The future of Tibetan Buddhism: A picture of HHDL and 17th Karmapa today meeting with 800 Tibetans from China

If anyone wants to see what the harmonization of Tibetan Buddhism and the Chinese Government looks like here it is.

Picture credit RFA

Note the banality of thr Chinese government’s triumph over the Tibetan people (the 17th Karmapa is seated behind HHDL) normalized over decades now by their leadership in exile come to fruition.



Filed under Buddhism

5 responses to “The future of Tibetan Buddhism: A picture of HHDL and 17th Karmapa today meeting with 800 Tibetans from China

  1. Warrenz

    I see a picture of the Dalai Lama giving a talk with the heads of the major lineages seated behind him. There is no indication of whom he he talking to. Except your inference that its Tibetans from China.
    All Tibetans not in exile come from China. Tibet as it was historically constituted, alas, has not existed for decades. Tibet is China now. Sad but true. HHDL and Karmapa are forced to indulge in real politik. What choice did they have?
    Did you really believe they would pass on their cultural treasures to privileged white boomers and leave their country men to be absorbed by the PRC? You and your ilk never did enough to merit the transmission of Mahamudra. You don’t and never will hold the lineage

    • We can today say without fear of contradiction that for our purposes here today’s harmonization of Tibetan Buddhism with the Chinese Government began with Akong Rinpoche’s decision in 1983 to collaborate with said government’s United Front Work Department.

      To understand how Akong Rinpoche came to collaborate with the Chinese Government we must first take into consideration the 16th Karmapa’s 1981 death in Zion, Illinois. His Holiness left no instructions with Damchö Yongdu, his Labrang, regarding the identification of his successor and as such the presumption of this narrative is that given the fact that Tibet no longer existed there no longer existed a need for His Holiness to do so.

      That the 16th Karmapa chose to pass into Parinirvana was much discussed here in Chicago at the time. We were honored, for obvious reasons. Tibetans were quite unhappy with the decision for equally obvious reasons.

      This is where the 1983 turning of Akong Rinpoche comes into play, the 16th Karmapa be damned the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism required a 17th Karmapa, as did the Chinese Government which found in Akong Rinpoche, founder (along with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) of the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West, a Tibetan exile they could work with.

      It is notable that in 1969 Akong Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa fell out over the very issue being discussed here, Tibetan Buddhism. Trungpa was against it. Akong Rinpoche was for it. And in 1983 Akong Rinpoche found in the Government of China the partner he needed to restore Tibetan Buddhism to the place of honor it had held down through the ages, which is how China ended up recognizing the 17th Karmapa as head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

      It didn’t have to play out as it did after the 16th Karmapa died in 1981. That it did is entirely on the small group of Tibetan exiles that made it happen. At this point China awaits the 17th Karmapa’s supposed promise to return the Black Crown to Tsurphu Monastery in occupied. I mean, China. It is all presumably in the works. After HHDL dies India will get Sikkim and the other disputed territories along its border with China, Tibetans living in India will be forced to become its naturalized citizens, migrate elsewhere or return to China with the 17th Karmapa and his Black Crown, it will be as if nothing ever happened as far as the Chinese Government is concerned. All’s well that ends well.

      Unless you are a dharma practitioner. Or a Tibetan, obviously. Neither seeming to be of any concern to those Tibetans whom in the name of ” real politik” made this outcome as inevitable as it appears to be the case today though. So much so that as reported today in Tibetan media a delegation of 800 Tibetans from China can meet in India with HHDL and the heads of all the major sects of Tibetan Buddhism and nobody even questions how such a thing is even possible given the conventional wisdom in the West which has hitherto had China occupying Tibet, and so on.

    • Vulgar comment deleted. As publisher of this blog I very much welcome content provided in the form of comments posted here which I can share with my readers. Unfortunately if a comment is directed to me personally it is obviously of no use to me as such. If said comment is vulgar, rude, irate or otherwise ill mannered in my opinion I remove it as I have done here, I delete the comment itself and leave the identity (the name used) of the person that posted said comment and their contact information (if provided) so that anyone whom wishes to reach out to said person can engage them further if they are so inclined. If I can’t share your comment with my readers it is obviously of no use to me as publisher of this blog. I of course read all comments posted here. As such please feel free to direct your vulgar, rude, irate and otherwise ill mannered comments to my attention if that is the kind of person you are. As a lama of the 16th Karmapa’s Mahasiddha inspired crazy wisdom Karma Kagyu lineage I can’t get enough of people who rub me the wrong way as such. It brings out the best in me as a dharma practitioner and for this I cannot help but be grateful for the opportunity to bring such comments to my practice.

    • It’s always a pleasure to hear from KTD’s Lama Kathy.

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