On Jan 13, 2006, at 8:37 AM, Patrick Gillam wrote:
--- Vaj wrote:

Vaj wrote:
I mean ultimately if you cannot perceive your consort as pure
vision, i.e. as the Deity, the result is NOT going to be

Without breaking any vows I think it's safe to say that since you  
need to perfect the generation stage before perfecting a completion  
stage practice, like consort practice. 

Oh, I think I understand. I had missed the notion that 
this fellow had taken a consort as part of his spiritual 
path -- that the sex was for awakening, as opposed 
to being for all the other joys of sex. I can see how 
such a path may entail some prerequisites.

So, is the controversy centered on the monk's claims to a 
certain level of spiritual development? I had taken it as more 
of an old-fashioned teacher-consorting-with-student 

That's definitely part of it because typically you would not make such a public announcement. He also announced that those receiving transmission from him should receive transmission from his four "ladies" (dakinis or shaktis).

Here's a recent account from a student at Diamond Mountain, please remember this is just one opinion (from another POV his actions could be historically significant and incredibly important), the whole thread is quite interesting and can be found at:

Barry might find the oblique comments on Zen Master Rama interesting.


Geshe Michael Roach doesn't seem to be content with only one consort. He has now surrounded himself with four... Lady Ora, Lady Christie, Lady Pelma and Lady Trisangma. The title "Lady" was granted by Geshe Michael himself, and in his world means "Dakini". 

One might be forgiven for finding it suspicious that if Geshe Michael is to surround himself with four close students who share in teaching Tantra at Diamond Mountain, that all four are women. In fact, we find it a little too much to take seriously... we mean.. what are the odds!

It is also rumoured that at least some of these ladies have fallen prey to Geshe Michael's personal body parts when he has given them actual "Consort Initiation" as part of the Tantric aspect which he now roleplays.

Not only this, but during the current Tantra course, in a very untraditional move, Geshe Michael insisted that any student who takes initiation from him must in fact take initiation from all four ladies as well.. even if those ladies were not his students.

So, it's raining Dakinis in Geshe Michaels world, one has to question the ethicacy of the entire situation. 

In a closed room, during the De Lam course at Diamond Mountain in the winter of 2004, Geshe Michael again performed theatrics when he asked for all recording devices to be turned off, and the lights turned out. Then, to the 80 students present, Geshe Michael proceded to tell of his own qualifications to teach Tantra.

You see, at an early age, around his 23rd year, Geshe Michael believes he realised emptiness, one of the highest spiritual attainments according to Buddhism. 

Geshe Michael also claims that he has met directly with, and takes teachings and initiations from Vajra Yogini, a female Buddhist deity, in person. It is Vajra Yogini who directly gives him his guidance. He claims to have first met the Goddess in his late teans or early twenties.

These claims are almost never made in public by the Lamas of our lineage, for very good reasons, and the fact that they are made by Geshe Michael must make anyone slightly suspicious. 

During this talk, he also claimed that some of the young students present, whom he had been in retreat with, are also his Lamas. 

The danger of Geshe Michael's behaviour has since become apparent, as it is believed that Geshe Micheal has taken to giving actual consort initiation (involving placing his penis inside their bodies) to some of his young female students.

One explanation is a serious case of spirit harm, as it is said that spirits can appear to human beings in different forms and mislead them, or perhaps the Geshe has simply lost it, and is suffering from severe mental delusion. 

The fact is that his teachings and outward behaviour do not coincide with that of other respected Buddhist teachers and do not fit with the Gelugpa tradition which he claims to uphold. This can only be harmful to Buddhism in general and his students in particular.

It is the opinion of every Buddhist scholar to whom I have spoken, that Geshe Michael is not only inconsistent in his teachings, but the manner in which he presents one of the two major Mahayana Budddhist pholosophies, known as "emptiness", is not correct according to the generally held Prasangika Madhyamika viewpoint.

The other point of contention, is that Geshe Micheal almost never teaches the other of the two major Mahayana Buddhist pholosophies, known as "Bodhicitta". This is an issue that he brushes upon occassionally, however never dwells on and does not teach in detail. 

It is said that emptiness and bodhicitta are like the two wings of a bird. Without either one the bird cannot fly. We are assuming that Geshe Michael's students must rely on ground transportation.

Geshe Micheal's teachings are flamboyant and entertaining. He cries when talking on certain topics, becomes very animated, and generally shows all the signs of a typical Christian evangelist. His teachings are given in plain easy to understand english without the need of a translator, which is where his major appeal lies. The unfortunate point, however, is that they lack substance, and can be best described as too much gravy and not enough biscuits. 

Due to this, it is doubtful that his students get a full and balanced education in Buddhist philosohpy, and what they do get is not essentially correct. This in itself is perhaps one of the most worrying things about Geshe Michael Roach. He makes great claims about his own teachings but seldom if ever delivers the goods. Rather, he gives an entertaining but vague and often flawed overview of a topic, then moves on to another lecture and another topic.

Why does Geshe Michael teach Yoga? Yoga is a valid and very powerful technique to work on the energy chanels within the body. Yoga is mostly found in Indian Hindu tradition, however there is a small amount of yoga also found in some buddhist texts, 

It is not common, however, for Buddhist teachers to spend more time teaching yoga than Buddhism. With the preliferation of excellent yoga teachers around today, why would a Buddhist Geshe concentrate on teaching Yoga?

The answers to this question lie in the fact that Geshe Michael Roach has all but burned his bridges with the rest of the Buddhist world, so he had to find a new market for himself. With the huge interest in Yoga in the west, this must have seemed the most sensible way to ensure himself a growing student base.

The fact is, that Geshe Michael Roach comes from a Buddhist background but seldom if ever teaches Buddhism because he no longer has credibility in Buddhist circles.

Why the long hair and bangles? There is no valid reason from Buddhist scriptures or tradition for Geshe Michael to consistently break his vows (if he is still to be considered a monk, that is) by wearing long lank hair and bangles. 

In India and Tibet, in the past, some higly attained lay (not ordained) meditators have taken on this outward appearance. In this day and age, for someone who claims to be a Buddhist monk, this is purely showmanship to make himself appear as a wild tantric yogi, which in essence he is not.

In the early days, Geshe Michael Roach's root lama, Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lobsang Tarchin, told Geshe Michael to keep his hair long and wear lay clothes when working in the west. This is, technically speaking, breaking a monks vow. however it is considerd acceptable to have slightly longer hair so as to fit in and not disturb peoples minds.

Some years ago, Geshe Micheal Roach undertook three year retreat with a small band of students. During such a retreat, it is instructed not to cut the hair or nails. This is done for various reasons, one of them being to save time preening which can be spent meditating, and also to break the attachment to preening itself.

Many Ngagpa (or lay) meditators grow their hair as such in retreat and do not cut it after the retreat is finished, however it is usual for a monk to shave his head again after retreat is over as this is one of his vows.

The reason that Geshe Michael Roach leaves his har long and wears bangles is to promote his self styled "Tantric" aspect. In other words, it is a bit of a head trip to make him look like a wild tantric yogi and impress his students and students to be. 

To sum up, Geshe Michael Roach can only be harmful and cause confusion to a pure tradition that has helped countless beings in the past 2,500 years, and should be taked with extreme care. His 18 ACI courses are riddled with mistakes and his behaviour is a bad example to all.

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