Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Is Diamond Way Buddhism a CULT??
typing_sound wrote in buddhistgroup
I think this is quite an important topic, since one of our members is thinking of going to a Diamond Way Buddhism centre. I did a little searching, and there are some testimonies of women being sexually harassed, and a lot of claims that the tradition is inauthentic and a cult. If you guys could help me, by either doing some research or sharing what you know about the tradition, that would really help me out! We don't want one of our members taking the poison cool-aid mixture, am I right?! It's time for Community Action! Dun-duh-duuhhh! Lol

Former Diamond way Member's perspective

I find these postings interesting and helpful. I thought I should share my experiences as well since I was with the group for almost 4 years, living in one of the Diamond way "centers" and helped organize group events and worked with Lama Ole on several occasions. Diamond way members were always up front to me about these controversies. Ole's sex with women, the Karmapa Controversy, if Ole was considered a real Lama......but that might have been my experience as all the centers around the world are very different.

looking back (left 3 years ago) I would say now that it was a cult (although it makes me cringe as this is a very strong word)
The word cult refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. Yes I would consider the actions of this group to fall under this category but I was open to this "different" way of life.

There were so many things I loved about the group but ultimately I left because there were too many red flags (like when you realize you have a bad boyfriend and need to leave)
but when I left completely, I never thought I would have so much rejection from it's members. I thought many would still at least stay my friend even though I decided not "to practice" I can tell you I have one friend still from the hundreds of people I met and shared "amazing" experiences with. Sad.

If anyone is interested in knowing more about my experiences please feel free to reach out. I think it might be worth sharing.

To many read internet opinions, rather then true experience

There are various schools of Buddhism who have the base foundation, but a different approach.

Those of us who have been to Tibet, India, China, and Japan, know the political side, and the issues hitting Buddhism for a long time. I studied in china, and watched the concerns from heads, as communist control hindered progress, controlled interests, and threatened Buddhism in China. Some before the 50's left to TIbet. Then the hand once again fell apon them. Control and manipulation was the fear, and became a reality. Placed deceptions and lies, in order to gain control.

THose that say cult, lack experience in the School, understanding, and often misinterpret. Those who have spent 20+ years with the llama, start to wonder, where exactly are they seeign certain things, when they make claims.

What some also forget, is when his wife was fighting cancer, she wanted him to find love. IF you are truely Buddhist, Judgement wouldn't have been made, wiether it fits yoru current view or not. However the LLama continued by her side till her passing.

Diamondway still has to follow the Kagyu lineage. Changes have to be accepted. Growth is together. Live by example and actions, and you still must read base teachings of buddha on your own, and discuss it. Many come to centers, and sit, but never read, discuss and further themselves.

Ole' has said it, centers say it, Buddha has said it. You need to put on many shoes.

Wiki is only as reliable as the contributor, and in many cases and from what I have read, it isn't very reliable with the constant counter production of those bent with ego to manipulate.Often it seems people don't listen when things are discussed. Doing little more then coming a handful of times, closing their eyes, replicating sounds without feeling meaning, understanding, and getting to that next level.

Ole spent a lot of time with the 16th Karmapa. He made a commitment, and promises, to maintain the lineage in the west. As Buddha adapted teachings to others, so it continues. The support controversy, it isn't had to see the test at hand. Also how we should deal with it and conflict to turn away from conflict. He would recognize key elements. When there is outside influence, that is not within the standard, look beyond it, and continue.

On comments in ISlam. Sure he made some, and other qoutes were twisted. THen they often for some reason, neglect to add in the 5 other comments that clarify. Seems to be a pattern in modern minipulation.

I studied Christianity for a long time, formally. Studied Islam. Individuals actions matter. THere are in fact many things written in Islam, that are counterproductive for a better state of mind. YEt today Orthodox changes are becoming more apparent, and you see actions, before words.

Centers are not free. IT is out of pocket. We opened a new Center in Clear Lake Texas (southern Hosuton) where the group of 20 years has moved to. THe lease is paid out of pocket. We came together to do the work. Nothing sold, donated, or given pays 100% of it. IT is still financially hard on the senior members. SO others do what ever they can to help. THE center is there for people to come, experience, talk, learn, and hopefully, help society. We all donated items, time, and heart. There is no profit in it, there is finacial loss, but we gladly do it.

