Message for Simon Heath

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Kelsang Khyenrab

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Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
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Message to Simon Heath

Dear Simon

I was sorry that you were put off by what you see on the Internet but it’s
good to read that you’re still interested in searching for a Teacher. The
books of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso are very clear and accessible; they have
received high critical acclaim from many reliable sources. Also his Centres
in the UK are, in general, very happy and open places.

If you visit them you will not be met with anyone forcing you to engage in
Dorje Shugden practice - or any practice for that matter - whatever you may
have heard to the contrary. We are not a cult; we belong to a precious and
authentic lineage of Je Tsongkhapa following all the methods of training the
mind taught by Buddha Shakyamuni. People freely choose to visit and leave as
they wish.

The only thing that’s really new about Geshe Kelsang’s Centres is that they
present Dharma study and meditation in a systematic way suitable to Western
people. Right now, for example we are doing our traditional Winter retreats
to complement the study terms we do throughout the rest of the year. Try one
Centre and see for yourself if you like. Visitors are always welcome - even
when we’re on retreat - the energy is so peaceful. There are Centres in most
UK cities and towns.

On one post you said

“It's just that nowadays the Internet is the best way of gaining a view on
something.”

This interested me. Why? Because people like myself have been trying to
engage in a meaningful debate on the Internet to inform both ourselves and
others about something we feel is very important to clarify in public.
However, one remark to you from "The Puddies" <pud...@frontiernet.net> I
feel represents a view that would like very much to stop free speech about
this matter and therefore stop people such as yourself forming a view by
consulting the Internet. Evelyn said in response to you:

“I am sorry you happened upon the newsgroups when a lot of nonsense is
obviously going on. That unfortunately cannot be helped. Many sincere
people have tried and failed to stop it. Either we are being sabotaged by
trolls or these are simply individuals with axes to grind. Do not judge
buddhism by these people”

I believe that it is these types of remark that point to the root of this
debate - freedom of religious expression by way of public speech (for “these
people, trolls etc”) VERSUS repression and stopping of religious expression
by political or whatever means possible (by those “sincere people”). And I
guess that it is this kind of interchange you find unpleasant.

Needless to say, my view is that Evelyn is free to say what she likes. But
if I were you Simon I would be asking myself why she tries to STOP others
having the same right ? (The word STOP is pretty unambiguous.)

I have asked this question on this newsgroup a number of times and received
a number of personal insults but no valid reply. Of course others may be
tired of this repetitive debate but no one is forcing them to join it so I
can’t see their difficulty. (The insults, by the way, I find helpful for my
practice - though this isn’t an invitation for more!)

Maybe you’ve also noticed how some people try to STOP cross-posting to other
newsgroups ; Mike Austin has mentioned it again recently but it appeared
many times before. Why this desire to stop and control others? As I said
earlier no-one is forced to read this; I am simply putting my point of view.
My intention in responding to you is to provide a balance to some of the
other responses you received. I don’t want to stop you or anyone expressing
their views. Dharma is about controlling our own minds not those of others.

Like Evelyn I am also sorry you’ve met this aspect of Dharma practitioners’
discussion-style before meeting a Teacher and hope you find what you need in
the near future.

with best wishes
Khyenrab


Kent Sandvik

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Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
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Kelsang Khyenrab <khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> wrote:

> The only thing that's really new about Geshe Kelsang's Centres is that they
> present Dharma study and meditation in a systematic way suitable to Western
> people. Right now, for example we are doing our traditional Winter retreats
> to complement the study terms we do throughout the rest of the year. Try one
> Centre and see for yourself if you like. Visitors are always welcome - even
> when we're on retreat - the energy is so peaceful. There are Centres in most
> UK cities and towns.

Hmm. Most traditions based in the west would have the same
qualifications, at least the Tibetan Buddhist centers I've visited.
Nothing wrong with NKT, but to state it's kind of exclusively designed
for Westeners do not take into account that most if not all Tibetan
Buddhist centers placed in West are indeed designed for... Westeners.

Maitri, Kent

The Puddies

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
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Hello Kelsang, This is Evelyn replying to your comments to poor Simon, and
your snide remarks about my post to him.
.

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote in message <69geh3$590$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...


>
>Message to Simon Heath
>
>Dear Simon
>
>I was sorry that you were put off by what you see on the Internet but it’s
>good to read that you’re still interested in searching for a Teacher. The
>books of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso are very clear and accessible; they have
>received high critical acclaim from many reliable sources. Also his
Centres
>in the UK are, in general, very happy and open places.

I am sure they are, and I have never said ONE word against or about you or
your teacher or your centers. And as to reliable sources, I consider HH
Dalai Lama a very reliable source. Lots of other people do too. This is
my very First comment on the subject since the start of this whole thread.


>If you visit them you will not be met with anyone forcing you to engage in
>Dorje Shugden practice - or any practice for that matter - whatever you may
>have heard to the contrary. We are not a cult; we belong to a precious and
>authentic lineage of Je Tsongkhapa following all the methods of training
the
>mind taught by Buddha Shakyamuni. People freely choose to visit and leave
as
>they wish.

I have never spoken a word to the contrary about this either. I try not to
say something about things I don't know about, and having never been to your
centers, I can only judge them by the people they seem to be turning out.
If you are an example of this, you ought be more considerate of the
attitudes you project in public forums.


>The only thing that’s really new about Geshe Kelsang’s Centres is that they
>present Dharma study and meditation in a systematic way suitable to Western
>people. Right now, for example we are doing our traditional Winter retreats
>to complement the study terms we do throughout the rest of the year. Try
one
>Centre and see for yourself if you like. Visitors are always welcome - even
>when we’re on retreat - the energy is so peaceful. There are Centres in
most
>UK cities and towns.

I am sure they are .... and if I ever went to the UK, I would not have any
qualms about checking those centers out. I would hope there were some
genuinely nice people there too besides the argumentive ones.


>On one post you said
>
>“It's just that nowadays the Internet is the best way of gaining a view on
>something.”
>
>This interested me. Why? Because people like myself have been trying to
>engage in a meaningful debate on the Internet to inform both ourselves and
>others about something we feel is very important to clarify in public.
>However, one remark to you from "The Puddies" <pud...@frontiernet.net> I
>feel represents a view that would like very much to stop free speech about
>this matter and therefore stop people such as yourself forming a view by
>consulting the Internet. Evelyn said in response to you:
>
>“I am sorry you happened upon the newsgroups when a lot of nonsense is
>obviously going on. That unfortunately cannot be helped. Many sincere
>people have tried and failed to stop it. Either we are being sabotaged
by
>trolls or these are simply individuals with axes to grind. Do not judge
>buddhism by these people”
>
>I believe that it is these types of remark that point to the root of this
>debate - freedom of religious expression by way of public speech (for
“these
>people, trolls etc”) VERSUS repression and stopping of religious expression
>by political or whatever means possible (by those “sincere people”). And I
>guess that it is this kind of interchange you find unpleasant.

At this point I have to clue you in.......since in your zeal you seem to be
clueless..... most people find this endless argument unpleasant. I have
personally totally refrained from any of the discussion of any of of the
Dorje Shugden business, or any of the complaints about anyones dharma
centers or any such thing, because I feel it is not constructive, and if it
is not constructive it is not worth my time or my comments. But if you are
going to jump all over me about it, you will hear my comments now.

I am sorry that you took exception to my comments so intensely, but if the
shoe fits, wear it. Since you CHOSE to wear it, I bow to your superior
knowledge of the subject.

As to your freedom of religious expression, we have all been subjected to it
ad infinitum for weeks now....... endlessly. Even the newbies are
complaining!!!!!!!! I do not call this religious expression, I call this
being a pain in the butt by shouting on a soapbox in the middle of a very
public forum, so no one else can discuss anything else but your problems.
You are being a hog, to put it plainly. If you think that by going on
like this you are winning friends or convincing anyone of anything other
than that you have an axe to grind, you are sadly mistaken. It has all
been said, Kelsang.... several times now at least.


>Needless to say, my view is that Evelyn is free to say what she likes. But
>if I were you Simon I would be asking myself why she tries to STOP others
>having the same right ? (The word STOP is pretty unambiguous.)


I haven't STOPPED anyone. I am simply finding the same material gone over
again and again and all the "attitude" over it downright tiresome!!!!!!!!!
So, if you are free to go on and on and take offense at the slightest thing,
then I am likewise free to skip over all this controversy and that is
exactly what I do!!! When I see Dorje Shugden in the subject line I SKIP
that message. I read them all for the first two months, after that it all
became repetition.

The man was complaining about WHAT A TURNOFF IT IS!
He was trying to learn about the DHARMA! (remember that word, Kelsang?)

I know you never got HIS message since you were so punchy over my
COMMISERATING with the man. I continue to commiserate with him.

>I have asked this question on this newsgroup a number of times and received
>a number of personal insults but no valid reply. Of course others may be
>tired of this repetitive debate but no one is forcing them to join it so I
>can’t see their difficulty. (The insults, by the way, I find helpful for my
>practice - though this isn’t an invitation for more!)

In case you haven't noticed, and I am SURE you haven't in fact, I never gave
you ANY insults, no matter how long this business drones on. The merest
HINT of a complaint however, and you come out swinging like Mike Tyson,
ready to bite my ear off. I think you are getting just a bit punchy, and
swinging at the wrong person.

>Maybe you’ve also noticed how some people try to STOP cross-posting to
other
>newsgroups ; Mike Austin has mentioned it again recently but it appeared
>many times before. Why this desire to stop and control others? As I said
>earlier no-one is forced to read this; I am simply putting my point of
view.
>My intention in responding to you is to provide a balance to some of the
>other responses you received. I don’t want to stop you or anyone expressing
>their views. Dharma is about controlling our own minds not those of others.

I think that when people go on and on about something to this degree it is
EXACTLY that, trying to control others minds. We all have heard you loud
and clear and many many times. I have never bashed your centers, your
teachers, your teachings, any thing about it. You TOOK offense where none
was GIVEN or intended. I must tell you that if I never hear the names
Dorje Shugden, NKT, or Maitreya either again, it would be too soon!!


>Like Evelyn I am also sorry you’ve met this aspect of Dharma practitioners’
>discussion-style before meeting a Teacher and hope you find what you need
in
>the near future.

