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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2009 01:25AM

An additional reason why Dharma Debate would be best on another venue than RR.com is that it requires time and much study to attain the qualifications needed for Dharma Debate.

Theres the risk that Dharma Debate serves to Re-Affirm Rank and Perserve Power Hierarchy, rather reforming it. If this is so, Dharma Debate will preserve DW in its present form, and re-affirm the primacy of the teacher--and by excluding lower ranking persons, pretend to offer a venue for discussion but actually stifle full discussion by ritualizing discussion, keeping it in the hands and under control of those few insiders who have qualifications to do Dharma Debate and who as insiders have a vested interest in preserving the system and avoiding examination of the system and of the teacher from whom their own rank in the hierarchy derives.

In a Western context, it takes time and money to gain Dharma Debate qualifications. And....helloooo..it also requires approval from various teachers to gain access to higher level study opportunites that prepare one to learn how to do this sort of debate.

By the time you are qualified to enter Dharma Debate, you are an insider with a stake in the system, and your rank depends on the teacher who granted the honors to you. So...you'd not want to question the teacher, for that would mean losing your own source
of rank.

So the afflictive emotions of fear and clinging will contaminate
the Debate before it has even begun and it cannot fully serve the Dharma for fear and clinging will be part of it right from its outset, as in a partially blind surgeon being unable to competantly perform an operation.


So you have to have already internalized the values of the hierarchy and become an INSIDER to be able to participate in Dharma Debate and that ensures that any such Debate would exclude those lacking such advanced qualifications--one of these being insider status.

You can bet that anyone who questions the values of the sangha would not get approval to go on to advanced study needed to become qualified to learn the methods of Dharma Debate.

This would ensure the conditions of Dharma Debate restricts participation only to those who are insiders, have reached a high enough rank to have a vested interest and ensures the process of debate will preserve the system, and its associated social context and power hierarchy rather than searchingly examining the whole system, eliminating its abuses and setting limits on the power excercised by its authority figures.

Dharma Debate is restricted to an Insiders Club who have vested interest in preserving their own rank and thier prospects for advancement.

Thats probably why so many troubled sangha members have had to go OUTSIDE the Buddhist traditions to import tools from western democracy in order to achieve lasting reforms. Dharma Debate restricted to high status insiders who derive their rank and hope of future advancement from powerful teachers will not address issues of power and power abuse--the insiders who control the Dharma Debate have too much to lose.

And this may well be why so many have chosen to come to RR.com--a non Buddhist and non-elitist venue, with no vested interest in preserving rank or hierarchy.

By contrast it may be that Dharma Debate protocol may have an overt purpose to educate and inform, but its covert purpose may be to preserve rank by displaying and re-affirming the social status of the debate's high ranking supervisors and its elite participants. This may be take place by creating a carefully guarded container for the energies of speech, first by ritualizing debate and most importantly by guarding entrance to the debate grounds by confining participation in the debate to an elite that have already internalized the values of the heirarchy and who can be trusted not to use the debate to challenge the heirarchy but instead use the debate to serve that hierarchy and put on an intimidating display of rank that awes and silences lower ranking observers who are told they lack qualifciation to speak.

This would preclude participation by non DW members who, like Outsider, report having had their relationships suffer when a loved one got into DW.

IF the point of Dharma Debate is to defuse conflict by keeping it in the reliable hands of an elite, and by avoiding topics such as the role of the teachers whose rank is re-affirmed by the debate, than Dharma Debate can at most educate us about Buddhist philosophy but cannot solve relationship problems in sangha that originate from powerholders whose role cannot even be scrutinized.

This Dharma Debate would bring a hierarchical rank order and impose elitist bias, making only high ranking insiders qualified to participate.

Persons like this may have been more fully indoctrinated and be less capable of objectivity in relation to the organization and also have a vested interest in shifting debate away from troubling features of the very organization from which they derive their own exalted rank and qualifications to debate.

RR.com has to remain democratic and accessible to all who are honest, and who abide by the terms of use.

RR.com is American Democracy in Action--not a rank ordered feudal state where deference to teacher rank limits the topics of debate and skews debate away from the powerholder.

In US democracy powerholders are examined, along with everyone else. And when powerholders escape scrutiny, this is considered a failure of American democracy, not something the powerholder is entitled to, by virtue of rank.

