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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 06, 2009 05:43PM

Hi Anti and Corboy
Thanks for your post.

I thought , what is needed is a Dharma Debate contention in the internet .
Instead of complaining about a person/teacher,
we can take the content of both teachings taught in Diamondway and Kagdyu school and to draw the comparisons.
What is needed now is the deep analysis, to descend from the superficiality / complainants about a person or a behaviour and to plunge into the deeper meaning of the all.
And what is needed more is a continuous debate, based on real experience, observations and to report the recording in the internet!

Is that a way we can handle the problem?

Dave

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: antilamaole ()
Date: February 07, 2009 02:01AM

Dave, yes understanding the deeper meaning of it all is good. This debate has been going on for centuries, even longer. There is no need to stop now. It is the story of religion itself. Furthermore, the age of the internet is so new to the world, that we may only understand it's function as a facilitator of evolution far into the future. The medium is the message as Marshall McLuhan said. I believe the difficulty is knowing where to begin. For the purposes of this discussion, all we seem to be left with are the impressions people take from thier experiences with Diamond Way and the noble efforts to point out what has been written in scripture concerning right view, etc.. Where else can those of us who feel the need to share our feelings about Diamond Way go? It is not unreasonable to believe that DW members are actively monitoring dissenters and sending out damage control experts, not unlike the NKT henchmen. After all, there is a lot at stake: DW is global and relies upon the involvement of thousands of sincere true believers. It costs a lot of money to shuttle Ole around the world. It would be interesting to know what charitable projects DW is involved in. How much money goes to relieve hunger in many parts of the world? How much money goes to bringing medicine to the poor? Who decides where this money goes? Does anyone have access to this information? DW is purportedly a "transparent" organization. Is this true? And to what extent? Where is the paperwork to illustrate this? I am not suggesting that Ole eats off of golden plates and tours the world on expensive yachts. But not one time have I heard Ole or any DW member talk about an organizational apparatus to help the poor, sick or otherwise less fortunate. No. What we do hear is how DW has created 500+ centers throughout the world. We do hear about Ole's sexual desires and tastes. We do hear about Ole's dislike for Islam. We do hear about poltical/religious history. Imagine for a minute if Ole were to pass away. Who takes over? A hand picked successor? A democratically elected leader? Anarchy? Should anyone even care? Members care enough to give time and money. DW does give people things they are looking for. Community with like minded seekers. Meditation practices that calm the mind. A westernized approach to Tibetan Buddhism that is palatable to those unaccustomed to the cultures of the Asian mindset. Does any one person have the answers? I am indeed thankful to those who have made this forum possible, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings on this subject.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 07, 2009 06:32AM

Hi All and Antiole
Why not to go back in the DW organization and to reveal all facts to the public (internet) by the support of undercover work?
Ask people who work in a DW centre to work for the same good, they can maybe deliver hard facts about the organization!
Don't flee the organization, but instead go back and reveal the truth.
Don't ask questions in the internet, but interview people who are in touch with DW center.
What is needed are practical help and hard facts.
I do the same since a couple of time.
To complain here does not change anything.
Just my two cents.

Dave

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: February 08, 2009 03:06AM

Dave;

Complaining is not the issue here, if you read back you will see that information relayed here has come from either those who were once devoted and those who have been drawn in through friends or family and this information has attempted to introduce an objective view. I for one cannot discuss the issues posted here with someone who is devoted because in simple terms, my views are seen as attacks on DW. Run back through the threads and relate this to cult behaviour and you will maybe see why I found myself contributing to this forum in the first place.