Well, now that you have identified yourself plainly as one of the
individuals he took exception to, and defended yourself, while swinging at
me. I am still not the slightest bit surprised that the guy was turned
off, and my advice to him still stands. Sorry if you don't like that, but
then, that is my freedom of religious expression too. I don't mind you
believing whatever you like, practicing whatever you like, or whatever, but
if you think you are going to CONVINCE people that HH Dalai Lama is wrong,
you better start your own newsgroup, and I will avoid it like the plague.
Meanwhile, I continue to skip all posts with Dorje Shugden in the subject
line. If you will notice, this one did not have it there, and that is why
I even read it or replied to it, in the first place.


Evelyn


>
>with best wishes
>Khyenrab
>

Avyorth Rolinson

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote in message <69geh3$590$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...

Hello Simon,

I'd like to address some of the points raised by Steve Booth aka Khyenrab
concerning the NKT. I was involved with the NKT from 1992-96 during which
time I lived at Tara NKT Centre and at Manjushri NKT Centre. I was initially
a student on the Foundation Programme and then on the Teachers Training
Programme (from 1993) - I was also a NKT teacher for a time (in fact
Khyenrab gave the public talk in which I was introduced to some of the good
people of Manchester as their teacher). So I know a little about the NKT.

>Also his Centres
>in the UK are, in general, very happy and open places.
>

. We are not a cult; we belong to a precious and
>authentic lineage of Je Tsongkhapa

>People freely choose to visit and leave as
>they wish.

Whether the NKT is or is not a cult is a very difficult point to answer -
just what constitutes a cult? But what I will say is that, in my experience
(and many who have been involved will agree), the NKT is sectarian and
elitist (ie they hold that the NKT alone holds the pure Buddhadharma :

Let me quote from a teaching, called 'Introduction to Mahamudra',
that Gen Thubten Gyatso gave at Vajravarahi NKT Centre (Preston),
"When Geshe-la said he'd formed the NKT to preserve, to protect the Dharma
transmitted from the Wisdom Buddha, Manjushri, to Je Tsongkhapa he was
referring to this practice [he's talking here about Mahamudra] - this is the
inner practice of the NKT. Only the NKT holds the pure lineage of the
Mahamudra today."

As for NKT Centres being "open" (in the sense of non-dogmatic), this is most
patently a lie - and I don't use this word lightly. In case you are new to
the ng and missed my earlier postings I'll briefly mention one or two
incidents:

When I first became involved at Amitabha NKT Centre I met a chap, Richard,
who served as the NKT contact in Bristol. We took several empowerments
together, including Heruka-Vajrayogini, and were Foundation Programme
students together. Richard was banned from all NKT Centres - no warning, no
discussion, with instant effect! Why? Because he'd discussed some stuff he'd
heard about HHDL and the Shugden controversy. The teacher at Amitabha Centre
told me that she'd discussed this with Kelsang Gyatso and he'd told her to
ban him. He was told that if he went to KG on his knees then he MIGHT be
forgiven!

When I was a TTP student at Manjushri NKT Centre we were told in the class
by Samten (the senior monk there) that KG had said that it was wrong that
TTP students were reading books by teachers other than GK, and that such
action would damage GK's health. If we were true students of GK then we
would rely soley upon his teachings!

The library at Manjushri NKT Centre was destroyed - books (including many by
Gelugpa teachers and others such as Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti) were either
burnt or given away to non-NKT buddhist centres. Only GK's books were
'kosher'. The shop at the Centre was told not to stock any books other than
GK's.

I was told by Samten at Manjushri Centre to refrain from talking with
students at the Centre because my questioning of GK's interpretation of
buddhadharma might damage students' faith - I felt that the Shentong
approach was more suited to the understanding of tantric practice than the
Rangtong; and that GK's teachings on tantric prasangika madhyamika (vs
sutric prasangika madhyamika) were actually a form of Shengtong! KG is very
strictly Rangtong. Anyway Samten said I might greet people when I met them,
but that I shouldn't enter into conversation with them.

>Needless to say, my view is that Evelyn is free to say what she likes. But
>if I were you Simon I would be asking myself why she tries to STOP others
>having the same right ? (The word STOP is pretty unambiguous.)

>
>


>Why this desire to stop and control others?
>

>I don’t want to stop you or anyone expressing
>their views. Dharma is about controlling our own minds not those of others.
>

I can assure you, Simon, if you took KG as your teacher and you became
seriously involved with the NKT then you'd find that KK and co would slowly
but surely seek to control your mind, your reading material, your contact
with other buddhist teachers and teachings - look at the fury when it seemed
that some NKT students were thought to have taken Dzogchen empowerment
recently!

Of course, should you decide to visit a NKT Centre then you will most
certainly find it warm and friendly. Try visiting a Moonie Centre,
Scientology Centre, or whatever - all will greet you with warmth and
friendliness. I wonder why?

Here's a quote from the instructions that I and other NKT student teachers
received during our training:

"We should not worry about converting people at the beginning. To start with
we need to agree with people, to show that we understand where they are at,
not to resist them or argue with them. If we have a wild horse, the best way
to tame it is to mount it, to go with it. We need to build up a rapport. If
we feel that the Teacher understands us and is sympathetic to us, we will
naturally feel close to him or her, and keep coming back."

So Simon, if you want to be 'converted' or have your 'wild horse tamed', the
NKT will comply.

Yours in the Dh (ark)
Avyorth

>Khyenrab
>

Chris

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

On 14 Jan 1998 00:41:46 GMT, "The Puddies" <pud...@frontiernet.net>
wrote:

<SNIP>


> I don't mind you
> believing whatever you like, practicing whatever you like, or whatever, but
> if you think you are going to CONVINCE people that HH Dalai Lama is wrong,
> you better start your own newsgroup, and I will avoid it like the plague.

There is already a newsgroup for the NKT - alt.religion.buddhism.nkt -
if NKTmembers and their freinds posted their views on the Dalai Lama
only to that newsgroup most people would be quite happy to leave them
to it.

- Chris

GT

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING !
CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
WARNING !


DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !
DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !
DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !
DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !
DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !
DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !

CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING !
CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
WARNING !

On 13 Jan 1998 19:15:47 GMT, khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk (Kelsang
Khyenrab) wrote:

>
>Message to Simon Heath
>
>Dear Simon
>
>I was sorry that you were put off by what you see on the Internet but it’s
>good to read that you’re still interested in searching for a Teacher. The
>books of Ven. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso are very clear and accessible; they have

>received high critical acclaim from many reliable sources. Also his Centres

>in the UK are, in general, very happy and open places.
>

<snip> - all the Bull Shit from NKT Inc. trying to attract innocent
victims from other Newsgroups that theirs !

IMOM
- All they want is your money to survive !
- All they want is to create division among Tibetan Traditions, so
they could abuse the "Tibetan" trade mark !
- All they want is to keep the little privilege and power they have
managed to steel from innocents !
- You will not find Love and Compassion there !
- Their talk is only about hatred, censure, manipulation, all centred
around themselves !
- They don't use Truth, they use illusions, lying, egoistic
manipulations and ignorance !
- Protect yourself and your children !

There !

But that is just my humble opinion, you should investigate the matter
by yourself carefully before risking yourself with a
group that doesn't have any support from other Buddhist or Tibetan
Organizations.

Please ask more questions on this Newsgroup !


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

With metta, G T

I am here to be used by others.

--
Remove the "w" from my email address if you want to respond directly
(this is to avoid spam emails).

met...@cam.org

Mick_G

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

I don't think this message contributes anything to the discussion.

Mick

GT wrote in message <34bcad07...@nntp.hip.cam.org>...

lita

unread,
Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to Avyorth Rolinson

Avyorth Rolinson wrote:
>
> When I was a TTP student at Manjushri NKT Centre we were told in the class
> by Samten (the senior monk there) that KG had said that it was wrong that
> TTP students were reading books by teachers other than GK, and that such
> action would damage GK's health.

I find this fascinating, especially in light of the recent Mirabella
article about abuses at another Tibetan Temple. According to the
article, the Tulku/Teacher used similar threats when she wanted one of
her followers to act on her advice. In that case, the teacher also
allegedly told students that if they failed to follow her advice or
instructions, they would either get cancer or that the teacher herself
would suffer severe, possibly deadly illness.

I wonder whether this indicates a pattern in some Tibetan traditions.
A pattern wherein the teacher is able to control both the spiritual and
the personal lives of their followers. It is also a wonderful means by
which to keep a student from leaving or sometimes from even questioning
the dictates of the teacher. I do not mean to imply that this sort of
behavior is customary nor that it is sanctioned by most Vajrayana
teachers; only that it has happened on more than one occasion and said
by more than one Lama.

I have much repect for GKG and I do not know if the allegations of
Avyorth are true. I simply note that other teachers have used a similar
threat If the allegations true, then maybe we should look beyond any
one particlar teacher and address the issue (of threats made by lamas
and intended to ensure a student acts in accordance with the teacher's
directive) itself and not what certain teachers have or have not said or
implied.

peace, lita

Alan Bird

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

On Wed, 14 Jan 1998 09:38:07 -0800, "Mick_G" <mic...@email.msn.com>
wrote:

>I don't think this message contributes anything to the discussion.
>
>Mick
>

Mick,

We can agree on somethings :-)

Take care

Alan

Alan Bird

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

On Wed, 14 Jan 1998 12:19:41 GMT, met...@cam.org (GT) wrote:

>CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
>WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING !
>CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER WARNING ! CONSUMER
>WARNING !
>
>
>DON'T BELIEVE ANY OF THIS BULL SHIT ! It is a Marketing Scam !

>
>With metta, G T
>

Please, be happy. Smile and laugth at us if you want, but don't upset
yourself. Its always feels better to have a happy mind.

Regards

Alan

Alan Bird

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

On Wed, 14 Jan 1998 01:43:38 -0000, "Avyorth Rolinson"
<Avy...@btinternet.com> wrote:

Avyorth,

You have not posted for a while, I hope all is well with you.


I have sniped most your mail, as you know I strongly disagree with how
you choose to paint the NKT, my experiences certainly does not match
yours. But there seems little point in going over the same ground. And
poor Simon, if he is still reading this newsgroup will have to make up
his own mind, without any further help from us.

But I did want to comment on this part
snip

>
>Here's a quote from the instructions that I and other NKT student teachers
>received during our training:
>
>"We should not worry about converting people at the beginning. To start with
>we need to agree with people, to show that we understand where they are at,
>not to resist them or argue with them. If we have a wild horse, the best way
>to tame it is to mount it, to go with it. We need to build up a rapport. If
>we feel that the Teacher understands us and is sympathetic to us, we will
>naturally feel close to him or her, and keep coming back."

