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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: December 15, 2009 11:13PM

Can anyone here shed more light on the power of the core center in Germany, does it guarantee loans to other groups such as that in London who obviously need finance for their aspirations???
As Ole is a life time chairman of the board I imagine he is involved in every commercial aspect, review, approval, lobbying for funds????

Anybody with more info in this regard?

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: milarepa ()
Date: December 17, 2009 05:48PM

Please read it and critizise it ! Is it about Buddhism or just -hey look at me who i am!Awful!

Dearest friends everywhere,

Many will ask what stunts I was up to at this last accident
so before rumours appear, here is what happened.

Some close friends from Berlin are making a film of our
growth world-wide and were filming a Phowa at our newly-built
center in Uruguay, South America.

As a gift to their fine work, I made a highly enjoyable jump
from a balcony to some soft earth with a few planks lying
around. After a long night of celebration of everybody's
success, I did the same in total darkness in their honour,
which also went well, but as I made a third jump one just for
myself, I hit a plank and broke two ligaments holding my left

Luckily it was examined and fixed with a screw by Alexander,
an absolutely expert friend in Munich, but as breaking it
again would be the most time-absorbing mess, wise friends
advised me to take the six weeks of healing very seriously,
which I will also do.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: SteveLpool ()
Date: January 04, 2010 12:42AM

Netherlands has also much of increase in DW members, but where I think they will also grow in the following years is Scandinavia and UK.

I'm not sure the UK is going to be a rich source for DWB. I have been attending the Liverpool Centre for over seven years now (I have recently ended my association with DWB and want to apologise to anyone who may have taken up their practices as a result of my involvement) and the growth is very poor. In my experience the UK members of the Liverpool sangha are highly sceptical and do not regard Ole as their lama.

DWB growth in the UK is as a result of migrant workers from Eastern Europe. The London Sangha is almost exclusively from Eastern Europe, Manchester only has Poles and a lady from South America. The situation is the same in York I believe? Sheffield has a couple of Brits as does Newcastle. If you attend a public lecture by Ole you find that the audience consists of dozens of people who have travelled to "follow" their lama and swell the numbers. I know at a recent event interested newcomers amounted to barely a dozen.

It seems that the UK audience demands something more tangible than fanciful stories of demons and so on.

I will be posting a lengthy thread shortly so as to give an honest and accurate account of my seven years with DWB as a warning to anyone who might consider this organization when wishing to learn something about Buddhism.

Diamond Way Buddhism is a potentially very dangerous organization.


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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: SteveLpool ()
Date: January 04, 2010 01:39AM

Hi SueNam

I like the quote from Sharma Rinpoche very much. I met Sharmapa several years ago and was very impressed by the guy. As a result I have considered him my root lama since that meeting, a development which saw me being regarded as a "problem" within a Diamond Way group. It seems that although they meditate on the 16th Karmapa and have picture of the 16th & 17th Karmapa up in their gompas I was told that my not seeing Ole as my root lama was a problem.

It seems that the Karma Kaygu are trying to distance themselves from DWB from this quote by Sharma Rinpoche on finding an authentic teacher;

"Good meditation teachers are usually people who live very simply. 'Living simply' means someone who has renounced everything and lives free of the many things that may burden most people's lives. They have spent many years of their lives in retreat, and when not in retreat are completely stable in their daily meditation practice.

Teachers who travel regularly may not be the best meditation teachers. While one cannot generalize, the mind of someone who travels regularly is likely preoccupied by many things. Add to that the more exceptional experiences like having devotees invite one to many events, and it is not difficult to understand that such a mind may already be distracted. While this is not true 100% of the time, in most cases it is.


I will be posting more of my experiences after seven years in Diamond Way Centres very soon.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: SteveLpool ()
Date: January 04, 2010 02:05AM

this was, until recently, on the London DW centre website,

"Starting in August 2008 Diamond Way Buddhism been subject to an online smear campaign. We are aware of the perpetrator's identity. He has made a number of false, libelous allegations about Diamond Way Buddhism and persistent abusive phone calls to people in our groups, which have been reported to the police. We genuinely have no idea why he has decided to vilify us on the internet or why he persists in harrassing people in our groups, but we are open to discuss his claims, either in person or through a solicitor."

