Archive for February, 2009

Instruction on Dissing Teachers

February 20, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Teachers that break their samaya
Date: Jan 8th 2008

A discussion of the faults or otherwise of Pabhongka Rinpoche results in the following:

Jamyang Norbu (E-sangha Administrator)

This conversation has the potential to become very circular.

What everyone needs to take into consideration before discussing further is that not everyone accepts the attribution of Buddhahood to the same masters.

For many Gelugpas, Pabhongka is a Buddha. For many students of other schools he is not.

The same with people such as Gorampa, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dolpopa, etc. All of their schools think they are Buddhas, or at the least mahasattvas, but the Gelugpas in general would not accept this.

When having these cross tradition discussions we need to keep this in mind.

If one wants to convince others of the greatness of certain masters, they should talk about their perceived specific qualities. If someone wishes to dispute this, they should talk about their lack of perceived specific qualities.

Lama Gangchen

February 20, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Medicine
Thread title: Veganism @ Tibetan Medicine
Date: June 23rd – 27th 2006

Forum member:

I am a vegetarian considering going vegan.

I’d like to learn more about the Tibetan medical views of veganism. Is it generally considered a healthy choice in Tibetan medicine? Is it generally advised against? I understand that i would probably have to be assessed by a Tibetan medical practitioner to see how it would work with my personal constitution but are their any general views held about it?

Any info would be great and much appreciated.

During the ensuing discussion, someone posts a link to advice on this issue from Lama Gangchen.

Henry (E-sangha Global Moderator)

Lama Gangchen is one of the strongest supporters for the Dolgyal practice.

although he is not connected to New Kadampa Tradition, we do not encourage any associations with him under the advice of the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Buddhist Forum

February 10, 2009

Warning, E-sangha is an online Buddhist forum that promotes religious intolerance and sectarianism. Please select categories for more examples.

If you have witnessed such abuses on E-sangha, please report them at:

esanghareport at gmail.com

Please go here for more information.

FWBO

February 9, 2009

Subforum: Topics in Buddhism > General Buddhism Discussion
Thread title: Friends Of Western Buddhist Order, and Sangharakshita
Date: Aug 26th – 31st 2004

On August 26th a Forum member posts this:

I was wondering if anyone here is a member of, or has any opinions about Friends of the Western Buddhist Order FWBO?

I am interested in the fact that it has no specific affiliation with any certain school of Buddhism, but it rather generalizes and brings together all shared beliefs/aspects, making them more easily accesable to Westerners. Do you think this is beneficial, or damaging to the authenticism of individual schools of thought?

On 31st August, Anders Honore – an E-sangha administrator – informs us:

the reported incidents within the FWBO are far too numerous including in recent years to be put down to a few rotten apples.

Though it may have ‘corrected a few starting mishaps’ the fact of the matter is that its teachings are still founded on the thoughts of a sexually criminal mind, who deliberately violated his precepts and whose misconduct in general is too well reported to be put down to the personal grudge of a few belittled souls.

the FWBO is a large organised network and I am sure there is merit in this, but the fact that this network has done little to distance themselves from its throroughly rotten roots ensures its cult status. Perhaps if it acknowledged that there really is very little commendable abouts its original vision and that it cannot continue to affiliate itself with its past in any way without loss of integrity it might be considered a genuine Buddhist order. And even then, I am not sure there is much point in preserving the order, except to main the network.

Aro

February 8, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Tantric-spiritual level of martial art
Date: Apr 7 2005

A discussion on martial arts is interrupted:

Henry (E-sangha global moderator)

sorry, Czokonetup. i have removed your avatar without your permission.

that pic is a thangka of a fake terma of Aro gTer… they claimed that it is Guru Black Manjushri practice.

Godo

Was there something offensive about his Avatar, or is there some “religious purity” test that the images people choose need to pass?

Henry, sometimes I really do think you go a little too far.

