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Peeing!!! in My Own Pool: The Problem of Tibetanism

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posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:36 AM
"Not one Zen master has ever taken (Vajrayana) initiation" - my Guru.

So what is Vajrayana Buddhism?

It would be easy to describe it in the terms of popular culture. It's the Dalai Lama. It's all that colorful and bizarre artwork in temples and monasteries, tangkas, sculptures, tormas, skull cups, thigh bone trumpets. It's masks and strange dances performed in costume by monks. It is "sky burials". It is chortens (stupas). It is what Richard Gere practices. It's what Uma Thurman's father practices. It is what the Sherpas on Mount Everest (Chomolungma) practice. It is prayers and mantras and meditation and nifty beads and bells and dorjes. It is Tibetan chubas and momos and kids running around the shrine room. It is a community of friends, and sometimes their opposite.

Not a very satisfactory answer to the question what is Vajrayana Buddhism? Part of the problem is that Vajrayana Buddhism, as far as this layperson knows, does not exist anymore in the form in which it entered the world.

Vajrayana Buddhism arose, in the usual telling, in India. Something like it came back to India when the Tibetan Vajrayanists fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The original Vajrayana Buddhism of India was destroyed by the invasion of what is now Northern India by Turkish Muslim conquerors and pillagers.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that Vajrayana Buddhism and hence Tibetan Buddhism, since they don't distinguish between the two, had been practiced by the Buddha and taught to a select number of only his most advanced students.

Tibetan Buddhists tend to think of Vajrayana Buddhism as being reserved for the most elite practitioners of Buddhism. They see no problem in applying that characterization to, what for Tibet, was a "state religion".

"We have more power than them." - my Guru, contrasting Vajrayana with the other "yanas" or ways.

We still haven't really honed in on what Vajrayana Buddhism is.

Vajrayna Buddhism is conceptually more inclusive than Theravadin Buddhism or Mahayana Buddhism, which are concerned with the realization of the void characteristic of the mind, and the spreadinng of this realization in the Bodhisattva manner, respectively, although Theravadin Buddhists certainly spread the Buddhist teachings and can be considered Boddhisattvas without the label.

Vajrayana Buddhism includes the goals of both Theravadin Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism, i.e., realizing the void characteristic of the mind plus the Bodhisattva ideal of spreading this realization to others, but it goes further.

Put very briefly, the goal of Vajrayana is to transform the experience of the entirety of Samsara, ALL the facts of our ordinary, "unenlightened" existence, into Nirvana, through exercises of the mind (and body) which form the corpus of Vajrayana practice.

This will still be a little vague for those who haven't been over this territory before, but let me continue to fill in the picture.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing." Pop culture cliché.

Generally speaking the whole of reality is subsumed under the duality of Samsara and Nirvana. Samsara is to be understood in the sense that its ultimate nature is Shunyata, its causal characteristic is bewilderment and its primary characteristic its manifestation as misery. The ultimate nature of Nirvana is Shunyata, its causal characteristic the end and dispersion of all bewilderment and its primary characteristic is liberation from all misery.

The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, Gampopa, trans. Herbert V. Guenther, page 1.

One perceives a change in emphasis from the experience of suffering, a preoccupation of the Buddha, to the experience of reality, a proccupation of the commentators on his teaching, who came after him.

Vajrayana deals with the whole of reality. Different groupings within what is called Vajrayana have different conceptions and approaches to such a gargantuan task of converting the "whole of reality" from its manifestation as Samsara into its manifestation as Nirvana.

The mind of the individual is at the center of this endeavour. When the "whole of rality" manifests as Nirvana, it does so in the mind of the individual, or to be more precise, in the mind of an individual.

We all know that individuals have minds which are different. Personality and experience in this and previous lives give a unique character to each of us.

Vajrayana Buddhism was brought to Tibet by unique individuals and given to unique individuals and it is not surprising in the least that Vajrayana Buddhism split into many different groupings with different approaches and different emphases.

The history of Buddhism generally, both Theravada and Mahayana, is marked by similar divergences of interpretation and emphasis and these very old differences and segmentations within Buddhism formed the basis upon which divergent groups could be based, within Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet.

It is beyond the scope of this article to delve into the history of Buddhism and its segmentation into large numbers of groupings, both intellectual (epitomized by eminent Nalanda Master, Shantarak#a) and practical (epitomized by the famous yogi from the Swat Valley, Padmasambhava).

