What does Tsem Tulku hope to accomplish on Twitter? Qu’est-ce que Tsem Tulku espèrent accomplir sur Twitter?


Tsem Tulku, @tsemtulku, has decided to weigh in on the Shugden controversy on Twitter. He considers it a matter of religion freedom. He’s an early adopter of Twitter with 23.8k tweets. I’m also an early adopter of Twitter. I have 64.3k tweets to date. I know a thing or two about the social media platform, most of it learned the hard way. I’ve made my share of mistakes with it. As such I couldn’t help but notice some push back against Tsem Tulku from people in my Twitter feed. This is something new. I haven’t seen anything like it since Twitter turned on Alyce Zeoli, @JALpalyul, in 2010. Hopefully Tsem Tulku has an exit strategy if his taking a position on the Shugden controversy goes sideways on him.

Karmapa Chenno!

Tsem Tulku, @tsemtulku, a décidé de peser sur la controverse Shugden sur Twitter. Il considère qu’il est une question de liberté de religion. Il est un des premiers à adopter Twitter avec 23.8k tweets. Je suis aussi un pionnier de Twitter. Je ai 64.3k tweets à ce jour. Je sais une chose ou deux au sujet de la plate-forme de médias sociaux, la plupart de celui-ci ont appris à la dure. J’ai fait ma part d’erreurs avec elle. En tant que tel, je ne pouvais pas me empêcher de remarquer une certaine repousser les Tsem Tulku des gens dans mon flux Twitter. C’est quelque chose de nouveau. Je ne ai rien vu de tel depuis Twitter allumé Alyce Zeoli, @JALpalyul, en 2010. Espérons Tsem Tulku a une stratégie de sortie si sa prise de position sur la controverse Shugden va latéralement sur lui.

Karmapa Chenno!



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28 responses to “What does Tsem Tulku hope to accomplish on Twitter? Qu’est-ce que Tsem Tulku espèrent accomplir sur Twitter?

  1. okiebuddhist

    I like his interesting biography and his method of creating a different kind of Buddhism. He is mouthy. Sometimes reckless. And many times wrong.

    Is he wrong about Shugden? I am Karma Kagyu. If Mahakala were banned from my tradition, I’d continue to practice it, especially if the practice led me to the dharmakaya.

  2. jacdsr

    Interesting that TT is critical of HHDL followers saying nasty things re: Shugden, but no comment on the feces the Shugden devotees continually throw at HHDL.

    • I suspect most of us on Twitter have been a bit taken aback by the direction Tsem Tulku’s tweets have taken of recent. He doesn’t follow anyone. He tweets hashtags at us. This is nothing new for him. I don’t get how he sees this Shugden business playing out on Twitter though. I don’t see it ending well for him. I’m very much reminded of what happened with @JALpalyul @KPCmonk when Twitter turned on them for dragging us into their cult’s business. That is how people on Twitter are beginning to talk about Tsem Tulku of recent.

      • Jigme

        That’s true.

        I’d like to go back a bit:

        Are Shugden Abd Mahakala the same?

        Jon, you seem to think so when you say that relatively and ultimately they are.

        Is this the case?

        • okiebuddhist


          I apologize for not answering your question.

          My view is that Dorje Shugden can lead one to enlightenment just like somebody yelling at you.

          I think an angry person may be a more effective guru (for me) than Dorje Shugden.

          On a side note, Tsem is making a big deal of this situation when he has practiced one form of Shugden or another since, according to him, 1983…from his root guru, who surpasses anything the Dalai Lama says (for Tsem).

          The Dalai Lama, on the other hand, argues that Shugden is a worldly protector. That viewpoint seems to move against the entire view of Milarepa that nothing profoundly exists outside the mind, as Gampopa describes as well in The Jewel Ornament of Liberation.

          Relative and ultimate are too easily separated by Tibetan dharmas. Once one recognizes the ultimate within themselves, the relative becomes a source of oxygen to live in the absolute. We are back to the concept: nirvana in samsara. However, there is only nirvana.

          • Karma Tashi Namgyal

            If I can put my couple cents in …

            I always understood the Two Truths through Nagarjuna’s reasoning, it just seems to resonate with me as being more straight forward. There is the relative and the ultimate – but there is no value judgement in that. The Two Truths exist equally – they are both true. The relative – the world of facts, red is red, blue is blue, a bat upside the head will hurt, two plus two will equal four, things dependently arise. The ultimate – the non-dual, emptiness, the lack of any intrinsic nature.

            There is no foundational reality – both truths are, well, true. All things lack an intrinsic nature, including the ultimate truth. But this is also why all things are conditional, including the ultimate truth – there isn’t an existential nothing. Nirvana only exists insofar as samsara exists – but both resolve into emptiness and both arise dependent upon each other.

            As such, when viewed through Nagarjuna’s understanding of the Two Truth’s, HHDL’s view does not seem to conflict with Milarepa or Gampopa. HHDL is just stating a relative fact Shugden is a worldly protector, incorrectly elevated by some.

  3. Karma Tashi Namgyal

    Anytime the of lineage “purity” is comes about, there are red flags for me. Such rhetoric has never led to good things in western history.

    I found there is quite the dismissive attitude about those who feel marginalized because of the limitations put on the Shugden practice. They have my sympathies – in a way. When people do not feel heard, you will often see some extreme behavior in an attempt to just get someone to listen.

