Lama Norlha has no stake in repatriating Karma Kagyu Tulkus to occupied Tibet

Picture of Lama Norlha’s guru, Kalu Rinpoche, who established the Shangpa Kagyu in the West and whose students, and in turn their students in the West are widely regarded in their own right while Khenpo Karthar’s are by comparison not so well thought of for some reason, an odd outcome if you think about why this would be so

Lama Norlha is Karma Kagyu, he holds its lineage of Mahamudra.”

Jonathan continues.

“On the other hand though Lama Norlha has his students make the Shangpa ngöndro their primary focus in his three year retreat.”

Allen Replies.

“Lama Norlha, thankfully, is not one of the handful of men who are the Karma Kagyu sect as we know it today as headed by Ogyen Trinley Dorje.”

Allen continues.

“Rinpoche isn’t a stake holder in the Karma Kagyu project to repatriate itself to occupied Tibet, one line of Tulkus at a time.”

End scene. Fini.

A teachable moment brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players for your entertainment pleasure.



Filed under Buddhism

12 responses to “Lama Norlha has no stake in repatriating Karma Kagyu Tulkus to occupied Tibet

  1. kennynamgyal

    Bill does have some good sources, but I can’t really say what is emphasized in Rinpoche’s retreat; however, when I heard retreat with Rinpoche discussed it was always something along the lines of “the full transmission of the Karma Kagyu cycle.”

    I do know the dharma center I go to, which is affiliated with Rinpoche would say they are Karma Kagyu.

    My only point being is that the Karma Kagyu in the west is larger than just those with whom Bill has issues (I have never encountered a lama who went through retreat with KKR, so I can’t speak on that). There are quality western teachers, people who have similar experiences as us with whom we can relate, who consider themselves to be practicing in line with Karma Kagyu.

    That is there may be issues within the institution and its leadership but, the institution is more than the sum of its parts and even in the world if appearances there is still quality to be found.

    • Sorry, but I hate to interrupt you, but I’m writing a novel here, so please chill on whatever you think you are doing here.

      These dialogues are for your entertainment.

      “Allen” and “Jonathan” are characters my novel.

      I’ve been working over the course of this summer on the opening scene.

      It’s set in the Green Mill, on a Saturday afternoon, where they are watching a performance of Paper Machete, a performance piece performed by local hipsters, its conceit being that we are seeing a literary magazine, a la Prairie Home companion, but with nudity, not to give up too much here.

      I’m exploring how these two characters think, get into their headspace here.

      That’s all that is happening here.

      I already have a devil’s advocate, the character of Jonathan.

      Your nailing it, but I just thought you should know what is happening here.

      Okie and Wendy have figured this out on their own and good sports that they are have been indulging me in their comments.

      Usually when someone comes up with the wrong end of the stick here I delete the comment, after reading it of course for research purposes, cold shit, I know, but I’m working here.

      Anyway, I can’t do you like that, so I wanted to bring you up to speed, before you go any further here.

      If you were in a booth at the Green Mill with Allen and Jonathan discussing Lama Norlha I imagine you wouldn’t be all up in their grill even if you thought they were wrong about Rinpoche based on your experience with them.

      • All up in their grill … no. But, the old lawyer habits in me probably wouldn’t let a statement that I thought to be wrong pass without some discussion or clarity.

        • There is nothing to implicate Lama Norlha in the machination of the Karma Kagyu sect here, in India, or in occupied Tibet.

          He isn’t one of the handful of men that are the Karma Kagyu sect as we have know it in the West.

          He has nothing to do with KTD in a nutshell.

          This is what is being discussed by Allen and Jonathan here.

          Feel free to jump into their discussion.

          What say you?

          That Rinpoche teaches Karma Kagyu teachings to his students in addition to those of the Shangpa Kagyu of which we know for a fact he is indeed a member of.

          Nobody in the booth with you has said otherwise.

          Awkward silence.

          The waitress asks if you want another round of drinks.

          End scene. Fini.

          • Larry uncomfortably shifted in his seat. This dude has not taken kindly to some gentle disagreement.

            “Listen, all I’m saying is, if you ask the people who went through retreat with Rinpoche, they would identify as Karma Kagyu. If you visit a center affiliated with Rinpoche, it’s Karma Kagyu … Rinpoche also holds the Nyingma Dzogchen lineage, but you aren’t going to say he is Nymingmapa.”

            “From what I understand in retreat with Rinpoche it’s the Six Yogas of Naropa, not Niguma.”

            “The lady, Caroline – right? She said there were no worth while western Karma Kagyu teachers, well – all I’m saying is that there are.”

            “And the arguement that Rinpoche trains quality teachers because he is Shangpa and not Karma Kagyu doesn’t survive the least of scrutiny.”

            “The thing you have right about Rinpoche is that he is not part of the project to repatriate Karma Kagyu tulkus back to Tibet (as far as I know). This though, isn’t because he doesn’t have a stake in the Karma Kagyu institution. Some don’t like Karma Ling, fair enough – though, KTD is not the whole of Karma Kagyu in the west.”

            “Jameson and ginger, please.”

            • Again you are conflating sect with lineage.

              Awkward silence.

              End scene, Fini.

              • I guess it’s the ambiguity of what is meant by sect – I always took it as the worldly matters of the Karma Kagyu – the institution, but I get the feeling you are not using it that way.

                • If there is a Karma Kagyu sect other than KTD in America today, now would be a good time to make their presence known.

                  • Well, there is the obvious … supporters of HH OTD and supporters of HH TTD.

                    • If there is a Karma Kagyu sect other than those people in Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s inner circle whom control the monastic seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa in North America let them make their presence known to us in some manner then.

                      Choosing sides over which Karmapa Yangsi is the reincarnation of Rangjung Rikpe Dorje does not make you a member of the Karma Kagyu sect.

                      Ask Bardor Tulku.

                      It makes you someone who believes that one or the other Karmapa Yangsi will someday grow up to become Rangjung Rikpe’s successor, a Gyalwa Karmapa for the ages which neither Yangsi has to date done anything worthy of such to date.

                      When Bardor Tulku was banished I reached out to Ponlop Rinpoche and asked him to intervene.

                      He told me he couldn’t, “they have to,” they being Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s inner circle, “need to figure out what to do themselves.”

                      Ponlop Rinpoche is without question Karma Kagyu.

                      So what’s up with that?

                      There is obviously much to this being a member of Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s Karma Kagyu sect than being Karma Kagyu.

                      Stay tuned as the Naropa Prairie Dog Players puzzle this out for themselves, and more, for your entertainment pleasure.

  2. okiebuddhist

    The first time I’ve heard the mention of Norhla. Don’t know any historical information about him but am looking forward to how Kalu Rinpoche (the future and the current) connect to the story of the greater Karma Kagyu lineage.

    Kalu recently attended the 17th Karmapa’s visit to Germany but has hesitated to attend the big “dramatic play” in India. Methinks it’s not the 17th Karmapa Kalu dislikes but the entire Karma Kagyu institution of ethical problems.

    Carry on, Japhy!

    • Thanks for indulging me on this.

      There’s always room for you in our booth at the Green Mill, where it’s always Saturday afternoon, at least once a week at the corner of Lawrence and Broadway in Uptown, Chicago, Illinois.

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