Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Victim-Blaming

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Victim-Blaming

Postby admin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:08 pm

Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Heartless Victim-Blaming From the Throne at Lerab Ling [VIDEO HERE]
Translated by Sangye Khandro
December 29, 2018
[Transcribed from the video by Tara Carreon]

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Wesley was a powerful and moving preacher, and it was an essential part of his message to put his audience vividly in mind of the eternity of agonized suffering in the flames of hell which awaited them, if they did not sincerely repent and resolve to lead a changed life. Some of those who heard this message were terror-stricken and ‘pierced to the heart’. They groaned and cried out, writhing, shuddering, pouring with sweat, struggling in agony of mind for hour after hour in some cases, until they collapsed. They would then come round with a profound sense of release and change. They said that their old sinful ways had somehow lost their hold on them, that they now saw things in an entirely new light and were ready to lead a new life, to adopt values and standards quite different from, and indeed diametrically opposed to, their previous values. Not only had their old patterns of thinking been violently disrupted, but they had evidently become far more suggestible and open to persuasion about the new patterns which should take place.

-- The Mind Possessed: A Physiology of Possession, Mysticism and Faith Healing, by William Sargant


Image

So, just as the dharma is profound, then we should also keep in mind that demonic forces can be just as profound.

So we’re also facing many obstacles that have come up here just recently that all of us need to be careful about. When you think about it these days, you are all disciples of Sogyal Rinpoche, and so were the eight people who put their names on the letter that they issued. But whether they really know it or not, then that was really an attempt to not only disparage the Master, but try to destroy him and everything that he’s done. And that’s something that really, really makes me feel upset, and upsets everyone else, too.

This kind of activity is so completely unnecessary. Why? Because it’s so detrimental to the doctrine. From a spiritual point of view it goes against every aspect of dharma. And from a worldly point of view, it also is so disrespectful and unnecessary. And also instilling doubt and wrong view in the minds of so many disciples, unnecessarily, to the point where they may even turn their minds away from the dharma for good. Imagine that! Imagine doing something that would cause that kind of result, or repercussion.

In fact, it falls into the category of the five heinous nonvirtues: slandering the sangha. And these nonvirtues occurred at the time of Buddha’s life. That’s why they are put into categories and mentioned as the worst crimes of all, the worst sins of all. And all other broken vows became the vows to abstain from.

So just like that, among them all, due to the historical account of what happened during Buddha’s own life, this is placed as one of the five heinous crimes, to slander or cause division in the sangha, to divide the sangha.

So that means what happens is you are causing a disciple of dharma to doubt the grounds and paths of Buddha’s teachings. And it makes an obstacle towards their accomplishment of liberation. And it also causes many, many others to be led away from the path of liberation right along with them.

And so not only that, it makes everyone uncomfortable. It makes everyone unhappy. It’s nothing but negative. And so it is just the poorest choice that they could have made forever.

And so unlike that, I know that all of you have tremendous faith and devotion in the Master. And I can feel it. It’s obvious. And so you must maintain that as much as you possibly can. And try to always use the methods to increase your faith and devotion. That’s very important. Once you rely upon a teacher to the degree that you have all relied, and they did too, you should no matter what happens, you’re supposed to apply the methods of dharma teachings to increase your faith and devotion. Because that’s benefiting you. The teacher is there to benefit you, not himself or herself.

And so in this case, all of this that is happening to the Rigpa sangha, to Sogyal Rinpoche, it is an obstacle for the entire doctrine. Not only just one person, not only just one sangha, but the entire Buddhist doctrine. And it’s really such a shame. So unnecessary.

Matthew was my friend and student. Actually, I really thought of him as having a very good and kind heart. I thought of him as a good person. And I’ve known him for many years. I’ve given him many profound dharma teachings. And of course he’s probably been Sogyal Rinpoche’s student even many more years than that, and received many teachings. So just because he may have thought he was physically harmed on one occasion, and was offended by it, is it really worth it to do what he’s done as a retribution? Is it really worth it?

I think it’s more like it’s so kind of unusually surprising, it’s more like the rising up of the maras, the demonic forces. And this is well known in dharma that these obstacles come when something is going really well. And so I think that it’s somehow the magical play of nonhuman entities more than the humans that we’re pinning it on. There’s more to this.