This subject is dealt with in books written by real scholars and is available to any interested person.

For our purpose it is enough to know that the Vajrayana Buddhism that came to Tibet did not come as a unitary body of learning and practice. It was already segmented.

We know that Vajrayana Buddhism had a much larger purview than either Theravada Buddhism or Mahayana Buddhism. Its ultimate goal was not to realize the void nature of the mind, or, to carry this realisation and a constructive social presence into the world at large, as in Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism, although it included both of those ambitions in its aims.

The goal of Vajrayana Buddhism is to create conditions in the mind of the individual such that the "whole of reality" manifests as Nirvana.

What I have written so far is primarily to differentiate Theravada (Hinayana), Mahayana, and Vajrayana as to their attitudes toward the teaching of the Buddha, but the main purpose of this article is to explain what Vajrayna became once it had been implanted in Tibetan culture, "what became of it", so to speak.

In order to do that, there must be some understanding of what Vajrayana was in India, before it went to Tibet. I am not a scholar, but it is my understanding that not much is known about Vajrayana as practiced in India prior to the destruction of Nalanda monastery/university by a Sultan of the Mamluk Dynasty at the turn of the 12th century.
edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:40 AM
a reply to: Azureblue

. I suspect what is to day compared to what was before the Chinese took over is vastly different.

No doubt it is somewhat worse, but the problems are the same as always, and also, better-reported thanks to free speech and the internet.

Read the songs of Drukpa Kunley. You can easily surmise from reading those, that in the fifteenth century, so-called "nuns" were often just the concubines of rich lamas, and so-called "nunneries" were often private harems. And that barely pubescent "monks" were catamites in the service of older monks. Drukpa Kunley makes fun of these things, but really, it's a warning to his readers: don't believe the hype.

I recently paged through a densely illustrated, exquisitely researched volume on Tibetan Medicine. I believe it was published by Tibet House, or maybe it was the Rubin Museum. In any case, it included a full-page illustration of behaviors considered risky to one's physical or psychological health. One of these was (in the accompanying English translation), termed "homosexuality".

But the corresponding illustration showed a middle aged monk reclining on a grassy knoll, having a pleasant picnic with a tiny monk who couldn't have been older than nine. So this is the traditional Tibetan version of "Homosexuality"? Hmmm.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:47 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

Not one Zen master has ever taken (Vajrayana) initiation" - my Guru

Probably not true. A close disciple of this teacher told me he was very well-versed in mantra practice, but kept it mostly to himself.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:59 AM
a reply to: Namdru

lol. I'm not surprised. My guru made the statement many years ago. You bring up an interesting subject (trespassing and the reasons for doing so), but I'll leave it for later.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 07:00 AM
The Dalai Lama has stated that he regards himself as a follower of the lineage of the Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda University.

Tibetan Buddhism is not an invention of the Tibetans. Rather, it is quite clear that it derives from the pure lineage of the tradition of the Nalanda Monastery. The master Nagarjuna hailed from this institution, as did many other important philosophers and logicians...

Meditation on the Nature of Mind, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, page 15.

When Nalanda University was destroyed, much of its library was destroyed also, but many volumes had already been translated into Tibetan and Chinese.

Thus the intellectual/philosophical/commentarial tradition of Nalanda passed out of India into Tibet and China, and other countries in the region over the centuries.

However, the specificities of the Vajrayana practices were originally written down in Sanskrit, in India, in a perfunctory manner, which might only contain the description of a tutelary deity an invocation and a mantra. Further detail about the practice would have been given orally and would have been enjoined to be held secret.

This brings us closer to crux of the matter. Tibetan Buddhism, which purports to be continuous with the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism in India, in contrast to it, has a voluminous liturgy, used in Vajrayana practice, although the essence of the various paractices is still transmitted orally or by direct mental transmission (empowerment), and is still regarded as being secret.

"I have added nothing new to the Buddha's teaching." - Once a common claim of Tibetan gurus.

"Tertons", persons who discover ancient hidden texts or terma, are a feature of Tibetan Buddhism. They are enlightened Tibetan masters who do add new things to the Buddha's teachings.

They are firmly ensconced as part of the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet. The problem of "adding new things" is avoided by saying that "termas" or treasures, are "discovered" like forgotten hand-me-downs, or "revealed" by "deities" during meditation. This is either true, ingenious or disingenuous, but very interesting, but very interesting all the same.