Yudron

Henry, you have looked at those aro ter images yourself enough to recognize them when you see them, and as far as I know it has not harmed you. Why then would it be harmful for others to see this thanka. You opinions about this lama’s visionary experiences are well known, how about a little tolerance for spiritual diversity?

Henry:

whether Ngakphang Chogyam is like Lu Sheng Yen (of True Buddha School), merely copied and modified Dudjom Tesar and teachings of other tertons, i don’t want to argue.

but i would like to share an old email with you:

Dear Dharma friends,

I have found your webpage today and am very happy that there is so much
information about Ngakpa Chögyam.

very often asked my teacher H.H. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche why he did not
do anything to stop Chögyam. He simply said that “Chögyam has put himself
up and will fall down all by himself”. I was not satisfied with this at all at the time
but as Rinpoche was such a wise teacher I believe that is what will be happening.
In the meantime many people who are initially attracted to Chögyam will eventually
find the true Dharma.

Yudron:

I agree with CR Lama on this topic. This situation will short itself out over time, you do not need to send in the dharma police. Do you feel like your judgement is better than this respected Rinpoche?

Whether you beleive in the validity of the Aro Ter or not, there is a lot to be said for practicing tolerance of people’s divergent beliefs. At least let them enjoy the art they like!

True Buddha School

February 8, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Ngakpa, searching for Rime ngakpa
Date: Aug 10 2004,

Forum member:

Is anyone out there Rime ngakpa or ngakpo? I’m a serious practitioner who wishes to meet same on this forum or in private emails.
I want to connect to ngakpa but not as part of a lineage. (Been there, done that)

Also any sangha members who use english for their sadhans aand pujas.

May all beings benefit

Henry (E-sangha global moderator)

Aro gTer and True Buddha School are famous for their fake termas, and their leaders, of coz, are fake tertons.

if one is really interested abt living as a genuine Ngakpa under Nyingma tradition (like what you mentioned “looked like a bunch of kooks,wearing their white felt costumes and all.phurbas in belts and all”), one may want to seek guidance from those who follow Dudjom Tersar teachings and so forth.

Forum member:

Tharpa and Henry,

as you will see is my name Lian Hua. I am a member of the True Buddha School. And His Holiness Guru Lian Sheng is my root Guru. Why do you judge others. I am feel really sad that you do not practice “right speech” and talk so negative about other Buddhist. Your negative words do not show you have gained wisdom from the Buddha’s teachings.

I pray that other Buddhist or non-Buddhist shall never judge you as you judge others. And as true the words of the Buddha say: once the fruits of wrong speech wil ripen.

The Words of Mara

February 8, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > East Asian Buddhism > Chan/Zen/Seon General Forum
Thread title: just sitting
Date: Jan 14 2009

Rev Nonin (Forum member) :

No one is free from delusion forever. Nothing is permanent. Delusion keeps coming up.

Anders Honore (E-sangha administrator)

That is really at odds with how this is usually taught in Buddhism, of any kind really.

Rev Nonin (Forum member) :

Not really. Nothing is permanent, Anders. This is basic Buddhist teaching. The absence of delusion is a mental state, and all mental states are impermanent. The second bodhisattva vow is “Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them.” Inexhaustible means inexhaustible. The vow is to end them whenever we are afflicted by them. Buddhist practice is an ongoing process with no end.

This is how it is taught in the Buddhism I’ve studied and practiced.

Hands palm-to-palm,

Nonin

Namdrol (former E-sangha global moderator)

This is an unacceptable position, these are the words of Mara, Adharma, False dharma, and may not propagated here at E-Sanga, in any forum. People who present themselves as Buddhist teachers here should not enunciate such falsehoods, lies and slanders.

