A Wild and Crazy Wisdom Guy (Chogyam Trungpa)

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A Wild and Crazy Wisdom Guy (Chogyam Trungpa)

Postby American Dream » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:31 pm

http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsam ... rungpa.asp

A WILD AND CRAZY WISDOM GUY

(CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA)


CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA, BORN IN 1939, is the first of the “crazy wisdom” masters whose effect on North American spirituality we will be considering.

The night of my conception my mother had a very significant dream that a being had entered her body with a flash of light; that year flowers bloomed in the neighborhood although it was still winter, to the surprise of the inhabitants....

I was born in the cattle byre [shed]; the birth came easily. On that day a rainbow was seen in the village, a pail supposed to contain water was unaccountably found full of milk, while several of my mother’s relations dreamt that a lama was visiting their tents (Trungpa, 1977).

As the eleventh incarnation of the Trungpa Tulku, the milk-fed sage was raised from his childhood to be the supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries in eastern Tibet.

In Trungpa’s tradition, a tulku is “someone who reincarnates with the memories and values of previous lives intact” (Butterfield, 1994). Of an earlier, fourth incarnation of that same Trungpa Tulku (Trungpa Künga-gyaltzen) in the late fourteenth century, it has been asserted:

[H]e was looked upon as an incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva, destined to be the Buddha of the next World Cycle, also of Dombhipa a great Buddhist siddha (adept) and of Milarepa (Trungpa, 1977).

Having been enthroned in Tibet as heir to the lineages of Milarepa and Padmasambhava, Trungpa left the country for India in 1959, fleeing the Chinese Communist takeover. There, by appointment of the Dalai Lama, he served as the spiritual advisor for the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, until 1963 (Shambhala, 2003).

From India Chögyam went to England, studying comparative religion and psychology at Oxford University. (A later student of Trungpa’s, Al Santoli, “suggests that the CIA may have had a hand in getting the eleventh Trungpa into Oxford” [Clark, 1980].) He further caused quite a stir in clashing with another tulku adversary (Akong) of his who, like Trungpa himself, had designs on leading their lineage in the West.

To the amazement of a small circle of local helpers and to the gross embarrassment of the powers that sent them to England, the two honorable tulkus entered into heated arguments and publicly exchanged hateful invectives. In an early edition of his book, Born in Tibet, Trungpa called Akong paranoid and scheming (Lehnert, 1998).

In any case, Trungpa and Akong went on to found the first Western-hemisphere Tibetan Buddhist meditation center, in Scotland, which community was visited by the American poet Robert Bly in 1971.

It was, Trungpa remembers, “a forward step. Nevertheless, it was not entirely satisfying, for the scale of activity was small, and the people who did come to participate seemed to be slightly missing the point” (Fields, 1992).

That same center later became of interest to the police as they investigated allegations of drug abuse there. Trungpa, not himself prone to “missing the point,” avoided that bust by hiding in a stable.

The Buddhist nun Tenzin Palmo (in Mackenzie, 1999) related her own experiences with the young Chögyam in England, upon their first meeting in 1962. There, in finding his attentive hands working their way up her skirt in the middle of afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches, Trungpa received a stiletto heel to his sandaled holy feet. His later “smooth line” to her, in repeated attempts at seduction beyond that initial meeting/groping, included the claim that Palmo had “swept him off his monastic feet.” That, in spite of the fact that he “had women since [he] was thirteen,” and already had a son.

In 1969 Chögyam experienced a tragic automobile accident which left him paralyzed on the left side of his body. The car had careened into a joke shop (seriously); Trungpa had been driving drunk at the time (Das, 1997), to the point of blacking out at the wheel (Trungpa, 1977).

Note, now, that Trungpa did not depart from Tibet for India until age twenty, and did not leave India for his schooling in England until four years later. Thus, eleven years of his having “had women” were enacted within surrounding traditional Tibetan and northern Indian attitudes toward acceptable behavior (on the part of monks, etc.). Indeed, according to the son referenced above, both his mother and Trungpa were under vows of celibacy, in Tibet, at the time of their union (Dykema, 2003). Of the three hundred monks entrusted to him when he was enthroned as supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, Trungpa himself (1977) remarked that

one hundred and seventy were bhikshus (fully ordained monks), the remainder being shramaneras (novices) and young upsaka students who had already taken the vow of celibacy.

Obviously, then, Trungpa’s (Sarvastivadin) tradition was not a “monastic” one without celibacy vows, as is the case with Zen.

Further, Trungpa himself did not formally give up his monastic vows to work as a “lay teacher” until sometime after his car accident in England. This, then, is another clear instance of demonstration that traditional agrarian society places no more iron-clad constraints on the behavior of any “divine sage” than does its postmodern, Western counterpart.

Trungpa may have “partied harder” in Europe and the States, but he was already breaking plenty of rules, without censure, back in Tibet and India. Indeed, one could probably reasonably argue that, proportionately, he broke as many social and cultural rules, with as little censure, in Tibet and India as he later did in America. (For blatant examples of what insignificant discipline is visited upon even violent rule-breakers in Tibetan Buddhist society even today, consult Lehnert’s [1998] Rogues in Robes.) Further, Trungpa (1977) did not begin to act as anyone’s guru until age fourteen, but had women since he was thirteen. He was thus obviously breaking that vow of celibacy with impunity both before and after assuming “God-like” guru status, again in agrarian 1950s Tibet.

In 1970, the recently married Trungpa and his sixteen-year-old, dressage-fancying English wife, Diana, established their permanent residence in the United States. He was soon teaching at the University of Colorado, and in time accumulated around 1500 disciples. Included among those was folksinger Joni Mitchell, who visited the tulku three times, and whose song “Refuge of the Roads” (from the 1976 album Hejira) contains an opening verse about the guru. Contemporary transpersonal psychologist and author John Welwood, member of the Board of Editors of The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, is also a long-time follower of Trungpa.

In 1974, Chögyam founded the accredited Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado—the first tantric university in America. Instructors and guests at Naropa have included psychiatrist R. D. Laing, Gregory Bateson, Ram Dass and Allen Ginsberg—after whom the university library was later named. (Ginsberg had earlier spent time with Swami Muktananda [Miles, 1989].) Also, Marianne Faithfull, avant-garde composer John Cage, and William “Naked Lunch” Burroughs, who had earlier become enchanted (1974, 1995) and then disenchanted with L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology. Plus, the infinitely tedious Tibetan scholar and translator Herbert V. Guenther, whose writings, even by dry academic standards, could function well as a natural sedative.

Bhagavan Das (1997) related his own, more lively experiences, while teaching Indian music for three months at Naropa in the ’70s:

The party energy around [Trungpa] was compelling. In fact, that’s basically what Naropa was: a huge blowout party, twenty-four hours a day....

I was in a very crazed space and very lost. One day, after having sex with three different women, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was traumatized. It was all too much.

Jack Kornfield offered a less “traumatic” recounting of his own days lecturing there, being invited to teach after he and Trungpa had met at a (where else) cocktail party in 1973:

We all had this romantic, idealistic feeling that we were at the beginning of a consciousness movement that was really going to transform the world (in Schwartz, 1996).

Befitting the leader of such a world-changing effort, in 1974 Trungpa was confirmed as a Vajracarya, or a “spiritual master of the highest level,” by His Holiness the Karmapa Lama, during the latter’s first visit to the West (Trungpa, 1977).
* * *

The practice of “crazy wisdom” itself rests upon the following theory:

[I]f a bodhisattva is completely selfless, a completely open person, then he will act according to openness, will not have to follow rules; he will simply fall into patterns. It is impossible for the bodhisattva to destroy or harm other people, because he embodies transcendental generosity. He has opened himself completely and so does not discriminate between this and that. He just acts in accordance with what is.... [H]is mind is so precise, so accurate that he never makes mistakes [italics added]. He never runs into unexpected problems, never creates chaos in a destructive way (Trungpa, 1973).

