Diamond Mountain Puts Spin on Dalai Lama Letters

An update on Geshe Michael Roach’s Asia tour was posted on the Diamond Mountain web site on 13th June 2006.

This update, at best, attempts to gloss over the content of letters sent to Geshe Michael Roach by Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama requesting that he not come to Dharamsala. At worst the posted update could be construed as deliberately attempting to mislead readers in order to shift emphasis away from damaging remarks made in these letters.

Below is a copy of the relevant paragraphs from this post.

Part of an update posted on the Diamond Mountain Web site as of 13th June 2006

Please note the text in bold.

A similar development has occurred with the planned teachings in our next stop, Dharamsala in India. Here the Tibetan authorities have asked that, due to concerns about spiritual partners and the ordained, and the role of woman lamas, that Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally not come to give their planned teachings on Je Tsongkapa’s “Essence of Eloquence.”

In response, we have asked for permission to include in the teachings a free, open debate in the traditional Buddhist style. This will be to discuss openly any questions that foreign or Tibetan people may have on these issues, by debating in English and Tibetan language, using only Tibetan books, and providing immediate translation. We have offered to hold this debate in the separate hall we’ve already rented in Dharamsala, during our nighttime talks, well after the afternoon teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We have offered to prepare free refreshments for all, and have some nice music by our students.

Unfortunately, this proposal has not been accepted by the Tibetan officials. They have said that these issues should be openly discussed and debated, but not at this time and place. We have a good dialogue going, and it seems that we will all be able to work together to arrange this kind of open debate, for both foreign and Tibetan people to attend, at some time in the future.

As in China, we want to respect the wishes and customs of our hosts, and so right now our plan is to extend our trip through to July 6 to allow Geshe Michael and Christie to give the teaching as scheduled, over a 10-day period. (This is a very auspicious date: we will be celebrating both His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday, and a Vajra Yogini tsechu.) We are looking for a location with inexpensive rooms somewhere in the Himalayan foothills, within easy travel from Dharamsala.

We are very happy to report that the Tibetan authorities are trying to help our group, and have promised that the 250 people who have already signed up to attend the wonderful teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama are very welcome to come. We strongly encourage everyone to attend these teachings, to get the blessing of this greatest Dalai Lama of history. Keep watching this site for the location of the Je Tsongkapa program. Information will also be available from our organizers at His Holiness’ teachings. We apologize for any inconvenience and extra expense caused.

A More Accurate Appraisal of the this Post

DM Post
“…the Tibetan authorities

Referring to:
The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama


DM Post:
“…have asked that, due to concerns about spiritual partners and the ordained”

Referring to:
The Office of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama states in it’s letter, “We have seen a photograph of you wearing long hair, with a female companion at your side, apparently giving ordination. This would seem to conflict with the rules of Vinaya, and as you know, the Gelug tradition makes a point of upholding these very strictly.”


DM Post:
“… and the role of woman lamas”

Note:
No mention of woman lama’s was made in the letters from the Office of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is mere chicanery with intent to infer that the Tibetan tradition is patriarchal and thus gives it a tainted appearance which would appeal to Western concerns regarding gender equality.


DM Post:
“…that Geshe Michael Roach and Christie McNally not come to give their planned teachings on Je Tsongkapa’s Essence of Eloquence.”

Note:
His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Office actually states that “…we advise you not to visit Dharmsala in the greater interest of the purity of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.”


DM Post:
“They have said that these issues should be openly discussed and debated, but not at this time and place. We have a good dialogue going, and it seems that we will all be able to work together to arrange this kind of open debate, for both foreign and Tibetan people to attend, at some time in the future.”

Note:
Nowhere in the correspondence between Geshe Michael Roach and His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Office does it mention that they wish to debate these issues. In contrast, His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Office states “In view of all these we advise you not to visit Dharmsala in the greater interest of the purity of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition“.


DM Post:
“We are very happy to report that the Tibetan authorities are trying to help our group, and have promised that the 250 people who have already signed up to attend the wonderful teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama are very welcome to come.”

Referring to:
His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Office wrote: “…we advise you not to visit Dharmsala in the greater interest of the purity of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as clearly indicated in the letter of Chhime Rigzin-la dated May 24, 2006. However, as for the other members of your group those who are interested are welcome to attend the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s Office are merely stating that anyone (apart from Geshe Michael Roach himself) is welcome to attend.

Advertisements

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s