The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

A place to post videos, pictures, and any other sort of Buddhist or non-Buddhist media.
boda
Posts: 1930
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by boda » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:03 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:43 am
I think if it were more fleshed out there would be some valid commentary too.
I just reread it and still don't see what some of you are seeing, though I may have been somewhat off-base in my previous comments. I think what bothers me about it is the various sweeping generalizations that are apparently designed to distance 'real' Buddhism from 'fake' Buddhism. All the bad stuff (both students and teachers) is fake and all the good stuff is real. Real life is not so black & white. 'Real' and talented teachers can have vices. Students come in all shapes and sizes. Life is messy.

It's funny that the article points a finger at "crazy wisdom," the man behind which literally wrote the book on spiritual materialism.

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by KeithA » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:59 am

Yikes...I tried to read it, but all that pointing of fingers and harumphing is just a big yawn for me. The Dharma is just fine. All that "they" and "them" stuff is so precious.

Sorry, I don't have citation for that. It's just an opinion. Probably not a very good one, at that. :tongue:

_/|\_
Keith

User avatar
Sonam Wangchug
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:38 am

KeithA wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:59 am
Yikes...I tried to read it, but all that pointing of fingers and harumphing is just a big yawn for me. The Dharma is just fine. All that "they" and "them" stuff is so precious.

Sorry, I don't have citation for that. It's just an opinion. Probably not a very good one, at that. :tongue:

_/|\_
Keith
Such laid back attitudes can contribute to the decline of the Buddhadharma.

Concern, and skillful means to speak out with a good motivation, can indeed be a Bodhisattva activity.

PeterC
Posts: 626
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by PeterC » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:43 am

Tiago Simões wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:04 pm
boda wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:05 pm
Tiago Simões wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:43 pm

I think you are reading a bit too much into it. He's simply challenging us to reevaluate our motivations to practice the Dharma.
No, he attempts to explain how the moral framework that Westerners approach Buddhism with makes them prone to eventually abandoning it because their moral framework is flawed, essentially. He acknowledges that there has always been fakes or those who will take advantage of the cooperative elements of society, and I think he should go no further than that without a more coherent thesis.
The moral framework of most westerners is flawed. I have no doubt about that. But it's not a superficial case of liberal west vs conservative asia. It's much deeper than that. It's people unable to recognise the 3 poisons in the worldly affairs or even in their own spiritual materialism.
Agree. Everyone gets worked up about the state of the Dharma in The West (whatever that means). There are equally valid reasons to be concerned about the state of the Dharma in China, Japan, ASEAN and elsewhere - perhaps one would trace it to different proximate causes, but this is not particularly important. We live in an age of decline in the Buddhadharma. We all need to be diligent about its preservation.
Yikes...I tried to read it, but all that pointing of fingers and harumphing is just a big yawn for me. The Dharma is just fine. All that "they" and "them" stuff is so precious.


He doesn't mention names presumably out of common courtesy and because there's really no need to, everyone knows who he's talking about. I'm sorry if you find it boring: I consider it very important.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8440
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:51 am

boda wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:03 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:43 am
I think if it were more fleshed out there would be some valid commentary too.
I just reread it and still don't see what some of you are seeing, though I may have been somewhat off-base in my previous comments. I think what bothers me about it is the various sweeping generalizations that are apparently designed to distance 'real' Buddhism from 'fake' Buddhism. All the bad stuff (both students and teachers) is fake and all the good stuff is real. Real life is not so black & white. 'Real' and talented teachers can have vices. Students come in all shapes and sizes. Life is messy.

It's funny that the article points a finger at "crazy wisdom," the man behind which literally wrote the book on spiritual materialism.
Well, sorry, there is fake Buddhism. Or to put it more succinctly, there is Dharma practice that is so far off the mark that its really more of a self-help/consumer product, and isn't encouraging real engagement with the path. There are -lots- of variations of of authentic teaching too, it's not a one size fits all thing, but he's just calling a spade a spade, and he's correct, there's a lot of total crap out there. I don't think he was terribly black and white, just honest about the limitations of people's infatuation with Buddhism, rather than their practice of it.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

tingdzin
Posts: 1081
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:19 am

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by tingdzin » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:06 am

His good points -- e.g. pointing out the self-absorption and ideological correctness of many Western Buddhists -- have already been made many times. He himself has, over his long career, demonstrated (IMO) ideological rigidity of his own, just of a different color. I agree that he goes in for a lot of finger pointing. On the other hand, yuppie Buddhists are such easy targets.

