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Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:52 pm
by dzoki
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:43 pm
I have no attainments at all. Should I give up do you think?
:D That is not a question for me. How am I responsible for your practice and your success in practice or lack thereof?

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:01 pm
by Simon E.
Well you seem pretty free with your opinions about other people. I assumed you had some kind of siddhis that tells you whether they are performing to your satisfaction.
I suspect that you will still be whining about everyone else in 20 or 30 years. And putting the world right.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:09 pm
by dzoki
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:01 pm
Well you seem pretty free with your opinions about other people. I assumed you had some kind of siddhis that tells you whether they are performing to your satisfaction.
I suspect that you will still be whining about everyone else in 20 or 30 years. And putting the world right.
:D :D :D
You say that I am free with my opinions about others, while at the same time you form an opinion about me.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:21 pm
by Virgo
Back to topic please.

Kevin

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:21 pm
by Jeff H
In the Gelug teachings they list four conditions that promote the arising of bodhichitta:
1. Being inspired by the power of the buddhas and bodhisattvas
2. Being inspired by exposure to the Mahayana
3. Being concerned about the demise of Dharma
4. Being concerned about the scarcity of Mahayana

The karmic connection is that no one will awaken to their own bodhichitta without the karma to do so; and with the karma they can’t help but try. I don’t think it has to do with big numbers of enrollees. I think there is a reason Buddhists don’t proselytize: it’s an inner journey. The sangha exists to assist, not recruit.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:29 pm
by Malcolm
The presence or absence of Buddhadharma in the world is dependent on the presence or absence of the world's merit. When the world's merit is in decline, Buddhadharma declines, for example, we can see this with nations. As Tibet's merit as a nation declined, so too did Buddhadharma decline in that nation and the institutions which acted as supports for Buddhadharma also became increasingly corrupted, such as the tulku system, the monastic system, and so on.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:34 pm
by Simon E.
All we can do as individuals is to practice according to our teachers instructions as best we can. And thats it.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:04 pm
by TharpaChodron
I heard Glenn Beck one time recently talking about a survey they did of young people's ideas of religions and it turned out that Buddhism was the most highly regarded religion by them. Not that they're all taking it up any time soon, I'm sure.

Anyways, here's a thought I have had, albeit perhaps pointless conjecture...

The Dalai Lama has become a huge worldwide public figure that no previous Buddhist teacher on earth (that I know of) has....for the first time, a lot of people in the west and elsewhere are exposed to the DL and I think his popularity and teachings have made an important impact, even if subtle. That said, I think there may be global interest in what happens in the next 30 years which might inspire people to actually practice.

I'm not really worried, but I like hearing others' opinions and reminders not to lose any sleep over things like this.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:06 pm
by Harold Musetescu
One of the main problems that I see is we in "the present" and in "the future" have a major sales marketing problem.

Young westerners (newbies) in the present times have no real interest in chanting all day in Tibetan.

They see Tulkus who are either American or Canadian citizen who can speak fluent English giving teachings in Tibetan.

Many Tulkus in 2018 still think they can get away with their arrogance manner of superiority.

We old farts may have put up with this for decades but young folks say "See you later" and walk away from our Dharma Centres.

I now refuse to go to teachings where a visiting Tulku REFUSES TO SPEAK ENGLISH WHEN THEY ARE FLUENT IN IT.

We do not BOW TO PRIESTS OR THE CLERGY but we "old farts" try to tell the "newbies" that they must bow to the Tulkus.

Martin Luther refused to bow to the Pope and maybe its time we did to.

Martin Luther refused to speak "Latin" and demanded we all speak in our local tongues.

We "old farts" try to tell the "newbies" that the Tibetan word is greater then our local language.

Martin Luther refused to believe the Pope was infallible but we "old farts" tell the "newbies' that our Lamas are "infallible".

I can not longer tell a "newbie" that the Lama MUST BE VIEWED AS A BUDDHA.

Most Catholics have out grown their childish believes about the Pole and the Priesthood.

Yet we "old farts" tell the "newbies" that the old ways are the best ways.

The old Tibetan ways do not sell well in the modern market place.

What we need is our own version of "Martin Luther Rinpoche".

Thats what this "old fart" thinks.

:sage:

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:06 pm
by PuerAzaelis
:hug: Zen story, perhaps relevant:

Two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit looks delicious. One of them manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis.

Moral of the story: the best advertising is not smells and bells nor post-enlightenment reasoning but bodhicitta.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:19 pm
by Pero
dzoki wrote:
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.
The number of years is irrelevant, the number of hours and the quality of those hours is what matters.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:32 pm
by Ricky
methar wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:06 pm
One of the main problems that I see is we in "the present" and in "the future" have a major sales marketing problem.

Young westerners (newbies) in the present times have no real interest in chanting all day in Tibetan.

They see Tulkus who are either American or Canadian citizen who can speak fluent English giving teachings in Tibetan.

Many Tulkus in 2018 still think they can get away with their arrogance manner of superiority.

We old farts may have put up with this for decades but young folks say "See you later" and walk away from our Dharma Centres.

I now refuse to go to teachings where a visiting Tulku REFUSES TO SPEAK ENGLISH WHEN THEY ARE FLUENT IN IT.

We do not BOW TO PRIESTS OR THE CLERGY but we "old farts" try to tell the "newbies" that they must bow to the Tulkus.

Martin Luther refused to bow to the Pope and maybe its time we did to.

Martin Luther refused to speak "Latin" and demanded we all speak in our local tongues.

We "old farts" try to tell the "newbies" that the Tibetan word is greater then our local language.

Martin Luther refused to believe the Pope was infallible but we "old farts" tell the "newbies' that our Lamas are "infallible".

