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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: villager ()
Date: August 16, 2009 06:43AM

After reading these pages, I think there is a mountain of repetitions. If you want to understand Ole Nydahls character, read the statutes of the DW foundation. One person has lifelong power and this person can replace any of his co-directors, as he pleases. There is no material or legal tie to the root of his enterprise, which does not mean, that he does support the Karma-Kagyü community. Of course he can use such transfers as he pleases, for instance to buy influence. Looking at various financial reports, this is an extremely clever business concept. Cost are low, as this is done mostly by volunteers. Income is high, thanks to high fees charged. It appears, that indeed cost for operation are only 25% of income. Of course, the surplus is invested, mostly in real estate. By far the biggest amount has been spent on the European Centre, which is situated in the village, where I live. The DW paid quite a high price for this estate – lucky for the old lady, who sold it to him, otherwise the estate was difficult to sell. One reason, why it was so difficult to sell was, that it is situated in a protected area. Access by car is on a small road and use of private vehicles by visitors will be forbidden. Looking at the paltry amounts, which other centers receive from the DW foundation, this is an unbelievable big investment. What is the purpose?
We were quite happy, when we learned that a Buddhist community would create there a training or seminar center. Buddhism, that stands for harmony between people and nature. However, when it turned out, that a camp for up to 5000 people should be established there, some were alarmed. DW shows on its website the beautiful landscape you can see from up there. You must look at it from the other side of the valley: at least 20 000 sqm have been leveled and bulldozed, big enough for an airstrip. This should have never been permitted by the authorities. I bet you, if the boy scouts would have applied for such a campground to be built, they would not have received permission. Neither boy scouts nor any Christian church would have had such an idea, which is a crime against nature and a violation of the laws protecting nature and against the international Alpine Convention. It is against the spirit of Buddhism as I understood it. How did he get the permission? you may ask the same question for the statutes of the of DW foundation and for tax exemption. He is riding on the sympathy for Buddhism and using the privileges of a religion to get permission for his private business.

I read the 108 things, one can do in order to protect nature, a set of rules accepted by a conference of dignitaries of the Karma-Kagyu. Out of the many good things, let me quote:
“no monastery or center may cook meet” and no alcohol, warnings about the use of cars, for environmental concerns. There was an article in the local newspaper “Allgäuer Anzeigenblatt – Wochenendjournal on August 8th 2009”, on occasion of the visit of the Karmapa. I quote: 150 volunteers were preparing 3 000 meals of chicken meat, participants dancing and relaxing in the breaks to the music of lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. Parking lots in the city are blocked by scores of cars of visitors to the Buddhist center.

In my further readings I did find out, that there are 2 Karmapas, which of course is odd. The one who visited us, is not the one who participated in the conference of the environment. The other Karmapa is the one, who became a hero to the people of Tibet by his courageous flight from China. He also got the blessing and endorsement of the Dalai Lama, who is so much respected and admired. The Karmapa, who visited here, is a nice young man, but he appears to be a tool of Ole Nydahl. How much has Ole Nydahl been involved in creating and maintaining the Karmapa-double? What Nydahl however preaches and practices is sort of Buddhism-light, a repetition of the hippie-experience of the 1970ies with advanced professional knowledge of enlightenment talk.
Several people in this thread were raising the question, whether he is a Lama, pointing to the fact, that he did not complete his religious studies of three years; sent back by the 16th Karmapa. My experience, not with Buddhism but with candidates for priesthood or joining a religious order is, they leave or are sent away shortly before terminating their religious studies only, if there are problems of not fitting into the lifestyle or community, of which they are to become a member. They can be dismissed in honor, after all, these are trial periods. They can with their knowledge contribute to spreading the gospel, but outside the strict rules of community life. Nydahl built his own network and business. Nobody can reign into this small empire of his. For his Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, he is vital. For Tibetan Buddhism he may be a problem as he creates disunity.

Villager

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: jah ()
Date: August 16, 2009 09:16AM

Hi Villager,

Great post. I am appalled to hear what they have done in your village. Diamond Way started out as a grassroots kind of lay Buddhism that looked pretty good when contrasted with the overly monastic traditions of Tibetan. Something bad happened along the way however. I think it was a little while before Hannah died when the whole thing started to morph into a right wing authoritarian cult with size and organization trumping any kind of ecological consideration.