Anyway, he is right in saying that the purpose of Dharma is not to confirm our self-cherishing, but to actually do the hard work of cultivation.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28735
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:21 pm

The funny thing is that Lama Jampa is citing Sakya Pandita. He must know that as a dual Kagyu/Sakyapa, that many of the traditions he practices were highly criticized by Sapan as invalid. Well, as Emerson said:
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28735
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by Malcolm » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:35 pm

I have to say, having looked at the previews of the book available on Amazon with the surprise me button, the text has rose-tinted glasses with respect to Traditional Buddhism. He calls the internet the "repository of debris from civilization." I can see Edmund Burke smiling from his grave. I wonder if the guy is a Tory. Well, no matter. The fact is that those with a vested place in religious hierarchies are always conservatives. Of course there are many sentiments within his book with which I agree, however the tone is pretty sarcastic and belittling. I mean, after all, why pick on Oprah? I am sure she would make a far better PM than May. This book, as far as I can tell, is a sale pitch.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

boda
Posts: 1930
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by boda » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:51 am
boda wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:03 am
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:43 am
I think if it were more fleshed out there would be some valid commentary too.
I just reread it and still don't see what some of you are seeing, though I may have been somewhat off-base in my previous comments. I think what bothers me about it is the various sweeping generalizations that are apparently designed to distance 'real' Buddhism from 'fake' Buddhism. All the bad stuff (both students and teachers) is fake and all the good stuff is real. Real life is not so black & white. 'Real' and talented teachers can have vices. Students come in all shapes and sizes. Life is messy.

It's funny that the article points a finger at "crazy wisdom," the man behind which literally wrote the book on spiritual materialism.
Well, sorry, there is fake Buddhism. Or to put it more succinctly, there is Dharma practice that is so far off the mark that its really more of a self-help/consumer product, and isn't encouraging real engagement with the path. There are -lots- of variations of of authentic teaching too, it's not a one size fits all thing, but he's just calling a spade a spade, and he's correct, there's a lot of total crap out there. I don't think he was terribly black and white, just honest about the limitations of people's infatuation with Buddhism, rather than their practice of it.
Things like 'Mindfulness' groups are not Buddhism and don't claim to be Buddhism, as well as other self-help products in the marketplace, so he's not talking about things like this. He's talking about teachers who present a Buddhism "shorn of anything objectionable to the upscale inhabitants of London, Santa Monica, and Manhattan." Some years ago I joined a Zen temple in Santa Monica and practiced there for several months. The teacher at this temple placed a healthy reliance on authority, tradition, and sanctity. All three things that urban progressive liberals supposedly find so objectionable. There were no scandals at that, now defunct, temple.

So who is Lama Jampa talking about? He specifically points a finger at "crazy wisdom," as I've mentioned. The premier iconic figure in the West for crazy wisdom is Trungpa Rinpoche. Yet Trungpa Rinpoche wrote the book on spiritual materialism and spiritual materialism, though not explicitly stated, is apparently the basic "Western misconception" that charismatic leaders exploit. I wonder how Lama Jampa would reconcile this apparent contradiction.

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8440
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:54 pm

boda wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:35 pm


So who is Lama Jampa talking about? He specifically points a finger at "crazy wisdom," as I've mentioned. The premier iconic figure in the West for crazy wisdom is Trungpa Rinpoche. Yet Trungpa Rinpoche wrote the book on spiritual materialism and spiritual materialism, though not explicitly stated, is apparently the basic "Western misconception" that charismatic leaders exploit. I wonder how Lama Jampa would reconcile this apparent contradiction.
I think everyone is in agreement that the vagueness of his accusations and lack of actual critique lessen the usefulness of it.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Post Reply

Return to “Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: shaunc and 14 guests