And also Damcho, in terms of her, she was also close to me. I thought she had an excellent character. She seemed to have tremendous faith in the teacher. And I can’t hear that her name is on this list. It’s impossible to even imagine. How could it be the same person? It’s hard to even believe. Unbelievable! So that’s why I think this is maybe the magical manifestation of non-human entities, trying to destroy the doctrine: in general Buddhism, in particular Nyingmapa, and especially the Rigpa sangha.

And so what we need to do now is neutralize this. Just neutralize. Go into evenness. And with faith towards the Master and dharma, lift ourselves up, and be even stronger than ever before, with faith in this doctrine of the Dzogpachenpo more than ever before. And to inspire others with our example in this way.

This is not a doctrine that’s new. This is thousands of years old. It is time-tested material. It delivers liberation to countless practitioners, and has actually cultivated countless realized accomplished masters and scholars. We can have confidence in every single word of the doctrine.

And so that’s what we need to learn. That’s what we need to practice. That’s what we need to have faith and devotion in. We don’t need to have faith and devotion in some lama coming along and making up his or her own idea, and because you like that, then you have faith for a while. Because that’s going to fall apart. But this is time-tested. This doctrine that you’ve connected to, that Sogyal Rinpoche has connected you to, gives you all the material you need to be liberated, and bring others along that path. So always try to be in harmony with whatever dharma says, and never go off track just following your own whims or the customs of modern society.

And so I’m telling all of you this because I know you have faith. And I’m hoping you will spread the word of what I am saying. And therefore, in this way, it is your responsibility to let everyone know how they should approach this obstacle and deal with it in their own minds and hearts as a sangha community. And anything that makes people unhappy in this and future lifetimes, whatever you do that is negative like that in this life, it will bring you unhappiness. But you can be assured that in the next life the karmic ripening is going to occur. Whatever we do that is negative, if it doesn’t ripen up in this life, it will at some time or another. So we have to be very careful about all of our actions, thoughts, and words.

And so we shouldn’t do things that are harmful to others and that are not beneficial, and that we get nothing from doing. And that’s exactly what they have done. There is no positive result any way you look at it. There’s no benefit, and there’s only a disturbance of thousands and thousands of people unnecessarily. It’s so meaningless.

And so, in order to pacify these demons, then we should practice according to the sutra and mantra tradition to the best of our ability, to hold up this tradition in this life and beyond, with pure aspirations and excellent conduct, the prayer for excellent conduct. We should try our best, at least to be reborn miraculously in a nirmanakaya pure realm, if not liberated before that.

So please think in this way carefully.

And I had all of these thoughts that I wanted to share with you when I got here, and while I’ve been here, too, but because when I’m teaching I don’t mix this kind of thought process with the transmission, now that the transmission is complete, I had the opportunity to share with you sincerely from my heart. I’m sorry if I’ve gone overtime.

[Audience clapping]
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Re: Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Victim-Blaming

Postby admin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:12 am

"They're A***Holes" -- My First Visit to Lerab Ling
by Anonymous
June 21, 2019

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I wrote the following after visiting Lerab Ling last September. I chose not to publish it at that time as I wanted to give Rigpa the chance to “do the right thing” in responding to the report that had recently been published upholding the abuse allegations against Sogyal Rinpoche. I am sharing it now for two reasons. Firstly, nine months have gone by without Rigpa accepting the testimonies in the report as true. Secondly, via a third party I received a message that Vinciane Rycroft of the Rigpa “Vision Board” had requested I share what happened when I was there. So here it is.

Lerab Ling open day

I decided to take a week out to travel from around Montpellier in France down to north-east Spain, where I was to go on a Salvador Dali-related pilgrimage. Through the wonders of Google I discovered that the Buddhist centre at Lerab Ling, in a lovely location near Montpellier, was having an open weekend at that time, where one could even stay overnight. Although I have some Buddhist friends, I had never been anywhere like that in my life, so I booked a night.

However, between booking and arriving I saw news in the press about the report of the independent investigation into the abuse allegations about Sogyal Rinpoche, which made pretty shocking reading. So I hoped that while I was there I might get some insights into how they were feeling about it.

When I arrived, they explained that there was an organised retreat going on (the nature of which no one would tell me) but that there were also private retreatants staying and said I was welcome to join them for a meditation class in the morning. Having never tried meditation, I immediately agreed.