I can not longer tell a "newbie" that the Lama MUST BE VIEWED AS A BUDDHA.

Most Catholics have out grown their childish believes about the Pole and the Priesthood.

Yet we "old farts" tell the "newbies" that the old ways are the best ways.

The old Tibetan ways do not sell well in the modern market place.

What we need is our own version of "Martin Luther Rinpoche".

Thats what this "old fart" thinks.

:sage:
I like this :thumbsup:

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:57 pm
by Malcolm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm
You think 20 or30 years is enough to straighten out countless aeons of wandering?
In Dzogchen teachings, five minutes is about the right amount of time, and that might be too long.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:07 pm
by Quay
Pessimism about Vajrayana in the west or optimism about Vajrayana in the west are both like hope and fear. Never always one or the other, always changing.

I've also thought about many things in this thread, the apparent greying of Sanghas, the changes afoot since the last of the first wave of Tibetan teachers to come to the west go into parinirvana. And what it's all come down to for me, especially as I get older, is the greater importance of getting right to the point, teachings such as Mahamudra and Dzogchen. If things are generally in decline then why wait? Does one spend time learning some Tibetan? Sure. It's a truly useful thing regarding practice. But as for all the cultural elaborations...not so sure anymore. I've posted a quote before from Longchenpa, about the infinite number of subjects one can study thus it being best to immediately embrace essence of all of them, the "unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

Why not work on dealing with all as it is? Surely what seems like an "express" path would appeal to younger people whose thoughts are often constrained in 140 characters or less. The stories of Zen and "sudden enlightenment" have always held a great deal of interest to younger folks. Perhaps that is one of the ways forward, to teach more pith instructions, more apparently immediate practices, instead of making everyone think that the only way to be a true practitioner involves three years, three months, and three days of no internet. :smile:

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:11 pm
by Simon E.
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:57 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:20 pm
You think 20 or30 years is enough to straighten out countless aeons of wandering?
In Dzogchen teachings, five minutes is about the right amount of time, and that might be too long.
I was of course referring to the idea that mundane practices would make a difference given 20 or 30 years. CTR said 'sometimes 30 years is just 1 year 30 times'.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:21 pm
by Josef
A generation of famous tulkus who have been sheltered in monasteries or treated like princes. Not that this is new, but it seems that they are lacking the actual practice of their predecessors, and seem trapped in a juvenile phase of emotional development.
Hierarchy, nepotism, and patriarchy over bodhicitta is a great danger that we are witnessing first hand.
There are of course exceptions, and exceptional masters among the generation in question.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:27 pm
by Grigoris
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.
It took Christianity about 1500 years to peak, and you think Vajrayana peaked in 20 years? No. Vajrayana is still in it's infancy in the West.

If anything is going to kill it, it is is going to be us: the current generation of practitioners. I believe we are at the tipping point between maintaining the traditional forms of practice and generating the versions that will be able to really take root in the West. Unless WE generate some serious realisations, we will not be able to pull it off, and it will die.

Unfortunately people like the "Western Buddhism" mob have jumped the gun and started to try to make Dharma fit a Western framework (make a wheel shaped piece, fit a cross shaped hole), but because they lack realisation... Their impatience will be their downfall.

Patience and perseverance are the keys right now.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:53 pm
by Mantrik
Many young people want to explore varied sensations of mind and body, including forms of spirituality.

The successful suppliers in that marketplace offer novelty, offer 'added value' such as drugs (ayahuasca and in the past LSD) or a 'saviour' for those who feel lost.

Much of it doesn't last, as work and family life displaces it for many. Once the kids have left home and death seems closer, people may resume a spiritual quest to make sense of life.

My experience is that those with young kids and demanding jobs (that's pretty much all jobs) are not as well represented as those younger and older folk.

This is something I have seen elsewhere, too, not just in the West, but in places like India, especially since consumerism is fast becoming the religion to satisfy the young, with lip service to parental expectations.
I met some young Chinese Christians recently...........they were delightful, and I really hope the practices spread. In their case, they tell me that their congregation is diverse. I wonder if cuases and conditions may steer the UK back to Christianity or to our more 'exotic' practices.

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:58 pm
by Johnny Dangerous
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:27 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.
It took Christianity about 1500 years to peak, and you think Vajrayana peaked in 20 years? No. Vajrayana is still in it's infancy in the West.
Ï
If anything is going to kill it, it is is going to be us: the current generation of practitioners. I believe we are at the tipping point between maintaining the traditional forms of practice and generating the versions that will be able to really take root in the West. Unless WE generate some serious realisations, we will not be able to pull it off, and it will die.

Unfortunately people like the "Western Buddhism" mob have jumped the gun and started to try to make Dharma fit a Western framework (make a wheel shaped piece, fit a cross shaped hole), but because they lack realisation... Their impatience will be their downfall.

Patience and perseverance are the keys right now.
:good:

Re: The Future

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:47 pm
by cyril
Grigoris wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:27 pm
It took Christianity about 1500 years to peak, and you think Vajrayana peaked in 20 years? No. Vajrayana is still in it's infancy in the West.
A long-lived phenomena usually peaks at a slower pace than a short-lived one. Christianity, so far, enjoyed a long life because, from the Constantine the Great till the so-called Age of Reason, it benefited from the patronage of royalty, state and other powerful supporters. Even today, if you look at the symbiosis between the state and the Orthodox church in countries like Greece, Romania or Russia, it becomes very clear that Christianity still has many years ahead of it in those places. Now, with the exception of Bhutan, I don't see Vajrayana enjoying this kind of support anywhere in the world and I believe this fact alone is enough reason not to think that it will follow in the West a trajectory similar to Christianity.