Dear Ven. Geshe-la, Feb. 29, 2016
I sincerely hope this letter finds you in good health and living for a very long time. I am writing in regards to the retaliation I have received for mentioning the lineage mixing that we have in California and mentioning to you specific people who have done this mixing and the people who may well be from other schools.
My family is being kept out of this year’s California Dharma Celebration, because we cannot pay the fees, and despite repeated emailing, they simply will not respond.
We have received no information regarding waived fees for California Dharma nor for the TTP which I asked to join at the same temple by correspondence. No one, it appears, is allowed to advocate on my behalf, and our estrangement from most of the Sangha has resulted in our not having friends to ask for help. I do not even know if our sponsor from the Portugal trip is even alive, as she quit speaking to me one day before the trip and I have only seen her at a few pujas since.
I cannot even get a response whether it is possible or not; for us, it is not possible to get up there AND pay the entry fee, so at this point, we will not be able to go. I am writing you, with much sadness in my heart and tears in my eyes, because not only did they take over your temples, but now if anyone says anything, that person is kept out using any excuse: in mine they use my lack of wealth as my disqualification.
I did long protector last night, and thought to go again to the temple, but it is like why am I practicing with people who all hate me? They hate me for doing your practice, Ven. Geshe-la, and for calling them out on their lies. Their lies harm all living beings, so please help us. We want very much to receive blessings and be part of your school, but this is not possible with the current wealth requirements.
Dear Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso,
I am confused right now, where are many of the teachers getting teachings from, because they do not seem to be the same teachings that I got from your books or the monks that followed your books. I want to start out by saying I think Kadam Morten has good qualities like humour, and I can see he is a good teacher. However, I am not sure if he is really teaching your lineage, but rather mixing, which has been all too common.
The video in question is the first in a series from Kadampa Center New York called “Practical Advice: The Mediation Break,” in which Kadam Morten touches on the topic of anger. He mentions that if anger arises in our mind to breathe— to go back to the breath. THis is Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice, and while Buddhist, I am not sure I can find this very same advice in your books, which are a pure lineage of Buddhism we are supposed to be studying rather than mixing. Kadam Morten says not to debate with our anger— because we are deluded at that moment. He doesn’t mention applying a lojong remedy— which is what I get from your books. Instead he says to go back to the breath all day long (which again sounds like Thich Nhat Hanh—not wrong for Thich Nhat Hanh’s lineage but we are a different lineage than that); Morten also says that when we go back to the breath we have just gone for refuge; to me my breath is not refuge. He also says we should be going back to the breath all day.
My experience with combating anger is quite different than Morten’s; as I apply your teachings as antidotes— so I say— okay anger I am not putting up with you— then I watch the anger and start applying remedies or firing Dorje Shugden mantras at my anger. I will not put up with you is not repression (which Morten mentions) as long as we are watching the anger— we can apply loving kindness to combat the anger— which is supposed to keep it from arising later, is my understanding. My personal method is to tell it is has to go— it is harming my praticing of helping living beings and is just a seed arising in my mind. I go to refuge to Dorje Shugden and ask he help me combat anger— I notice he is very helpful for lojong.
Though I have this experience were I teaching (which I have never done though people who mix teach a lot right now in your school), I would try to stay more to the official line, because I don’t know what different people may experience and in a general class, some people haven’t got much experience with Dorje Shugden. However, this does not mean I wouldn’t mention him as helpful.
I am not sure where the mixing with the follow the breath stuff is coming from, but I was just wondering why a National Spiritual Director is teaching in a way that seems mixed.
Can you please help us to restore the teachings.