The 16th Karmapa, just as a virgin going to a brothel does not do so to preserve their virginity…

Just as a virgin going to a brothel does not do so to preserve their virginity the 16th Karmapa came here not to preserve Tibetan Buddhism but instead to lead his lineage to a possible future he saw for it here in our hands and our terms.

With the benefit of hindsight gained over the decades since the 16th Karmapa passed into Parinirvana here in the United States of America in 1981 this future for the 16th Karmapa’s lineage in our hands and on our terms that His Holiness thought possible never happened, but in 1974 when the 16th Karmapa first came to the United States of America he came to our country not to preserve Tibetan Buddhism, a project of those Tibetan exiles whom later after the 16th Karmapa’s death in 1981 found common cause with the Chinese Government, the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism, but instead to benefit us, the people of the United States of America, that which the Tibetan Buddhism of the 17th Karmapa clearly has not do for us under his leadership to date.

There are those among us Buddhists of America whom would have us believe otherwise, those whose sympathies are with those Tibetan exiles in our country whom have found common cause with the Chinese Government and their “living Buddha”, supporters of the 17th Karmapa, his monastic seat KTD and its affiliated centers in our country, but they are mistaken.

This I submit to you for your consideration with apologies for my repeating myself as I do here, every day blogging about the same thing as I have for the past four years.

My bad.



Filed under Buddhism

37 responses to “The 16th Karmapa, just as a virgin going to a brothel does not do so to preserve their virginity…

  1. Sam

    Are you saying Miss America deflowered the embodiment of dharma in the backseat of a used Chevy?
    Some things remain the same, all the sullied reputations aside….

    • I’m reminded of a line from KTGR’s reading of Milarepa, ““I’ve tossed away all those pretenses of trying to look good, so, reputation, you can go wherever you please.”

      The path not taken.

  2. Michael

    Just so we have this straight:

    You accuse Khenpo Khartar Rinpoche of a gross error of judgment in his support of Orgyen Tinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa but you wholeheartedly accept his conferring on you the status of “lama”?

      • Michael

        So how does that work then?

      • Michael

        Based on what you’ve written on this blog, I’d say I’m on the money. You mock the judgement of the teacher who you claim gave you the title of “Lama”. Something’s not adding up here…

        • I’ve been a lama from the moment in 1981 Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche placed his head to my head and grasped me by my hands and told me “We will never again be apart” I have been a lama.

          This obviously has nothing to do with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s finding common cause with the Chinese, the cause of preserving Tibetan Buddhism.

          I’m afraid you have the wrong end of the stick on this.

          The one has absolutely nothing to do with the other at least as far as the dharma is concerned.

          • Michael

            Sure it does. A Rinpoche said you are a lama and also that OTD is the Karmapa. You want to keep one and not the other. If you keep the first it is because you respect the spiritual insight of KKR. If you discard the second then you do not. They are totally related but I see why you would be at pains to separate them because otherwise the point of this project is pretty leaky. So which is it? Do you respect the judgement of your teacher or do you not?

            • By your logic anyone that believes OTD is the 17th Karmapa would therefore have to believe I am a lama because the very same Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche whom saw in me a lama and the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa in OTD which is obviously is obviously a bit of a stretch on your part.

              On the one hand we Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche finding common cause with the Chinese Government.

              This obviously has nothing to do with either Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche seeing in me a lama or in OTD the reincarnation of the 17th Karmapa as such.

              History has been unkind to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.

              There is nothing personal in this.

              The Dharma is not reducible to cause and conditions.

              Samsara is reducible to causes and conditions.

              What Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche sees, whether a lama in me or a Karmapa in OTD is not reducible to causes and conditions, as dharma.

              You either believe in Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche or you don’t.

              What Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche did when he found common cause with the Chinese is reducible to its causes and conditions and is of samsara as such, and all the shortcomings of samsara can be found in how he came to find common cause with the Chinese which today has proven so problematic given the fact that we once again are at war with China decades after he found common cause with the Chinese during a period in our history in which we were not at war with China.

              • Michael

                OTD was selected and found before the communist party knew about it and made a public endorsement. There was no common cause. The communist party did not choose the Karmapa, they manipulated the situation for political ends. That’s the Samaric bit about causes and conditions and it’s really no big deal. The Chinese were simply meddling in Tibetan affairs as an attempt to control the people. There is no other reason.

