Remembering Why We Don’t Mix Traditions and that We Are Not the Same as Tibetan Traditions

Now that VGL has passed, we need to be very clear about who we are as a tradition and who we are not. We are not a Tibetan tradition. We are not the same as those Tibetan traditions that still practice Dorje Shugden. We are not the same as those Tibetan traditions that take Lamrim as their main practice. We are our own thing. We may share some past with these spiritual cousins, but we have our own trajectory.

When I was in Geneva, there was a center there with the supposed reincarnation of Trijang Rinpoche. They were Dorje Shugden practitioners and they took Lamrim as their main practice. There were many people, including the former Resident Teacher, who thought we were the same. This is ultimately how I came to be Resident Teacher.

Geshe-la said we need to be very clear that we are not the same. He said after he died, there could be confusion among many students about this question – with them going to other traditions thinking it was the same. He said there would also be attempts to poach our students away and even to try inherit the tradition entirely, bringing it into Tibetan hands.

We are our own tradition with our uncommon characteristics. The internal rules of the NKT deliniate many of these. We can absolutely respect these other traditions and rejoice in their practices, but we need clear blue water in our mind between them and us. We do not mix traditions. This is our heart commitment.

Students of course have choice and can go wherever they want, but we need to be clear these other traditions are not the same. It can be misunderstood that not mixing traditions is being sectarian, but the truth is the exact opposite. Here is a blog article I’ve written on the topic in the past.

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