with the NKT) the announcement of the views and standpoints of the DW version of events (and therefore the Thaye Dorje camp) might be dominant online because the Ole group has a greater zeal, a greater missionary drive and is more media savvy.

                      Thank you for pasting that, it was interesting and useful to read. Yet I wonder who this person was and if they read my article, as nothing in it follows specifically the Thaye Dorje camp. On the other hand, you implicitly assume there is something wrong with the Thaye Dorje camp… possibly, but that would require a different post I think.

                    • It seems Akong Tulku had a the central role in the both the and 1974 and 1977 visits to Europe by HH the 16th Karmapa, who then travelled with his official translator, Achi. It is doubtful Hannah, God bless her, knew Khampa dialect fluently enough to translate high philosophy– even most central Tibetans cannot do this. A different narrative of the tours can be found at the below link, Maik is not factually correct.

                      “The other main people busily if unofficially involved in the organisation of this (1977) visit were the couple Ole and Hannah Nydahl, who had many contacts in northern Europe. They also had language skills (German and Nordic languages and some Tibetan) helpful for the tour. It is often said that the behaviour around the Karmapa creates powerful karma—a point often impressed upon us by Rinpoché. Akong Rinpoché already noticed during both the preparations for the trip and the trip itself that the conduct of Ole in particular was sometimes troubling, although often indispensible or truly helpful. Rinpoché told the author several times, “He will be very helpful for beginners but if it goes to his head and he tries to do more, it could be dangerous.”
                      http://the17thkarmapa.blogspot.ca/2014/05/biogryphy-of-akong-rinpoche-special.html

                    • It is doubtful Hannah, God bless her, knew Khampa dialect fluently enough to translate high philosophy– even most central Tibetans cannot do this.

                      Good point. Not even Sogyal Rinpoche was able to translate Dharma Tibetan into English according to a well educated translator who was a witness of that. I remember Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche teaching Words of my Perfect Teacher in Germany in 2003. The professional translator got sick and to fix the situation a Tibetan woman was asked to translate – she was not able to this even the slightest. So on that Friday where she translated, there was no other way than to meditate together. Tibetan translators gave me the analogy that Dharma Tibetan is a bit like Latin and German, there is a relation but its quite distinct and it is as learning two languages. I think you could say more about this, Brian, to enlighten us.

                    • As far as spoken language goes, I have seen Nangchen and Derge Khampas not understand each other’s speech although the two principalities were quite close to each other. I suppose Europe was like that as well a couple of hundred years ago. One admirable initiative of the CTA in the early refugee days in India was to standardize Ü-ke or central Tibetan for schooling. It is notable that Tibetan government school language textbooks were co-edited by a committee including Lobsang P. Lhalungpa, Dudjom Rinpoche and Zhimey Tulku. I guess everyone got along better in those days.
                      In Tibet proper, nowadays the gaps in mutual intelligibility between dialects is more of a problem than in India and thus Chinese has become the default lingua franca. In addition, if kids are educated primarily in Tibetan in the lower grades, statistically they fall behind to qualify for Chinese universities. The same applies to Uyghur language instructed students from Xinjiang.

                      The problem in Tibetan translation and interpretation is partly the situation whereby the same words may denote different things to the various different schools. For example, Sakya Pandita critiqued the 8th Karmapa Mikyo Dorje’s writing as rubbish…almost to the point of considering Mahamudra as some kind of evil doctrine! We know the derision which some past Gelug scholars regarded Dzogchen and Jonang teachings. Such polemics, largely based on misinterpreting non-standardized terms –while interesting–probably should not be automatically transmitted to new foreign students for the sake of ongoing harmony.
                      Back to the translation question: different people have different strengths. Matthieu Ricard spent many years travelling with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and was of course also educated in France so he both handle Kham-ke like a native speaker and the philosophical lingo from that side. Thupten Jinpa is perhaps more familiar with madhyamika and other teachings as well as possessing the sensitivity to convey it. Still, these two strong translators are probably not fully interchangeable. A couple of years ago, I was surprised to hear HHDL–during a lung he was requested to give for a Dzogchen text– say he didn’t really understand it. I’m like, wow.
                      We are all students– there are several dynamic initiatives: Tsadra, Nithartha, Nalanda, Lotsawa House, Library of Tibetan Classics, Khyentse Foundation, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC) as well as academics around the world that continue to make valuable contributions. The future looks promising: The Karmapa introduced the Adarsha project in 2014 and although it is still in development, this app is already up and running well on the iPad for searching the Jiang Kangyur in Tibetan script. It looks like they will be adding the Tengyur and other sources soon. A website for easy access on any computer is also in development and can be found at adarsha.dharma-treasure.org.

                      http://adarsha.dharma-treasure.org/adarsha2016/#sid=J1&db=jiangkangyur

                    • _()_
                      Thank you Brian!

