"He is our vision, he is our heart and soul. He is for us, like a god, like a living god." Tsering Choephel
"The title, given to the third Dalai Lama in 1578 by a Mongol chieftain, means 'Ocean of Wisdom'. 
The Dalai Lama
Leads Empowerment Ritual
by Berit Kjos, 2002
Booklet with visualizations and prayer given to all attendees.
"To recite the Medicine Buddha Mantra brings inconceivable merit. ... If you recite the mantra every day, the Buddhas and bodhisattvas will always pay attention to you, and they will guide you. All your negative karmas will be pacified and you will never be born in the three lower realms.... and all your wishes are fulfilled." A visualization in Medicine Buddha Sadhana, the booklet pictured above.
“It is very good to recite the manta OM…. Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom…. As Maitreya says… all beings naturally have the Buddha nature in their own continuum. We have within us the seed of purity… that is to be transformed and full developed into Buddhahood.” The Dalai Lama
"The world of American religion is going through enormous change. It will be increasingly difficult to distinguish Christians and Buddhists." University of Chicago sociologist Stephen R. Warner. Buddhism on the Move
The Dalai Lama busy schedule doesn't leave much room for flexibility. Yet, when invited to San Francisco for an interfatih dialogue with Muslim and other religious leaders in April 2006, he gladly accepted. Notice how his two reasons match UN plans for global harmony (see solidarity) and universal values:
"I have two major commitments. Number one is the promotion of human values — not because of religious belief, but because of biological reasoning. We need peace of mind. Peace of mind is good for health, good for community, good for family....
"My number two commitment, as a believer, is for harmony among the different religious traditions.... As far as the promotion of religious harmony is concerned, I think I made some contribution, at least between the Tibetan Buddhist community and our Christian brothers and sisters. I think we have very good, close understanding. For example, there are many Christian practitioners now showing their respect and understanding about Buddhist concepts, as there is among Buddhists now an appreciation of Christian contribution for the betterment of the world and humanity."
Do you wonder how Tibetan Buddhism can be harmonized with Christianity? I did, starting many years ago. Hiking on a trail near a Jesuit monastery, I met priests who mentioned their delight with a newfound blend of Buddhism and "Christianity." In the last two decades, this unbiblical synthesis of Western truth and Eastern mysticism has permeated mainstream culture, altered the health industry, and helped birth the emerging church.
Both of the Dalai Lama's "commitments" clash with Biblical truth, historical facts, and Christian values. The popular Buddhist "peace of mind" rests on humanist psychology and Eastern occultism in contrast to Christians whose peace is based on what Jesus accomplished through the cross. But in today's social and spiritual climate, "positive thinking" and spiritual imagination are building a wide, popular bridge between cultural Christianity and a postmodern world determined to reinvent its Maker.
In light of its noble sentiments and
soaring popularity, what does Buddhism actually teach? What kind of forces does
Loving the Lama
Tseong Zingkha lives in Portland, OR, but his home reflects his Tibetan roots. The most dominant sign is a large, wall-sized Buddhist shrine before which the retired businessman worships his favorite Buddha. Every morning -- even after 40 years in exile -- he lights little "butter-lamps," burns incense and waves a peacock feather to cleanse his environment of all "negative energy." Then he prostrates himself and prays to Buddha, offering his body, mind and spirit. Some mornings he meditates for hours before breakfast.
Mr. Zingha's Buddhist beliefs guide his lifestyle. His dedication, if not the object of his faith, puts many other worshippers to shame. His form of Buddhism may be marketed in the United States as a "secular" philosophy of peace -- the argument used when public schools in Oregon bussed students to hear the Dalai Lama in Portland. But to the world's favorite Lama and his devoted followers, Tibetan Buddhism is a life and worldview that cannot be grasped apart from the religious rituals that instruct their minds and inspire their hearts.
I saw the same kind of devotion when I followed a crowd of worshippers streaming into the massive Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, on May 20, 2001. Under two symbol-rich Tibetan flags unfurled over of the stadium, I watched monks in saffron robes, long-haired hippies, mother with babies on their backs, and curious seekers coming together from all directions. They knew that such an opportunity might never return.
