Diamond Way Buddhism

The Diamond Way

Our 640 Buddhist centers across the Western world present Buddhism in a modern practical context, in over 30 languages. They were founded by Hannah and Lama Ole Nydahl under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa. All our centers are directed by Lama Ole Nydahl under the spiritual patronage of Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.

About Buddhism

The goal of Buddhism is a state of lasting, unconditional happiness known as enlightenment. To bring us to this state, Buddhism points us to lasting values in this impermanent world and gives us valuable information about how things really are. Through understanding the law of cause and effect, using practical tools like meditation to gain [. . .]

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Who was Buddha?

The historical Buddha was born in approximately 570 BC in Northern India. After a long search, in deep meditation he recognised the nature of mind and reached enlightenment. The Buddha’s teachings, which make beings fearless, joyful and kind, are the main religion in several East Asian countries. Since the early seventies, the profound Buddhist view, [. . .]

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What did Buddha Teach?

What did Buddha Teach? Buddha taught on what exists ultimately and on what is conditioned, in a way that is directly relevant to our daily lives. Understanding this makes the experience of lasting happiness possible. Buddhism does not proclaim dogmas, but encourages critical questioning. Through the right meditations, the intellectual understanding of the teachings becomes [. . .]

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What is meditation?

Meditation in a Buddhist context means ‘effortlessly resting in the here and now’. This state can be achieved through methods such as ‘calm abiding’ and ‘insight’ meditation; by working with inner energies; or through focussing on Buddha forms of energy and light. The most effective way however is to identify with one’s own Buddha nature [. . .]

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What is karma?

Karma means ‘cause and effect’. It is not ‘destiny’ or ‘fate’. Everyone is responsible for their own life and shapes it through thoughts, words and actions. This understanding enables one to consciously create impressions that lead to happiness and avoid future suffering. Useful karma that has not ripened yet can be strengthened by using the [. . .]

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What is liberation and enlightenment?

What is liberation and enlightenment? Liberation means to recognise that one’s body, thoughts and feelings are in a state of constant change and hence cannot form a real ‘I’. One no longer experiences oneself as the target, which is the cause of all suffering. From this state, full enlightenment naturally follows. Here the clear light [. . .]

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What does Buddhism offer the west?

Buddhism offers “effective methods that lead to a direct experience of mind,” says Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, one of the most experienced teachers of Tibetan Buddhism. Buddha’s teachings are like a diamond – unchangeable in nature, yet reflecting the color of the ground upon which it is laid. In this way, without losing their essence, the [. . .]

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The Karma Kagyu lineage

Karma Kagyu is one of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially emphasises meditation, and through interaction with a qualified teacher can bring about the full and direct experience of the nature of mind. The Karma Kagyu methods were taught by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni to his [. . .]

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Diamond Way Down Under

You can find Diamond Way Buddhist Centres in major capital cities and regional towns. The centres around Australia and the world are run in a spirit of idealism and friendship. The practitioners work together to organise retreats, lectures and workshops throughout the year.

Our Teachers

Diamond Way Buddhism is a worldwide network for lay people from all walks of life, who incorporate Buddhist practice in their daily lives. Diamond Way Buddhism belongs to the thousand-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Ole Nydahl, a Western Buddhist master born in Denmark, established Diamond Way Buddhism in the 1970’s, together with his wife Hannah Nydahl. Their main teacher the 16th Karmapa asked them to teach what they had learned and to start Buddhist centers in the West.

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The 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje

His Holiness the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924 -1981) was a completely enlightened Buddhist master. He was the leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and was also respected and consulted by high lamas of other lineages. He was given many names expressing this respect, including “King of the Yogis”.

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The 17th Karmapa, Trinlay Thaye Dorje

H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinlay Thaye Dorje was born in Tibet in 1983. He was the first son of the 3rd Mipam Rinpoche, a great Nyingma Lama, and Dechen Wangmo, the daughter of a noble family descending from King Gesar of Ling.

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The 14th Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodro

He is the emanation of Amitabha, the Buddha of Limitless Light: a living example of the appearance of Amitabha in our world in the form of a Mahabodhisattva. The Tibetan title of Shamar means “the lama of the ruby-red crown”, named after the replica of the Karmapa’s own crown which he bestowed on the Shamarpa.