    • What’s about the prestigious UNESCO prize?
      Well, a board member of the UNESCO organisation that gave that prize is Pedro Gomez. And who is Pedro Gomez? He is a student of Ole Nydahl. Pedro Gomez and his wife donated in 1987 a property he and his wive bought for their retirement to Diamond Way. It became the Diamond Way Karma Guen Center near Málaga in Spain.*

      Ole describes Pedro Gomez in the following way:

      With Pedro, who is a great visionary, we have really been able to spread out very widely and do a lot of things.

      About Dorrit und Pedro Gomez & Ole Nydahl’s relation:

      Image below: Here you can find both of them (Dorrit and Pedro Gomez) before, after or during the ceremony …

      Image below: very left is Pedro Gomez:

      Image below: Left and right Dorrit and Pedro Gomez respectively, at the side of Dorrit Gomez is the president of the UNESCO organisation, President Lorenzo Rodriguez de la Peña.

      Image below: You can find Dorrit and Pedro Gomez also in the first row here with Ole Nydahl and his wife, Alexandra Munoz Barboza, during the award ceremony:

      What’s also rather remarkable is that Ole Nydahl stressed that he won the prize for “freedom of speech” and not for “harmony”.

      The prize is not listed in the list of official UNESCO prizes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO#Official_list_of_UNESCO_prizes. There is no UNESCO prize for “dialogue, coexistence and peace”.

      * Pedro Gomez’ son, Peter Gomez, told the story to DW’s German magazine, Buddhismus heute, how his parents were inspired by Nydahl’s words to donate the place in 1997.

    • The previously linked YouTube video “Lama Ole Nydahl o islamie” was deleted. You can find it now under these web addresses:

      or http://www.veoh.com/watch/v106659734SzD3y2SY

  8. Prof Peter Riedl, ehemaliger Vorsitzender der Österreichischen Buddhistischen Religionsgemeinschaft (ÖBR):

    Lama Ole Nydahl tätigt seit Jahren Äußerungen über den Islam in seiner Gesamtheit.
    Diese werden von vielen Menschen, auch von mir, als verunglimpfend empfunden. Eine Teilnehmerin am Deutschlandtreffen vom 23. März 2016 im Kasseler Messezentrum berichtete Ursache\Wirkung, der Lama habe seinen ZuhörerInnen empfohlen, die Partei ‚Alternative für Deutschland‘ zu wählen, da „Frau Merkel ja alle die aufnehmen wolle, die sonst keiner haben möchte. Alle Menschen, die aus den Ländern mit islamischer Kultur stammen, seien ungebildet, schlügen ihre Frauen und vergingen sich an den deutschen Frauen.“

    http://www.ursachewirkung.at/blog/1642-preisverleihung-an-ole-nydahl-eine-fehlentscheidung

  9. Hier ist ein Transkript des Interviews mit der Nordhessen Rundschau (NHR) zusammen mit einer “Klarstellung” Ole Nydahls an die NHR mit Erlaubnis zur Weiterleitung.

    Hier das gesamte Transkript von “Deutschlandkurs 2016 mit Lama Ole Nydahl in Kassel”:

    Journalistin: Wie fanden Sie denn damals den Weg zum Buddhismus?