My grandfather had a good position in Tsarist Russia. But he abandoned his fancy uniform, left Russia and started out a hard new life in New York in 1910, to get away from rank ordered despotism and renounced his Tsarist subject status when he became an American citizen.

Grandpa would have heartily approved of RR.com.

He would have been very perturbed that so many persons born into free democracies are willing to throw that freedom away and bow to the whims of authority figures in strange costumes--who appreciate their bows.

And he would have been annoyed at the leaders of such groups set up as feudal fiefdoms that stifle open discussion--even encouraging members to visit and disrupt discussions on democratic venues like RR.com.

Its an irony. By trying to disrupt discussions on RR.com groups that despise democracy and operate as feudal fiefdomes dare to keep fromer members from utilizing American First Amendment rights to discuss groups they were in where democracy is fully exploited when if it grants tax exemption, but where democracy is despised when it limits the pretensions of authority figures and supports discussion of this and other matters the group would prefer not to be discussed.

When something is a tax exempt religious non profit, and operates as a feudal fief, it is being indirectly subsidized by those folks who do pay their taxes and who would like to use RR.com without finding it turned into a complicated and elitist Dharma Debate Ground that they are told they are not qualified to enter.

And by the time they get qualified to do Dharma Debate, become indoctrinated to never examine or question the authority of the teaching establishment that set the guidelines for Dharma Debate--and who thus preserved their own role from scrutiny by setting the Dharma Debate Guidelines in the first place to ensure that all participants become too polite ever to question teachers or the entire social context and power relationships which the debate ends up protecting and legitimizing, rather than analyzing and reforming as is done with the American and British models.

There is no substitute for Lord Actons insight that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Unless Dharma Debate can examine this, it cannot be used to reform any troubled Buddhist community.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 01:53AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 09, 2009 04:11AM

i don't think that Dave was suggesting that we turn this exclusively into a microscopic examination of Dharma at the expense of people's experiences

obviously we don't want to get bogged down in anything too specialised, or simply repeat what can be found elsewhere (see my previous post) as this isn't specifically a Buddhist site.

I think it could be useful to introduce some form of benchmark, rather than just endlessly condemning people from our own viewpoint, why not be more rigorous and measure them against their own standards, we might even learn something new.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2009 10:03AM

The bench mark standard for RR.com is the First Amendment and terms of use for RR.com.

We are far more than a place for people to 'endlessly complain.'

This thread has required exceptional amount of protection from the moderator, Mr Ross, because it has become something of a destination for DW fans(note discussion on February 1st)

[forum.culteducation.com]

Mr Ross has had to post about 20 plus messages on this thread alone, giving warnings or evicting persons who disrupted discussions here.

This hindered but fortunately has not stopped persons like Emma C, Outsider and a few others who would like a place where they can discuss their concerns and observations about DW without interference.

Dave had asked,

Quote

Why not to go back in the DW organization and to reveal all facts to the public (internet) by the support of undercover work?

(Corboy asks: What is meant by 'support of undercover work?' Is this in harmony with the high level of ethics and politeness needed to even qualify for participation in Dharma Debate?)

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.

If 'to complain here does not change anything' why have so many DW people shown up to disrupt this discussion and why was Emma C subject to harassment?

Someone in DW apparently does not like the existence of a discussion venue that cannot be controlled or suppressed by DW.

And earlier, Outsider wrote:

Quote

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.

Apparently what Dave calls 'dharma debate' is going to be nothing more than something controlled by the current establishment at DW.

I see a double standard.

Those who support discussion on this thread that DW dislikes are being told to try to contain the discussion within DW's own viewpoint.

Yet, according to Emma C members of DW have felt free to do this and also to change pages on Wikipedia.

So it appears to be OK for DW to go on the internet and OK for them to be nasty to someone who says what they dont like.

But any of us who dare to discuss DW on a non DW venue are expected to be polite and only discuss DW 'by its own standards?'

[forum.culteducation.com]

Quote

I have been receiving harassing and threatening phone calls, e-mails and letters from Ole Nydahl's Diamond Way cult members.

The e-mails are easy to ignore, and so are the letters somewhat, but the phone calls are harder. I recently had them sign me up to be an escort with several agencies and got calls all week from these agencies!!

