This happened. (YouTube)
Filed under Buddhism
Tagged as Pulp Buddhism
With all due respect to Rinpoche, based upon his talk I think this should be his theme song:
I’m glad we have moved on to higher teachings like Everybody like to be happy.
Indeed, what it even more ironic is that the Stanford Institue for Buddhist Studies sponsored the event. How could they not be disappointed by such a profound talk? And the delivery, what a riveting use of syntax.
In all seriousness, Tai Situ really gave the impression that he doesn’t really care why he is in the US, he just cares that he IS in the US and the rest of it doesn’t matter.
I used to hold out hope for him, hope that he wasn’t just a shiny political lama. Instead this talk left me feeling embarrassed in my own home that our Situpa sound more like George W. Bush than a great Buddhist master.
Bill, you proved a point.
He comes across as a great master of the obvious pretending to be a goody goody. What is the real point of these university lectures that so many rinpoches are eager to spend their time giving? I can’t imagine Milarepa or Tilopa wasting their time on this kind of thing. He should have gone to Naropa University if he wanted to speak at a college.
Speaking at Ivy League universities is all about trying to maintain an aire of intellectual refinement. If a Rinpoche can pull it off and stimulate the minds that are being developed at such universities that’s great. However, what Situ Rinpoche shows us is that he’s not really the brightest or most savy lama. In his case these things are a huge waste of resources.
Situpa and Karmapa will not go to Naropa because they sat on the fence for too long on the “Karmapa Issue” back when it was a heated thing. In the minds of Tibetan purists this was an unthinkable betrayal that Naropa will have to pay for for the time being.
Grudges are no small thing for Tibetans.
Karmapa has already gone to Naropa. No reason for Situ Rinpoche not to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuWl4iYwmYA
Regarding Situ Rinpoche visiting Naropa, not that this is the reason he has not visited, Rinpoche has a history with Trungpa’s students dating back to after Trungpa died, as I remember it, a falling out over their future as dharma practitioners as such.
Trungpa had died in 1987 which puts us after the death of the 16th Karmapa and before Thrangu Rinpoche’s collaboration with the Chinese government to make Ogyen Trinley Dorje the 17th Karmapa.
This was the historical context of what happened.
Trungpa had a regent, an American, Osel Tendzin, whom he had named to succeed him as head of Vajradhatu, his sangha.
This was before Shambhala Buddhism was a thing, didn’t happen until years later when Trungpa’s son seized control of the organization after Osel Tendzin was diagnosed with AIDS, a story in itself.
Long story short, after Trungpa died Situ Rinpoche was of the mind that all that was Trungpa Rinpoche’s was now his for the taking.
He wanted Vajradhatu to be his.
Osel Tendzin thought otherwise.
Years later, to make matters worse, we are talking 1991, at this point the Chinese Government had, thanks to their turning of Thrangu Rinpoche into a collaborator in its genocidal occupation of Tibet, had made Ogyen Trinley Dorje their 17th Karmapa, and Situ Rinpoche was recognizing reincarnations to become future abbots of monasteries abandoned by the Karma Kagyu sect in the 1950’s, much to the chagrin of Trungpa’s student, gave the Chinese Government a 12th Trungpa, Choseng Rinpoche, the present abbot of Surmang Monastery, a creature of Situ Rinpoche and as such complicit in China’s genocidal occupation of Tibet.
But do you really think it’s Trungpa Rinpoche. I have many doubts about that.
Let us drill down into the question as enlightened people have done so since the 18th century in the West and determine why in fact Situ Rinpoche has never visited Naropa Institute.
Did Situ Rinpoche and Osel Tendzin disagree over the future of Vajradhatu after the death of Trungpa.
As I recall what happened this was a thing.
Whether or not this falling out between Trungpa’s sangha and Situ Rinpoche is the cause for Naropa not inviting Situ Rinpoche is unlikely in my opinion due to the fact that the Indian government until recently prohibited him from leaving the country to visit the United States.
That being said after said falling out between Trungpa’s sangha and Situ Rinpoche over the future of Vajradhatu said sangha reimagined its creation narrative to emphasize the role of its connection to the Nyingma tradition rather than the fact that Trungpa Rinpoche was a creature of the Karma Kagyu sect, the 11th Trungpa Rinpoche of Surmang monastery, which was the basis for Situ Rinpoche’s claim upon all that was Trungpa’s after his death.
And then the Chinese Government recognized Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa.
Trungpa’s sangha took yet another step back from the Karma Kagyu sect and began to transition throughout the 1990’s to what became what we know today as Shambhala Buddhism as I recall what happened.
All of which brings us to the conclusion that there are a number of reasons Situ Rinpoche did not visit Naropa during his recent visit to the United States.
Trungpa’s son Sakyong Rinpoche studied a long time with Penor Rinpoche, who was very supportive of Shamarpa and even enthroned Shamarpa’s choice for Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. This could be another reason why Situ Rinpoche stays away from Naropa. The time for reconciliation should have come many years ago.
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