Author Topic: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name  (Read 4512 times)

sonamdhargey

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The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« on: December 09, 2012, 11:20:43 AM »
Ordained Lama abusing their position and taking advantage of thier students. How would an ordained Lama do such thing as rape. The Lama should be protecting these helpless students instead.

'The Dalai Lama has warned against being seduced into Tibetan Buddhism by its exotic tantric aura.'

A senior monk at Kagyu Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist centre near Dijon in France, has become the first ordained lama in the developed world to be imprisoned. Lama Tempa Dargye is being held in provisional detention, following allegations of rape and sexual violence by four women. One woman alleged that she was aged nine when she was raped. French police have also launched an investigation into financial irregularities at the centre.

Kagyu Ling was founded in 1976 by the late Kalu Rinpoche, in response to a surge of interest in Tibetan Buddhism among western spiritual seekers. Kalu Rinpoche died in 1989. Within the last two years his reincarnation, the present Kalu Rinpoche, has assumed responsibility for the institutions set up by his predecessor. But during Kalu's childhood the situation at Kagyu Ling allegedly deteriorated to the point where it no longer functioned as a Buddhist centre. The young Kalu sacked Lama Tempa and five other resident Bhutanese monks, replacing them with westerners and a "collegiate" system of control and responsibility.

Controversy over Kagyu Ling might then have died down – except for the fact that a woman known as Sandrine decided to tell her story of rape and sexual violence to the gendarmerie. At first she was a lone voice, but recently three more women decided to testify; Lama Tempa was arrested and the police investigation is ongoing.

The events at Kagyu Ling are currently making headlines in France, but Tibet-watchers worldwide are aware that many more scandals have surfaced since the lamas fled their homeland in the late 1950s, following the Chinese takeover of Tibet. Some examples: in America followers of the late Trungpa Rinpoche were horrified to learn that his appointed successor, the late Thomas Rich appeared to have infected several people with HIV.

In 1994 the high-profile lama Sogyal Rinpoche was sued in California for sexual assault by a woman known as Janice Doe. The suit was settled out of court with substantial damages paid to the plaintiff. Rumours about Sogyal's sexual exploits have circulated on the internet ever since. In Canberra, Australia, a respected Tibetan guru called Lama Choedak was forced to make a public apology after multiple affairs with his female students came to light.

In the UK Michael Lyons, aka Mohan Singh, is serving 10 years in prison after being convicted of rape. He posed as a Tibetan lama, but had no authentic qualifications. The followers of an American, Geshe Michael Roach, ordained as a Tibetan monk, attracted media attention when one of them died in bizarre circumstances after being ejected from a three-year retreat at a remote mountain centre in Arizona. "Michael Roach teaches an extremely exaggerated, and from a Buddhist perspective somewhat dubious, form of tantrism," says Lama Jampa Thaye, an Englishman from Manchester who has been teaching Tibetan Buddhism for more than 30 years.

Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/oct/08/tibetan-lamas-buddhism

diablo1974

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 08:23:04 PM »
Its sad to hear such news coming from the western land, i can only sighed in this degenerated age where dharma are not able function effectively due to the ignorance of beings. Kalu rinpoche posted an account of what and how he has been sexually abused as a monk, and this was one of the reason which made him disrobe.  In all human organisation there are always 'black sheep' or a mix of both, we have faults and thats why we are here learning the buddhadharma. Ordained monks are seen on a higher level than a normal lay person as they are assuming larger responsibilities 'to benefit others'. However, if they have made a mistake and is made known to the public, the effect would b quite detrimental to the reputation of buddhism.

dondrup

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 08:30:43 PM »
Unscrupulous, unethical or bogus lamas are the possible main reasons why these lamas had been charged with rape, sex scandals or immoral conduct.  Another possible reason is the institutions that these lamas belong to, do not have a system to monitor the behavior and conduct of its community which includes the lay and ordained sangha.  Even with rules they must be enforced otherwise the rules become redundant!  Female sangha members should never be seen alone with the lama in all occasions.   On the other hand, there is a possibility of students or enemies of the lamas who want to cause disrepute to these lamas.

bambi

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 03:49:27 AM »
Oh my goodness.. These are indeed not so good news. Most of all, I was not aware that Kalu Rinpoche was sexually abused as a child. I have heard of Him before and people telling me that he disrobed and went to be a rapper.
I cannot comment on what Lama Tempa has done. it is really sad to know that such things are happening and giving a not so good name to Tibetan Buddhism. Always check the authenticity of a Lama before anything else. Sad to say there are many out there that are not genuine and taking advantages.

I found a video of Kalu Rinpoche giving teachings in lay clothes explaining about approach to Buddhism. I find it quite interesting. 