I am not scholar enough to go into a discussion of Tertons and their contributions to Tibetan Buddhism. I simply note that Tibetan Buddhism has a mechanism for "adding new things" to the Buddha's teachings, new in the sense of being unknown until revealed by the Terton.

We have stated that Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet divided itself into numerous groupings.

It developed a voluminous body of liturgical writings consisting of pujas, that is, meditation ceremonies including devotional prayers, lineage prayers, mantras, written visualizations and invocations for various meditation deities or as they are called in Tibet, yidams. (There were also translations of Indian texts in Sanskrit, and both Indian and Tibetan commentaries of a very scholarly nature on those texts).

Each sect or grouping in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism had its own "lineage".

Typically the lineage descended from one or two Indian masters, who had either taught Tibetans in India or who had traveled to India, followed by a long list, or chain, or "lineage" of Tibetan masters and their students, who became masters in turn themselves, and continued to transmit the teachings of "the lineage".

This is another case where the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet seems to be different from the Vajrayana Buddhism of India.

As I have said, I am not a scholar, but there don't seem to be "lineage prayers" in Tibetan Buddhism, which include any sort of substantial Indian lineages for Vajrayana practice. One might think that given the reverence and importance attached to lineage in Tibet, there should be a corresponding indication of the same attention to lineage in the Vajrayana Buddhism of India.

The Eighty-four maha siddhas of Indian Buddhism/Hinduism are revered in Tibet and some of their practices continue to be practiced in Tibet but these figures were not representatives of a "lineage" of reincarnated tulkus, as in Tibet.

The sometimes sectarian philosophical schools of Indian Buddhism are a different sort of thing from the sectarian, tulku driven lineages of Tibet.

Could it be that this fixation on "lineage" and "tulkus" is another "thing added" to the Buddha's teaching, in Tibet?
edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 07:21 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

What a wonderful thread. I am so delighted to see so much wisdom on ATS, it really is a pleasant surprise. When I read your descriptions of Tibetan Buddhism I can't but feel the clutter of a million thought forms. I think of the story of Buddha and his determination and discipline at coming to his state of consciousness. What would he do if he saw all this ritual,division and confusion and basically corruption of the original teaching? I guess he wouldn't be surprised in the least as he understood basic human nature.

It took me many years to understand that self realization is exactly what it says it is. Although it is wonderful to get pointed in the right direction at the end of the day it is my own discipline and consistent effort towards finding the witness within that will accomplish my goal. It is so easy to get distracted by the ritual and drama of man made religions but at the end of the day, the true seeker will find this a solitary effort.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 07:34 AM
a reply to: pointessa

So called "Pratyeka Buddhas" are referred to in The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. They are solitary ones whose karma is such that they can achieve enlightenment without instruction. I read about one well known one living in the jungle somewhere (There was even a photo of him!) but I can't remember the details now. It was many years ago.

My own guru had a very respectful attitude to one San Francisco "arhat". He was very impressed with this Hinayana practitioner. I don't know the name of the individual.

(It is kind of you to be complimentary. Fortunately I am not a hero where I live. I'm grateful for the insouciant indifference of my house mates.)
edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 08:03 AM
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you." - Pericles of Athens

The history of Buddhism in Tibet is intertwined with the history of politics in Tibet.

Prior to the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet, the country was dominated by practitioners of "shamanism", including assorted "magical" and "black magical" practices that demonstrated power, in the spiritual world, and that allied themselves or were co-opted, as weapons, by the political world.

The arrival of Buddhism in Tibet in the seventh century CE. intruded upon the relationship between power and religion that had existed and a lengthy period of "adjustment" occurred, by the end of which, meditation masters of Vajrayana Buddhism had replaced their shamanistic predecessors in places closest to the political power in the country.

In the Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet, "lineage" is regarded by the ordinary practitioner and presented by gurus, as a sort of "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval". A guru's lineage is presented, and seen, as a guarantee of the authenticity of the teachings he offers.

In Tibet, and in the West particularly, "lineage" is not presented, by Tibetan masters, as a factor in the consolidation of social and political and economic power, but it most certainly is that, and numerous, sometimes violent, political struggles have been carried on by different lineages of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, warring in political rivalry.