What do you find so alarming about this?

How do you attract people to Dharma, by being rude, disagreeing and
argueing with them? Make sure you do not build up a rapport, and never
ever being sympathetic?

If people come to a general programme class at a NKT centre, they
obviously have some interest in meditation and may well be interested
in learning about Buddhism.

May be they just want to learn some simple relaxation techniques or
maybe they are going through some crises and hoping that they may
find some answers. Nearly all, have their own world view and and may
well disagree with many aspects of buddhism such as karma or rebirth
etc.,

The purpose of providing General Programme classes is not to convert
people but hopefully share some Dharma with them that will help them
develop greater inner peace and well being. They may come for a few
classes or for years and not wish to take their interest in Buddhism
any further. That is great, if it benefits them in some way, then that
is a cause for rejoicing.

Also, we may find ourselves agreeing with people in order not to
disturb their peace of mind. Being in London, we have many people come
to class with all kinds of beliefs. Sai Baba devotees, Vaisnaivas
Spiritualists etc. Why disagree with their beliefs, how would that
benefit them?

I remember having a conversation with a spiritualist and he was
telling me about mediumship experiences he had. He definately believed
he was contacting the dead and he asked me over a cup of coffee, what
buddhism made of that. I asked him if he found his belief helpful, and
if it was encourageing him to be gentle, generous etc. He said it was,
and that was certainly the impression he give. I told him that
buddhism teaches that conciousness does not end at death, and nothing
more. I think he may well have gained the impression that I shared his
belief that he was contacting the dead. But what would have been
gained by disagreeing with him. It would have only disturbed his peace
of mind and but him on the defensive.

Then they are others who take an interest in Dharma, who genuine
express an interest in learning more, sometimes this happens after
only a few visits, or after attending General Programme classes for a
year or more. If they express such an interest then obviously we have
a duty to share Dharma with them, and encourage them to practice
Dharma to the best of their ability. Are we not, with compassion,
always to encourage others to go for refuge?

This is what Geshe-la says

"If we help someone else tactfully in this way, without being
arrogant or impatient, we shall bring them real benefit. It is never
certain that the material gifts we give to others actually help them.
Sometimes they even cause other people to increase there delusions.
The perfect way to help others is by leading them along spiritual
paths. If we cannot teach extensively we can at least give proper
advice to those who are unhappy and help them solve their problems by
means of Dharma."

This is how my teacher helped me to practice Dharma, I try to repay
her kindness by following her example.

Take care,

Alan

Chris

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Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
to

These days most people in the west are within reach of centres of
several different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Instead of just
trumpeting how wonderful ur own teacher / centre/ tradition is perhaps
we should suggest to people like Simon that they check out teachers
& centres in all the different Tibetan Buddhist traditions -at least
to read books about all of them. I would even advise checking out
different centres and teachers belonging to the same tradition - after
all the way Trungpa Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche presented the
Karma Kagyu tradition was very different - suitable for different
types of students - the same thing applies for other traditions.

If Simon hasn't looked at other forms of Buddhism - Theravada, Pue
Land, Zen etc then he should look at these too before deciding which
tradition ( combination of traditions) and teacher suits him best..

What's the matter are we all competing for followers, members or
something? If we really want people to benefit from the Buddhist
teachings shouldn't we encourage them to discover for themselves
the form of those teachings most suited to them?

- Chris

Mike Austin

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Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
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In article <34be812c...@news.dial.pipex.com>, Alan Bird
<alan...@dial.pipex.com> writes

>On Wed, 14 Jan 1998 01:43:38 -0000, "Avyorth Rolinson"
><Avy...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>
>>Here's a quote from the instructions that I and other NKT student teachers
>>received during our training:
>>
>>"We should not worry about converting people at the beginning. To start with
>>we need to agree with people, to show that we understand where they are at,
>>not to resist them or argue with them. If we have a wild horse, the best way
>>to tame it is to mount it, to go with it. We need to build up a rapport. If
>>we feel that the Teacher understands us and is sympathetic to us, we will
>>naturally feel close to him or her, and keep coming back."
>
>What do you find so alarming about this?
>
> How do you attract people to Dharma, by being rude, disagreeing and
>argueing with them? Make sure you do not build up a rapport, and never
>ever being sympathetic?
..snip..

> Also, we may find ourselves agreeing with people in order not to
>disturb their peace of mind. Being in London, we have many people come
>to class with all kinds of beliefs. Sai Baba devotees, Vaisnaivas
>Spiritualists etc. Why disagree with their beliefs, how would that
>benefit them?
..snip..

I see nothing wrong in encouraging others and putting them at ease.
After all, in the Lam Rim, it is a bodhisattva practice - the meditation
known as "The Four Means of Attraction" or "The Four Ways of Gathering
Disciples". Pabongka Rinpoche quotes from Maitreya’s Ornament to the
Sutras:

"I declare these to be:
Acting generously, so that they will take teachings;
Speaking sweetly, so that they will follow you;
Working for their benefit; and practising what you preach."

I am wondering if there may be a subtle distinction here between
practising these in order to attract/gather new students or to
attract/gather students who have already shown an interest.

If the emphasis is on 'conversion', then the interests of others may
become subordinated to the desire to promote one's own views. They could
thus be easily distorted by 'giving in order to receive'. That is,
giving a passing acquiesence in order to get one's own views accepted in
the end. This may be the point behind Avyorth's comment.
--
Mike Austin

Alan Bird

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Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
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On Fri, 16 Jan 1998 02:23:05 +0000, Mike Austin
<mi...@lamrimbristol.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>
>I see nothing wrong in encouraging others and putting them at ease.
>After all, in the Lam Rim, it is a bodhisattva practice - the meditation
>known as "The Four Means of Attraction" or "The Four Ways of Gathering
>Disciples". Pabongka Rinpoche quotes from Maitreya’s Ornament to the
>Sutras:
>
> "I declare these to be:
> Acting generously, so that they will take teachings;
> Speaking sweetly, so that they will follow you;
> Working for their benefit; and practising what you preach."
>
>I am wondering if there may be a subtle distinction here between
>practising these in order to attract/gather new students or to
>attract/gather students who have already shown an interest.
>
>If the emphasis is on 'conversion', then the interests of others may
>become subordinated to the desire to promote one's own views. They could
>thus be easily distorted by 'giving in order to receive'. That is,
>giving a passing acquiesence in order to get one's own views accepted in
>the end. This may be the point behind Avyorth's comment.
>--
>Mike Austin

Hi Mike,

Engaging in a bodhisattva's actions include training in the six
perfections to ripen our own mental continuum and as you refer to in
your posting, training in the four ways of gathering to ripen the
mental continuum of others.

The purpose of teaching Dharma is to benefit others, not in the hope
of getting anything in return. In my original posting I give examples
of people who I know who are interested in attending classes because
they enjoy listening to Dharma and meeting with Dharma practitioners.
But they are not buddhist and do not hold too many buddhists tenants
such as rebirth, karma etc.

That is fine, we are just glad that they find it helpful to come. If
they do not wish to take their interest in buddhism further that is
not a problem.

The purpose of class is not to "convert" but to share Dharma. If
someone expresses a genuine interest and asks for more, my experience
is that they are encouraged to start a regular meditation session,
using the 21 Lamrim meditations. Everything else develops from there.
Looking at my own experience, it was always me who took the inititive.
I asked about taking Refuge, later I asked to take Pratimoksha vows
and then also asked to take Boddhisattva vows etc., I know that my
experience is far from being exceptional.

>That is,
>giving a passing acquiesence in order to get one's own views accepted in
>the end.

Personally, I do not see what there is to object to in this.

One tries to be polite and friendly and create a happy enviroment
for people. Sometimes people will express all kinds of views which as
buddhists we would not accept. For example, people on their first
aquittance with Dharma often struggle with the idea that "Anger serves
no useful purpose and is always a cause of suffering". They will
often state quite firmly, that anger often serves a useful purpose,
and that anger can often be a healthy emotion.

On hearing this, one will often just have to smile and nod's ones'
head, as often there is nothing to be gained from arguing the point.
However, if they keep attending and become more acquintted with Dharma
one hopes that they will change their view. What is wrong with that?
It is to their benefit that they should change their view, as anger
will only be a cause of suffering in this and future lives.

The quote about "conversion" came from Avyorth, , which I presume will
be from her notes, unless she says she was given this quote as written
material. This seems unlikely as this is not how Classes usually take
place. A teacher will give a commentry on a Dharma book, students take
notes and discuss things in pairs, and then together as a group. So it
may be that her notes are not well written.

Or it may be that her notes are good, but then it seems that she is
not quoting it in its full context. Teachers may not necessarily
always express themselves very well. That is why one needs to always
consider statements within the full context of a Dharma teaching.

This is also why we study Geshe-la's books and not teachers notes. The
books have been carefully edited to make sure that they clearly
express dharma. In a class, statements out of context, often do not
give the full flavour of a Dharma teaching.

My quote from Geshe-la is very clear and speaks for itself

"If we help someone else tactfully in this way, without being
arrogant or impatient, we shall bring them real benefit. It is never
certain that the material gifts we give to others actually help them.
Sometimes they even cause other people to increase there delusions.
The perfect way to help others is by leading them along spiritual
paths. If we cannot teach extensively we can at least give proper
advice to those who are unhappy and help them solve their problems by
means of Dharma."

