I am writing this letter as an apology for my previous harmful actions against the New Kadampa Tradition and certain members of the organisation. My intentions were extremely negative and were as a result of my uncontrollable mind; I have, since leaving the NKT, been seeking psychological treatment for my negative mental state and have been diagnosed with a chronic mental illness.
I have removed my blog kelsanbrat.blogspot.co.za and have started practicing Dharma at my own pace and in my own way without belonging to a particular tradition or organization. I have contacted Kelsang Legden and Kelsang Osel and apologised for all the negative emails that I had sent regarding them.
I still believe that Amoghasiddhi Centre could have handled my situation better and hope that my experience will give the New Kadampa Tradition the opportunity to learn from these mistakes, and it is only understandable that we as human beings make mistakes. I am not writing with any anger in my mind just the sincere wish that my experience be taken seriously and looked over as I think every centre and every organisation, religious or not, can acknowledge that a proper system for asking members or employees to leave is necessary, and perhaps a more central rule be created with regards to this as I am not the only person to have lodged a complaint against the Centre. I do not wish any one from the centre to get into trouble but perhaps there is some thing that the NKT can do to prevent these things from happening at centres in the future. Especially with regards to students who have moved to a foreign country to work for a centre. I feel that they need assistance with returning to their home country as very often there is no where to go and no one to help them. Fortunately for me I received assistance from another Buddhist organisation until I was able to get a flight.
With regards to the Shugden practice, I feel that this is an issue that I will never be able to fully understand, I disagree with the NKT protesting against the Dalai Lama, but I believe that you have the right to your opinions as does the Dalai Lama. I don’t agree with either sides way of handling the situation but feel that the NKT and The Dalai Lama have the right to their individual opinions and wish that these opinions not be forced onto people, but rather that we have the opportunity to decide for our selves where we wish to stand with regards to the practice, with the choice to either practice or not practice based on our own understanding and ability and not be discriminated against by either the NKT for choosing not to practice or by the Dalai Lama for choosing to practice. I chose not to practice the Dorje Shugden Practice because of my own understanding and for my wish to remain neutral in my views of the practice. I cannot say if Shugden is a Buddha or not, but I know that it is far more beneficial for me at this moment to understand that he might be and that he might not be, and feel secure in knowing that if he is a Buddha he will understand my concerns and have compassion and continue to protect the Dharma regardless of what others believe or think.
With regards to the New Kadampa Tradition as a cult, I cannot say for sure that it is or that it is not. What I know is that various centres are run differently according to the Teachers understanding of Dharma, therefore I experienced what my mind perceived as cult like tendencies at one centre but not at another. To my understanding this is because we all have an individual understanding of how things are done and how things should be, therefore I can no longer point fingers and call the NKT a cult but rather say that with any religious organisation there will be good and bad experiences. It is not necessarily the organisation that is a cult, but certain members of the organisation that have these tendencies. I believe it will be found in any organisation. Freedom of choice to agree or disagree is what differentiates a cult from an organisation. My experience is that at certain centres you have that freedom at some you don’t. I cannot call the NKT a cult based on a single experience if I know that at certain other centres it is completely different.
With regards to all other points made by myself, I feel that I no longer need to point out the weaknesses of the NKT or make public what I believe to be non Buddhist. As Geshe Kelsang is the head of the Organisation I feel that it is up to him to decide what is beneficial and what is not as he has far more scriptural understanding than I do. I don’t necessarily agree with every thing that he as a spiritual guide does, but I also cannot say that he is wrong in doing it, its simply my personal opinion and I cannot force people to take sides. We all go to the 3 jewels for different things, we all have different needs and we all understand dharma slightly differently and until I become a Buddha I have no right to speak badly about Geshe Kelsang, his teachings or any of his students.
I hope it is understood that my letter is not meant to discredit any one, but that I have written it out of regret for what I have done and the wish for people to understand that I am not going to continue spreading negative comments as those comments were entirely one sided and unfair. The New Kadampa Tradition has every right to practice Dharma in their own way, as does every other tradition.
I also wish to say that my view of Geshe Kelsangs books are that the information is truly accurate and very beneficial, I will continue to read his books as well as the books of other Buddhist teachers as I feel each teacher has his/her own way of explaining Dharma and each and every person will take some thing personal from what they read. By no means can I discredit Geshe Kelsangs books.
I understand that my actions have caused serious problems for the New Kadampa Tradition and I hope that by posting this letter on my old blog it could undo some of the damage that I have caused. I hope my intention is clearly understood, if not you are more than welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to clarify if you do not understand my intentions.