April 13, 2023

The “Dalai Lama” is a Patriarchal Construct—Let’s Focus on the Child He Dishonored.

Read Waylon’s initial take on the situation here. And new info, here.

Note: no one person is the voice of Elephant. Agree with the below? Disagree with the below? Inspired to share your contemplations, experiences, take—what can be helpful, critical or otherwise? Post here.


As we engage in the back-and forth-dialogue about the Dalai Lama’s “tongue-sucking” incident with a young boy, I marvel at how little focus there is on the boy’s experience.

It is not for me to say that he experienced this as a “trauma,” but it would not surprise me if he did. After all, the Dalai Lama is held in high regard, seen by many as a kind of Godlike figure, a symbol of purity and benevolence the world over. And then he reveals himself to this little boy as just another flawed human being. And, perhaps something worse.

People are spending a lot of time defending this man, almost as though he is their friend, or their projected Good Daddy, or the one who gave them faith in the patriarchy again. They are saying that he suffers from dementia, and that this event is a reflection of his illness. Or that asking a boy to suck a man’s tongue is an accepted (and acceptable) cultural custom. Or that he simply made a mistake, one that we can forgive him for. Perhaps we can, but I believe that there are far more important things to glean from this experience.

First, we have all been suckered by the patriarchy. We have been sold one ridiculous story after another about male supremacy, Godlike man (and man-like God), ascended master, enlightened lineage, superior blood lines (lol), elitist entitlement, divine channeler, the second-coming, the Wizard himself. And none of it is true. These are all self-serving constructs, motivated by financial, egoic, and power-seeking factors. I don’t care what book they read from, or what “special” garb they wear, or what bell they clang, or what title they use, or what hypnotic story they tell—they are just people. And, in my experience, the “superior ones” are usually far less substantial, intelligent, heartfelt, or evolved, than the so-called “common man.” They are usually grifters and lost-boys, masquerading their issues and (true) intentions behind a perfectly coiffured messianic mirage. And the sooner we dismantle these systems, and replace them with something rooted in meritocracy, the sooner we will liberate our species from its patriarchal trappings.

Second, it is time for all of us to focus our gaze on the healing of the victim, and not on the forgiving of the wrongdoer. The latter can speak for themselves. Our tendency to gaslight suffering, and to bash victimization, is fundamental to our patriarchal conditioning, and it is locking humanity inside of its unresolved pain. With no acknowledgment of the traumas we have endured, with little support for the healing we need, we are ripe for the picking by unconscionable leaders and systems. It is no accident that many religious and spiritual teachings devalue judgment, gossip and anger, and persistently preach the value of forgiveness. It’s a perfect set up for the perpetuation of abuse by those who run the show. They can’t be called out, and if they are, they must be forgiven. Little wonder so many of us spiral in and out of dissociative states, and continue to hide our true-selves below a bushel of shame in this world. It is simply too uncomfortable to be here, living as we are under the thumb of the delusional man.

I invite all of us to spend some time this week reflecting on the little boy who was asked to suck the tongue of a beloved guru. Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect with our hearts. What might that have felt like for him? Where might it have landed inside? How might it have impacted his experience of safety in this world? What healing modalities might be of value to him now, and later in life? And how can we construct a world that shields him, and all of us, from the fallacious notion that there are human beings among us that were born superior? How can we co-create a true equality that begins and ends at the heart of our shared humanness?


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As a Buddhist, here’s my take on the Dalai Lama situation.

The Tibetan meaning of “Eat my Tongue.” {Dalai Lama}

If the Dalai Lama’s Behavior bothers you—Good. Now do something about It.

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