Take care

Alan



Dave Simpson

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Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
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Why is there so much pain in these news groups?
I am new to Buddhism, I have only been studying Dharma for 18 months and
I have met many nice people at a Dharma Centre in NE England.
I feel sorrow for the individuals who look to these news groups as a way
of looking for the Path, we show little respect for the words of Buddha
we split the Sangha and cause Dharma to decay and bring on degenerate
times.
I recommend all who wish to find Buddhism to read books from several
teachers and if you can, attend different centres. I received this
advice at my first teaching given by an NKT teacher. Please do not let
some writers put you off trying ANY tradition all only wish to end
suffering. However like all religions use your mind before committing
yourself. Unlike some religions faith is not enough as a Buddhist we
have to change ourselves by study and meditation and therefore it is
important to understand and accept the teachings of your chosen
tradition. It is also helpful if you can avoid ‘Mix and Match’ the
Buddha may be pointing us all in the same direction but their are many
paths and the route is easier if we stick to one.
There are many Teachers, most only wish to help us escape Samsara, some
may misuse their positions. Sadly that is true for all religions and
traditions do not judge a religion or a Tradition because one teacher
abuses his or her power. I speak hear primarily of those practices to
bring about personal pleasure, sex abuse, or those for increased
personal wealth.
When the second wave of Christians came to England (Augustine) they had
to build a pure tradition their tales are told by Bede in his History of
the English Church. Is it not the same with KGK?
He is trying to bring to a foreign land a new tradition if its purity is
lost so soon and becomes mixed with other traditions it cannot flourish.
I believe Buddhism like Christianity can only flourish when it mixes
with the culture but that takes time otherwise the culture kills the
tradition.
If students living in a Dharma Centre no longer accept the teachings of
that tradition it is good that they leave in order to prevent the
generation of bad Karma in themselves and others.
Should we not all rejoice in the virtue of all?
Why attack that Tradition with which you no longer agree do you care
more for your name and pride than the end to Samsara?
To read that that Teachers should not try and convert but be open and
none assertive detailed like a conspiracy is without virtue. If we are
to help any human from suffering physical, mental , or spiritual pain
we should not be harsh and judgmental. It is not conspiratorial to
accept all without attachment.
If a student wishes to learn more it must be from their side not the
teachers. But when the right conditions arise and the student does wish
to learn more the teacher should help the student to find
Enlightenment.
Is this not true of all Buddhist traditions?
I do not understand, nor wish to understand Tibetan politics. I have no
wish to cause harm to HHDL or the Pope or any other Sentient Being.
The HHDL has said a practise I perform is wrong, for those who accept
HHDL as their Teacher they should listen to what he says. I will listen
to my Teacher.
When the Pope demoted St George it did not stop England or Malta from
still having George as their patron Saint. I know of some who still
worship St Christopher although he was similarly demoted.
We should not allow Dharma to decay because different traditions accept
different buddhas. As one person wrote in one of these News Groups all
appearance is to mind to some the river Ganges appears as a river of
puss, to some a river of water and to others a river of nectar. Can we
not agree that our Karma is different and encourage the growth of Dharma
for the benefit of all sentient beings.
I hope I will continue to read Dharma and integrate it into my whole
life for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Dave.

The Puddies

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Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
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Hi Dave,

Dave Simpson wrote in message <34C0C4...@onyx.octacon.co.uk>...


>Why is there so much pain in these news groups?

Please read the first noble truth...... It is everywhere. In some places
it is hidden better, but the truth of suffering is always there.


>I am new to Buddhism, I have only been studying Dharma for 18 months and
>I have met many nice people at a Dharma Centre in NE England.
>I feel sorrow for the individuals who look to these news groups as a way
>of looking for the Path, we show little respect for the words of Buddha
>we split the Sangha and cause Dharma to decay and bring on degenerate
>times.

This comes from the belief that we are a separate "self".... It is ego's
clinging and a desire for uniqueness in that mistaken belief. Again, it is
everywhere. But on newsgroups which are related to the study of buddhism,
because we are getting closer to that understanding that ego makes a
stronger last stand. Sort of like getting worse before getting better.


>I recommend all who wish to find Buddhism to read books from several
>teachers and if you can, attend different centres. I received this
>advice at my first teaching given by an NKT teacher.

I am sure that there must be some teachers with some wisdom in any
tradition, but not any tradition has a guarantee that all are. Just
remember that even a broken clock is right twice a day..... Still search for
yourself and give it enough time to really know. The recommended time is
12 years!!!! No it need not be that long, but certainly a few months is
not enough.


>There are many Teachers, most only wish to help us escape Samsara, some
>may misuse their positions. Sadly that is true for all religions and
>traditions do not judge a religion or a Tradition because one teacher
>abuses his or her power. I speak hear primarily of those practices to
>bring about personal pleasure, sex abuse, or those for increased
>personal wealth.

Absolutely.....


>When the second wave of Christians came to England (Augustine) they had
>to build a pure tradition their tales are told by Bede in his History of
>the English Church. Is it not the same with KGK?
>He is trying to bring to a foreign land a new tradition if its purity is
>lost so soon and becomes mixed with other traditions it cannot flourish.
>I believe Buddhism like Christianity can only flourish when it mixes
>with the culture but that takes time otherwise the culture kills the
>tradition.

Respect for the highest teachers in that original tradition may prevent
that. HH Dalai Lama is one of the highest teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.
Disrespecting him and causing schisms is destructive. The practices that
give rise to such attitudes must certainly be tainted. The fruits of good
practice are lovingkindness and gentleness and desire to help not harm. By
their fruits are practices revealed. The attacks and endless squabbling on
the newsgroups make it easy for me at least, to see that some people
'protest too much'....to be sincere or to be right.


>I do not understand, nor wish to understand Tibetan politics. I have no
>wish to cause harm to HHDL or the Pope or any other Sentient Being.
>The HHDL has said a practise I perform is wrong, for those who accept
>HHDL as their Teacher they should listen to what he says. I will listen
>to my Teacher.

That is most certainly your right. But why choose a lesser vessel over a
greater one! I guess that the choice is less obvious for some, or simply a
case of what is near and convenient, or a case of karmic connection for good
or bad purpose. What is obvious to me may not be to you. Live and learn.


>When the Pope demoted St George it did not stop England or Malta from
>still having George as their patron Saint. I know of some who still
>worship St Christopher although he was similarly demoted.
>We should not allow Dharma to decay because different traditions accept
>different buddhas.

Diversity is fine if it doesn't harm anyone. If anyone even HINTED some
practice of mine MIGHT be harmful, I would do another practice. If HH
Dalai Lama, whom I see as a good and fine a human being that ever lived,
sees a practice as harmful and hurtful to himself and the Tibetan people, I
for one will believe him, and would NO WAY be interested in doing that
practice.

Regarding practices...... my own teacher Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche said in no
uncertain terms that "If one only does ONE practice, and does it correctly,
it is all you need" That seems pretty wide open to me, considering that
there are so many to choose from that there surely must be ONE among them
all that has no hint of a problem about it.......

IMHO insisting on doing a practice that someone such as HHDL has decried as
being destructive or harmful, or anything less than perfect, has some other
axe to grind. They obviously are doing it to be ball-busters, to call a
spade a spade..... Anyone who needs to be doing that, has something very
wrong in their foundation practices that has caused them to ENHANCE ego
rather than eliminate it. There is a name for it .... Rudra. Anyone who
has done real and valid practice under the guide of a GOOD teacher should be
able to spot it like an ugly zit on the face of the dharma.

All this NKT business, all the stubborness, all the egos, all the angry
posts tell the tale loud and clear to anyone with eyes in their head to see.
Give it up already, and every one of you who sits down to do that practice
in FULL KNOWLEDGE someone fine and good has declared it to be harmful, ought
to be damned ashamed of themselves, ought to find new teachers, ought to
start all over again somehow. It is not a good thing to do something that
is supposed to help beings, when you know that someone else is hurting
everytime you do it. That alone should spoil and taint the whole practice
for you.


As one person wrote in one of these News Groups all
>appearance is to mind to some the river Ganges appears as a river of
>puss, to some a river of water and to others a river of nectar.

The thing that differentiates it is this..... DOES IT HARM ANY LIVING BEING?
If I perceive that any thing I do in my practice hurts anyone, much less his
holiness, it is definitely a river of shit. If my practice hurts NO ONE
and benefits all, then it is nectar. For me it is that simple.


Can we
>not agree that our Karma is different and encourage the growth of Dharma
>for the benefit of all sentient beings.
> I hope I will continue to read Dharma and integrate it into my whole
>life for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Ask yourself one question and start by reading what you just wrote.... "all"
sentient beings. If ONE BEING IS HURT by your practice, you are spinning
your wheels and getting nowhere. Do a different practice, one that is not
beset by such controversy and anger. Do something that has no negative
connotations about it. Surely your teachers are not so narrow minded that
only this ONE practice is all they know?!!!!

I myself have had many many empowerments and do several practices each day.
If one does this, one realizes that there is great similarity between all
these practices. Only the names and physical attributes differ, but there
is much in common. Surely in the interest of peace ONE of these practices
might suffice?

If any one among you defenders of this practice, take the time to read the 8
verses of thought transformation please, you should find it obvious what to
do. If you don't have it let me know and I will scan it and send it off to
you. If you don't it is simply that you are too bound up in ego, and your
own personal pissing contests to care.

May ALL beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May ALL beings be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow.

If you can't say that and MEAN it, your practice is just empty words and
dead leaves blowing in the winds of karma..... You have my sincerest
compassion and regret.

Regards,
Evelyn Ruut

Kelsang Khyenrab

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Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
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"Avyorth Rolinson" <Avy...@btinternet.com> wrote:

>....... what I will say is that, in my experience
>(and many who have been involved will agree), the NKT is sectarian..

The New Kadampa Tradition cannot be sectarian; nowhere in NKT literature,
teachings or Centres is there a sectarian view promoted. Instead the
realized masters of all other traditions are praised; many examples of this
can be found in the books of Geshe Kelsang - everyone can see this quite
clearly. So how can the NKT be sectarian?

The NKT cherishes its particular view and practices like a family cherishes
its special values and precious heirlooms passed down the generations; we
are very happy that other traditions with their own special characteristics
do the same. We rejoice in all traditions and lineages coming from Buddha.
We recognize them as methods for attaining enlightenment and do not
discriminate negatively against any of them.

In this context it may be helpful to consider the advice of the 12th Century
Kadampa Geshe Zungjug Rinpoche:

'These days there are many qualified masters
Whom we can meet and recognize.
Do not run to many;
Rather, search for one qualified master
With whom you have a strong connection.
Then, having found him, devote yourself correctly
Without giving thought to worldly considerations.'

Avyorth said:

>and elitist (ie they hold that the NKT alone holds the pure Buddhadharma :
>Let me quote from a teaching, called 'Introduction to Mahamudra',
>that Gen Thubten Gyatso gave at Vajravarahi NKT Centre (Preston),
>"When Geshe-la said he'd formed the NKT to preserve, to protect the Dharma
>transmitted from the Wisdom Buddha, Manjushri, to Je Tsongkhapa he was
>referring to this practice [he's talking here about Mahamudra] - this is
the
>inner practice of the NKT. Only the NKT holds the pure lineage of the
>Mahamudra today."

