Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:26 pm

uan wrote:
Nemo wrote:Chinese invade Tibet in 1950, give the reincarnated 20 years to grow up in the West. Western Tibetan Buddhism should start flourishing in the 1970's with a huge influx of new students but by 1980 that should start slowing down to a trickle. Now they would likely be born in Asia. It is quite possible that Tibetan Buddhist centres will become museums when that initial influx starts passing on in another 30 years. I don't think many Sanghas will be growing now unless they are selling something that is not genuine Dharma.

Perhaps my reincarnation based identity theory is too Buddhist for some.


Is that how rebirth in Buddhism works? I don't know if it's too Buddhist for some, or not Buddhadharma at all.

I'd go with the latter.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:13 pm

Mkoll wrote:
uan wrote:
Nemo wrote:Chinese invade Tibet in 1950, give the reincarnated 20 years to grow up in the West. Western Tibetan Buddhism should start flourishing in the 1970's with a huge influx of new students but by 1980 that should start slowing down to a trickle. Now they would likely be born in Asia. It is quite possible that Tibetan Buddhist centres will become museums when that initial influx starts passing on in another 30 years. I don't think many Sanghas will be growing now unless they are selling something that is not genuine Dharma.

Perhaps my reincarnation based identity theory is too Buddhist for some.


Is that how rebirth in Buddhism works? I don't know if it's too Buddhist for some, or not Buddhadharma at all.

I'd go with the latter.



It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice. And yes, I was definitely a Tibetan practitioner for many lifetimes.
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice.

So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:19 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice.

So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?


Why are you so surprised by that? It's not terribly uncommon for those of us that have been long time Tibetan Buddhist practitioners that met the Dharma at an early age. Moreover, it's squarely within the philosophical framework of traditional Buddhist thought of all schools.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:19 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice.

So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?


Nope, but I am sure it is the case for many, many reasons I won't bore you with. Suffice it to say, in my last lifetime, I was a practitioner from the Derge region of Eastern Tibet. Educated in Sakya, practitioner of Dzogchen, just like now.

I will share with you however that when I was in Central Tibet, I had past life memories, not very precise in detail, but vivid. This is when we were on our way to Samye and being in Samye. I remembered the place. Not Deja vu, something much stronger. Most specifially I remembered how the mountains looked in the Yarlung Valley, among other things.
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:21 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:Why are you so surprised by that? It's not terribly uncommon for those of us that have been long time Tibetan Buddhist practitioners that met the Dharma at an early age.

To be honest, I had no idea that was the case.

I learn something new everyday.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:24 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mkoll wrote:So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?
Nope, but I am sure it is the case for many, many reasons I won't bore you with.

It wouldn't bore me. :smile:
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby uan » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:33 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mkoll wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice.

So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?


Nope, but I am sure it is the case for many, many reasons I won't bore you with. Suffice it to say, in my last lifetime, I was a practitioner from the Derge region of Eastern Tibet. Educated in Sakya, practitioner of Dzogchen, just like now.

I will share with you however that when I was in Central Tibet, I had past life memories, not very precise in detail, but vivid. This is when we were on our way to Samye and being in Samye. I remembered the place. Not Deja vu, something much stronger. Most specifially I remembered how the mountains looked in the Yarlung Valley, among other things.


Thanks for sharing Malcolm.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Son of Buddha » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:19 am

Mkoll wrote:
Malcolm wrote:It makes sense when discussing people with affinities for Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese started suppressing Buddhism right way, it reached the height of suppression between 1959-1968, then was suppressed until the early 80's. Meanwhile the refugee community in India was really in dire straights, so many people who were Tibetan practitioners in their past life, such as myself, were born into western families so we could meet the Dharma again with freedom and endowment to practice.

So are you claiming to recollect your past life as a Tibetan practitioner, Malcolm?


Thats really not that hard to believe,we i was 2/3 i had vivid memories of being an old white guy who was a horrible alcholic and
Always was going to AA meetings..........

The karma kicker is i am allergic to alchol in this life.


His claims do not seem out of place.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby JKhedrup » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:38 am

Why are you so surprised by that? It's not terribly uncommon for those of us that have been long time Tibetan Buddhist practitioners that met the Dharma at an early age
.

Most of my friends who ended up studying Buddhism in India or learning the Tibetan language or studying Buddhism full time first connected with Tibetan Buddhism in their teenage years. In the Rinchen Zangpo Tibetan Course I did in Dharamsala, I would say over half the people attending were connected with Buddhism since their teens or early twenties. In my own case, I connected with my first Tibetan teachers when I was around 14 or so- but I say CONNECTED, that doesn't mean I was practicing all that seriously. It also took me awhile to find the teachers who were the right "fit" for me- often it isn't necessarily the lama living in our locality.

