Photo of 17th Karmapa’s Chinese handler, Chen Li-an’s son Khenpo Lodro Tengye, worth a thousand words

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We see you.

Oh what a tangled web OTD finds himself so ensnared.

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Meanwhile in India the ignorance of the 17th Karmapa’s followers there sheds light on his struggle with depression

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I submit for your consideration Chamling writes to Sushma for Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim as an example of why the 31 year old 17th Karmapa might feel so depressed at this point in his young life.

“Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling today said he has written a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking permission for the 17th Karmapa’s Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s visit to Sikkim.”

I’m reminded of what a 27 year old Situ Rinpoche said in 1981 here. It wasn’t until he came here that he realized what it meant to be patient. And why the Sharmapa at the time was so down on India. Why Traleg Rinpoche as a young man himself fled life in India. To say nothing of the 16th Karmapa’s decision to pass into Parinirvana in Zion, IL rather than at his monastic seat in Sikkim. Being depressed by the prospect of living in India may well be the first normal emotion he has ever experienced.

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Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches decided they knew better than 16th Karmapa

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I submit for you consideration the following as it pertains to why our Rinpoches thought they knew better than the 16th Karmapa.

“There has been a tacit assumption, at least across much of the collective West over the last 40 years, that China, step-by-step, was embracing the global liberal capitalist project. Certainly, there was a view that Deng Xiaoping’s program of “reform and opening” would liberalise the Chinese economy with a greater role for market principles and a lesser role for the Chinese state in the economy.

A parallel assumption has been that over time, this would produce liberal democratic forces across the country which would gradually reduce the authoritarian powers of the Chinese Communist Party, create a greater plurality of political voices within the country, and in time involve something not dissimilar to a Singaporean-style “guided democracy”, albeit it on a grand scale. Despite the global wake-up call that was Tiananmen in 1989, by and large this continued to be the underlying view across the West, always misguided in my view, that China, through many twists and turns, was still broadly on track to create a more liberal political system, if not to create any form of classical Western liberal democracy.”

The Sinocism China Newsletter

When China invited Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches to “Come Home” after the 16th Karmapa passed into Parinirvana here what our Rinpoches thought they were signing up for as such we can today in retrospect state without fear of contradiction has been proven to be objectively false. They did not know better than the 16th Karmapa.

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What did Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches expect would become of OTD at Tsurphu?

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“I never really felt that I had any freedom of my own,” he said of his youth at Tsurphu Monastery, the seat of the Karmapa in Tibet, where he lived under close supervision at all times.

tricycle.com

After the 16th Karmapa died in 1981 Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche collaborated with the Chinese to enthrone OTD as his successor.

For the record, these three Tibetans did this.

Chen Li-an didn’t collaborate with a child by comparison, which Situ Rinpoche was at the time, but instead the adults in the room with a following in the West, which Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches were after the 16th Karmapa died.

Moving forward any discussion of what became of OTD as 17th Karmapa must acknowledge their failure as such.

As Ponlop Rinpoche noted recently the 16th Karmapa saw us as the future of his lineage, Tibetan buddhism with Western Characteristics as such.

Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches thought otherwise and acted accordingly, which is why today we have a Karmapa at 31 without a clue as to how to proceed as 17th Karmapa at this point in his life.

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“I have actually myself been quite downcast and depressed… I have had to give up a lot. None of it has been easy,” the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

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“I don’t have any reasons or any basis to say that I’m the reincarnation of any great lama,” said the Karmapa.

lionsroar.com

Can we finally acknowledge that the Chinese disrupted the Karma Kagyu sect when Thrangu, Akong and Khenpo Karthar Rinpoches collaborated with Chen Li-en to enthrone OTD as 17th Karmapa?

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A look at 1980’s Buddhism with Western Characteristics: “Wild Wild Country” watching the first episode on Netflix…

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And I have just viewed my mother’s worst nightmare in 1981. She was so upset with me when I took refuge that year mom threatened to write me out of her will. “My son has joined a cult,” she said. I was cut off. Thankfully for me the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. It was all over the Montreal Gazette. She wanted me to teach her to meditate. Getting a good review from her local newspaper helped. It gave my mother something socially acceptable she could relate to the neighbors. My mom’s perception of Buddhism changed, which pretty much reflects how most people think of their children being interested in Buddhism as an alternative to Western Religion. It doesn’t seem to be the big deal it was for my mom’s generation of parents. People aren’t as threatened by Buddhism as they once were. People no longer mistake Buddhists as members of a cult these days. If you want to understand how Buddhism was perceived when I took refuge in 1981 with Khenpo Khartar Rinpoche though, just watch the first episode of “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix. For our purposes here as it pertains to the Karmapa in America this is part of our heritage as Karma Kagyu converts as such. It was not without its risks.L’affaire est ketchups !

