China’s Billionaire Karmapa versus the Paris Commune…

Dear Readers:

China’s choice for 17th Karmapa and his Karma Kagyu sect will be in Paris this summer of 2016, and the youth of France have taken to the streets in protest of their government’s attempt to re-write the social contract to benefit the very same pro-growth capitalism that China’s leaders favor in their country.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje is up to his neck in the Panama Papers.

The Karma Kagyu sect has been caught hiding its Chinese windfall from collaborating with the occupation of Tibet, not just from the Indian Government, the Tibetan people, but Buddhists of the West in what is the financial fraud of the century, how the wealthiest people in the world today evade paying taxes by hiding their money in tax havens.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, as leader of China’s sect of choice in occupied Tibet, China’s Billionaire Karmapa, such a creature of inequality, an enemy of the people, has no place in French society today.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje versus the Paris Commune.

I hope His Holiness has been reading up on the Enlightenment because he is about to experience it up close and personal if he dare show his face on the streets of Paris this summer.




Filed under Buddhism

22 responses to “China’s Billionaire Karmapa versus the Paris Commune…

  1. Martin

    Hey man, why are you so rough on the young man?

    I think it’s likely that he has come of age surrounded by a corrupt power hungry structure- possibly at the behest and instigation of Thrangu Rinpoche. You definitely have serious street cred for making that connection. But he’s a puppet- the emperor has no clothes. He can’t do anything to change this.

    From what I’ve heard, Lama Chodrak is no saint. Used to run a dharma center in New Mexico but left after accusations that he was innapropriately involved with an underage girl. Later, some say, that in Hong Kong, some questions have arisen about inappropriate relations with a number of female Chinese disciples.

    Karmapa is surrounded by rotten monks, many of whom are obsessed with re-establishing the wealth and power of the 12th Century.

    Karmapa is stuck in a place none of us could bear. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s unlikely that he has the means to change anything- especially when corrupt monks and Rinpoches are make constant power grabs.

    • Martin,

      Ogyen Trinley Dorje is thirty years and it’s high time for the young man to shape up or ship out.

      He’s done.

      He was done in as 17th Karmapa just as the 10th Karmapa was done in by the machinations of the Karma Kagyu sect of his day.

      What did Choying Dorje do when he found himself by no fault of his own up shit creek without a paddle, on the wrong side of history as Ogyen Trinley Dorje finds himself today?

      He went to ground, disappeared into the appearance of things, and lived a life indistinguishable from the lives lived by the ordinary working people of his day.

      And he practiced, on the down low, for the sake of his lineage.

      When a lineage holder died he did what was needed to make sure their line didn’t end with their death.

      He did what he needed to as 10th Karmapa.

      Given the circumstances Ogyen Trinley Dorjefinds himself in today, what is so awful about my calling for him to step down as head of the Karma Kagyu sect to do a solitary retreat?

      I say let the Tibetan government in exile drain the swamp that is the Karma Kagyu sect, sort the collaborators out, seize the windfall it received for collaborating with the Chinese government, and let His Holiness get on with his life as 17th Karmapa, if only for the sake of the lineage.

      It’s over.

      The Karma Kagyu sect as we know it is finished.

      Stick a fork in it.

      It’s trickle down approach to the dharma has jumped the shark.

      The too big to fail Karma Kagyu sect has failed.

      If I was in Ogyen Trinley Dorje shoe’s I would jump at the opportunity to be done with these people who have so I’ll served him as head of the Karma Kagyu sect and devote myself to my practice:

      We know who he is.

      He’s our Karmapa, and whether he is head of the Karma Kagyu sect or not is irrelevant to us as dharma practitioners.

      Let us not forget what Thrangu Rinpoche did.

      Thrangu Rinpoche collaborated with China’s genocidal occupation of Tibet.

      Let us not forget how last year Ogyen Trinley Dorje allowed the Chinese government to recognize and enthrone a Traleg Yangsi in occupied Tibet, condemning him to the very same fate that he himself suffered as a child.

      That’s on Thrangu Rinpoche and Khenpo Karthar, I’m sure of it, but as head of the Karma Kagyu sect, it happened on his watch.

      That being said, at the end of the day, when I visualize the Karmapa above the crown of my head, I visualize none other than Ogyen Trinley Dorje himself.

      And then I let him dissolve into the emptiness of the appearance of things from which he appears to me, as he does for all who see him as the 17th Karmapa.

      I rest in that, and repeat.

      That’s what I signed up for thirty five years ago when I took refuge with Khenpo Karthar.

      For better or for worse.

      I’m on the right side of history on this.

      If Ogyen Trinley Dorje wants to go down with the Karma Kagyu sect, and take his lineage with him, that’s on him.

      It’s no skin off my nose as a Karma Kagyu.

      I wish Ogyen Trinley Dorje the best, whatever he chooses to do with the rest of his life.

      Regardless, he’s no child anymore.

      He’s a man, and it’s time for him to man up and get on with his life.