The 16th Karmapa authorized Ole to be a lama and there is some precidence in other religions where some priests are appointed to the office without the usual process, in this case the three year retreat. One of the reasons he did that is that the three year retreat is almost impossible for lay people to complete and clearly the intention was to start a non-monastic tradition.

I don't think the 16th Karmapa would think much of all this empire building though. By the way, Ole was going to take a vow of vegetarianism when he was in Tibet but the Karmapa said not to do it because he would not be able to honour it. Sadly Old doesn't seem to think much of vegetarianism now, by the sounds of it, or he would be promoting it purely for ecological reasons, at least at retreats in places like Europe and North America where it is fairly easy to pull off. I've seen up close and personally how his disdain works with people that do not fit the mould that he models and quite frankly it sucks, so I'm not expecting anything to change in that respect.

I wonder what's next at the retreat centre, a beer garden? Are they stockpiling weapons, do you think?

The 108 things to protect nature sound very interesting. Do you have a ling to where they are listed?

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: villager ()
Date: August 17, 2009 05:23PM

Hi Jah,
Tnanks for your reply. Reading a lot, I got the feeling, that Hanna was the good spirit in the whole thing. Disturbing still is, she co-signed the statutes of DW foundation. These statutes put all the power over the property in Ole's hands.
Quote:
"Lama Ole Nydahl has the power to remove members of the board and appoint new ones." ..."In all internal matters, Lama Ole
Nydahl (chairman) has the power to give instructions."
Once he dies, there will will be replacement, but the group of three coopted members continues to rule. There is no legal connection to the Buddhist community. More trouble lies ahead. -
Well, you are joking of course. - Our purpose is to keep the local government on guard, which overextended the permissible use already by permitting the camp ground and the leveling work. So I was wondering, what would happen, if they rent out the for a day or so to a local brewery to have a beer festival in order to raise money? - Or they could organize a big open-air festival. - They enjoy a lot of goodwill, because they call themselves Buddhist. In order to keep this goodwill, they must stick to the prinicple of harmony between man and nature. If they continue to stretch this principle, the authorities have to step in, not because they are supervising buddhist practices, but because the are bound by law to protect the nature.

The 108 things you can do, you will find under following link [www.kagyuoffice.org]. Kaguy.office.org is the official website of the other 17th Karmapa.

Villager

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Tashi Namgyal ()
Date: August 20, 2009 01:41AM

Hello everyone,

I´m new here a d have been reading a little in this thread especially.

First of all I must say I´m very happy, that such a forum exist, were people can exchange their experiences with different religious groups/sects. It will help people avoiding traps or experiences they don´t need.

Nevertheless I´m quite astonished to find all sorts of accusations in this thread of which I´ve never experienced a single one of them in 12 years of being a student of Lama Ole Nydahl.
You can believe me that I was very critical in the beginning and all the way through.

What I see is comparisons of apples and pears and a lot of half knowledge.

At the moment I don´t want and can´t respond to every point it would take hours.



I would wish is that rumours and allegations would not be presented as facts, as this thread is not only informing people about different "facts" but in most argument misinforming them, as far as I can judge.

Thank you very much for you attention.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/20/2009 02:06AM by Tashi Namgyal.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: August 21, 2009 07:29PM

In answer to Tashi, we all experience things in different ways, we all absorb information differently. I am not making up anything I say, not long ago I had not even heard of Diamond way and now without a choice in the matter it effects my everyday life.

Constant requests for money and reminders to pay subscription fees and a pyramid fashion campaign towards obtaining property for retreat centers are something I have hard evidence of, its only out of a sense of morals and respect for others that I for one havent published what I could. Read back through the threads here and you will see that it wouldnt be unheard of for someone (DW member) to throw my statements back at me, DW is so intolerant and demanding of the student that it breeds intolerence in those who are struggling to work with their inner selves, the very people that DW attracts.

Ole is back on his right wing agenda, just go to You Tube to hear his latest slightly toned down attack on Muslims. Has Ole ever travelled to a Muslim country, I doubt it, maybe you can enlighten me?

I, for one am presenting facts, hopefully this makes things clearer for you, can you truly say that Ole presents facts?????

