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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 11, 2009 12:28AM

Based on the performance pattern of the disruptive people who have appeared on the Ole thread, I offer this guess:

Going by the performance of these visitors, my guess is that the Buddhist training they recieved from whoever their DW teacher/s were is deficient.

My take is that their DW training had the effect of making an important cluster of topics exempt from and even off limits from their Buddhist practice--perhaps even to the point of being a taboo that defines identity and insider status in DW:

For our visitors, the topic to which Buddhist practice was not to be applied was---the internal affairs of DW.

In the case of our more disruptive visitors, it may be their Buddhist practice training as given by their DW teachers, contained a bias:

Apply insight and Dharma pratice to anything--except to DW and its internal affairs.

If this did indeed happen during thier training, this might have had the effect of our visitors being socialized by their teachers not only to feel uneasy or anxious if their thoughts drifted toward DW and its internal affairs, but might have trained them to feel reactivity if anyone else tried to apply insight to the DW and its teacher--or attempted to start an open discussion about troublesome matters in DW.

A violation of the taboo would trigger anxiety and even fury.

But perhaps it may be that to become a trusted insider in DW, one's Buddhist training must exclude DW and its internal affairs.

? That, paradoxically to be a DW insider, ones Buddhist training must include an area where Buddhist training and practice must be excluded--DW itself.

That one becomes a DW insider by being socialized to have a blind spot in which DW is exempt from scrutiny, even exempt from Dharma practice? A cozy vacation spot where afflictive emotion can be indulged so long as it deflects insight from the DW organization--where one has a license to engage in anger, in crusade mentality so long as its for DW?...

If this is indeed the case, at least for our more disruptive visitors to this thread, the problems generated within DW cannot be solved from within by insiders--because by being an insider one has been trained to be blind to DW, trained NOT to apply one's Buddist practice to DW and to its teachers and unable to apply insight to any problems arising from within DW.

So, only going by the visitors to this thread who have tried to disrupt discussion, it appears that for them at least, Dharma practice did not include DW but stopped short and avoided DW, leaving DW and its internal affairs exempt from Dharma practice and ensuring that insight is deflected, leaving no way to solve DW's troubles from within.

An outsider or an insider who has transformed into an outsider by deciding that Ole and DW can be questioned--their attempts at discussion have met with resentment even on a non DW venue such as RR.com.

Id' dare to suggest that the people who have trolled here on behalf of DW mean well. They are Buddhists--but there is one area where their Buddhist practice stopped.

Their practice stops short in relation to DW and its internal affairs.

And I suspect its not because they are bad people but because whoever gave them Dharma training failed to assist them to see that everything has to be included in Dharma practice, everything must be submitted to insight--including the internal affairs of DW.

That is not the fault of RR.com.

In return for their time, their devotion and their treasure, these persons deserved Dharma training that includes all topics,, even the internal affairs of their sangha.

Something, at least for our visitors who were disruptive, was omitted from their Buddhist training. Their teachers apparently failed to include DW itself in thier Buddhist training and failed to teach that one could apply insight to DW and its internal affairs and not feel anxious or elicit anxiety or anger from others.

This is not just conveyed in words, but in deeds.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2009 12:52AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Dave ()
Date: February 11, 2009 03:14AM

Quote
suenam
maybe, i'm just not getting what you mean. there is a limit to how specific i want to get for obvious reasons, but i have tried to be specific, both about my experiences and my knowledge of DWB practices and doctrines.

i'm not saying that anything is your fault Dave, you do seem to be more knowledgeable on this topic than the rest of us, yet you seem reluctant to disclose this knowledge.

i'm sharing my experiences, and yes, my thoughts (speculations) about what i have experienced.

i've heard what you think about our posts, but i would very much like to hear what you have to say about DWB.

maybe you could lead by example.


