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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: valontin ()
Date: January 31, 2009 05:50AM

I forgot to say something maybe important.
My view for other lamas is the same. Actually this is my view for all sentient beings. We are all perfect. We all have Buddha-nature.

Well, at least I am trying to have this view. :-)
This is absolute view, on relative level of course we all make mistakes.

Anyway, once again best wishes and much love to all.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 31, 2009 08:07AM


No one is "perfect," and certainly not Ole judging from the criticism and comments about his behavior.

Thanks for sharing.

It helps people viewing this thread better understand how Ole's followers view him.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: valontin ()
Date: January 31, 2009 03:30PM

Dear Rick Ross,
Probably the reason is that I can not express my thoughts very well in English, another thing is that just writing is limiting the communication.

Situation in Diamond way centers is the same as in every other Vajrayana Buddhist group. So if you prefer to consider Diamond way as a cult, that is applying to all Vajrayana Buddhist schools also.

From Buddhist point of view - our nature is absolutely perfect. Our essence is clear light, unlimited, unborn, fearless, joyful and actively compassionate. That is what we are. Those qualities are not conditioned.
We call it Buddha-nature. The word Buddha means - fully awakened, that was not a name. Buddha was ordinary person, who discovered this fact. The true nature of every sentient being is the Buddha-nature. Buddhism is not the very right word for the teachings of the Buddha. In sanscrit the word is Dharma in Tibetan - chö - the meaning of these words is : The way things are or the true nature of the things. So Buddhism is science to discover the true nature of everything, the true nature of our mind.

The reason why we can not experience our true nature is our ego - combination of "disturbing" feeling as anger, jelaousy, pride, greed ... and fixed dualistic ideas, concepts and habits. We allow our disturbing feelings to be our boss. We allow to anger for example to direct our thought, words and actions. This way we are creating suffering for others. This suffering, later is coming back to us. Endless cycle. Samsara. If we carefully check we will discover that anger is not real, anger depend on causes and conditions, anger is changing all the time and finally anger is disappearing. We can say anger has no true existence. Probably it is not good idea to allow to something that is not truly exist to direct our behavior.

Generally, there are 3 levels of the teaching. On the first level we understand cause and effect. And we try to think, say and do things that are not harming others. On the second level of the teachings we are developing compassion and wisdom, and motivation is to realize enlightenment in order to benefit others. On the third level we keep the view of the Buddha. He sees the true nature of beings, he sees our (and every sentient beings) absolutely perfect Buddha-nature. Those 3 levels are integral whole.

On the third level the teacher is very important. The trust in the teacher is very important. Thats why the test and the check is very important, because there is possibility for abuse. There are fake teachers in all spiritual traditions. I said some words - to check if his/her words are the same with the actions, if he has true compassion for others, if his advices are meaningful and useful, if he knows the teachings, if he has permission to teach from his teachers, this testing is process that never stops. On the other hand it is possible, to have clear view for the teacher, to try to see him/her as a Buddha. It is said in the teachings : if you see the teacher as a Buddha you will get the blessing of the Buddha, if you see him as a Bodhisattva, you will get the blessing of a Bodhisattva, if you see him as a normal person, well probably you will not have much benefit.
Trying to see the teacher on a highest level is not excluding critical thinking, as I said if Lama Ole say or do something that consciously harm others or something that is intolerant and the result of his actions is suffering - he will lose probably most of his students. Including me.

On relative level - suffering is inevitable. There are people who did not like Lama Ole, there are people who did not like Dalai Lama, There were people who did not like the Buddha himself. Of course if one don't like somebody - one probably will see only mistakes, and one will feel not so good about the person he did not like.

Another important thing is to check if there is good connection between student/teacher. That also is true for every other Buddhist teacher. If the connection is not good, if you don`t like teachers style, probably the best (not obligatory) is to find another teacher. Also important is to know that there is some differences in the teachings and methods of different Buddhist lineages. The goal is the same - enlightenment, methods are different, because people are different.