A meditation class

After breakfast, I gathered with others outside the impressive temple. The class was in an upstairs room in the temple with a vista of the woods. A picture of the Dalai Lama was prominently displayed, as it was in the temple below (I saw no images of Sogyal Rinpoche there). I was pleased to be allowed to meditate from a chair as I’m not good cross-legged.

The class was led by Sinsi Ong, who, from his bio on the Lerab Ling website seems to be one of the regular meditation teachers. I recognised him from dinner the night before, where I had seen him engaged in lengthy and intense conversation with some retreatants, who seemed to be listening closely to him.

I enjoyed the class and the meditation. Sinsi encouraged us to ask questions and whilst meditating I felt strongly that I would like to have a conversation with him. So afterwards I waited while he patiently and clearly explained to one of the private retreatants the difference between “self-cherishing” and simply being egotistical, which made me feel even more sure he was a good person to discuss my first meditation experience with.

Broaching the topic of abuse

We then spoke about that for a while and, since he seemed happy to talk, I broached the subject of what I had read in the press and asked him what he thought about it. He started by saying that “something had clearly gone wrong”, that people had been harmed and that they needed to look at how this had happened.

I recounted that the previous night I had been chatting to a German student who was on the main retreat, who called Sogyal Rinpoche “my teacher”. When I asked if he was still her teacher she had gone silent and blanked me. Sinsi explained that some people couldn’t accept it and were very closed: he tried to talk with them, but in the end he had to respect that where they were was different from where he was.

I asked him how he personally viewed Sogyal Rinpoche and he replied with a Japanese word, which he said meant “a riddle” – in terms of weighing up what he had done versus the benefit of his teachings. He told me they viewed it as an opportunity for learning.

He said that Sogyal was his teacher but had retired and was now on retreat. I asked if Sogyal was still his teacher, in the sense of receiving teachings. He didn’t reply. I tried asking more directly if Sogyal was still teaching in some way. He did not reply.

In terms of the meditation classes, he said, “People are begging us to continue with the classes. They say, “We know things have happened but please don’t stop.” That’s the reason that I stay and continue.”

Attitude towards those who broke the silence

Then came something I really hadn’t expected.

“Anyway,” he added with a shrug, “These people were arseholes.”

“Who?” I asked, “The people who wrote the letter?”

“YES!! They were arseholes!”

I must admit, it was not a word or an attitude I had expected to come from the person who had been patiently and peacefully leading me through my first meditation a short time before. He went on to explain that everybody at Lerab Ling considered them to be problem people. He said that talking with them had made him feel shame because of the things they said and their wrong ideas.

“Even the monastics?” I asked.

“YES!!”

I pointed out that to take up precepts as a nun or monk was a huge commitment, a bigger commitment, surely, than he himself had ever made. He replied that it had taken him years to see monastics as not being perfect. That was clearly not a problem any more.

I mentioned that many of the people he referred to were key helpers or leaders. He replied, “You can’t always get good people,” adding that you just have to put up with what you have.

In Tibet it’s normal for students to be hit

He stressed that all the letter writers had problems with learning Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings and went on to discuss at length the fact that in Tibet it is normal for students to be hit and said that they need it. He told me how Tibetan teachers throw stones at students, but what they are doing is hitting their chakra points, like in their forehead, to open their minds. I replied that punching someone hard in the stomach, as had been described, is not anything beneficial. He answered, “There’s a chakra point in the stomach!” with great relish, as if it cleverly settled that argument.

I discussed a personal story about a teacher I liked very much in secondary school who, after 4 years, hit me. It didn’t help me at all, it just made me feel sorry for him, that he had lowered himself to doing that, and it made me lose my respect for him and my trust in him. Sinsi nodded but did not reply to this.

I argued that surely if this method of hitting people worked, then one should see results: an improvement, not just suffering. If a teacher hit somebody 10 times, without any beneficial effect then surely that wasn’t working? Is he supposed to hit them 20 times, 50 times? Sinsi did not answer.

So I said “One of the witnesses in the report was hit over 200 times: surely it was therefore not working?”

He replied, smiling, “I don’t know. I can’t say.” as if this was just a mystery of Buddhist wisdom.