Sorry, better to leave this place.
I will not contribute my knowledge in this forum.
We have Trolls in the forum.
bye

Dave

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 11, 2009 05:50PM

Corboy, we live in a society where idol worship is a multi billion dollar industry based upon a level of deceit.

there are so many airbrushed film stars, sports stars, models, porn stars, music stars, etc.

if there is a blind spot then it is not exclusive to religious groups

i wonder if you met your idol, would you be able to treat them as a real person?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2009 05:51PM by suenam.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: February 11, 2009 10:28PM

Having been burned, nearly killed, by a physician who seemed to be so wise and educated in science and the different spiritual paths, I no longer elevate anyone to a higher standing, especially as an idol (that I never did anyway). However, I don't distrust anyone either - I let them speak and observe their behaviors. Surviving a con artist really provides valuable lessons in dealing with people. You see red flags sooner and ask questions to get clarity. I don't want to speak for anyone else on this board who have been through similar situations, but from corresponding with some of the posters here, I think they've learned the same lessons.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 11, 2009 11:54PM

Having an idol is incompatible with Buddhist practice, because idols are exempt from insight and scrutiny.

In relation to an idol about whom nothing negative must ever be said, and whose bad behavior must never be subjected to seaching scrutiny, Dharma practice comes to a halt.

If any area is made exempt from penetrating insight ones entire Dharma practice becomes compromised. Nothing can be exempt, not even one's root guru.

I am not in the Vajrayana and am free to say this--not as an authority but as a private person who corresponds here and has no special rank.

As a result of being in this discussion for the past week or so, Ive reached the following conclusion:

I have satisfied myself that the practices of all forms of Vajranaya Buddhism, even when of legitimate lineage and correctly transmitted teaching, have the effect of inculcating blindspots in relation to teacher behavior that bring insight to a halt.

This leaves an area exempt from scrutiny making it impossible ever to do a sustained and objective examination of the teacher role, the possibility that power could ever be abused in the teacher role.

All this is considered negative, in appropriate for discussion, a zone of silence. Thus if any teacher in this tradition does misbehave, it cannot be spoken of or named as possibly originating from the teacher.

One can never speak of the teacher as having any active agency if something has gone wrong--even though in the Vajrayana the teacher has immense authority.

So with the Vajranaya taboo system making teacher agency/responsiblity a forbidden subject when power is abused, the only alternatives left are:

The tradition was incorrectly transmitted to the teacher

The students did something to corrupt the teacher--its common to blame the students for giving away their power.

Most of the blame gets shifted to the students.

So when things go well, most of the honor goes to the powerful teacher.

When things go badly, most of the blame goes to the students, while the powerful teacher retains the privlige of being exempt from accountability.

His or her very potent contribution to the chain of cause and effect is not fully scruntized with the same rigor applied to examining the role of the students.

It all serves the interests of the Vajrayana power elite by making them exempt from scrutiny, not only if something goes wrong, but especially when something goes wrong.

Because of the Vajryanan taboo on naming negativity and the taboo against extreme view, the more extreme the power abuse and the more negative its impact, the harder it is to name it within the permissible guidelines of the taboo system that others call Dharma Debate--but which in my private opinion, deflect and disable dharma, and dont support it when its full and insightful practice is most desperately needed.

The guidelines of dharma debate protect the system from the kind of searching analysis in which no one is exempt from scrutiny, no matter how exalted their rank.

Persons not bound by the taboo who do try to speak up get hounded, or demands are made that the RR.com forum operate according to the guidelines of dharma debate--which would make any discussion of teacher misbehavior off limits and cause RR.com to serve the interests of the very groups and persons that want to remain protected by taboos that foster idolatry.

This taboo, especially reineforced by imaging the teacher as Buddha or Padmasambava or whatever revered figure in the Tibetan pantheon) has had the effect of protecting the power structure of Vajrayana Buddhism, by making it unimaginable that the teacher role could be abused, or that any teacher could do wrong.

Instead of seeing the teacher or teacher role as merely a chain of cause and effect, not different from any other chain of cause and effect, and that therefore can be subjected to penetrating insight, the Taboo that forbids anyone to say anything bad about the teacher, treats the teacher and the teacher role as something having special, inherantly separate existence, and removes the teacher and teacher role from the field of consciously applied insight.

And it may be that the worse and more negatively a teacher behaves, the more the taboo against discussing the teacher applies and the more blame and shame are shifted, by default to the students.

The students part in the chain of cause and effect is identified and carefully scrutinized in this system, but the teachers' part in the chain of abusive cause and effect is never examined--or, at most mere lip service is briefly paid and the subject quickly dropped.

We are often given the advice to study the teacher for years before becoming students.

1) Many of us dont have that opportunity.