  2. Rolf

    Has there actually ever been a response or statement by Orgyen Trinley Rinpoche or his administration on the alleged forceful take-over of Drukpa monasteries said to have taken place in his name? I never heard that this was publicly rejected or condemned. It seems, it has occurred and up-to-date, the monasteries have not been returned to the Drukpa Kagyu…

    I just read a recent report on this issue in the New Indian Express:

  3. Martin


    I agree with you. So many of his lamas are corrupt. He’s got to cut the dead parts of the sect away if it’s to survive. Otherwise where will the sect be in 20 years.

    The lineage is strong, especially in our hearts, but it gets harder and harder when the sect discourages people from practicing dharma.

    Karmapa is a jewel set in a horribly disfigured piece of jewelry.

  4. Jane

    Big money and spirituality clearly don’t mix well. I wonder what all this money is going to be used for and why we still get asked to make donations to Kagyu NGOs.

    • Jane,

      If I may, let us use the example of the character “Walter White” in the TV series “Breaking Bad” to explain why it is that the Karma Kagyu sect is so flush why are we still being asked in the West to support its activities around the world.

      Why did the character “Walter White” have to buy a car wash?

      To launder all the dirty money he was making cooking meth.

      We Karma Kagyu in the West are the Karma Kagyu sect’s “car wash” in this analogy.

      Are role as Westerners is to launder the Karma Kagyu sect’s windfall from collaborating with China’s occupation of Tibet.

      The Karma Kagyu sect has billions of which it cannot account for other than the appearance that we in the West support its spiritual materialism.

      This worked for the Karma Kagyu sect for a decade or so, before we in the West began connecting with each other online and sharing our experiences without fear of retribution from Rinpoche’s creature at our local dharma center who would otherwise sort us out the moment we stepped out of line, but in 2016 this obviously is no longer possible, which is why we are where we are today vis à vis the Karma Kagyu sect.

      It has taken years of crowd sourcing our personal experiences online to connect the dots, to see the big picture, what happened between the Karma Kagyu sect and the Chinese government after the 16th Karmapa passed away in 1981, but, thanks to the Internet we have worked out what in fact did happen.

      We have enlightened ourselves.

      To borrow a phrase from Black Lives Matter we are “woke” and it is now time for the Tibetan Government in exile get “woke” to or suffer the consequence of it’s willful ignorance of what the Karma Kagyu sect has done to the Tibetan people, collaborated with the Chinese Government’s genocidal occupation of Tibet.

      It is only a matter of time before India Government is forced to sort out it’s migrant crisis, those Tibetan refugees living in India along its border with China’s, whom refuse to become Indian citizens and violate its laws with impunity as has the Karma Kagyu sect for over a decade now.

      We will just have to wait and see how this works out for the Tibetan people living in India.

      Anyway, in answer to your question, this is why the Karma Kagyu sect needs the appearance that we support it, to launder its windfall for collaborating with the Chinese Governments genocidal occupation of Tibet.


  5. Sallé

    I think that Lama Ole might be the best person to help negotiate the problem that HHGK faces.

    He definitely has the spiritual power that most western Kagyu lack.

    • Sallé,

      While Ole Nydhal was preoccupied himself with the dispute between Situ and Shamar Rinpoches over which of them was to recognize the next Karmapa, on the down low the Chinese government, through Chen Lui-an, a Taiwanese former government official in favor of unification with Mainland China, reached out to Thrangu Rinpoche to make Ogyen Trinley Dorje 17th Karmapa.

      Ole Nydhal’s role in the so-called “Karmapa Controversy” disqualifies him as such from being of any assistance to the Tibetan people in this regard.

      The Karmapa controversy was nothing but a petty squabble between two young men over who would name the next Karmapa.

      As it turned out, neither Situ nor Shamar chose the 17th Karmapa, the Chinese government did.

      Ole Nydhal is but a footnote in a chapter of the history of China’s genocidal occupation of Tibet.

      The only way forward is through truth and reconciliation.

      Under the guidance of HHDL the Tibetan Government in exile must sort out who collaborated with the Chinese Government to make Ogyen Trinley Dorje 17th Karmapa.

      The first step in this process is for Ogyen Trinley Dorje to step down as head of the Karma Kagyu sect and go into retreat.

      Ole Nydhal has no role to play in this process.


  6. Jess

    OTD is no Chöying Dorje, Bill. While it’s true that he only holds novice ordination, he is far from the married lay creative genius that was the great 10th Karmapa.

    The political situation is similar though. I suspect things are going to blow up in the Kagyu tradition’s face. It already is beginning to do so. Our greed and obsession with prestige and noteriety is our own undoing.

    Someone was passing around a pic of strongman Thrangu riding first class from Hong Kong to Canada yesterday… That ticket likely cost over a quarter of my annual salary. Hard to relate to him other than as a Tibetan Wizard of Oz- that is, some old rich powerful dude who lives in an ivory tower.

    Truth be told, I can’t imagine his experience of the bardo will be very pleasant.

    • Jess,

      I appreciate your dramatic reading of the situation the Karma Kagyu sect finds itself in vis à vis its being named in the Panama Papers, it being caught hiding money it cannot account for in an offshore account, that greed explains what has happened.

