I submit for your consideration the following comment posted here earlier which I would like to expand upon, if I may.
“Ryder, if someone is just starting out,should they choose the lineage of Karma Kagyu as headed by Ogyen Trinley Dorje or the one by Trinley Thaye Dorje. Does it make a difference? TTD seems to be more accessible and generally seems to be enjoying his life more than OTD who is always quite uptight. Though as a neophyte I don’t know whether such extraneous behaviour amounts to anything.”
“Before joining any Sangha, for anyone contemplating doing so in 2017, I recommend that you first have a practice to share with any Sangha you decide to become a member of.
How said Sangha responds to what you have done on your own is the best way to know whether it is right for you as a dharma practitioner.
Now regarding the Karmapa Controversy, as it pertains to your question, I have this to say on the subject for anyone considering a sangha exclusively representing the interests and agenda of Ogyen Trinley Dorje as 17th Karmapa, I recommend that you don’t do so at this time.
There are no shortage of Sanghas for a Dharma practitioner to practice with here that do not require you to pledge allegiance to Ogyen Trinley Dorje as 17th Karmapa.
Regarding other Karma Kagyu sanghas, those not requiring you to pledge your allegiance to Ogyen Trinley Dorje, for example, Yongey Mingyur Dorje sangha, I leave it to those that know these sanghas to comment here as they
Regarding Karma Kagyu sanghas associated with the Tibetan tradition of succession which has the Shamarpa and Karmapa succeeding each other as they did in the earliest days of the lineage, whom as such associate themselves with Thaye Dorje as 17th Karmapa without requiring you to pledge your allegiance to him, and so on, I leave it to those that know these sanghas to comment here as they
Again, and I can’t emphasize this enough, I recommend that before even thinking of sharing your practice with others and becoming a member of any Sangha, given the abundance of information on how to practice available today to the public, do your due diligence first, determine for yourself what work for you and what doesn’t so that you can make an informed choice, based on how whatever Sangha you are interested in joining responds to what you have done on your own as a dharma practitioner.”
After responding to the above comment I noticed that the reader used the British spelling of “Behavior”, so I wish to apologize for my responsding as if the reader was asking about sanghas in the United States as I did.
In my defense I am more than a bit preoccupied this morning with the latest antics of Donald Trump on Twitter which I began my day with, Trump’s response to Civil Rights icon John Lewis questioning the legitimacy of his presidency, citing the role Russia played in his election, which brings us to the problem of the role China played in making Ogyen Trinley Dorje the 17th Karmapa, as it pertains to choosing to join his sangha in the United States today.
Like it or not, here in the United States ours is a post-Karmapa Karma Kagyu, a new era for us as dharma practitioners.
For us there is no question today whether or not the Chinese Government interfered with the selection of the 16th Karmapa’s successor.
All that is in question today is how best to respond to this interference.
Thus my reference to those Karma Kagyu sanghas that require a pledge of allegiance to Ogyen Trinley Dorje as 17th Karmapa.
Here in the United States the 17th Karmapa’s sangha is a dumpster fire to be avoided at all costs.
I know not what the situation is elsewhere.
Other than this I have nothing to add to my original comment.
Wherever you live it is my recommendation that you have a practice which you have established for yourself before sharing it with a prospective Sangha so that you can see how they respond to what you have accomplished on your own.
In my experience this will tell you everything you need to make an informed choice as to whether a sangha is right or wrong for you.