Again, with the usual caveat, I am not aware of such internecine rivalry between groups of Indian Vajrayana Buddhists, although it would not surprise me at all if smaller groups of rivals in Vajrayana practice had altercations, even in India, but that is the sort of thing that normally gets swept under the rug after the dust settles.

Indian historiographers do not record times when one monastery attacked and converted another monastery by the sword, from one lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism to another. Tibetan historians do record such things.

Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet is thoroughly integrated into the Tibetan political establishment. The Gelugpa sect was the dominent lineage in Tibet, until the Chinese invasion of the country, although in past periods other sects and their lineage holders were in the ascendent.

In the person of the Dalai Lama, the Gelugpa sect occupied a more or less potent position, depending on circumstances, at the top of the political pyramid.

Recapitulating, it seems that Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism is markedly different from Indian Vajrayana Buddhism. It is composed of lineages that serve to consolidate groups within the larger society for political and economic as well as spritual reasons. The lineages are distinctly Tibetan and only include token figures from the long line of Indian masters who were its precursors. Tibetan "tertons" discover or have revealed to them, new things, which were not part of, but were added to the corpus of Vajrayana teachings received from India.

Another way in which Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism is different from Indian Vajrayana Buddhism is the "tulku system", a tradition by which enlightened masters who are deceased are "recognized" when they are reborn. Generally, they are returned to their monastic "seat" into the care of their old students, to be schooled again in the ways of the lineage.

This subject goes to the heart essence of spiritual and even political and economic power in Tibet, how it is secured and how it is maintained and how it is transmitted.

This is also at the heart of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism as a spiritual practice. It completes the cicle of birth, old age, sickness, death . . . and rebirth, for enlightened Bodhisattvas.

I am not aware of a tulku system for Indian Vajrayana Buddhists. The Jataka Stories of Buddha's previous lives exist, and there is undoubtedly lore around reincarnation in the India of ancient times, but nothing like the tulku "system" in Tibet.
edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 08:49 AM
"When (Vajrayana) Buddhism first came to Tibet, people would take a "karma mudra" (tantric consort) and then write a book." - My guru, with a smile on his face.

"It's all f**k or fight." - Verbal instruction on Vajrayana given by the eleventh Trungpa tulku to one of his consorts.

The use of sexual energy as an aid to spiritual advancement in Tantric Buddhism (and Hinduism), has a long history of trouble with dissolute behavior among its adepts and has, from time to time, faced the disapproval and condemnation of the more conventional community, both Buddhist and the wider community outside Buddhism.

There are contemporary examples of Tibetan lamas getting into trouble over sex and spirituality related issues. The eleventh Trungpa tulku, is a famous example, but also Sogyal Rinpoche has faced a hue and cry over what were perceived as sexual liberties taken by him. Mipham Rinpoche, a son of Trungpa Rinpoche and spiritual leader of the Shambhala Community, has stepped down from his position for a period of meditation and reflexion after getting into similar sorts of trouble.

If the reader will indulge me in an aside, very, very, very advanced "crazy wisdom" teachers, of the "highest" spiritual attainment, ought to know, if only by employing "ordinary wisdom", that when one's students start to flee from one, something being done by somebody, most likely oneself, is wrong.

This brings up the subject of "social meditation". One often sees photos or videos taken in a monastery of Vajrayana Buddhist monks saying prayers, chanting mantras and playing ritual musical instruments, all together, in a group. That's a social activity. Similar scenes happen among the ordained and lay persons who are members of innumerable meditation centers around the world. Vajrayana Buddhism is very social.

So is Facebook, so is the Microsoft operating system, so is Tim Horton's Donuts, so is the Catholic Church, so are any number of other franchises. They all have rules and order, and if you deviate significantly from the rules and the order, they kick you out, or they harass you until you leave.

The very idea of the "franchising" of Vajrayana Buddhism is reprehensible to many practitioners who see Buddhism and Vajrayana as a refuge from all that.

The idea that the practitioners, even after empowerment, don't own the practice, but only have a "license" to practice, that can be removed (psychically, by means of mind to mind interference, psychic surgery, the infliction of brain damage, extraction of or damage of imprinted empowerments, or through the insertion of "spirit guards", something Vajrayana has in common with Voodoo, that impede and disturb meditation and the normal functioning of the meditating mind) for infractions of the licensing agreement would, if it existed, and it does exist, horrify many naive young practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism.

