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How legit are Culadasa's lineage affiliations?

As you probably know, Culadasa - author of The Mind Illuminated - is a an influential contemporary meditation teacher, with a large active community of followers here on Reddit.

I read the first few chapters of his book and was actually very impressed. However, since I take my practice seriously, it seemed necessary to investigate him.

A minor concern I had is that the verbiage of some of his online biographies seemed a bit inflated and inaccurate. His SoundCloud biography states:

Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is a meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions. He taught physiology and neuroscience for many years at the Universities of Calgary and British Columbia.

However, research online cast some doubt on the claim that he taught at the (highly reputable) Universities of Calgary and British Columbia. I emailed him about it, and he replied in detail (which is impressive), stating that indeed he did not teach at these institutions beyond perhaps a few odd lectures, instead doing his teaching work at other, smaller colleges. He wrote "I fully intend to find and correct such errors", though as you can see, over a year later, they are still not fixed.

Another online biography claims that he has affiliations to two Buddhist lineages:

Upasaka Culadasa, ordained by Upasaka Kema Ananda, ordained by Namgyal Rinpoche (Ananda Bodhi), ordained by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, whose lineage is traced to the Buddha.

Upasaka Culadasa’s Dhammacariya (Dhamma teacher) was Jotidhamma Bhikkhu, who was trained by Namgyal Rinpoche (Ananda Bodhi).

Ananda Bodhi (Namgyal Rinpoche) was also ordained by U Thila Wunta Sayadaw, ordained by Bodaw Aung Min Gaung, ordained by Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, whose lineage is traced to the Buddha.

Ananda Bodhi (Namgyal Rinpoche) was also trained by U Narada (Mingun Jetawun Sayadaw), Sayadaw U Ariya, and Sayadaw U Pyin Nyein Da.

I do not know enough about lineages and formal teacher training to evaluate these credentials. I can only observe that both his Vajrayana and his Theravada affiliations are claimed through the same teacher, who started out as Sri Lanka-trained Theravada teacher (acharya) Ananda Bodhi and later became the Vajrayana lama Namgyal Rinpoche, a path which seems somewhat unusual for a Theravada teacher.

So for those far more versed than me in these subjects: how legitimate are these credentials?

submitted by /u/SilaSamadhi
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from Buddhism

This post first appeared on Bodhisatva India, please read the originial post: here

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How legit are Culadasa's lineage affiliations?


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