We live in a diverse world where businesses flourish.
NKT has indeed flourished since its founding in 1991, offering festivals, vacations, motels, spas, books, music, art, facilty rentals, living facilities, food and community support services. These sales support NKT's real estate holdings and leases around the world, including an impressive corporate headquaters and maintenance program.
NKT does not offer traditional Buddhism, Kadampa Buddhism, teacher training or clergy development. This is why NKT means 'new kadampa tradition'. (Kadampa Buddhism was founded by Atisha and Tsongkhapa in Tibet, their voluminous writings and those of all subsequent Kadampa Lamas the past 600 years are banned inside NKT. NKT teacher training is relatively brief and narrow.)
Rather, NKT offers what has been called a MacDonaldization of Buddhism, converting Buddhism into a chain of 1,200 retail outlets around the world. Convenience stores to participate conveniently with Buddhism.
Many have benefitted from NKT's therapeutic seminars, which cover a variety of recurring topics...
- Solving problems
- Understanding karma
- Introductory meditation
- Introducing Buddhism
- Mending relationships
- A happy life
- Embracing change
- Taking and giving
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Painful feelings and sorrow
- Doing better in our job
- Dealing with dissatisfaction
- Prayer services
- Temple tours
- Resolving conflict
- Coping with death
- Kelang Gyatso's introductory books about Buddhism
Teachings from teachers outside NKT and studying books not sold by NKT (strictly limited to Kesang Gyatso's books) are prohibited.
Fortunately, most visitors to an NKT outlet do not learn about NKT's political and theological battles against Buddhism and Tibet, explaining an abundance of supportive comments about NKT on hundreds of web sites.
Those who do learn about NKT's controversies usually leave NKT, unless they have become dependent on NKT, in which case their departure is typically delayed.
Thus, keeping one's involvement with NKT simple can be rewarding. Most will get value for their expenses. Going deeper, however, becomes expensive and controversial, some traveling around the world to protest the Dalai Lama and the harmony and religious freedom of Tibetan Buddhism, or spending large sums and extensive labor in futile search of nirvana.