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

February 8, 2009

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Gelug Fellowship Forum
Thread title: Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, monastic robes and Setrap puja
Date: March 25 – 28 2008

Forum members celebrate the contemporary Buddhist Master Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, references are made to his videos such as this one:

at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkICMrNG78M

In the middle of this celebration, Henry the global moderator weighs in with:

however, i am very strange abt Rinpoche’s position to NKT “Geshe” Kelsang Gyatso…

Rinpoche said:

“Those of us who follow teachers that are renowned, that you can see the result of their holy pracitce, you can see the result of their prayers and their hard work, and we should have faith and respect.His Holiness Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, the great Nyingma master, His Holiness Khabjon Trijang Rinpoche, we should know what they are about and understand the dharma then we can check on a low level. The great master, the Kadampa Geshe, Kelsang Gyatso, you can see very clearly his works, his centers, his books, his pure vows, and how many thousands of people he effects, and we like or we don’t like, can see result, we accept or we don’t accept, it doesn’t really matter, I’m not at the level to judge and I’m not at the level to see, all I”m at the level is teach the dharma, teach guru devotion make students and their real and their teachers strong make them understand the dharma, so that they can apply to their own personal don’t give your practice to them, don’t change them.”

you can find this:
Video on Karma & its Relations to Vows (2 of 2) Part 2 found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NJkuR3pk6Q (fixed the hyperlink)

10:15 on the recording (10 mins into this video)

did i hear wrongly?

Forum members debate the rights and wrongs of praising Geshe Kelsang Gyatso who is persona non grata at E-sangha.

Then we have:
Losang Dorje

I think we should all mind our own business.

The Giant Albion (E-Sangha Moderator)

Generally, yes. But there are exceptions.

Some of us may be students of Tsem Tulku already, or may be interested in taking teachings from him. His views on Kelsang Gyatso are very relevant to these people. Best thing is to take mr walfington’s advice and just ask for clarification, and take whatever is said at face value and move on.

Henry (E-Sangha Global Moderator)

thus, this is the reason why i have merged Pero’s posts into this main thread.

besides, Tsem Rinpoche’s views do not represent general Tibetan Buddhism, and general Gelugpa views.

so for his (internet) students, if you want to maintain the bond with him, please seek clarification from him, and do post his replies in this thread (if any).

The debate continues with some people suggesting he may have been praising the 7th Dalai Lama – Kelsang Gyatso.

Then the big guns join in:

Namdrol (former E-sangha global moderator)

No you are wrong. He was praising Kalsang Gyatso of NKT fame– just open your eyes and and ears. Don’t make the error of fooling yourself over this out of misguided loyalty.

What Tsem Tulku is saying is that as far as he is concerned, he is not in a position to judge, and he is asserting that the results speak for themselves (i.e. his books, centers, etc.). He is the one calling Kelsang Gyatso of the NKT a “great master” and that statement speaks for itself.

Chigpu (E-sangha administrator)

Why would anybody want to associate with people like this?

The thread is closed at that point.

There was a recent thread on Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, which illustrates that E-sangha may have added him to the list of banned topics:

Subforum: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, greatest lama evar
Date: Jan 27 2009, 03:22 AM

Individual:

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche is a great Lama.

What do you all think?

If I weren’t so radically non-sectarian (and thus unable to explicitly become any guru’s disciple) and weren’t weary of the burden of having a guru, I might go out and be a follower of his. At the very least, though, I’d like to see him around someday. He seems neat. I hope he isn’t under-appreciated.

Trinlè Lhundrup

I enjoyed watching the YouTube stuff when I got turned onto him a few months ago, but I have to say the in-your-face sarcasm wears on me after a bit. He seems to have a strong following. Nice to see someone shaking things up.

Henry (E-sangha global moderator) refers readers back to the above thread where Henry himself had picked up on 30 seconds of praise for Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Those 30 seconds seem to have been enough to get Tsem Tulku Rinpoche discussions banned on E-sangha.

please see this thread.

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=58762

this thread will be closed.