    Ole Nydahl: Oh, wir waren ein bisschen Hasch schmuggeln, das war damals, 50 Jahre, 60 Jahre her, und dann, ja dann sind wir nach Nepal rausgekommen und haben da ein paar Lamas kennengelernt, und das hat uns sehr, sehr überzeugt, nicht. Also wirklich sehr überzeugt. Und dann sind wir geblieben, und ja, und dann sind wir geblieben, und, ja und dann haben sie mir lang genug angeschaut, und haben gesagt, jetzt bist du ein Lama, nicht, und ich habe gesagt: Danke sehr [Ole verbeugt sich lachend], und dann hatte ich plötzlich eine Menge Freunde überall, die was lernen wollten. Meine Frau und ich waren viele Jahre unter den Tibetern, haben da gelebt, ihre Sachen zu uns genommen usw., aber Großteil der Zeit war etwa beim Üben, meditieren Üben usw. Das Kultur hat mich nicht so sehr interessiert.

    Journalistin: Ja, wie Sie es eben auch schon erwähnt haben, in den 60iger Jahren haben Sie mit ihrer verstorbenen Frau Hannah Drogen geschmuggelt und sind dann auch Ende der 60iger Jahre sogar festgenommen worden und sind im Gefängnis gelandet. Wie hat diese Zeit Ihr Leben beeinflusst, geprägt?

    Ole Nydahl: Nur meditieren gelernt. Überhaupt, es war Dänemark. Dänemark ist ….Wir wollten halt über Kopenhagen hinweg unsere Freunde, …um das Zeug zu legalisieren, dann wollten wir da Flugzeuge mit ganz kleinen Kästchen und Paraplüs, oder wie sagt man, Fallschirmen über ganz Dänemark runterschicken usw., vor allem Kopenhagen, und dann dachten wir dadurch, dann wären alle unsere Freunde frei, dagegen könnte man keine Gesetze machen, nicht? Und dann wären alle Freunde, die drinnen waren, wieder draußen, nicht, usw., aber dann waren die Behörden schneller wie wir…aber waren nur, waren es vier Monate? Und meine Frau ein Monat. Und wir haben das verwendet, um gut meditieren zu lernen.

    Journalistin: Sie geben ihren Schülern eine Lehre des Phowa weiter, was ist das genau, können sie uns das erklären?

    Ole Nydahl: Also das geht darum, dass wir alle sterben werden, und wenn wir sterben, hat es einen Einfluss, die Eindrücke die wir mit uns nehmen, wo der Geist austritt. Und da meditieren wir darauf, wie wir 8 Finger breit hinter der ursprünglichen Haarlinie oberhalb des Kopfes durch eine gewisse Meditation und einem gewissen Geräusch – hick usw. – hochschießen, dass die Leute dann plötzlich erleben, draußen zu sein, nicht, und hinterher ist dann die Angst vor dem Tod weg, und man kann viel besser als vorher ganz viele Sachen. Das ist sehr wichtige Belehrung. Ich hab es wohl 120.000 Menschen um die Welt gegeben. man kann so mit vielen tausend Leuten zur selben Zeit machen, und dann geht man rum und findet dann eine kleine Stelle mit kleinem Blutstropfen, und was sehr empfindlich ist oben auf dem Kopf der Leute usw. und dann weiß man, wenn sie sterben, und der Geist Energie, Gewahrsein unseres Geistes den Körper verlässt, dann wird sie – hick – dann wird sie hier rausgehen, nicht, und das ist dann, ja da geht man dann eine Ebene höchster Freude [72 Jungfrauen??? – Anm.], und das wollen wir ja alle gerne, nicht!?

    Journalistin: Das heißt, sie selber haben auch gar keine Angst vor dem Tod?

    Ole Nydahl: Ne, überhaupt nicht. Ich fahr große Motorräder, und hab 100 Fallschirmsprünge und alles, ich hab keine Angst vor dem Tod. Aber in ein paar Tagen geh ich, krieg ich eine kleine Operation auch, und das ist, gut, da hab ich auch keine Angst. Ein anderer guckt [ängstlich, Ole macht es nach] usw., ich denke, he, mein guter Freund operiert, und dann alles ist gut.

    Journalistin: Wie wir gehört haben, besitzen Sie die Gabe, die Stärken eines Menschen relativ schnell zu erkennen, wie machen sie das?