Minimising the issue

Sinsi pointed out that Rigpa itself had commissioned the report – which was evidence of their good intentions. He kept talking about the witnesses in the report as “these 20 people” in a manner which implied that this was the total number of people who had ever had a problem with Sogyal Rinpoche, as opposed to the ones who had been brave enough to talk. I also found it interesting that he (or someone) had counted them.

More than once he stated that Sogyal Rinpoche had apologised, but I have not since come across anything that could be described as an apology – in the conventional sense of recognising what you did wrong and then saying sorry.

Culturally subjective ethics

Sinsi talked about the limitations of thinking in terms of “good or bad”, arguing that morality and ethics were culturally subjective and varied from one place to another. So, I asked if it would be OK for a teacher to kill someone.

His reply was to tell the story of “Captain Super Compassionate” – a previous incarnation of Buddha – killing a man on his boat who he had realised would was going to kill all 500 passengers. Not only did he do good by saving their lives but he also prevented that man from going to hell as a result of committing murder. Captain Super Compassionate still suffered for doing it, but it was with good intention and he was taking the bad karma on himself – so it was a kind of compassionate self-sacrifice to kill the man. I tried to say that the same could be said of people who reluctantly fight in war to protect others, but he insisted it could not be applied because their intention was not pure. (I failed to see why Captain Super Compassionate didn’t simply tie up or lock up the bad man, rather than killing him, but didn’t say this.)

So Sinsi’s reply to the question of whether it was OK for teachers to kill people was a story of justifiable homicide. When I pushed him further on the subject of ethics, his manner changed, as if realising he may have gone too far and he pointed out that Rigpa had now drawn up an ethical code and stressed, “There is no place for abuse at Lerab Ling.” This sounded like a rehearsed statement and flatly contradicted the opinions he had expressed just moments before.

He argued that Sogyal came from Tibet, so would naturally have the mindset from that culture. I pointed out that Sogyal had left Tibet as a child and had actually spent the vast majority of his life in the West, so surely he should understand Western culture very well. I cited that I had lived abroad for 7 years and soon learned the different cultural norms in terms of behaviour and did not have a big problem adapting. Sinsi did not reply to this.

I brought up the necessity of abiding by the laws in the countries where you are. I mentioned the answer Jesus gave, when asked about whether people should obey the invaders – the Romans – which was, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and render to God what is God’s.”: meaning that whilst honouring your beliefs, you must also behave according to the law of the land. Sinsi seemed reluctant to agree with this.

Women enjoyed the sex

Instead, he began telling me that plenty of women really enjoyed having sex with Sogyal and were happy to do so. I replied that most rapists have also had conventional, consensual sexual relations. He visibly bristled at this.

“Let’s not go too far,” he said, “The report doesn’t say anything about rape.” I explained that I wasn’t referring to Sogyal Rinpoche, just making the general point that a person may have consensual sex and yet also be a rapist. He visibly reacted when I mentioned the word “rapist” again.

It comes down to karma

Referring to those who complained of being abused, Sinsi commented, “They were free to go any time they wanted. But they stayed. Why didn’t they go?” I asked him if he would simply go if there was something he didn’t like or if he would persevere. He said he would stay because of the benefit. So I suggested that the same thing might have happened to these people: despite being unhappy, they stayed in the hope that things would improve and/or because they didn’t want to throw everything away. It is a lot to walk away from after many years of commitment. He stressed again that they were free to go.

He summed up by saying that “It comes down to karma”. It was the karma of those people, he explained, what happened to them, either to do with something in this life or past ones.

Following his lead, I replied, “I see. So if that’s the case, then what is happening to you now and to everybody here is YOUR karma.” He sort of winced, whilst nodding. I went on, “And what has happened to Sogyal Rinpoche is HIS karma.”

