A Reply to Gen-la Dekyong’s teaching “Respecting Others” from the U.S. Festival: the misuse of Dharma in the NKT
April 30, 2014
Dear Gen-la Dekyong, Gen-la Khyenrab, Gen-la Kunsang, Gen Rigpa, Gen Jampa, and members of the Educational Council,
I hope this letter finds you well, and Dorje Shugden’s whispered lineage flourishing throughout the three times and the 10 directions. Gen-la Dekyong, I sincerely hope you will take the time to read this, as it concerns how dharma sometimes gets misapplied in the NKT. Concerning the concept of Lojong, which is good for us to apply to our own minds as constantly as possible, it is also true, that sometimes in the history of religion that teachings are sometimes misapplied outwardly to further political gain or the agenda of certain groups; this is true also in Buddhism, especially from the time of the 5th Dalai Lama forward, that some of the teachings have been misapplied or at times that certain teachings have been focused on to the exclusion of others in order to further political gain.
I understand that Gen-la in your teaching that you say we are never to criticize others; I will point out though, that Ven. Geshe-la himself wrote a letter to the Dalai Lama in which he said that the Dalai Lama was lying, regarding the Shugden practice. You yourself, Gen-la Dekyong, have been at protests where people, including you, I presume, chant that the Dalai Lama needs to stop lying. Concerning internal lojong view, I would say that all the time I view people I meet or see on TV as Buddhas, though I don’t know whether in reality they are; it’s just that at some point in the continuum they will be; for me it is the easier way to practice lojong. To this end, someone like the Dalai Lama would be someone that if he were a current Buddha would be teaching in what I call reverse, or a reverse psychology kind of way. In other words, maybe ultimately he just really wants the dharma to flourish and everyone to go to refuge deeply in their hearts to Shugden; maybe you also are doing a teaching in reverse as well; in your case Gen-la, I have always assumed that you are an emanation of Geshe-la, teaching backwards, or in reverse.
Now, concerning not being able to criticize others, does that mean that we can’t correct others when they act in a way that would jeopardize the teachings or destroy our school? No, if we look at all the 84,000 teachings of Buddha, we will find that there are a number of teachings where we are expected to take right action; according to the bodhisattva vow we should always act to benefit all living beings; in fact anything we do that benefits all living beings would be okay, but in the case of protecting the Dharma, we can say something if we need to; it is part of right speech. Gen-la Dekyong, if you are Geshe-la teaching in reverse, then of course, thank you for helping me think of ways to make logical dharma arguments; so lojong, when I am walking down the street, often involves my thinking that the man who is having what seems like a schizophrenic episode is really Je Tsongkhapa or Milarepa; we have good weather in San Diego, so we have a lot of homeless people who live on our sidewalks, including, sadly, some who may be mentally ill. Even though the guy is probably Milarepa or Dorje Shugden, I think, okay, so, I think he is teaching me to act normal when he acts like that, so it isn’t appropriate of course to act to others like he is really a Buddha, especially since most people aren’t Buddhist in my city. I just act normal and help him get out of the road without getting hit by cars and that sort of thing. This works well, in case I would be wrong and dealing with one of my kind mothers, that I am treating him with the respect, inwardly, toward a Buddha; outwardly then my actions are obviously more pure and respectful.
Sometimes, in the case of the Dalai Lama or someone, I assume that the Buddha is teaching us to argue with him, would the Dalai Lama be a current, rather than future Buddha; I’m not a Buddha, so I don’t know, but I do know that I should not listen to anything the Dalai Lama says with his mouth, as he has never had outward good taste in Buddhas; he claims he can’t tell that Dorje Shugden is a Buddha, also the Kagyu (Thaye Dorje) Karmapa he was apparently unaware was a Buddha. So, outwardly, he manifests an inability to discern two of my favorite holy beings are Buddhas. Throughout the history of Tibet, particularly in the Gelugpa lineage, there has been a lot of politics, because that is was the lineage of the 5th Dalai Lama; often in Tibet these sort of teachings where people were told not to criticize the lama or criticize one another were misused to silence the opposition to the Dalai Lama. I am afraid that people are taking Gen-la’s words and doing just that in the NKT as well; I am not sure if that is perhaps Gen-la’s ultimate intention, so that we will learn how not to listen to someone like her when they are wrong.
