March 14, 2013

Guess Who's Buddhist Now? Jennie Garth

Jennie GarthGuess who's Buddhist now? Jennie Garth!

The paparazzi snapped the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress in Los Angeles on Monday carrying Eight Steps to Happiness: The Buddhist Way of Loving Kindness, a commentary on the Eight Verses for Training the Mind by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso of the New Kadampa tradition.

So I guess we'll have to wait and see if Jennie is really the latest celebrity to jump on the Buddhist bandwagon. We'll know for sure when she comes out with her own meditation program...

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Wisdom Moon's picture

I would appreciate the moderators doing something about the hate speech of Dolgyal's comments - I hope it's not Tricyle's style to allow such sectarianism? Thanks!

khrystene's picture

It's really not 'hate speech'. If you want to level any criticism it's the vehemency with which Dolgyal reports.

The information is available anywhere and His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet has requested that Tibetan Buddhist practitioners do not do Dorje Shugden practice. The reasons he gives are legitimate.

NKT is controversial, as is Diamond Way Buddhism. Let's have a real discussion rather than just trying to shut the conversation down.

Frankly, I don't really care who is a 'new celebrity Buddhist'. If only we didn't have to hear that I would be more happy. Thanks.

celticpassage's picture

Dolgyal's comments are hardly hate speech.

Wisdom Moon's picture

Your comment leaves me incredulous. Is it correct for Buddhists to badmouth other Buddhist traditions? Is it correct speech to spread prejudice as well as unfounded rumours? I can only hope that the majority of Tricycle readers would not condone this. To discriminate against another person on the basis of their beliefs is sectarianism. As for hate speech, from Wikipedia:

Hate speech is, outside the law, communication that vilifies a person or a group on the basis of one or more characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, or age

celticpassage's picture

There is nothing wrong with sectarianism. It may not be the best mental outlook from my point of view, but there's nothing particularly wrong with it.

Discussing controversial topics and bringing to light problems and injustices within a system isn't 'hate speech'. Indeed, if it's a person's job, it's called 'investigative reporting'. Of course, it doesn't have to be your job to bring these things to light either.

Seems to me 'hate speech' is a poor concept and should never have made it into law. It's effect is mostly to erode freedom of speech.

Dolgyal's picture

Indeed, publicly making inappropriate statements that express disrespect for an ethnic group is more than just a matter of questionable taste: inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offence in most western democracies. An 'identifiable group' in this context is defined as 'any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.' In world terms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law"

Please consider the following online quotes In a forum 'Wisdom Moon' condones, participates in regularly and supports:

"…so many Tibetans are living in a state of pure ignorance…It is no wonder that the Tibetan community is so backward and that there are no famous Tibetan lay people in the world."

"...the Tibetan community is so backward and that there are no famous Tibetan lay people in the world. There are no well known Tibetan scientists or engineers or businessmen."

"Tibetans are generally not very educated, quite backwards and do not have much exposures to the outside world thus education and exposures are therefore very important. Website like (ours) play an important part in changing the thinking of the Tibetans and gets them exposed to the outside world. It can help them understand the dharma better, share their views and make them think logically with an open mind."

":the Tibetan community is just filled with ignorant people"

So it is rather an odd claim of victimization coming from the very person ('Wisdom Moon') who for years has generated so much negative ethnocentric online content, under the name 'Lineageholder'. In 2010, Buddhist author Gary Beesley was threatened by NKT with personal financial ruin if he published his book “A Cuckoo in the Peacock Palace: The Decline of Tradition and the Rise of the New Kadampa Tradition in 21st Century Western Buddhism”
I invite readers to find out about this for themselves.

May freedom of speech and thought prevail!

Wisdom Moon's picture

I do not condone the statements you have posted. Please stop posting information which is misleading and divisive.

Once again I appeal to the Tricycle moderators to do something to stop this wrong speech.

Dolgyal's picture

You did condone the ban of Gary Beesley's book even though you did not actually read it. Your own long record of sectarian and anti-Tibetan slander as Lineageholder/Wisdom Moon is common knowledge and not so easy to hide.
Perhaps NKT executives can get its London PR agency Schillings, to muzzle Tricycle as well. I can't imagine their overtime hourly rates, better wait until Monday.

Dolgyal's picture

A growing number of people are leaving the NKT and sharing their reasons for doing so. We hope this information can help you come to an informed decision about the kind of Buddhist organization you would be comfortable committing to.

NKT students study only books written by one person, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a Tibetan monk expelled by his Tibetan monastery. Although students are not forbidden to read other books they are strongly discouraged from doing so.
NKT’s main daily prayers are to a controversial deity known as Dorje Shxxden. The Dalai Lama strongly discourages Shugden practices as divisive. Indeed the current protests against him by the WSS (Western Shxxden Society), many members of which are high profile NKT teachers, are proving divisive and ugly, as are NKT techniques of swamping online Buddhist chat rooms and message boards with pro-Shxxden and anti Dalai Lama propaganda.
Two high profile members of the NKT, both serving long term as Deputy Spiritual Director at different times – Neil E. (Gen Thubten) and Steven W. (Gen Samden) – had to be removed due to sexual misconduct committed with several nuns and lay women. Both had vows of celibacy and were either deliberately misusing or misinterpreting higher tantric teachings to justify sexual exploitation of their followers.
NKT has never given clear information about the two ex-deputy spiritual directors and NKT members find out through rumour and gossip, mainly at NKT festivals. They are told not to let it disturb their minds.
Many other high level NKT teachers have also been involved in sexual misconduct, showing that they are poorly supported within the tradition, and many have misconceptions about what a vow of celibacy actually covers.
Ex-residents of NKT Dharma centres report having been required to sign away their rights as tenants, illegally. Many were told that the centres had the right to evict them without notice, for example.
It is commonly reported amongst past and present NKT members that many people who move into NKT centres give up their paid jobs to go on benefits. They then work unpaid for the centres while deceiving the welfare/benefits agencies of their status. Monks and nuns are told not to wear their robes to the Job Centre when they sign on.
NKT monks and nuns are not actually ordained as monks and nuns according to a vital Buddhist text known as Vinaya. Fully ordained monks and nuns under the Vinaya have over two hundred specific vows, while NKT monks and nuns have 10 vows, several of which are very vague. Many Buddhist schools do not accept NKT ordination as valid.
Ex NKT members strongly suggest that potential new members do their own research before considering a commitment to this New Religious Movement.

