Current Page: 10 of 16
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Wannabefree ()
Date: December 06, 2010 09:57AM

Stoic well put, I couldn't agree with you more on your last post...

Misstyk, I think you are right too, the teachings are so confusing that you would have to take a live time to try and make sense of them.

Which in the end means you need to have a teacher...cunning, especially since they in Tibetan.

Then how you want to help people becomes how they want to and ends up in you over time probably sending a lot of money their way.

Also, the trap is you become a prisoner in your own mind, you don't even know it, and if you do like I did the realize the trap, Misstyk the endless nights with no sleep, with a terrified mind, PTSD shocks and endless ruminations of your teachers voice in your head, its a nightmare...

You loose your FREEDOM to be a Critical Thinker, no critical thinking then no FREEDOM....

I found that I learnt a habit that I had to watch my mind constantly, every second, every moment...

Its a technique that means you don't have time for critical thinking...!!!!

Ok on the question of enlightenment, have you ever met anyone who is enlightened?

All knowing, understanding everything, knowing and understanding everything, great wisdom...

Ok, how come the Dalai Lama needs a translator?

He's all knowing isn't he?

Shouldn't he if he is a Buddha be able to speak other languages...

No just one...why does he have to meditate and do practice if he is already a Buddha...

Read the histories of all the Dalai Lamas, you won't find them in Buddhist Centres, you'll need to go online like youtube etc or there are books on Amazon etc...

For me sayings like 'Where there's smoke there is fire' or 'Mud sticks...',

There's too much for me that is unclear, untrue and not addressed by the Dalai Lama.


Michael Parenti is a good place to do a search on Tibet.

How spiritual is that, now that we are on show to the world we better be nicer and not be bullies anymore...

Spirituality for me means honesty and when someone manipulates and lies to you to control you by setting a trap, I don't see that as very spiritual at all...

Because he is not enlightened he is constantly training his mind...

In a way I feel sorry for him, he was taken away as a 4 year old boy and child abused by monks telling him he was a Buddha/Reincarnation of the previous until he believed it.

He had no choice to live a normal life as a human being naturally would.

I found this article on Enlightenment and Nirvana interesting and why its not working, its a Christian Article, but I think still relevant...


The End Times of Buddhist Philosophy

What's wrong with enlightenment? What's wrong with Nirvana?

From the Biomystical Christian perspective, it is freezing the mind into one particular brain state and elevating it's importance as supreme, a brain state that involves the deactivation of a major brain function--the parietal lobes where the brain's sense of self is located, i.e., the creation of a literal dead zone, a dead zone which can be seen to be projected outwards in Buddhist philosophy as the Void and ultimate reality.

A few years ago some brain research scientists got permission to do brain scans of meditating Buddhist monks to see what was going on inside their heads as they meditated. A surprising discovery was made which was that Buddhist monks were learning how to shut down a small sector of the human brain that seems to control our sense of self.* This center controls our internal sense of self and when it is deactivated there seems to be a corresponding feeling of "oneness" with the world, an oceanic feeling that seems a pleasurable state of mind and has been called variously "satori" or "nirvana" as it excludes self-awareness or anything that separates our self from everything else. There was a direct correspondence between the level of ego-less achievement of this calm and blissful state of mind by meditating monks and their level of neural activity in their sense of self brain centers. The less electrical activity, the more one feels a sense of oneness with the Universe. Buddhists hold this as the highest mental state attainable by human beings. It is the goal of Buddhism to enable Buddhists to be in this self-less mental state as much as possible as they believe that in this state purer, less violent and more wholesome social consciousness naturally evolves. The Buddhist philosophy of life derives from the task of learning how to eliminate the ego and its desires and they have learned a meditation way to physically do that by literally shutting down a part of their brains, the part that controls the sense of self.

* See Buddhist Brain Studies page in the New Gnosis Library section.

The problem with this philosophy and meditation technique is this: In a complex world is it a wise thing to have as a personal goal the deactivation of a major part of our brains? Brain scans of these meditating monks shows what is essentially the creation of a hole in the head, a blank spot in the brain where there is little if any electrical activity going on. Sure, it feels good and there are benefits from losing one's often overwhelming ego desires but in terms of functioning as complete human beings, well, what is the real difference between meditation techniques to tranquilize our brains and taking drugs to do that same thing? I think there's the major flaw in Buddhism and all spiritual paths that aim at reduction of ego which physiologically seems to mean shutting down electrical activity in the brain's sense of self center.

