Am I in a Tantric Teaching?

Comment of TK.: The Josey has 3 excellent questions:
Why couldn’t my own teacher be just as honest?
Did he think that I was too stupid to do research?
Why didn’t he tell me before I joined since he knew that I left gurus when I learned of their sexual indiscretions?

Indeed, the Lamas will not tell you the truth before you join. Is the Tibetan Buddhism a real religion? Anyone who is interested in it should think about it.

© Down the Crooked Path (Hidden Dangers of Meditation and the Pitfalls of the Guru/Disciple relationship)

Am I in a Tantric Teaching?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

(used with permission from the author)

I sat in shock while staring at a painting of a Buddha sitting in meditation position with a nude woman on his lap that was on my spiritual teacher’s website. “Am I in a Tantric sex teaching?” I thought, “How can anyone display a Buddha in such a degrading position since he advocated celibacy?

I had joined a Tibetan sect a few months ago after knowing my teacher for 9 months. He was the first spiritual teacher that I had that spent a lot of time with me by answering all of my spiritual questions and even giving me lessons that my husband and I both enjoyed. I was now only on the second lesson and by now had taken Refuge in the Buddha. This teacher was also sweet, kind, intelligent, and compassionate, so how could this be? And yet I had read The Guru Papers, I knew that gurus could be charming, could have all of these qualities, so it was no surprise really. Little did I know as I do now that the tantric teachings come from the Tibetan Buddhists, but somehow I knew that also, because years ago I had read, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama, but I thought that his tradition was different? And really that was about 8 years ago, and I had forgotten. It just goes to show that past research doesn’t always help a person to stay out of negative religions, because like I said, I had forgotten all that I had read.

I remember telling my teacher before I accepted him that I didn’t like gurus because of my bad experiences with them in the past, they were harsh and had sexual relations with women, and he said that he understood. Why then did he think it would be any different with him? Even if he wasn't harsh or didn't have sex with men or women, why would it be any different? Why did he think that I would accept the tantras?

I emailed him immediately after seeing the painting, and in an accusing way, I asked, “Am I in a Tantric sex religion? He let me know that the painting was not sexual, that it only symbolized the union of wisdom with compassion. I was not satisfied. There are other ways to represent union of wisdom and compassion. So I began to ask other Buddhists about it, and few seemed to be bothered by this imagine and some said the same thing as my teacher. I even asked a Zen teacher about it, and he wrote back, “That photo is derived from Tibet or Tantric Buddhist.”

I kept doing research on the internet and thought to check out my teacher’s linage's website, and it was then that I learned that his tradition teaches the Kalachakra Tantra. How did I miss this before and what does that mean? I think when I saw in it one of my teacher's books I translated it as "suttra" in my mind instead of "tantra." So I continued researching and typed in kalachakra tantra and found the free online book, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama, and it was there where I found the painting that had shocked me as well as a discussion of the Kalachakra that opened my eyes once again. But then some Tibetan Buddhists said that the Trimondis, who wrote this online book, were all wrong. So I found a book on Amazon, The Commentary of the Kalachakra Tantra, that was mentioned in the Trimondis website. I would see for myself if it was taken out of context as claimed. The author of the Commentary had been a Tibetan lama and had come to America, surely no one could refute him, and they didn’t when I brought it up.

In the meantime, I wrote my teacher again and told him that I knew that he taught the Kalachakra Tantra and that I quit because I knew that it was sexual. He wrote me a long NO letter saying that he doesn’t teach it the way the Dalai Lama taught it, that there are no visualizations, no consorts, and that my sources from various places were all wrong. And then he said that he would send me the Kalachakra initiation handbook, and I could see for myself.

I thought about it, and realized maybe he is telling me the truth, so I wrote back telling him to not send the initiation booklet, but it was already in the mail. In the meantime, the Commentary book arrived, and I spent two days pouring over it, underlining passages in pencil. It was hard to read due to the nature of the content. I was seeing a Buddhism that was so different from anything I had learned, and that was very disturbing to me.

And there was no way that anyone could see it as not pertaining to sex. Even the “Bodhichitta” definition of compassion had a hidden meaning, a code for "semen." Other Buddhist words were also decoded, such as “lotus” was the “vagina.” And the chant, "Om mani Padme Hum," well, "mani" refers to the tip of the penis, and "padme" refers to the "vagina." Since Bodhicitta" refers to sperm, "mani" (in the prayer, Om mani padma hum) means "jewel", a symbol for the tip of the penis, and "padma" means "lotus", which is a symbol for the vagina. So Om mani padma hum changes meaning according to context. As an ordinary prayer, it means "the jewel in the lotus". In the esoteric sex rituals, it means.... well, I'm sure you can figure it out.

While reading all of this I also realized that I was losing yet another teacher, one that I liked who was a excellent teacher as well, but I could not accept that Buddha taught this as the Tibetan Buddhists claimed.

