In 2020 will anyone remember KTD?

The Mahayana would have us negate appearances, everything is empty, and replace them with alternative facts, a lie, that whichever Bodhisattva we pray to will save us, which was the Buddhist conventional wisdom of the day when in 1193 Nalanda University was sacked by Turkish invaders.

Good to know.

Today KTD is winding down operations in Woodstock, New York.

KTD has a mortgage to pay and the Chinese Government just made it more difficult for Chinese Buddhists to continue to pay its mortgage thanks to said government’s recent crackdown on its citizens transferring money out of the country.

To say nothing of the recent decline in tourism from Mainland China to Buddhist monasteries in Taiwan which has certainly impacted the financial bottom line for KTD’s benefactors there whom have underwritten its operations for decades according to a source at KTD whom claimed to have had access to its books years ago who reached out to me when I wrote for Elephant Journal in 2010.

How ironic.

In 2010 KTD’s apologists online proudly proclaimed that “in ten years nobody will remember that Bardor Tulku Rinpoche had demanded the resignation of Tenzin Chonyi,” not coincidentally, the very same genius in finance whom thought 2008 was a great time to take out a mortgage on KTD’s Woodstock, New York property, never imagining that there would come a day in which it couldn’t depend on Chinese Buddhists to pay its mortgage payment.

A current member of KTD’s board once joked with me, this is not a direct quote, “As long as there are Chinese mothers worried about their son’s future willing to pay for the necessary good karma to succeed money will never be a problem,” in effect, in response to my concern over Chicago KTC’s ability to host a visit by the 17th Karmapa on the scale of his 2008 visit to Seattle.

Today the question is whether anyone in 2020 will remember when KTD was open to the general public to sit at the feet of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and so on.

The halcyon days of the 17th Karmapa’s monastic seat in North America.

At least we have Lama Yeshe’s translations of these teachings to remind us of the time.

Oh well.

The Mahayana would have us negate appearances, everything is empty, and replace them with alternative facts, a lie, that whichever Bodhisattva we pray to will save us, which was the Buddhist conventional wisdom of the day when in 2008 KTD’s president for life took out a mortgage on its Woodstock, New York property based on the expectation that Chinese Buddhists would never fail to come up with the money to make its monthly mortgage payment.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “In 2020 will anyone remember KTD?

  1. nikolas kaugon

    is this true? are they really near shutting down? that’s awful. i hope kdol on salt spring island isn’t strapped. they don’t use the peroperty much but i spent a wonderfull year there. it’s a special place where you can sky gaze into the endless blue while sitting in boddhisattva position. top of a mountain.

    i hope the woodstock centre finds a way to continue.

    • That’s the inference. It seems that way at least I’m told.

      I was told years ago by someone that it was his impression that Tibetans viewed KTD as a piece of valuable real estate with a sangha instead of a sangha which was given a piece of property to live on which is how we see it.

      I was concerned about the future of Chicago KTC.

      The move to Cicero, IL was quite unpopular.

      I never imagined this.

      This is all reading tea leaves at this point.

      It’s 2010 all over again.

      If it isn’t true there will be a denial at the very least.

      KTD will get the word out.

      Perhaps they are simply redoing their website and haven’t finished.

  2. Michael

    “The Mahayana would have us negate appearances, everything is empty, and replace them with alternative facts.”
    Well, you have a perpetuated a basic misunderstanding of emptiness right there. We are not encouraged to negate appearances, but to recognise them AS appearances which are utterly dependent on other appearances for their existence.

  3. Drolma

    All in all most people that I know that have been going to KTD for decades no longer go there including myself. They stay home and practice. KTD has changed. The old days are over. How many empowerments do you see happening at KTD this year on the current roster…………..NONE. Chinese Buddhists(for the most part) do not practice. It is sad to see what has happened. I see it as a museum one day.

  4. Starshine

    It’s all a museum when it’s projected out there, colorful relics and dust.
    Yes, too bad. The teachings have been given and the practice begins.
    Inheritor of a dying world…. called to the living light, what else do you need?

    • Roger

      Yes, it does look as if the place is dying.

      Between the new website (which doesn’t really acknowledge that the place values westerners- even their exalted translator who deserves praise) and the rumors of financial collapse, the good old days are all we have.

      Let’s face it, KTD has never been sustainable.

  5. Dennis

    KTD will definitely NOT survive the death of KKR. That’s for sure. It’s pretty safe to say that many of the young Tibetans will disrobe and leave.

    Unless Karmapa staples a Tulku to the institution there is no way in hell the place will last.

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