Geshe Kelsang has never said that he is the only lineage holder of Mahamudra
and we do not hold that to be the case. Indeed, Geshe Kelsang is on record
on the newsgroups and elsewhere as saying that he feels that the Nyingma,
Sakya and Kagyu traditions have complete paths to enlightenment. So the NKT
cannot be elitist.

To my knowledge, and after checking with some other NKT students no-one has
heard Geshe Kelsang say that 'only the NKT holds the pure lineage of
Mahamudra today'. Geshe Kelsang has said that the central focus of practice
within the New Kadampa Tradition should be Lamrim (Stages of the Path),
Lojong (Training the Mind), and Vajrayana Mahamudra, but he has never
suggested that these are exclusive to the NKT.

I spoke about this point with Jim Belither, Secretary of the NKT. He
remembers once escorting from London to Manjushri Centre, the then abbot of
Gyurme Tantric College, an old school friend of Geshe Kelsang. This Lama
requested Geshe Kelsang to translate 'Clear Light of Bliss' into Tibetan as
such a book (so this Lama said to Geshe Kelsang) that sets out clearly and
succinctly the instructions of Vajrayana Mahamudra according to Je
Tsongkhapa's tradition doesn't exist in Tibetan.

It also contains certain instructions passed down orally which are not found
in other books. Geshe Kelsang didn't feel he had the time to do this
translation but wrote a 'Condensed Meaning' of 'Clear Light of Bliss', or
brief synopsis of its subject-matter, in Tibetan. This was printed and
distributed to a number of Tibetan Lamas. Geshe Kelsang has said publicly
that Mahamudra teachings are rarely given within Gelugpa monasteries,
although some may practise it privately, and that many Gelugpas regard
Mahamudra as a Kagyu practice.

A Gelugpa Geshe from Ganden Shartse Monastery told an NKT student that he
regarded Geshe Kelsang as his Guru for Mahamudra teachings, and that some
Tibetan monks who spoke some English, or knew monks who spoke English, were
studying and practising the instructions in 'Clear Light of Bliss'. It may
be that putting these points together has been misunderstood and taken as
'only the NKT holds the pure lineage of Mahamudra today'.

Avyorth wrote:

>As for NKT Centres being "open" (in the sense of non-dogmatic), this is
most
>patently a lie - and I don't use this word lightly. In case you are new to
>the ng and missed my earlier postings I'll briefly mention one or two

>incidents:...SNIP here....

I have no direct knowledge of the person who was told to leave Amitabha
Centre. However, I would like to give some general background here. First,
each New Kadampa Tradition Centre asks that its residents observe the five
precepts, not killing, not stealing, not lying, not committing sexual
misconduct and not taking intoxicants.

In addition to Buddha’s rules the Centre asks that members try to not
disturb other students by noisy or disruptive behaviour; the management
reserves the right to ask any disruptive individual to leave. There is
nothing wrong with this and I believe that a reasonable person would agree
it is normal practice for any orderly community. What constitutes
disruption is determined by the managers. This too is accepted practice in
any organized community. How could it be otherwise? Even pubs and clubs do
this.

When I was Admin. Director at Tara Centre, for example, I had to ask people
to leave on a number of occasions due to their disruptive behaviour.
Sometimes physical damage was done to property or people before such a step
was taken, sometimes drugs were involved, sometimes theft. On certain
extreme occasions I have had to request police assistance to remove people.
In these cases the decision was obvious and the person involved understood
clearly why they had to leave.

For others it was sometimes harder for them to understand. What was often
not appreciated was the great amount of time and energy that had been given
by the Centre managers in trying to understand their behaviour and point of
view, to avoid problems and trying to encourage them to see how they might
change so there would be less disruption of communal harmony and greater
peace of mind for all.

I see nothing wrong with asking people to change if their actions or speech
are disturbing many people. If someone makes such mistakes then I believe it
is right to point that out. This is not controlling the minds of others. It
is presenting them with the the Centre’s expectations of members and giving
them freedom to change or not - they have the freedom to decide.

Asking people to observe a certain code of behaviour is perfectly normal for
all kinds of organizations - why should Buddhist centres be any different
and have no codes ? That would be contradictory to Buddha’s intention.

I can only imagine how upsetting it must be to be asked ‘officially’ to
leave by the management of any organization and that it must be a very
unpleasant experience for the individual concerned. For this very reason it
was always with a great deal of thought and consideration that I personally
took such decisions in my capacity as Director and I believe that the same
is true of the present managers of Centres.

However, the over-riding principle guiding these decisions is always - the
greater benefit for the greater number. This means using what wisdom,
compassion and skill one has and checking one’s mind to see that delusions
are not the driving force of decision-making. The managers, I believe, try
their best to do this. They are Mahayana Buddhists so I believe their
intentions are beneficial.

Having said all of this I know it is impossible for them to avoid
accusations from the aggreived individual of being unfair, authoritarian,
narrow-minded and so forth as we have seen in the newsgroups and wider
media. I have little doubt that my present attempt to put things from the
point of view of management will serve for some readers as an opportunity to
repeat their accusations. But I believe that many readers, (not necessarily
respondents!), especially anyone who has responsibility within an
organization or community of people will understand the points I am trying
to make.

As we can see from reading newspapers it is very easy to simplify the causes
of emotive events, to blame certain parties using vivid or lurid
terminology, and in this way to move public opinion in a certain direction.
I believe that this is the effect of some of Avyorth’s postings about
certain events within NKT Centres.

Avyorth maintains he is someone ‘who knows something about the NKT’ because
he lived at some of the Centres for a while; this is true. But ‘knowing
something’ and being fully knowlegeable about all sides of a certain event
cannot be synonymous.

Avyorth’s descriptions cannot be a representative account of how things run
within those Centres. Why not? Because his experience has been relatively
limited. This is not a criticism, merely an observation of the truth.
Reading Avyorth’s descriptions alone produces a skewed and biased picture.

To take but a small example, in an earlier posting he referred to a time
when he lived at Tara Centre and described himself as my ‘personal driver’
going on to give the impression of chaffeuring me between Centres. The
truth is that for a short period of time he gave me a useful lift to the
railway station in Sheffield each week and would kindly escort me and carry
my suitcase to the platform.

I ask anyone reading Avyorth’s descriptions of events at NKT Centres to
consider my points and those of other respondents to his postings, not to
immediately believe what he is saying. I am not saying that I know the truth
and Avyorth doesn’t; I am asking that consideration be given to both sides
of events before making a judgement.

Avyorth writes:

>When I was a TTP student at Manjushri NKT Centre we were told in the class
>by Samten (the senior monk there) that KG had said that it was wrong that
>TTP students were reading books by teachers other than GK, and that such
>action would damage GK's health.

I understand from several other people who were present at the same talk
given by Ven. Samten that this was never said. Their understanding is that
the emphasis during this talk was on encouraging students to focus on the
specific book under study at the time.

Students on the Teacher Training Programme are encouraged not merely to
study but to contemplate, meditate and then to try to integrate the meaning
into their daily lives. Occasionally when TTP teachers feel that students
are beginning to become distracted, they will try to encourage them to
re-focus their energies. This is quite normal and there is nothing sinister
about it. Students are free to follow, reject or interpret such advice as
they feel appropriate.

In a number of his books Geshe Kelsang recommends people read books other
than his own. Why would he say this if he thought it was wrong? As for the
reading of books by teachers other than Geshe Kelsang damaging Geshe
Kelsang's health, Ven. Samten simply does not believe this and, along with
students who also heard the talk to which Avyorth refers, he doesn't believe
that he said that.

Avyorth writes:

>The library at Manjushri NKT Centre was destroyed ...........Only GK's

books were 'kosher'. The shop at >the Centre was told not to stock any books
other than GK's.

The library at Manjushri Centre was not destroyed. The books were given to
Centres and libraries which studied the particular traditions contained
within them. What is wrong with this?

New Kadampa disciples study the teachings of Buddha passed down through Je
Tsongkhapa’s tradition to the modern Masters Je Phabongkhapa, Trijang
Dorjechang and Ven. Geshe Kelsang . Other Centres study Buddha’s teachings
according to their own lineage gurus. What is wrong with different spiritual
families having their own special texts? Why is this so often misconstrued
as sectarian? Why, because we are content to study and practise the path to
enlightenment given to us by our root Guru, are we accused of sectarianism?
This is plain nonsense.

In the early days at Tara Centre (nine years before Avyorth lived there,
incidentally) we had several hundred books covering the whole range of
Buddhist traditions. Each book was authentic and came from its own special
lineage; we had the Pali Canon, Zen texts and many, many others. Many
people would read these books and often the Centre would be host to
seemingly endless and inconclusive discussions about people’s personal
preferences in terms of Teachers, traditions and practices. It was very
confusing and agreement about the actual meaning of Buddha’s teachings was
very difficult to achieve.

(Around the same time I also attended seminars at Nene College in
Northampton called ‘Buddhism in Psychiatry and Psychology’ and recall having
splitting headaches after trying to concentrate for a whole day on a
discussion that could not get beyond the definition of terms from each
person’s profession and religious tradition; common ground was hard to find
in that jungle of differing interpretations of words)

Later I learned that it is accepted in Tibetan monasteries that each college
has its own “yig cha” or special understanding and interpretation of the
teachings gained by study of a specific set of texts covering the whole
Dharma within one tradition. By studying in this way clarity of meaning was
far easier to attain due to a standard set of definitions of technical terms
throughout each of the texts. (The editors at Tharpa Publications, for
example, work constantly with Geshe Kelsang to standardise the terminology
throughout his books to aid clarity of understanding for the serious
student.)

It was the mid-1980’s and I had already received lots of teachings from many
teachers of different traditions - very wonderful in itself but difficult to
get a sense of making progress in learning and practising Dharma in any
systematic and sequential way. We were students of Ven. Geshe Kelsang
Gyatso, a fully accomplished meditation Master who had received fully the
lineages of instructions within Je Tsongkhapa's tradition.

He was in the process of publishing a complete set of texts covering the
entire path to enlightenment. Each of these texts are authenticated by
reference to the works of Je Tsongkhapa. When the Teacher Training Programme
based on these books began at Tara Centre I saw the opportunity to study in
a clear and systematic way the entire range of Buddha's teachings on both
Sutra and Tantra.