Author: EKC – member of the New Kadampa Survivors.

Dolgyal's picture

Jenny, scratch the gold paint and one finds something unexpected underneath.

Dolgyal's picture

Converts to Scientology (Hollywood or otherwise) are not initially told the inner teaching of Xemu, the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as "Teegeeack") in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm.

Converts to NKT new age belief system are similarly not told the truth about their "heart jewel" core practice. Zemey Rinpoche, a stalwart practitioner of this protector, compiled and published a book entitled the 'Oral Transmission of the Competent Father (pha-rgod bla-ma'i zhal-lung). In it he stated that the god would destroy any Gelugpa practitioner, be he an ordinary person, a highly-realized lama or even a ruler, if he supplemented his Gelugpa practice with the practice of other spiritual traditions. Zemey Rinpoche named the following twenty-three (20th century and earlier) government officials and Buddhist masters who, he said, were put to death by this so-called "heart jewel" for 'mixing' (in cult parlance) other traditions:
1) Dordrak Rigzin Pema Trinley,
2) Wolkha Jedrung Lobsang Trinley (also known as Lhelung Sheypai Dorjee),
3) Wolkha Jedrung's reincarnation, who studied at Loseling College of Drepung Monastery and became the abbot of Gyutoed Tantric College,
4) Wolkha Jedrung's second reincarnation, who died while a student at Loseling College,
5) Wolkha Jedrung's third reincarnation, who was born in Tsel Gungthang and died as he was about to be enthroned,
6) Panchen Lobsang Palden Choekyi Dakpa Tenpai Wangchuk, the eighth Panchen Lama,
7) his reincarnation, Panchen Lobsang Thubten Choekyi Nyima Gelek Namgyal,
8) Chamdo Phagbala Lobsang Thubten Mipham Tsultrim Gyaltsen,
9) Thubten Jampel Yeshi Gyaltsen, the Fifth Reting Rinpoche,
10) Kachen Ang Nyima, the tutor of the Nineth Panchen Lama,
11) Khardho Tulku Kelsang Thubten Nyendrak,
12) Nyungney Lama Lobsang Yeshi Gyaltsen,
13) Lobsang Palden Choekyi Wangchuk, the former body of Tehor Sig-gyab Tulku,
14) the former body of Sera Je's Tzenya Tulku,
15) Thubten Kelsang Tenzin, the Sixth Nagchu Drubkhang Tulku,
16) Lobsang Trinley Rabgye, the Dhemo Rinpoche of Tengyeling,
17) Tatsak Jedrung Lobsang Thubten Jigme Gyaltsen Kundeling,
18) Pema Wangchen Surkhang, the Kashag secretary, who died at the age of 22,
19) Shabe Sonam Wangchen, the father of Pema Wangchen Surkhang, who died at the age of 37,
20) Gung Jigme Namgyal Lhalu,
21) his son Phuntsok Rabgye,
22) Tsipon Lungshar, and
23) Kalon Trimon Norbu Wangyal.

Zemey's Yellow Book also stated that in 1954, Dolgyal used his occult power to bring the biggest flood in Gyangtse, which destroyed many villages and killed thousands of people and animals. After meeting an ignominious demise in Darjeeling the very day he was to bless five of the sectarian demon's idols, Zemey's supposed reincarnation has been selected and installed by the Communist Party of China.

Wisdom Moon's picture

Well done Jennie, I hope you find peace and happiness from Buddha's teachings.

Dolgyal's picture

Dear drmnaga78, I would like to share some NKT insight I found online.
"Several weeks ago I read Lance Armstrong's inspiring book about cancer called "It's Not About the Bike." Mostly I was impressed with his determination, not just to get well from advanced cancer, but even to ride competitively again. He's done a lot for cancer patients, cancer research and cancer awareness.
And yet, I couldn't help noticing the advantages of celebrity: Because of his famous name, doctors would see him immediately, even on weekends...
Based on his book and common sense, I imagine them saying, "Yes, of course."
So I say, "Great, give me his slot!" Ha ha.
In Buddhism, one of the ways we talk about reality is that it is "mere name," meaning that things exist through naming, through labeling by the mind. (If this is new to you, read Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, which has the clearest explanation of emptiness - or ultimate truth - that I have ever heard.)"
With incisive spiritual jewels like the quote above, it is no wonder many seekers are flocking to New Kadampa centres worldwide.

drmnaga78's picture

Dolgyal, come on, no need for that sarcasm.

Dolgyal's picture

So what? Scientology has many Hollywood types in its thrall, too.
I hope she doesn't defile the 'pure' lineage by reading other authors!