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Tashi Namgyal ()
Date: August 21, 2009 08:52PM

Quote
Outsider
Constant requests for money and reminders to pay subscription fees and a pyramid fashion campaign towards obtaining property for retreat centers are something I have hard evidence of, its only out of a sense of morals and respect for others that I for one havent published what I could. Read back through the threads here and you will see that it wouldnt be unheard of for someone (DW member) to throw my statements back at me, DW is so intolerant and demanding of the student that it breeds intolerence in those who are struggling to work with their inner selves, the very people that DW attracts.
I truly understand this concern as I would be the first one to criticise this behaviour and turn away from such a group. In fact at the first lecture that I visited I asked the lady at the cash-counter "why the lecture is so expensive(9,- Deutsch Marks=4,50 Euro) and why it cost money at all" She turned red and answered that the hall the lecture was held in costs money to rent it.
So I´m very cautious when it comes to money and pressure to pay for literature entrance fee etc.
In 12 years I´ve never been asked once to become a member and pay money regularly.
I moved house 4 times and have been visting 5 centers regularly, but nobody ever asked me nor put any pressure on me to become a paying member or a member at all, ever! Still I was able to borrow all books for a little fee of 50cents to 1 euro per week(which you also do at a public library).

So please don´t hesitate presenting the facts you speak about. I would like to check them. A confrontation might be the consequence, but the result would benefit many.


Quote
Outsider
Ole is back on his right wing agenda, just go to You Tube to hear his latest slightly toned down attack on Muslims. Has Ole ever travelled to a Muslim country, I doubt it, maybe you can enlighten me?

I, for one am presenting facts, hopefully this makes things clearer for you, can you truly say that Ole presents facts?????
Though he´s not a big friend of Islam he was teaching Istanbul but there was no feedback of any kind.

Not naming the reasons why he thinks Islam is a danger and throwing the right-wing-agenda at him is a bit indifferent and a bit too easy.

What is a right wing person? I would say that´s someone who is very conservative and consequently dislike everything foreign to him, with the following characteristics: homophobic, xenophobic, fascistic, anti-Semitic.
Now let´s take the different characteristics:
homophobic:
already 12 years ago he stated that in his younger days he thought that(I quote freely) "homosexuals have big difficulties of practising Vajrayana Buddhism as they don´t feel attracted to women, which might cause complications when working with inner energies. However he now(12 years ago) knows that he was completely wrong about it." In fact nearly at every lecture he´s to give up on his earlier "homophobic" statments.
xenophobic
This surely isn´t one of Oles characteristics as he has students and centers all around the world, al continents and all colours.
fascistic
See above and below, I´d rather anarchistic or free-minded also taking his biography into account.
anti-Semitic
also not the case he is a big fan of Israel and there 6 DW-Buddhist groups there.

All in all I wouldn´t call him a right wing minded person but politically uncorrect(these are 2 different things).

There are good reasons to dislike Islam and to see certain dangers in it, but this is not the topic of this thread.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: ~*~ k a t e ~*~ ()
Date: August 22, 2009 03:02AM

To deny Ole Nydahl is right-wing is ridiculous. He is very racist and xenophobic. Not only against Muslims, but against blacks and Africans too. He has on many occasions stated his racist beliefs that people with bad karma are reborn in 'black Africa' and that "Africa has nothing to offer us but disease"! If that's not racist, I don't know what is!

Diamond Way is run like a fascist organisation, with Ole Nydahl's absolute unquestioned power and his charisma, not to mention his countless sexual partners and mistresses in the group. There is abundant evidence of this throughout this thread.

When I was in Diamond Way (oh how I wish I could get those years back), there was constant pressure to pay for lectures, buy books and becoming a paying member. Those who were not members were treated as second-class and accused of 'scrounging' or 'not paying their way'. I was never once allowed to borrow a book, they always had to be bought.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: ~*~ k a t e ~*~ ()
Date: August 22, 2009 03:04AM

A new experience posted on the Diamond Way Truths site:

Quote



When I went to a Diamond Way centre for the first time I was received very warmly and surrounded with hugs and kisses. Everyone was very interested in who I was, what I was doing and what were my opinions. Then the more I stayed in the center I started to notice that what I thought was in fact pretty irrelevant. Its what the Lama says that matters. I think its so evident that all the statements that they make (The west is full of good karma, you should always be critical in your thinking, women are well appreciated in Diamond way Buddhism, Buddha would be so proud to have you as a student etc..) are merely a way to get people interested of the practice. For an example I was said that it is so good that I had critical thinking. When you spend a little more time you notice that critical thinking is the last thing that is tolerated especially if it questions even a little their beliefs.

