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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Wangdrag ()
Date: November 29, 2008 05:04AM

The other part of this pseudo buddhist cult is that Ole Nydahl claims to be a tulku. He was never recognised as tulku, there is not a single documment issued by any Tibetan master that he is a tulku. Nevertheless Ole repeats this over and over and all his students believe that it is true. From time to time Ole makes "hints" about his enlightenment, for example he would say: "Enlightenment feels like 10000 volts." Again repeating this over and over with confidence makes Nydahl to look like he is really enlightened Buddha and his students believe this. So adding all up Ole is consciously building a cult around himself using a variety of psychological tricks.
So you have a person that you, as a student of Ole, totally believe in and this person is telling you not to meditate intensly - not to do retreats. Even though without intensive meditation practice it is impossible to achieve any results of buddhist path and - as we can see from examples of such fantastic masters of the past as Milarepa or Shabkar Rangdrol - by doing intensive one can even obtain a state of Buddha in one lifetime, Ole Nydahl tells his students that it is not good to do a reatreat. So not only is he exploiting faith if these people by posing himself as a great teacher which he is not, he also keeps them in the dark by discourageing them from doing their spiritual pracitce and studying their path. If Ole only discouraged them that would be bad enough, but he also teaches points which contradict basic teachings of Buddha which are accepted by all schools of buddhism. For example he teaches that to see nice and pleasant things brings about positive karma. Than this would mean that some politicians who start a war and they live in nice hotels and residences far away from the war would accumulate positive karma. While a poor and kind person living in an old shack would accumulate negative karma. What a nonsense!
To keep spirits high Ole also persuades his students that they are the best in the world and that other buddhist groups are well... a kind of crap. When people ask him direct questions, he usually answers something copletely off the trail of even does not respond at all. Plus it is quite hard to ask Ole a question, because, you can do that only at the public teachings, you cannot write an e-mail to him, because it has to go through so called travelling teachers first. Travelling teachers usually don´t bother with uncomfortable questions and accuse you of being confused (this is one of the most popular words uses among diamondway people). Travelling teachers themselves are not by any standards qualified to teach buddhism, for most of them know even less than their infamous teacher.
Of course you can leave this organization if you like. But my experience is that more time you spend there the more difficult it is to leave. Why? Well because you have friends there, social ties, etc. After four years in DW I was already convinced that it is not genuine buddhist sangha, but it took me another year to leave. And now I am sure it was the best thing in my life. Since I left Diamondway I have met many marvelous teachers and received their teachings, I entered into the path of Vajrayana and my practice is finally pogressing.

all the best

Wangdrag

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: bkalnoky ()
Date: November 30, 2008 01:30PM

Hi.

My wife is a Nydahl follower (and was before I met her). I'm a lax catholic.

I went to see what he was all about when he held a lecture in Budapest (2003), read some of his books and interviews. I agree with some things said in this thread, disagree with other accusations (persecution of those who leave, pressure not to read certain things, I have seen no evidence of that). But what bothers me most hasn't even been mentioned here as far as I can see.

1) I saw him tell 3000 hungarian listeners, this is a quote from memory “Some people talk about Islam without having read its sacred texts. I have read all of the Quran and it is, based on its texts, an almost objectively evil religion, especially against women. For example it says in the Quran “if you beat your women, beat them with green boughs, for they hurt more”.

I happen to work in a muslim country (Turkey), I've traveled in muslim countries. I've read the Quran, so as not to be ignorant. I'm critical myself of Islam. But there is nothing like what Ole said in the Quran. I checked it and had it doublechecked by others.

So I wrote him an email and asked where he got his quote from. He answered (so it's not true one can't email him, as someone here said) that “I've been told it's somewhere in the Sharia”.

Obviously “I've been told” is not the same as “I've read it myself”, as he pretended in front of 3000 young and avidly listening followers. And “Sharia” (islamic law with it's myriad opinions and schools of thought) is not the same as “Quran”.

So I thought this guy is dangerous, because he seems relaxed and likeable, and huge numbers of young people looking for orientation in this confusing life believe his every word, and he either lies or talks irresponsibly, perhaps wanting to impress, and what he says seems imbued with christian (rather than buddhist) prejudice = a vehicle/catalyst of hatred = the opposite of what I thought Buddhism was about.

2) Answering a question from the crowd as to wether they should enter into love relationships with people who do not follow him: “Of course it would be good to be with someone who shares your interests. But never mind, be with whom you want – as long as that person doesnt criticize your beliefs. If he or she does, then they don't respect you, and in such cases maybe it would be better to separate.” - I couldn't believe my ears. He was actually recommending splitting if your companion is critical of Nydahl.

3)About reincarnation, the most frightening quote was “people are reborn according to their merits. So, if they have been great sinners, they will be reborn into a very uncomfortable and difficult life, for example in Black Africa.” - So there you go: Black Africans were great sinners in their previous lives. Is this already crude racism or just one devious step removed?

I attended a party of his followers soon after. Never again! I thought only skinheads and neonazis talk like that. Most were quite normal until a “buddhist” guy turned up who started ranting about Africans and Muslims and how they will swamp our good white Europe, and how we must rise against it and beat them back, and how Ole was the only one to see the danger. - Most of the others hadn't been talking politics, but now that he mentioned it, everyone agreed – even when I confronted them about how aggressive their beliefs actually are.

