“Are we the kind of Buddhists that hate Muslims?”

Picture of Ole Nydhal, a European Karma Kagyu, the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players discuss whether or not we are the kind of Buddhists that hate Muslims…

Virginia begins.

“This is precisely why Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche has instructed us to when we are attacked again by Muslims to not indulge ourselves and hate our attackers but to instead focus on our practice and dedicate the merit of being able to resist going there to those of us who have instead the karma to suffer being so attacked.”

Virginia continues.

“We have nobody to blame but ourselves, our karma, as such.”

Virginia pauses.

“Rinpoche is right and those that think otherwise obviously lack the karma to be able to see the error of their ways.”

Caroline replies.

“I disagree.”

Sally replies.

“I have questions.”

Jonathan replies.

“In Ole Nydhal’s defense he doesn’t have an issue with all Muslims.”

Sally replies.

“How can a Buddhist hate Muslims and still be a Buddhist?”

Jonathan replies.

“Buddhists in Asia hate Muslims.”

Allen adds.

“It’s actually a thing in Myanmar.”

Allen continues.

“Buddhist monks in Myanmar want Myanmar to be Buddhist to the exclusion of Muslims.”

Jonathan replies.

“Thus we have the Rohingya Genocide, a Buddhist crime against humanity.”

Virginia replies.

“Better to do as Rinpoche has told us to do.”

Virginia continues.

“Dedicate the merit, and repeat.”

Caroline replies.

“Unless your practice is the Vajrayana.”

Jonathan adds.

“Ole Nydhal is a Karma Kagyu practitioner of the vajrayana.”

Virginia replies.

“I beg to differ.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.

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10 Comments

Filed under Buddhism

10 responses to ““Are we the kind of Buddhists that hate Muslims?”

  1. okiebuddhist

    Robert Thurman thinks we need to solve the ISIS issue. I haven’t heard other Buddhists assert his position.

    • Virginia replies.

      “Robert Thurman is a typical Western Buddhist academic.”

      Virginia pauses.

      “There is no solution to being attacked by an enemy other than doubling down on our practice.”

      Virginia continues.

      “We must purifyi our bad karma and replace it with good karma.”

      Caroline replies.

      “Unless your practice is vajrayana.”

      Virginia replies.

      “I disagree.”

  2. Karma Guyrme Gyamatso

    I can assure you all he does not hate Muslims. He warns his students against hate and anger every chance he gets. Nothing burns merit and good impressions faster than letting hate and anger run rampant in mind. This is precisely why he warns against most forms of Islam. Not only the hate and anger that the terrorists must suffer from but things like the Sharia as well. I would encourage everyone to read an English translation of the Sharia at least once, and challenge you to find even one value that Buddhists could say is OK. Any idea that tramples the rights and equality of Women as in the Sharia cannot be blindly allowed in Western or in Buddhist society.

    Virginia and Caroline, is your word worth the half of that of a man in a court of law? Should you be stoned for having sex with someone who was not you husband? Should you be thrown out on the street with out house or home, and penniless if you divorce your husband?

    Or should all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness, be free of suffering and the cause of suffering, always experience happiness which is totally free of suffering, and remain in the great EQUANIMITY which is without attachment and aversion?

    • Allen replies.

      “Meanwhile in France the day belongs to those who hate Muslims.”

      Jonathan replies.

      “The fascists did well in France’s regional elections.”

      Sally replies.

      “Fascists?”

      Caroline replies.

      “That’s how French Twitter refers to the party in question.”

      Allen replies.

      “I spoke to Francois the other day.”

      Allen replies.

      “It isn’t looking good for the Socialists.”

      Sally replies.

      “Why should I care about what is happening in France?”

      Allen replies.

      “I have friends that live there.”

      Caroline replies.

      “You aren’t alone.”

      Allen replies.

      “I’m reminded of after 9/11 here.”

      Caroline replies.

      “We’ve been down that hole ourselves.”

      Virginia replies.

      “Thinking about how we feel is such a waste of time.”

      Allen replies.

      “Actually, we are watching the watcher dissolve into emptiness.”

      Caroline replies.

      “Don’t forget to dedicate the merit.”