I made a quick round through the temporary Buddhist bookstore and its adjoining rooms, amused by the contrast between the rock music idols pictured on the walls and the symbols of Buddhist spiritual disciplines on posters and books brought in for the occasion. Then I hurried to my assigned section on the grass -- the most distant part of the stadium. I squeezed into a shady spot between a yoga instructor and a sweet Buddhist lady, prepared my tape recorder, put on God's protective Armor - again, and waited.
Suddenly the people around me rose to their feet, pressed the palms of their hands together above their heads, and began bowing toward the stage. The Dalai Lama had entered. On a large screen above the distant stage I saw him facing a tall golden shrine on the stage. He bowed three times toward its altar, then turned and bowed to the audience. The crowd joined in the ceremonial obeisance. The revered Tibetan leader climbed up a stairway to the top of the shrine where a throne awaited him. Here His Holiness (HH), perhaps the world's most beloved idol, sat down to guide his devotees.
While chanting in his deep voice, HH blessed several objects including a plate that appeared to hold burning incense sticks. He pulled out a large feather -- perhaps from a peacock -- and waved it in the air. Presumably he was cleanse the stadium of "negative energy" -- not unlike the Native American ritual called smudging which supposedly purifies the sacred space by wafting burning sage.
HH began his "Celebration for the blessing of the Medicine Buddha" with a warning not "to visualize the rituals of tantra for purpose of gaining wealth." While "some use the power of tantra" for destructive purposes, he explained, this "spiritual practice" should be seen as the "means of attaining the wisdom of Buddha... attaining Buddha-hood."
The crowds had better take such warnings to heart! Tantra - which began as a mystical fertility cult that worshiped the regenerative powers of the Goddess -- flourished between the seventh and thirteenth centuries A.D., leaving relics such as the erotic poses on old Hindu temples in parts of India.
Tantra’s more complex secrets were transmitted by the yogi, who would renounces the earth but indulge in its pleasures with abandon. Note the parallel between his lawless lifestyle and America’s shift away from God’s wise boundaries:
"To the jogi nothing is forbidden. By donning this robe he symbolically renounces the earth and its fruit and frees himself from society and its moralities. The jogi ... is the magician/sorcerer, the master of alchemy, and the practitioner of the forbidding tantric ritual. He is the astrologer, the palmist, and the juggler, he is the poet, the faithless lover, the seducer of mind and heart. He is also the symbol of awakened man... a wild and fearful image explosive with power..." 
Tantra spread through India into Tibet and China. Under their revered Lamas, Tibetan Buddhists amplified and preserved the Tantric rituals in their mountain monasteries. When China forced the Dalai Lama and thousands of his disciples to flee their beautiful, snow-capped land, they brought the Buddhist Tantra back across India, then into the West. Suddenly Buddhist study centers -- teaching a form of Tantra remade to fit Western tastes -- sprang up across the United States.
While the word Tantra sounds unfamiliar to most Westerners, we have all seen some of the symbols: the yogi seated in lotus position, the all-seeing third eye in the center of the forehead, and the serpent -- the feminine kundalini spirit rising up through the body's seven chakras to unite with the male spirit.
Learning to be Buddhas
Two conditions must be met before Tantric Vajrayana practices can produce "the realization of bodhisattva... and "a correct view of emptiness," explained HH. Then he decried the general lack of interest in serious study of these Buddhist practices:
"Whether it is our own Tibetan community or it is Chinese Buddhist community, the one unfortunate facts seems to be that if it is announced that there is an empowerment ceremony -- there's an initiation -- then people take interest and attend, but if there's an announcement that an introduction to Buddhism is being given... there is not much interest.... This is really wrong. Because without having some knowledge of the karma, how can one even begin to practice."
Contrary to his last statement, "the Dalai Lama [had] told 8,000 high school students [on May 14, 2000] that they don't have to be religious to lead purposeful lives and cultivate 'basic human good qualities' such as tolerance, compassion and kindness." Yet, the "religious" practices he downplayed when speaking to students become the heart of his messages to his followers.
