For your consideration: What is a Rinpoche and what purpose does he serve?

I was asked to write something for readers here to consider while I am writing my book, A Garland of Rinpoches–A Tibetan Buddhist Horror Story.

My book begins in 1981, before Rangjung Rikpe Dorje’s Parinirvana and ends with Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s recent visit to Chicago to commemorate his predecessor’s passing away here.

Colleen, her husband Bob, and their young son, Sean lived on the third floor of a three flat in a two bedroom apartment here on the Northside of Chicago in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Colleen had a Rinpoche.

Her Rinpoche had her put a Tibetan shrine in their living room which she did. This is what Rinpoche wanted. She had no choice but obey his wishes.

This is Tibetan Buddhism.

This isn’t an excerpt from my book but how I framed the opening scene as such which I gladly share here for your consideration.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “For your consideration: What is a Rinpoche and what purpose does he serve?

  1. thubten2001

    Congrats at finishing your book. I will finish a book of poetry within six months.

    • Thank you but I’m only 2000 words in. I began in April outlining it in my mind, where to begin and where it will end. Then I had to settle on a style sheet to guide how I write it. I’m using Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing. I have a lot to cover. It’s going to be a page turner. Coming in at just under 100, 000 words it better be.

  2. Ani Jangchub

    I’m happy that you are presenting the “truth on the ground” as a counterpoint to the propaganda that our lamas and Rinpoche’s would have us believe.

    During HH’s recent visit to the U.S. I e pressed some of my opinions about how forced his trip was as well as all the money and power that was secretly being fought over. They really want us to hand over our intellect if we are to become his disciple.

    In any event Tsurphu Labrang had my Facebook page shut down and I am now banned from that social media platform.

    This, is also what Rinpoches seem to want…

    • The aim of my book A Garland of Rinpoches is to deconstruct Tibetan Buddhism in America and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

      I promise readers, whether you are a stake holder in Tibetan Buddhism or simply want to know more about the Buddhism of Tibetans and their followers in America, it will be a page turner.

      In general, if a reader has a Rinpoche, what their Rinpoche is, will be made transparent to the general reader in a manner such a reader will easily understand.

      In particular, if a reader has ever heard of Ogyen Trinley Dorje, they will never again think of Ogyen Trinley Dorje the same.

      If a reader has never heard of Ogyen Trinley Dorje, what His Holiness is, and his agenda in America will be presented for their consideration in a manner that such a reader will easily understand.

      This book will not be the end of Tibetan Buddhism in America. It will though be the end of Rinpoches as we have known them, from Trungpa to present.

      Never again will a Rinpoche’s follower be able to tell a Buddhist in America “This is what Rinpoche wants,” with the expectation that an American Buddhist will give a shit what said Rinpoche wants them to do for them, my aim in writing this book

      • David, leaf or......

        “””Never again will a Rinpoche’s follower be able to tell a Buddhist in America “This is what Rinpoche wants,””””

        If you don’t follow Rinpoche’s instruction, how would you become a “follower of Rinpoche / Rinpoches” ?

        Think about it. If you are always in such a whirl of confusion, wait for one and another rinpoches to convert you into “empty”_give both your material and energy(or life) to them, Will you reach to the any solid ground. Maybe, TOMB is the only end.

        • There is not a Rinpoche in America today that wants us to do what they want simply on their say so. The aim of my book is that never again will a Rinpoche’s follower tell another person, “This is what Rinpoche wants.” My sole purpose in writing this book is that these words never again be uttered in the name of the Dharma here in America.

  3. Jackie

    A rinpoche is a spiritual guide. Advice is asked for and given by the rinpoche. I follow advice that seems helpful and don’t follow advice that seems out of touch with modern times. Just my 2 cents.

    • Thank you. Fortunately, we have a historical record of what a Rinpoche is.
      Today’s Rinpoche has since the Fifth Dalai Lama prevailed over the Kingdom of Tsang and made Tibet a theocratic dictatorship, been the masters of all in their particular domain.

      Prior to the Chinese Communist forces pushing into Tibet in 1958 the domain of a Rinpoche was their monastery and the people whom said Rinpoche’s monks and their relatives exploited as their Feudal masters.

      The Western historical equivalent of a Rinpoche in Tibet would be that of a slave holder in the South before the Industrial Revolution.

      A Rinpoche’s monks, and their relatives, were the equivalent of a plantation owner’s overseers.