    • hi

      Let’s get real here Karma Guyrme Gyamatso, Ole Nydahl is not casually warning against the dangers of sharia and the fuzzy stand of p.c. apologists. Nobody would have an issue with that.

      However, he, his students and increasingly his whole organisation are obsessed with the topic. This comes with long rants, discussion on ‘not being p.c.’ and facebook campaigns by his followers ‘on personal title’ against all the possible dangers.

      Many of his followers ventilate opinions that most people consider extremist or racist. I find their arguments often irrational and contradictory: against EU, but for defending EU borders strongly, but against EU united defense, but for strong leadership finally making a stance, against negotiating with Turkey, but for ‘telling’ Turkey to keep their refugees within their borders (did you expect Turkey not to negotiate?), for radical free speech but also for Putin and for open societies. They are for ‘critical thinkers’, but have little tolerance for people disagreeing with with their own radical outlook (on the subject of islam) even a little .

      As per usual in radicalized thought there is a fair amount of paranoia, all Muslims are to be scolded (because that is compassionate, everyone has the right to be ridiculed, doing so is treating them as adults), but they are also all to be mistrusted because of taqiya, they are all lying and part of the ultimate scheme to overpopulate the west through their women’s wombs. Hence all discussion with Muslims is ruled out.

      The result is circular reasoning ‘I am right and everybody who disagrees is either uncritical or lying and thus proving I am right’. France, Britain and many countries are bombing ISIS, yet governments are still fools. German politics are idiots too, even if they do close the borders. Why? It was too late. Because there is no eye for the quite normal sluggishness of politics as well as the diversity of opinions that come with it. If it isn’t in full agreement with radical clarity of their own opinion, Ole’s students are clear on the matter: everybody is an idiot.

      To me, this seems not only radical (which is fine if you are at least right), but also completely outside a realistic political discourse and reality, free from historic facts on the development of terrorism and radical movements, as well as outside any intellectual discourse where doubt should be encouraged instead of waved away as confusion and weakness. Don’t you think a clear an fearless mind has huge tolerance for doubt and conflicting opinions and contradictory facts?

      You yourself mention ‘read the Sharia in English’ as if it is a book that can be ordered. Sharia is just not that. Yet students from Ole Nydahl are flinging with books by quasi scientist Bill Warner as ‘the truth’ on the matter, happily congratulating themselves as quasi-intellectuals.

      I’m sure Ole has the best of intentions (and I honestly think he did a ton of good work for translating Buddhism to the west, his approach is much better than being obsessed with chanting Tibetan and looking to Asians as if they all holy wizards of some kind), but to any outsider the Diamondway organisation seems to have grown quite obsessed and too close minded for reasonable debate on the matter of Islam.

      • Caroline begins.

        “All things vajrayana, not unlike politics, are local.”

        Jonathan replies.

        “Home is where the heart is.”

        Caroline continues.

        “There is no denying Ole Nydhal has an issue with foreigners in what he considers to be his home.”

        Virginia replies.

        “I’ve never liked Ole Nydhal.”

        Karl replies.

        “He a foreigner here.”

        Virginia replies.

        “I took exception to how he treated women.”

        Jonathan replies.

        “He had a European attitude towards his sexuality.”

        Virginia replies.

        “Call it what you will.”

        Sally replies.

        “How ironic.”

        Caroline continues.

        “Ole Nydhal takes exception to how Muslim men treat their women.”

        Jonathan replies.

        “What goes around comes around.”

        • Hello “Hi”

          I would first like to thank the “Old man” and the “Naropa Prairie Dog Players” for this forum and say that at first I just meant to have a little fun and do not wish to monopolise his very interesting blog here, but I need to reply to “Hi” here in a relatively clear and hopefully wise manner.

          First off I am not sure how I deserve the “Get Real” here.
          Maybe you have been to a few more of Ole’s lectures than I have, but you do not understand Ole or what I have said. My comment was on hate and anger not on anything else. No, Buddhist who takes his Bodhisattva vow, or teacher student relationship seriously could hate like you have described that Ole’s students do. And if they do its a good thing that they have met with the teachings of the Buddha. When talking about hate and anger I mentioned how it is dangerous to our merit and how we should avoid it and those who are angry.