I just wanted to respond to this post. I have been with Diamond Way for seven years and have been living in a Diamond Way Centre in Liverpool for the last year although I am now convinced this is a cult and I wish to distance myself from them and apologise to anyone who might of got involved with them as a result of my own involvement. I will post details of my experiences here shortly.

During the last 12 months when I was living in the centre we were subjected to some harassment in the form of calls where no one would speak and also the local takeaways were subjected to calls claiming to be from the Liverpool Diamond Way Centre. Large orders for pizza's etc were placed and delivered to the centre. We of course didn't pay for food we didn't order which left several local business' out of pocket.

If the perpetrator is on this list then I urge you to have a good think about your actions and how you impacted upon innocents in the process.

I understand why you might find your treatment at DWB centres unpleasant. I too have lost all confidence and respect for this group.

Sorry these posts are a little late after the original posts but I only happened upon this site a week ago.

I will be posting details of my seven years with DWB shortly giving an honest account of my experiences and my deep reservations regarding this group.

I have never been harrassed by a DWB member for money or favours nor have they tried to stop me leaving. That said I have read many posts from people disenchanted with DWB and I find many of their experiences similar to mine.

But please don't resort to criminal acts or intimidation in your/our attempt to expose this personality cult.


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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Outsider ()
Date: January 04, 2010 02:31AM

Happy New Year to everyone

I have been catching snap shots from recent live streaming which have included a rant about the evil of Minarets, they (you know) offensive needles pointing into the sky that protrude from a circular base that represents a battle formation. Some of this description was clearly taken directly from the recent Swiss right wing advertisements, the rest was totally based upon ON own impression, a man who has hardly integrated with anyone outside DW circles.

More recently Ole was advising on alcohol use, initially he made it clear that to take alcohol you poison yourself, less than 2 minutes later he was supporting recent research that shows alcohol taken daily (2 drinks by a man, 1 by a woman) helps extend life and how alcohol adds to social interaction. I missed the advice on drugs except for one comment 'drugs are totally out of the question'.

I didnt pick everything up as (to be honest) I was not intent on listening in and most of what I could hear came across as irrelevant and un focused small talk punctuated frequently by "you know" and "if we look at the way we do things".

In line with what Steve has said recently I have seen through my indirect link to the local DW center that everything revolves around maintaining that group and supporting (by folowing regionally / globally) both ON and his band of 'teachers'. I can also say that the local center has close to 50% make up of Eastern European students and people passing through from Russia.

Maybe 2010 will be the year that screws are turned, finances are squeezed and true colours shown

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Cudabenme ()
Date: January 08, 2010 12:01AM

I have some experience with DWB, I am not a member by any means but I have a family member who is. My family member is a good guy, intelligent, great sense of humor, very involved in his own life outside of the DW. He doesn't seem like the type of guy who would belong to a cult and doesn't seem fanatical about Mr Nydahl. I suppose he could be the type of person to keep these feelings to himself. Anyway, I did see this fanatical behavior displayed by others.

I attended a New Year's Course with my family member, a gift from my parents who wanted me to experience Europe. I had a great time. We met a lot of people, who all seemed very nice, friendly and ready to party. I noticed that most of the people around me were young and single, although their were families and some older people. I myself have children, so I was interested in talking to a couple of the other women there who also had families. They all received me with kindness, especially after confirming I was not, in fact, my family member's scandalous young girlfriend, but a young mother who was simply interested in seeing the world and learning about them.

I was a bit perturbed by the fact that I had to pay to listen to the lectures by Tomek, Ole, Hannah and the others. It seemed to rub against the grain of what I had previously learned about Buddhism outside of the DW. But, hey, I thought they probably needed the cash to pay for the whole shebang and my family member was willing to help me out with the cost. All in all, it was way cheaper than staying in a hotel and seeing Europe like a regular tourist. Food was included and they also had other goodies for sale, I remember condoms cost 1 euro.

The other thing I was bothered by was the table they had set up in the corner of the hall to have Ole "bless" objects. It seemed and still seems incredibly un-buddhist to need to have some guy, lama or no, bless your Buddha statue or dinner plate or bit of cloth or whatever. It seemed to be a signature of a needy group of people. To me, anything that smacks of the dogmatic trappings of a religion makes me want to run in the other direction. I don't feel I need objects to get in touch with my god, my spirituality or whatever.