At this point should I start using the term "Tibetanism"?

I don't want to end this presentation on a sour note. I practice Vajrayana Buddhism. I have great respect for the core of the practice. I love my Tibetan friends. I revere the great lineage holders of the great lineages of Tibet, particularly the Dalai Lama. I love my guru. He is deep in my heart and I hope he will not be too displeased with me. He, himself, is extremely taciturn when not joking. I have been a trial to him in this life, but he has stuck with me as I have stuck with him, through many difficulties both spiritual and worldly.

"It can fit inside a single cell." - My guru.

The Buddha, when he realized Shunyata, found a path to the most fundamental experience that a human being can experience, and still live.

Christian mystics, and this is another subject in which I can't claim to be a scholar, in their comments about the "quiddity", the size of a grain of rice, betray the limit of their mental experiences in contemplation.

Other cultures, African and Mayan, were aware of the "fauna", the "stars", at a fundamental level of experience but probably have never personally experienced that mental world in the way that the Buddha did, and his greatest followers do.

They have, certainly, never intellectually rationalized it or explained its rational relationship to other experiences of the mind, in writing.

Buddhism hovers over epistemology, ontology, phenomenology, existentialism, and psychiatry. The Buddha was the most significant rationalist in the history of humanity.

edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:08 AM

Politics. Coercion. Feudal attitudes. Little kings. Vow "holders". Stooges. Using yidams, or the deceased for surveillance. Blessed tulkus. Strategic homosexuality. Thuggish, bullying spirituality. Guru, student and personal pride. The premium put on power. Lies and lies of omission in the spiritual context. Tantric (sexual) spirituality perpetrated on unwilling students. Necromancy. Getting psychically buggered. Black magical psychic assaults. Unrequested psychic surgery. Guru inflicted meditative "experimentation". The purposeful stunting and "bonsaiing" of student brains by means of superior mental power or coerced spirits for political purposes and to prevent students from developing some unique or unusual or personal capability, or to attempt to erase potentially awkward portions of their memory. Machiavellian realpolitik operating at the most absurd inconsequential levels. Tibetanism. Inflicted "social" meditative absorptions. Impertinent yogi clown shows. Psychic nagging. The practice of owning students and hence, being owned. The strategic manipulation of the distinction between relative and ultimate truth. Its nearness to Voodoo (Even the Dalai Lama doesn't like this aspect of it).

My curiosity is piqued to the max. Could you please elaborate on the bolded statements?

Also, what do you know of dugpas? Are they still around? Or have they been reduced to a sideshow of wannabe hipster monks who think/pretend to be initiated?
edit on 10/6/2018 by ColdWisdom because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:15 AM
a reply to: ColdWisdom

"Dugpas" is a new term to me. As for the other things, I can elaborate a little, but I need some rest at the moment. I'll get back to the thread later in the day.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:26 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

The dugpas, as I understand them, were a sect of renegade Tibetan monks who used their meditative abilitiess to wield power over others in such a way that is not too dissimilar from the way a black magician would abuse magick for his own personal gain or to inflict harm on others. Although, their motives for the abuse of the dark arts were largely unknown as they kept to themselves somewhere in the Indian Himalayas.

They’re known by contrast of the yellow hooded monks to be isolationists who wear red hoods/cloaks, and supposedly they could will a person to death by mere thought alone.

Blavatsky was allegedly taken in by them and initiated as such in order to fascilitate their traditions in the western world... or something.

This is all off the top of my head but I’m sure Wikipedia has a plethora of info about them, sparingly mixed in with references to Twin Peaks.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 10:30 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

Could it be that this fixation on "lineage" and "tulkus" is another "thing added" to the Buddha's teaching, in Tibet?

The tulku system began with the second Karmapa. He left a letter of prediction to find the third. Before that there was no "Tulku System". Before that, lineages were teacher --> disciple, or nepotism, uncle -->nephew or father -->son, mostly. Not that certain individuals weren't considered incarnations, however.

Atisha supposedly recognized Rongzom Pandita as the rebirth of his own teacher, Krishnacharya. But that wasn't "recognized" in the sense of making a big to-do about it, giving a letter of authentication with a seal, and spending millions of dollars on golden thrones and vast pomp and circumstance. It was more like "Oh, it's you again!".