Therefore I saw nothing wrong with giving away all those texts from the
library that were not part of this tradition. To me it made a lot of sense
because at last there would be clarity. I remember at the time several
people at the Centre, misunderstanding our intention, remarked that giving
away the books was wrong, narrow-minded, disrespectful etc.

To me, sending the texts to the other Centres was quite appropriate and an
action of generosity to boot! Some of those centres were very happy to
receive valuable augmentation of their libraries and wrote to thank us.
Useless heated debates about the meaning of Dharma from the point of view of
a certain Zen master versus that of a certain Theravadin master became,
thankfully, a thing of the past. Those who wished to follow Zen teachings
would go to a Zen Centre and those who wished to follow a Theravadin could
do the same and those wishing to follow Je Tsongkhapa’s tradition could
study at Tara Centre.

I know from my own experience that the action of bringing clarity to our
library and study programmes, far from being sectarian, actually reduced
sectarian feelings among the Centre members. How wonderful for all
traditions to happily enjoy the clarity and precision of Dharma
understanding that I feel is now possible to attain in New Kadampa Centres.
I have no reason to suppose that other traditions cannot do this and I
rejoice in their special characteristics.

At Tara Centre no-one has ever been, or is now, forced to stop reading the
books of other teachers; individual people were, and still are completely
free to keep and read books by any other Teachers, Buddhist or non-Buddhist
- and they do!

However, Tara Centre as an institution follows the “yig cha” according to
Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s texts and therefore on the study programmes those
books are studied and those books only are in the library and shop. There is
no need to promote the books of other traditions; if individuals wish they
can purchase them through mail-order or visit the local Waterstones, Dillons
etc.

Avyorth writes:

>I can assure you, Simon, if you took KG as your teacher and you became
>seriously involved with the NKT then you'd find that KK and co would slowly
>but surely seek to control your mind, your reading material, your contact
>with other buddhist teachers and teachings

I can assure Simon that this is completely untrue. You can find my reasons
in the foregoing. Those who study seriously under Geshe Kelsang can
certainly learn powerful methods that derive from Buddha, for freeing their
minds from the control of greed, ignorance and hatred, and for cultivating
greater love, compassion and wisdom.

Anyway, all of this is for Simon to discover for himself, or not, as he
wishes. He is responsible for his own spiritual development and free to
follow whichever spiritual tradition he wishes, as are we all.

Khyenrab


Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

Kelsang Khyenrab <khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> wrote:
> However, Tara Centre as an institution follows the "yig cha according to
> Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatsos texts and therefore on the study programmes those

> books are studied and those books only are in the library and shop. There is
> no need to promote the books of other traditions; if individuals wish they
> can purchase them through mail-order or visit the local Waterstones, Dillons
> etc.

I understand the notion of keeping something simple and to the point.
What I don't understand is that if you want to stay in the tradition of
Je Tsonkhapa, do you sell, provide in the library, or intend to
translate many if not all of Je Tsonkhapa's great texts, Lamrim Chenmo,
treaties on Tantra? And some of these have already been translated by
for example Snow Lion and similar publications? And what about Pahbonka
Rinpoche's great instructions, are those available or for sale,
Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, and multiple other texts that
should be made available for the West. And what about Kyabje Trijang
Rinpoche's scriptures? Or Ling Rinpoche's valuable scriptures. There's
so much that needs to get done in the tradition of Je Tsonkhapa, so many
texts, not to speak of all the instructions in forms of study material
at Ganden Shartse, Sera and other monasteries that should be translated
and made available to all those who follow the tradition of Je
Tsonkhapa.

I don't want to underestimate the great effort Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has
done in forms of writing books, but just want to point out that the
tradition is very deep and long, and there are many important texts that
should be made available to anyone following the tradition of Je
Tsonkhapa, if not others. Just the notion that Lamrim Chenmo is not yet
fully translated is something that should be fixed.

Sorry for the strong tone, but it's something I've felt strong about for
a longer time -- i.e. the lack of energy helping out to publish
important texts by Je Tsonkhapa, Pahbonka Rinpoche, Kyabje Rinpoche,
Ling Rinpoche, not to speak of many other imporant Gelug lamas.

Maitri, Kent
PS: Not to speak of Nagarjuna's treaties, Chandrakiirti....

P.M. Dierking

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

Kelsang Khyenrab wrote in message <69qqq8$t2$1...@panther.rmplc.co.uk>...

>Geshe Kelsang has never said that he is the only lineage holder of
Mahamudra
>and we do not hold that to be the case. Indeed, Geshe Kelsang is on
record
>on the newsgroups and elsewhere as saying that he feels that the
Nyingma,
>Sakya and Kagyu traditions have complete paths to enlightenment.

Kelsang Khyenrab,

Does the NKT follow the teachings of Phabongkha, or not?

Phabongkha clearly states in his collected writings that
Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu adherents *are bound for hell*.

Please review the folowing quote:

Ashoka Society wrote in message
<32b8aeba....@news.gofast.net>:

==begin quote==
It is an established fact, which may be discerned in
Phabongkha's writings, that late in his life he was virulently
sectarian, in worst sense of the word, against Sa.skya,
bKa'.rgyud and rNying.ma; holding that whoever held the view of
any of these three lineages would go to hell. In a letter to a
Chinese disciple, Phabongkha writes:

"Presently, aside from Manjughosha Tsongkhapa's view; the views
of all Sa.skya.pa, bKa'.rgyud and rNying.mas are erroneous. What
need to mention the consequentialist madhyamaka view, without
even an autonomist [madhyamaka] or mind only view, [they]
meditate a strictly annihilationist view similar with
non-Buddhist extremists [mu.stegs.pa] and Hashang Mahaayaana. If
an annihilationist view is held, a result apart from going to
Avici hell is not warranted. Also by not recognizing subtle
sinking, meditation will be faulty...because liberation and the
non-erroneous path of omniscience will not exist for them; for
such as they, although saadhana is practiced for a thousand
years, realization will not arise; similar with wishing for
butter having churned water, the essence does not exist". [T.G
Dhongthog Rinpoche "Dus.kyi.me.lce, Timely Tongue of Flame", pp.
117-118, Delhi: 1979]

It is also clear that Phabongkha wished his views to be known,
so we feel there is no harm in spreading them-- he wrote at the
end of the letter, 'Translate the meanings of this writing into
Chinese, also proclaim this to other lay persons [dge.bsnyen,
upaasaka]. So we see here, apparently, according to Phabongkha,
only 'pure' dGe.lugs.pas gain liberation.
==end quote==

khyenrab

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

In article <1d2zycm.96k...@sandvik.vip.best.com>, san...@zbest.com
says...

>
>Kelsang Khyenrab <khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> wrote:
>> However, Tara Centre as an institution follows the "yig cha according to
>> Ven Geshe Kelsang Gyatsos texts and therefore on the study programmes
those
>> books are studied and those books only are in the library and shop. There
is
>> no need to promote the books of other traditions; if individuals wish
they
>> can purchase them through mail-order or visit the local Waterstones,
Dillons
>> etc.
>
>I understand the notion of keeping something simple and to the point.
>What I don't understand is that if you want to stay in the tradition of
>Je Tsonkhapa, do you sell, provide in the library, or intend to
>translate many if not all of Je Tsonkhapa's great texts, Lamrim Chenmo,
>treaties on Tantra?

All of Geshe Kelsang's books refer to these great texts. In other words the
meaning of Je Tsongkhapa's works is already available. Maybe in future if
there is time to translate this would be very good.

best wishes
khyenrab


Mike Austin

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

In article <69qmlq$29ue$1...@node17.cwnet.frontiernet.net>, The Puddies
<pud...@frontiernet.net> writes
..snip..

>If any one among you defenders of this practice, take the time to read the 8
>verses of thought transformation please, you should find it obvious what to
>do. If you don't have it let me know and I will scan it and send it off to
>you.
..snip..

Evelyn, I'm going to pip you to the post here! There have been a number
of times I've read these postings and considered the benefits of the
Eight Verses of Thought Transformation. I have also wondered if I should
post them. I regard them as one of the most valuable texts I have ever
encountered. My dear teacher says that everyone wants to learn about
thought transformation but no one wants to do it! How true that is!

With a determination to accomplish
the highest welfare for all sentient beings,
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel,
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

Whenever I associate with others, I will learn
to think of myself as the lowest among all,
And respectfully hold others as being supreme,
From the depth of my heart.

In all actions, I will learn to search into my own mind,
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly face and avert it.

I will cherish beings of bad nature,
And those oppressed by strong negativities and sufferings,
As if I had found a precious treasure
Very difficult to find.

When others, out of jealousy, treat me badly
With abuse, slander and so on,
I will learn to take all loss
And offer the victory to them.

When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.

In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly,
And secretly take upon myself
All the harms and suffering of my mothers.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions,
And, by understanding all phenomena to be like illusions,
I will be released from the bondage of attachment.

This particular translation is from "The Union of Bliss and Emptiness"
by His Holiness. For those interested, some other good references are:

"Advice From A Spiritual Friend", Geshe Rabten & Geshe Dhargyey
"Keys To Great Enlightenment", Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen
"Four Essential Buddhist Commentaries", His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
"Training The Mind The Great Way", Gyalwa Gendun Drupa, 1st Dalai Lama
"Mind Training Like The Rays Of The Sun", Nam-Kha Pel
"The Great Path of Awakening", Jamgon Kongtrul

I particularly like the first reference which continues with "The Seven
Point Thought Transformation" by Geshe Chekawa. At our centre (Lam Rim
Bristol, UK) we study and discuss these texts every Tuesday after Tara
Puja. We have been doing this for four years and still we are learning!
--
Mike Austin

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

khyenrab <khye...@mail.rmplc.co.uk> wrote:
> >I understand the notion of keeping something simple and to the point.
> >What I don't understand is that if you want to stay in the tradition of
> >Je Tsonkhapa, do you sell, provide in the library, or intend to
> >translate many if not all of Je Tsonkhapa's great texts, Lamrim Chenmo,
> >treaties on Tantra?
>
> All of Geshe Kelsang's books refer to these great texts. In other words the
> meaning of Je Tsongkhapa's works is already available. Maybe in future if
> there is time to translate this would be very good.

OK, so you didn't give away the texts of Je Tsonkhapa from the library?
I hope so, as it's the key of the tradition, and giving those away or
any other similar commentaries to the great texts of Je Tsonkhapa is in
my eyes a way to break away from the tradition of Je Tsonkhapa. And
that's fine, if someone wants to do it, but then one is no longer part
of such a tradition.