Homosexuality

February 6, 2009

Subforum: Family Life > Gay and Lesbian Buddhists
Thread title: Searching For The Abominable Homosexual In Tibet, Interview’s with Gay Tibetans in Tibet
Date: Nov 26 2004, 03:04 PM

Mukalynda:

In 1995 Gay British journalist Garry Otton was the first to travel to Tibet to discover how Gay Tibetans survive, as the forbidden fruit, in a forbidden land. It was published in the Gay British magazine, Attitude, in January 1996, and sparked a controversy that the Dalai Lama himself was forced to respond to in June 1997. A response that was hardly adequate for Gay Buddhists, but one that was deliberately designed to passify a secular, non-Buddhist gay community with platitudes of peace and non-volence against others, yet one that still buried gay Buddhists themselves under a form of homophobia, hidden deep beneath empty smiles and meaningless acceptance.

The article was entitled, ‘TIBET: Forbidden Fruit in the Forbidden Land’, and can be found –

HERE

Henry (An E-Sangha Global Moderator)

you are fond of digging the faults of Sangha members, see your post on Engaged Buddhism section too.

do listening and believing in rumours and slanderous attacks on Sangha members going to help you to attain Buddhahood?

BMJ:

How is this particular article slanderous?

Mukalynda:

It is my belief that Buddhahood means to wake up. To avoid knowledge and understanding, for fear of ‘upsetting ‘ certain individuals, who themselves are just as quick to criticise others, and accuse them of heresy, to support their own traditional sensitivities, is hardly progressing toward Buddhahood.

It is those who shout such words as ‘slander’ and ‘insults’, to squash any view different from their own, that in my mind is an insult to the teaching of Gotama Buddha, who taught us to question everything.

It is important that we as Buddhists can discuss any issue with an open mind, without resorting to subtle condemnations, that will frighten people into silence, which throughout history has been used as a very useful tactic, by those who have already developed their power base, and are unwilling to have it questioned.

If we as Buddhist fail to question everything, we become no better than the superstitious religions that exist all around us, who are intent upon defending their dogmas in whatever dreadfull ways they can, claiming all kinds of religious injuctions to support their own untruths and horrific actions.

Conebeckham (An E-Sangha Moderator)

Buddha did not teach us to question everything. He taught us to question very specific things–mainly, his own teachings. Also, our preconceptions about reality….which, I suppose, could be interpreted as “everything,” though what he asked us to question was it’s mode of existence, not it’s “fairness,” or “correctness,” or even it’s “humanity” or “moral quality.” (Much less it’s “political correctness.”)

Although I found the info regarding Gays in Tibet to be interesting and informative, it does not “rock my world.” All the homophobes who have been posting at E-Sangha, regarding Gays not being “allowed” to be Buddhist, or those who may or may not be homophobic, but who have interpreted the Vinaya in such a way that they feel it “disallows” Gays, cannot and will not convince a sensible educated person that Gay people are unknown or nonexistent in Tibet.

Additionally, it does not take much to understand that Tibetan culture is, for the most part, fairly homophobic, as are many so-called “traditional” Asian cultures. (Yes, there are exceptions).

Given these facts (1. Homosexual people live in Tibet, (as they do everywhere), and, 2. Homosexual people are not particularly “accepted” in Tibetan society), what further point can be gleaned?

Do you, Mukalynda, infer therefrom that Tibetan Dharma therefore does not “allow” Gays? Because, in my interpretation, and in the interpretation of my Gay friends, the Tibetan Vajrayana lineages in the West are in most cases, quite supportive, and at the very least, not condemnatory, of anyone’s sexual orientation.

I’m not sure what your point is, I suppose….it seems you’re just out to point out flaws in your targets, whatever they may be, from “America” to “Tibetan Buddhism.” Perhaps I’m just not “getting it,” but it seems to be, by and large, as much a waste of bandwith as those posters (“Nangpa” et al) whose sole purpose seems to be to provoke and attack.

I wish you all the best, regardless….

Mukalynda:

The point is no more difficult to fathom than the large amount of idle chatter that is also posted on ESangha. Why would one question the posting of such an article as the travels of a gay jounalist in Tibet, and state it is a waste of bandwidth, and then ignore the constant prattle that goes on elsewhere. This justs suggests a personal preference as to what one prefers to read, rather than an actual waste of bandwidth. Its beyond me why I would have to explain something so simple as this, it’s sole purpose was to be informative and thought provoking, yet thought provoking appears to be viewed with some fear, as such fear leads to accusations of attacks.