Also, they seem to elevate themselves completely above the rest of the religions. When this was questioned as arrogant behavior they just stated that that’s just the way it is. A fact or a reality of life. I think the practice can be dangerous for a number of reasons. The very first thing I noticed in the centre was that whenever someone showed critical thinking inside the group their “leader” immediately started to talk in a very provocative way, stating “how things are” and just a long monologue of why the critical thoughts have no basis in their world. I don’t think I ever witnessed a genuine dialogue when discussing about existential matters. There was simply no room for it. It seemed to me that everyone was trying to learn by heart Oles “The way things are” and discussions always ended in someone reciting its texts. They also seem to elevate themselves above pretty much the rest of the world also. Statements such as: “Psychology can only get a sick person normal, but Buddhism can make a normal person super-normal” just show the lack of common knowledge in basic human sciences and its just ridiculous. The fact that the teachers even use this to promote themselves should put the warning lights on in everyones heads.

I saw a lot of anger based behavior but it was always seen as active compassion. Critical thinking was seen as “ego-problems” or pride and practitioners were always feeling really guilty after having these very sane reactions in an unhealthy environment. Then they went reciting mantras hoping these feelings would go away. I think it is just not healthy. Not healthy at all. All normal reactions of the mind that we should listen to and learn to work with were seen as “obstacles in our way to enlightenment” and were suppressed.

I´m not even going to go to the anti-Islam statements of Ole or the “if you have bad karma you´ll be reborn to black Africa” opinions. It is a well known fact that a cult or a sect needs to have an opposite polarity or “enemy” in order to be successful. Its not hard to see where all the anger is channeled what the members are trying so hard to suppress. These are just racist statements and I urge people to use their common sense. You shouldn’t be fooled by Ole´s charismatic appearance and his tendency to give the most simple answers to questions to which even the wisest men in the world can give simple answers. Yes, you feel what he is saying is so true, but maybe its just what we westerners want to hear in this age and time. We have little patience in our active lifestyle and we want results fast. A shortcut to wisdom and enlightenment. Its just missing the 50 years of life-experience and work that is not always easy.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: August 26, 2009 08:33AM

Tashi - it seems that Ole is not the only Buddhist teacher to be accused of politicallly incorrect behaviour, but, in my experience, he is the only one who systematically and regularly uses his lectures to promote such ideas, and this has a profound effect on his followers.

- even Sogyal Rinpoche, about who there is a seperate thread on this site, has been accused of certain indiscretions, yet the reaction of his followers is not one of defiant arrogance - they certainly do not claim that he is right to perpetuate such erroneous beliefs or behaviour.

- concerning your perception of the diamond way demographic - 99.99% of his followers are caucasian, and by far the majority are from Germany and Poland, closely followed by Russian.

- it is also apparent that while Ole may refute his previous ideas concerning homosexuals, nevertheless, his lectures are full of ideas about "how boys like to chase after girls," which are not only incorrect in terms of modern western enlightenend sexual orientations, but are also profoundly anti-Buddhist.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: August 29, 2009 12:37AM

It is not just the habit of being politically incorrect, the beliefs of Ole stem from intolerence and if you read between the lines of his published work and broadcastings on You Tube (only publically available forum to get access to what the man says) you can see how he himself is certainly not tolerant of anyone who doesnt see his way and this then gets transmitted to his devoted followers.
I live with one of the DW devotees and over the past years seen my partners tolerance for anything non DW dwindle to alarming ly low levels. As visits to the local DW center increase and through restrictive reading (Only books from DW library have been read over last 18 months) and constant hook up to streaming. There is nothing but DW running their life, its like living with a junkie who is on edge and sullen in between visits to the DW center and un naturally enthusiastic on their return. I also have to listen to third hand Ole speak which is constantly in contradiction to what comes next or has preceded a certain statement and nothing short of; "DW is the only way to live rhetoric".
Intolerance is woven through any DW devotee, Ole himself has said; "If your partner is not a follower and this doesnt work for you then you should part, family, children or not". I am not quoting word for word but take a surf through You Tube for his 'Love and Relationships' ramble (where he opens with a quip at gays and assurance that he, having never held a man, is certainly not gay) and I think you will feel where I am coming from.

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