    Ole Nydahl: Ja, man lehrt einfach, man hat eine runde Bande wie hier, nicht,… was uns hier anschaut gerade jetzt…., also unsere Freunde, die haben wir alle, und dann kommt man mit ein paar Kernworte, und dann sehen, wie die kollektive gemeinsame Reaktion drauf ist, nicht, und dann weiß man das. Dann weiß man, wo sie in ihrer Entwicklung stehen, was sie eben bearbeiten von dem, was geschieht usw., wie sie sich gerade jetzt kennenlernen, und das ist gutes Gefühl,und ich denke, ich schieße meistens nicht daneben, oder? ….[Klatschen] Also gut. Dank Euch, ich tue euch einen Gefallen, nicht.

    Journalistin: Ihre Schüler sind Laien-Buddhisten, was bedeutet das genau?

    Ole Nydahl: Laienbuddhismus heißt, jeden Morgen den angestrengten Chef anzuschauen in der Arbeit und so, das heißt ohne Uniform zur Arbeit gehen, nicht, also keine Mönche und Nonnen. Also, es kommen Mönche und Nonnen, aber für mich ist wichtig, man nimmt das ganze Leben rein, nicht. Und ich bin ja so froh, dass in unseren Gemeinden immer mehr Leute Kinder kriegen, nicht. Weil mit den fremden Einflüssen, die in unsere Länder kommen, damit wir etwas haben, das demokratisch erzogen wurde, nicht …und worauf wir bauen können, nicht. Werde nicht sagen, von welchem Volk und von welcher Religion ich rede, nicht, aber das hier sind unsere, nicht [zeigt auf Schüler von ihm]. Und die werden ein gutes Gegengewicht dazu sein.

    Journalistin: Was sagen Sie ihren Schülern zu den Terror-Anschlägen wie jüngst in Brüssel:

    Ole Nydahl: Ich denke, das ist im Koran drin, das ist alles drin, also das was man tun soll. Und das alles. man kriegt einen Befehl von ganz oben, von irgendeinem Allah oder so, und dann verstärkt man sich da drin, Ungläubige zu töten, und alles was da ist, und am Ende, ja was haben wir da, dann haben wir Brüssel und Paris und alles. Großes Problem, was wir uns da angehalst haben, nicht. Die Leute hätten einfach nur das Koran sehen, lesen müssen und verstehen müssen, dass das wirklich für uns als für alle geltend gegeben wurde. Und dann hätten wir vielleicht nicht so viele über die Grenze geholt oder aus dem Wasser geholt sogar. [grinst, lacht und schüttelt den Kopf (in Abscheu?).]

    Journalistin: Sehen sie einen Weg aus der Gewalt?

    Ole Nydahl: Jeder der gewalttätig wird, wird nach Hause geschickt. Das denk ich wär das Beste. Dann lernt man den tiefen Frieden hier, den lernt man dann richtig mögen, und sich damit gut fühlen. Denk ich. Was denkt ihr? [An seine Schüler gewandt?]

    Journalistin: Im Juni 2015 bekamen sie einen Preis verliehen von der UNESCO Assoziation. Was bedeutet Ihnen dieser Preis?

    Ole Nydahl: Nur das man mich entdeckt hat, und meine ganzen Freunden usw. Und auch dass es, es war für Redefreiheit, nicht, also, hätte auch für Harmonie und so was sein sollen, aber das geht ja nicht immer zusammen, nicht. Nicht alle mögen alles, was man sagt, nicht? So, ich habe es für Redefreiheit gegeben, nicht, angenommen, und hab hinterher ebenso frei geredet wie vorher, nicht? So alles war gut. nette Leute, guten Steak hinterher, nicht, im riesigen Saal im südlichen Spanien und so weiter, alles schön.

    Journalistin: Und noch eine Frage: Wird es ein neues Buch von Ihnen geben?

    Ole Nydahl: Die entstehen laufend. Aber mehr jetzt als Zusammenarbeit. Weil ich fast jeden Tag Vorträge halte und rumziehe, dann sammeln Freunde von mir, der Tomek Lehnert unter anderem, nicht , also sehr stark, und andere Freunde, die sammeln dann das neue Material, und dann guck ich das über, und dann entsteht irgendwas.

    Journalistin: Und wie haben Sie die Veranstaltung in Kassel bisher erlebt?