As for the subject content you yourself may not be interested in this article, but Im sure many gays might be interested in this, and consider it a subject with some relevence to themselves, especialy if they are gay Buddhists [enough to be printed in several national gay magazines – was that a waste of ink?]. Whatever your reason to disimiss this interesting article in such a dismissive way, would suggest to me that you are one of the few hetero San Franciscans with little understanding of gay interests, or it is an over sensitive reaction, as it does not appear to read well for the ‘free Tibet’ campaign – at least in language that they would prefer to use.

PS – there is nothing wrong with a little provocation to get the brain cells sparking – though if you yourself actualy feel attacked I cannot be held resonsible for that – that is your own personal problem, if you should respond to the thoughts of another [I myself did not write the article], in such a way.

Am I to be forbidden from saying that I think that the Dali Lama’s comments were ‘hardly adequate for Gay Buddhists’, to satisfy your own need to feel comfortable ?. Whenever you disagree with something, or its validity as a viable posting, do your realy presume you have the right to consider anothers interests a waste of bandwidth. Im sure there is many a thread I could likewise accuse of a waste of bandwidth, but I would not even be so presumptious as to state such a thing, as if my judgement of their use of bandwidth was the final decision as to what is worthwhile or not.

Granted, I admit my recent threads regarding Tibetan culture and also its attitude to Homosexulity have created some very disturbing responses, but for no fault of my own, I only presented some articles to be read with interest [press the delete button if you are not interested], and each disturbing response is entirely the actions of the responders alone.

What they do indicate, IMO, is a worrying rise in dogmatism and intolerance amongst modern Buddhists, against those who may disagree with them or question too much, believing this to be justification for righteous indignation and personal insults – a very disturbing trend, though one to be expected as most humans [Buddhist or non-Buddhist] value group acceptance and comfrotable mytholgies, above ‘truth’.

Henry (An E-Sangha Global Moderator)

this is not your board, don’t be too bossy and please abide the general rules and guidelines of this board, thanks.

Controversial website

February 6, 2009

Subform: Traditions > Tibetan Buddhism > Tibetan Buddhism General Forum
Thread title: Vajrasana.org, Henry’s website
Date: Aug 25 2005, 07:25 PM

Henry, a current global moderator, maintained over a number of years what he refered to as a list of controversial Buddhist traditions. He promoted his site on E-sangha until a complaint was lodged with Yahoo and the site was shut down.

Henry:

Dear Dharma teachers/friends,

Controversial Buddhist Traditions A – Z updated:
See Note: 7 – My reply to a visitor for my website on the above subject.

A thread on E-sangha celebrated and discussed this site until one day:

mtodd75682:

I have been reading over this thread for some time and wanted to make a few observations. To begin, I was the one that filed a complaint with Yahoo regarding your site Henry, although it appears that you and others think it is Lama X. I have spent many hours investigating some of those people and groups that you labeled as “cults” on your previous site and found most of what you alleged to be completely false.

I have no problem with someone posing a debate about specific religions or practices, but when it is done through fiction, not fact, and with malicious intent then it becomes an attack and not a debate. The individuals that I have corresponded with have given me information which I deem to be reliable and accurate. They have also stood by and allowed you to spread propaganda across the web and have not retaliated. In looking at your previous site and this thread, when someone doesnt retaliate or answer every question you pose or every “fact” you assert, you seem to take a stance that they are admitting the accusations by failure to reply, or in the alternative, you use a reply and chop up the response so it is taken out of context.

If you do not understand the legal liability behind making libelous statements then apparently Yahoo certainly did and that is why they chose to take your site down. While I feel that your initial intention was good and was to bring attention to those who are not following the teachings of Lord Buddha, it is my opinion that the matter turned into more of a witch hunt and you focused more on expanding your site with unsupported claims. This is truly where the problem is. In the event that you open a new site, I would hope that you look further into making such unsubstantiated claims against people and groups.

