Moving forward what Ogyen Trinley Dorje needs to know about his predecessor’s lineage in the West

Picture of Rangjung Rikpe Dorje, the 16th and last Karmapa of Free Tibet who established his unique lineage here in the West, thankfully, it being no stranger to surviving diasporas having survived Buddhist India, something that once was a thing but ceased to be one long, long, ago before it found a home in Tibet for a while, prior to Tibet being occupied by the Chinese Communists, only to end up here, where it has found a home in the West conducive to the practice of Mahamudra, which Rangjung Rikpe Dorje found us, our not being Tibetan, refreshingly different, and much to his surprise, uniquely qualified to practice, as Westerners, given our history of choosing our personal freedom above all else, something he wished to see more of in future generations of Tibetans, historically speaking, as such

“That the Karma Kagyu establishment, the few men that decide what’s what in their sect, represented to us by the young and handsome, I think so, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, his partners in crime as such, back in India, where they act as a law unto themselves it seems, don’t get what we want from them, let us relegate them to the dustbin of history where they most certainly belong in my opinion.”

Camille pauses.

“That these men, yes, these men, cannot cope with our Western lack of deference for their Tibetan past, for example, their monasteries in occupied Tibet, which these men are so inextricably attached to, yes, attached, I think so, is no surprise to anyone familiar with the endless machinations over the past 56 years of these men, and now their sons, living off in perpetuity,  our generous support of the Dalai Lama’s cause, his project, which they have so benefited from as exiles, but without even a thank you from these people, for saving them from China’s genocide in Tibet as we without doubt did for them, in the moment of need.”

Camille continues.

“This, it also seems to me, the the willingness of these men to do anything to perpetuate these monastastic institutions, even if it means collaborating with those that occupy Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party, to accomplish this end, is something that I must take issue with, for myself, who I am, as a Westerner who sees herself as continuing what Rangjung Rikpe Dorje, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, began with us when he established his lineage in the West for the benefit of future generations of sentient beings, without exception.”

Henri replies.

“If the Tibetan, these men and their sect, so well known, yes, for its culture of corruption, crimes have been committed in India by these individuals, the court has found them guilty of tax evasion and money laundering, cannot reform themselves of their attachment for their monasteries in occupied Tibet, put them behind themselves, as Rangjung Rikpe Dorje himself did, we must do this ourselves, force the issue with them, beginning at the top, with their leader, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, even if only for ourselves, even if need be we must let them go their own way, if they when all is said and done, they see a future for themselves in a Tibet occupied by the Chinese Communists, if that is what they wish for themselves as such, I think so, we must do this.”

Henri continues.

“The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, His Holiness, Rangjung Rikpe Dorje himself, did indeed put both Tibet and its monasteries, and the status quo these institutions were so vested in, the whole kit and caboodle of what for centuries was Tibet, behind him, of this I have no doubt, and as such, so must Ogyen Trinley Dorje, as the leader of his Karma Kagyu sect, must stand against those who put him on his throne at Tsurphu in occupied Tibet in the first place, this I believe, it is time for Ogyen Trinley Dorje to put all this behind him, to get right with the historical reality of his situation, if he ever wishes to someday be the holder of the Gyalwa Karmapa lineage in more than just the opinion of those who put him forward as Rangjung Rikpe Dorje’s reincarnation, so to speak.”

End scene. Fini.

A teachable moment, made possible by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players, for your entertainment pleasure.


Filed under Buddhism

5 responses to “Moving forward what Ogyen Trinley Dorje needs to know about his predecessor’s lineage in the West

  1. okiebuddhist

    If I were Tibetan, is being attached to my cultural heritage a problem for my enlightenment?


    If I were Tibetan, is teaching the dharma within the framework of my cultural heritage going to benefit beings in Tibet and eastern Buddhist traditions?


    Is building a stupa or a monastery benefiting beings in the west?

    Yes and no. All beings connect to the dharma differently. Some connect to the “magic” of Tibetan empowerments, which creates motivation to practice. Others roll their eyes at the magic and take a secular approach to Tibetan Buddhism, which works for them.

    There are too many stories I have heard or read on how we or others practice dharma. Magamudra works for many. Prostrations can also lead us directly to the nature of mind.

    What works for me may not work for others.

    So, whatever reasons the 16th Karmapa died in Chicago area, all his students connect to him based on their narrative background and context, and we need multiple narratives of dharma across the globe to continue.

    We are back to the hyperbole: there are 84,000 dharma teachings. There are 84,000 methods of realization. Which one is the right medicine for you in this lifetime?

    • There is nothing here for you to argue about.

      • okiebuddhist

        I know. 😉

        • Being of Native American descent what do you think of Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s sect’s response to the Chinese Communist occupation of Tibet?

          • okiebuddhist

            From a Native American perspective, I would not negotiate with the Chinese government.

            We tried that repeatedly in the U.S. and got burned. We ended up losing our land, dying, losing our culture and language, and nearly going extinct because of interaction and treaties with the French, British, Spanish, and U.S.

            It’s a no-win situation for the Tibetans, and the Chinese can tear down every monastery in TAR if it gets too large or powerful. The Chinese have already done so for other religions.

            Tibet isn’t part of the Chinese Unity plan, and it never will be. However, eastern Tibet tended to be more independent from the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government and sometimes cooperated a great deal with the Chinese. However, at this point in history, I’d fully argue for the Tibetans to establish their own culture beyond Tibet.

            What I don’t advocate is the ridiculous orientalist worship of the Tibetan people. They are flawed like all of us, and whatever teachings that have worked successfully in the west should be preserved for westerners. When a westerner behind wearing Tibetan clothing and jewelry, that westerner has been deluded!

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