His next ritual was an immersion in occult symbolism and beliefs. He introduced it as a ceremony for the "generation of mind.... the full awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings." It began with a familiar reminder about human nature:
"When things are really going well, there's no need for spiritual practice. It is only when there is problems or adversity that you need your spiritual practice. But this is quite similar to the practice of medicine. If you are health is very good, there is no need to take medication...."
After a moment of chanting, he explained "the unique meaning of the Mahayana practice of going for refuge.... The object of the aspiration that you seek is the attainment of full awakening of the Buddha."
The next step involved "making supplication to the master of the initiation to grant a blessing... by focusing attention...." He urged the audience to concentrate on the "seven Buddhas of Medicine Buddha... then declare aspiration to follow instructions of Medicine Buddha and try to be a better person." Then he led them through a visualization supposed to produce oneness with the eight Buddhas:
"At your crown, visualize the blue medicine Buddha. At the crown of Buddha, visualize a white Buddha.... whose body color is white with reddish tinge.... Their bodies are radiant great compassion. Make fervent supplication...
"Shift focus to second Buddha and make fervent prayer and supplication. It melts into light and dissolves into the third Buddha. Focus on the third Buddha and make fervent prayer and supplication...."
The same visualization was repeated until the seventh Buddha of the master Medicine Buddha had supposedly dissolved into all the others. The next "guided imagery" led the crowd to visualize the merged Buddhas "dissolve into your own crown."
Summoning spirits and inviting them into one's own mind is no trivial matter. Christians called to a ministry of deliverance from occult bondage know that well. So did the Dalai Lama, since he had warned his audience that these rituals would be dangerous for people with the wrong "attitude." I suppose that would include me, but I was busy praying to my Lord, not participating in this occult ritual.
A cleansing ritual (not unlike those performed by Native Americans and modern Wiccans) supposedly purged the crowd of all "negative thought." The Lama then counseled his followers to "remember life of Jesus Christ." Of course, the counterfeit "Jesus" that fits into the Buddhist pantheon of divas and deities is not Jesus Christ, my sovereign Lord, the Creator of the universe. Severed from the cross, this re-imagined christ is little more than a number among the countless gods in a popular model for the new global spirituality.
Finally, the crowd was led through a "Long life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama." A new voice was heard over the loudspeaker, guiding their hearts through a formal prayer passed out to all who came. Among the deities [which I may have misspelled in my notes] addressed in this long formal prayer were:
OM.... You who are the repository of the three: secret powers of body, speech and mind of innumerable Buddhas... who are the wish-fulfilling gems, the source of all virtues and good qualities....
The dharmadhatu, the inexpressible reality, which pervades all things.... the mandalas of the heavenly beings....
Numberless Buddhas of the past, present and future, who are the masters of the ten powers and teachers of the gods...
Sacred Dharmas of the three yanas that liberate us from the sufferings of the three worlds...
Arya Sangha... of highest valor in conquering the suffering of the wheel of life...
Dakas and dakinis, heavenly beings of the three worlds, who appear in the highest paradise, the sacred place, the cremation grounds....supporting the yogis in their meditation on the excellent path....
The powerful ones who protect the teaching and the upholders of the Dharma...
The introductions to each part of the prayer was followed by the words, "We offer our prayer with intense devotion that... Tenzin Gyatso [the Dalai Lama] upholder of the Dharma, the great ocean may live for a hundred aeons..."
The audience was given the following homework assignment: "Recite mantras of Medicine Buddha" at least three times a day. "Imagnine perfect balance restored... [to] assure longevity.... Practice day and night...."
The coming Maitreya - a counterfeit Messiah
“It is very good to recite the manta OM," said the Dalai Lama in a lecture at the Mongolian Buddhist Center in New Jersey. Moments later he referred to the occult teachings of Maitreya, the ancient 'Buddha yet to come, who was introduced to Americans decades ago by New Age leader Benjamin Creme's full page ad in The New York Times. He continued,
"As Maitreya says… all beings naturally have the Buddha nature in their own continuum. We have within us the seed of purity… that is to be transformed and full developed into Buddhahood.”