He seemed reluctant to look at it like that but didn’t argue back. He told me that he had things to do and left.
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Re: Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Victim-Blaming

Postby admin » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:29 pm

Tibetan Buddhism Enters the 21st Century: Trouble in Shangri-la [EXCERPT]
by Stuart Lachs
7/12/19

The highest-ranking Buddhist to have spoken publicly on Ösel Tendzin’s issue was Kalu Rinpoche (b. 1905 d. 1989), of the Kagyü lineage, a highly respected meditation master known for his compassion and wisdom. He spoke at a meeting of about 100 Buddhists in Los Angeles on December 22, 1988. According to a tape of the meeting recorded by a church member, Kalu Rinpoche, speaking in Tibetan with an English interpreter, said: ‘As all of you know, the Vajra regent has contracted AIDS. And people worry very much about the fact that he might have passed this on to many, many people.’ Yet he then asked members to show compassion for the regent.49 However, there was no mention of compassion for people the Regent infected or may have infected or were realistically worried about becoming infected because of having had sex with him or one of his partners. Not only no compassion, but also that worries of the students’ questioning Ösel Tendzin’s behavior could be detrimental to themselves because this questioning was breaking their samaya vows.

One student asked about repairing their samaya vows broken by the student’s questioning, if even only to herself, the sexual behavior of the Regent.50 These vows are taken very seriously. We already saw Trungpa’s close disciples because of their samaya vows proudly supplying him with alcohol and cocaine as he rushed to early death from abusing his body with just these very substances. So, the samaya vow idea is very complicit in the entire set up of unquestioned hierarchy, abuse, obedience, and secrecy.

Kalu instructed that the Regent Ösel Tendzin was their Lama, that they should follow him, that they in fact needed to repair their “broken vows” to the Regent. He instructed that this can be accomplished by first confessing to him and second by making a promise to themselves and to the Regent that they would not develop this kind of attitude in the future. He added to rely on Ösel Tendzin and to accomplish as much virtue as possible. ‘You should do whatever you can to be helpful to the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin to bring him joy. In these ways you can clear away any broken samaya completely.’51

Kalu also forbid any public talk of the Regent’s AIDS problem at his Centers and told Shambhala members not to discuss it as ‘it was neither helping anyone and was only disrupting their meditation and the harmony of the sangha.’52 Kalu also forbade Lama Ken McCleod, a senior student of his, to speak publicly of Ösel Tendzin, which he obeyed.53


Knowing what we now know, it is not surprising that Kalu demanded secrecy. In 1996, June Campbell’s book, Traveler in Space: In Search of Female Identity in Tibetan Buddhism was published. Campbell in her twenties, as a Tibetan studies scholar, spent many years as a student of Kalu Rinpoche and acted as a translator for him. She also wrote that she was a secret consort of his along with at least one other woman, a teenage Tibetan girl. Campbell said Kalu’s sexual life was kept secret aside from one other person though the relationship lasted for years.54 She wrote, ‘it was plainly emphasized that any indiscretion in maintaining silence over our affair might lead to madness, trouble, or even death.’55 Though Kalu lived many years not as a monk after escaping Tibet, according to Campbell, ‘he was afraid of the consequences of revealing his secret life.’56 Several western scholars seemed to be completely ignorant of the hidden life existing within the lama system; in 1993 Kalu was described as a monk. When the biography of this high lama was written there was no mention of Campbell’s name or even references to a metaphorical consort. According to Campbell, ‘the Tibetan system was for all intents and purposes a secret society.’57

However, in terms of keeping secrecy the reincarnated tulku Kalu (b. September 17, 1990) appears to be very different from his former incarnations. During the question and answer period after a talk he gave in 2011 in Vancouver (Canada), the young Kalu was asked about sexual abuse in Tibetan monasteries. Kalu replied that he was sensitive to it because he himself was a victim of sexual abuse. When the interviewer, Joseph Hooper brought up the concept of “inappropriate touching,” the young Kalu laughed edgily. ‘This was hard-core sex, he says, including penetration. Most of the time, they just came alone,’ Kalu said. Kalu continued, ‘They just banged the door harder, and I had to open it. I knew what was going to happen, and after that you become more used to it.’ It wasn’t until Kalu returned to the monastery after his three-year retreat that he realized how wrong this practice was. Kalu said that by then the cycle had begun again on a younger generation of victims. Kalu’s claims of sexual abuse mirror those of Lodoe Senge, an ex-monk and 23-year-old tulku who now lives in Queens, New York.58