Do I think that necessarily means I was Tibetan in my last life? No. But one of my teachers insisted that those who learn the Tibetan language effectively would have to have some kind of special imprint from ONE of their previous lifetimes, as most Westerners who try to study it place it on the backburner relatively quickly.

Do I think this makes me a special pants? Definitely not. I have not done enough to try to actualize the dharma in my current lifetime so it doesn't really matter much whether I was a Tibetan Yak herder or a Gaudiya Vaishnava cowherd in my last life. (Both are possible, before meeting my first Tibetan teachers when I was 14, at 13 I was lying to my mother about going to the library when I was in actuality serving food and sweeping floors at the Toronto's Hare Krishna temple).
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
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Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:49 pm

JKhedrup wrote:... when I was 14, at 13 I was lying to my mother about going to the library when I was in actuality serving food and sweeping floors at the Toronto's Hare Krishna temple.

:jawdrop:
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby uan » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Nope, but I am sure it is the case for many, many reasons I won't bore you with. Suffice it to say, in my last lifetime, I was a practitioner from the Derge region of Eastern Tibet. Educated in Sakya, practitioner of Dzogchen, just like now.


Hi Malcolm, I'm trying to wrap my head around Dzogchen a bit. You say you were a practitioner of Dzogchen in a previous life. In the current thread in the Dzogchen forum "Why do only a few practitioners attain rainbow body?" you wrote:

There are 21 types of capacties of practitioners. Only the best of the best attain great transference body, i.e., rainbow body in this life. Virtually all others attain it in the bardo, or failing that, in a pure nirmanakāya buddhafield.


Based on that, is there a reason you would be presently incarnated here, rather than having attained rainbow body in the bardo or in a pure nirmanakāya buddhafield?

:anjali:
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:34 am

uan wrote:
Based on that, is there a reason you would be presently incarnated here, rather than having attained rainbow body in the bardo or in a pure nirmanakāya buddhafield?



When you wake up in the bardo, you also generate emanations. Maybe I am one of those.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Jikan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:40 am

We're way off topic, but that can be sorted out in a moment.

Question for Malcolm et al: define "early age" for the purpose of this conversation. what age of taking an interest might indicate such a thing?
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:55 am

Jikan wrote:We're way off topic, but that can be sorted out in a moment.

Question for Malcolm et al: define "early age" for the purpose of this conversation. what age of taking an interest might indicate such a thing?


Kungfu came on when I was 10, Cutting Through, etc. at 16. I have self-identified as a Buddhist since then.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:28 am

"I'M NOT MY FATHER. I'M A COP. IT'S WHAT I DO!"
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:29 am

Jikan wrote:We're way off topic, but that can be sorted out in a moment.

Question for Malcolm et al: define "early age" for the purpose of this conversation. what age of taking an interest might indicate such a thing?


Teens or early twenties, but most that I know didn't really fit in comfortably with the culture here and having strong interest in consciousness and philosophy even before Buddhism. When I was a teenager, I was looking everywhere for "maps of the mind" which I knew were out there but didn't know exactly what they were or where to find them. It wasn't until I started studying Vajrayana and got Lokesh Chandra's Tibeto-Mongol Pantheon collection that I realized what I was looking for were mandalas. Anyway, all of us are emanations... just mostly of ignorance, anger and craving.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Karma Dorje » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:36 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:... when I was 14, at 13 I was lying to my mother about going to the library when I was in actuality serving food and sweeping floors at the Toronto's Hare Krishna temple.

:jawdrop:


It's a lovely place actually, with the strangest sculpture exhibit of "evolution" I have ever seen. I started going there in the early 80's for prasad and the kirtan. Like Khedrup I am certain I have karmic traces from many lives in India. In fact, these are stronger in many ways than my ties to Tibet.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby dzogchungpa » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:23 am

From http://chronicleproject.com/brief34.html:
Rinpoche was teaching a college course at C.U. (University of Colorado Boulder) that had been arranged by Brian Grimes. This was probably fall semester 1971. After class one evening as Rinpoche, John Baker and I were walking to the car we were stopped by a Hare Krishna follower who was trying to sell us a large book. My instinct was to hustle Rinpoche by, but Rinpoche stopped and stared in the man's eyes for an extended moment. He then tapped his chest and said, "I have Krishna in my heart." The young man stood rooted in place and we walked away.
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Re: Is Western Buddhism an (ethnic) identity-based Buddhism?

Postby Jikan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:28 am

OK, I see. I remember at age five or so pestering my mother with the question, "Well yeah but WHAT IS BUDDHA REALLY?" after she told me that a certain statue in the house was Buddha, and that Buddha is a kind of statue. circular logic bothered me. I became convinced that whatever Zen was it was Zen for me when I was 14 or so but didn't call myself a Buddhist until I was maybe 20. My practice was disorganized at best until my late 20s. I don't think any of these details add up to much because in contrast to so many I have met, I am a poor excuse for a practitioner.
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