2) Some teachers are capable of lying, keeping secret consorts and behaving one way in public and another way in private.

3) A teacher may meet your standards after years of scrutiny, you become their student, but then after you have become their student, the teacher's behavior may deteriorate due to old age, or the tempation of riches and power acquired after youve become their student.

If, after you become a student, and a formerly good teacher either deteriorates in character or reveals a secret dishonesty that he or she concealed successfully during your years of evaluating that teacher--unless you can allow yourself to see that a teacher is capable of bad behavior, you will be trapped.

Two, if you and others are unable to name a teacher's behavior in specific terms as being harmful, there is no way to reform the sangha from within.

In traditions where so much authority is vested in the teacher, a taboo against ever saying anything negative about a teacher leaves no way to reform the sitaution if a teacher abuses power.

Thats the power of what I call the Tibetan/Vajranya taboo.

And RR.com is not a Buddhist website and is under no obligation to follow Taboos implanted to serve the interests of gurus and protect them from scrutinty.

The worst of it is, this taboo and guru yoga practices may well mean that the ability to apply insight (vipassana) stops and Buddhist practice stops when one reaches the forbidden zone of Harmful Teacher Behavior.

Time and again in debate fora where the Tibetan Buddhist taboo applies, you can discuss anything except negative behavior generated by the teacher. The tools of Buddhist insight suddenly become disabled and are deflected away from the teacher, making it impossible to conduct any kind of analysis of power and power abuse.

The onus of the problem is constantly put back onto the student. Its an exercise in futility trying to apply Dharma Debate to the role of the teacher or to power abuses that stem from the teacher, because its a taboo area that must never be examined if one is to be considered an insider within this system. Once you refuse to honor the taboo, you're an apostate and considered delusional or unqualified.

Give me American democracy and the Lifton Criteria any day.

C



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2009 12:18AM by corboy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: February 12, 2009 01:19AM

While I agree to some degree with what you have said about Vajrayana, this topic is about Ole Nydahl and his Diamond Way cult, which is not legitimate Vajrayana. Please stay on topic.

As far as 'reforming' Diamond Way goes, I'm not sure it's possible. Any attempt at reforming it is met with a response similar to what we saw earlier in this thread, followed by harassment and death threats.

Ole Nydahl just needs to be exposed publicly as the egomaniac he is and have all his sexual and physical abuses brought to light. This will result in Diamond Way being regarded by the public as the cult it is, instead of the PR image that they work so hard to put out. This is my aim, and this is the aim of my friend who arranged the protests.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: February 12, 2009 01:38AM

i think Corboy has made some valid point

that is why there is a great deal of importance on knowing the correct criteria for choosing a Vajrayana guru, and of course taking the time to discover before making such commitment

one central text on this is Gampopa's "jewel ornament of liberation" where there is extensive information on choosing a "spiritual friend" (ie. teacher)

Ole Nydahl, in his wisdom, does not include this book in his teachings, even though it is central to the Karma Kagyu tradition...

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: jah ()
Date: February 12, 2009 01:38AM

Ole will run out of steam sooner or later at which time perhaps he will be replaced by 'dharma teachers' and regularly appointed lamas. They will have to flush out the prejudices Ole has avertantly or inadvertantly fostered in many of his followers however and that will probably lead to a significant decline in the size of the group. It will also be interesting to observe how many people lose interest because in fact they were only interested in being followers of Ole - it is a personality cult to some degree, after all.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Emma C ()
Date: February 12, 2009 02:35AM

Good point, Jah. I wonder what will happen after Ole Nydahl's death. His cult group will either be brought into line, or he will be replaced by the so-called "travelling teachers" who are the next down in the hierarchy, and chosen for their ability to copy Ole exactly.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 12, 2009 02:44AM

It is Mr Ross's job as moderator, to instruct all us, (including myself) to stay on topic.

I still think even legitimate Vajrayana inculcates blind spots that protect the teacher and teacher role from insightful scrutiny.

This protects abusive teachers like Ole from accountability they owe as powerholders and automatically deflects onus for trouble onto the students.

Even if a Vajrayana practice path IS legitimate, the Vajrayana taboo which all insiders must subscribe to, protecting the teacher role from analysis, means any time in the future if an incompetant teacher is placed onto a throne in a legitmate lineage, there is then no way to correct the situation because a collective blind spot has been imposed.