People with personal agenda tend to judge it.

Let's clear up a few things, since some do not seem very Buddhist in view when they write "Cult" articles about diamond way, and eve admittedly haven't had much exposure.

Centers are non-profit. They are not paid for. Those who open them often start in homes, and after many years, will try to open a center for ease to people. Any donations, and store purchases go to ease expenses, but never pay for all the expenses. Senior members still pay the brunt of it to maintain them.

New people are told to experience various schools, and keep with core teachings of Buddha. To live by example. Learn together how to deal with situations, and ride the bull by the horn.

Many outsiders publish false information. For true members who have been for decades, they start to wonder where these fabrications come from. Yes we know other religious groups come to the centers and attempt conversions, write false info, and rather then listen to discussions, fabricate lies. The ego still consumes them, which we can not judge even if they do. They have walked a different life, have their own sufferings, and we still must be compassionate, regardless. Yet we are not mats to step on.

We have to deal with people who say their ideas are better and all should do it their way. Diamondway is a lineage, and goes by the base lineage of the school. Even Ole's publications have to be approved, and if required edited to follow the original lineage guidelines in Buddhism. HE does not have free reign like some may think, so keep that in mind when writing articles.

Accusations remain unproven, not understood, and falseified. here is a reason for that. A majority of articles are written by Christian writers, who when you cross reference, say this about many belief systems, lineages, that are not their own. THey have to find themselves first. We do not like it, but even with the attacks, we remain Buddhist, try to understand, offer them info, and leave it at that.

If individual centers are not following rules, then they can be investigated. Some have. They are still in the lineage, therefore they still must follow guidelines. One has been closed as a result of actions, so feel free to write the heads in India as well as the region.

After I left a Chinese center, and a idian center, I went to diamond way with a guard up.

So I can see the concern. The group was starting a new center. I could see it was financially coming out of the pockets of the senior, and mid level people, who had this dream, wanted to shift the 20+ year group to a location that could help others and be easier to get to.

Those who have compassion, came to help. Work, help get it ready. Small support is not a major thing, you can if you want, or don't. Just picking up a paint brush is appreciated, or sitting in for a discussion.

Donations won't pay for all the costs to keep the center open. It will help alleviate the costs from those putting so much of their personal finance into it. Even if just enough to help with the light bills and lease.

You are told (by those qualified) that you should try on different shoes and schools, to find what fits your path. That is all they can do. Read on teachings. Base scripts of Buddha, School writings from the lineage. How to properly deal with situations, even monks get off track and make mistakes.

Until at the proper level, you won't understand the Mahakala puje, or the other forms. Taking literal out, and imagery as a realization of letting go of negative aspects. When a protector image is there to show what is not good for others.

Live by example. Don't battle others who don't understand, or judge others based on other systems. Help maintain the teachings for all to stay on track.

"Don't pick up a hot coal in your hand with an intent to throw it, because you are the one who gets burned."

If a person calls anything a cult (or group) it is because it doesn't fit their beliefs, and they have the ego and desire to be right.

A majority of negative posts about Diamondway, and some clearly by the same handful of people, is due two many factors. THey are not experienced in it, and have issues they have yet to work out, but isn't that why we meditate?

I have read comments and wonder where information comes from. Certainly not from Buddhist teachings. If you are bent to slander, then once again the issue inside yourself remains.

Listen but question. You are told that. Learn, but find within yourself. You are taught that. A path is not clear until you break away the issues, and deal with them.

At first I had my doubts. I may not agree with 100% of Lama Ole's teachings. Then again It dawned on me that this man pushes buttons on purpose, then later, you get it. the "But you said...." then the "Oh wait I get it, ok I will let go of those things".

Live by example. Many will practice but forget this. The mask just isn't sticking. Till they chip away at issues once again.

The 16th Karmapa cleared up questions before his death. Some said "But ole never became a lama". Did many mis the ceremony? The letter? Him giving his blessing? IT is backed by Ripoche and the 17th Karamapa.

The issue we face now is honesty and preserving the teachings. Yet that will sort itself out.

Newer people who sit idol, won't progress. Those who take part, do their 15 minute talks and learn, as well as take refuge and prostrations, learn to let go of a lot of negative stuff. When you start to see yourself, and watch yourself grow.

