padma norbu wrote:I have occasionally in the past few years started just saying "I'm not really a Buddhist, though" to friends and extended family whenever they ask me about all my books and thangkas and statues... not because I'm embarrassed or because I can't stand up for what I believe in, but because I don't want to embarrass the Buddha by being a poor example and also because I really think of myself as a Dzogchen practitioner (and a bad one at that), so I think every answer I gave them to their persistent questions would be really incomprehensible to them and just lead to more questions. And, I think you're not really supposed to talk about dzogchen to people openly who have no real interest in it.
What do you think of this? Is this a jerky thing to do?
I posted in Ethical Conduct because I just thought about it as possibly being an example of "turning your back on the dharma" (even though it really isn't, imo, but I could see how in some really strict traditions it might be).
padma norbu wrote:Yeah, these are people with absolutely no affinity for it at all and you know how you can tell what people are thinking if you know them well by the look on their face, tone of voice, etc. This is the same general crowd and mindset of people in which several years ago during a political debate (where they were mostly pro-Bush), someone asked if I was a "Demon-crat" and I said "not really, but I'm more left-leaning than right-leaning on most issues." So, the follow-up question was "so you're a socialist?" and I said "I'm more of a Buddhist" as a joke, but the response was actually — get this — "uh oh, watch out, are you going to blow up some buildings or what?" My wife and I exchanged a glance of "holy crap, these people are oblivious." So, yeah, they equate Buddhism with terrorism (or at least one of them did) and generally like mainstream everything and have a very small-town mentality, USA is the greatest country in the world, adults who actually are interested in Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift... I think you get the idea.
They are also gossipy so pretty much any faults I have would be lumped in with Buddhism. That's really why I figured best not to bother.
seeker242 wrote:If you are a Buddhist and someone asks you and you say no, isn't that breaking the "I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech."?
Simon E. wrote:I was in a shop which was run by the Tibet Society a few years ago .
I made a few purchases from a young Englishman who impressed me with his presence and kindness.
I asked if he was a practitioner. He replied that ' he knew nothing about those things '. ' I just work here ' he added.
I later discovered that he was highly regarded by his ( well known ) teacher as one showing high attainment.
duckfiasco wrote:The interpretation of anything you say is outside of your control.
I tell people I'm a Buddhist if they ask, knowing full well they likely picture me going "om" in some uncomfortable position.
It's best to not make too big a deal out of it I think and let the actions of your mind, speech, and body do the explaining for you.
Remaining calm while others get upset and need a cool head, knowing how to soothe jealousy in your friends, responding with love when someone expects hatred... these do a lot more good than avoiding using a specific word
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