[O]nce you receive transmission and form the [guru-disciple] bond of samaya, you have committed yourself to the teacher as guru, and from then on, the guru can do no wrong, no matter what. It follows that if you obey the guru in all things, you can do no wrong either. This is the basis of Osel Tendzin’s [Trungpa’s eventual successor] teaching that “if you keep your samaya, you cannot make a mistake.” He was not deviating into his own megalomania when he said this, but repeating the most essential idea of mainstream Vajrayana [i.e., Tantric Buddhism] (Butterfield, 1994).

Q [student]: What if you feel the necessity for a violent act in order ultimately to do good for a person?

A [Trungpa]: You just do it (Trungpa, 1973).

A perfect example of going with energy, of the positive wild yogi quality, was the actual transmission of enlightenment from Tilopa to [his disciple] Naropa. Tilopa removed his sandal and slapped Naropa in the face (Trungpa, 1973).

We could, of course, have learned as much from the Three Stooges.

Q [student]: Must we have a spiritual friend [e.g., a guru] before we can expose ourselves, or can we just open ourselves to the situations of life?

A [Trungpa]: I think you need someone to watch you do it, because then it will seem more real to you. It is easy to undress in a room with no one else around, but we find it difficult to undress ourselves in a room full of people (Trungpa, 1973).

Yes, there was plenty of undressing. At the Halloween costume party during an annual seminar in the autumn of 1975, for example:

A woman is stripped naked, apparently at Trungpa’s joking command, and hoisted into the air by [his] guards, and passed around—presumably in fun, although the woman does not think so (Marin, 1995).

The pacifist poet William Merwin and his wife, Dana, were attending the same three-month retreat, but made the mistake of keeping to themselves within a crowd mentality where that was viewed as offensive “egotism” on their part. Consequently, their perceived aloofness had been resented all summer by the other community members ... and later categorized as “resistance” by Trungpa himself.

Thus, Merwin and his companion showed up briefly for the aforementioned Halloween party, danced only with each other, and then went back to their room.

Trungpa, however, insisted through a messenger that they return and rejoin the party. In response, William and his wife locked themselves in their room, turned off the lights ... and soon found themselves on the receiving end of a group of angry, drunken spiritual seekers, who proceeded to cut their telephone line, kick in the door (at Trungpa’s command) and break a window (Miles, 1989).

Panicked, but discerning that broken glass is mightier than the pen, the poet defended himself by smashing bottles over several of the attacking disciples, injuring a friend of his. Then, mortified and giving up the struggle, he and his wife were dragged from the room.

[Dana] implored that someone call the police, but to no avail. She was insulted by one of the women in the hallway and a man threw wine in her face (Schumacher, 1992).

And then, at the feet of the wise guru, after Trungpa had “told Merwin that he had heard the poet was making a lot of trouble”:

[Merwin:] I reminded him that we never promised to obey him. He said, “Ah, but you asked to come” (Miles, 1989).

An argument ensued, during which Trungpa insulted Merwin’s Oriental wife with racist remarks [in return for which she called him a “Nazi”] and threw a glass of saké in the poet’s face (Feuerstein, 1992).

Following that noble display of high realization, Trungpa had the couple forcibly stripped by his henchmen—against the protests of both Dana and one of the few courageous onlookers, who was punched in the face and called a “son of a bitch” by Trungpa himself for his efforts.

“Guards dragged me off and pinned me to the floor,” [Dana] wrote in her account of the incident.... “I fought and called to friends, men and women whose faces I saw in the crowd, to call the police. No one did.... [One devotee] was stripping me while others held me down. Trungpa was punching [him] in the head, urging him to do it faster. The rest of my clothes were torn off.”

“See?” said Trungpa. “It’s not so bad, is it?” Merwin and Dana stood naked, holding each other, Dana sobbing (Miles, 1989).

Finally, others stripped voluntarily and Trungpa, apparently satisfied, said “Let’s dance” (Marin, 1995). “And so they did.”

And that, kiddies, is what they call “authentic Tibetan Buddhism.”

Don’t let your parents find out: Soon they won’t even let you say your prayers before bedtime, for fear that it might be a “gateway” to the hard-core stuff.

The scandal ensuing from the above humiliation became known as, in all seriousness, “the great Naropa poetry wars.” It was, indeed, commemorated in the identical title of a must-read (though sadly out of print) book by Tom Clark (1980). If you need to be cured of the idea that Trungpa was anything but a “power-hungry ex-monarch” alcoholic fool, that is the book to read. (Interestingly, a poll taken by the Naropa student newspaper in the late ’70s disclosed that nine of twenty-six students at their poetry school regarded Trungpa as being either a “total fraud” or very near to the same.)

For his journalistic efforts, Clark was rewarded with “lots of hang-up phone calls,” presumably as an intimidation tactic on the part of Trungpa’s loyal followers.

And incredibly, even after enduring the above reported abuse, Merwin and Dana chose to remain at the seminary for Trungpa’s subsequent Vajrayana lectures.

At any rate, Chögyam’s own (1977) presentation of the goings-on at his “seminars,” even well after the Merwin incident, predictably paled in comparison to their realities:

I initiated the annual Vajradhatu Seminary, a three-month intensive practice and study retreat for mature students. The first of these seminaries, involving eighty students, took place ... in the autumn of 1973. Periods of all-day sitting meditation alternated with a study programme methodically progressing through the three yanas of Buddhist teaching, Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.

“Mature, methodical progression,” however, does not quite capture the mood earlier expressed by the traumatized Das or the involuntarily stripped Merwin and his wife.

How then is one to understand Chögyam’s “extra-curricular” activities within the context of such Vajrayana teachings?

The notorious case involving Trungpa ... was given all sorts of high explanations by his followers, none of whom got the correct one: Trungpa made an outrageous, inexcusable, and completely stupid mistake, period (Wilber, 1983).

Trungpa’s own insistence, however, was again always that he and his enlightened ilk “never make mistakes.” (The explicit quote to that effect, above, is from 1973—a full decade prior to Wilber’s attempted, and wholly failed, explanation.) Rather, the day following the Merwin “incident,” Trungpa simply posted an open letter to everyone at the retreat, effectively explaining his previous night’s behavior as part of his “teaching.” No apology was offered by him, and he certainly did not regard himself as having made any “mistake” whatsoever (Marin, 1995).

Even in the late ’70s, when Allen Ginsberg asked Trungpa, “was it a mistake? He said, ‘Nope’” (in Clark, 1980). Ginsberg himself, too, “said Trungpa may have been guilty of indiscretion, but he had not been wrong in the way he had behaved” (Schumacher, 1992). And indeed, any disciple who might ever question the stated infallibility of such a guru would again only be demonstrating his own disloyalty. The only “option” for any obedient follower is then, quite obviously, to find a “high explanation” for the activities.

“I was wrong,” Trungpa might have said. Or, “he was wrong,” his disciples might have said. But they cannot say such things. It would interfere too much with the myth [of Trungpa’s supernatural enlightenment] they have chosen to believe....

I think back to a conversation I recently had with the director of Naropa’s summer academic program.... [W]hen, in the course of the conversation, I asked him whether Trungpa can make a mistake, he answered: “You know, a student has to believe his master can make no mistake. Sometimes Trungpa may do something I don’t understand. But I must believe what he does is always for the best” (Marin, 1995).

In 1978, the emotionally involved Allen Ginsberg was confronted with the suggestion that the obedience of Trungpa’s followers in the “Merwin incident” might be compared to that of participants in the Jonestown mass suicides. He then gave his own heated, and utterly irrational, analysis:

In the middle of that scene, [for Dana] to yell “call the police”—do you realize how vulgar that was? The wisdom of the East being unveiled, and she’s going “call the police!” I mean, shit! Fuck that shit! Strip ‘em naked, break down the door! Anything—symbolically (in Clark, 1980).

Yes. “Symbolically.”

Further, regarding Wilber’s intimation that the guru’s actions were an isolated “mistake”: When a former resident of Trungpa’s community was asked, in 1979, whether the “Merwin incident” was a characteristic happening, or a singular occurrence, she responded (in Clark, 1980):

It is a typical incident, it is not an isolated example. At every seminary, as far as I know, there was a confrontation involving violence.