DW is man made, created by certain individuals and now subject of what can be seen (from the outside) as idolization of a single character and I am not talking about the 17th Karmapa. To be clear about things, I am not in any way into Buddhism, I used to respect it as a benign religion until the DW burst into my life wearing size 9 Army Boots via the worldwide web but now have to question the reality of Buddhism and its many sects.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 08, 2009 06:33AM

Quote
Outsider I for one cannot discuss the issues posted here with someone who is devoted because in simple terms, my views are seen as attacks on DW. Run back through the threads and relate this to cult behaviour and you will maybe see why I found myself contributing to this forum in the first place.
[/quote


Outsider

I have read you here, but don't understand what you mean?
Can you be a little bit more specific?

Why you can't do anything? I mean, it's OK for me if you declare that you can't do, you might have your reasons.

On the other side, I see the necessity that somebody or better many should take same actions and help to get things cleared up in DW.
Without the impact of public pressure through public relation work, DW will not even move one inch from his status quo towards more transparency.

What is needed is, careful research and interview recording with the eyewitness.
We need people who are willing to stand for what they say.
Maybe some video material would be good.
More facts about the inner circle structure of DW.

We need people who go to the DW teachings and record Oles teachings, so we have some proof what people declared here in this forum and also elsewhere is authentic. We have to analyze the travel teacher teachings as well.
We have to collect the all and present the material to the public.

If you are scared that this would be seen as attack against DW?
I would call it, a big clean up for the sake of the following generations.

To write something about DW is one thing, to do some research work which can proof your saying is so powerful that facts can't be ignored by DW, Ole or by anybody else within the Kagdyu organization and the public as well.
I want to come to the last point, that things can't be swept under the carpet anymore, because things became
self-evident.
if you say you can't, its OK for me.

Anybody here with guts?

Dave

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Wangdrag ()
Date: February 08, 2009 06:36AM

Dave and others
What to do about Ole? I think that at this point there is nothing we can really do. Oh yes, we could prevent him from gaining new following by posting in discussions like this one. Problem is that 99,99 percent of people who come to his lectures for the first time do not read this stuff. And by the time they come to read it, they are usually fully converted. Once fully converted (understand brainwashed) somehow these people are bulletproof. As to my experience, former students of Ole, including me, who decided to leave him had some doubts about either about Ole or his organization from the very beginning. People who come to his lectures and stay with the organisation afterwards usually have no clue about Dharma. For example, when I came to Ole, I already read some theravadan commentaries to the pali suttas. I was strongly drawn to Tibetan buddhism about which I unfortunately knew almost nothing and that is why I stayed a few years, but I remeber that from the beginning I felt that something fishy is going on about this "lama". Same goes for my friends who left as well, when they came to Ole all of them had already some knowledge about Dharma. Those who stayed despite seeing us leaving and hearing our reasons had on the other hand no history in Dharma prior to meeting Ole, so it was much easier to brainwash them.
Brainwashing has the most lasting and most powerful effect compared to any other possible method of indoctrination.
Another problem which is in my view the biggest obstacle for doing anything about the situation is that high Tibetan lamas of Kamtsang lineage behind Karmapa Thaye Dorje keep stone face and do not do anything, eventhough some of them already know that not quite everything is right about Ole. There are at least two high Rinpoches who know for sure, since the problems around Ole were communicated to them personally. Yet they support him.
Then there is another group of Rinpoches who know nothing about this situation and sincerelly think that Ole is great and support him. I would love to ask these Rinpoches who know there is something wrong with Ole, why they do not withdraw their support. Unfortunatelly since I am nobody, I cannot do that by sending emails (I did, and got no response), I would have to travel to Asia to meet them personally or have a talk with them on the phone (also impossible for me).
The reason for such support might be following:A) Ole is a great fundraiser.
B) Ole is already so powerful that they cannot simply kick him out or else there would be another split in
the lineage (already kind of happening, since DW ignores other western Kamtsang organisations such
as Dhagpo Mandala or Bodhipath.)
C) the third posibillity: we are stupid and Ole is really great bodhisattva (in my view least probable one)
So I see the only solution and I think that Tibetans are kind of waiting for that - and it is that Ole will eventually die. In the mean time, those who are buddhists, please make good wishes that DW does not become a greater mess than it already is.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 08, 2009 05:22PM

On the issue of Dharma, I think that Wangdrag has said it perfectly (see pages 12 and 16), but if you want more there is plenty on the E-Sangha, particularly the link [www.lioncity.net] where there is a 52 page debate (you have to register).