After his three year retreat the young Kalu wanted to change his tutor which resulted in an argument with the current tutor: ‘The older monk left in a rage and returned with a foot-long knife. Kalu barricaded himself in his new tutor’s room, but, he says, the enraged monk broke down the door, screaming, “I don’t give a shit about you, your reincarnation. I can kill you right now and we can recognize another boy, another Kalu Rinpoche!” Kalu took refuge in the bathroom, but the tutor broke that door, too. Kalu recalls, “You think, ‘Okay, this is the end, this is it.'” Fortunately, other monks heard the commotion and rushed to restrain the tutor. In the aftermath of the attack, Kalu says, his mother and several of his sisters (Kalu’s father had died when he was a boy) sided with the tutor, making him so distraught that he fled the monastery and embarked on a six-month drug-and-alcohol-fueled bender in Bangkok.’ 59 The reincarnated Kalu was exceedingly brave to expose some of the hidden underbelly of Tibetan Buddhist monastic life while struggling to make sense of his life. Interestingly, here as in other sexual abuse cases, often the family turns away from the victims.

This story related by the young reincarnated Kalu raises a few questions. Was no older monk looking out or watching over and guiding the young Kalu? If there was, was it just accepted practice that young tulkus or monks to be would be sexually abused? On what grounds was his tutor picked who so easily was ready to kill Kalu for rejecting him as his tutor? Was there no consequence for the tutor attempting to kill Kalu which also was known by at least a few older monks? As Kalu mentioned after coming out of his retreat, ‘the cycle had continued on a younger generation of victims,’ so it seems that the sexual abuse of young boys by older monks was quite open and seemingly common and accepted practice. It appears there are some deep problems that are internally well known in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries but hidden from the public.

However, it was not only the older Kalu who instructed secrecy. When the editor Rick Fields of the Vajradhatu Sun, the official paper of the organization, prepared a short article describing the bare bones of the Ösel Tendzin crisis, he was forbidden to print it. ‘There have been ongoing discussions, both within community meetings and among many individuals, about the underlying issues that permitted the current situation to occur,’ read the banned article. ‘Those issues include the abuse of power and the betrayal of trust, the proper relationship between teachers with spiritual authority and students, particularly in the West, and the relationship between devotion and critical intelligence on the spiritual path.’ In March, Fields again attempted to run his article but this time he was fired by the Vajra Regent. When the board of directors refused to support him, he formally resigned.60


The whole, ugly mess was so rotten!!!

Then came the news about Osel Tenzin and his thinking he was above AIDS, that his penis was magic, so magic it killed people. Then news of Trungpa's death, his obesity, the drunken stripping of people in public, violating them publicly, then Kalu Rinpoche's using June for all those years with his nephew in on this insanity, all while pretending to be His Holiness monk, who looked like a male Mother Theresa, and actually being scum.

Yes, it's a whole, ugly, rotten mess, and the betrayal by the lamas was just the beginning. The lack of principles, clarity, honesty, morality trickled down. Ugh.

-- The Writings of Am Learning
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Re: Khenchen Namdrol Giving a Master Class in Victim-Blaming

Postby admin » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:55 am

Kalu Rinpoche’s talk to the LA Dharmadhatu
by Kalu Rinpoche
December 22, 1988
https://media.s3bubble.com/embed/aprogressive/id/Ffar28632#



Kalu Rinpoche talk to the L.A. Dharmadhatu
Transcribed from the tape by Tara Carreon

[Translator] Good evening members of the sangha, friends. On behalf of the Dharmadhatu of Los Angeles, and Vajradhatu, I’d like to welcome everyone this evening, and particularly to express our gratitude to The Learned, Very Venerable Kalu Rinpoche for The Extraordinary Gift of his Presence with us here this evening. The Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, as I’m sure most of you know, is The Senior Meditation Master of the Kagyu Lineage, One Of The Greatest Yogis and Practitioners, Masters Of The Profound Path Of The Kagyu Lineage That The World Has Ever Known. Rinpoche Is Renowned For His Retreat Practice And Accomplishment, For His Wisdom, And For His Compassion. And It’s Quite Extraordinary That We Have The Auspicious Coincidence of The Embodiment Of Compassion With Us At A Time That It Is Most Appropriate For Us. So we’re very grateful to Rinpoche for being here and very grateful to auspicious coincidence for his being here, and we welcome you Rinpoche and request you to address us….

