It’s time to end the Tibetan practice of trafficking children as reincarnations 

A picture of a Tibetan child not trafficked by Tibetan men as their late teacher’s reincarnation

“There is no better preparation for Guru yoga than changing your child’s dirty diaper.” 

Sam adds. 

“As far as I’m concerned the more lamas with children the better for us all.”

Sam pauses.

“The end of Tibetan monastery driven sectarianism begins with household creation.” 

Sam concludes.

“A political economy with a future in which we all without exception are equally vested in its success.”



Filed under Buddhism

4 responses to “It’s time to end the Tibetan practice of trafficking children as reincarnations 

  1. Nyungne

    I agree on an end to trafficking in children. However, we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Northern India was the birthplace of Buddhism, and the home of the evolute thereof which was the immediate precursor to the system until recently extant in Tibet. That Buddhist world was wiped out when the Moghuls (ie. Muslims) overran northern India in the tenth century. Tibet amounted to a “Hail Mary pass” from that dying system. Subsequently, there were texts believed lost when the Buddhist universities were destroyed that were discovered intact in Tibet in the twentieth century. Now, I’m a student of Kalu Rinpoche’s from the 1970s, and agree wholeheartedly with his message. However, the monastic system has preserved these texts, and equally importantly, the practices, in all their detail. I believe that before we attempt a Cultural Revolution-style reorganization, we’d do well to have something viable arranged to take the place of the old system. It has been, for example, widely observed that people who practice in Tibetan get better results that those who practice in English. Why might that be? Videos aren’t enough. We don’t know enough to keep things from degenerating into a corrupt form of Zen with ragtag Tantric elements, mainly a footnote to the dying sixties counterculture. Where would we be then? In my estimation, we are on the horns of a major dilemma here, and must proceed with caution.

    • Osel Karl

      I disagree. English based dharma practice is no less effective than Tibetan.

      Were the Tibetans less than the Indians who preceded them?

      Authentic dharma practice an be practiced anywhere, by any group.

      Don’t believe the hype…

  2. It probably works “better” simply because the visualization becomes stronger and the main focus. The words are gibberish to me because I don’t understand it so I’m not distracted by focusing on a visualization, words and concept. Plus, I’m a pretty visual person.

    I always have to ask though, what is this “better” you’re talking about?

    In the long run though, the more associations you have with something, the more it is assimilated so I have to think that it would not be better to learn in any other language than your own. At least in the long term, it should be better. What is the time frame of this “better” comparison? I can cram for tests, get an A, and then if you ask me a year later I couldn’t tell you a darn thing.

    In fact, every time I do an Om Mani Padme Hung, I repeat it (as I understand it) in english in my head so I’m really doing it twice. (Which could also be a reason why it seems better, because people are really doing it twice as much as they think they may be doing.)

    Anyway, like I said, retention is better if you have a lot of connections to something (visual, auditory, emotional, tactile, etc.). So, I think we need mantras in our own language.

    Regardless of all of that. I wouldn’t want my child taken from me and forced to be a monk so I guess I’m opposed to the idea myself.

    • Nyungne

      I suppose a lot of subjective things add up to “better”. In an objective sense it may have to be approached indirectly; for example, what percentage of all students stay with the Dharma for years, then decades. Perhaps one should even take into consideration which learned a subsequent practice because they were led to it from a previous one, and then consider what percentage of that cohort use English, and what Tibetan. Mantra, of course, is in Sanskrit regardless of what language is used elsewhere in the puja because its effect and purpose is vibratory rather than literally meaningful in nature. It may go beyond what we think we think. A lot of people would be very dismayed to learn how deterministic the universe really is. Perhaps” more effective” would be better than “better”.

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