    That being said, I do not agree with their tactics – no do I agree with the arguments. I never understood the religious freedom argument – as I understand it, people are still free to practice Shugden if they so choose. To me, this really just seems an appeal to emotion and smacks of tu quoque.

    • When Tsem Tulku speaks of religious freedom his religion is intolerance and his freedom is attack those whom take exception to that which he believes. In this sense he is not unlike the Chinese Buddhist community of Malaysia, a minority in a Muslim country, of which he is a member. He actually worships Dorje Shugden. It isn’t a dharma practice to Tsem Tulku. It is something altogether different from any understanding of the dharma we have as Buddhists in the West. His making himself the poster child for Dorje Shugden on Twitter is going to be an epic failure for him. He has a follower that has taken to retweeting his tweets. Pushing his Dorje Shugden tweets into our timelines will only alienate those Westerners that follow him as I do because he is a Buddhist on Twitter. The rub with this Tsem Tulku is how his followers on Twitter respond to those that criticize him.
      He has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to criticism. He doesn’t tolerate it. I’ve seen nothing comparable to how the followers of @JALpalyul responded when Twitter turned on her in 2010. Hopefully we can avoid a repeat of what happened to her on Twitter.

  4. Deborah

    I have a feeling Tsem Tulku is too far gone. Bill, you’re right-there is no way out for him other than full self-destruction with the way things are going.

    In a way, the demon has his hold on him and isn’t going to let go.

    Tsem Tulku has always had a bit of this crazy in him- his earlier YouTube vids read as quite strange and at times preachy. Now that he’s backed himself in the corner in this way, esoecially on this topic, there is nowhere but down for him.

    The Malaysian govt is pretty strict- I wonder if he’ll incure their wrath as he goes down in flames.

  5. Karma Tashi Namgyal

    I think what does Tsem Tulku in is his previous denials about the practice. To me that appears fairly disingenuous.

    • I’ve never given Tsem Tulku’s tweets a second thought until of recent. Tsem Tulku worships Dorje Shugden which puts him outside the scope of Buddhism on Twitter. Twitter Buddhism has no place for where he is coming from as a Buddhist. He has a problem with the Dalai Lama. He didn’t before though, which is going to be a problem for him on Twiiter.

      • Karma Tashi Namgyal

        I agree. The Twitter-verse is a pretty big place, though. There is room for all types.

        IMO, TT seemed to have this celebrity Tulku branding … with his videos, fancy website and what-not. I’m sure this garnered him a fair amount of attention from average, ordinary practitioners.

        Thing is – the average, ordinary practitioner is probably down with HHDL. So once TT did this about-face on Shugden, well those people are probably are going to react accordingly.

        His marketing machine was designed to attract people of a certain inclination – now his marketing is going against the inclinations of those he attracted. Of course that is speculation, he could just as well have the market research to show that such a stance won’t hurt his brand …

  6. Jane

    He only seems to disagree with one of DL’s decisions. Do we have to agree with everything DL says? I agree with TT shining the light on the hypocrites who claim to be followers of the middle path but who behave like religious fanatics in the name of DL. Sadly, DL will probably never once condemn his most misguided followers.

    • ex-student

      No, he disagrees about many things, then lied for 2 decades to his own guru’s faces about giving up shugden.

      Then he goes on to tell his students to follow their guru unquestioningly.
      Tsong gave up shugden, HHDL gave up shugden, Lama Zopa gave up shugden, every school gave up shugden. Tsem had to find new teachers to agree with HIM about shugden because all his gurus rejected it entirely.

      Just shows what kind of person Tsem is. Two-faced. No loyalty. No commitment. All he seems to care about is causing problems for the people who gave him everything. It’s not even about shugden, he’s just a trouble maker and too arrogant to follow his guru’s instructions.

      You want to sum up Tsem?
      Two-faced back-stabbing twit.

      And so are the students and people online who lied and said he was honest.

      Tsem, you know what you are and now everyone else does to. You might as well give up the game now because you lost and the truth is out.

    • Sunny Jam

      Have you forgotten what the Buddha taught: one of the most fundamental teachings that he taught was to analyze and either accept or discard any of his teaching if not agreeable. The Dalai Lama teaches nothing different. Of course when it comes to Buddhism it is only natural to reject the worship of worldly gods such as Indra, Bramha and so on, and the same goes for demons subdued by Guru rinpoche, you dont worship them and bow to them silly, if you do you may as well worship Christ or any other figure, it will just be a stain on Buddhism to call yourself Buddhist. Just follow Shakymuni and leave the mumbo jumbo behind, that is what HDL teaches and that is what Shakymuni taught.

  7. Sunny Jam

    If you want to be a Buddhist, follow what Buddha Shakyamuni expounded. Follow his example, not the mumbo jumbo that comes out of these so called lama’s trying to justify their existence by using skewed logic. The more I hear and see these tulkus, the further from the path of Shakyamuni they seem. A lot of them are nothing but snake oil salesmen and fast talkers supported by a weak minded few that live in fear of their own wet dreams.

  8. Sunny Jam

    I communicate with my Guru’s in my dreams when I am far away from them, not twitter. LOOOOL

  9. Sunny Jam

    Didn’t those shug den followers murder a monk in Dharamsala, scary indeed. This is where Buddhists depart from being Buddhist and start to be followers and worshipers of worldly gods.

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