Johnny Dangerous wrote:"Free of rights, rituals, and dogma".
Repeat as a mantra 100x daily to be free of rites and rituals.
Seriously though, I see this so much in the sort of New Age "Buddhish" community, anything roughly based on Buddhism, there is so much parroted talk of not having rite and ritual that it's become well... ritual. I know Goenka is not a New Age teacher type of course.
Seriously though, peruse any forum on New Age and similar subjects, and it starts to become apparent that trying to be "free of rite and ritual" can easily turn into it's own kind of neurosis.
from: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p159848
I've encountered this resistance to anything that seems like a ritual too in my interactions with people who are interested in practice. It's unfortunate, because it means that people who have this hangup miss an opportunity. Specifically: many practices that appear to be "empty rituals" or ad hoc concatenations of superstition or whatever are often intelligently-designed structures for carrying Buddhist teachings into action. I explain how this works in regard to one particular ritual, the basic Tendai sutra service, at the link below.
http://dctendai.blogspot.com/2013/10/an ... ce-or.html
Somehow, there seems to be such a lack of imagination in our culture--or such a rigid set of expectations about what "real" Buddhist practice is--that the idea of performing a ritual among peers is rejected outright as a form of meditation.
I bring this topic up here because I'd like to know how others have helped people (or themselves) overcome this particular limitation. How can one effectively introduce these practices in such a way as to get people who think they are interested in Buddhism but are dead set against "ritual" to consider joining in with an open mind?