The Future

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TharpaChodron
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The Future

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:09 am

Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I am concerned that Vajrayana Buddhism is going the way of Christianity in the West. It seems that things reached their peak in the 70's-80's here and now the loyal practitioners are becoming older, there are fewer and fewer young people getting interested and taking part in the spiritual path.

I'll "ride or die" with my Nyingma lineage practice, but wondering if anyone else has had this concern or if you think it's nothing to worry about.

Ricky
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Re: The Future

Post by Ricky » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:19 am

fewer and fewer young people and also the sex scandals. i wouldnt be surprised if it ends up like christianity in the west.

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TharpaChodron
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Re: The Future

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:34 am

Ricky wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:19 am
fewer and fewer young people and also the sex scandals. i wouldnt be surprised if it ends up like christianity in the west.
I feel like the Dharma is just now becoming a part of western culture and psychology, albeit surreptitiously, through mainstream interest in mindfulness etc. But, the old school traditions remain very foreign to most young people here and they don't have the open minded nature of their grandparents. The current culture is too cynical to take on the practices which might do it some good.

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Virgo
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Re: The Future

Post by Virgo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:40 am

People probably don't have the karma.

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TharpaChodron
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Re: The Future

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:43 am

Virgo wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:40 am
People probably don't have the karma.

Kevin
That is most certainly true. But there's something for making new karma, even if it doesn't exist in the past.

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Re: The Future

Post by Virgo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:57 am

Perhaps I am being too negative.

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Re: The Future

Post by cyril » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:03 am

Virgo wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:57 am
Perhaps I am being too negative.

Kevin
No, I think you're just being realistic.
For instance, between mid-40's and early 60's a lot of genuine Dharma practitioners died in Tibet, China, Mongolia and so on due to persecution. The western baby-boomers with an interest in Dharma were largely born within the same time interval. I wonder whether there is a connection....
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Re: The Future

Post by Punya » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:59 am

cyril wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:03 am
Virgo wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:57 am
Perhaps I am being too negative.

Kevin
No, I think you're just being realistic.
For instance, between mid-40's and early 60's a lot of genuine Dharma practitioners died in Tibet, China, Mongolia and so on due to persecution. The western baby-boomers with an interest in Dharma were largely born within the same time interval. I wonder whether there is a connection....
I've always thought so.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
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TharpaChodron
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Re: The Future

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:42 am

Virgo wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:57 am
Perhaps I am being too negative.

Kevin
I guess it could be positive or at least accepting of reality. The attitude that it's based on karma seems to imply that there's no need or point in worrying.

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Re: The Future

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:13 am

I can't think of a religion or spiritual practice that many young people engage in really, maybe Yoga, but in the form you usually find it, it barely counts. Most young people would probably rather get drunk and laid, can't say I was much different. I know this forum has some exceptions.

I'm more worriec about the other thing you mention Tharpa, all this interest in 'mindfulness' , but too much cynicism and cultural attachment to take it much further. I see that as often from Boomers as anyone else, honestly.
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Re: The Future

Post by Simon E. » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:40 am

This is all projection.

Our own shraddha waxes and wanes until we are stable in the Dharma.

We project onto the world 'outside' whatever our current position is on the spectrum.

Time to put out more effort on the cushion.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: The Future

Post by philji » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:26 am

Vajrayana may have reached a peak in the 70’s as was mentioned.. but what kind of peak? There was a lot of interest among young people but not sure how much practice. Nowadays there are far more translators and also translations of texts and practices, far more guidance available and i think a lot more people practicing quietly, authentically.
A few tibetan teacheers i have spoken to over the years have been worried about the ‘ success and popularity’ of vajrayana in the west. Maybe after all the hoo ha... we can just get on with our oractice as best we can... social media like everything else has its positives and negatives and if our minds are vulnerable then we can get very shaky by what we heard.
Maybe our karma is limited and we need to work more on purifying and accumulating metit..not something we like to do.. we prefer to have the ‘ high teachings and go straight to the top of the ladder’ its a long way to fall from there.

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Re: The Future

Post by Lingpupa » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:01 pm

I see where you are coming from.

Things could change if and when we find some siddhas have emerged amongst us. That would shake things up.

I should stress that I have little or no ideas what these putative siddhas will look like.
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Re: The Future

Post by Tiago Simões » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:06 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:09 am
Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I am concerned that Vajrayana Buddhism is going the way of Christianity in the West. It seems that things reached their peak in the 70's-80's here and now the loyal practitioners are becoming older, there are fewer and fewer young people getting interested and taking part in the spiritual path.

I'll "ride or die" with my Nyingma lineage practice, but wondering if anyone else has had this concern or if you think it's nothing to worry about.
Lama Jampa Thaye talks about that in the speech I linked here:

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=27514&p=427919#p427919
Then, the Licchavi Vimalakīrti spoke to the elder Śāriputra and the great disciples: “Reverends, eat of the food of the Tathāgata! It is ambrosia perfumed by the great compassion. But do not fix your minds in narrow-minded attitudes, lest you be unable to receive its gift.”