I visited four centers in Europe, and all of the people I met were very chill. The first center seemed in a state of constant Party. We drank a good amount of alcohol and went barhopping several nights. The second center, we went for a lecture by a traveling teacher and I was so jet lagged and hungover that they fed me and let me sleep in someone's bed. The third center seemed less like a party center and more like a place for Buddhists to stay and meditate and even retreat. The people were still friendly, but seemed more reserved, and for lack of a better word, proper. The fourth center we visited was out in the country and I thought it was the most beautiful one, although they were all nice. I liked the fourth center's atmosphere of being family orientated. The people there seemed like they all worked together. Their gompa was beautiful but I didn't understand their Mahakala protection room which was off to one side. They had devoted it to the protection of them and their center and I felt like I was missing something as to why they felt it was necessary to store weapons in there. Nothing serious, just an old rifle and a knife or two. Perhaps I just don't know enough about that, but they seemed a bit confused.

At the New Years Course itself, I met Ole and Hannah. I took refuge and was blessed by Ole and given a new name. I never was actually called by this name, nor did I feel like it was supposed to replace my identity. Again, it seemed more to be part of a ritual and dogma. Nobody seemed to put much stock in it, though. I never felt pressured to give the group money. They held a fundraiser during the Course for the Europe Center. It was a fun event that seemed no different from other fundraisers I'd been to. I bought some small goodies to bring home to my family.

I listened to Ole and was kind of interested, kind of bored, he led the karmapa meditation, and then took questions. There was a thousand people there or so and he patiently answered all of their questions. He took a break after and happened to walk by me and stopped and bent down to touch my head and said something along the lines that I was special. I got the vibe from him that he was a typical guy paying me attention because he thought I was attractive, and from the reaction of the people I was with, that seemed to be the case. It all seemed like a relaxed funny joke. Ole likes the ladies, ha ha, of course he likes you, you're cute!

At the New Years party, we all drank and danced and partied and even Ole body surfed.

After Midnight, some people I was hanging out with (not my family member) wanted to go to the airport and see Ole and Hannah off. I tagged along and was surprised by the crowd that gathered there. People kept coming up to us and asking us if there was some celebrity about and then they would look at us strangely when it was explained that it was the Lama. Ole came through, thanked us all, blessed us all, spent some extra time touching my head and was on his merry way.

It was over all a good experience I had in Europe and I have thought that I would hit up the centers as an alternative to hotels or hostels if I were to travel again. I had a bit of a romantic experience with a man I met, and although he had a girlfriend, they seemed to work it out between themselves and she was very sweet to me. I did feel awkward since it was not in my experience that open relationships work too well.

Back in the states, the only center I have visited is the one my family member belonged to. The people there are nice, they also like to party but I'm not sure the open relationship thing was working so well there. It isn't very close to my home so I don't really go there anymore as I am busy with my family and sincerely feel that their way of practicing isn't really what I am craving.

I also was put off by the fact that the meditation booklets cost money. I guess they have to cover printing costs ? I found that I could use them while I was in the gompa, but if I wanted to take one with me I had to fork over five bucks each. The only explanation I received was that the Lama didn't want people to get ahold of the meditations and use them the wrong way. I'm not sure how they could be used's a step by step instructional booklet. I think they meant that it was important to them to have the Sangha and the Teacher to help you along your path.

I never felt pressured to 'join' or give money and nobody seemed to care if I stayed or left and nobody has come calling to harass me since I have not returned. Not even my family member, beyond the extent to give me some advice when I was depressed "Keep Meditating, woman".

I came across this site while trying to find info on the DW and get some outside views of Ole and the DW. If there have sincerely been these abuses as some have said, I am disturbed. I am not very comfortable with Ole taking advantage of his female followers, which I can see easily happening from my experience alone, although I do feel that one should enter into any religion with an open mind and not be a blind follower. I know this might be a stretch for some people...