Creative problem solving comes from the ability to associate related and supposedly unrelated things together in new combinations. Creative people are not known for ego-lessness; just the opposite is usually the case. And historically, Buddhists are not known for creative enterprises. In fact, creativity, outside of a narrow natural themes in poetry and art as well as traditional stylized symbolic art production and appreciation, is seen more as an ego problem. Societies where Buddhism is the majority religion, e.g., Tibet, are not noted for their progressive social programs. It is Biomystical Christian opinion that the Buddhist goal of destruction of the sense of self center in our brains has the inevitable effect of destroying also our abilities to creatively think. This brings us back to the main point: in a complex world is it a good thing to disable a major function of our brains?

Let's put this into another perspective: There are many drugs available to human beings that have brain disabling effects. We've all noticed them and universally drug induced disabling of differing brain functions is condemned even if the drug user swears up and down that he or she benefits from this type of brain manipulation. Well, Buddhists don't use drugs to shut down part of their brains; they use meditation techniques. But the result is more or less the same. Escape from complex worldly reality and worldly cares that indeed demand creative problem solving into a simplified existence that if universalized would rob us of our most precious gift: the ability to use our heads to survive, maintain, prosper and evolve to higher levels of consciousness and creative human expression.

You just can't create a hole in your head in order to avoid existential pain without paying a price: the price is creativity. It takes egotism to be able to even think you could create something or solve something. Who are you to think you could? Only what that little part of your brain that tells you who you are and what you can do. Without your ego, yes, you can become "one" with Life and avoid all the psychic pains that accompany our egos if you use Buddhist meditation techniques but then why not drill a hole in your head for that "Third Eye" or have a lobotomy. These techniques too deaden the brain to psychic pain. Buddhism and all spiritual meditation practices that aim at reduction of ego through elimination of the sense of self are now exposed as brain disabling techniques not really different from drug induced brain disabling. Sorry, but that's why these are the beginning of the End Times of Buddhist philosophy.

Please note that the accusation of Buddhism being merely a brain manipulation technique for altering one's perceptions of the world instead of a philosophy of how to attain higher consciousness also applies to all meditation religious practices such as those used by Christian mystics to achieve ecstatic states of consciousness. Only one's brain has been changed--reality hasn't as it is neither the Void of Buddhists nor the mystic's oneness with God. These are just altered states of consciousness while God's reality and our human place in that reality is so much more.

What Buddha has done has glorified one brain state resultant of deadening a major area of the brain and called this "enlightenment" because it reduces psychic pain that naturally occurs in the course of a life lead in full embracement: pain, happiness, sorrow, love, the whole works of what being human is all about. The question Buddhists never ask is "is a single brain state, the "Buddha Mind", which is achieved by deactivating a central function of the human brain, i.e., maintaining the sense of self, a positive thing for all human beings? Is mental peace worth the loss of human creativity that springs from the very same psychic pain Buddhism seeks to annihilate? By seeking to destroy illusion Buddhism ends up destroying human hope. Along with the loss of ego, along with the loss of attachment, come the loss of hope.

Anyone who saw the Maharishi of Transcendental Meditation fame bubbling over in mirthful bliss all the time was seeing this brain state in constant operation. The problem though was seen clearly when Maharishi expressed his political opinion one time on national TV, poor guy, that Nixon's war in Vietnam was necessary for all the reasons Nixon gave. These "enlightened" brain states give no more guarantee of wisdom than the next snake oil salesman's secret of happiness spiel that comes along..e.g., LSD, Ecstasy, direct electrical brain manipulation next? Brain manipulation is not the way to true spiritual consciousness which must be holistic consciousness stemming from holistic brain functioning.

There's more but I cut it short...

Best wishes...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: December 06, 2010 11:33AM

To whom it may concern:

This thread is specifically about "doubts about the Dalai Lama" not religious beliefs or philosophy.

Please stay on topic.

Preaching religious beliefs and/or philosophy is not the purpose of this message board and against the rules.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: December 06, 2010 07:06PM

Apologies for wandering from the topic.

Relating directly to the Dalai Lama, I have severe misgivings regarding the way he has presented himself and his very culturally specific brand of Buddhism in the west.

He and his people are refugees, expelled from their own country with little hope of being reinstated in their former powerful positions any time soon. He has to provide some form of living for those dependent on him at the same time that he seeks to regain the political power that he has lost.

Tibet was a theocracy under the rule of the Dalai Lama, a medieval system that the west has long since left behind in favour of democracy and a tolerance of many different religions and points of view. We have a far more diverse and open system, whatever its faults, than any theocracy can deliver.
People in the west fought hard and paid a high price to escape the theocratic yoke and to establish the democratic freedoms that we now enjoy.