I apologize for the long post.

All the best and much love.


follower in my opinion is not the best word for Buddhists, we are more colleagues and friends. And the Lama is somebody one step ahead.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 31, 2009 08:03PM


Each time you post your comments offer additional proof for those that see Ole and his group as personality-driven and cult-like.

Comparing Ole to "Buddha" and the "Dalai Lama" only reinforces that perception.

And the claim that if your group is a "cult" somehow all other religious groups are too, it a fairly typical response made by cultists attempting to spin and/or apologize for their groups and leaders.

You keep digging yourself in deeper.

For many that didn't know much about Ole, you certainly have made a compelling argument in favor of his critics, though unintentionally through your blind devotion.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: January 31, 2009 08:32PM

Darren C – Sarmapa is no longer the lineage holder of the Kagyu lineage, following the political manoeuvrings of the 10th Sharmapa in the 18th century.

He did however grant Ole the title of lama after having a two hour long phone discussion with Hannah Nydahl in which she had to plead with him to grant this for the sake of the continuation of the lineage. It is debateable whether this was a politically motivated decision (something for which Sharmapa is renowned), and in my opinion I think that it was done more for her sake, as she showed far more potential for enlightenment than Ole, and now she no longer exerts such a restraining and enlightening influence.

I believe that in a truly liberated society, she would have been the head of this group and Ole would have merely been a hanger-on, but as there is still some way to go and Tibetan society is even more backward than ours in the area of sexual liberation, Ole now seems to be someone who believes his own hype.

Valontin – I’m sure that Mr Nydahl would like to somehow separate his roles as Lama and as “a member of society”, but unfortunately this is not really possible. Ole Nydahl gives a talk on Buddhism in his role as Lama and at some point in the middle of it he drifts off the point to give his rather prejudiced personal views on Islam, or on his rather backward view of sexual politics.

I was recently at a lecture on Buddhism and Quantum Physics in Munich, in which Ole digressed from the topic at one point to say something like – we all like to chase after the girls, eh lads? (wink, wink)

– this made me wonder if he really knew what the lecture was about, did he really think this was relevant? Was he simply drifting in his own dreams? Maybe he was enjoying the attention and saw it as yet another opportunity to showcase his own opinions.

I’ve seen Ole speak on many occasions and this seems to be a regular occurrence! It is as if he has his formula and he is very well rehearsed, so much so that if you go to see him on several occasions then his talk becomes quite predictable – these are not slip-ups, he seems to genuinely think that he is…? (words fail me, is it supposed to be entertaining, funny, a bit on the edge? To me it just looks like ego.)

At least when Jonathan Ross does it then it is clearly tongue-in-cheek!

- on this point I have to agree with Wangdrag

“Since Ole Nydahl is not a vajracharya, he cannot grant an abhisheka, so there is no entry into the vajrayana within Diamondway group…In my view it is true that teachings of Buddha bring freedom, but they have to be proper teachings and this I feel is not present in Diamondway.”

- anyone can call themselves a Lama, but for me the point is not whether Mr Nydahl is truly a Lama or not.

There is no doubt that he does some good work in his teaching and in spreading the word of Buddhism on a very basic level, however this seems to be completely mixed up with Ole’s own prejudices, and beyond that there has to be some questions asked about the whole setup of this group.

Ole Nydahl does not teach the full Buddha-Dharma simply because he does not like certain aspects of it (and I think because they would make him seem less “fun” and would therefore be less popular).

There seem to be no checks on certain aspects – the group as a whole seems to stray dangerously close to “worshipping” Ole Nydahl – hence the accusations that this is in fact a cult of personality – and I believe that Ole does not discourage this – firstly because maybe he believes that this would discourage them in their enthusiasm and diligence to practice, and that this “charisma” is one of the things that draws people to him, but I also have to suggest that his ego is somewhat flattered by this.
Also, there is an emphasis in this form of Buddhism in the direct “transmission” of Buddha qualities, and this means that one must trust ones’ Lama completely – although this clearly can be seen to be open to abuse, I am certain that Ole Nydahl is not using this to deliberately abuse his followers, and that he means well, however he simply does not seem to have the wisdom-awareness nor the authority to go any further than the most basic introduction to a watered down Dharma, and this is something which I do not see him or DWB being entirely honest about.