In any case, the regarding of such actions as Chögyam’s versus Merwin, as being simple “mistakes,” certainly could not explain away the reported premeditated means by which disciples were kept in line within Trungpa’s community:

We were admonished ... not to talk about our practice. “May I shrivel up instantly and rot,” we vowed, “if I ever discuss these teachings with anyone who has not been initiated into them by a qualified master.” As if this were not enough, Trungpa told us that if we ever tried to leave the Vajrayana, we would suffer unbearable, subtle, continuous anguish, and disasters would pursue us like furies....

To be part of Trungpa’s inner circle, you had to take a vow never to reveal or even discuss some of the things he did. This personal secrecy is common with gurus, especially in Vajrayana Buddhism. It is also common in the dysfunctional family systems of alcoholics and sexual abusers. This inner circle secrecy puts up an almost insurmountable barrier to a healthy skeptical mind....

[T]he vow of silence means that you cannot get near him until you have already given up your own perception of enlightenment and committed yourself to his (Butterfield, 1994).

The traditional Vajrayana teachings on the importance of loyalty to the guru are no less categorical:

Breaking tantric samaya [i.e., leaving one’s guru] is more harmful than breaking other vows. It is like falling from an airplane compared to falling from a horse (Tulku Thondup, in [Panchen and Wangyi, 1996]).

In many texts, the consequences of breaking with one’s guru are told in graphic terms, for it is believed that, once having left a guru, a disciple’s spiritual progress “comes to an absolute end” because “he never again meets with a spiritual master,” and he is subject to “endless wandering in the lower realms.” In the case of disrespect for the guru, it is said in the texts that if the disciple “comes to despise his Guru, he encounters many problems in the same life and then experiences a violent death” (Campbell, 1996, quoting from [Dhargyey, 1974]).

Such constraints on the disciple place great power into the hands of the guru-figure—power which Trungpa, like countless others before and after him, was not shy about exercising and preserving.

[Trungpa] was protected by bodyguards known as the Vajra Guard, who wore blue blazers and received specialized training that included haiku composition and flower arranging. On one occasion, to test a student guard’s alertness, Trungpa hurled himself from a staircase, expecting to be caught. The guard was inattentive, and Trungpa landed on his head, requiring a brief visit to the hospital (Miles, 1989).

We could, of course, have learned as much from Inspector Clouseau.

Or, expressed in haiku (if not in flower arranging):

Hopped up on saké
I throw myself down the stairs
No one to catch me

I was scolded by one of his disciples for laughing at Trungpa. He was a nut. But they were very offended....

He had women bodyguards in black dresses and high heels packing automatics standing in a circle around him while they served saké and invited me over for a chat. It was bizarre (Gary Snyder, in [Downing, 2001]).

Interestingly, Trungpa considered the SFZC’s Shunryu Suzuki to be his “spiritual father,” while Suzuki considered the former to be “like my son” (in Chadwick, 1999).
* * *

There is a actually a very easy way to tell whether or not any “sage’s” “crazy wisdom” treatment of others is really a “skillful means,” employed to enlighten the people toward whom it is directed.

Consider that we would not attempt to evaluate whether a person is a hypochondriac, for example, when he is in the hospital, diagnosed with pneumonia or worse, and complaining about that. Rather, hypochondria shows when a person is certified to be perfectly healthy, but still worries neurotically that every little pain may be an indication of a serious illness.

We would likewise not attempt to evaluate any author’s polemics in situations where the “righteous anger” may have been provoked, and may be justifiable as an attempt to “awaken” the people at whom it is directed, or even just to give them a “taste of their own medicine.” If we can find the same polemic being thrown around in contexts where it was clearly unprovoked, however, we may be certain that there is more to the author’s motivations than such claimed high-minded ideals. That is, we may be confident that he is doing it for his own benefit, in blowing off steam, or simply enjoying dissing others whose ideas he finds threatening. In short, such unprovoked polemics would give us strong reason to believe that the author is not being honest with himself regarding the supposedly noble basis of his own anger.

We would not attempt to evaluate the “skillful means” by which any claimed “sage” puts his followers into psychological binds, etc., in their native guru-disciple contexts, where such actions may be justified. Rather, we would instead look at how the guru-figure interacts with others in situations where his hypocritical or allegedly abusive actions cannot be excused as attempts to awaken them. If we find the same reported abusive behaviors in his interactions with non-disciples as we find in his interactions with his close followers, the most generous position is to “subtract” the “baseline” of the non-disciple interactions from the guru-disciple ones. If the alleged “skillful means” (of anger and reported “Rude Boy” abuse) are present equally in both sets, they cancel out, and were thus never “skillful” to begin with. Rather, they were simply the transplanting of pre-existing despicable behaviors into a context in which they may appear to be acceptable.

In the present context, then, since Akong was never one of Trungpa’s disciples, Chögyam’s poor behavior toward the former cannot be excused as any attempted “skillful means” of awakening him. Merwin and his wife were likewise not disciples of Trungpa. Thus, his disciplining of them for not joining the Halloween party arguably provides another example of the guru humiliating others only for his own twisted enjoyment, not for their spiritual good.

We will find good use for this “contextual comparison” method when evaluating the reported behaviors of many other “crazy wisdom” or “Rude Boy” gurus and their supporters, in the coming chapters.
* * *

Allen [Ginsberg] asked Trungpa why he drank so much. Trungpa explained he hoped to determine the illumination of American drunkenness. In the United States, he said, alcohol was the main drug, and he wanted to use his acquired knowledge of drunkenness as a source of wisdom (Schumacher, 1992).

[Trungpa’s] health had begun to fail. He spent nearly a year and a half in a semicoma, nearly dying on a couple of occasions, before finally succumbing to a heart attack (Schumacher, 1992).

Before he died of acute alcoholism in 1987, Trungpa appointed an American acolyte named Thomas Rich, also known as Osel Tendzin, as his successor. Rich, a married father of four, died of AIDS in 1990 amid published reports that he had had unprotected sex with [over a hundred] male and female students without telling them of his illness (Horgan, 2003a).

Tendzin offered to explain his behavior at a meeting which I attended. Like all of his talks, this was considered a teaching of dharma, and donations were solicited and expected (Butterfield, 1994).

Having forked over the requisite $35 “offering,” Butterfield was treated to Tendzin’s dubious explanation:

In response to close questioning by students, he first swore us to secrecy (family secrets again), and then said that Trungpa had requested him to be tested for HIV in the early 1980s and told him to keep quiet about the positive result. Tendzin had asked Trungpa what he should do if students wanted to have sex with him, and Trungpa’s reply was that as long as he did his Vajrayana purification practices, it did not matter, because they would not get the disease. Tendzin’s answer, in short, was that he had obeyed the instructions of his guru. He said we must not get trapped in the dualism of good and evil, there has never been any stain, our anger is the compassion of the guru, and we must purify all obstacles that prevent us from seeing the world as a sacred mandala of buddhas and bodhisattvas.

Yet, in spite of that, and well after all of those serious problems in behavior had become widely known, we still have this untenable belief being voiced, by none other than Ken Wilber (1996):

“Crazy wisdom” occurs in a very strict ethical atmosphere.

If all of the above was occurring within a “very strict ethical atmosphere,” however, one shudders to think of what horrors an unethical atmosphere might unleash. Indeed, speaking of one of the unduly admired individuals whom we shall meet later, an anonymous poster with much more sense rightly made the following self-evident point:

One problem with the whole idea of the “crazy-wise” teacher is that [Adi] Da can claim to embody anyone or anything, engage in any sort of ethical gyration at all, and, regardless of disciples’ reactions, Da can simply claim his action was motivated as “another teaching.” He thus places himself in a position where he is utterly immune from any ethical judgment (in Bob, 2000; italics added).

More plainly, there can obviously be no such thing as a “strict ethical atmosphere” in any “crazy wisdom” environment.