An approach to Buddhism by Kalu Rinpoche


rossoneri

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 04:00:26 AM »
It is sad to hear all this, but we are not 100 percent sure what is going on behind the scene. But i believed a real Lama wouldn't have do this to their students no matter what are the reason is. Real Lama or Guru will not commit this even he or she do not appeal like a monk or looks like a monk. What is important is inside us, are we a real practitioner or not. Simply wearing a monk rope does not guarantee we are holy although we looks like one. It is sad to know some of the Lama misuse the fame and name of Buddhism in this degenerated period. Students should always be careful, always check your Lama out before we proclaim that He  or She is our Guru or spiritual advisor.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 05:27:17 PM »
It is indeed very sad to read of these incidences that the Tibetan Lamas were convicted of. I would say that it is really confusing for a new student in Buddhism to check out a Lama before proclaiming him to be the right person to be his guru. What more, it is stated in the Bodhisattva vows that one should respect and regard anyone in a monks robe as an actual sangha. It is just so depressing to know that some people are misusing their position, trust and respect that is placed on them.

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 06:08:15 PM »
Quote
6. In order for the words of honour of neither the Guru nor the disciple to degenerate, there must be a mutual examination beforehand (to determine if each can) brave a Guru-disciple relationship.

7. A disciple with sense should not accept as his Guru someone who lacks compassion or who is angersome, vicious or arrogant, possessive, undisciplined or boasts of his knowledge.

8. (A Guru should be) stable (in his actions), cultivated (in his speech), wise, patient and honest. He should neither conceal his shortcomings, nor pretend to possess qualities he lacks. He should be an expert in the meanings (of tantra) and in its ritual procedures (of medicine and turning back obstacles). Also he should have loving compassion and a complete knowledge of the scriptures.

9. He should have full experience in both ten fields, skill in the drawing of mandalas, full knowledge of how to explain the tantras, supreme faith and his senses fully under control.

Above are verse 6, 7, 8 and 9 from 50 Verses of Guru Devotion.

With so many unscrupulous people out there using Tibetan Buddhism and abusing it as a front for their own twisted evil plans, it is indeed hard to know whether the Lama is for real or not. There is no 100% guarantee way to ascertain whether the lama is genuine or not. One can only be very careful by getting to know the person more by reading his / her actions as stated in verse 7, 8 and 9 from the 50 Verses of Guru Devotion.

These bogus Lamas and monks are real problem and give Buddhism a real bad impression to lay people who do not have much Dharma knowledge. People get turned off by such news and become very suspicious to every Lamas and monks, even the real ones. Then it becomes harder for people to receive the Dharma and for Dharma to grow. Potential people who may want to sponsor or donate to a genuine Dharma organization / centre that really benefit the public may take longer time to consider or may even change their mind due to this sort of news, hence hindering the growth and spread of the true Dharma.

I don't know what are the consequences for faking to be a Lama, taking in disciples and abusing the name Buddhism for personal gains. But I am sure everything has consequences.  And it will not be good if it involves misleading and tainting the wisdom and understanding of others.
DORJE PAKMO

fruven

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 06:27:11 AM »
Thanks for the news. As this is samsara it is nothing new. Nowadays news gets reported faster and available globally thru the Internet and we become aware of such incidents. Of course a monk who represents the good qualities and virtues started acting opposite of what we think is good it brings down the name of a religion. From the side of the reader we should observe how many good people who have benefited from spiritual practices, not only those who deviate from the practices. Quickly labeling religion as outdated and not usable for this modern age will ultimately lead us away from our own spiritual growth. Also instead of reporting only 'bad' news, news that shame someone, the media should include more 'good' news, news that praise someone because of their act.

Ensapa

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Re: The lamas who give Tibetan Buddhism a bad name
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 01:08:32 PM »
Oh my goodness.. These are indeed not so good news. Most of all, I was not aware that Kalu Rinpoche was sexually abused as a child. I have heard of Him before and people telling me that he disrobed and went to be a rapper.
I cannot comment on what Lama Tempa has done. it is really sad to know that such things are happening and giving a not so good name to Tibetan Buddhism. Always check the authenticity of a Lama before anything else. Sad to say there are many out there that are not genuine and taking advantages.

I found a video of Kalu Rinpoche giving teachings in lay clothes explaining about approach to Buddhism. I find it quite interesting. 

An approach to Buddhism by Kalu Rinpoche


On Kalu Rinpoche, I think he is just using a more radical way of teaching Buddhism and he did the confession to reach out to more people. He is pretty active on facebook and has his own blog and he posts things that does sound appealing to the younger generation of people these days. I do applaud his methods as it is hitting a large number of people out there, but I already have my own lama and that is enough for me, but I would just like to point out that it could be him using an alternate method to reach out to more people these days.