Archaic Concepts and Fear

by Chason Geister, Santa Fe, NM, The Buddhist Channel, May 2, 2006

The spirit of truth seems to be desperately lacking in Mr. Moore's April 28th Letter to the editor. Instead, it seems this highly sought after "truth," has been replaced with a thoroughly misguided fear and an attempt to discredit an established and philosophically sound spiritual practice.

My dear Mr. Moore, what is so alarming about your opinion is that it can be traced back to the distressed scholarly ignorance of the English Victorian Era. It seems you have taken your opinioins straight out of the mouth of L.A. Waddell and his "lamanistic" representation of Tibetan Buddhism.

Indeed, it is important for those interested in such transformative practices as found in Vajrayana Buddhism (or any spiritual practice) to beware of groups that display cultish behaviors and rely too greatly upon the personalities of their spiritual teachers, but your comparison to the Roman Catholic church and the "relativity" of Tibetan Buddhist meditation reeks of an unlearned attempt to justify your own fears of organized spiritual groups.

Please understand, you are entitled to your opinion, but it should at least be based in fact, and not in archaic and tremendously misrepresented concepts. Donald S. Lopez Jr., in his "Prisoneres of Shrangri-La" has a very fine critique of the ver y statements you attest to Tibetan Buddhist practice and I think it would be well worth your reading. Perhaps you could then be brought up to speed on a topic you presume you are an expert in.

I am currently engaged in the MA Program in Eastern Classics at St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM and have been practicing the Tibetan form of Vajrayana Buddhsim for over 6 years now. I practice a Kagyu line of teachings and I am a student of Lama Ole Nydhal.

Thus far, in my scholarly examination of the Pali Canon of Early Buddhism and my academic inquiry into such Mahayana works as Nagarjuna's "Mulamadhyamakakarika," the "Vimalakirti" Sutra, and the "Diamond" and "Heart" Sutras - all of which are Indian Buddhist texts - I have found that the view and teachings that Lama Ole and his groups express candidly reflect the message of these original writings. I regret that you do not feel the same, unless of course, you really have no direct contact with Diamond Way Buddhism, but are just expressing an uninformed opinion.

You are correct to tell spiritual seekers to be aware of "some feel-good practices," and that they can indeed be dangerous, but to ascribe them to Diamond Way Buddhism seems less altruistic and more personally motivated. So, I encourage you, Mr. Moore, and those that harbor such opinions, to be highly skeptical of clinging to out-moded and out-dated ways of thinking and beware of projecting your own disturbing feelings onto others' authentic practices.