But perhaps Trungpa and Tendzin—a former close disciple of Satchidananda, who was actually in charge of the latter’s Integral Yoga Institute in the early ’70s (Fields, 1992)—had simply corrupted that traditional “atmosphere” for their own uses? Sadly, no:

Certain journalists, quoting teachers from other Buddhist sects, have implied that Trungpa did not teach real Buddhism but a watered-down version for American consumption, or that his teaching was corrupted by his libertine outlook. After doing Vajrayana practices, reading texts on them by Tibetan authorities, and visiting Buddhist centers in the United States and Europe, I was satisfied that this allegation is untrue. The practices taught in Vajradhatu are as genuinely Buddhist as anything in the Buddhist world....

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, after the Tendzin scandal, insisted to Vajradhatu students that Trungpa had given them authentic dharma, and they should continue in it exactly as he had prescribed (Butterfield, 1994; italics added).

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche—“Rinpoche” being a title meaning “Precious One”—was head of the oldest Nyingma or “Ancient Ones” School of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 until his death in 1991.

Even with all that, Peter Marin (1995)—a non-Buddhist writer who taught for several months at Naropa in 1977—still validly observed that the activities at Naropa were relatively tame, compared to the oppression which could be found in other sects.

In the end, though, Andrew Harvey (2000) put it well:

In general, I think that nearly all of what passes for “crazy wisdom” and is justified as “crazy wisdom” by both master and enraptured disciple is really cruelty and exploitation, not enlightened wisdom at all. In the name of “crazy wisdom” appalling crimes have been rationalized by master and disciple alike, and many lives have been partly or completely devastated.

One is of course still free, even after all that, to respect Trungpa for being up-front about his “drinking and wenching” (in Downing, 2001), rather than hypocritically hiding those indulgences, as many other guru-figures have allegedly done. That meager remainder, however, obviously pales drastically in comparison with what one might have reasonably expected the legacy of any self-proclaimed “incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva” to be. Indeed, by that very criterion of non-hypocrisy, one could admire the average pornographer just as much. Sadly, by the end of this book, that point will only have been reinforced, not in the least diminished, by the many individuals whose questionable influence on other people’s lives has merited their inclusion herein. That is so, whatever their individual psychological motivations for the alleged mistreatment of themselves and of others may have been.

To this day, Trungpa is still widely regarded as being “one of the four foremost popularizers of Eastern spirituality” in the West in the twentieth century—the other three being Ram Dass, D. T. Suzuki and Alan Watts (Oldmeadow, 2004). Others such as the Buddhist scholar Kenneth Rexroth (in Miles, 1989), though, have offered a less complimentary perspective:

“Many believe Chögyam Trungpa has unquestionably done more harm to Buddhism in the United States than any man living.”
* * *

Sometimes the entire Institute seems like a great joke played by Trungpa on the world: the attempt of an overgrown child to reconstruct for himself a kingdom according to whim (Marin, 1995).

Through all of that celebrated nonsense “for king/guru and country,” the Naropa Institute/University continues to exist to the present day, replete with its “Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.” Previous offerings there have included courses in “Investigative Poetry”—though, sadly, no corresponding instruction in “Beat Journalism.” Also, at their annual springtime homecoming/reunion, participation in “contemplative ballroom dancing.” (One assumes that this would involve something like practicing vipassana “mindfulness” meditation while dancing. Or perhaps not. Whatever.)

Indeed, a glance at the Naropa website (www.naropa.edu) and alumni reveals that the ’60s are alive and well, and living in Boulder—albeit with psych/environmental majors, for college credit.
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Postby Horatio Hellpop » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:26 am

Free Tibet! (perhaps it was)
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Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:25 am

http://www.cadmuseditions.com/Naropa.html



The Great Naropa
Poetry Wars
by Tom Clark
first edition 1981



Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, is a Tibetan lama who advocates “crazy wisdom” and gets rich off it. His spiritual kingdom is located in the United States—and centered in Boulder, Colorado, where his Naropa Institute has become a stage for the biggest political controversy to hit the U.S. poetry scene since Ezra Pound became a radio star for Benito Mussolini.

Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman are outspoken devotees of Trungpa. Dozens of other well-known poets have taught and read under Trungpa's auspices. Robert Bly, early a disciple, became an “enemy of the dharma” for his later opposition to Trungpa. W. S. Merwin, National Book Award winning poet, seeking Trungpa's wisdom, found himself rudely violated—insulted and forcibly stripped at a Trungpa seminary. This incident first received national attention in an article by Peter Marin in Harper's titled “Spiritual Obedience, the transcendental game of follow the leader.”

Ed Sanders, using the beam of his “Investigative poetics” to illuminate the Merwin episode, fathered a compilation by his Naropa class of eyewitness accounts called The Party. Ed Dorn distributed mimeograph copies sub rosa. Naropa poets responded by concocting a “Merwin coverup.” Subsequent publication of the account by Sanders' class and an interview with Allen Ginsberg by Tom Clark titled “When the Party's Over” in Boulder Monthly aroused further antagonism from the Naropa poets and Buddhist community in Boulder.

Poets again breathed flame at one another, as in that great age of bardic bad breath, the 18th century.

Do we have Trungpa to thank for a happy renaissance of literary invective? Is this man a charlatan attempting to snatch the fiscal flower of our poetry? Or what?

Tom Clark's The Great Naropa Poetry Wars takes you back to feudal, hieratic Tibet in search of the answers; and brings you up to the present with a lucid chronicle of events, exploring the ethical and cultural implications of this controversy for both poetic and Buddhist communities in America.

Appended to Tom Clark's text is a generous colleciton of documents pertaining to this controversy including letters by Ed Dorn, Sam Maddox, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Bob Callahan, Peter Marin and Glenn H. Mullin.


The tale of the Spiritual Leader and his Organization may be the most familiar story of the last decade, but the version presented . . . is unique and disturbing. For the leader here is Chogyam Trungpa; his chief apologist is Allen Ginsberg; his followers, and those who have taught under his auspices at the Naropa Institute . . . include many of the best writers, artists, composers and academics in the land. Whereas intellectuals could shrug off Jim Jones, Sun Myung Moon and the whole crackpot pantheon as cults appealing only to dopes and the doped, the parallel takes of Trungpa and Ginsberg cannot be ignored. What may be happening in Boulder, though still in embryonic form, is an Oriental redecoration of home-grown American demagogy: the Dharma Bums playing It Can't Happen Here.

Through Ginsberg, Bly and others, Trungpa had become the pet guru of many poets. (He was, after all, Oxford trained and something of a poet himself.) In 1974, taking advantage of his literary conquests, he founded the Naropa Institute, a parochial but eclectic college whose best-known department was the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, under the leadership of Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. Their aim was a reincarnation in the lineage of Black Mountain and the Bauhaus, and Naropa attracted a galaxy of art bigwigs—Ashbery, Burroughs, Creeley, Cage, Don Cherry, Baraka, Duncan, Merwin, Rothenberg, Joni Mitchell, among others—many of whom were Ginsberg connections rather than Trungpa disciples.

Hangovers from the party continued through 1979. In February, Harper's published “Spiritual Obedience” (the title tells it all) by Peter Marin, a diary of a summer at Naropa, and the first national account of the Merwin story, though without any names.

Flak flew throughout the year, culminating in the publication of the Clark book under review here. The first published history of the controversy, the book is essentially a long magazine article (some thirty pages) followed by forty pages of appendices: letters, documents, newspaper editorials, and most important of all, the Ginsberg interview.

But Trungpa is not a wise man in the Rockies with a few students. He has taken an ancient tradition and—having swiftly mastered the Way of America—mass marketed it. It is at this point that the possibility of using the word fascism arises.

A fine line should be drawn here between Trungpa and Buddhism: to discuss Buddhist fascism is to explore Trungpa's exploitation of the teachings, rather than the teachings themselves. It is because of this confusion that Kenneth Rexroth, America's greatest Buddhist poet, has remarked that ‘Trungpa has unquestionably done more harm to Buddhism in the United States than any man living.’ (He goes on to advise immediate deportation: ‘One Aleister Crowley was enough for the twentieth century.’) The question then remains: why, of the hundreds of Buddhist masters now in the United States, has Trungpa alone so successfully captured some of the best minds of the generation?