I do wish that people who are making the accusations could provide more direct and specific accounts of cult behavior. I am not asking for specific proof of sexual abuse. I truly feel that needs to be addressed through a legal course, the police, and not through the internet. I am all for putting the word out there, though, about this happening so other girls can make an informed choice and feel comfortable in saying NO. No one should be put through that or even be put in the position of feeling pressured for sex, by anyone, anywhere, anytime. I am disappointed that a good majority of the links to proof on this forum didn't work for me, perhaps they are just old links and could be updated? I am truly interested in information and I am not in any way promoting this or any other group. I wanted to share my experience and hopefully receive in return the experiences of others and legitimate info on this group.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Eddie49 ()
Date: January 08, 2010 02:18AM

This is my first post on this forum, though I have been reading it for some time.

I attended a DW centre for about 2 years, and stopped going about a year ago. I did find it very different to other Buddhist groups I have attended, notably the attitude to drinking, partying, and their tendency to see other forms of Buddhism as inferior. But I also found their meditation practices very helpful.

The main reason I stopped going was that I was not convinced about Ole Nydahl. I went to a couple of his talks and found them disappointing, compared to other dharma talks I had heard. He just didn’t come across as a ‘real’ Buddhist – too egoistic, and I found his comments on Islam and inner city diversity as very disturbing. At a more private meeting with Ole, he expressed opinions on African people that I found unacceptable. From my experience, there does seem to be a case for describing him as racist. In a tradition that emphasises Guru Yoga, you need to have a lama you can trust – and I could not give Ole that trust.

Despite my misgivings about Ole, I am not convinced that the DWB organisation deserves to be labelled as a cult. I was never put under any pressure to give money or to do anything I didn’t want to do. I found the people at the centre very friendly and welcoming. I still see some of them from time to time and they remain friendly, no arm-twisting to go back or questioning of why I don’t go any more. I also felt that the meditation and Ngondro practices that I learnt there were very helpful, and as far as I know were authentic Karma Kagyu practices.

I am concerned that there are people posting to this site who seem to be keen to pass on gossip about individuals in DWB London. Of course they may have had experiences very different to mine, but all I can say is that people like Steve, Maya and Jacek have always been friendly towards me and have not given me any cause to think they are cultist. I think Ole’s public behaviour is fair game, but I don’t like the offensive comments against other individuals.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: suenam ()
Date: January 08, 2010 05:44AM

Firstly, to respond to Cudabenme - what you have described seems quite accurate, and perhaps some would say "it's all good harmless fun" - but the question I'm asking myself when I read your account is - where is the Buddhism?
- yes, perhaps there was some Buddhist content in the lecture, however the behaviour you describe seems to contradict that, but what seems particularly pernicious to me is the way the Ole blessed you as a means to try to get into your pants!
I wonder, had you stayed with the group longer - how you think things would have progressed? - it's fair comment that they don't leap on you straightaway with pressure to donate or to join, however this is not to say that those issues don't arise in more subtle ways...

we have already discussed the idea of whether DWB is a religious cult in the strict sense of the term, and I think that SteveLpool is right to use the term "personality cult" - which is not quite the same as saying that they are an extreme religious cult - however it does raise the question of whether they should really be allowed to call themselves "Buddhist" - and for me, this is confirmed by your account, which shows a degree of selfish desire and a sort of holiday camp atmosphere not really appropriate to the practice of Buddhism.

To respond to Eddie49, there is the idea of trust, and then there is the exposure to racist ideology. When these two are combined, it would seem to lead one into quite a dangerous territory. Eddie49 also mentions the egoistic nature of the enterprise, and I think that this is the key in distigushing a genuine Buddhism organiisation from something like a personality cult.
As for the fact that some of the meditation may be helpful and/or genuine KarmaKagyu practices, as I wrote in one of my earlier posts - it is not on an individual level that DWB is problematic - it is the emergent behaviour of the group put together that creates this problem.

If Ole was just some man in the street chasing after young women and expressing racist ideas, then we would not be having this thread about him. It is only when he is the head of a large organisation, possibly promoting some form of Buddhism, but with an awful lot of extra baggage, that it becomes problematic, and it is the nature of this extra baggage, along with the way it seeps into their ideology, which makes the whole thing questionable.