What would be the best way to deal with this?



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 10:21AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 09, 2009 10:22AM

Suenam mentioned:
[forum.culteducation.com]

Quote

Quote:
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"

January 31, 2009 04:32AM

[forum.culteducation.com]

Quote

Quote:
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.)

If youve written earlier, you speak of having 'seen Ole speak on many occasions-'-are you a fan of his?

PS: If anyone sends me any dodgy PM's I will forward them promptly to Mr Ross, the moderator.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 10:29AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: February 09, 2009 05:28PM

The idea of public action is a good one, but at my (admittedly small) attempts at public action, and another former member friend of mine's organisation of a protest have simply led to yet more harassment and death threats from Diamond Way.

The idea of a 'Dharma debate' is very difficult with Diamond Way, because as corboy said, they will simply use this as an excuse to restrict discussion, just as they do by in their centres. This is because Diamond Way is not real Buddhism, but in fact a cult that claims to be Buddhism.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 09, 2009 06:05PM

i'd rather not go into too much detail here as it would reveal my identity, but i have experienced what Emma C writes about and far worse.

we do value this site and the freedom of speech it offers, so what are we going to do with that, use it to say something constructive and something that might make a difference, or just use it to vent our frustrations?

it's my experience that DWB engages in "witch hunts" and harassment. i personally would rather not stoop to their level.

i agree with Dave that we should try to be more systematic, and i think that this thread should have some direction.

i think that it would also be useful to choose our targets wisely. as i have written before, yes Lama Ole has faults, but i don't blame him for the treatment that i received from DWB as they too are adults who did not act directly at his request

to answer your other question, i do have experience with DWB, that's why i'm here, and if you read all of what i have written i think you will see that i'm no fan

but i do think it is important to be accurate. in writing on this forum, i'm finding it quite difficult to put my finger on exactly what is wrong with DWB.

---------------

i think that the teacher should act as a vessel, a conduit for higher teachings, and not be seen to "possess" some sort of mastery.

but in DWB this seems to have happened. and Ole cannot be their "root Lama" for reasons i'm sure Dave can explain better than i can.

so, is this something Lama Ole encourages, or is even aware of? is it perhaps just a stage on the road to something greater (or worse?)

is the teacher responsible for his students, or is it the other way around?

maybe DWB students will wake up tomorrow and say - "we've got it wrong, Lama Ole is just a facilitator, we have been falling into the western trap of idolising him and failing to see that he is just another human being. Let's take responsibility for ourselves and find our own path using Ole as a guide rather than an idol"

if that happens because of something that we have written here, then surely that's better than us just attacking them, and them just getting defensive and more entrenched in their determination to hold on to this identity.

this idolising of Lama Ole is a reification of self, about which there is much written in the Dharma, and elsewhere.

this "us and them" identity thinking is something which DWB in their lack of maturity seems to encourage, are we going to accept that and follow suit or challenge it in a way that encourages them to grow out of it?

Dharma is far greater than DWB. in fact that is a large part of the issue here, because if DWB followed through, rather than just paying lip service selectively to the Dharma, then this would not be an issue. they would not be a cult, but would in fact be "good" Buddhists.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 09, 2009 06:09PM

Quote
Wangdrag
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

Hi Wangdrag

Quote

how can you separate Ole as a person from his actions? [quote/]
By discussing the actions and not so much about the person. Of course all actions are connected by a specific person. So by discussing an action you/we are discussing indirectly the person who did perform the action.
I have to admit, public will not see or accept the little but important detail. So the debate can become very quick heated.

Quote

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.[quote/]
So did the Sharmapa many times without visible effect on Ole behaviour.
It might be that Ole sees something what I don't see. The Islam is not really the problem, what is the problem that people use the Islam as religion to cover up with their doubtful agenda. We are not discussing the Islam, we are discussing extremist and terrorist who use the Islam as weapon.
So I do with the behaviour of Ole. To make a generalization is one problem I see here. By the way, Ole is no exceptional case.