So, there is not only the question of Dharma, but also the question of honesty, and what motivation lies behind this.

Personally I feel that the lack of transparency is in the DWB ideology rather than any concrete organisational secrecy, but the specific ideology of DWB does produce some concrete effects.

Ole himself describes the effects of meditation as a feeling of bliss in every atom of his body and has compared it to sticking his finger in the electrical socket.
I have heard on more than one occasion DW Buddhists say that they no longer feel the need to take drugs as they get a far better buzz from meditating.
Ole also talks about incorporating his meditation into activities such as driving a motorbike fast and skydiving, and he seems to confuse the two.
He even had a parachuting accident because he stayed in the lotus position for too long.

The Buddhist meditations that I’m familiar with are supposed to bring you into the present moment, not make you drift off into some sort of dream world where you lose awareness of the fact that you are plummeting to earth and have forgotten to open your chute.
It is a means to remove your addictions, not replace them with a better buzz.
It is a means to face your inner demons and your suffering and work with them, not to act as some sort of painkiller which helps you to escape and avoid facing them.

This is why I see DW mediation as opposed to true Buddhism.
I have no doubt that as an alternative to taking drugs, DW meditation is the lesser of the two evils, but true Enlightenment is about waking up and being in the present moment, not about entering some sort of pleasant trance where one loses oneself and one’s track of time.
There are reports of blissful phenomena which are a side effect of meditative practice; however this in itself is not enlightenment.
As I understand it, Buddhism is about clearing out all the junk and creating an empty space where the whole universe can be experienced without filters, it is not about filling this space with pretty visions and feelings of being blissed-out.

So as I see it, any feelings of one-ness that one gets from DW meditations are entirely illusory and individualistic. No wonder that DW meditation produces smug self-centred close-minded individualists. They are Ole clones, arch-capitalist, self-promoting, cliquey, xenophobic, just looking for a good time with “like minded” individuals.

To get back to the question is DWB a cult, they do have a charismatic leader, but I think that at this point in time they are too self-centred to be extremists, and are instead extreme conformists who cannot think for themselves and merely toe the party line. Only time will tell if the “Ole army” will be mobilised for good or not.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 08, 2009 05:31PM

Quote
Wangdrag
Dave and others
What to do about Ole? I think that at this point there is nothing we can really do. Oh yes, we could prevent him from gaining new following by posting in discussions like this one. Problem is that 99,99 percent of people who come to his lectures for the first time do not read this stuff. And by the time they come to read it, they are usually fully converted. Once fully converted (understand brainwashed) somehow these people are bulletproof. As to my experience, former students of Ole, including me, who decided to leave him had some doubts about either about Ole or his organization from the very beginning. People who come to his lectures and stay with the organisation afterwards usually have no clue about Dharma. For example, when I came to Ole, I already read some theravadan commentaries to the pali suttas. I was strongly drawn to Tibetan buddhism about which I unfortunately knew almost nothing and that is why I stayed a few years, but I remeber that from the beginning I felt that something fishy is going on about this "lama". Same goes for my friends who left as well, when they came to Ole all of them had already some knowledge about Dharma. Those who stayed despite seeing us leaving and hearing our reasons had on the other hand no history in Dharma prior to meeting Ole, so it was much easier to brainwash them.
Brainwashing has the most lasting and most powerful effect compared to any other possible method of indoctrination.
Another problem which is in my view the biggest obstacle for doing anything about the situation is that high Tibetan lamas of Kamtsang lineage behind Karmapa Thaye Dorje keep stone face and do not do anything, eventhough some of them already know that not quite everything is right about Ole. There are at least two high Rinpoches who know for sure, since the problems around Ole were communicated to them personally. Yet they support him.
Then there is another group of Rinpoches who know nothing about this situation and sincerelly think that Ole is great and support him. I would love to ask these Rinpoches who know there is something wrong with Ole, why they do not withdraw their support. Unfortunatelly since I am nobody, I cannot do that by sending emails (I did, and got no response), I would have to travel to Asia to meet them personally or have a talk with them on the phone (also impossible for me).
The reason for such support might be following:A) Ole is a great fundraiser.
B) Ole is already so powerful that they cannot simply kick him out or else there would be another split in
the lineage (already kind of happening, since DW ignores other western Kamtsang organisations such
as Dhagpo Mandala or Bodhipath.)
C) the third posibillity: we are stupid and Ole is really great bodhisattva (in my view least probable one)
So I see the only solution and I think that Tibetans are kind of waiting for that - and it is that Ole will eventually die. In the mean time, those who are buddhists, please make good wishes that DW does not become a greater mess than it already is.