      That being said, there is a direction connection between the Karma Kagyu sect’s collaboration with the Chinese Government to make Ogyen Trinley Dorje the 17th Karmapa and the windfall said sect has accumulated since the passing of the 16th Karmapa, that can’t be denied.

      Just as what happened during the Holocaust, with China’s genocidal occupation of Tibet, we are talking about a tragedy that transcends the psychological motivations of the individual parties involved.

      I believe that when the Chinese Government reached out to Thrangu Rinpoche after the 16th Karmapa he saw it as an opportunity to re-establish a relationship between the Karma Kagyu sect and the rulers of China that dates back to Karma Pakshi in his mind.

      The money, the windfall from the Karma Kagyu sect’s collaborating with the Chinese government only became a thing, much later when China’s economic reforms of the 1990’s began to produce the China we know today.

      China could have ended up as did the Soviet Union.

      If China had collapsed in the 1990’s we today would be talking about how brilliant Thrangu Rinpoche
      for having Ogyen Trinley Dorje at Tsurphu to be the hero of an independent Tibet.

      That isn’t what happened though.

      Indian wants the Tibetan Government to sort out the Karma Kagyu sect.

      In response the Tibetan Government has established a commission to reign in the Karma Kagyu sect’s destabilizing influence in Ladakh vis à vis its dispute with the Drukpa Kagyu over the repurposing of traditionally Drukpa Kagyu institutions made possible by the fact that the Karma Kagyu sect is China’s preferred sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

      In essence, in Ladakh the Karma Kagyu sect is acting as a proxy for the Chinese government, and India expect the Tibetan Government in exile to sort this out.

      If only it we could explain all this as a matter of greed.


  7. sonam yeshi

    That’s why I view Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje as my Karmapa. I put him on the crown on my head with full devotion and firm faith because he’s not in for the money, but for his bodhisattva activities. I practice in confidence despite many OTD supporters in Asia calling us devotees all sort of names, but even so, KTTD always just remind us to focus on our practice and ‘everything will be alright’. Karmapa chenno, Shamarpa chenno.

  8. sonam yeshi

    i don’t view things fatalistically.

  9. Rolf

    This is an interesting question. Has Shamar Rinpoche really lost? He established his candidate, offered him the best possible education, and officially passed over all empowerments/instructions as well as all monasteries and centres to him. His centres are very dedicated to him and see him as the undisputed lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu.

    Furthermore, it is often said that only a minor fraction of the Karma Kagyu tradition follows Trinley Thaye Dorje as the Karmapa. But is that true? While lists (I just tried to count them) 403 Buddhist centres under Orgyen Trinley Rinpoches guidance, gives 804 Lay Buddhist centres and 49 monasteries under the guidance of Trinley Thaye Dorje worldwide. Too me, this doesn’t sound like a minority that could be neglected.

    One of the reasons for this misperception may be that Orgyen Trinley Rinpoche is doing very well in the English-speaking world whereas Trinley Thaye Dorje is particularly strong in Europe. OTD has 125 centres in North America, whereas TTD has 46, but OTD’s 185 European centres are clearly outnumbered by those of TTD who has already 376 centres in France, Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic alone.

    Since the majority of his followers does not speak English as a native speaker, it may give the impression in English forums that he has few followers, but this is certainly not the case. The truth is, if you are a Karma Kagyupa in Europe, it is more likely that you follow Trinley Thaye Dorje. If you are American, it is the other way round. While Karma Triyana Dharmacakra is supporting Orgyen Trinley Rinpoche, the 16th Karmapa’s original European Main Seat Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France is supporting Trinley Thaye Dorje. It is not all about Lama Ole Nydahl’s Diamondway Organization, but there are also other large organizations like the Dhagpo Kagyu Mandala and the Bodhipath. During his visits to Europe, Trinley Thaye Dorje’s talks and empowerments attract several thousand visitors each. Of course, this is only about numbers and followers, which I think is not that important…

    Fact is, there are now two separate Karma Kagyu lineages and it would be good if we would start to accept the situation. We should try to find a way to coexist with each other rather than trying to ignore (or even worse fight) each other…

    • KTD retreat lama

      There is but one Karma Kagyu and OTD is its leader and KTD its diamond throne.

      All others pale by comparison.

      • Jackie

        Because the world revolves around the USA, right?

        • Martin

          Great question! Obviously the world does not revolve around the US, and I do love Rolf’s highlighting the fact that English language media tends to donate the conversation around that the lineage is and how it appears. A very important point indeed.

          So it very well may be the case that Thaye Dorje has won the popular vote (in the western world at least).

          • Joyce

            I think it’s more of an even race than most people are willing to admit in the U.S. Anyway, Countability should not be equated with spirituality.

    • Rolf you are bang on here. We are unfortunately now two and we should learn to accept this and work with it. If in the future things change we will need to roll with that as well.
      Most importantly TTD is not a marginal candidate. He is front and centre and without controversy.

  10. If there are now two Karmapas, do we ever have any chance of healing the rift and becoming one again?
    How can we help it along if there is hope?

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