    Ole Nydahl: Kassel ist flott, also es ist wirklich flott. Also die Deutschen organisieren sich, die schaffen die Sachen, die lauschen, die fragen nach, wenn sie etwas nicht verstanden haben, also meine deutschen Schüler, ich denke, es ist kein Land, wo wir so viele Leute haben wie hier, nicht, in Deutschland…mit euch arbeiten ist eine riesige Freude, habt ihr das gehört, ja? (Die Schüler applaudieren) Die wollen Ziele haben, die richten sich auf das aus, nicht, deswegen sind sie auch so produktiv und die Autos fahren so gut, nicht? Also so ist es einfach.

    Journalistin: Dann beenden wir das Interview mit diesen schönen Worten.

    Ole Nydahl’s Brief an die NHR vom 10. April 2016 (PDF)

    München, 10. April 2016
    Nordhessen Rundschau GbR
    Leuschnerstraße 95
    34134 Kassel

    Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
    zu meinem Interview für die Nordhessenrundschau, veröffentlicht auf Nordhessenrundschau.de und youtube.de am 28./29.03.2016 anlässlich eines Meditationskurses in Kassel, möchte ich klarstellen, dass ich keineswegs so verstanden werden möchte, als würde ich nicht Menschen aus Lebensgefahr retten oder sie gar ertrinken lassen wollen.

    Ich habe selbst Rückfragen hierzu erhalten. Ich bin Däne und bin hier mit meinem Deutsch anscheinend missverstanden worden. Ich möchte Sie bitten, meine Klarstellung weiterzuleiten, falls Sie ebenfalls Anfragen hierzu erhalten.

    Vielen Dank und mit herzlichen Grüßen,
    Ihr Lama OIe Nydahl

    • Vielen Dank für die Transkription. Das Interview, inklusive desjenigen von diesem Ole-Jünger, bleibt trotz Nydahls ‘Richtigstellung’ so oder so entlarvend. Im Vergleich zu buddhistischen Denkern mit denen wir es zu tun bekommen, wenn wir uns ein wenig in die Traditionen vertiefen, ist der Diamantwegbuddhismus völlig trivial, geradezu dumm und einfältig, und im Prinzip nichts weiter als eine Form primitiver Esoterik. Dass er dennoch mit angeblich 20.000 Gläubigen die stärkste Gruppe in der DBU ausmacht, ist bezeichnend für den Zustand des Buddhismus in Deutschland. Übrigens tenpel, du erwähntest, dass in der nächsten Mitgliederversammlung Ende April von den DiamantwegBuddhisten evtl. darauf gedrängt wird, mehr Macht in der DBU zu erhalten (vermutlich wohl über das Ratsmitglied Sören Hechler). Kann man diese Information irgendwo überprüfen oder ist das interne Kommunikation? Gibt es übrigens neben Hechler noch andere DiamantwegBuddhisten im Rat?

      • Hi MS, ein bisschen wie bei Devadatta, später erkannten Menschen sein Denken an seinen Äußerungen …

        Wegen der MV: Der Hintergrund, der mir erklärt wurde war, dass DW mehr Delegierte möchte. Mehr Delegierte heißt aber mehr Macht und Dachverbände, die mitgliederstarke Gruppen haben, gehen iR (so wurde mir vom Christen gesagt) in ihrer Funktion in die Knie, wenn Stimmgewalt über Mitgliederstärke bestimmt wird. In Wirklichkeit ist das Ganze aber komplexer als von mir dargestellt (fand ich erst vor kurzem heraus). Der Hintergrund ist, dass mitgliederschwache Vereine, die Mitglied der DBU sind, bis zu 10€/Einzelmitglied Beitrag zahlen und der Diamantweg 1€/Einzelmitglied. Das wurde als unfair empfunden und so wurde der DW aufgefordert mehr Beiträge zu bezahlen, das wollten sie aber nur, wenn sie auch mehr Mitspracherecht (mehr Stimmen) erhalten, das wurde aber wiederum nicht akzeptiert. Eine endgültige Entscheidung zu dieser Situation wurde nicht getroffen und steht auch bei der kommenden MV nicht an. Das sind die Infos, die mir derzeit vorliegen.

