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Tibetans Racists Against Westerners?

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The title is a bit extreme 8* , but I will explain. If you ever met Tibetans living in the West, you might noticed this too. I think that some of them look down on the West, Western culture and Western Buddhism. I e.g. even heard from one Tibetan that Western Buddhist centers are only places for relaxation after work. I think some Tibetans even have trouble accepting that a qualified Teacher (lama, rinpoche) could be born in the West and might doubt His authenticity. They might also be critical of Western monks and nuns.


Of course, Western Buddhism is a bit of a mess, there are many fakes, but one shouldn't generalize. In fact, even if criticism is many times justified, one gets the feeling that it came from a racist background - i.e. that the critics (some Tibetans) used the opportunity to express their disturbed emotions :bishop: . Also, many Tibetans living in the West don't really adhere to the Buddhist teachings as strictly as they could :vieuxsmiley: , given the environment (e.g. vegetarianism, smoking), yet they take the right to look down on the Western Buddhists, some of whom earnestly try to follow this kind of a lifestyle. And Buddhism is not Tibetan, it was once Indian and it might very well end up to be Western (for some time).


So, is there a racist pattern among the Tibetans living in the West, or are these just individual cases? If the former is true, than this could severely impede the growth of Buddhism in the West and the fight for the Tibetan cause in China :verysad: (the fight mainly sponsored by the West).


Best regards,


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Too bad. Centuries pass, and people do not learn from History. Tibetans have lost their country and their tradition is endangered because of politics, because of short-sighted views, and because of lack of respect of Buddha-Dharma, mixing personal intrigues with religious matters... And this since, long. We shall remember that not just once the reincarnation of the Dalaï-Lamas were murdered! Murdered for selfish and political reasons.

And what is happening nowadays ? The same... This time using some influence gained with contacts in the West.


The big looser? Buddha-Dharma. But who care? Surely not the Tibetans engaged into politics, who look at their own benefits, and eventually to the benefits of their relatives, and even sometime to their nation. But not to their spiritual heritage.




Bye, Alan

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Indeed, it is sad to see what is happening...


Some Tibetans engaged into politic do forget about their roots, and definitively forget about Buddhism. If ever they followed it in this very life.

It is true that many of them do not believe that a Westerner can be a good monk. Not to say, a good Lama, or Tulku. And some are working hard on pushing aside Western monks and Lamas. May be because the Westerners are more respectful of Dharma, more correct in their application of Dharma in everday life, and more strict with their vows and commitments!


First they believe that if you don't speak Tibetan language you can't understand Buddhism. They forget that Buddhism born in India, and that it was translated many centuries after into Tibetan. And that nowadays many many Texts are translated in many languages.

Buddhism is not a Tibetan matter, and surely not a Tibetan politic matter! The XIIIth Dalaï-Lama warned the Kashag (Tibetan Government), asked them to open their mind. They didn't. We know the result...


Then, to read a Text or even to know it by heart doesn't mean that you understand it, not to say, that you “realized” it! This is where some are making big mistakes when believing that Geshe title is more valuable than Tulku or Rinpoche.

True, the Tulku system has been too often abused... by politicians first, by the way, to keep control over lands, monasteries, etc... But the Geshe system has been as much abused, if not more! How many Geshe have their degree by “complaisance”, by derogation?

And indeed, learning a Text by heart doesn't bring automatically Wisdom, that very Wisdom which is so necessary to be a good Lama, a genuine Spiritual Guide.


Do we believe that a doctor in philosophy from Western university is wiser because he has got a PhD in Buddhist philosophy? So why a Tibetan would become wiser because he has got a Geshe degree (which is equivalent, and as much "learning based")?

The Geshe system is very good to maintain the Tradition, the Texts, the words, the content. Though nowadays we could say that computers are doing quite a good job about that aspect too. After the studies, what is important is years of meditation, of retreats, under qualified guidance, which will allow to understand what has been memorized, and the growing of Wisdom.