In the meantime I wrote to Stephen Batchelor after reading, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and learning that he had been a student of the Dalai Lama, as had my teacher. He wrote back:

Dear (name withheld),

I’ve not read the whole of the Trimondi book – it was written in German years ago, but never published in English. No one I know takes it seriously. However, all higher yoga tantras, including the Kalachakra, contain sexual practices, but these are only supposed to be undertaken after years of training. But, of course, some teachers use them as a justification to gain sexual favours from students. So be careful.

Warmly, Stephen

Why couldn’t my own teacher be just as honest? Did he think that I was too stupid to do research? Why didn’t he tell me before I joined since he knew that I left gurus when I learned of their sexual indiscretions? Not that I am saying that he is practicing these teachings the way they are presented in the book, because I don't know.

In the meantime, the initiation from my teacher came in the mail, and I read it. There was nothing in it that would cause me to think that tantric sex was taught, but when I thought about it I realized that initiations don’t have the meditation practice in them, after all, I have had initiation in the past from gurus and one Zen Master, so I know that practices are not included.

And so I then checked out his lineage's website again, this time very thoroughly, and the teachings mentioned, "retention of semen". In order to retain semen you have to either visualize sex or have sex. In other words, you have to get it up to hold be able to retain it.

So I wrote him back: “There was nothing in the initiation that you sent that bothered me, but I have found a copy of the Kalachakra Tantra, and I have read it. I do not believe that Buddha ever taught this, and so I am leaving. He wrote back agreeing it was best.

Since then I continued my research. What I am finding has been hard to take at times, but it feels necessary for me to warn others that there is abuse in lama traditions, not by all, but enough to cause someone to have a red flag come up. But if this is what people want, then who am I to judge? But what happens, so women have told me since then, is that they have no idea that they are even in a tantric teaching until after they have learned to love and trust their teacher and he begins to come on to them. Some sooner than others. It should be a law that anyone who joins Tibetan Buddhism should also be told about these practices beforehand.


  1. Wish I could understand your language. Would love to have you post some on my blog. How do I get in touch with you? Glad that some of my posts were of value to you.

  2. To Josey: I have visited your wonderful blogger. I think it's very great of you to do research and recognize what the Tibetan Buddhism is. I am glad to hear from you because I would like to tell you: Do not be disappointed with Religions, especially with Buddhism. The Tibetan Buddhism is NOT Buddhism. The Zen Buddhism in the West is a ROMANTIC variation of Buddhism. Maybe one day you will know the real orthodox Buddhism which the historial Buddha tought us.

  3. I agree with TB is not Buddhism. Zen Buddhism is the romantic version to me too, and I feel more connected to them due to their poetry, but I believe that Theravadin is the right one, but this is just my feeling and from what little I have read. I have yet to know what I will do as far as spirituality goes though.

  4. To Josey: My english ability may not support me to express myself well, but I try my best. Yes, the Theravadin is the right Buddhism. After Buddha's death, the monks of Sthavira collected the teachings which they have personally heard from Buddha Sakyamuni. This is so-called "Hinayana"-- the way to become arhat.

    Actually, what Buddha Sakyamuni teaches is Mahayana-- the way to become Buddha. The Hinayana is the "by-products" of Mahayana. The monks of Sthavira are interested becoming arhat, not Buddha, therefore they just understood the teachings for arhat although they have heard the teachings of Mahayana from Buddha Sakyamuni.

    As to the Vajrayana... it's created by the lamas. Buddha Sakyamuni never teaches this.

  5. Hi T.K.: I would like to command you on your posts to "Huffposts"--great job revealing the ture color of Tibetan Buddhism! Is this where I can do more reading? Thanks
    Seekfortruewisdom (I hope I do it right because this site is in German---:))

  6. T.K. and Josey, you two are both great!
    T.k.'s comprehension of orthodox Buddhism excels most Buddhists around the world. And I do admire T.K.’s invincible courage to step forward and set up this website, T.K. is a bodhisattva as well, perhaps this is T.K.’s life mission on earth.
    As for Josey, if you're truly interested in Buddhism, read Shalom Tseng's posts repeatedly regarding cultivation methods, even if you cannot understand (only a very few would understand), your Alaya vijnana will store the pertinent data, when your moment comes, you certainly will be connected to the Buddha Dharma. Make the best of what you've learnt, there is no need to waste any more energy on the past experience. Let bygones be bygones. We live in the Desire Realm, and it’s so easy that we are drowned by constant emotions, we just have to move forward steadily, and this is your very first step towards Buddhist cultivation---eliminating your strong attachment to self-belongings. (Self-belongings refer to: apart from your physical body and mind, whatever belongs to you, your sensations, your fame, your fortunes, your beloved ones etc., since these worldly elements will draw us back to this desire realm --- this is the idea for the very beginner of the Liberation-Way; the Buddhahood-Way has a different concept, but it’s too complicated for you right now.)
    Good luck to both of you. T.K. and Josey are courageous!

    p.s.: 1. For your reference, if I may point out that due to the revision of “Kalu Rinpoche, head of the Kagyu Sect,” the “True Heart News” has updated its March 26, 2011 article “A space in pagoda of urn…..” and June 09, 2011 article “Does the Couple-Practice Tantra of……”
    2. I learned that I am able to get in by using anonym.