          To tar 30000+ buddhists in 700+ centres, on six continents with the same brush and say that they are irrational and to believe that his “whole” organisation is obsessed with Islam, is a little harsh if I do say so myself. Every one of them is on their way to enlightenment and have the same challenging emotions that you and I share, this is good thing because at least they have the chance to learn the dharma and begin the work they need to do to free themselves from this karmic cycle. In any large group there is bound to be a vast difference of opinion. It is my experience that in most groups, the so called silent majority, the ones who are confident in their beliefs say little or nothing at all, and those on the fringes who are trying to fit in sometimes say the most or overcompensate. I doubt that you have 30000 friends on FB and receive daily paranoid and radical posts from all of them. If you do you should spend less time on FB and meditate instead. Every group has its element that wishes to voice their opinion much louder than everyone else, and some do in a healthy way and some in a not so healthy manner. In some groups they actually strap bombs to their chests and blow up crowds of innocent people or take the fully automatic rifle that they likely bought at Walmart and shoot up a crowd of people celebrating the holiday season.

          Please don’t be so easily offended by someone else’s opinion. Whether these opinions are extremist or racist is up to your own personal questioning, and everyone has the right to their own opinion. My left leaning, bleeding liberal heart might even be tempted to agree with you. However, most of us buddhists cannot afford to sit in a cave and ignore what is going on in our world. To do so would be to deny the impermanence of our opportunity to practice the dharma and to forget about the benefits of our precious human rebirth that affords us the opportunity to sit here and discuss politics when we really should be meditating for the benefit of all. The gifts we have of the buddhas teachings should never be lost or forgotten until the very last of us are enlightened, and some people rightly or wrongly see Islam as being their greatest threat. Is someone who warns us about a possible danger an enemy or an extremist or a wise Lama who tries to protect us from ourselves? Didn’t the Buddha himself kill one man in order to save 500? Protection is not a dirty word. When six people listen to the same lecture we are likely to hear 8 opinions afterwards. I would however hope that the lefties like me would listen and realise that all is not well in our world and that there are bad people; and that the far righties might start taking their refuge and Bodhisattva vow more seriously and leave their anger at the Gompa door.

          I hardly think saying that all Ole’s students think that everybody an idiot is productive, wise or compassionate. Such vast generalising statements lead me to guess that this was a personal jab at someone you might know who is a student of his. If so I hope you both find peace and leave room for a better meeting in your next lives.

          “Don’t you think a clear a fearless mind has huge tolerance for doubt and conflicting opinions and contradictory facts?”

          This is a very good question. Miriam Webster’s dictionary defines clarity as “the quality of being easily understood, the quality of being expressed, remembered, understood, etc., in a very exact way, the quality of being easily seen or heard.” My answer is, No I do not think that a clear and fearless mind has any place for doubt, 0%. Clarity is the exact opposite of doubt. Do you think the Buddha’s Vajra mind was mired with the stains of doubt in any way shape or form? He might have seen that we have doubt, but he then he gave us his razor sharp wisdom and pointed vajrayana teachings to remove it all in a very exacting way. Tolerance would suggest that doubt is ok and this is clearly not the case in Vajrayana practise.

          Now as for reading an English Translation of the Sharia/Taqiya there is more available than just Bill Warner’s book. A quick search on Amazon will tell you that. And no surprise here just like the “good book” there are multiple versions of it some more modern and softer than others and some just as hard and violent as the first five books of the bible in the original King James version. As with anything the truth is usually somewhere in the middle of it all. My only question is “Which book do you think that ISIS is reading, the flowery OM sweet Om version or the hell fire and brimstone version? And since it is ISIS and their followers that are shooting, bombing, and terrorising the world, I think it behoves us to know and understand what the bad guys are thinking and following, not what we would like to believe in our tiny caves insulated with political correctness and false views. We don’t need to worry about the others, who read and follow more peaceful ideals. Unfortunately life is not a picnic and there are people who do not have the teachings of the Buddha and they want to harm us. Is it not wise to see things how they really are, can we afford to wear our rose coloured glasses the next time someone tries to shoot up a cafe or bomb tall buildings? Take note that I criticise Islam not people, no Idea, not Ole’s political statements, not the Buddha dharma, not Islam or not even our politically correct western values or our precious ideals are above criticism and debate. The highest ideals and values of any open and free society must be open to criticism and improvement. I thank you for your criticism and for this debate. Maybe we might need to agree to disagree and go sit on the cushion.