Today, the world's largest statue has been designed with funds from the Bank of America. When built in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh in northern India, this towering Buddha-like figure would be worshipped as the expected Maitreya. The cavernous idol would house various shrines where his devoted disciples could perform their rituals and bring their offerings. (Notice the six tiny people at the base of the rising statue.)
Calling students to peace and unity
It's not surprising that the Dalai Lama gets along
well with globalist and interfaith leaders around the world. They share the same
goals: to create a unified world of peace and solidarity. In this utopian world,
all religions would set aside their "divisive" truths and agree that all
spiritual paths lead to the same glorious end.
[See Heresy in high places] "'This
has nothing to do with religion,' said one of the many students
invited to spend half an hour with the Dalai Lama before his public appearance.
"This has to do with us working together to promote peace, and peace goes with
every religion." She had learned her lessons well. Around the world, students are learning to
be global citizens, ready to conform to UNESCO's view of religious pluralism --
no matter how contrary their own convictions. Its
Declaration on the
Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace fits the new
Buddhist vision of peace and unity: "We will promote dialogue and harmony between and within
respecting the search for truth and wisdom that is
outside our religion. We will establish dialogue with all…. "
we will build a culture of peace based on non-violence,
tolerance, dialogue, mutual understanding, and justice. We call
upon the institutions of our civil society, the United Nations
System, governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations,
corporations, and the mass media, to strengthen their commitments
to peace and to listen to the cries of the victims
upon the different religious and cultural traditions to join
and to cooperate with us
"'This has nothing to do with religion,' said one of the many students invited to spend half an hour with the Dalai Lama before his public appearance. "This has to do with us working together to promote peace, and peace goes with every religion."
She had learned her lessons well. Around the world, students are learning to be global citizens, ready to conform to UNESCO's view of religious pluralism -- no matter how contrary their own convictions. Its Declaration on the Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace fits the new Buddhist vision of peace and unity:
"We will promote dialogue and harmony between and within religions respecting the search for truth and wisdom that is outside our religion. We will establish dialogue with all….
" we will build a culture of peace based on non-violence, tolerance, dialogue, mutual understanding, and justice. We call upon the institutions of our civil society, the United Nations System, governments, governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporations, and the mass media, to strengthen their commitments to peace and to listen to the cries of the victims .We call upon the different religious and cultural traditions to join hands and to cooperate with us .
Those who don't cooperate would be breaking some of the United Nations' soft laws. Its Declaration on Principles of Tolerance includes these statements:
"Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures... It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement."
"Tolerance involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism...." [Biblical truth?]
"Tolerance... means that one's views are not to be imposed on others." [No freedom to share the gospel? Could the UN still share its views?]
"Intolerance... is a global threat."
Cooperation with the UN plan means mandatory redistribution of the world's resources -- human and social resources as well as financial and natural resources. We may not notice the movements of the latter two but few can miss the redistribution of human resources. The massive people movements around the world are fast transforming cultures, blending religions, and bringing about a planned "diversity" in communities throughout the Western world.
Buddhism, in particularly, has made a major impact on western culture. According to Christianity Today,
"University of Chicago sociologist Stephen R. Warner told Religions News Service, 'The world of American religion is going through enormous change. It will be increasingly difficult to distinguish Christians and Buddhists.'
'Today Buddhism strongly influences about a billion people, many of whom would be classified as 'folk Buddhists'. An estimated figure popularly quoted for Roman Catholics today is one billion. Protestants also claim one billion. Like the folk Buddhist billion, these are largely nominal 'folk Christians'." Buddhism on the Move
From tolerance to disillusionment (Excerpts from A Twist of Faith, Chapter 7)
Buddhists and New Age followers of Maitreya deny the problem with sin and despise the authority of God's Word. Yet, even the "smallest" sin will separate all of us from God if we don't follow His way back to His peace and purity. Buddhism may offer noble alternatives, but it fails to find the Way to eternal life in Christ.
Some years ago the Dalai Lama, spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhists, stopped by the Bay Area to teach "empowerment" rituals at San Jose State University and to "invoke the spirits of this area" on Mount Tamalpais. After summoning "the blessings of enlightened spiritual masters" such as the Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed in a healing and peace ceremony, he would lead San Francisco's religious leaders in a joint commitment to pursue world peace.