Dear Wangdrag and others

Without wanting to disclose my identity in the internet, I like to say that I know Ole date from 1977.
I as well as others were very close to Ole during the first time, (for decades) and I can say for myself, that at present time I don't entertain any bitter feelings towards Ole or the like. Still feel close to Ole.
So my motivation is not of a personal nature.

During my Dharma time I came in touch with many different great Tibetan teachers and also with some Western teachers like for example Ole and Hannnah, Hernrik and Walli, and DW travel teachers, as well as with so many self declared teachers.

I went through a traditional three year retreat and I did study the Dharma (higher fields of knowledge) in a Tibetan Shedra in India, for a period of 5 years.
So there is some background knowledge I can rely on, what is it that has to be rejected and I have an idea how things should be adopted in order not to confuse people but to benefit them.

Let me say one thing more here.
My aim is not to find an instant solution, to take over, or to dethrone Ole, or to destroy DW.
In the opposite!
All what I want is a long term process, slowly, to prepare for a change of the public awareness, from the package believer mind towards less naive but more self-critical spirit.
Since Ole is so long active in this scheme, to bring a change needs long term process. In a similar fashion like a body was treated long time wrong, for the doctor it needs the same time to cure the patient.


[and i believe in cause and effect, so every action will bear fruit soon or later. Here I am not talking about Karma, I am talking about to bring a change of circumstances in this life on this planet earth in particular here in the West.]

Let me say one thing more;
If we prepare to lean back and wait that somebody will do our work, hoping somebody will eventually stand up for us and say something on behalf of the distressed and frustrated previous Ole followers, this will most likely not happen. (For reasons I know and don't know)

One thing I know is, our Tibetan teachers and Rinpoche's will not interfere in the Western affairs, like a father treats and corrects his children's.
They will not do something which becomes obverse to the public.
They keep the band with everybody and they are ready to work with everybody. So to discipline somebody in then open will not work out for them right now. Anyway, this has many faces and perspectives which can't be elucidated here. To give you an idea, one reason can be, eastern diplomacy not to take sides.
What happen right now in the West is our business. We can stay frustrated and hope and pray for a better time, or we can help to bring a change for the future.

To bring a change for the future does not mean to take sides against somebody or to go for a war against DW or Ole. It means to clarify the content. Not the person is the focus of our argument, but the actions done by the people. [Very small but important detail]
Which helps you not to break any precepts in case Ole is a realized man. But it helps you to point out things from the Dharma point of view. As long we don't become too personal with the opponent, as long we don't discuss the persons realization you are free to debate. Since...
We are not attacking a person or persons, merely pointing out actions!

It means further for me for example, to continual to study and to learn authentic Dharma and to explain things from a better view point.
It can also mean to point out mistakes if necessary and to correct them by showing the examples.
Further it means, to come into some dialog with those who are open mind.