        Zur DBU selbst kann ich nicht viel sagen (incl. Sören):, denn a) beteiligt sich unser Verein (incl. ich) aus Zeit- und Kapazitätsgründen kaum an DBU Prozessen (was ein Fehler von uns ist), b) ich beschäftige mich zu wenig damit. Die Info, die ich gab, und die sich als einseitig herausstellte, erhielt ich von einem TN der letzten DBU MV, der mich/uns drängte uns stärker zu beteiligen. Ich habe mich über Details dann direkt bei der DBU erkundigt (Namen sage ich lieber nicht) und das erfahren, was ich hier oben schrieb. Am besten ist also, Du fragst selbst auch bei der DBU an und lässt Dir den Sachverhalt erklären.

        HTH

        • Ok, danke für die differenzierte Darstellung der Sache bzgl. DW und DBU. Übrigens, das mit den Äusserungen, es gibt ja nichts als diese Äusserungen. Wenn Ole so erleuchtet wäre, wie er tut und wie seine Leute glauben, dann hätte er seine Äusserungen so weit im Griff, dass er nicht hinterher klar machen müsste, was er wirklich meinte – wobei in der Glaubenswelt dieser Leute, dann auch wieder nur wir Unerleuchteten nicht verstehen, was der Meister eigentlich sagte…

        • I think DBU tries the very best. But even DW people are Buddhists…..

          By the way, Rigpa has as well a representative in the board.

          • True, its important to have compassion for all parties. Its not easy for the DBU board either. And as a very inactive person I am definitely not in the position to criticise the DBU in any way, rather I respect the hard work they are doing.

            However, I think, in that context a public statement is needed because refugees and Muslim refugees are a huge topic in Germany and we don’t need Buddhists who publicly spread wrong information and contribute to more animosity, ignorance, misunderstandings, misinformation or hate. If the DBU is just silent it looks like that all Buddhists agree with Ole’s stance.

            A statement from the DBU is even more important from the pov of aims the DBU expressed in the past. The DBU declared in the past that it aims to involve themselves more in the public (political or social) discourse/debate. They said, they want to give statements and opinions to publicly discussed and socially relevant topics. In the past they also wrote a statement about bio ethics – which was later criticised by an academic from the University of Berne as being too Christian instead of being Buddhist. So, here they have a perfect chance to involve in the public debate with respect to an important, socially relevant topic … however, the only person speaking and spreading unhelpful non-sense is Ole Nydahl and all other Buddhists seem to be rather silent. I don’t think that this is a good approch nor in line of the ambitious aims the DBU once declared to have.

  10. Attaching More Importance to the Form of Our Religious Identities than to the Substance of What They Teach Us – 17th Karmapa Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje

    In 2001, the huge Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan were intentionally demolished. From a certain perspective within Islam, these statues were offensive instruments of idol worship, while to Buddhists they were reminders of sacred principles and the very best of our innate human potential. Basically, we Buddhists use physical images in our spiritual practice, while Muslims worship without images. Clinging to either position was creating a wall between people. But they are just statues. Allowing ourselves to be pitted against each other over a statue – now that is really clinging to biases.

    Personally, I do not see a basis for treating religious differences this way. A while after the Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed, I had the opportunity to meet with an Afghan youth group working for peace. I suggested to them that we might view the coming down of the Bamiyan Buddhas as bringing down the walls between all peoples. If the presence of those statues was setting us at odds, perhaps we could see it as useful that they were brought down. This is how I felt about it.

    Walls come up between people when we attach more importance to the form of our religious identities than to the substance of what they teach us. When spiritual beliefs are used to build up walls between people, this is a total misunderstanding of the purpose of spirituality. Spirituality should mean coming closer to yourself. When this happens, you become closer to others, too. Spirituality and religion should dismantle discrimination and labels, not shore them up. It should break, not create, barriers between people.

    17th Karmapa

    from the book “The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out“

  11. his holiness lama ole nydahl and diamond way buddhism transmit the flawless teachings. u must have serious problems. r u on drugs maybe?

    • Soenam Zangpo says:

      RMAU – a flawless teaching for both you and Nydahl to practice – concern yourself only with your own mind streams, and avoid speculation on the mind streams of others.