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Karma Kagyu interrupted: Is Chen Li-an to the 17th Karmapa what the King of Tsang was to the 10th Karmapa?

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I submit the following from the life of the 10th Karmapa.

“Chakmo Gushri presented extensive gifts to Sengge (seng ge), the leader of Golok, who soon sold Orgyen Kyab’s family to the warlord. Chakmo Gushri exerted considerable control over the young boy for the next decade.”

treasuryoflives.org

And the same will be said of OTD’s turn as 17th Karmapa.

The Panama Papers caught Dilyak Drupon using OTD’s Kagyu monlam to launder Chinese money.

He presumably did this on behalf of Chen Li-an, the man Tibetans sold OTD to as a child.

And so on.

As a hagiography it’s plausible to read OTD’s not being able to return to India as following the broad strokes the 10th Karmapa’s hagiography.

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A Karmapa’s resignation not without precedent in Tibetan Hagiography

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From the Tibetan hagiography of the 10th Karmapa:

“Realizing that he had to leave Central Tibet due his allegiance to the King of Tsang (who was a Kagyüpa and was assassinated during the war that came (see the brief historical account below)), the Tenth Karmapa appointed a regent, the Fifth Goshir Gyaltsab, Dragpa Chöyang, gave most of his belongings to the poor and needy, and – disguised as a beggar – walked through Tibet with an attendant at his side. In his biography of the Tenth Karmapa, Ken Holmes wrote: “His followers saw Chöying Dorje flying off through space, holding the hand of his chief attendant. They ‘landed’ in the forests of Bhutan and spent more than three years living wild, helped by animals.”

After staying in Bhutan, the Tenth Karmapa and his attendant then travelled to northern Yunnan (present-day South-West China), Birma, and Nepal. Simhanada tells us that “the King of Yunnan proposed to invade Tibet and enthrone the Karmapa as its ruler, however the Karmapa refused such an unethical act.” Not wasting a moment in his life, the Karmapa bestowed sacred teachings to devoted disciples wherever he went and established thirteen Karma Kamtsang monasteries. Something like twenty years passed before he could return to Tsurphu Monastery, his seat in the Tölung Valley in Central Tibet.”

dharmata.net

From my introduction to Buddhism, the poet Gary Snyder:

Axe Handles
BY GARY SNYDER

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
the pattern is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We’ll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with—”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It’s in Lu Ji’s Wên Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”-—in the
Preface: “In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.”
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Gary Snyder, “Axe Handles” from Axe Handles. Copyright © 1983 by Gary Snyder. Reprinted by permission of Counterpoint Press.
Source: Axe Handles (North Point Press, 1983)

poetryfoundation.org

I fell in love with this poem in those early days in my life as a dharma practitioner after the 16th Karmapa passed into Parinirvana. Tibetan literature as destiny, a rationalization for everything. This is how I framed the appearance of a 17th Karmapa at Tsurphu, in terms of how Karma Kagyu literature rationalized past Karmapa’s past.

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Following in 15th Karmapa’s footsteps Thaye Dorje and wife Sangyumla are expecting their first child

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OTD not first Karmapa forced to resign and name Goshir Gyaltsab as temporary regent in his absence

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“The civil war became such that Chöying Dorje had to flee Tibet and he appointed Goshir Gyaltsab as the temporary regent.”

wikipedia

If the karmapa was forced to flee India it would be goshir gyaltsab who wouldsucceed him which we just witnessed with OTD’s otherwise inexplicable failure to return to India for kagyu monlam this year.

What just happened?

OTD can’t return to India.

Why?

Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche was named in the Panama Papers.

So?

He was caught using Kagyu Monlam LTD to launder Chinese money.

In 2011 the Tibetan Government in exile changed its constitution to prevent OTD from suceeding the Dalai Lama so upset was the Tibetan people that he used Gyuto Monastery to hide suitcases of foreign currency against Indian Law govering said foreign currency.

Said currency was Chinese not coincidently.

Also not coincidently it was at this time the OTD’s new Labrang entered into a scheme to use Kagyu Monlam LTD to launder Chinese money offshore, Dilyak Drupon being a citizen of Bhutan providing a plausible legal denial as far as Indian Law is concerned, which it would have under normal circumstances.

Unfortunately for OTD last Spring the Panama Papers became an issue in Pakistan, news not lost on the Indian Government. Not coincidently at the same time India saw in the Panama Papers the opportunity to solve its Karmapa problem. It never believed that a 14 year old OTD escaped Tsurphu.

That being said OTD’s high profile agitation in Sikkim along India’s disputed border with China became a national security threat secured by using the Panama Papers to leverage OTD out of India without embarrassing the Tibetan Government exile, which is what just happened with his not returning to India for the 35th Kagyu Monlam the other day.

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