The Dalai Lama, in conflating his political and religious goals, has hit upon the propagation of his brand of Buddhism as the means to keep his own political show on the road. He has done an astonishing feat of PR magic in presenting this type of Buddhism as the latest, harmless, fashionably do-gooding 'must-have'-- for a price-- to westerners who are bored and jaded with their own cultural traditions.

I don't find that a particular problem, people are as free to believe in the medieval concepts of Tibetan hell realms as they are in the old-fashioned catholic terrors of hell-fire and damnation or the fundamentalist protestant preaching that sells god through the TV screen every Sunday.

I do think that his jolly, genial, Santa Claus persona is highly deceptive, and his presentation of his brand of Buddhism--which demands absolute devotion to the root guru (the lama with whom one 'takes refuge') as a simple route to perfection/nirvana/enlightenment/ to be cunning and manipulative.

It is fundamentally about the new western recruits supporting, with their money and free labour, his own comfortable lifestyle and political ambitions--and propping up the medieval theocratic power structure that he has imported wholesale.
The actual well-being of those new western recruits, and the deep personal conflicts that arise because of the clash of two very different cultural worldviews does not seem to be addressed in the eagerness to induct westerners into this medieval system.

The refugees who originally escaped from Tibet were the wealthy and powerful ruling class who had the means to do so, and they are keen to continue, by any means, their lifestyle of wealth and power in the west.

I don't find Buddhism per se any more objectionable than any other religion. People seem to need religion, as a comfort, an emotional focal point, a way to hope for a better future--I dont find anything wrong in that and people are free to choose their own beliefs.

I do find the Dalai Lama's deceptively simple presentation of a powerful thought changing system as entirely benign and benficial to all-comers to be disingenuous in the extreme.

It is a marketing exercise, like selling a very complicated computer system to a first time user as the best he can buy. The salesman in more interested in getting the inflated price for the high-end goods than in providing the buyer with a simple machine that is suitable for a beginner to try out and learn on.

I have spent a lot of time in SE Asia and find that the normal working people practise a very simple form of Buddhism that is similar in scope to the way most western Christians practise their religion here. Their religious needs are about birth, marriage and death rituals, basic moral conduct and some emotional support in times of stress and trouble. They support their various temples and priests in the same way churches are supported in the west and generally have a down-to-earth personal connection with the local temple and priest. Few of them get heavily into meditation practices, they have their own lives to live and living to earn.

It is common for most men in some Asian countries to spend a period of time, (from 6 months to many years, if they have the time available) in a monastery. Some are taught the higher practices, some are not. The choice of who gets to learn what is down to the root guru who is supposed to be a good enough judge of the preparation and capability of the individual student's mind to take on board the higher practices without becoming deranged or psychotic in the process. Derangement and psychosis is a very real risk to some when voluntary dissociation becomes a continual practice.

So one is dependent on the honesty and integrity of the root guru to make a judgement call about the impact of these practices on one's future mental health and ability to think effectively on one's own behalf.
If that judgement call is skewed by the fact that the student is a ready source of cash and the guru is a greedy, manipulative conniver, then the student's subsequent mental welfare does not even figure in the equation.

What I object to in the way that Tibetan Buddhism is being sold in the west, using the gentle smiling Dalai Lama as the innocuous advertising face of medieval theocracy, is that these powerful thought changing practices seem to be available to anyone with the readies to buy into them, with no health warnings attached and little accountability for any deleterious impact on the individual.

Incidentally, there was a suggestion made earlier in the thread that an image of the Dalai Lama was used, without his knowledge and consent, to advertise Apple computers. I seriously doubt that either Apple computers or the Dalai Lama and his PR team are so commercially naive and unsophisticated as to allow his image to be used without consent and a hefty payment. IMO, his PR team have shown themselves to be anything but naive so far.

Caveat emptor--buyer beware and you don't ever have to pay to pray.

Here, again, is an honest article from a modern and less orthodox Tibetan Buddhist Lama who recognises the problems of the cultural clash and attempts to address these for aspiring western Tibetan Buddhists. I am neither buddhist nor Tibetan so am not endorsing this man or his philosophy. I just appreciate an honest and intelligent take on a thorny problem.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2010 07:10PM by Stoic.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Wannabefree ()
Date: December 07, 2010 04:01AM

I apologize for what part I did getting off the subject...


in a truly non Guru way,

'You are my Hero', FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER...

What happened to me of extreme psychological abuse is a direct result of the system you have just explained in you post on....

December 06, 2010 12:06PM

and helps me recover being able to frame what happened to me in a clear way was part of a abusive and deceptive system...

