Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Date: April 19, 2015 12:48PM
> This is an interesting point. I once attended a
> Diamond Way lecture about Mahamudra in London,
> several hundred people were present (this in
> itself was a surprise); after an hour or so
> someone obviously versed in Mahamudra asked a
> question to Lama Ole from the floor "do you hold
> any transmission in Mahamudra?". To his credit
> Lama Ole said he didn't. The person then asked
> "what are we doing here then?"
> Teaching without apparent transmission for a fee,
> can anyone explain how this might work?
haha! Charging money when the teacher technically isn't qualified to teach on certain topics? Good question!
Teachings are free when they're part of a weekly dharma prayer/meditation group. When there's a special course being offered with special arrangements for a teacher to travel to the location and teach, it's not unusual to charge a fee. Though some sanghas don't require the fee, they leave it up to individuals to make a "suggested donation".
I've attended a weekend workshop for which a teacher was brought in from India, so the suggested donation was set at an amount that would cover the teacher's airfare and meals, plus a small honorarium. At the time, I wasn't able to pay the suggested amount, so the person handling registration and payment said I could pay whatever I could afford. That's a fair and reasonable way to handle it. If there's pressure to pay the full amount, or even harassment about not paying the full amount, that's a sign of a teacher or sangha on the make.
Lama Ole really isn't qualified to call himself "lama" ("teacher") at all. He hasn't done the usual 3-year retreat that qualifies someone to call themselves "Rinpoche" ("Reverend"), and I doubt he's done the full multi-year course of scripture study to qualify him to be a teacher. He studied tantra with the 13th Karmapa and Kalu Rinpoche, but normally the course of study begins with very basic, foundational Buddhism, the teachings of the Buddha in the Pali Canon (which tradition the Tibetans call "Hinayana Buddhism"). This, itself, takes years. Then the program moves on to Mahayana Buddhism. The third and final stage is tantra (Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism). However, in the beginning, the Karmapa jumped right in and taught Ole about sexual tantra, which was a very irresponsible thing to do, especially with a student like Ole. This is what resulted in this trainwreck that is Diamond Way.