Its all very convenient for protecting the interests of the high lamas who, in Tibet were feudal lords and whose feudal lordship was placed into the realm of unexaminable sanctity by their teacher role being held exempt from scrutiny.

Other Buddhist traditions where the abbots were not feudal lords did have such an elaborate system of taboos against attributing any sort of negativity to a teacher--even when a teacher was indeed behaving badly.

If you are forbidden by the Vajrayana taboo from objectively analyzing the teacher role as an ordinary chain of cause and effect, removing it to a realm of privilge protected from scrutiny, all one is left to do is argue whether a troubled sangha is based on a lineage that is legitimate or illegitimate.

All the energy and attention spent on debating lineage and legitimacy is just a smoke screen that distracts from the actual unexamined power of the teacher, and the role of the teacher and I think was a very clever way to design Dharma Debate protocol
to protect the ruling elite--the high teachers--from a real scrutiny they didnt want to face.

The energy and intellect of the young men who were monks could be diverted into the safe channel of Dharma Debate which was designed never to examine the role of teachers and thier use of power but steered all that energy and attention into the safe and trivial channels of lineage, legitimacy, and protected the interests of the elite who set the terms of the debate.

And...this was in the legitimate lineages.

Bad teachers take advantage of the systematic problems that lurk even in the legimate lineages.

Yes, a big problem here appears to be Ole, but from my freedom of perspective as an outsider who has not been rendered phobic about examinging the teacher role, I suggest that the problem is not only Ole.

He is in a tradition where the teacher role itself is, by Vajrayana Taboo, unexaminable.

Problems generated from an unexaminable role will remain, even if a troubled teacher retires.

He's protected by an ancient system of taboo and etiquette that protects its powerholders from scrutiny by ensuring that the teacher role and the possiblity of teacher power abuse is never included in Buddhist insight practice but is shifted into a zone of blindness, silence and taboo.

If Ole were removed, and you had a few good teachers, and then after 50 years a second troubled teacher came along, you'd be back in the same trouble as today, because the system has no way to analyze the teacher role and put in safeguards against the abuse of power by Ole's successors.

Again, this is my opinion. I am not a teaching authority any place and my opinion is my own, but is binding on no one.

And Mr Stephen Butterfield who practiced Vajrayana with Chogyam Trungpa and then with Trungpa's successor, and who had no doubt that Trungpa was teaching authentic Vajrayana, and felt he himself had benefitted from Dharma practice he had learned from Trungpa, nevertheless, was very perturbed by Trungpa's uses of power.

And Butterfield also regretted, bitterly that he himself had failed to protest or speak up--a departure from an earlier independence of mind he knew he had before he began practicing with Trungpa.

In his memior, The Double Mirror, Mr Butterfield concluded with great regret that he feared that the Buddhism he was taught was quite excellent at applying insight to power abuses in other groups, but had an effect of disabling practitioners from being able to apply that same level of insight to cultic abuses within one's own sanga and by ones own lama.

At the time I was troubled by Mr Butterfields conclusion and reluctant to accept it.

But now I find I agree with him and am convinced there are elements integral to legitimate Vajrayana that implant mental and emtional blind spots that deflect adult insight away from teachers, powerholders and the teacher role and that this does not serve Buddhadharma but served to protect the powerholders of Tibetan Buddhism---the legitimate ones---from scrutiny--making it unreformable from within.

If you practice Vajrayana you risk being trained to live a split mental existence--outside as citizen of a democracy, earning money via that democracy to support your lama, but you at the same time function with the mentality of a feudal follower, unquestioningly serving your teacher and his linage submissively as if you're living 600 years ago.

You are conditioned to think as narrowly as a peasant in the sangha but keep your questioning mind as a citizen outside the sanga, and discard it whenever you deal with the sangha and teacher.


And, as this is not a Vajrayana forum I am free to express it here.

My prescription, suggested, but not imposed is'

1) Searchingly examine Ole's contribution to the mess

and

2) Searchingly examine the taboo against examining the teacher role and the taboo against imagining the possibility of a teacher imposing power.

Because to deal fully with the Ole problem one must examine both him and the teacher role, and put in safeguards so that after Ole is gone no successor can repeat the problems.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2009 03:10AM by corboy.

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