Home > Dharma > follow-up to the ‘Hello world!’ post

follow-up to the ‘Hello world!’ post

I have just read the original interview Osel gave to Babylon magazine, which sparked off the articles I gave the links to in my previous post. The interview is available at:  http://www.magazinebabylon.com/Osels_Awakening.pdf

Wikipedia has an article about Osel which has been updated in the light of the interview, and is available at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenzin_%C3%96sel_Rinpoche

Wisdom Publications, the publishing arm of the FPMT, which Osel was being trained to take over the spiritual leadership of, has a blog which contains interesting responses to Osel’s interviews, and is available at:   http://gobeyondwords.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/tempest-in-a-teapot/

The official FPMT website has lots of interesting information about Osel at:  http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/osel/

Now I feel that I’m getting more of a rounded picture about Osel and the intense interest in him. The central issue is one which crops up again and again in debates about how to transfer the teachings and lineages of Tibetan Buddhism or any kind of Buddhism for that matter across the cultural divide to the ‘West’ however West is defined. And it is an issue which throws up an even greater issue, which every Buddhist has to answer for himself/herself, I think: what is essential to Buddhism and what is merely the cultural trappings surrounding Buddhism? Or, to rephrase, can what is essential to Buddhism ever be cleanly distinguished from the cultural factors that are essential in any age, including Buddha Shakyamuni’s own age, to help transmit/communicate the Dharma to anybody at all? Can we say that the message can be separated from the medium or is the medium always going to be part of the message even if you don’t want it to be? As is usual with me, I find the formulation of the questions more interesting than the answers, of which there are always many possible ones.

Categories: Dharma
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