Instead of how it is framed by Tibetan Buddhism that is was my fault because I didn't work hard enough and not what is in the above line.

It is so hard to frame it in a context when your mind has been that screwed with and conditioned with a warped perspectives to keep you in line, thank you again...

The thing is if you are unsuspecting and troubled like I was what happened to me; can easily happen in this system; especially if you have bad defensive boundaries, which would mean that you have not so strong critical thinking processes from an abusive past in the first place and easily manipulated.

How is what happened to me relevant to this thread and expressing Doubts about the Dalai Lama...

The monk I worked with, his root Guru is who?

The Dalai Lama...

He is his teacher...his first name is the same as his...

How do you think he learns from...

I am absolutely certain that I am not the first and not the last to suffer at the hands of this system as people walk into a subtle trap, especially extremely vulnerable people...

I certainly believed when I got to a stage of working with the monk; if my life was ever on the line that and extreme self harming of myself were happening the Monk would have the compassion to not put me in a likelihood that result, and not come anywhere close to that I would take my live and back off, but he didn't...

There are many more problems that he caused, but the bottom line for me is he had no problem putting my life at risk by screwing me up that much that it would take years to expose him because my mind was screwed up that much, or that I would take my life ending the possibility of exposing him and the dangerous practices of Tibetan Buddhism...

Probably a complement to myself is my critical thinking is what necessitated the heavy handed tactics that he used to control me and my mind...

One other problem that I have with the Dalai Lama is if such abuses happen there is no recourse for laying a complaint and exposing such inexcusable abuses...

There is no accountability for what he represents...

On a slightly different problem, I have read so many accounts of women abused sexually in Tibetan Buddhism and they are told to deal with it themselves or because we aren't having a bar of it...

It puts these people above the law and one of the concepts Right Speech can leave people to suffer for years before they take action, they mightn't even talk to a counselor for years about it because they are to afraid to speak out against the Lama...

Then because it is so much time has passed no legal recourse can take place and these people suffer more usually blaming themselves...

It is very rear to be able to find someone that can help you too, you'll find the majority of therapist have a softness and affinity for the Dalai Lama and then blame you for it too when you speak out against him as after all they think you are the sick one and just projecting your past...

I'm sorry but I honestly find it disgusting and heart breaking, for these poor women and they really do believe in a warped way that it is there problem and/or fault...

How are they above the law?

They capture your mind...

Kind regards...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: December 08, 2010 01:00AM

The Dalai Lama is associated with kindness:

[quote="There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. Our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness." ~ The Dalai Lama][/quote]

I am not a Buddhist, but I liked the simplicity of the above quotation. Still, we can't forget that his belief system also includes a big emphasis on karma and reincarnation. Here's an excerpt from his book [i]Healing Anger[/i]:

[quote=In verse 47, Shantideva points out that it is our negative karma and deeds committed in the past that have caused the other person to inflict that injury or harm on us. In addition, because of that negative act, the person creates negative karma. So in a sense, we are causing the downfall of the other person because we are through our karma, forcing the other person, the perpetrator of the crime or the aggressor, to create negative karma....][/quote]

And another one:

[quote=IIn verses 48 and 49, Shantideva observes that from one point of view, as pointed out earlier, when the other person inflicts harm or injury upon one, that person is accumulating negative karma. However, if one examines this carefully, one will see that because of that very act, one is given the opportunity to practise patience and tolerance. So from our point of view it is an opportune moment, and we should therefore feel grateful toward the person who is giving us this opportunity. Seen in this way, what has happened is that this event has given another an opportunity to accumulate negative karma, but has also given us an opportunity to create positive karma by practising patience. So why should we respond to this in a totally perverted way, by being angry when someone inflicts harm on us, instead of feeling grateful for the opportunity?[/quote]

While I believe that we are responsible for our every thought, word and action, if someone inflicts harm on me or a loved one, I am not going to take responsibility for the perpetrator's actions. Nor will I stop and say "gee thanks for the opportunity to practise patience whilst I deal with the results of what you did."

I'm embarrassed to admit that I, too, bought onto the smiling peace loving image that's been marketed to us. He has a lot of good things to say, but there's a real need to question him because fortune cookie one-liners are only a small part of the whole package. (This goes for everyone, not just him.)

The last thing victims of violent crimes need to hear is that their past actions (in this or a previous life) are responsible for what was done to them. That's a good way to discourage people from seeking help and an excuse to feel sanctimonious about not offering to reach out and help someone in need. This is just one of the many obnoxious beliefs that have been adopted by New Wage hucksters.