What is really needed are good actions, to counteract adverse circumstances bring a change for the betterment. It is a imperative everybody can practice as Mahayana or in general as Buddhist follower!

Lip service is one thing we can do, as long we stand firm behind our attitudes it becomes a real powerful action.

Best wishes for all!

Dave

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Wangdrag ()
Date: February 08, 2009 11:39PM

Quote
Dave
One thing I know is, our Tibetan teachers and Rinpoche's will not interfere in the Western affairs, like a father treats and corrects his children's.
They will not do something which becomes obverse to the public.
They keep the band with everybody and they are ready to work with everybody. So to discipline somebody in then open will not work out for them right now. Anyway, this has many faces and perspectives which can't be elucidated here. To give you an idea, one reason can be, eastern diplomacy not to take sides.
Dave

Dave

I agree with some of your points. However how can you separate Ole as a person from his actions?
Concerning Tibetan teachers, they are also teachers of Ole. If I were a teacher of a student who has himself become a teacher and this student would make some mistakes, surely I would feel necessary to correct him for his own sake and for the sake of others. I am not saying that they do not correct Ole, maybe they do, but there is no visible effect taking place. Karmapa even asked Ole not to talk politics (islam etc.) during his lectures and for some time Ole stopped, but now he does that again. And it was quite embarassing when Karmapa visited Europe two years ago and all the newspapers were asking him about his stance on islam, because Ole kept talking about islam to the press all the time. If I were in the shoes of HH.Karmapa, I would have a long and solemn discussion with Ole. Sometimes teacher needs to behave like a father, when his student is behavinng like a brat - at least this is my view.
So I think that Tibetans are in part responsible, because they lend Ole their authority and in fact it is them and only them till this day who can transmit the teachings of Kamtsang vajrayana and who are therefore responsible for keeping them well and alive. It is them who put Ole into the role of a teacher.
If a shoemaker makes bad shoes he is the one responsible and has to either take them back or correct them. So is that also not similar to allowing one teach Dharma and then the person starts to teach their own stuff? On the other hand I fear that if they did withdraw Ole the situation would be like the one of Michael Roach, who still teaches, although not under the umbrella of Gelug school.

all the best in your efforts

Wangdrag

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2009 12:15AM

RR.com is not a Buddhist venue. So to do a Dharma Debate, another place on the internet is best.

Its precisely because facing the behavior of a teacher is not mere complaining but actually is made almost impossible in Buddhist settings that so very many Buddhists have had to seek refuge here at RR.com, a non Buddhist venue, in order to apply the full resources of insight to teachers.

RR.com is used by persons from all backgrounds. It is not a Buddhist venue in the strict sense of the word.

So, it might be best to create a Dharma Debate venue some place other than RR.com

We dont want to create an impression that one has to have exalted qualifications before one has the right to express concerns about this or any other group where one has been personally affected at first hand.

This DW thread has required a high degree of protection from the moderator because so very many disruptive persons have showed up in response to the attempts by Emma C and Outsider and others to express their concerns about DW.

If one were to turn this thread into a Dharma Debate forum, it might have the effect of making it an intimidating place for persons who fear they dont have the qualifications as advanced scholars.

**
It is because so very many have had trouble rectifying problems in these Tibetan Buddhist settings that they have had to come here to this non Buddhist venue of RR.com--a venue that has been very frequently subject to disruption and where Mr Ross has had to intervene over twenty times.

On RR.com we are legally responsible for our posts and are expected to be honest and courteous--and to do this by abiding to the terms of use.

So long as one abides by the RR.com terms of use one does not need to have a Geshe degree or have completed a 3 year retreat .

RR.com exists for a more modest yet more radical purpose--a place to utilize American First Amendment rights by sharing first hand personal experience about DW.


Most people who come here have not been through 3 year retreats, or gone to Buddhist universities (shedras).