  7. Both T.K and Shalom Tzeng are true Bodhisattvas! What you have done is to point out a correct way to practicing true Buddha dharma and prevent those who are interested in Buddhism from wasting precious time by getting involved in a practice that has been stealing the resources of the true dharma. Shalom Tzeng is a true Zen practitioner; his/her calmness and wisdom are both inspiring and truly show what a Zen practitioner should be and in the meantime gives people hope that realizing the eighth vijnana (the true mind) is possible. Thanks!

  8. Thanks you all who leave messages for me on this post. My English ability is not good enough to answer you one by one, but I am glad to know you on HuffPost and this website. The european women are suffering in Tantric and Tibetan Buddhism, I hope I could help them as well as I can do although I think I may not have enough ability. But I will step forward. Thank you all again.

  9. Perhaps these concrete evidences are not the latest events, but all point to the same fact -- Lamaism is definitely not Buddhism.

    Tantric Buddhism and AIDS


    In the seventies, rumours started to circulate about other globe-trotting Buddhist gurus, who were said to be seducing their students and behaving more like spiritual barons than spiritual mentors, exercising _droit du seigneur_ among their followers. The late Trungpa Rimpoche was one of the first high-ranking Tibetan lamas to learn English, which he studied at Oxford in the mid-sixties. He fathered a child while still a monk, discarded his robes and settled in America, where he gained a reputation as an inspired meditation teacher. He became a role model for others, including Sogyal Rimpoche. He was also an alcoholic and a notorious womaniser. He died of drink in 1987. Before his death, he chose Osel Tenzin, an American student as his Successor.
    Osel died of Aids, after passing the HIV virus to several of his students.

  10. Keep up the good work TK. Nice to have this group, and hopefully the word will get out and more women will listen and not be pulled in to such practices that actually destroy them instead of giving them freedom.

  11. http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gurus.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-become-tibetan-buddhist-briefly.html

    Hi, I edited the post due to threats from a Tibetan Buddhist, who has yet to see my blog, but I wanted to make sure that there was nothing libel in it. so i hope that you follow the link and change your post of this too.

    thank you. josey

  12. Very wise and good of you! Have confidence in yourself and in what you're doing! This is a good sign that when any Tibetan lama or their adherent reacts, it meant that we must have rubbed salt into their right wounds! Obviously, they have felt the effects from our maneuvers! If we could only keep any single one away from Tibetan Tantrism, our efforts are not in vain!
    Take care and keep courage, let us never stop!
    Thank you on behalf of all true Buddhists.

  13. thanks. that is exactly what it means

  14. Josey, I have changed the post. Yes, keep courage and let us never stop! Lamaism is always Lamaism. How could people ignore the act of aggression from Lamaism and think it is a peaceful religion (Buddhism)? All men/women of the world should recognize the truth of Lamaism.

  15. “To eat and to have sex are human natures” is a well known Chinese proverb, and it is simple to understand because mankind has to survive. Somehow, we were born and are duty-bound to go for a better life. Since childhood we were well trained to be ready for our future days. With such mind sets, what would the general public choose when it comes to a subject in relation to world peace, freedom, compassion, and eventually the attainment of Buddhahood? Moreover, we all have been through the same training to strive for a good living from the time without beginning (countless past lives). That is why we are here in this Desire Realm (collective karma). Actually, in terms of “liberation,” it refers to the fact that one is able to free oneself from all mundane attachments, which include self-view and self-attachment. But being unaware of the true reality of life, we just keep cultivating our next karma lives, in Buddhism term, which is indeed called “ignorance.”
    Now, we come to the crucial point, would the interests of the masses be in a few individual’s statements, which swim definitely against the tide, or that of a famous Nobel laureate?

  16. Lamas’ propagation and practice are always popular due to its superb publicity and the content that suit well with humans’ need in this Desire Realm. Lamas, of course, can have their own ways and skills to act as spiritual mentors to guide their followers; but they should not beguile the masses under the guise of Buddhism, many followers would join them because of the name “Buddhism.” Worst of all, what they have taught really have nothing to do with Buddhism, yet the whole world is convinced that Tibetan Tantrism is Buddhism!
    Any true Buddhist understands the law of cause-and-effect and its severe consequences, which are not merely limited to this current life, those erroneous seeds of knowledge regarding Buddhism would be stored in everyone’s Alaya vijnana and last till many future lives to come.
    In comparison with so many uncountable outsiders, apparently, we were involved with lamas in our past lives already, like the innocent masses attracted by the lamas’ gathering nowadays; fortunately, we are able to see through lamas’ true color and break free from them. What we are undertaking is of vital importance to ourselves as well. By repeatedly strengthening our knowledge to the fact that Lamaism or the couple-practice of copulation is definitely not Buddhism, then we would have the correct seeds of knowledge firmly stored in our Alaya vijnana, thereby we would never be deceived by such teachings in our future lives to come; similarly, we would be able to step forward and warn the public about the fact again and again. This sort of deed is truly actualizing the Buddhahood-Way, and we can indeed be called Buddhist bodhisattvas.