Saturday, April 14, 2012

At Perth Airport

My Flickr stalking is directed at Perth these days.

I've come across some interesting photos.

I'm trying to figure out more about them.

There's some kind of spiritual guru who has been picked up, at the airport, by what seems to be his followers.

Here, here, and here are photos of him blessing people. 

And perhaps here he's about to bless an unborn child.  

I'm nosy and wondering what religion these people are following.  Is it Buddhism or a derivative?   Something else?

The followers don't look unusual anyway. They wouldn't stand out in a crowd.

All the photos are taken by a Flickr member named MaxClee.   His profile says he's from Germany, but there's some Spanish written on the profile. 

I'm going to go translate it.

Okay.   It says, We are dedicated to developing communication and brand image.

Our domain is the space of interactive communication.

I don't think that refers to the spiritual group.  It probably refers to the MaxClee corporation which is linked to on the profile.  They're an advertising agency.

Why was someone from the advertising agency taking photos of the spiritual/religious group?  Were they hired to do so?  Is someone from the company a follower of the religion?

I don't see anything on the website about offering photography services.

So I'm thinking they were NOT hired.


I think I just found my answers.

I looked at MaxClee's contacts and found a Flickr account called Lama on Tour. It has pictures of the same religious guy who was at the airport. 

Here's some information about him.  His name is Lama Ole Nydahl, and he's part of something called Diamond Way Buddhism.

Here's the official website of Lama Ole Nydahl.  

Lord Wiki says Nydahl grew up in Denmark.  He spent time in the Danish military and later became a bit of a hippie. 

There's some controversy about Nydahl.  I'm just skimming for now.

There's something with him being blamed for a split in...something. 

He's vocally anti-Islam.

He has relationships with multiple woman.

And he had a past career in smuggling.  

Anyway....back to my Flickr stalking target.

Here's the website of the Diamond Way center in Perth.  

I like what they say on their FAQ page in response to the question.   Do I have to sit cross-legged on the floor? 

They're answer: Mats, cushions and chairs are all provided. During the actual mediation time the most important aspect in terms of posture is a straight back. It is important to be comfortable and this can be done on a mat, cushion, kneeling or on a chair. It’s your mind that gets enlightened, not your knees.

And maybe the back gets enlightened too?

There's no fee for the meditation sessions, so it's not a money-grabbing thing like Scientology.   Well, at least it doesn't seem that way.

They do say that if you come regularly they'd like you to contribute to tea and coffee.  

I think that's probably fair.

They have a list of events.  Some events are donation-only and others have a price of $12 or $15 dollars.  I think the lower price is for members.

They might pressure people to give LARGE donations, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. 

This page has videos with Nydahl teaching us something.  I started watching one. It was fairly interesting, but then I wanted to move onto something else.   

I then watched this video.    I like what it says for the most part.  It's basically that our reality is influenced by our senses, culture, and personal beliefs and upbringing.  In the video, it's suggested to meditate.  I think this religion is big on meditating.

They also push the idea of doing the things that will benefit the most people.  It's that whole for-the-good-of-many mentality.  

I just found a blog of someone who sees Diamond Way as a cult. 

He lists reasons why he sees it as a cult.  One of the things listed is, Everything in DW has a price, and the money flows to the top of the hierarchy. There is also huge pressure to donate money, whether you can afford it or not. Members are milked for everything they have, while Ole Nydahl lives a life of luxury, flying round the world and having everything paid for him.

So it seems MAYBE there is pressure to donate lots of money.

I don't know if this Blogger's opinion has a lot of merit or not.

It's hard to judge whether something is a bad cult or not.

But I do think the following comment on the post is an embarrassment to the religion.

 How dare you continue this stupid slander against his most holiness Lama Ole Nydahl?! This mindless slander must be the work of some loser who is probably mentally ill, stupid or a criminal. Losers only slander Diamond Way Buddhism when they have something to hide themselves! Why else would you try to project your hopelessness onto the most ethical group on the planet? 

That came from an anonymous poster. It's very immature and the hyperbole is shameful.  It almost seems like anonymous is a troll who's TRYING to make the religion look awful.

Ah....I just looked further down and saw another anonymous commenter has the same suspicions as me.

He or she says,   These words are written by either blog author himself or his supporters.
I never heard that either Ole called himself "most holiness" or even one DW student ever. "Most ethical group on the planet" also looks very funny for me, as for Ole student. Just because I apply common western democratic morale principles in everyday life. no need to call myself "most ethical" or compare with somebody.

Then again it very well MIGHT be a follower of the religion. Some people tend to be incapable of defending their decision without accusations, name-calling, and hyperbole.

Well, I'm going to stop here with the conclusion that all religious beliefs and gurus are going to have their followers and haters.   

I do find it interesting, though.