The Diamond Way belongs to the Karma Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism. The teachings used go back directly to the historical Buddha, who was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama 2,600 years ago in India.

After a long spiritual search, he came to experience all of the qualities of his mind, the state of unconditioned and lasting happiness – enlightenment. Although due to its outward appearance Buddhism is considered a world religion, Buddhists see it more as a set of methods leading to one’s inner abilities.

What is Buddhism?

Buddha taught effective methods, which lead to enlightenment. Meditation enables one to experience for oneself that which one has intellectually understood.

The Buddha continually encouraged students to critically question his explanations before applying them in one’s own life. Thanks to this attitude Buddhism does not have any dogmas and is therefore open to scientific insights and societal developments.

Today Buddhism can be classified into three main directions:
• The “Old School” (Sanskrit Theravada)
• The “Great Way” (Sanskrit Mahayana)
• The “Diamond Way” (Sanskrit Vajrayana).

The goals of these schools are largely identical. However, they differ considerably in terms of style of teaching and outward form. Diamond Way Buddhism in the tradition of the Karma Kagyü lineage is one of the most widespread forms of Buddhism in the West today.

Diamond Way Buddhism of the Karma Kagyü Lineage

The Karma Kagyü Lineage belongs to one of the four great Buddhist schools of Tibet. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it places particular emphasis on meditation and instruction by a teacher.

The Karma Kagyü Lineage originated with the historical Buddha and developed into a practical path to enlightenment in India and Tibet. Around 1000 years ago, the Buddhist masters Naropa and Maitripa and the well-known yogis Marpa and Milarepa put their mark on the origins of our lineage.

Since the 12th century the lineage has been held by the unbroken line of reincarnations of the Karmapas – as foretold by the Buddha on several occasions. The Second Karmapa is thus considered the first consciously reborn lama of Tibet. Since then the Karmapa has been the head of the Karma Kagyü Lineage and continues to be responsible today for the continuation of the lineage.

What is Meditation?

In Buddhism, meditation means “effortlessly remaining in what is”.

This state may be brought about by calming and holding the mind, by realising compassion and wisdom, or by working with the body’s energy channels and meditating on Buddha forms of light and energy. The most effective method is the identification with one’s own Buddha nature, which is taught in the Diamond Way. When the oneness of the seer, what is seen, and the act of seeing is unbroken – during and between the times of meditation – the goal of the Great Seal (Sanskrit: Mahamudra) is reached.

Lama Ole Nydahl:
Buddhism in the West

According to the wish of the 16th Karmapa, Lama Ole and Hannah Nydahl founded worldwide more than 650 centers of Diamond Way Buddhism, which are under the spiritual guidance of the 17th Karmapa Trinle Thaye Dorje.

The centers and meditation groups enable interested persons to access the authentic meditations and explanations of Diamond Way Buddhism. Tailored to life in the Western world, Lama Ole is able to bring people closer to these teachings in a unique way with the support of his centers.