November 5, 2012
Dear Gen Jampa,
I hope this letter finds you well; I wrote to you and Gen-la in October with some concerns about the purity of the Kadam dharma in San Diego. I have, after looking up the internal rules of the NKT, some further information that might bear the former discussion. I used to attend the Kids and Families class while Atisha was RT and then while Amy Peng was RT, and I noticed that in addition to non-Kadampa books being read to the children, the content of our mediations changed after Atisha left; while Atisha gave kid-appropriate teachings based on Geshe Kelsang’s transmissions, Amy and her teachers taught the meditations from traditions that weren’t even in some cases Buddhist. I recently looked up the internal rules of the NKT, and my understanding is that the teachings are to be based on Geshe-la’s works. The version I’m reading says the following:
15§1. The Education Programme of all NKT-IKBU Dharma Centres shall consist only of the three New Kadampa Tradition Study Programmes: the General Programme, Foundation Programme, and Teacher Training Programme.
15§2. These programmes form the very core of the NKT-IKBU, and are what distinguishes the New Kadampa Tradition from other traditions.
15§3. The General Programme (GP) The purpose of the General Programme shall be to introduce basic Buddhist view, meditation, and action, and various other teachings and practices, all within the Mahayana Buddhist tradition of Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa, that help the practitioner deepen his or her knowledge and experience of Buddhism. The Programme shall be based on the commentaries by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
15§7. None of the subjects in any of the three Study Programmes may be changed.
Unless these internal rules have changed, then perhaps we should understand that the Kids and Families class, being GP, should also be based on Geshe Kelsang’s works. Amy and some of the other teachers she appointed to teach this class taught a ‘happy face at the heart meditation.” I was not clear how this related at the time to Geshe Kelsang’s works, but thought perhaps it was some new standard we were following. While I could not find this in Geshe Kelsang’s books, I could find “happy face meditation” on the internet site http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au; the meditation is similar to the one that Amy and the other teacher taught, and is included at the end of this letter.
In another session of the children’s class, Amy taught that we might not have Dorje Shugden as our dharma protector forever in the NKT. While she did not explain what she meant by that, I noticed that a lot of the teachers she appointed to our classes during that time, which continue as teachers and substitute teachers under Choyki, did not practice Dorje Shugden puja, by their own admission. I think perhaps it would be good to look into the backgrounds of any GP class teachers, assistant teachers, and substitute teachers that were appointed during Amy’s tenure or subsequent to it, as many of them do not seem to follow Geshe Kelsang’s books or have a history of practicing Shugden.
I have attempted to discuss these matters with Choyki for approximately a year, but she has informed me that I am causing disharmony and she has asked me not to write you or other NKT lamas; I am currently taking a leave of absence from volunteer and other dharma activities at VBC because I feel very strongly that pure Kadam dharma has been missing at VBC for over a year. I wish for myself, my daughter, and other practitioners to receive Geshe Kelsang’s dharma; we cannot receive this there at this time, so we are currently practicing at home. (My three year old likes making mandalas and listening to Heart Jewel.) We hope to see you at the California Dharma Celebration, which I hope will still have a Dorje Shugden empowerment; it has been cancelled or moved from San Diego twice in the last two years.
Thank you for your time in reading this. It is my sincere wish that we can restore the pure Kadam dharma in San Diego for the sake of all living beings.