- Chapter 9, The Feast Brought by the Emanated Incarnation
The Noble Mahāyāna Sūtra “The Teaching of Vimalakīrti”

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Re: The Future

Post by dzoki » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:17 pm

In my "main" sangha (e.g. the one where I am most active) Slovak Dzogchen Community we used to have 70 members, now we are down to about 45. Of course some people moved to other places, but some just left DC altogether. Of these 45 only 3 people are younger than 30. About half of the remainder are over 40, the other half is in the 30´s. In several years, if we all live, most of the group would be over 40 and 50. So unless some new young blood comes, we are kind of poised for extinction and here I am disregarding that more people might leave. Again of these 45 only up to 10 do some kind of intense practice in retreat setting at least once a year. When people are invited for either karmayoga or practice weekend at our Ling, only same max. 12 people come every time. So it kind of shows priorities, that people have in their lives. I feel that young people are so enamoured with the narcissistic culture of presend day social networks that they do not have much drive to seek the answers to their problems further than the social network self help videos offer. At the same time I don´t find most of the "old" practitioners (people who have been in Dharma for decades) too inspiring, so no wonder young people are not inspired to devote their time to Dharma, when they see some people who claim that they have meditated for 20 -30 years or so, yet they display some very ordinary and neurotic behaviours.

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Re: The Future

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:25 pm

Just my 2¢

At university, I've noticed people who are only interested in getting drunk and having sex, there are people who are interested in Buddhism and people who meditate (i.e. mindfulness).

At my sangha, I've noticed that it is mainly older people, although the sangha is growing with young people joining. It seems some of the young people are more interested in deep study and practice, whereas some are there to build up a list of teachings from different traditions.
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Re: The Future

Post by Ayu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:14 pm

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:09 am
Apologies if this has been discussed before, but I am concerned that Vajrayana Buddhism is going the way of Christianity in the West. It seems that things reached their peak in the 70's-80's here and now the loyal practitioners are becoming older, there are fewer and fewer young people getting interested and taking part in the spiritual path.

I'll "ride or die" with my Nyingma lineage practice, but wondering if anyone else has had this concern or if you think it's nothing to worry about.
I thought the same some years ago. But since then many young people joined our community. There are new faces comming and going all the time.
I think, it's nothing to worry about becauce you can't change it anyway.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Re: The Future

Post by Simon E. » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm

dzoki wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:17 pm
In my "main" sangha (e.g. the one where I am most active) Slovak Dzogchen Community we used to have 70 members, now we are down to about 45. Of course some people moved to other places, but some just left DC altogether. Of these 45 only 3 people are younger than 30. About half of the remainder are over 40, the other half is in the 30´s. In several years, if we all live, most of the group would be over 40 and 50. So unless some new young blood comes, we are kind of poised for extinction and here I am disregarding that more people might leave. Again of these 45 only up to 10 do some kind of intense practice in retreat setting at least once a year. When people are invited for either karmayoga or practice weekend at our Ling, only same max. 12 people come every time. So it kind of shows priorities, that people have in their lives. I feel that young people are so enamoured with the narcissistic culture of presend day social networks that they do not have much drive to seek the answers to their problems further than the social network self help videos offer. At the same time I don´t find most of the "old" practitioners (people who have been in Dharma for decades) too inspiring, so no wonder young people are not inspired to devote their time to Dharma, when they see some people who claim that they have meditated for 20 -30 years or so, yet they display some very ordinary and neurotic behaviours.
You think 20 or30 years is enough to straighten out countless aeons of wandering?
How about you..will you be inspiring others in 20 or 30 years?
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

dzoki
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Re: The Future

Post by dzoki » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:36 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm
dzoki wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:17 pm
In my "main" sangha (e.g. the one where I am most active) Slovak Dzogchen Community we used to have 70 members, now we are down to about 45. Of course some people moved to other places, but some just left DC altogether. Of these 45 only 3 people are younger than 30. About half of the remainder are over 40, the other half is in the 30´s. In several years, if we all live, most of the group would be over 40 and 50. So unless some new young blood comes, we are kind of poised for extinction and here I am disregarding that more people might leave. Again of these 45 only up to 10 do some kind of intense practice in retreat setting at least once a year. When people are invited for either karmayoga or practice weekend at our Ling, only same max. 12 people come every time. So it kind of shows priorities, that people have in their lives. I feel that young people are so enamoured with the narcissistic culture of presend day social networks that they do not have much drive to seek the answers to their problems further than the social network self help videos offer. At the same time I don´t find most of the "old" practitioners (people who have been in Dharma for decades) too inspiring, so no wonder young people are not inspired to devote their time to Dharma, when they see some people who claim that they have meditated for 20 -30 years or so, yet they display some very ordinary and neurotic behaviours.
You think 20 or30 years is enough to straighten out countless aeons of wandering?
How about you..will you be inspiring others in 20 or 30 years?
I am not sure I will live long enough, and I have no intention of being inspiring, myself :D It is just something I have observed. In any case 20-30 years is quite a long time taking in account how vajrayana should be effective, let alone dzogchen methods. However, what I would do upon reaching that milestone of 20 years of practice - I would not brag to anyone about it, especially if I am not particularly free from my own neurotic patters.

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Re: The Future

Post by Simon E. » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:43 pm

I know no one personally who brags about their practice.
I have no attainments at all. Should I give up do you think?
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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