yegyal wrote:And I wasn't suggesting that Tibetans are somehow inherently better than the rest of us, though if I did, wouldn't that be the opposite of orientalism?
One school of orientalist thought is that the west is "materialistic" and the east is "spiritual", hence the superiority of the latter in subjects related to mind, spirit and so forth.
People have made a killing off such sentiments. Spiritual tourism is huge here in India.
What I was suggesting that those that grow up in Buddhist communities tend to know what they're getting involved in and how to go about receiving teachings and so forth.
How have you come to this conclusion? Have you travelled around Asia much?
They might know to defer to authority just because that's what you do in your community. They might bring their kids to an empowerment and chat with each other during the event.
Though I do think that so-called Western Buddhist communities being still in their infancy have a lot to learn from their Asian counterparts.
Asian culture and Dharma are not the same thing. People often misunderstand this and feel compelled to emulate the cultural practices of various Asian groups, to say nothing of katas and momos.