I also see a darker side to the group as a whole which I do not believe is manufactured by any one person.

Many of the members of the group come from Germany and Poland – these are countries where there is a tradition of fascism – a characteristic of which is a strong charismatic “father figure” in charge, and I believe that Ole Nydahl fulfils this criteria perfectly, if merely by accident and through his own lack of awareness in being a right-wing militaristic-style racist, homophobe, and sexual dinosaur.

Ole Nydahl is one of the first to admit that he isn’t the most intellectual person in the world, and one of the ways this shows itself is in his rather distorted and over-simplified revisionist history of Islam and it’s interaction with other cultures.

– He seems to conveniently overlook the long and bloody history of political intrigue, betrayal, and infighting among the Buddhist traditions, or the whole history of western oppression, slavery, crusade and conquest.

– He readily brings up examples of Moslem atrocities from centuries back, but noticeably fails to point out that 1000 years ago when the Danes were sacrificing humans to their pagan gods, Moslems were the embodiment of a culturally and scientifically advanced, enlightened, and tolerant people.

And so he comes across as being neither well informed, intelligent, nor tolerant, but rather conceitedly one-sided and self-righteous. Someone who has very clear, almost absolutist views and thinks it is not only accurate for him to demonise and blame an entire religion, but also that it is a good thing for him to take advantage of his influential status to spread this far and wide.

It is quite hard to believe that no-one has pointed this out to him, and I cannot see how, in this day and age, he can seriously hold onto such beliefs without questioning himself.
(on the other hand, he is a bit like your granddad, from a different age and a bit stuck in his rather narrow views, he’ll flirt with your girlfriend and you love him anyway and he still plays nicely with the kids “at his age!”)

This wouldn’t be such a problem if he was just one man voicing his ignorant opinion, but in his role as a Buddhist Lama, and someone who one should trust, it seems recklessly irresponsible.

Ole himself claims to be working against religious hypocrisy. I wonder if he is aware of his unconscious contribution to the very thing he claims to be working against.

It is not simply Ole’s views to which I am referring here, but the example he sets and which many seem to follow.

I have much experience with Diamond Way practitioners, and it is my experience that they regularly misuse the Dharma – for example when stealing something from you – if you question them or ask them to take some responsibility for their actions, they turn around and tell you that it is “your attachment to your possessions and your problem – go meditate!”

Similarly in matters of sexual misconduct – there is much promiscuity among Diamond Way members, but if you dare to question this they will suggest that you are the one who should re-adjust your view – they cannot seem to consider that this behaviour can in any way be damaging to relationships, self-indulgent, and desirous, and again suggest that it is the other persons’ problem, and if you cannot deal with it then it is because you aren’t sufficiently liberated.

These are hardly surprising phenomena when your Lama finds it so easy to blame others too – in it's current state, this is not a desirable form of Buddhism.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 31, 2009 11:50PM

One can assess a teacher by the behavior of his or her students.

Courteous and kind teachers foster courteous and kind behavior in students.

Real Dharma teachers dont feel any need for protection and dont feel any need to ask students to defend them.

Courteous and kind teachers encourage students to behave kindly toward all, including toward those who are NOT followers of that teacher and who dont want to be followers of that teacher.

If many students of the same teacher manifest the same pattern of crusade mentality, they've either learned it from the teacher, or the teacher has failed to convey to the students that any kind of crusade mentality, even when the crusade mentality is in loyalty to the teacher or lineage, is still a pattern of afflictive emotion and distracts from Buddhist practice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 11:59PM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 01, 2009 12:08AM

Note this material is from an essay written for those interested in Hindu doctrines of nonduality. But some of the material applies to Buddhist practitioners as well.