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Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche

Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1918. When he was 13 years old, he left Bhutan to study and practice under the spiritual guidance of his uncle Lama Sherab Dorje in Nepal. Lopon Tsechu RinpocheThere he received full Buddhist training and meditated under severe conditions in the caves of Milarepa and in the holy places of Guru Rinpoche. In 1944, Rinpoche met H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa who became one of his most important masters.

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Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a highly respected lama of the Kagyu lineage, is a “Maniwa’, a title given to masters of the Chenrezi practice who have accomplished at least a billion Om Mani Peme Hung mantras. Rinpoche was ordained in Rumtek by the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.

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Lama Ole Nydahl

Lama Ole Nydahl’s synthesis of modern style and ancient wisdom has demystified Buddhist teachings for thousands of students around the world. His approach is joyful and uncompromising. Lama Ole has given numerous print, television and radio interviews and is the author of several books, which have been translated into many languages.

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Hannah Nydahl

Hannah Nydahl (1946-2007) together with her husband Ole became the first Western students of H.H. the 16th Karmapa in December of 1969. As well as being a qualified Buddhist teacher in her own right, for over 30 years, Hannah interpreted for the highest Karma Kagyu teachers such as the 16th Karmapa, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche and Kalu Rinpoche, and translated texts of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

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Recommended reading

Insightful, fresh, and full of experience and humour, Lama Ole Nydahl’s books are an accessible entry into Buddhism for westerners in the middle of an active, dynamic life. The books listed here are just a small selection of books that are recommended to give an insight into Diamond Way Buddhism of the Karma Kagyu tradition.

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The Way Things Are

A great book to start with if one wants to understand Buddhism. The word used for the Buddha’s teachings in Sanskrit is dharma, which means simply “the way things are”. In this book, Lama Ole Nydahl explains who the Buddha was, and why his teachings have proven helpful to people’s lives up until the modern [. . .]

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Entering the Diamond Way

A fascinating glimpse into a world now largely vanished. Ole Nydahl and his wife Hannah decided to spend their honeymoon in Nepal in 1968. Their story brings us along to Himalayan monasteries, meeting enigmatic Buddhist masters, and into an intensive apprenticeship into Diamond Way Buddhism. Ole and Hannah went to the East as drug-smoking, gold-smuggling [. . .]

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Riding the Tiger

By Lama Ole Nydhal. “We had spent three years in the Himalayas, and now H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa, the first consciously reborn lama of Tibet, had sent us home with a task large enough to fill several lifetimes: to make the deep wisdom of Tibet accessible to our part of the world and open the minds [. . .]

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The Great Seal: Limitless Space and Joy

Mahamudra is the state of enlightenment, where subject, object, and action are one. In this book, Lama Ole Nydahl, a modern master of Mahamudra, gives a commentary on a classic Mahamudra text by the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje. As Lama Ole says: “This book should leave you relaxed and confident in the meaning of things [. . .]

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Fearless Death, Buddhist Wisdom on the Art of Dying

To a Buddhist, death is the greatest opportunity in life, where one has the chance to become fully enlightened. Some pioneering scientific experiments are now confirming what the Buddha taught, that the mind is not the brain. In Fearless Death, Lama Ole Nydahl describes the latest scientific research, the Buddhist perspective on death and dying, [. . .]

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Buddha and Love

Love is something that touches us all, through romantic relationships, family, and friendships. In Buddha and Love, Lama Ole Nydahl shows how to use Buddhist wisdom to get the most out of our personal relationships. And just as importantly, how to use our relationships with others as part of our Buddhist path, helping us and [. . .]

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Rogues in Robes

When a Karmapa dies, his rebirth is recognized again by his closest students, most often by Shamarpa, the second-highest lama in the Karma Kagyu lineage. When the 16th Karmapa passed away in 1981, centuries-old Tibetan politics, Chinese geo-political interests in the Himalayas, and old-fashioned greed conspired to make the recognition of the 17th Karmapa a [. . .]

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