Research suggests how Tibetans practice Dharma does more harm than good? La recherche suggère comment les Tibétains pratiquent Dharma fait plus de mal que de bien?


To go into retreat to practice, or not? I submit for your consideration “Ditch the 10,000 hour rule! Why Malcolm Gladwell’s famous advice falls short” from Salon as it pertains to the benefits, or lack thereof, of doing the three year retreat at Karme Ling, KTD’s retreat. Is it worth it? Based on my experience with those that have completed the three year retreat at Karme Ling I think not. It is not worth the effort. In fact I would argue that the harm of doing the three year retreat at Karme Ling far outweighs any benefit of practicing in such manner. Contrary to the conventional wisdom on the subject research suggest this is so, that how Tibetans practice the dharma in fact does more harm than good.

Karmapa Chenno!

Pour aller en retraite à la pratique, ou non? Je soumets à votre considération “Fossé de la règle 10 000 heures! Pourquoi fameux conseil de Malcolm Gladwell deçà” de Salon en ce qui a trait aux avantages, ou l’absence de celui-ci, de faire la retraite de trois ans à Karme Ling, la retraite de KTD. Est-il utile? Basé sur mon expérience avec ceux qui ont achevé la retraite de trois ans à Karme Ling Je ne crois pas. Il ne vaut pas l’effort. En fait, je dirais que le préjudice de faire la retraite de trois ans à Karme Ling dépasse de loin tout avantage de pratiquer de cette manière. Contrairement à la sagesse conventionnelle sur la recherche sur des sujets suggèrent il en est ainsi, que la façon dont les Tibétains pratiquent le dharma, en fait, fait plus de mal que de bien.

Karmapa Chenno!



Filed under Buddhism

23 responses to “Research suggests how Tibetans practice Dharma does more harm than good? La recherche suggère comment les Tibétains pratiquent Dharma fait plus de mal que de bien?

  1. Karma Tashi Namgyal

    I can’t really say that I have had experience with any graduates of Karme Ling, however, I have had experience with graduates of other 3 year retreats which have been nothing but positive.

    Be that as it may, I am not too sure of how exactly the education is organized and scheduled in retreat – from what little I did get to hear about life in the 3 yr retreat, it didn’t seem like it was ‘massed’.

  2. Warrenz

    I would not be as sweeping as you Bill. But I think there is a definite issue with the rigidity of the 3-year retreat curriculum defined by Jamgon Kongtrul and used pretty much everywhere.
    But I have met very good graduates of 3-year retreats – as well as not so good ones. I think more filtering should be done of candidates – just because someone is willing and has the cash is not good enough. Bright and dedicated retreatants will do well – eager but uninformed will not.
    Also there probably should be more time spent pre-retreat on things like Tibetan language, torma making, ritual music etc. that most Tibetan retreatants already know. I think deficiencies in the above means most Westerners waste too much time learning the ritual paraphernalia and miss out on the real meat of the retreat.

    • We can agree that how Tibetans practice the Dharma does more harm than good?

      I think so.

      There are exceptions, granted, people who have attempted to practice as Tibetans practice the Dharma who have emerged unscathed by the experience.

      They are exceptions, though.

      Tibetans claim how they practice the dharma works.

      Fair enough.

      Decades into our relationship with Tibetans though the proof is in the pudding.

      There is no evidence that how Tibetans practice the dharma works, not just for non-Tibetans, but for Tibetans alike.

      The claim that how Tibetans practice the dharma works, on the whole, has no basis reality.

      Retreat is no the shit.

      We have no reason to believe that it works.

      Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom of Tibetans, not all Tibetans subscribe to how Tibetans traditionally practice the dharma, for example, I site the example of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso whom does not subscribe to the conventional wisdom of Tibetans as to how we should practice the dharma.

      • Warrenz

        Do you have any proof though that those who do not do the three year retreat are more advanced practitioners? I think it’s equally unprovable. What evidence is there that not doing 3-year retreat is better?

        I think the retreat format will develop for both Westerners and Tibetans but it will take time and the success of any new format will be gauged with hindsight.