Is it a good development toward democracy to ignore Wisdom and give more power and value to a piece of paper concluding some years of studies? Some Geshes claim to have studies 25 years to get their degree... which is nearly the equivalent to get a PhD in the West, or may be even less, because the first years spent in a monastic university have little to do with Buddhist philosophy!


To hear that some young Tibetans working for the Tibetan Government in exile think that Western Buddhists aren't really serious, and practice Buddhism almost as "pass-time"; or that Tulkus are "empty-brains", is outrageous! Especially when it is these same persons who would like to grant certificate of "good Buddhist" or "bad Buddhist", "reliable Buddhist community", "worth to deal with", or not! Incredible. Incredibly sad.


Because of this attitude, the Tibetan lineage of Buddhism will suffer, if not Buddhism as a whole. And because of this, Buddhism will have to become Western, to come out of the grasp of politicians and scholars-only minded people. Otherwise, Tibetan Buddhism will follow the track of Roman Catholic Church, with all it implies...


Thank you

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Good evening :)


I would just like to add a few small thoughts.


In the West, Tibetans are often regarded as special because of their "martyrdom". In the West, martyrs are generally regarded as saints - wise or foolish, doesn't matter. The whole "Pantheon" of Catholic martyrs includes many people, and some of them were - mildly said - not the wisest, and sometimes we can even doubt they were good people. E.g. martyrdom doesn't guarantee anything.

So, it is true that horrible things happened to many Tibetans - but as karma works, this mostly means they have accumulated the causes for it, doesn't it?


And another small thing too - not only do some Tibetans look at Westerners like some minor beings, not being able to grasp the essence of Buddhism - the Western attitude towards Tibetans or Eastern (or African etc.) people often isn't any better, although it is nicely packed in a paper on which it is written "respect" and "interest in their culture". Underneath is an attitude which looks down on them as some kind of interesting, attractive pets.

Such attitude of course doesn't look for those among the Tibetans who are genuinely wise - but much more for those who are good to provide some show and entertainment, or those who will nourish the ego. I think many Geshes are much more interesting from this point than Lamas - because Geshes are mainly academic, which means that their mind may be no more stable than the mind of any professor at a Western university, so with some flattery they may promise people to be born in Pure Lands and such ... which is pure nourishment for the ego, of course. :// While the genuine Spiritual Guides will more often scratch the ego in an unpleasant way. :prostate:


And the third thing to mention - how deep is Buddhism & the idea of reincarnation really rooted in the mind of those Tibetans who don't think right away that a Westerner they see may have easily been a Tibetan in some previous life? Not to mention that the Tibetans who look at Western people from above may have themselves been Westerners in some previous lives ... :))


All the best.

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Guest Felix

Good afternoon.


First I would like to bow to the previous contributors. It is a rare occasion to see such a down to earth and far-reaching view/concern. It made me think.


If the structure of Tibetan Buddhism is disintegrating, and if the West doesn't have a correlating structure to support it properly, what can enable and preserve Dharma on the West?

Just a need is not enough. Neither an institution nor a number of members. Scholastic knowledge or humanitarian work per se are just another offer in the academic and NGO market. It seems that the usual means of the “civilised world†do not suffice, unable to reach and preserve the essence.


Yet, Buddhism is distinguished by a pure and uninterrupted transmission of Method and Wisdom from a Teacher to a disciple, granting results for 2600 years. Therefore, to preserve its Essence, especially on the Vajrayana path, the Master-to-disciple relationship has to be preserved.

To my understanding, this depends by far more on a disciple. In order to generate and maintain a pure view, it is essential to deal with our ego, its obscurations and limitations. If we want to be a suitable vehicle of Dharma, we have to make our mind ready for it first, don't we?


As a matter of fact, I believe that Dharma can flourish in the West. I don't mind how much the appearance changes, as long as the pure lineage from a Teacher to a disciple is enabled. :prostate:




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