I do think the future is here now, any energies and talent/work and such
should be focused on Je Tsonkhapa's works, if we loose them, we loose
the tradition as well.

Maitri, Kent

khyenrab

unread,
Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
to

In article <34c11...@news1.ibm.net>, pmdie...@nospam01.eternal.net
says...
>

>Does the NKT follow the teachings of Phabongkha, or not?
>

SNIP


>It is an established fact, which may be discerned in
>Phabongkha's writings, that late in his life he was virulently
>sectarian, in worst sense of the word, against Sa.skya,
>bKa'.rgyud and rNying.ma; holding that whoever held the view of
>any of these three lineages would go to hell. In a letter to a
>Chinese disciple, Phabongkha writes:
>
>"Presently, aside from Manjughosha Tsongkhapa's view; the views
>of all Sa.skya.pa, bKa'.rgyud and rNying.mas are erroneous. What
>need to mention the consequentialist madhyamaka view, without
>even an autonomist [madhyamaka] or mind only view, [they]
>meditate a strictly annihilationist view similar with
>non-Buddhist extremists [mu.stegs.pa] and Hashang Mahaayaana. If
>an annihilationist view is held, a result apart from going to
>Avici hell is not warranted. Also by not recognizing subtle
>sinking, meditation will be faulty...because liberation and the
>non-erroneous path of omniscience will not exist for them; for
>such as they, although saadhana is practiced for a thousand
>years, realization will not arise; similar with wishing for
>butter having churned water, the essence does not exist". [T.G
>Dhongthog Rinpoche "Dus.kyi.me.lce, Timely Tongue of Flame", pp.
>117-118, Delhi: 1979]


I believe that Je Phabongkhapa was an authentic and realized master of the
Gelug tradition; he is the root Guru of Trijang Dorjechang so naturally I
follow his teachings. But I do not accept that we can find his teachings in
the letter you have quoted. I believe it is a mistake to assume that a
definitive teaching can necessarily be seen in pieces of advice given to
individual students.

For example, do you know the story of the person who had killed his parents
and later went to Buddha for advice about his actions? Buddha told him that
it was good to kill the father and mother (meaning self-grasping and
self-cherishing). There are many examples of Teachers giving advice that
appears to be non-Dharma.

Geshe Kelsang has made it clear that the New Kadampa Tradition follows the
teachings of Je Tsongkhapa as passed down to Je Phabongkhapa and HH Trijang
Rinpoche and that he believes all the Tibetan traditions have a complete
path to enlightenment. We are trying to live happily and rejoice in the
sincere practice of other traditions. It is our sincere wish to live in
peace and harmony with all other religious practitioners.

best wishes
Khyenrab


Alan Bird

unread,
Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

On 17 Jan 1998 16:36:10 GMT, "The Puddies" <pud...@frontiernet.net>
wrote:

>
>


>>I recommend all who wish to find Buddhism to read books from several
>>teachers and if you can, attend different centres. I received this
>>advice at my first teaching given by an NKT teacher.
>
>I am sure that there must be some teachers with some wisdom in any
>tradition, but not any tradition has a guarantee that all are. Just
>remember that even a broken clock is right twice a day..... Still search for
>yourself and give it enough time to really know. The recommended time is
>12 years!!!! No it need not be that long, but certainly a few months is
>not enough.
>

Evelyn,

The 12 years recommendation may be good advice for some when they
live in a Buddhist country surrounded by Dharma practioners. However,
in the West it does not seem appropiate.

Each person is different, within six months or there about I knew that
my search for a spiritual teacher had ended with Geshe-la. I am sure
that this is true of many westerners of whichever tradition.

>
>>There are many Teachers, most only wish to help us escape Samsara, some
>>may misuse their positions. Sadly that is true for all religions and
>>traditions do not judge a religion or a Tradition because one teacher
>>abuses his or her power. I speak hear primarily of those practices to
>>bring about personal pleasure, sex abuse, or those for increased
>>personal wealth.
>
>Absolutely.....


Agree totally.
>

>
>Respect for the highest teachers in that original tradition may prevent
>that. HH Dalai Lama is one of the highest teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.

HHDL is a high teacher but he is not the highest teacher for many
lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

>Disrespecting him and causing schisms is destructive.

Disagreement is not the same as disrespect. Causing Schisms is indeed
destructive, which is why many hope that his Holiness will stop
imposing this ban upon Dorje Shugden practitioners.

>The practices that
>give rise to such attitudes must certainly be tainted. The fruits of good
>practice are lovingkindness and gentleness and desire to help not harm. By
>their fruits are practices revealed. The attacks and endless squabbling on
>the newsgroups make it easy for me at least, to see that some people
>'protest too much'....to be sincere or to be right.

Evelyn, this works both ways. When we point a finger , we have four
pointing back at ourself.


>
>
>>I do not understand, nor wish to understand Tibetan politics. I have no
>>wish to cause harm to HHDL or the Pope or any other Sentient Being.
>>The HHDL has said a practise I perform is wrong, for those who accept
>>HHDL as their Teacher they should listen to what he says. I will listen
>>to my Teacher.
>
>That is most certainly your right. But why choose a lesser vessel over a
>greater one! I guess that the choice is less obvious for some, or simply a
>case of what is near and convenient, or a case of karmic connection for good
>or bad purpose. What is obvious to me may not be to you. Live and learn.

Blind faith is not a virtue in Buddhism, if HHDL wishes to ban a
practice that has been practicsed by many realised Lama's in the
Gelug tradition, he must supply valid reasons.

Just because it is his HHDL who bans the practice does not in itself
make it valid.

>
>
>>When the Pope demoted St George it did not stop England or Malta from
>>still having George as their patron Saint. I know of some who still
>>worship St Christopher although he was similarly demoted.
>>We should not allow Dharma to decay because different traditions accept
>>different buddhas.
>
>Diversity is fine if it doesn't harm anyone. If anyone even HINTED some
>practice of mine MIGHT be harmful, I would do another practice. If HH
>Dalai Lama, whom I see as a good and fine a human being that ever lived,
>sees a practice as harmful and hurtful to himself and the Tibetan people, I
>for one will believe him, and would NO WAY be interested in doing that
>practice.


This is your right, and I have no problems with you holding to this
position. But why disparage those who disagree with you?

When a teacher asks us to practice Dharma, we should honor and
respect them when they do so. If they do something that one perceives
to be harming other living beings and goes against Dharma one as a
duty not to obey.

I believe that reliance upon Dorje Shugden as a Dharmapala is a
powerful practice for gaining Dharma realisations, I have been taught
it by my Guru, who received the instructions from his guru who
received them from his guru and so on.

When I received this instruction I was taught to view Dorge Shugden as
an emanation of Manjustri, and that is how I perform the practice. How
can this harm HHDL or Tibet?


>
>Regarding practices...... my own teacher Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche said in no
>uncertain terms that "If one only does ONE practice, and does it correctly,
>it is all you need" That seems pretty wide open to me, considering that
>there are so many to choose from that there surely must be ONE among them
>all that has no hint of a problem about it.......

IF one searches through the history of Tibetan Buddhism one can see
many disputes, if one was to take this as a guide for what we should
or should not practice, how much would be left?


>
>IMHO insisting on doing a practice that someone such as HHDL has decried as
>being destructive or harmful, or anything less than perfect, has some other
>axe to grind. They obviously are doing it to be ball-busters, to call a
>spade a spade..... Anyone who needs to be doing that, has something very
>wrong in their foundation practices that has caused them to ENHANCE ego
>rather than eliminate it. There is a name for it .... Rudra. Anyone who
>has done real and valid practice under the guide of a GOOD teacher should be
>able to spot it like an ugly zit on the face of the dharma.

You attack many great lama's of the past and present when you write
this. Were previous Dalai Lama's who relied upon Dorje Shugden in
error? Were many of the great monastries who relied upon Dorje Shugden
as the Dharma Protector of their monsastries in error?

Dharma practices have a history, one cannot disparage it without
disparageing the tradition that holds to that practice. Many Gelug
Lama's past and present have performed this practice.

Are they all BAD teachers who have placed an ugly zit on the face of
Dharma?

>
>All this NKT business, all the stubborness, all the egos, all the angry
>posts tell the tale loud and clear to anyone with eyes in their head to see.
>Give it up already, and every one of you who sits down to do that practice
>in FULL KNOWLEDGE someone fine and good has declared it to be harmful, ought
>to be damned ashamed of themselves, ought to find new teachers, ought to
>start all over again somehow.


again Evelyn, do you apply this to all Lama's who performed this
practice in the past?

>It is not a good thing to do something that
>is supposed to help beings, when you know that someone else is hurting
>everytime you do it. That alone should spoil and taint the whole practice
>for you.

I agreee totally, if one knows it is harming other sentient beings. If
you prove to me that this is the case I will give up the practice.

But I hope you will believe me when I tell you that not for one moment
do I beleive that following the advice of my Guru is harming other
living beings. Dorje Shugden emanated to protect Buddha Dharma and in
particular Je Tsongkhapa's tradition.

When I take refuge, generate bodhichitta and dedicate virtue it is for
the benefit of ALL living beings.


> As one person wrote in one of these News Groups all
>>appearance is to mind to some the river Ganges appears as a river of
>>puss, to some a river of water and to others a river of nectar.
>
>The thing that differentiates it is this..... DOES IT HARM ANY LIVING BEING?
>If I perceive that any thing I do in my practice hurts anyone, much less his
>holiness, it is definitely a river of shit. If my practice hurts NO ONE
>and benefits all, then it is nectar. For me it is that simple.

How does it hurt HHDL?

Why is it so terrible to ask this question?


>
>
> Can we
>>not agree that our Karma is different and encourage the growth of Dharma
>>for the benefit of all sentient beings.
>> I hope I will continue to read Dharma and integrate it into my whole
>>life for the benefit of all sentient beings.
>
>Ask yourself one question and start by reading what you just wrote.... "all"
>sentient beings. If ONE BEING IS HURT by your practice, you are spinning
>your wheels and getting nowhere. Do a different practice, one that is not
>beset by such controversy and anger. Do something that has no negative
>connotations about it. Surely your teachers are not so narrow minded that
>only this ONE practice is all they know?!!!!