The essay lists nine areas of misunderstanding common when Hindu Advaita and Buddhist forms of nonduality are misinterpreted.

This is a very small excerpt. The author of the essay is Mr Timothy Conway.



Buddha, Nâgârjuna, Shankara, Ramana Mahârshi, Siddharâmeshvar Mahârâj, Nisargadatta Mahârâj and many, many other great advaitins.... taught that, on the conventional level, we must still be able to distinguish between wholesome and unwholesome actions, and be well aware of karmic consequences.

The Buddha, for one, often defined the disbelief in karmic consequences as that dangerous heresy of nihilism (uccheda-ditthi).

Much of what is taught by neo-advaita (and postmodernist versions of Buddhism, for that matter) is clearly a form of the nihilist heresy, as defined by the Buddha.

Ramana Mahârshi said, "It is true that we are not bound and that the real Self has no bondage.

"It is true that you will eventually go back to your Source.

(Corboy note: In Buddhadharma there is no intrinsically separate Source. However, the chains of cause and effect are recognized both by Buddhists and by Hindus. What Maharshi, a Hindu, said here, fits right in with Buddhadharma:)

Maharshi continued:

"But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, you will have to face the consequences of such sins....

"Whatever is done lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind, is a good action.

"Everything which is done with the stain of desire* and with agitation filling the mind* is classified as a bad action....

"Therefore even the means of doing actions should be pure....

"What is the use of merely saying with your lips, 'I am free'?"

*(Corboy note:Crusade mentality in aggressive loyalty to a teacher may feel righteous. Crusade mentality can be almost addictive because it can energize us and distract us from underlying depression or suppress areas of doubt that if voiced aloud, could cause us to be ejected from our group.

Nevertheless, no matter how pleasant it feels to be on crusade to defend a teacher, the crusader is entangled in afflictive emotion. A good teacher would give instruction that assists us to recognize the seduction of crusade mentality and to see it as a hindrance to practice, not allow us to indulge crusade mentality without pointing it out.

And a good teacher would never under any circumstance exploit encourage students to crusade aggressively for the teacher or even for the lineage. In Maharshi's phrase, crusade mentality is 'agitation filling the mind'

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2009 12:15AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 01, 2009 01:17AM

To whom it may concern:

Valontin has been banned from the board.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 01, 2009 01:23AM

I'm not sure if i would go so far as to say that there is a conscious crusade mentality here (of course it cuts both ways and i think we should be careful not to turn this into a crusade against DWB) - i think that many believe that they are acting "lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind", but i do think that there seems to be a certain amount of blindness here.

i was just laughing at the Ole quote,

" should always insist on a healthy sense of humor and check that one’s helpers and examples on the way are not strange and don’t take themselves too seriously. "

is he suggesting that his views on Islam are just him "having a laugh"?

surely it is very easy to say things that you know are offensive to others and then suggest that they are taking themselves too seriously, the true test is whether he takes himself seriously or not, and the problem with DWB is the sheer mass of people who do seem to take him very seriously.

righteous purity is one thing, but when ego is involved it becomes self-righteous purity, and that is when someone claims to have the moral high ground, which leads to a crusade mentality.

I'm sure Ole knows that he's no saint and that he's just messing with our heads but the situation here reminds me of the scene with Brian, the messiah, when he says, "You've got to think for yourselves, you're all individuals" and they slavishly look up at him with glazed eyes and reply, "yes, were all individuals"

something very similar happened with modern art a while ago (1961) - Piero Manzoni had the idea to defecate in a tin can. no doubt he thought that people would be bound to realise the truth and that this would set them free. unfortuantely it didn't and the cans are now the most expensive crap you can buy at £50,000 each!

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: February 01, 2009 02:45AM

The following pages on Wikipedia have eben repeatedly vandalised and turned into propaganda pages by followers of Ole Nydahl. I was wondering if anyone could help me to make them more neutral?

Ole Nydahl - []
Diamond Way - []

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