(p.s. - i think maybe Eddie49, you have misunderstood my post about Jacek. The point was not whether he was actually doing such things or not. Rather it was that many of the London DW sangha were talking about this to each other. Equally with the post concerning Maya, it seems less relevant whether the story was true or not, but what is indicative of the group dynamic in DWB is the way the story was relayed.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2010 05:56AM by suenam.

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Re: Ole Nydahl and Diamond Way Buddhism
Posted by: Cudabenme ()
Date: January 08, 2010 08:14AM


I have to say that I don't honestly know how things would have progressed if I had pursued the group.

I was asking myself the same question when I returned to the States: "Where was the Buddhism?" I did find the traveling teacher who spoke at one of the centers to be a good speaker, and although I don't remember specifically what the lecture was on, I remember thinking that I came away from it with a better understanding of the Buddhism they were practicing. It's all lost to my memory, though. Shady place up in my brain :P. I also remember thinking, after a lecture by Tomek that he was a good story teller but that I didn't get much Buddhism out of what he had to say. I was also busy making eyes at a particularly cute boy there during it.

I have to reiterate that my purpose on going to Europe was to have a good time, so that's what I was mainly focused on. I did want to take the opportunity to learn about my family member's Buddhism since he was letting me tag along. It was easy to get caught up in the whole thing, perhaps I am lucky that I am a stubborn free thinker who needs to find things out for herself and has trust issues...especially when it comes to womanizing men.

On that note, I again am going to agree with you: I strongly felt as if Ole focused on me for sexual reasons. I don't want to come off as vain, but I just got that vibe. When I get a feeling like that, I am generally right. I did find that to be disturbing, and it could be why I didn't really buy into the whole thing.

In fact, I really might have gone right along with it all if it hadn't been for Ole. He's a nice, charismatic guy, he was charming when I was introduced to him as a relation to my family member, and I have to admit it was kind of flattering to be the object of attention of the "lama". But the rational part of me was saying "Great, another dirty old man. How did this guy get to be a lama?"

If it had been Hannah alone up there, her presence alone would have made me commit a life to the DW. The feeling emanating from her was one of peace. I still feel it when I think of her.

Perhaps Ole stands in the way of himself, and perhaps that will come around to bite him in the ass.

In any case "good harmless fun" seems more like a way to spend an evening with your friends, not something to base your spiritual journey on. I was rather hoping that what I experienced was simply people caught up in a New Years celebration. I didn't understand Buddhism to a great extent and I am still very much learning. Some of the people I met didn't drink, and some of the people I met were very serious about their 'faith' (better word?). A lot of what I saw I probably didn't understand. A lot of the conversation around me I didn't understand. I did see a lot of young people who seemed to be attaching themselves to a 'trendy' thing and anytime I see a bunch of people my own age trying to 'out-cool' each other with such serious things, I am ready to move on.

I also want to mention that as a child I was raised in a evangelical christian atmosphere (the whole nine yards: speaking in tongues, the fire of the holy ghost, faith healing, etc etc) and my family even relocated me three states away when I was 11 because the church told them to. If I acted out of line or had my own thoughts or opinions I was labeled by the Preacher as a Jezebel. I am well aware of what cult behavior is...and although I respect the Christian faith, the characteristics of it that I cherish are the same that drew me to Buddhism: Love of all life, sacrificing the self/ego for the greater good of humanity, and the development of self and mind and that sort of thing. I did not find that in that evangelical atmosphere or really in the DW. It seemed to me as if the people involved really got in the way of these goals in both cases. The Jesus and the Buddha that I feel in me cringe at what people have done in their names.

Another long post, please forgive me. In my returning interest in Buddhism, I am glad I found this forum to bounce ideas around about the DW and Ole.

Another note: I met Jacek in Europe and he kissed me several times and urged me to come to London. He was not the romantic experience I talked about above, but rather kind of just kissed me abruptly in a way that at the time I was taken aback by and really didn't know how to appropriately respond to. I can easily see how males in the DW would follow Ole's lead and that is another black mark against Ole. I don't think this behavior would be promoted by someone who truly cared about his followers. I don't know Jacek personally outside of this one experience and it is not my intent to slander him.

My family member is NOT like that and truly seems committed to leading a good Buddhist life. But I shall not speak for him.

I appreciate your questions suenam. I am enjoying reflecting on these experiences and learning from them.

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