I am of course being perhaps a bit generous in characterizing the 17th Karmapa’s appearances here in the past as being as having anything whatsoever to do with what Buddhists as a whole in America today consider to have anything to do with how they practice Buddhism. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said it first. Tibetan Buddhism today is a freak show. The 17th Karmapa is a freak. Isolated. Ignorant. Corrupt. Rich. And so on. By the end of the 17th Karmapa’s 2015 visit he was reduced to travelling in secret. Everything was kept on a strict need to know basis by his people for fear anyone might ask him a question in a public audience.
Good. At least someone, presumably Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche knows what he is up against here. Rinpoche follows me. I follow him. It’s a Twitter thing. That being said all of this is beyond the 17th Karmapa’s grasp. The 17th Karmapa is a child in a man’s body, infantilized by the very process of succession that made him the 17th Karmapa in the first place, in a job he will never be man enough to make his own as so many of his predecessors as Karmapa did. Not every Karmapa was a Karmapa in more than in name.
Unfortunately for the 17th Karmapa his predecessor was a Karmapa in more than name. Not that the 17th Karmapa ever had a chance to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps. The Chinese Government whom made him 17th Karmapa saw to this. The 17th Karmapa isn’t a normal person.
What happens here, our lives as such, is beyond anything the 17th Karmapa has ever or ever will experience. It’s like my grandson explaining the appeal of playing Pokémon Go on his phone to me. I’m not a stupid person. I just don’t get. He showed what appeared on his phone, I saw what he saw, but it meant nothing to him. The same can be said of the 17th Karmapa. He simply doesn’t get the world we live in and as such, that being the case he has nothing to teach us that has anything to do with how we practice Buddhism. We bring our lives, as they are, to the teahcings of the Buddha and make said Buddhist teachings our own. This not what the 17th Karmapa is about.
The Panama Papers are a thing for us. The 17th must explain to us to our satisfaction how he came to use the same law firm used by members of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese Government, to hide funds received from members of the Chinese Buddhist community around the world whom support said government’s occupation of Tibet (which he then used to throw himself a Kagyu Monlom party for the ages in 2016 said to cost him millions of dollars).
The 17th Karmapa must explain to us to our satisfaction how he dropped the ball with Jamgon Kongtrul the Fourth. Job number one for a Karmapa is to guarantee the health, welfare, and well-being of the children entrusted to him, every child, to say nothing of those children whom he has recognized as Tulkus.
The 17th Karmapa must explain to us to our satisfaction how it is that the monks that raped Kalu Rinpoche as a child are presumably still monks. For all we know one or more of these monks have ended up at the 17th Karmapa’s monastic seat here, KTD, in Woodstock, New York. The 17th Karmapa must explain to us to our satisfaction how he justifies his collaboration with the Chinese Government in 2015 to recognize a Traleg Yangsi for Thrangu Monastery in occupied Tibet, thus forever cutting Traleg Rinpoche’s reincarnation from the very same people he dedicated his life to teaching.
That Situ Rinpoche collaborated with the Chinese Government to recognize a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is on Situ Rinpoche. This was a crime against humanity, the end of the Trungpa line of reincarnations. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was the last of his kind. That Traleg Rinpoche was the last of his kind is on the 17th Karmapa.
And these are just things that happened since the 17th Karmapa’s visit in 2015. No wonder he didn’t visit us in 2016. That being said it goes without saying that the 17th Karmapa has much to answer for if he wishes to visit us in 2017. Good luck pulling that off. (I’m talking to you, Ponlop Rinpoche). Yes we can make 2015 the 17th Karmapa’s last visit to teach us the dharma in our country.