      • NO NAME says:

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  12. Passender Kommentar: Buddhismus aktuell, Ole Nydahl und die AfD von Der Unbuddhist.
    Andere Menschen, die besser hinsehen sollten, sind auf beiden Augen und Ohren blind, oder wie sonst kann man sich erklären, dass Ole einen Preis einer UNESCO Organisation, Asociación UNESCO para la promocion del diálogo intercultural e interreligioso en Málaga, bekam für »für Dialog, Koexistenz und Frieden der UNESCO-Assoziation für interkulturellen und interreligiösen Dialog«? »Der Preis wurde ihm und seiner verstorbenen Frau Hannah Nydahl für ihren Beitrag zur Förderung von Meinungsfreiheit, Mitgefühl, Frieden und Güte verliehen. Als weiteren Preisträger ehrte die Assoziation Papst Franziskus I.« http://lama-ole-nydahl.de/news/unesco-preisverleihung.html

  13. Thanks for referring to my post.

    Ich hab mich auch gefragt, wie Ole zu dem Preis gekommen ist. Und dann auch noch neben Franziskus. Bizarr.

    Übrigens, wegen dem Kitsch-Buddhismus. Ich hatte neulich mal erheblichen Verkehr auf meinem Blog von Facebook aus. Habe dann mal nachgesehen woher der kommt und was da so läuft. Habe mir dann eine ganze Reihe von Facebook-Gruppen mal durchgeschaut, nachdem ich länger nicht mehr drauf geschaut habe. Es fällt auf, dass a) die Leute oft ein extrem oberflächliches Bild vom Buddhismus haben; dass sie b) alles mit allem vermischen, z.B. christliche Engel mit tibetischen Yidams, “Lichtwelten” mit buddhistischem Erwachen, selbst gestrickte Esoterik mit vielem aus buddhistischen Traditionen, Vedanta mit Dzogchen usw. usf; dass c) die Leute zum Teil ganz rührend versuchen, alle möglichen Alltagsproblem zu lösen, mit dem was sie unter Buddhismus verstehen; dass es d) viele gibt, die sich ohne viel Knowhow zum Lehrer aufschwingen und kleine Gemeinden ansammeln; dass e) manchmal Leute wirklich abgefahrne Sachen erleben in ihrer Meditationspraxis, das aber wieder mit allem möglichen verwechseln, von Erleuchtung pur bis “wer spricht da zu mir” und das f) einfach meistens eine gesunde Skepsis fehlt, weil die Leute wohl g) einfach total verunsichert sind in unserer Gesellschaft und nach jedem Strohhalm greifen…

    Alles in allem ist Facebook da eine sehr gute Quelle, um sich ein Bild zu machen. Die einzelnen Gruppen müsste ich wieder raussuchen. Aber schau mal selbst. Wenn du irgendwas mit Buddhismus eingibst in der Suchleiste, tauchen die Sachen auf.

  14. Hi Matthias. Danke.
    Meine Beziehung zu FB ist sehr ambivalent. Über meine Timeline und das was FB Algorithmen dort auflisten komme ich kaum hinaus. Aber selbst da gibt es schon viel Bizarres. Ordentliche Diskussionen sind zudem kaum möglich. Alles bleibt auf Impulse und Anregungen (im besten Fall) beschränkt. (Das ist für mich der wesentliche Vorteil von FB: Anregungen zu interessanten Artikeln etc. zu bekommen) Von daher wundert es mich nicht, dass Du dort so viele rührende Oberflächlichkeiten beobachtet hast.

    Zufällig habe ich gestern mal einen Klick auf eine Meldung in einem dieser buddhistischen Foren gemacht. Da fragte dann einer über die Bedeutung von Katzen, eine saß am Fenster und nun wollte er die Bedeutung dazu wissen. Ich zögerte kurz, ob ich antworte, aber dann dachte ich, was soll’s eher sinnlos. Nichts gegen die Frage, aber ich fragte mich ob Differenzierungen überhaupt gewünscht und sinnvoll sind. Dann klickte ich wieder weg.

    Von daher, danke für die Anregung, aber ich ahne was mich erwartet ;-)

Trackbacks

  1. […] * See for instance: A Warning Letter from Lama Ole Nydahl: Don’t Mix Tantric Methods and Teachers […]

  2. […] gibt das Gerücht, dass der Diplom-Lama Ole Nydahl die AfD empfiehlt. Noch ist es nur ein Gerücht aber so abwegig […]

  3. […] gibt das Gerücht, dass der Diplom-Lama Ole Nydahl die AfD empfiehlt. Noch ist es nur ein Gerücht aber so abwegig […]

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