I realize these are excerpts from his book and there's a lot more to what he says, but there's nothing "kind" about blaming the victim. And unfortunately, people will pick and choose snippets to justify all kinds of horrendous behaviours.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2010 01:19AM by sunshine.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: December 08, 2010 01:12AM

'The Dalai Lama is associated with kindness:'

When there is a conflict between a persons speech and his/her behaviour, it is safer to believe the behaviour to be the more accurate indicator of character than the speech.

Its that old saw about 'walking the talk' again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2010 01:13AM by Stoic.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: December 08, 2010 01:22AM

When there is a conflict between a persons speech and his/her behaviour, it is safer to believe the behaviour to be the more accurate indicator of character than the speech. Its that old saw about 'walking the talk' again.

Stoic, I totally agree!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2010 01:23AM by sunshine.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 08, 2010 05:07AM

There is a book/memoir written by a disciple of both chogyam trungpa and his successor, Ozel tenzin that may
offer insights.

The author, Stephen Butterfield, loved Buddhist practice, stated he had benefitted in many ways. But he said, with great sadness that elements of the practice itself had a result of enabling a person to be highly insightful in relation to all other troubled organizations, but deflected scrutiny from ones own Buddhist traditon.

The book is entitled The Double Mirror by Stephen Butterfield. The website is highly useful for giving comparison prices if one wishes to purchase a copy; otherwise, you can request it by interlibrary loan.

There are two approaches--to see all gurus and teachers and rinpoches as ultimately accountable to the Bodhisattva precepts or the other stance which is to see ones guru or teacher as embodying the precepts and whatever that teacher says, or does is therefore Bodhisattva activity.

The problem with the latter stance is there is no objective and external reference point to consult if things go wrong.

IMO its as dangerous as going for a mountain expedition after demagnetizing one's compass.

there is also a grave concern about ones own money going to a foreign country and where one must take it on faith and without a citizens democratic input on what will be done with that money.

IMO if anyone from any tradition wants our American tax exempt donation, they need to honor American democratic processes.

IMO #2 it does not support Buddhist practice to be an income producing unit in public and be trained to function as an obedient feudal at a guru's ashram or a rinpoche or lama's dharma center.

If they want our money and access to our PR and media networks they had better learn to respect our democracy and accountability structures.

My opinion as a US citizen whose grandparent came here to do art that could not be done in Eastern Europe.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: December 08, 2010 05:27AM

I agree, but if much of the activity and abuse is secret, it's difficult to make teachers answerable to our "accountability structures". Frankly, I think the issuing of visas to lamas should be temporarily suspended until a thorough study of their methods, motives, and history with students can be assessed, but that's not going to happen.

After meeting with Western dharma leaders, HHDL said women with grievances should take them to the media and "if necessary, to the police". He seems to think that this is the only way to bring accountability to the scene. He seems to be reluctant to exercise any influence he may have at least within his own sect, the Gelug. But even he were to try to introduce some sort of accountability, I doubt it could reach down to local levels in the West, and affect situations such as Wannabefree encountered.

I've studied this issue a bit, and it seems that the only way to deal with abuses is to educate and empower women (and men) in advance of their entering into study, especially one-on-one teacher/student situations, so that they know the risks, and know what is appropriate for the guru to demand, and what isn't. There are charlatans out there, but also unscrupulous lamas who only want to take advantage of students. Anyone considering entering the "path" should study the risks in advance, and thoroughly research any teachers they may be interested in working with.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: "Doubts about the Dalai Lama"/
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: December 08, 2010 05:41AM

Stoic, Dzongsar Khentse Rinpoche, whose article you provided a link to, on the one hand tries to navigate the cultural differences between students and teachers, but on the other hand, he's quite the apologist for teachers who initiate affairs with students. He seems to have removed from his newly-reorganized website two essays relating to Western women's complaints of sexual coercion and the like, but he said in one essay that Western men were "naive" to allow their women to travel to Asia and study alone with a lama, and in another, he says that if Western women are expecting "candlelight dinners" with their teacher, they're sadly mistaken (this is not the nature of women's complaint. Women only want to be able to study unmolested). He also says a colleague of his is teaching in the West, has "several consorts" and "no complaints", as if this were some sort of badge of honor. Defending predatory behavior is inexcusable.

This is one of the complaints about HHDL; he presents Buddhism as a "religion of kindness", but many of its representatives come across as a bit ruthless, and not at all compassionate, in their pursuit of their own gratification. Or in their pursuit of enthralling one more student to the "kindness" cause, as Wannabefree encountered. Could the DL really be that naive, that he doesn't know how widespread abusive behavior is? It's hard to believe that that could be so.

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 10 of 16

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.