                My question to you is: do you agree with KKR’s dharmic recognition of OTD as the authentic Karmapa?

                • First there was the cause, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche finding common cause with the Chinese Government.

                  The condition was he death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981

                  The result of the above cause and condition was the the Chinese Government in 1992 recognizing a 17th Karmapa.

                  Given Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche committed suicide rather than find common cause with the Chinese Government (as it pertained to said recognition of a 17th Karmapa), how said Chinese Government came to recognize a 17th Karmapa was not as think it was.

                  As far as my opinion of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche seeing in OTD the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa it has never been an issue for me as a lama.

                  How could it?

                  I’m not Tibetan, I have no stake in such a uniquely Tibetan controversy.

                  According to Tibetans it is none of my business.

                  That being said I know better than to go here with Tibetans.

                  I can say though that In 2008 I went to Seattle to receive the 17th Karmapa’s blessings.

                  It wasn’t in the budget but my wife and I felt we had to make the trip.

                  I was publishing a blog on MySpace at the time, “The Reluctant Lama”.

                  I was telling anyone that would listen at the time about it.

                  A friend of mine living in California was thinking of not making the trip until I told him about the 17th Karmapa dropping a new “concise” ngondro for us during his visit to Seattle before returning to India.

                  He ended up on a cot in our hotel room.

                  The trip wasn’t in his budget either.

                  I met “Wenderwoman” flying from Chicago to Seattle.

                  We ended up seated next to each other.

                  Talk about auspicious coincidences.

                  The trip was in her budget apparently.

                  I was all in.

                  Fortunately for me the 17th Karmapa in Seattle in 2008 lived up expectations.

                  The Karmapa told us that he was teaching us his personal ngondro practice, what he did himself as a daily practice.

                  It goes without saying that if I did not believe OTD to be the 17th Karmapa none of the above would have happened.

                • Dear Michael, this is a point you will have a very difficult time proving. It is just as easy to say and maybe even more probable that the Chinese politburo told Akong and Tai Situ that there was a boy in so and so village whom they knew they could control. Tai Situ then formulated his famous letter and the rest is history. As I said before, the boy was recognised by the politburo at least in 1994 maybe even earlier. Please, you may also try to keep your facts straight.

                  • Michael

                    But you have come with no facts at all?

                    • Actually Michael I do have facts I was referring to a post you made here earlier about china recognizing OTD rimpoche after he “escaped” Tibet. In order to neutralise his political standing in excile was your words. When it is clear that China recognized him in 1994 or earlier. And to be honest this whole thing stinks China has no business other than “Big Business” in Tibetan Buddhism other than to make a show for tourists.
                      Please read a book like the Karmapa Prophesies by Sylvia Wong. For all the other proof that one should know and then ask yourself how it can be that OTD or his labrang can act in such a criminal fashion and still be worthy of your support? This behavior is clearly not becoming of a Karmapa and this is Bill’s point and now is the time to stand up and say something.

              • Michael

                BTW I don’t have a problem with KKR recognising your potential and learning back in 1981. If he thought that at that stage you had lama qualities, then you probably did.

          • Kek

            Actually Michael is correct. Your lamahood completely depends on KKR having authority. His authority is based on knowledge so if you question his knowledge you question his authority thereby deligitimizing your lamahood.

            If my acceptance of OTD as Karmapa is based on something other that KKR then I can accept the Karmapa while questioning your lamahood. In this instance KKR could accept OTD for the wrong reasons.

            Your thesis has been obliterated into a million useless syllables.

            • Mine is the “Question Authority” generation.

              Your generation is otherwise.


              I’m 58 years old.

              For thirty six years I’ve been a lama as far as Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche is concerned and those that need to know are concerned.

              If you don’t need to know you have no way to know one way or the other.

              It’s none of your business.

              If you have an issue with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche seeing in me a future lama you have to take the matter up with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.


              That you see in Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche an authority figure says more about who you are than me.

              Nobody is the boss of me.

              Fuck authority!

              Pardon my language but we don’t speak the same language as dharma practitioners.

              I’m embarrassed when someone speaks of scriptures here.

              Ours is an oral lineage.