Dorje T

Henry just a note here,

I would advise you to seek legal counsel advice and assistance on getting your files back and perhaps posting a disclaimer of sorts on your next website. You are safe generally to express your views on the actions of other so called “Buddhist” groups provided you do that within certain guidlines. Personally, I have always found your site very helpful and thought it that way for those whome I recommended it to.

mtodd75682,

You had a specific issue with part of his web site but you intitiated an action that ended up bringing harm to not only Henry, but to the many people who were benefiting from the vast collection of Dharma texts on his entire site. While I can’t read your mind, it seems to me that – at best – you mishandled this situation at a level – at the very least – worthy of being banned here. You either knew better or you should have known better than to take this coarse of action. Of coarse, I am not a moderator or founder on esangha so what I say in this regard is just my own opinion.

Personally, I have found that the moderators do a pretty fine job here of not only protecting e-sangha, but also of protecting the Dharma in general from harmful degenerative influences and for this I think we should be greatful. I for one trust their judgement for the most part – and that of coarse includes Henry and most of the views he expressed on his webpage.

Whats that saying again? The answer to bad free speech is good free speech, not ‘no’ free speech…something like that

PS – Maybe he did and I don’t know about it, but the last time I visited Henry’s page I did NOT see him outright say that such and so group was a “cult”, and as I recall he refered to these as groups that were “questionable” in their activities, again, not cults. I could be wrong about that though, and if so, my advice to him above applies.

mtodd75682:

Hello Dorje,

I appreciate you taking the time to write and I respect your opinion. I would like to address a few points you made, if I may.

To begin, while I am thankful for anyone who takes the time to put Dharma teachings on any website. However, the complaint that I lodged was not with the specific intent to have the entire site closed down, but only certain parts. If the entire site was shut down then it was a result of Henry’s own content, not my complaint.

Next, as to your sentence of “The answer to bad free speech is good free speech, not ‘no’ free speech”, I will most certainly agree with you. While I do not know what country you are from, I am located in the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution speaks volumes to the right to free speech under the First Amendment. As my career is in the legal field, I have spent much time researching constitutional law. When speaking of First Amendment issues, the Supreme Court has ruled on many important cases relating to the 1st Amendment. See for example Abington School Dist v. Schempp (school prayer), County of Allegheny v. ACLU (nativity scene and menorah), Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. (nude dancing), Cohen v. California (vulgar speech) Employment Division v. Smith (religious use of peyote), and Tinker v Des Moines (Vietnam protest).

While free speech is a right, Henry was using his free speech on a site owned by Yahoo. If the speech or writings is defamatory in nature then Yahoo could have potentially been held liable under U.S. law for the actions of Henry. Of course, any other site that Henry puts up with the same defamatory remarks could also place liability on the owner of the site. If Henry chooses to invest in all the equipment needed to have his own server and website then he could still have the site shut down and face civil liability, even if he is in Singapore, under the Alien Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 1350).

I do hope that he puts up another site with the teachings on them as they were very valuable to anyone who used his site for that purpose. If he chooses to put the information about the Controversial Buddhist Traditions (formerly known as Buddhist Cults A-Z) then he certainly has that right. In fact, maybe he could start with a topic on the reasons he thinks that the options of smiley faces that can be put on this site includes two which obviously promote drinking and his stance on that.

Another forum member adds:

Dorje wrote

“You had a specific issue with part of his web site but you intitiated an action that ended up bringing harm to not only Henry, but to the many people who were benefiting from the vast collection of Dharma texts on his entire site.”

Although I agree that when a site is shut down with valuable information on it , this is a sad situation but I have visited Henry’s site and not all was valuable. Part of it was actually slanderous. Also Henry has been fighting tooth and nail to shut down Lama x’s site. Lama x’s site also has valuable information on it. Don’t you think Henry’s fight to shut down other sites is also harming many people?

Also, if Yahoo did not find controversial issues on Henrys site why would they shut it down?