The Dalai Lama was scheduled to arrive at 3 p.m. On the hour, heads turned back toward the huge doors. At 3:20 we were still waiting. And at 3:45, creaking benches and impatient voices suggested that people were growing weary of waiting. Finally, an hour late, the doors swung open. Enveloped in a smoky cloud of incense -- believed to purify the environment and heal relationships -- the procession of spiritual leaders marched up the aisle. All except the Dalai Lama. Our eyes stayed fixed on the back doors.
"Unfortunately the Dalai Lama is indisposed," said a voice from the podium. The unwelcome words crushed all hope. In the midst of confused whispers and a few hurried departures, the ceremony proceeded with prayers from various church leaders. But the sound system didn't work. "We can't hear!" shouted the people. But nobody solved the problem.
Walking out after the aborted ceremony, I noticed a woman crying. "Are you all right?" I asked. She didn't answer. "Would you like to talk or would you rather be alone?" I didn't want to intrude.
"I'm so disappointed," she burst out. "This was such a failure. I couldn't even hear what they said."
"It was confusing, wasn't it? How could the Dalai Lama be disabled after the healing ceremony this morning?"
Sadness filled Sue's voice as she answered. "I don't understand. It sounded so perfect. All the religions joining together. Why did everything go wrong?"
Seeking answers that would touch her heart, I prayed. Suddenly thoughts began to flow. I said, "Maybe God doesn't like our attempts to control the world and seek oneness apart from Him."
"Why wouldn't He want us to get together and make the world more peaceful?"
"Maybe He knows that our plans wouldn't work, and that by trusting ourselves and magic powers rather than Him, we would lose sight of the only real hope we have."
"But the Dalai Lama trusts God. His monks just came from the Vatican where they talked with the Pope and his monks about unity and meditation."
"I wonder what kind of unity Christians can enjoy with Buddhist monks without compromising their faith. Christianity is God-centered and Buddhism is self-centered." I waited a moment before continuing. "I don't dare rely on myself anymore. It's so much easier to admit my weaknesses and trust the only One who can give me the strength I need -- Jesus Christ."
"But why is He any better than the other great teachers? They all taught the same things. They all said we should love each other and be kind and tolerant."
"Many did say that. I guess everyone knows deep inside that love is good and hate is bad. It seems to be part of the understanding God puts in each of us. But none of those religions can do more than tell us what to do. Then each person has to muster the strength to follow their ideals on their own in the midst of all kinds of problems and irritations. I don't think I could do that."
"Isn't that why we need to learn tolerance? We have to love and tolerate each other so we can live in peace."
"But the Christian God does more than that. He wants to fill us with His life and peace so we can do what is right. He knows we can't do it ourselves, so He enables us."We talked a long time. Her futile search for peace had led her on and off numerous spiritual paths. Now, in her frustration, she was ready to listen to the only One who could love, shepherd, and fulfill her. We prayed together, and agreed to meet again soon.
All the way home I praised my Lord, who once again had proven Himself the sovereign, omnipotent King of Kings.
"...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... [then] your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God. ... you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
"...if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 8:10-20
"'...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served... or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' So the people answered and said: 'Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods....'" Joshua 24:15-16
1. Lobsang Sangay In Exile in Oregon at http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/news/oregonian/lc_11dalai13.frame
2. conference in mt. view
3. Christianity Today (Dec. 6, 1999 p.34). Told to Religions News Service and cited in Buddhism on the Move.
4. Dalai Lama: Tibet Wants Autonomy, Not IndependenceIinterview : at http://www.dalailama.com/news.42.htm. See also What is Jesus doing at a Buddhist-Muslim gathering in San Francisco?
5. Pupul Jayakar, Earth Mother (Harper & Row, 1990), 134.
6.Dalai Lama tells youth, have faith in yourself Oregonian, May 14,
Other links: The Dalai Lama Visits President Bush at the White House, The Lord's Lightning.
See also From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival, Bede Griffiths, The Gnostic Apostle Thomas
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