One potential problem if this Ole thread became a Dharma Debate ground is that this might scare away people who dont have ultra advanced background in Tibetan Buddhism by making it seem that one has no right to report first hand personal experiences or misgivings about DW unless one first has acquired years of advanced study.

This could have the unintended effect of making this thread an intimidating and confusing place for persons to visit.

And..all too often when people try to report problems in their sanghas, they are often shamed into silence by being told they first need to deepen their practice.

By the time they have deepened their practice, the problems in the sanga have had time to get worse.

Then, if one has mustered the necessary academic background, one is often told, 'You are being too intellectual.'

So if some wish to deal with DW using the classic Dharma Debate protocol, the best thing is probably to create a separate internet venue for those interested and qualified.

The point of RR.com is that so long as one abides by the RR.com terms of use, one does not need to have a Geshe degree or have completed a 3 year retreat to have a right to speak up and exercise American First Amendment rights by sharing first hand personal experience about DW.

This is merely my input as an ordinary member of RR.com.

I am not speaking for Mr Ross or for the website.

Mr Ross is the moderator and has final say.

Quote

I thought , what is needed is a Dharma Debate contention in the internet .

Instead of complaining about a person/teacher,
we can take the content of both teachings taught in Diamondway and Kagdyu school and to draw the comparisons.

What is needed now is the deep analysis, to descend from the superficiality / complainants about a person or a behaviour and to plunge into the deeper meaning of the all.

And what is needed more is a continuous debate, based on real experience, observations and to report the recording in the internet!

The Dharma Debate will work only if there is a sincere desire to face the full truth--including a willingness to face the possibity that harmful patterns of behavior are originating from a teacher in whom supreme authority has been vested.

If one is using Dharma Debate to examine everything EXCEPT the teacher, then Dharma Debate will be an evasion of Dharma instead of serving the Dharma.

The problem with Vajrayana Buddhism and many forms of Buddhism is there is such a tradition of deference to teachers and so much so that they are exempt from accountability and no mechanism exists by which to speak up if problems appear in their early stages.

This tradition of making the teacher exempt from scrutiny in the event of trouble would ensure that Dharma Debate would be applied to distract attention from the chains of cause and effect that arise from the teacher.

And this evasion would mean the teacher is being treated as someone supreme and inherantly separately existing, someone whose behaviors must never be examined and traced and to treat someone as inherantly separately existing and exempt from scrutiny, is delusion in action--and would mean the Dharma Debate itself is an exercise in Delusion.

So if your project of Dharma Debate is to succeed, it must mean everything is to be examined fearlessly, including the teacher.

All too often in troubled sanghas, there exists no legitimate and effective way to name and identify harmful chains of cause and effect that originate from the behavior of troubled teachers in whom supreme authority is vested.

If a Dharma Debate is proposed, not from fearlessness, but covertly, from fear of fully examinining everything, including actions originating from the teacher, and if the Dharma debate is proposed to silence dissent from low ranking or new persons who have not yet been trained to slavish obedience, as a way to restrict discussion within limits that never challenge the teacher's hegemony, the motives for proposing Dharma debate are themselves generated by afflictive emotion and the Dharma Debate will serve to protect the interests of powerful persons and stifle reform.

This said, RR.com is available as a place of refuge to those who have not been trained to stifle dissent and who need a place to report what they have seen first hand.

And that so very many attempts have been made to disrupt discussion here indicate that there is something effective about the RR.com venue that should remain available to all persons of good faith, even those who have not had 3 year retreats or the time to get Geshe degrees.

By the time someone is that far into Vajryayana Buddhism they may have lost all ability to relate objectively to teachers and lost any ability to speak up if a teacher is falling short of the Bodhisattva Precepts..Stephen Butterfield was a Vajrayana practitioner and in his book The Double Mirror, reported with regret that his commitment to Buddhism made him highly insightful about power abuses in non Buddhist groups, but he lost his ability to be just as insightful about power abuses within his own Buddhist community.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 12:45AM by corboy.

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