I bring up the Dalai Lama because we are obviously allowed to say he is lying if we take Geshe-la’s example, though within the NKT Gen-la Dekyong seems to want us to not criticize others, to the point that even if people are overtly with the Dalai Lama school that we just ignore that, and only see the good in them. Is that what you intend, Gen-la Dekyong, because that is what people are doing and claiming that they are following your and Geshe-la’s directives; taking something out of context or giving the wrong teaching to help others destroy a school is not okay, of course. We have a heart commitment to Dorje Shugden, which to me means, while I should watch my mind all day, I still must act to say something when we have the wrong teachings and wrong transmissions.
Gen-la, I am sorry, but when you took the perfect teacher that was Gen Atisha, and gave us the zen people lead by Amy Peng, then I have to say, you must be showing us what not to do. Analogously, you could take Atisha away and put a housecat on our podium; even though I am sure we have some housecats that are Buddha emanations, and even if you found one, then what sort of teacher would that be? In Lojong we are supposed to take all beings as our teachers; of course in lojong we are supposed to do, just like always with the Buddha’s teachings, what the Buddha actually meant, and not misconstrue the teachings for our own purposes. So, if I see a housecat on the podium, even though I may think it is a Buddha with great conviction, still I would request someone that is a qualified Kadampa teacher, of Geshe Kelsang’s lineage with the heart commitment to Dorje Shugden come and teach. To me, that would necessarily be a Shugden person; just like a housecat does not have a mouth to speak, so do people who follow other lineages of Buddha not have the ability to expound the dharma that I and others need to get to enlightenment.
So, Gen-la, when you say we cannot criticize others, did you mean we cannot speak against others? We can see no fault in others, then, means we cannot say that we need pure teachings? I disagree, on the basis of the heart commitment to Dorje Shugden, since we must help act to Protect the teachings. I know that you said that you respect Geshe-la at the beginning of the You-tube video; however, I must say that you do not give the appearance of respecting Geshe-la when you remove good and holy Kadampa teachings (in the form of Atisha) and give us zen Amy Peng. So, if you think you are upholding the teachings of the Kadampa tradition, then it would seem strange that you would try to retrain someone who was completely perfect at Geshe-la’s dharma.
Since you have allowed the 6 month teacher training, where people with almost no experience in our tradition were allowed to train with you, then I think clearly you are asking us, in a reverse way, to please demand better teaching standards. Since we have people teaching zen, and this appears to be no problem for you, and since you have done nothing about it for so long, then I think you are asking that we have more commitments to Dorje Shugden in our school, and better checks and balances on the GSD.
For the sake of all living beings, Gen-la Dekyong, I am telling you, with the heart commitment to Dorje Shugden that you have allowed my temple in San Diego to be destroyed, you give teachings that appear to allow for no criticism of anything you do (don’t criticize others) and you give teachings that don’t give the real meaning behind the teachings; what about the teachings on qualified teachers, Gen-la? I am not supposed to just take anyone you throw at me as a qualified guide. I will not be changing Dharma Protectors Gen-la, and I will be killed where I stand before I give Dorje Shugden away for any reason, but especially to the former political leader of Tibet; I see all beings as teachers, but that doesn’t mean that we have to do what they say with their mouths; your teachings, Gen-la Dekyong, seem to favor the take-over of our school by Dalai Lama people, or at least favor that several temples will try to part ways once Geshe-la shows passing.
Please for the sake of all living beings, if you do not like Dorje Shugden, please just leave us alone; really view is important; I see Dorje Shugden as Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, so that is who I am praying to. If you do like Dorje Shugden, perhaps you’d like to explain your actions of allowing the San Diego temple to go to complete ruin? If we cannot criticize others, then how did you happen to listen to the zen people who wanted Atisha out? Please, this is not right, and you should not be acting like a dictator that allows so much anti-Shugden nonsense in our school; it gives everyone the wrong impression of the NKT.
Please, anyone who likes Shugden on the Educational Council, please help us, and find us people who are committed to Dorje Shugden for all teaching and management positions in this organization. I dedicate the merit to the full enlightenment of all living beings and the flourishing of Je Tsongkhapa’s teachings, as brought to the west by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso as well as to the heart commitment to Dorje Shugden being kept by countless living beings. Thank you.