Lamas make such "recognitions" all the time, informally. If they like you or want your money or your body, they'll say you are the reincarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal or some famous Khenpo or Indian master, or whatever.

The tulku system is all about material resources, social advantages, political strategies, and familial associations, basically. That is definitely a Tibetan invention. Tibetan Buddhist society was much more stable than Indian society (which is extremely pluralistic -- multiple faiths, hundreds of languages, a caste system, and so on). In India a "tulku" system could never have worked as it did in Tibet, due to the extreme cultural diversity of the populace. That is one reason why Tantra never could be a national religion of India, but could in Tibet. Tibet is a relatively homogeneous population, culturally speaking, compared to India. They are not uptight about sex, particularly. They don't have illusions about priestly purity or caste priviledge. India is quite different in that way -- much more patriarchal, much more invested in naive notions of purity. The tulku system, for all its abuses, is a down-to-earth invention, and Tibetans know that. Western neophytes and Orientalists have romanticised and idealized it, only to be terribly disappointed when it turns out to be another ruse that was recently invented, similar to papal infallibility by the Church.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 10:58 AM
Like what western philosophy and religion tend to beleive, anything sacred, once man touchs becomes corrupt. Only difference with east an west theology is not groveling about it, or repent, although actions do speak louder then words.

I'm not familiar or keen into Buddhism to methodically practise it, other then it mythical lore. Although I do find buddhism, or most forms of eastern philosophy is meant to be more practical because of it simplicity compared to the west, all the while being just as tedious...or delusioned by illusions.

Curiosity an boredom does get the better of me though, where my brain ends up being very thimble, like its chasing it own tail, thinking what is that I'm chasing, I'll know when I catch. All the while the not realizing that it my own tail...right beside the valley of ever lasting darkness.

edit on 6-10-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 11:05 AM

originally posted by: Fools
I think it may be an old Buddhist saying, but I could be mistaken, that "all religions start in the mountains a crystal clear stream and as they flow to the ocean they become muddy and dirty with all activities of life and death."

Or maybe I made up part of that. I am not sure.

Francis Collins has a similar quote about it. Something the effect of when you pour the pure water of faith into the rusty vessel of humanity, you shouldn't be surprised if what comes back out is sometimes tainted.

None of that means that the faith itself ought to be condemned. The fact is that humans are flawed vessels and we tend to taint what we touch.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 04:59 PM
Everything in the list is something I have experienced myself, or have been told about by witnesses who are serious, knowledgeable Tibetans.

I should say that some of the mischief is common to numerous "spiritual" (in a broad sense) traditions.

I don't want to cite examples from Vajrayana Buddhism for some of these things. Sometimes embarassing practices are referred to only through examples from another culture. The "French letter" for example is a way for the English, in centuries past, to refer to the condom.

"Using yidams or the deceased for surveillance"

The various African derived spirit religions of the Carribbean region use coerced spirits called "gardes" to watch people. This "watching" can be benevolent or malicious. Zora Neale Hurston, the Afro American ethnographer, in her book Tell My Horse, quotes a Jamaican aphorism:

A "duppy" (coerced spirit of a deceased person) will do anything.

I don't want to get specific about Tibetan applications of this phenomenon.

"Strategic homosexuality."

Some time back, a Tibetan Tulku, Kalu Rinpoche, went rogue, briefly, abandoning his monastic vows and charging that he had been sexually assaulted in the monastery by monks, i.e. that he had been a victim of homosexual assault.

This is not talked about among Tibetans. One sweet Tibetan lady told me:

"Tibet doesn't have homosexuals."

Homosexuality is not looked upon with approval by Tibetans. Homosexuality in Tibetan monasteries, particularly as related to tulkus, i.e, reincarnate masters, is "strategic" and designed to promote rebirth as a male, the preferred form of incarnation among Tibetan masters.

The way my guru put it was, "You become what you like."

That implies that in ordinary circumstances one would experience an alternating pattern of births; male, female, male, etc.

The practice among Tibetan masters is to attempt to "game" that natural pattern by promoting homosexuality in an attempt to insure the preferred male birth for tulkus.

This is "Tibetanism" writ large.

Black magical psychic assaults."

Here again I think I'll stay away from Tibetan practices and cite a similar sort of thing from North American aboriginal shamanic practice, and that is "Bear stalking".