      A Rinpoche’s monastery was the equivalent of a plantation.

      Nothing in Tibetan Buddhism has changed since the predecessors of today’s Rinpoches ruled Tibet.

      • Ani Jangchub

        Will you discuss the family of these Rinpoches?

        For example, the Karmapa’s sister who is more an Amelda Marcos than a practioner of buddhadharma.

        Or, Tenzin Chonyi, self entitled step-father of DPR?

        • In the course of my deconstructing the relationship between the Rinpoches of Tibetan Buddhism in America and their relatives the role of said relatives in our lives will be made transparent beginning with Tenzin Chonyi from Zion, Illinois where, as the story goes, he had someone co-sign a rental agreement which he never made payments on, ruining the persons credit, to Woodstock, New York, where he personally gets a taste of every penny donated to his 501c3, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra and its affiliate centers, all because he was Rangjung Rikpe Dorje’s nephew. Once deconstructing this relationship, every Rinpoche in America has a Tenzin Chonyi that gets a taste of whatever comes their way, I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions as to what they think of the relationship and what if anything Buddhists in America should do about it, if anything.

      • My read on things is slightly different than yours. The Rinpoches are found, appointed and trained from a very young age to serve the real despotic rulers of Tibet. They invariably come from impoverished circumstances and their privilege and that of their families is subject to the approval and whims of the aristocracy. They are taught to obey the rulers. Rinpoches who don’t toe the line suffer short lives dying under mysterious circumstances. Read the lives of the Dalai Lamas.

        Witness the saga of KTD. None of the Rinpoches dared to cross Tenzin Choney, the son of an aristocratic family, a lama in name only, who ruled KTD with an iron fist for close to 40 years.The aristocracy is a blood line descent, the Rinpoches are not, at least among the Kargupa and the Gelugpa. The Ningma and the Sakyapa were often blood line descent, but they were not the power holders of Tibet.

        • “Tenzin Choney, … who ruled KTD with an iron fist for close to 40 years.”

          Hardly. I’ve been around KTD, saw how it was run, and Tenzin Choney had little to do with it. He could pull rank, and was sometimes resented when he did so, but he had little to do with the day to day affairs of KTD.

          • I will deconstruct the role of the predecessors of today’s Rinpoches in the political economy of Tibet from the fifth Dalai Lama’s defeat of the kingdom of Tsang and the subjugation of Kham, the feudal theocratic dictatorship which, in a much less diminished form defines Tibetan Buddhism to this day, in the form of a page turner of a book written for a broad audience of people interested in reading about Tibetan Buddhism in America.

          • I’ve been around KTD since it was founded. Nothing went by that was not fully approved by Tenzin Choney. Even something so small as a get together before Christmas of the local sangha to trim the tree at KTD was given thumbs down by TC. The local sangha for the most part stopped participating in KTD’s day to day operation because they were made unwelcome by TC. If someone there did something that did not have his approval, they disappeared. It’s easy to overlook his influence if you are not aware of it. Tibetans are subtle and don’t like to advertise their power until they need to. It’s the iron fist in the velvet glove.

        • I will deconstruct the role of the predecessors of today’s Rinpoches in the political economy of Tibet from the fifth Dalai Lama’s defeat of the kingdom of Tsang and the subjugation of Kham, the feudal theocratic dictatorship which, in a much less diminished form defines Tibetan Buddhism to this day, in the form of a page turner of a book written for a broad audience of people interested in reading about Tibetan Buddhism in America.

  4. Ani Jangchub

    But, what about Karmapa and his dealings with these shady Chinese millionaires who are special players in the Chinese Communist Party?

    http://claudearpi.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-shadowy-mr-xiao.html?m=1

    Who trained them to do that?

  5. Maurice

    Do you have an issue with the Tibetan tulku system in particular or more broadly.
    Would a Western tulku system serve us better, or will the same old issues of power and corruption emerge?

  6. Maurice

    What do you mean by ‘deconstruct”?
    The inclusion of Tibetan deity worship
    being held up as Buddhism seems to
    me as a problem.

    • To deconstruct an appearance is to make transparent that which is not apparent.

      It is not apparent that Rinpoches have people who get a taste of every donation made to them.

  7. Maurice

    A “taste” is not a meal.

  8. Dud Dul Dorje

    ‘Free Tibet’ – Where has all the money gone?
    fyi… http://internationalshugdencommunity.com/free-tibet-money-gone/

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