Lama Ole Nydahl’s New Year’s letter 2012

Dearest Diamond Way students and friends,

Again in 2011, every travel and overview shows real growth in the numbers and activities of our Buddhist centers and their members in spiritually free countries worldwide.

Standing together and guided by the blessing of our unbroken transmission through 900 years of the Karmapas and Shamarpas, as well as today’s lamas and students protecting and representing them, we are bringing ultimate meaning and timeless methods towards realization to ever more karmically gifted minds.

As one can do nothing better for others than help them find access to their potential, we have every reason to be glad, and every meditation and mantra increases the effect.

If we are not able to make oil out of gas yet, however, or sell our water at a corresponding price, during the next years our direction will have to change. It will be wise for us to follow the general advice given to our societies and make our existing centers debt-free. Until the right conditions manifest, we will aim to rent new centers rather than buy them.
Your unbelievable generosity already makes it possible to complete our vision for the Europe Center, and when the EC is functioning to capacity, that will massively enrich our work and support the building of other centers everywhere, continuing our well-working strategy until now.

The collective feast of creating the EC shows, for the second time in history, our strength, trust and idealistic friendship. Working in the same style, our pillars of activity already standing will now find the inspiration to build our existing centers, always focused on Diamond Way teachings and meditation.

A point that has brought increasing questions is the modern pedagogical techniques that have been applied in some of our centers: can they be used without compromising our Buddhist view? Such methods come from management training and coaching, and are geared towards clarifying and directing group processes. As such teachings have no ultimate goal or view, people with the usual dualistic religions or mindsets find them pleasantly neutral and easy to work with, and they can indeed be very practical.

Buddhists, however, should not place such methods among our tools for developing compassionate motivation or obtaining a pure view. They are practical problem-solvers and do not aim beyond this life or towards any timeless realization. My close students teaching management techniques know the above distinctions. They use their skills well and where they belong. As it is, however, already difficult for many new Buddhists to hold Buddha’s highest view above the heavily dualistic concepts of today’s society, being given a third possibility, which lacks any factor of transcendence, often proves too much to handle – and that causes confusion, especially when given in a gompa, where people expect Buddhist methods and blessings.

Diamond Way Buddhism works from the Mandala Principle, where one’s function naturally defines one’s position. Whoever is needed, is in front. This differs from hierarchal systems, which are basically unstable and soon become empty, showy, cramped or contradictory, or provoke revolutions. They are best used for somebody to earn a lot of money quickly and then disappear with blue glasses and a false beard (my joke).

It is therefore wise to keep basically different approaches separate – also because worldly knowledge changes all the time, while dharmic insights stay. When problems or new opportunities arise, everything anyway depends on our motivation and ability to let go of fixed ideas. Applying relevant levels of Buddha’s teachings is what we need for ourselves.
And finally a question much asked: what can we expect materially from the next year(s)?

We all live from the fact that people want to consume and most will work to see their wishes fulfilled. Also, a majority of Westerners are educated, feel increasingly responsible towards their values, and, at least among the original citizens, the karma is so far basically good. Let us hope that if ordinary distractions and consumption must temporarily diminish, more will look for lasting happiness – and at the place where it exists: in one’s own mind.

May all events during 2012 and on give our fine and well-trained Diamond Way centers and friends the opportunity to benefit countless interesting and maturing people. We have the experience, view and methods to do that, so please refresh both your knowledge and your skills to represent us in the best possible way. This means keeping up on our roots, books, and transmission, and offering the example of our worldwide work: standing shoulder to shoulder we have no limits…

With love and thankfulness also from Caty and Gergö, Yours,

Lama Ole

We are making history.

Original at Lama Ole Nydahl’s website

Other posts which may be of interest :


Leave a Reply