My opinion: What this guy teaches would never be taught by a tibetan buddhist. He and some of his preachers even insinuate it from time to time: Tibetans, as far is Buddhism is concerned, aren't up to it anymore. (is this some kind of Western supremacy, even in things spiritual?) -

So from then on I refused to finance my wife's several “meditation courses” per year, each of which cost anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred Euros, what with food and accomodation. Lectures by travelling Ole-preachers also cost a modest entry fee. Hey, they can"t build their centres from nothing. I don't want to finance this guy.

Boris

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: bkalnoky ()
Date: December 02, 2008 12:10AM

Quote
Hao
I don't understand why members of the DW are the only ones to back their claims with evidence? Financial reports are indeed puplic available. I have seen several financial reports, despite not being very interessted in it. I was always told that I could just ask if I wanted to see it, since economi as well as everything else should be transparrent.

I googled "Diamond Way Financial", this is one thing that apperred:

[www.charity-commission.gov.uk]

Thats the annual financial report from the Diamond Way Buddhism UK. It is not just available from request, it is even on the internet.

Hao

Thank you Hao, interesting link. Got me interested. Also a question to the user from bulgarian DW center:

1) Are there any disclosures about monies used for Ole and his entourage. Mind you, I don't think there is anything scandalous here, just interested.

2) About these financial statements and others I have found - and as a DW is a charitable organization: The only charity expenses I can find in these statements are contributions to diamondway's own expansion (new centres mainly, and expansion of existing ones.) Are there any real "charitable" activities? The cash on hand of the british branch seems to have grown by 50 % from 2005 to 2007.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Rangdrol ()
Date: December 02, 2008 07:49AM

Hi Wangdrag,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I am a Vajrayana practitioner and I have started seeing cultish behaviour in several groups and was once an SGI member, so I am happy that practicing Buddhists are being honest and upfront about confronting these behaviours—for lack of better word—in an open space.

I did request information about Diamond Way several months ago and I received an email and in that simple act I was able to intuit that there are issues with that group.

Thanks again for sharing and reminding us that we have to continuously be aware.

Rangdrol
Montreal

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Hao ()
Date: December 02, 2008 02:46PM

Hi bkalnoky/Boris

Quote
bkalnoky
Thank you Hao, interesting link. Got me interested. Also a question to the user from bulgarian DW center:

1) Are there any disclosures about monies used for Ole and his entourage. Mind you, I don't think there is anything scandalous here, just interested.

2) About these financial statements and others I have found - and as a DW is a charitable organization: The only charity expenses I can find in these statements are contributions to diamondway's own expansion (new centres mainly, and expansion of existing ones.) Are there any real "charitable" activities? The cash on hand of the british branch seems to have grown by 50 % from 2005 to 2007.


1) The German annual reports clearly states “reisenkosten”, means travel-expences.

2) It took me just 2-3 clicks on the mouse to find out that the UK definition of a charitable purpose also include ”the advancement of religion”.

Hao

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: bkalnoky ()
Date: December 04, 2008 07:09AM

Out of curiosity - I know very little about the different budddhist schools - can someone tell me how it is with the Dalai Lama's organisation?

Is it like with DW, that adepts are encouraged to follow an ascending and basically neverending staircase of meditation courses that they need to pay for, - admittedly sometimes with staggered pricing according to their means and country of origin - if they want to progress on their path to wisdom?

Boris

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: valontin ()
Date: December 05, 2008 12:30AM

Well,
by my opinion adept is not quite suitable word, we are more friends and colleagues.

For the last 10 years I did not notice somebody to encourage anybody else to go to more and more meditation courses. This is free choice and the art of what is possible. It is good to go, but if you don't go it is also good. For the last 10 years I was on 5 meditation courses, and the price for whole course (2-5 days) in Bulgaria is between 20 and 100 Euro. The price for lecture is about the price of cinema ticket.

In September I was on meditation course in Hungary with Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Ole. The price for 4 days was about 40 euro including meal. The full course price was about 250 euro for 14 days including meals.

As far As I know all the lectures and courses of the Tibetan lamas are payed. Actually the lamas аre not taking money for that, they are not payed Buddhist teachers. With the money are payed expenses for organizing, and if there is something left - it is used for projects like Stupa in Benalmadena, repair of monastery, buying a center or land for retreat place. Sometimes money are used for charitable purposes.

I am writing here to share my opinion and observations, not to convince or defend position.

Best wishes to all, be happy.

Valentin

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: December 05, 2008 05:44AM

While many Lamas do charge, few if any charge as much as 'Lama' Ole Nydahl and his travelling teachers in the Diamond Way group, and while others use it to pay for expenses, Ole uses it to fund his life of luxury and 'travel plan' (flying round the world on other people's money he has extorted) as he calls it on his website.

Most other Buddhist groups I have practised with (and there have been a few) are more concerned with the spiritual progress you are making, and not with how many Ole Nydahl courses you have been to, how much money you have donated, where you are in the hierarchy and how many people you have 'converted'.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: darren c ()
Date: December 05, 2008 06:06AM

I find it Strange that no one has stated the fact that almost every major course and public lectures that Lama Ole teaches all over the world is streamed live over the internet FREE OF CHARGE for members of the Diamondway .

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: December 07, 2008 12:49AM

Free of charge? News to me. When I was in the cult, it was a subscription service, and even then, very few of Ole Nydahl's lectures were available on there.

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