One answer is surely apocalyptic yearning: a willful submission to a personal apocalypse as the only response possible to the involuntary submission to global destruction. Many of Trungpa's disciples happily describe him as a monster. Ginsberg, in the interview, typically carries it further: ‘Anything might happen. We might get taken over and eaten by the Tibetan monsters. All the monsters of the Tibetan Book of the Dead might come out and get everybody to take LSD! Actually that's what's happening . . . The Pandora's Box of the Bardo Thodol has been opened by the arrival in America of one of the masters of the secrets of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.’ It is a return to Nietzsche and Spengler: violence as the only catalyst for the restoration of proper order. You can't make a Dharma omelette without cracking an egghead.

It is the open secret of modern American literature that much of our best writing has been written by fascists and anti-Semites and a few outsiders (Jews, blacks, women, homosexuals). But the ‘postwar’ generations could always dismiss the politics of our immediate literary ancestors as misguided and naive—we of course knew better. And of course we didn't: some of the outward trappings are different, but the old models have held. All of the old nightmares are back in the Ginsberg interview.

For twenty-five years Allen Ginsberg has been the best-known poet in the country, a national emblem, our representative. As Bob Callahan found out from his petition, though many will disagree on specifics with Ginsberg, almost no poet is willing to discredit him. He has stood for the bardic tradition, for vision, for song and for resistance to authority. If Pound and Eliot and the rest are our shameful past, Ginsberg stood for an exemplary and enlightened present. In retrospect, however, he may be seen to be carrying on the aristocratic tradition, for Ginsberg's main activity has been the creation and promotion of elite groups and the condemnation of the masses. ‘Beat’ vs. ‘square’; ‘heads’ vs. ‘straights’; ‘peaceniks’ vs. ‘hard hats’ and to a certain extent, ‘gay’ vs. ‘straight’—all of these groups, no matter how worthy the cause, depended on a code of behaviour and a system of beliefs as rigid as that of their despised counterparts. Now Ginsberg's enemy has become what he calls ‘the barbarous Western mind,’ and his need for a ruling elite has found its object in Tibetan theocracy: ‘So all of a sudden poets are now confronted by the guys who've got the secrets of the Himalayas! . . . this kind of wisdom was always supposed to be secret. Nobody was supposed to know about it except the gurus and masters of the world, who were ruling everything from the top of the Himalayas . . . And now it's all right here.’

The masters of the world, ruling everything, knew that all along there has been a secret political order to the world, Those of us who had hoped that the romance of fascism and poetry was over had believed, perhaps rightly, that intellectuals would be skeptical of any proclamation of a New Order, of the kind of bizarre utopianism Pound and the others found in Mussolini and Hitler. Instead, fascism has come from the other direction: not the future but the past. An Ancient Order to the world that we never knew existed, and now it's ours!

Ginsberg speaks today of Naropa and Vajradhatu as an ‘experiment in monarchy,’ He believes that Trungpa is infallible, that the Merwin incident was not a mistake but a lesson, the meaning of which he has not deciphered. The Ginsberg interview, along with the recently published Pound radio speeches, is surely the most depressing transcript in American letters.

Swiss cheese or yak butter, it's unfortunately impossible to leave Trungpa, Ginsberg and the rest fiddling the dials of the planetary spiritual control center, for the Naropa Institute is still with us, now more than ever.

As for Ginsberg, let George Orwell say it: ‘A writer's political and religious beliefs are not excrescences to be laughed away, but something that will leave their mark even on the smallest detail of his work.’ As for Trungpa, let Merwin have the last word: ‘I wouldn't encourage anyone to become a student of his. I wish him well.’


— Eliot Weinberger, [excerpts from] "Dharma Demonology"

THE NATION, April 19, 1980



***


How many years is Ginsberg going to have to carry around the suspicion that has now been unfairly planted that he harbors fascistic tendencies?

I don't mean that it is illegitimate to want to enquire into his views of late. The Buddhist church he has joined does exude a fairly medieval odor (the name Naropa itself comes from an 11th century monk). Hierarchy and submission appear to be embedded in the church organization and in the method of instruction Trungpa offers. It is not true his followers regard him as infallible, as Clark says—Ginsberg's own evidence shows that Ginsberg criticizes him on occasion—but the followers do seem to hold the man in lavishly high estimation. To remark this is not necessarily to condemn it: perhaps some aspects of religious life are not easily fit objects for public approval or disapproval.

But the main thing is that anyone expecting Tibetan Buddhism-in-exile to be an expression of Aquarian Age peace-and-light is going to be sorely disappointed (this disappointment accounts for a great deal of the outrage against Trungpa). At the same time, anyone who worries that hierarhical churches may pose a political threat will want to take a closer look. It is not foolish to worry about such threats. Some church hierarchies do make for sticky situations, as Congressman Drinan's constitutents have discovered. But does it follow that everyone who belongs to a hierarchical church is automatically an odious fascist? Please. The woods are full of Catholic anarchists, testifying to the vastness of human diversity.

What, then, is the truth about Ginsberg's philosophical thinking these days, now that he adheres to Turngpa's Buddhist sect? Is there any indication of a drift into fascism or other bizarreria? The answer to this question is so easy to find that Ginsberg's accusers need not even interrupt their brick-throwing to come up with it. With their free hand, let them pick up his recent volumes of poetry. These show that far from rushing into questionable Asiatic mysticisms and fanatical irrationalism, he has lately been retreating somewhat from the mysticism and irrationalism of his youth. His recent poems have a down-to-earth sensibleness that, if not exactly new to him, represents a definite development. A strenuous course in Buddhist meditation and study such as he has undertaken no doubt has different effects on different people. But judging from the poetry, the effect on him has clearly been to calm him down, to give him a more mundane, less exotic orientation. From a literary standpoint, this is all to the good. Most critics have agreed that Ginsberg's poems of the middle and late 1970s, when he came under Trungpa's influence, are more successful than his poems of the Vietnam era.

Then there is the evidence of his current political activity. The people who have been calling him every dirty political name in the language might consider taking a look at this, too. They would discover that a few months ago he addressed an anti draft rally in Boulder and that a photograph of him squatting on a railroad track to block manufacture of nuclear weapons has been circulating around the world (this photograph incidentally reveals a further influence of Trungpa's: Ginsberg now stages his sit-ins with a yogic posture). It is no secret that, for a decade now, Ginsberg has been investigating CIA and FBI subversion and persecution of American literature and journalism. This investigation, under the auspices of the PEN Freedom To Read Committess, has lately been his main political preoccupation. And there is no secret about what political organizations he supports. He takes a keen interest in Carl Oglesby's Assassination Information Bureau. Recently he sent off his check to the War Resisters League, as he does every year. And this year he has contributed to a presidential compaign; Ginsberg's candidate is Dave McReynolds, the pacifist running on the Socialist Party ticket.

How is it that such a man has been called a fascist? This is the real scandal?

On a day that I spoke to Ginsberg he told me that he has been to visit his mother's best friend from the 1930s, whom he calls Aunt Rose. This is not the Aunt Rose of the poem ‘To Aunt Rose,’ but the Rose mentioned in ‘Kaddish’ (‘ . . . calling Police, yelling for her girl-friend Rose to help—’) who is now nearly 90. Rose, a left-winger from way back told Ginsberg she has heard that he's been denounced as a fascist and has become an agent for the FBI.

Aunt Rose, it ain't so. Ginsberg's Buddhism may not be your cup of tea. But if ever a man was not a fascist, not a totalitarian, not a reactionary, not an incipient Nazi, not violent, not an FBI agent, not a threat ot freedom, not any of the terrible things he has been called—it is your old friend Naomi's boy, Allen.