Evelyn, how does it hurt anyone. You may agree to give up heart
practices one receives from one's guru because someone says so.
However, I am not prepared to give up this practice unless I am
provided valid reasons? This is not unreasonable of me, neither does
it make me unkind. Why does HHDL want to insist on this ban?

Remember, it is not the case of HHDL saying he dislikes this practice,
he is actually saying that other Great Gelug Lama's living and dead
are wrong. By saying that Dorje Shugden is a sentient being he is
saying that these Lama's have encouraged people to brake refuge vows
by taken refuge in sentient beings? This is what is disturbing
peaceful co-existence. If the Dalai Lama was not saying these things
there would be no disagreement.

>
>If any one among you defenders of this practice, take the time to read the 8
>verses of thought transformation please, you should find it obvious what to
>do. If you don't have it let me know and I will scan it and send it off to
>you. If you don't it is simply that you are too bound up in ego, and your
>own personal pissing contests to care.

I do not believe that the verse "Accept defeat and offer the victory
to others" means stop practicing the Dharma practice you have received
from your guru and which comes from a pure lineage because someone
says you should.

Does that mean that because some of my priest friends who I went to
school with believe that practicing dharma is causing me harm, that I
should stop practising Dharma?

I know that my Dharma practice is causing them distress. Whcih is why
I do not speak about it with them, even when they ask.
To me that is practising accepting defeat and offering the victory.

When I meet up with them I have to listen to them praise people like
Mother Teresa (Something which I myself am happy to do) and yet
insist that it is only Christianity that can create such a
compassionate person. They belive that I am following a practice that
is harmful for my spiritual progress (Some catholics can still be
foundamentalists, even after Vatican II). To disagree with them only
causes dissent, so I remain quiet. They conclude from this that deep
down I agree with them but am not prepared to admit it.


>
>May ALL beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
>May ALL beings be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow.
>
>If you can't say that and MEAN it, your practice is just empty words and
>dead leaves blowing in the winds of karma..... You have my sincerest
>compassion and regret.
>

Evelyn,

I can say it and I do mean it. Why should you think that people who
continue the lineage of Trijang Rinpoche and Phabongkhapa do not wish
all sentient beings to be happy?


You accuse us of being nonBuddhists, of knowingly being willing to
harm other sentient beings, and yet say we are unkind!

Please except that we have no wish to harm anyone.
We do wish for all Dharma practitioners who have been taught to rely
upon Manjustri emanating as the Dharma Protector "Dorje Shugden" to be
allowed to do so.

It is this ban which is disturbing the peace, once the ban is not
enforced by political means on Tibetans then this disturbance will
come to an end

Alan

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

Alan Bird <alan...@dial.pipex.com> wrote:
> >Respect for the highest teachers in that original tradition may prevent
> >that. HH Dalai Lama is one of the highest teachers in Tibetan Buddhism.
>
> HHDL is a high teacher but he is not the highest teacher for many
> lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.

I have actually a funny story behind this. As many practitioner of
Tibetan Buddhism I have a picture of HH Dalai Lama on my altar. A Gyoto
monk promised to check out the altar to make sure it was proper (you
know us Westeners, don't know all the important details :-), and it was
a way for me to learn more about indepth issues of altars and such).

The first thing he did was to place HH Dalai Lama in the middle of my
guru pictures, and he strongly said that HH Dalai Lama is of the highest
possible lineage holders. This because holds lineages *across* many
various traditions, and thus is considered to be of utmost importance,
at least amongst Tibetans.


Maitri, Kent

Kent Sandvik

unread,
Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

Alan Bird <alan...@dial.pipex.com> wrote:
> The 12 years recommendation may be good advice for some when they
> live in a Buddhist country surrounded by Dharma practioners. However,
> in the West it does not seem appropiate.

> Each person is different, within six months or there about I knew that
> my search for a spiritual teacher had ended with Geshe-la. I am sure
> that this is true of many westerners of whichever tradition.

I think this differs from person to person, from not finding the teacher
in one lifetime, until the near last breath of life, and everything
between. There's no hardcoded value of 6 months and so on.

Just wanted to point out that selecting a teacher within a short time
range could either be a blessing (reconnetion with the same teacher from
past mental mindstream habituations), or then not enough testing and
verification took place. If you read stories about for example how long
Atisha took to verify that one of his main gurus. OK, here's an extract
from Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden's book Path to Enlightenment, a hard to
find but very extensive commentary on Je Tsongkhapa's Lamrim Chenmo:

From page 50 forward, origins of these teaching (longer biography of
Atisha):

"Atisha was able to perceive Tara and communicate directly with her. She
adviced that the practice of bodhichitta is most important because it
holds the essence of Lord Buddha's teachings. It is the cause of all
sentient beings' happiness, and their eventual attainment of
enlightenment. She said that practicing bodhichitta is the most direct
way to attain buddhahood. With the motivation of bodhichitta every
action becomes a direct cause of enlightenment and all virtuous deeds.
Hearing this advice, Atisha had a strong wish to receive further
teachings on bodhichitta. He investigated to establish who held the
complete lineage of these precious teachings, and found that he would be
able to receive them from the guru Suvarnadvipi (Tib. Serlingpa), who
resided on the distant island of Sumatra.

To reach this island Atisha spent thirteen months travelling by boat.
During the long journey there were many difficulties. Atisha overcame
them all by his constant practice of bodhichitta. When he first arrived
at Sumatra, Atisha did not go directly to Guru Suvarnadvipi. He first
spent fourteen days questioning people about this great teacher. He
asked Suvarnadvipi's friends and disciples about the extent of the great
guru's wisdom, compassion and realizations. He investigated the progress
of Suvarnadvipi's disciples. Althought, through his clairvoyance, Atisha
already recognized that Suvarnadvipi was a perfect guru, his careful
investigations served as an example of how to correctly establish a
guru-disciple relationship. Atish was showing that we should not be
hasty in accepting a guru, and should first carefully check the
teacher's qualities."

There's more, but I save that to the next posting. Anyway, also to note
was that Atisha had many gurus from before, and by doing the rational
decision to find the best possible guru for something that was needed in
order to get enlightened, it's quite OK to have more than one single
teacher-guru. Now, this also depends on the individual, if it's easier
to just have one single relationship to the main root guru, that's quite
OK. But the door is open, and it's actually a *requirement* to consider
all teachers as buddhas teaching, where one's root guru is the one that
one considers being the most kind, usually the first initial big
relationship wherefrom everything else progresses.

Anyway, if Atisha did all this work, it was to show to all of us that
selecting the guru for such a delicate relationship is maybe one of the
biggest choices one does in this current lifetime. And I of course
rejoice all those who have found such relationships with little ease and
are quite confident that this all works out, shows that there was a lot
of planning and good merit behind such a situation.

Maitri, Kent

G T

unread,
Jan 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/19/98
to

On Sun, 18 Jan 1998 21:19:21 GMT, alan...@dial.pipex.com (Alan Bird)
wrote:

>>>I recommend all who wish to find Buddhism to read books from several
>>>teachers and if you can, attend different centres. I received this
>>>advice at my first teaching given by an NKT teacher.
>>
>>I am sure that there must be some teachers with some wisdom in any
>>tradition, but not any tradition has a guarantee that all are. Just
>>remember that even a broken clock is right twice a day..... Still search for
>>yourself and give it enough time to really know. The recommended time is
>>12 years!!!! No it need not be that long, but certainly a few months is
>>not enough.
>>
>

> The 12 years recommendation may be good advice for some when they
>live in a Buddhist country surrounded by Dharma practioners. However,
>in the West it does not seem appropiate.
>
>Each person is different, within six months or there about I knew that
>my search for a spiritual teacher had ended with Geshe-la. I am sure
>that this is true of many westerners of whichever tradition.
>

That proves how superficial your judgments are, and gives the just
appreciation to all of your comments on this Newsgroup !

><snip>

>Alan

Hope this help you to realize your true situation !
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With metta, G T

I am here to be used by others.

--
Remove the "x" from my email address if you want to respond directly

Alan Bird

unread,
Jan 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/19/98
to

On Sun, 18 Jan 1998 15:58:40 -0800, san...@zbest.com (Kent Sandvik)
wrote:

Dear Kent,


>Alan Bird <alan...@dial.pipex.com> wrote:
>> The 12 years recommendation may be good advice for some when they
>> live in a Buddhist country surrounded by Dharma practioners. However,
>> in the West it does not seem appropiate.
>
>> Each person is different, within six months or there about I knew that
>> my search for a spiritual teacher had ended with Geshe-la. I am sure
>> that this is true of many westerners of whichever tradition.
>

>I think this differs from person to person, from not finding the teacher
>in one lifetime, until the near last breath of life, and everything
>between. There's no hardcoded value of 6 months and so on.

I agree that there is no hardcoded value be it six months or twelve
years.

>
>Just wanted to point out that selecting a teacher within a short time
>range could either be a blessing (reconnetion with the same teacher from
>past mental mindstream habituations), or then not enough testing and
>verification took place. If you read stories about for example how long
>Atisha took to verify that one of his main gurus.
>


Indeed, this is very true. One must examine one's teacher very
carefully, before making such a commitment.

Let me tell you my story.

From a very young age I felt a religious yearning for something in my
life. This led me at the age of six to go along to Sunday School at my
local anglican church. It was very hign and practicsed
anglo-catholicism. I normally tell people I was a catholic because
this gives them a better understanding of my childhood religious
background.

Mass on Sundays, confession on Saturdays, rosaries, pilgrimages to
Walsingham, Lourdes etc., None of my family where particularly
religious, but under my influence this did change.

I was happy with this routine until my late teenages, when I went
through a crisis, the only major crisis of my life I am pleased to
say. I will not go into details here as it does not seem the
appropiate forum. Needless to say I found that the Church was not able
to help me at this time, I was still convinced that my religious
journey was within Christianity and went through a born-again
experience at the age of sixteen.

However, this also left me seeking more, the simple answers of "just
believe in the Bible" became less and less acceptable to me and my
spiritual hunger was still not being satisfied.

It was at this time that I moved to London. I was twenty years old. I
became more and more antagonistic towards Christianity feeling that it
had let me down. I tried to hide my spiritual hunger in left-wing
politics feeling that here I was finding some useful way to add
meaning to my life. It did not take me long to realise that there was
no answers here and so for a few years I tried to but this spiritual
need I had to the back of my mind and ignore it.

Needless to say this did not work, so I began to look at other
religious traditions. Especally Vedanta and Buddhism. Buddhism
appealed to me more and I rea