This can be very damaging to the nervous system, particularly the heart. In the middle of the night, one is set upon by the powerful claws of a bear, tearing chunks out of one's nervous system.

I have experienced this at the hands of a white man who has a tincture of aboriginal blood in him and who has practiced some of their spiritual disciplines. I don't want to say too much more, except that he is a great guy and we are still friends. lol.

"Inflicted "social" meditative absorptions."

Without getting too elaborate, certain practices in Tibetan Buddhism have the effect of putting one on a spiritual "party line", subject to being "called up" at any time, most significantly at night, by practitioners performing their own meditations.

The same sort of thing can occur in the various African derived spirit traditions, and likely in all spirit traditions.

The problem with this is that some people, me, are very busy in the brain. This kind of thing, especially if it is persistently directed to one for whatever reason, is extremely disruptive.

One must keep in mind that "conceptualizing" is generally not done by serious practitioners of Vajrayana. One assumes it is not a problem for them. Sadly, I'm not "them".

I have answered these questions but I can't promise to answer more questions. Most of this is related to the social/political side of Tibetan Buddhism. I think too many people are interested in this sort of thing. The Buddha had more important concerns. He wasn't interested in trivia or politics, although, like most people, he had to deal with it.

edit on 6-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:12 PM
a reply to: ipsedixit

Well thank you for your time and knowledge, as it is greatly appreciated.

I am curious to see if you pursue any inquiries related to the dugpa. I'm sure you'd have some interesting feedback to share from the monks you are in contact with.

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 11:23 AM
a reply to: ColdWisdom

I'm pretty much a "solitary" now. I am thinking of continuing the thread by elaborating on some observations and conclusions I have come to over the years on the subject of Tibetan Buddhism and its "Tibetanism" side.

As far as the "dugpas" go, I don't have much interest there. Alexandra David Neel and Madame Blavatsky ("thanks Namdru") come from an era of "Tibetan studies" that has to be approached with caution by the modern student. The real truth about Tibetan Buddhism started to become known after the flight of the major lineage holders and their followers out of Tibet. Authoritative explanations of the practice of Vajrayana began to be published under the names of authoritative Tibetan masters and incarnate tulkus of all the sects.

Prior to this, the written material on Tibetan Buddhism, by western authors, is very spotty. There is a lot of mystery mongering and self aggrandisement by people who realized that a pretense to knowledge about what went on in the cloud kingdom behind the Himalayas could become a meal ticket.

Of the early commentators on practice matters, people who really said interesting and pertinent things about what was going on with the practice, I would recommend John Blofeld, and Lama Anagarika Govinda (another westerner).

In one of his books Blofeld says that at one time he had regarded Vajrayana Buddhism as the pinnacle of Buddhist practice, a view held by the Tibetans themselves, but that he had changed his opinion and now regarded Hwa Yen Buddhism as Buddhism's greatest expression. Hwa Yen Buddhism is centered on the Avatamsaka Sutra, I believe.

Lama Anagarika Govinda, was of the magic and mystery and cloud covered peaks school of Tibetan appreciation, like Alexandra David Neel and Madame Blavatsky, but got into the real practice and ran into the real reality of how Tibetan Buddhism operates. A careful reading of his Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism introduces the Tibetophile to the notion of "spiritual rape", a jolly concept that eager young practitioners of the "selfie generation" might not be quite prepared for.

I would stick to the modern commentators, chief among them Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His books are excellent and subtle. To the average bourgeois "salaud", Trungpa was horrifying. After a long period of practice one realizes how kind he was and how honest.

There are numerous other commentators today and many on line publishing catalogs to browse.
edit on 7-10-2018 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 11:48 AM
a reply to: ColdWisdom

The dugpas, as I understand them, were a sect of renegade Tibetan monks who used their meditative abilitiess to wield power over others in such a way that is not too dissimilar from the way a black magician would abuse magick for his own personal gain or to inflict harm on others.

Is this from Blavatsky et. al.? I can assure you, there was no such "sect" in Tibet. But there were, and still are, plenty of individuals trying to play with power over others (or P.O.O., for short). Sometimes they band together, but in general, every organized religion has a degree of toxic clericalism in its ranks. There are black magicians in every religion. Tibetan Buddhism has more than its share, but the problem is systemic, not sectarian necessarily.

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 11:59 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

This applies to not just political power but supernatural power too:

"Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely"

edit on 10/7/2018 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)

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