          What do Naropa’s Prairie dog players think?

          • Allen begins.

            “Did I miss something?”

            Sally replies.

            “An argument for Ole Nydhal hating on people from Muslim nations living in Europe.”

            Allen replies.

            “There is a lot of that going around these days.”

            Virginia replies.

            “I never liked Ole Nydhal.”

            Jonathan replies.

            “He likes this blog though.”

            Virginia replies.

            “Yet another reason for not liking him.”

            Allen replies.

            “I hate those Muslims that attack us.”

            Jonathan replies.

            “I get the feeling that Ole Nydhal never liked people from Muslim countries living in Europe.”

            Sally replies.

            “It seems very personal.”

            Sally continues.

            “It’s a thing for him.”

            Allen replies.

            “It’s a thing for me, too.”

            Sally replies.

            “I get that.”

            Caroline replies.

            “All we can do is bring how we feel about Muslims to our practice.”

            Caroline continues.

            “The opposite of whatever Ole Nydhal has apparently been doing.”

            Caroline adds.

            “At least as far as Buddhist in Germany are concerned.”

            Jonathan replies.

            “I’m curious what Buddhists in France are at today on the issue of Muslims in their country.”

          • Hi

            Thanks for the lengthy reply. I could say many things on it, but I’m going to try not to. You are right on the notion that there are many thousands of Ole’s students who are not engaged in a debate about Islam or when they are have very sane things to say. And it is quite possible I’m just a bit pissed off because I do believe his organisation is increasingly dominated by this debate. Which in many ways wastes a good thing.

            Wether it is by a few loud voices or not, Ole himself seems to think it is an important point. I don’t doubt his motivation and I can’t see into his students hearts and vows and such, but hearing these loud voices, so far beyond doubt of themselves, I doubt their motivation regularly. You can’t make compassion a mere lip service, even though we are all trying. Lama Ole is a bit more optimistic on his students critical thinking then I am.

            As far as the definition of clarity is concerned, yes clarity is opposed to doubt and ignorance in dictionary sense. But if we were to sit and have beer, we would probably conclude we are talking about the same thing here. On a relative level, many ideas and possibilities and view points appear. In my view of ‘buddhist clarity’ a clear mind is unnerved by this. It can hold different contradicting view points at the same time because it knows it is not defined by them. It’s about not taking ideas that appear in your mind too personally.

            • Mmmmm, you had me at beer.
              I almost sent a really short and sweet response but I instead chose to take a chance on being verbose and perhaps a bit rash. Anyhow thanks

              It is has been my experience that in a typical lecture from Lama Ole that lasts 3 hours or so, he might talk about Islam for 10 min and this is really as he says to give those who are too soft and non critical the chance to leave if they like. And some do, as I almost did myself. But then I asked myself to be a little self critical and ask some questions. I am soft and a staunch lefty, filled with compassion to the brim, but actually due to his criticism and mirroring I am beginning to see how unrestrained compassion without any wisdom is not only unwise, but likely stupid. Any Buddhist with only compassion is likely not a very wise one. We need to balance it with wisdom. Just like Dorje Chang or the 16th Karmapa does in the crossed arms archetype. 

              Clarity is amazing I think that it is said to be the wisdom we get when we purify anger we see and understand everything to pin point accuracy from way far away. 
              I think its a wonderful quality to develop, Maybe the beer mich help bridge the gap, if i drink enough I might start to doubt….

              At this point in my practice I find a desire to discuss and although I don’t agree with the old man I find his rants entertaining and many of the comments from his readers inspiring and beyond the limits of this blog. I actually  left a comment on one of his older entries looking for a kind but wise sparing partner who is only because of the new movie on the “dark side” or a student with the other Karmapa. Sort of like a Buddhist pen pal. Might you be interested? Only be ware that I wish to openly and honestly discuss but not convert or to be converted. It needs to be respectful.  

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