[Kalu Rinpoche] During my last trip to North America several years ago -- this was before the passing away of Trungpa Rinpoche -- I went to Boulder where I had been asked by Vajradhatu and Dharmadhatus to perform the initiation, the empowerment, of kalachakra, both for the benefit of peace and happiness in the world, and particularly for the benefit of the students of Trungpa Rinpoche. At that particular time, Trungpa Rinpoche was quite ill. And I performed this ceremony with the thought that I should be doing something to prolong his life if it was possible; if not, then simply to do something which would please him. And at that time, I was accompanied by most of the lamas here present tonight, and the translator at that time was Ken McCloud. And everything went very excellently in Boulder at that time. And at that time I made a very strong connection with various members of the Dharmadhatu organization, and our minds became as one from that time.

At this particular point in time, I have been extremely happy to be among you once again, and to see various members of the Dharmadhatu, and most particularly the Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin. However, there seems to be some problems these days. And in spite of my great happiness at meeting all of you, and particularly the Vajra Regent once again, there are things which are making me a little sad.

The present situation is like this:

At one time there was a rabbit. And there was a great wind. And during this time, some trees were blown into the water, and made a very great sound. The rabbit became very afraid of this sound. He wasn’t used to hearing it, so he ran away. When he was running away, he ran into a couple of deer. And the deer said, “What are you running from?” And he said, “There’s something the matter here in the ocean. I’m running away from this sound ‘Jow.’” And the deer became very afraid, and they started running away with the rabbit.

Many animals gathered as the news spread that there was some terrible sound, “Jow,” which was coming from the ocean. And they all ran away. And eventually they came and met a lion. And this lion was completely fearless. And he said, “What are you running away from?” And they said, “Well, there’s this sound ‘Jow,’ at the ocean.” And he said, “I’m not afraid of this.” He had a tremendous amount of pride, and he had the rabbit lead him to the ocean where the sound had come from. And he stood up on the rocks to look over into the water to see where the sound had come from. And he made his body very, very high, and he looked down into the water, and he saw his own reflection. And he said, “Ah, this must be the particular thing that is making this particular noise. I’m very strong. I can defeat this particular enemy.” And he jumped in, and made the sound “Jow” once again, and died. And nothing came of all of his courage.

The present situation is like this. [LAUGHTER] I really feel the present situation is like this. At this particular point in time, as all of you already know, the Vajra Regent has contracted AIDS. And people worry very much about the fact that he might have passed this on to many people. As far as I’m concerned, the panic that people are feeling at this particular point is much like these animals running away from the sound “Jow, Jow, Jow.” As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing to this particular worry.

I’ve been aware of this situation for some time now; however, I’ve heard just recently that due to the activity of Ken McCloud, and one of the people at his center, that some of the information concerning the Vajra Regent has gone into the newspapers. My own feeling about this is that we in the dharma centers, be they the Vajradhatu, Dharmadhatu, or my own centers here, all of us are working to provide beings with peace of mind as well as happiness and comfort physically. This is the reason why we have dharma centers, in order to benefit others. Now persons who have AIDS have other very serious sicknesses they are suffering physically. And this sort of publicity which is blaming others for the difficulties that a person might have, is only adding unhappiness to the person’s physical suffering. They are suffering in their minds if they follow this type of news.

In America, you have a lot of people looking over the laws of the land, and taking care of the health of the citizens of this country. You have the President, you have the Supreme Court, you have everybody from the top to the bottom. You have hundreds of thousands of police, and other persons who are taking care of people’s situations, whether people are harming one another, or are benefiting one another. As far as I’m concerned it is not the work at all of the dharma centers to examine exactly what is happening in another center’s group. I have control myself only of my own organization. And if Ken McCloud and other persons within my own organization are being harmful to others, this is something which I can put a stop to. This is something which I will put a stop to. This sort of activity of putting things into newspapers and making publicity which is harmful to other people in various ways, is something which is against the principles of our religious organization. We don’t have an organization for this sort of purpose. The purpose of our organization is to be of benefit to others.

As little as we can say, as little as we can discuss with others about this subject, the better, simply because this is a tremendous cause of distraction within our meditation practices. This is of very little benefit to the minds of anybody.

There are agencies in the American government, no doubt, that take care of people who have AIDS. And they are able to make an examination of a person. And if a person has AIDS, this is something between them and government agencies. And they should simply ask, “What do I do now?” And if they don’t have AIDS, then that’s just fine.
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