        • Do we have proof? Yes, we do. I cite for example two individuals I know of off the top of my head, Ari Goldfield and Karl Brünneholzl, both whom in short order working with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso became advanced dharma practitioners of note here in America, to name but a few. Furthermore, we have no instance of any instances of anyone being harmed in the process of working with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Those harmed by attempting to practice the Dharma as Tibetans do are many by comparison. I will not list those whom I know that have been harmed by either practicing the Dharma as Tibetans, or the harm done to their friends and family in the name of practicing the Dharma as Tibetans do.

  3. Ani Jinpa Lhamo

    Bless you, Bill!

  4. Karma Tashi Namgyal

    Looks like more dates on the East coast have been set for the Karmapa’s visit.

    • Warrenz

      I see Karmapa is visiting Bardor Tulku’s center but KTD is not on the list (although there is a big gap in the schedule between Match 17 and April 4 so who knows). What do you make of that, Bill?

      • This visit will be remembered as the year Ogyen Trinley Dorje was invited to Stanford as someone with something to contribute to a discussion of the issues of the day at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in America today which is as it should be as far as I’m concerned.

        What do I make of Ogyen Trinley Dorje reaching out to Bardor Tulku to pay his respects?

        I think it is the first step in walking back Bardor Tulku’s banishment.

        That Ogyen Trinley Dorje has not scheduled any teachings or empowerments at KTD to date is consistent with the above.

        It isn’t what Ogyen Trinley Dorje is here for.

        • Warrenz

          Hmm, I’m not sure you have that right. I would suspect though that a KTD visit will happen – it just hasn’t been advertised yet. There’s still lots of blanks in the schedule.
          From what what we know of his itinerary so far – his main purpose seems to be to visit the Tibetan Community on the East Coast. Stanford is only one date. The rest are in Queens and other greater NYC locations where there are Tibetan immigrant populations. They seem to be the ones paying the piper for this visit. The visit to Stanford is probably – in part at least – a useful expedient to ease the granting of travel permits from both India and the US. Difficult for the authorities to find fault with an invitation from such a prestigious body.

          • Do I think Orgyen Trinley Dorje will visit KTD?

            I think so.

            Why is Ogyen Trinley Dorje visiting America?

            To visit Stanford.

            Will Ogyen Trinley Dorje visit with Tibetans that live here?

            I think so.

            Is he here to visit these Tibetans?

            I don’t think so.

            Is Ogyen Trinley Dorje here on false pretenses?

            I don’t think so.

  5. Warrenz

    Fuller (but by no means complete) schedule here:
    The event in Kingston NY on April 18 is KTD sponsored. I imagine he will be there from then until he goes to Seattle around May 5.
    He’ll be in America for about 8 weeks it seems – much longer than his previous visits combined. I think the lack of detail in schedule means Indian Govt permission has only recently been granted and US Kagyu / Tibetan organizations are probably scrabbling around to organize hosting of events. I suspect that they did not think they’d get so long a visit. It looks like the obstacles to his travel are being eased. I would speculate that Shamar R’s passing may play some role in that.

  6. Warrenz

    it is speculation admittedly but I think one would be naive not to entertain it. Your love of Shamar while commendable is a blindspot.

    • Ogyen Trinley Dorje was prevented from visiting America?

      I don’t think so.

      Shamar Rinpoche was responsible for his not visiting America?

      I don’t think so.

      Ogyen Trinley Dorje chose not to visit America?

      I think so.

      If he left India he might not be allowed to return?

      I think so.

      Ogyen Trinley Dorje being able to return to India is no longer an issue?

      I think so.

      Ogyen Trinley Dorje can stay in America as long as he wants?

      I think so.

      Ogyen Trinley Dorje chose to keep his being in America on the down low?

      I think so.

      Tibetans in India fear Ogyen Trinley Dorje living in America?

      I think so.

      The Modi Government needs Ogyen Trinley Dorje more than he it?

      I think so.

  7. Warrenz

    Shamar used his contacts in the Indian Govt to thwart the rise of a rival candidate – including intervening to stop him travelling?
    I think so and so does everyone else bar his own supporters.

    Indian paranoia over China fuelled conveniently by Shamar prevented Karmapa travelling and still limits his ability to move within India and set up his own monastery.
    I think so.

    Orgyen Trinley sees the US and Europe primarily as a source of sponsorship funds – this does not mean he does not care about foreign students.
    I think so.

    Karmapa’s first allegiance is to his own countrymen not to the US or Europe.
    If you can’t see that, you’re blind.

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