— Paul L. Berman, [excerpts from] “Buddhahgate:The Trashing of Allen Ginsberg”

VILLAGE VOICE, July 23-29, 1980



also by Tom Clark A Short Guide to The High Plains
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Postby theeKultleeder » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:54 am

IF THE ONLY TRUNGPA YOU'VE EVER MET IS FROM A HIT PIECE, THIS IS THE ONE YOU'LL SEE:

Image

I have met people who were part of the first hippy clan he converted. They are still loyal disciples and are now mature and dedicated Buddhists. I gave one of his books to a person - it helped her immensely in addiction recovery, much more so than appealing to some "higher power."

Hmmmm. Next, you'll be quoting Trimondi, no doubt.
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Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:47 pm

theekultleeder wrote:
I have met people who were part of the first hippy clan he converted. They are still loyal disciples and are now mature and dedicated Buddhists. I gave one of his books to a person - it helped her immensely in addiction recovery, much more so than appealing to some "higher power."


I cannot overly recommend the American Buddha website in this regard: http://www.american-buddha.com

This treasure-trove of information was started by Tara and Charles, two ex,ex,ex-followers of Chogyam Drunkpa, er- I mean Trungpa. They are old heads from the movement, and their informed critique is definitely hip to what was powerful and good for those who were in the circle.

The site is filled with great information on cults, authoritarianism and Tibetan Buddhism, among many, many diverse topics, including conspiracy. You have to register your email and a password to get into the library, but it includes many free books and all manner of goodness.

I will post here at least the names of some relevant articles there, though maybe later I should post some of the content, too... >AD

P.S. There is another "American Buddha" site run by followers of the manipulative pretty-boy guru "Zen Master Rama" aka Frederick Lenz. Accept no imitations!


http://www.american-buddha.com/auth.bud ... 20BUDDHISM

50 Ways to Leave Your Lama, by Charles Carreon
The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi
Tibetan Two-Step, Shuffle & Slide, by Charles Carreon
A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Tara and Charles Carreon
Another View on Whether Tibetan Buddhism is Working in the West, by Tara Carreon
A Visit to Arch Stanton's Dharma Clinic, aka Dr. Death's Reformatory, by Tara Carreon
Inner Revolution -- Robert Thurman Goes Back to the Future, by Tara Carreon
Thanks From a Grateful Nation -- Awarding the Cross of Secret Achievement to the Dalai Lama, by Charles Carreon
Born in Tibet, Again -- The Exile of the Twelfth Trungpa Tulku -- How Sakyong Mipham Usurped the Trungpa Throne, by Charles Carreon
Disillusioned by Authoritarian Doctrines, by Charles Carreon
Frequently Asked Questions, by Charles Carreon
On Hell and Its Habitues, by Charles Carreon
Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS"), by Charles Carreon
The Tibetan Wall of Silence, by Charles Carreon
American-buddha.com, Devotion, Samaya, and Cutting Through to the Very Heart of the Matter, by Kelley Lynch

Table of Contents

Art and Photo Galleries:

* A Buddhist Scrapbook
* John's Tibet Page, October 2002
* Mondo Bizarro (Tara's Collages)
* Scarlett's Collages

Critiques of Buddhism:

* 50 Ways to Leave Your Lama, by Charles Carreon
* A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Tara and Charles Carreon
* Awful Tendzin Table of Contents
* A Test for Authoritarianism, by Skinny
* Another View on Whether Tibetan Buddhism is Working in the West, by Tara Carreon
* A Visit to Arch Stanton's Dharma Clinic, aka Dr. Death's Reformatory, by Tara Carreon
* Buddhism's Pedophile Monks, by Uwe Siemon-Netto
* Buddhist Abbot Released on Bail for Sex Offences, by Taipei Times (Master Chihhao)
* Buddhist Fundamentalism and Minority Identities in Sri Lanka, A review by Avis Sri Jayantha
* Buddhist Modernism and the American Buddhist Lineage, by Laurence O. McKinney
* Buddhist Nuns Deny Sexual Assault Allegations, by Yu Sen-lun (Nuns from Taichung)
* Call for a New Buddhism, by Christopher Calder
* Chogyam Trungpa Table of Contents
* Ding Dong Dzongsar, the Bumbling Apologist Table of Contents
* Disillusioned by Authoritarian Doctrines, by Charles Carreon
* Divisions and Direction of Buddhism in America Today, by Carl Beilefeldt
* Dr. Rick Strassman's "DMT: The Spirit Molecule", by Charles Carreon (Unidentified Zen group)
* Echoes of Nalinika, by Enid Adam (Pannasara Kahatapitye)
* Embattled Sakyong Steps Down -- Imaginary Press Release Two Years in the Future, by Tara Carreon
* Ethical and Energetic Unbalances Due to the Magic Structures Underlying Tantric Tibetan Buddhism - A Personal, Christian Testimony, by Frank Pedersen
* Excerpts From "The Guru Papers," by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad
* First Church of Buddha, Materialist
* Frequently Asked Questions, by Charles Carreon
* Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth, by Michael Parenti
* Golden Yokes Photo Gallery
* His Material Highness, by Christopher Hitchens
* Inner Revolution -- Robert Thurman Goes Back to the Future, by Tara Carreon
* Inside the Spiritual Jacuzzi, by Jesse Walker
* Jetsunma, Queen for a Day Table of Contents
* Karaoke Monk Booted Out, by BBC News Asia (Phra Pativetviset)
* Karmapa Kontroversy Table of Contents
* Kazi Family Values Table of Contents
* Kloset Kalu, The Secret Lover Table of Contents
* Kusum Lingked Up Table of Contents
* Leonard Cohen, Poisoned by Zen Table of Contents
* Mindful Heresy, by Chimed Rigdzen
* Not all Protectors are Created Equal: The Shugden Ban Table of Contents
* On Hell and Its Habitues, by Charles Carreon
* Princeton Professor Says No To Sri Lanka Child Monks, by Kyodo News
* Randy Sogyal, Best-Selling Lecher Table of Contents
* Revivalist Drukpas and Fundamentalism, by Rakesh Chhhetri
* Seven Minutes in Tibet -- The Swift, Unfortunate Death of Douglas Seymour Mackiernan, by Charles and Tara Carreon
* Silly Seagal, Reincarnated Mobster Table of Contents
* Sleepers Awake!, by Charles Carreon
* Stepping on Holy Toes, by Rick Strassman, M.D.
* Strictly Norbu Table of Contents
* Suck-My-Trizin Table of Contents
* Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome ("TIDS"), by Charles Carreon
* Thai Buddhism and Patriarchy, by Ouyporn Khuankaew
* Thanks From a Grateful Nation -- Awarding the Cross of Secret Achievement to the Dalai Lama, by Charles Carreon
* The Anti-Gurus, by John Horgan
* The CIA's Secret War in Tibet, by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison
* The Dalai Lama and the Mongol Thugs Table of Contents
* The Dalai Lamas, Prisoners of the Potala Junta, by Charles Carreon
* The Myth of Shangri-La: Tibet, Travel Writing and the Western Creation of Sacred Landscape, by Peter Bishop
* The Heresy of St. Timothy, by Charles Carreon
* The Misuse of Western Terms by Eastern Mystics, by Charles Carreon
* The Tibetan Wall of Silence, by Charles Carreon
* Thorn in the Lotus, by Pema Zangmo
* The Materialist Manifesto, by Charles Carreon
* The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi
* The Writings of John Horgan, Table of Contents
* The Writings of Stephen Batchelor, Table of Contents
* Tsu-Do Zen
* "Vee Have Veys of Making You Love Sentient Beings" -- Nazi Methods of Inducing "Bodhicitta," by Tara and Charles Carreon
* Victims of Lama Abuse Table of Contents
* We Be Trippin' With Uma's Dad, aka Bob Thurman, "The Monk", by Tara and Charles Carreon
* What Does Andrew Cohen Know About Enlightenment?, by Charles Carreon
* What is Buddhism
* Why I Can't Embrace Buddhism, by John Horgan
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Postby theeKultleeder » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:56 pm

I've read a lot of it. I have a Vajrakilaya oral commentary that might go along well with Dudjom Rinpoche's Sadhana.