              To have someone speak of authority here makes me want to vomit.

              For my generation our relationship with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was magical
              for us.

              It was a great time to be alive.

              Here’s the rub.

              We each had our own relationship with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche.

              Coming up as lamas, it was a given to us that the result of liberation in this lifetime would be ours if we applied ourselves to realizing what Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw in us, all that mattered to us was what Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche instructed us to do as such.

              We each had a unique relationship with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and this uniqueness dictated how we practiced as a practical matter.

              That it sucks for those whom missed out on this is apparent to me when I read the comments posted here by some people.

              It’s different these days.


              This isn’t on me.

              It’s on those Tibetan exiles, such as Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, whom after the death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981 found common cause with the Chinese, beginning with the rebuilding of Tsurphu and Thrangu Monastery, the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism as such.

              The path taken.

              Anyone interested in the path not taken, the path I took need only follow their inner lama.

              This is a path to liberation.

              It always has been and always will be so.

              Accept nothing reducible to causes and conditions as ultimately true.

              If something is ultimately true it can’t be reduced to causes and conditions.

              Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw in a 22 year old me a future lama.

              The future is now.

              I’m a lama.

              My being a lama depends not on what some random stranger posting a comment here thinks of what Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw in me.

              According to Michael’s logic, as I have already addressed with him here, anyone that believes what Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw in OTD, sight unseen as it was, the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, must therefore also believe that I am a lama based on what Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche saw in me 36 years ago.

              I don’t believe this to be true.

              The logic is Michael’s as such.

              I don’t think in such terms.

              It isn’t who I am as a lama.

              Good luck with your relationship with Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche whatever that may be at this point in his life.

              I can’t imagine what that is like.

              In seeing Rinpoche as some kind of authority figure your ath is obviously not a path to liberation but something else beyond the scope of my practice as a lama.

              Your inner lama appears to me based on your comment so obviously obscured by your need for an authority figure in your life that I have nothing of benefit for you as such.

              Fortunately there are no shortage of KTD lamas for people such as yourself whom need someone to tell them what to do, the exact thing they did to become lamas at KTD in the first place, buy the privilege from the powers that be there to call yourself a lama based on spending three years (plus) of your life mastering the lifestyle of a young Tibetan monk with the ambition to be more than just another monk in the eyes of their Tibetan peers, to guide you in your practice, such as Sean Jones here in Chicago, if you are so inclined.

              For the cost of a very reasonable membership fee in his sangha, of course.

              • Kek

                I was just pointing out the flaws of your logic in an entertaining way. You sure have a lot of narrative for someone who is supposedly so wise. But you probably think it’s not ego based…which flies in the face of all scriptures. Wait, am I questioning your authority? Crap, my generation isn’t supposed to do that. I’m such a bad generation member.

                • I know not where you are from but in my country narrative is everything.

                  • Kek

                    It might be important but in general the US is not an enlightened country. Narrative is a means of perpetuating the ego, or a solid self identity and a source of suffering. A narrative can exist with regard to an individual or a country or a race, it is basically the mythology out of which the ego is constructed and the strength with which we react to these stories is the degree to which we are basically enslaved to our limited identity. It is all make believe with no grounding in reality. Just ideas about ideas about ideas…endlessly. You can’t take it too seriously. Western neuroscience is coming to the same conclusions.

                    • Such talk of ego as is just the talk of someone whose mind is preoccupied with itself.

                      Everything is the fault of the ego.

                      This is not a path to liberation but something else.

                      Narrative, as Milarepa demonstrated, is everything.

                    • Kek

                      You are appealing to authority, btw. Your generation doesn’t do that.

                      Sooo…narrative functions primarily for the ego as a means of framing things in such a way that the ego or person in question gets something. Usually these stories are presented in the framework of morality. For whatever reason we are moral beings and people have been contemplating justice since at least Plato or even before that in terms of reward and punishment by a divine being. Karma is a similar idea. Anyway, we think that we can get something we want, many times this is merely to acquire moral status, by bribing the universe. So we frame our story in such a way that we are the “just” ones while those “others” are unjust. Then the universe conveys bounty upon us. So we believe… we are fundamentally theistic when taking this approach. As westerners this is deep in our psyches. Perhaps easterners too. Memories of our mothers giving us nourishment perhaps.