To understand however, western ideals have to be removed.

my own experience of sexual abuse through Ole Nydahl

As a way of trying to heal myself and restore what I believe is right and what is not and also to find a way back info a life without pain, I would like to share my experience instead of continue hiding it (and myself).

I have been sexually abused by Ole Nydahl myself. There was a age difference of about 40 years between us when he had sex with me and I was in very difficult circumstances, feeling unsure about myself, my future and my life in general. I feel that he totally misused my faith and longing for a more meaningful life and my openness as a student. It seemed to me that letting him have sex with me was what I had to do in order to please my teacher and in order to learn and to improve myself. I did several therapies to try to get over these experiences but the wounds are still deep and I would warn strongly everybody to get near this man who cannot control his sexual desire and misuses his own students for his pleasure. He did not care if I wanted to sleep with him or not, sometimes woke me up in the middle of the night, just to have sex and misused my sense of feeling tired, overpowered and general sense of not feeling strong about myself and my live. How this person can be considered a spiritual teacher is what I cannot understand any more. I find his behaviour extremely irresponsible, careless and dangerous. I am thankful that this blog exists and whish I would have been informed before so I would not have made these very difficult experiences.

"To understand however, western ideals have to be removed." according to Scott Anthony's above post.

Mr Nydahl is often championing western ideals in his "dharma" talks, and when we look closely at what he really means by "western ideals", he is basically promoting the sort of neo-conservative politics found in the more right-wing sections of the U.S. Republican party.

So, if you favour that kind of political viewpoint mixed with your "dharma" then why not?

Well, the most obvious reason why not is that it just isn’t dharma, it is dualistic thinking which promotes Nydahl's personal viewpoint.

So, even if you have no personal objection to a guy who's talks are borderline racist, sexist, and homophobic in a kind of 1950's redneck style, you still aren’t learning Buddhism.

I wanted to add my personal experience to the thread for the benefit of others. I recently left a Diamond Way retreat after hearing Lama Ole speak on the first night. He voiced some views that I found extremely unpleasant, and I decided that the event was not for me.

I'll try to give just facts and refrain from interpretation. I have no opinions on the Lama's qualifications as a teacher. I have no grudge against Diamond Way. All the practitioners I met seemed to be perfectly nice people.

Here's a couple of things the Lama said (very roughly paraphrased):

* Europe is politically on a bad trajectory. Opening of borders leads to an influx of foreigners which makes European countries unsafe. European lawmakers aim at dissolving national identities. Countries will have to decide whether they want to continue admitting foreigners or whether they want safe streets at night.
* Non-European foreigners make the streets unsafe. They commit rapes and other crimes.
* Arabs are very angry, which is evidenced by the fact that they are frequently seen angrily jumping.
* Turks, Arabs and Pakistanis (?) are genetically inferior on account of high amount of cousin marriages. Students from those countries are less intelligent and cause a lot of trouble at meditation retreats.
* Being from Western Europe or North America is evidence of good karma, whereas being African or Middle Eastern is evidence of bad karma .
* After being very critical of Nelson Mandela for a long time, the lama has come around and has seen what he has had a positive effect on the country: Now the violence is mainly black-on-black, instead of black-on-white.

I didn't feel like entering a teacher-student relationship with someone who holds such views. I was also made uncomfortable by the fact that the large audience seemed to take these comments in stride.

Re: sharing my experience

Thanks for sharing your experience, mate! I would've left as well, as I wouldn't have felt comfortable either.

It is strange in itself to be speaking of political matters on the first day of a meditation retreat. That sounds very bizarre to me.

The nonsense and narrow-minded intolerance of those comments he made are disgusting, but that goes without saying. I am surprised that his students are eating that stuff up, they must be heavily brainwashed in my opinion.

RE: Re: sharing my experience

There are a lot if tantric inspired groupes in Denmark, that abuse people. “ Its a free country” And it is not crazy to believe they work with Black magic ( ore what you will call it, when you misuse power and knowlege in a certain areas ), and put people in different states of kundalini. Induced/ reverset kundalini ore distruction/ obstruction of People’s energysystem is sometimes part of the abuse, and the worst kind imaginable....It is very prevalent in Denmark...and in Tibetan “ buddhisme”

Edited at 2018-12-18 03:52 pm (UTC)