Post this:

"Vee Have Veys of Making You Love Sentient Beings" -- Nazi Methods of Inducing "Bodhicitta," by Tara and Charles Carreon

it sounds terrific.

They ain't getting my email, however. They come up on google all the time and I haven't bothered yet.

Have you ever read any, um, of the original works that have been criticized? That might give you a rounder understanding.
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Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:06 pm

theeKulutleeder wrote:
Post this




h
"VEE HAVE VEYS OF MAKING YOU LOVE SENTIENT BEINGS" -- NAZI METHODS OF INDUCING "BODHICITTA"

by Tara and Charles Carreon

"Afterward we watched a documentary of animals being tested in labs, kittens being injected with flea spray, monkeys struggling against restraints while medical researchers smashed their skulls with a giant cow puncher as a way to study head trauma. After that there was a movie about lambs being slaughtered."
-- "The Buddha From Brooklyn," by Martha Sherrill

If you wouldn't do it to your kid, why do it to yourself? Jetsunma was using these insanely violent images to induce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD"). According to the American Psychiatric Association, "psychological damage ... can result from experiencing, witnessing, or participating in an overwhelmingly traumatic event."

There are two types of horrible events that can cause PTSD when witnessed:

1.

Seeing another person violently killed or injured;
2.

Unexpectedly seeing a dead body or body parts.

Dr. Manaan Kar Ray

Jetsunma used this Nazi mind control trick to isolate her prey from sources of support. As the APA says, one of the symptoms is "Avoidance [which causes] the person [to] avoid close emotional ties with family, colleagues, and friends."

The symptoms of avoidance may also create a stunned mental state, much-desired by spiritual seekers, who hate emotions and crave a peaceful mental state. The APA describes this symptom of avoidance resulting from witnessing trauma: "At first, the person feels numb, has diminished emotions, and can complete only routine, mechanical activities. Later, when reexperiencing the event, the individual may alternate between the flood of emotions caused by reexperiencing and the inability to feel or express emotions at all."

Dechen, whom Jetsunma immediately identified as afflicted with low self esteem, was predisposed to PTSD by identified risk factors:

"The psychological history of a person may include risk factors for developing PTSD after a traumatic event:

*

Borderline personality and/or dependent personality disorders;
*

Low self-esteem;
*

Neuroticism;
*

Pre-existing negative beliefs;
*

Previous trauma.

"People with borderline personality disorder often have a history of physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect, hostile conflict, and parental loss or separation. Dependent personality disorder is characterized by low self-esteem, fear of separation, and the excessive need to be cared for by others. All of these features may predispose someone for PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event."

According to Dr. Ray, "People who have experienced previous trauma(s) are at risk for developing PTSD. Repeated exposure to trauma causes hyperactive release of stress hormones, which may be instrumental in creating symptoms of PTSD." Dechen was in a perfect condition for being thrown into acute PTSD after the automobile accident. Setting up the tribunal in the dark house, dressing in black leather, assaulting her victims in front of an audience of sycophants: it is a textbook case of brutalizing a vulnerable person into mental hell.

Dechen was forced to witness the brutalizing of her monk-boyfriend, and also to directly experience additional trauma. The types of directly experienced traumas that are known to cause PTSD are:

1. Combat;
2. Kidnapping;
3. Natural disasters (e.g., fire, tornado, earthquake);
4. Catastrophic accident (e.g., auto, airplane, mining);
5. Violent sexual assault;
6. Violent physical assault.

Dechen had just been in a car crash, in which she suffered severe concussions and cranial lacerations requiring stitches (number 4). She was effectively kidnapped and abandoned by her mush-brained mother, who obediently delivered her directly from the hospital into Jetsunma's clutches (number 2). Jetsunma shows up dressed in combat gear, black leather (evoking number 1). She then subjects Dechen to a violent physical assault (number 6). Hey, four out of six ain't bad.

After these traumatizing events, Dechen was subjected to social ostracism, forced to do only menial tasks like toilet cleaning and floor scrubbing, required to pray many rounds of penance (Vajrasattva), and otherwise kept in a traumatized state.

Of course, all the monks and nuns who participated in this horror show were also being given a booster shot of trauma for themselves. These repeat inoculations of trauma help maintain the submissive character that is so desirable in a devotee. Still capable of performing routine activities, they remain productive. Alienated from their families, they are unlikely to break away from the group. Stifled in their emotions, they are unlikely to develop distracting relationships that diminish their dedication to the guru. Well-developed devotees of course enjoy imbibing another dose of trauma, which is considered good discipline. The Christian flagellants, Hindu faqirs, and Tibetan ascetics raised the self-administration of trauma to the level of high art. But Jetsunma's muscled celibates did not intend to be outdone. Devotees of pain are like no others.
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Postby theeKultleeder » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:10 pm

^^^Like the constant thinking about child abuse that goes on here on this board!

The symptoms of avoidance may also create a stunned mental state, much-desired by spiritual seekers, who hate emotions and crave a peaceful mental state.

^^^Sounds like something chlamor would write! An overly broad and cynical statement with no grounding in personal experience.

But interesting nonetheless. Sounds like a bad scene.
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Postby lunarose » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:05 pm

is there a point to this thread? cults and abusive spiritual practices can be found in every species of religion and elsewhere as well. just looking at the titles listed above, the authors give the impression of being born-again Christians who are 'exposing' all buddhism as the devil/nazi/facists' work. 'VEE HAVE VEYS OF MAKING YOU LOVE SENTIENT BEINGS" -- NAZI METHODS OF INDUCING "BODHICITTA' is almost incomprehensible - who are these people, who was involved, when and where did these so-called events occur, who is testifying to the truth of said events, etc. plenty of 'oh my god this is so terrible and evil' but no useful info. on how to avoid this type of b.s. in the first place.

quote from above article:
'a stunned mental state, much-desired by spiritual seekers, who hate emotions and crave a peaceful mental state' according to who? i've studied with a number of spirirtual seekers, none of whom advocated anything like this.

it would be more helpful for people to focus on education about healthy mental and physical practices, and use their common sense when choosing associates.
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Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:25 pm

lunarose wrote:
is there a point to this thread? cults and abusive spiritual practices can be found in every species of religion and elsewhere as well. just looking at the titles listed above, the authors give the impression of being born-again Christians who are 'exposing' all buddhism as the devil/nazi/facists' work. 'VEE HAVE VEYS OF MAKING YOU LOVE SENTIENT BEINGS" -- NAZI METHODS OF INDUCING "BODHICITTA' is almost incomprehensible - who are these people, who was involved, when and where did these so-called events occur, who is testifying to the truth of said events, etc. plenty of 'oh my god this is so terrible and evil' but no useful info. on how to avoid this type of b.s. in the first place.


The point to my original posting concerned Chogyam Trungpa, and especially allegations of connections to the CIA and/or abusive control techniques. As to
VEE HAVE VEYS OF MAKING YOU LOVE SENTIENT BEINGS"- I posted that at the request of theeKultleeder- he would be the one to tell you the point of that piece! >AD
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Postby lunarose » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:30 pm

Where's the CIA connection? and do you really need to be 'trained' to become an abusive alcoholic cult leader?

(i'm under the impressiom green means snark)
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Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:37 pm

lunarose wrote
Where's the CIA connection?


In the original article, it mentioned that Trungpa may have received help getting into Oxford from the CIA. In addition, Tara and Charles' American Buddha site, linked above, is a great resource on links between Tibetan mystics and the CIA...
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Postby lunarose » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:16 pm

hullo american dream - thank you for responding to my questions so promptly.
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Postby theeKultleeder » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:50 pm

American Dream wrote:lunarose wrote
Where's the CIA connection?


In the original article, it mentioned that Trungpa may have received help getting into Oxford from the CIA. In addition, Tara and Charles' American Buddha site, linked above, is a greta resource on links between Tibetan mystics and the CIA...


Yeah. A great source...