                    • There is nothing to relate too in what you have to say, no narrative.

                      Again, as Milarepa demonstrated, narrative is everything to a path of liberation.

                    • Kek

                      And here I was thinking there was too much narrative.

                      Some narrative is a path to liberation. Bleating on endlessly about Chinese collusion isn’t, insinuating things based on flimsy evidence was never a song of Milerepa.

                      As far as I can tell, your narrative only serves to divide people. I can’t imagine you do anything but close peoples hearts and minds…

                    • Again, there is nothing in your comments here for readers to relate to.

                      What is your stake in this discussion, what does what I am saying here to do with you, personally?

                      For instance, share with readers your relationship to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, and so on, something relatable as such.

                      And so on.

                  • Kek

                    What I’m saying is likely resonating more with readers than you think. Most of the people responding to your blog are challenging you. I have an acquaintance with some of lamas of the Karma Kagyu lineage and came across your blog so that’s my interest(…plus morbid curiosity about why you are doing this). From what I can tell, you are misrepresenting them in regards to about everything you are saying. And then on top of that you dont really seem to have a basic grasp of Buddhism or basic logic. I think what you are writing may be damaging to people’s spiritual well being. You may be closing doors that could actually help people. I think that is your intention actually but you may think you are helping people. It seems very suspicious. Messing with people’s spiritual lives is pretty serious business so you should be challenged. So that’s what I’m doing.

                • Michael

                  This is interesting. Bill, I think though that you are quite fixated on authority in the negative sense. You’re blog generally seeks to undermine it. But this is still a kind of Oedipal obsession and it does tend towards conspiracy paranoia. Granted the Kagyu aren’t perfect but your narrative reads as though aliens have taken over the earth.

                  • Kek

                    Anyone can pretty much back up any claim they want since we have so much information at our fingertips, such low criterion for truth and such active imaginations that we can connect any gaps that may exist. Reminds me of digging up dirt on politicians. Basically low grade propaganda.

  3. Michael

    Jamgon Kongtrul wasn’t driving the car. How did he commit suicide exactly? How can you make such a claim with nothing but a wild guess because it suits your argument?

    • At the time of his death it was thought to be either a suicide or a murder. He didn’t drive but he died behind the wheel. If this isn’t what happened its news to me. We have discussed at length Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s death here before without any mention of someone else being behind the wheel. That being said if it turns out that there was someone else behind the wheel I stand corrected.

      The fact of the matter is that the principle stakeholders in the succession, Shamar and Situ Rinpoche disagreed on finding common cause with the Chinese Government, and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was between a rock and a hard place when he died whether he was behind the wheel or not.

      The succession wasn’t simply a matter of the Chinese Government after the fact recognizing a 17th Karmapa as you attempted to characterize it as being here.

      It was a dumpster fire from the get go as I remember it.

      • Michael

        Jamgon Kongtrul doesn’t seem uncertain or suicidal. In fact he seems pretty sure about the veracity of the prediction letter. Go to 6:55

        • As the suicides by Tibetans over China’s occupation of Tibet demonstrate suicide is an option it is not for us. This discussion is about us, what happened as I remember it. If as Tibetans believe the likes of Rinpoches such as a Jamgon Kongtrul have prior knowledge not only of their next rebirth but also their death I don’t see Tibetans taking issue with Jamgon Kongtrul killing himself in protest of what was being asked of him. Notwithstanding the video you grabbed off the Internet to prove your point anyone interested need only ask a contemporary of mine what they remember of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoches death. For all we assumed he killed himself and for obvious reasons. Tibetans were convinced it was murder at the time, not that the subject was any of our business as far as they were concerned.

          • Michael

            You wrote “Given that Jamogon Kongtrul committed suicide…” But now you’ve also failed to show that it was a “given” at all.

  4. Anitra Brown

    Khenpo Karthar has placed his head of my head and told me we will never be apart…but that doesn’t make me a lama. He is the lama. I am the student. Everything you are spinning out here –that you are a lama, that Kalu Rinpoche’s rapists “for all we know” live at KTD, that you somehow are the lineage master — it’s all the product of your own mind and madness. I know you will delete this but I pray you can find your way back to our samaya with your precious teacher. Om mani peme hung.

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