Quote

If a shoemaker makes bad shoes he is the one responsible and has to either take them back or correct them.[quote/]
Yes, Ole is the shoemaker and not the teacher of Ole. (Little but important detail.)
Quote

So is that also not similar to allowing one teach Dharma and then the person starts to teach their own stuff?[quote/]
Be careful with your conclusions. You can't make somebody responsible who don't act according to your (or my view).
The Karma Kagdyu school does not operate with the right of executive power, similar like the Vatican. There exist no legal form which would allow the Karmapa to handle afairs in the fashion you have suggested. Remember, the Karmapa resides in India (original as refugee) with Indian passport now.
He has no legal power to give order to a Western student who teaches in the Western hemisphere.
Also, it is not his style to give order to somebody. He is so very humble man. The most humble man I have seen in the world! But he is no naive man.
He asks people very polite and humble. This is the traditional eastern way. Karmapa is no exception in this regard.

Quote

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.[quote/]
Well yes, that could happen at the end. But practical will not happen for reasons not to isolate himself and his organization and to keep the band with his teacher(s).
But this would be a very bitter pill for Ole. Karmapa does not show this gruff attitude and behaviour like the pope in catholic church.
His attitude is based on voluntarism and on mutual consensus.
This is the code how the Kagdyu school was operating since centuries. The Karmapa was the boss in everybody agreement who was under his wings.
If Ole can not follow this code of ethic, it is his decision, hence his responsibility. Nobody shows responsible for it, but Ole alone.
It means also, Ole behaviour shows that he thinks and acts like, I know better than my teachers right now do!
If you hear that a teacher can not listen what his master advised him. Everybody is free to draw his/her conclusion about Ole actions.

Quote

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. [quote/]
No, for reasons I have explained above!

Best wishes
Dave



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 06:22PM by Dave.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 09, 2009 07:06PM

Quote
Emma C
The idea of public action is a good one, but at my (admittedly small) attempts at public action, and another former member friend of mine's organisation of a protest have simply led to yet more harassment and death threats from Diamond Way.

The idea of a 'Dharma debate' is very difficult with Diamond Way, because as corboy said, they will simply use this as an excuse to restrict discussion, just as they do by in their centres. This is because Diamond Way is not real Buddhism, but in fact a cult that claims to be Buddhism.

Hi Emma

They should get the corresponding response by the public in my opinion!
How this looks like and can be done most effective and secure for all people is another question.
Maybe we do write and publish only at the end. Maybe some do more without further notice in the internet? It is still open.

Concernig Dharma Debate, this was meant as suggestion and part of whole bunch of actions which is needed to get the attention of both.
After considering all pro and cons, I go for the analytical public relation work for now.

I can imaging that some DW people to intimidate members and engage into harassments against a rebel.
They do this also with me from time to time, without visible effect.

But one thing I don't belief, the asserted so called death threats by DW follower! I can be naive and wrong. But....
If this did happen in the past or does in the future, I advise everybody to consult the police (FBI) immediately! I will do the same as soon I eye-/ear-witness such threats. On a basis of violence and threats no debate can bear good fruits!

Best wishes

Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2009 07:22PM by Dave.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 09, 2009 09:27PM

Quote
suenam

i agree with Dave that we should try to be more systematic, and i think that this thread should have some direction.

[/quote


Something which has to take place outside of Rick Ross web-page.

A virtual drop in centre in the internet. For people who like to inform themselves about DWB for example and for those who like to contribute something from their own experience.
A centre to collect informations about DWB.

I have no clue how this can look like and how it can operate?

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 09, 2009 10:34PM

maybe a wiki page if we could ensure some security, but i have no idea what form it could take either, maybe someone who has more expertise might help?

Corboy,
firstly we aren't all in the U.S., and although freedom of speech is a great idea, it does seem to require some judgement, as we have seen from the r.r. moderator needing to step in on occassion.

it could be possible to go beyond merely one persons opinion versus anothers

you yourself mentioned the precepts. As i understand it, for the lay practitioner, these are to not kill, steal, engage in sexual misconduct (whatever than means), use false speech, and intoxication.

i believe that one can choose to make vows in just one, or more.

i also understand that Lama Ole does not insist upon these.

He himself likes a beer, and from what i've heard comes pretty close to breaking the third one too.

i myself have experienced DWB students breaking all but the first.

one of the major themes in my previous posts has been how DW meditation may actually be being used as an intoxicant.

this is what i mean by a benchmark.

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