"Trungpa may have received..."

How many "may haves," and other forms of agenda-driven speculation do we deal with constantly here?

"Tibetan mystics and the CIA..." For what purposes? MIND CONTROL!!!!!

:shock:

Maybe anti-Communism. Maybe Tibetan royalty getting favors from people in "The Company..."

Hmmm. Yeah, I asked the Dreamy American to post that piece, because it sounded like a bad source and, well and....



Tara Carreon - the author - is a disgruntled ex-student of a Tibetan Lama. She seems to want to justify her disgruntlement by discrediting Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Lamas so that no blame can be attached to her, and she can view herself as a victim. She makes quite a few statements, some of which make unhelpful generalisations and others which seem to be the result of personal prejudice.

http://www.purifymind.com/IV5.htm


Tara Carreon's words are astonishingly clear in what they communicate. She explicitly identifies herself as a heretic - and demonstrates that she understands the implications in terms of Vajrayana. In just the same way that, for example, Dudjom Rinpoche's name is synonymous with the enlightened state for contemporary Nyingma practitioners - Tara Carreon, in her manifesto, has forged an association with vow breakage. Obviously, I used strong language in depicting her condition - but I did so in order to elucidate the nature of the state she so poignantly models.

http://www.damtsig.org/feedback/weeny.html








She and I guess her hubby quit Buddhism after over twenty years of - what were they doing the whole time - oh, I know, collecting empowerments. I've met this type before.




They put "enlightenment" in quotes when they discuss the Buddha (who is now no longer God but a person) as if, from their lofty perch as vow-breakers who were allegedly duped for 22 years, they can tell us what really happened. I am almost amused by the way they "boil down" the Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path by distorting it into how suffering can be alleviated (not eliminated anymore) by being nice to ourselves & others. Even the Carreon's seem to agree that the Buddha taught that there was no permanent self, but the "American Buddha," Thomas Paine sees a self so permanent it continues beyond death to metamorphose into some sort of cosmic butterfly. Why do people who believe in an afterlife always seem to think that it's much much better than this world? Why does it always have to be some damn fairytale?

And where do they get the idea that meditation means development or cultivation? And what makes them think there are only two kinds of meditation? And why do they give them Sanskrit names if they think foreign languages are such an obstacle to understanding? Why don't they call them the pink state & the blue state, or niceness & goodness or some damn thing. They have some nerve giving out meditation instructions, which they no doubt received from their discredited teacher, as if they know what they're talking about when they don't even know that the pink state does not require an object. How can they say with authority that the pink state of shamatha by itself cannot lead to enlightenment when they put enlightenment in quotes as if to cast doubt on its existence in the first place? These people don't even know how to think in a moderately straight line. That offends me. Their description of vipassana meditation was plain loony. And how do they know it can lead to "enlightenment" if they've never experienced any positive effects from their 22 years of practice?

It then turns out that they were just summarizing Buddhism in order to object to it, but even their summary is full of inaccuracies & misunderstandings. And their critique is based on acceptance of the view of scientific materialism as if that is somehow not a view at all, but "objective reality."

Then these impossible morons go on to compare the "myth" of the Buddha's life to the alleged "reality" of their interpretation of his teachings. If they say we can't really know anything about the Buddha's life because it was all so long ago & everything is distorted, how can they say with such smug certainty that he told us to "reason based on evidence in the here & now?" They're just hanging onto the Buddha because they want to attract disgruntled Buddhists - but since he lived so long ago & never wrote anything down in "permanent" words, they can make up whatever they want & call it "core teachings." Besides being stupid, these people have no integrity.

http://www.damtsig.org/feedback/morons.html




Dear Damtsig,

Thank you.

I've recently stumbled upon that "American Buddha" site, and honestly I was a little shaken by all the accusations and colorful tales on there. I'm not saying everything on that is fiction, but I'm sure it's a biased, tunnel-vision side of the whole story. Your site mirrored the thoughts I had on many of the things presented on that site, and it was nice to hear a voice of reason on all that.

Thanks again.

http://www.damtsig.org/feedback/reason.html




I must agree: the American-Buddha site has the air of the ridiculous - particularly the list of those who would be Buddhas.


To highlight the absurdity of this anti-Tibetan bias, let us look at the result of insisting on a spirituality that refuses "Eastern" membership. Here is the list of officially sanctified "modern buddhas:" [The erstwhile "modern buddhas" section of american-buddha.com has apparently been reclassified as "Remarkable Persons" - 27 October 2002]

* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 1: THOMAS PAINE
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 2: DONOVAN
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 3: RALPH NADER
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 4: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 5: MARTIN LUTHER KING
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 6: JOEY RAMONE
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 7: JESSE JACKSON
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 8: MOTHER THERESA
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 9: ALAN WATTS
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 10: DR. RAY BROWN
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 11: NOAM CHOMSKY
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 12: LEONARD PELTIER
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 13: RICHARD ALPERT (RAM DASS)
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 14: DR. HELEN CALDICOTT
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 15: ALBERT EINSTEIN
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 16: MARK TWAIN
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 17: MARTIN LUTHER
* MODERN BUDDHA NO. 18: HARRIET TUBMAN

This may seem strange until you know that "Buddha" has been redefined as follows: "Also noted here are people that anyone would recognize as humanitarians, earth advocates, and various other types of people who actually do shed light on and suggest ways to improve our world." Even with this amendment, the official list of saints (according to the American Buddhas) seems a bit haphazard. That's because the Carreon's are following the time-honored tradition of vow-breakage and making it up as they go along: "If you have a candidate for modern buddhahood, please Email Us." [Tara, if you read this, please accept my nomination of Cat Stevens - I assume the omission was a simple oversight.]

http://www.damtsig.org/articles/tumor.html
theeKultleeder
 

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:31 pm

theeKultleeder wrote:
Quote:
Where's the CIA connection?


In the original article, it mentioned that Trungpa may have received help getting into Oxford from the CIA. In addition, Tara and Charles' American Buddha site, linked above, is a greta resource on links between Tibetan mystics and the CIA...


Yeah. A great source...

"Trungpa may have received..."

How many "may haves," and other forms of agenda-driven speculation do we deal with constantly here?

"Tibetan mystics and the CIA..." For what purposes? MIND CONTROL!!!!!

Shocked

Maybe anti-Communism. Maybe Tibetan royalty getting favors from people in "The Company..."

Hmmm. Yeah, I asked the Dreamy American to post that piece, because it sounded like a bad source and, well and....


Quote:
Tara Carreon - the author - is a disgruntled ex-student of a Tibetan Lama. She seems to want to justify her disgruntlement by discrediting Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Lamas so that no blame can be attached to her, and she can view herself as a victim. She makes quite a few statements, some of which make unhelpful generalisations and others which seem to be the result of personal prejudice.

http://www.purifymind.com/IV5.htm


Quote:
Tara Carreon's words are astonishingly clear in what they communicate. She explicitly identifies herself as a heretic - and demonstrates that she understands the implications in terms of Vajrayana. In just the same way that, for example, Dudjom Rinpoche's name is synonymous with the enlightened state for contemporary Nyingma practitioners - Tara Carreon, in her manifesto, has forged an association with vow breakage. Obviously, I used strong language in depicting her condition - but I did so in order to elucidate the nature of the state she so poignantly models.

http://www.damtsig.org/feedback/weeny.html

...She and I guess her hubby quit Buddhism after over twenty years of - what were they doing the whole time - oh, I know, collecting empowerments. I've met this type before.


I have to respectfully disagree with theeKultleeder on this one. I urge you, the independent-minded reader, to not get hung up on tKl's wholesale discounting of this site through selective use of information, ad hominem attacks, and etc.

Do check out the site for yourself- if you bother to register and dig around, you will be more able to understand why I would call it a "treasure-trove" and assert that it does have good information on how the Tibetan hierarchy has been compromised by the CIA. If people want to discuss the merits of "American Buddha", I think we should start a new thread rather than "hijack" this one, but you can enter the site here: http://www.american-buddha.com
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