YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist? - Dhamma Wheel

Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Wed May 23, 2012 10:04 pm

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/who-angry- ... runlikhati

Raises some interesting questions about how we relate to those perceived to be strange, different, or foreign--worth pondering upon regardless of whether one is Buddhist or American or not as the issues raised cut across different contexts.
With metta,
zavk

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby Ben » Wed May 23, 2012 11:54 pm

Interesting article, Zavk, thanks for sharing!
From time to time I encounter what I believe to be patronising remarks made about Buddhists and Buddhism in Asia as being inferior by white middle-class people in the west who believe they know better. Fortunately, there is less of that here now than say a year ago.
The whole idea of the labels of "Western Buddhism" and "American Buddhism" - I find curious. Maybe there's something I don't get.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: ben.dha[email protected]..

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu May 24, 2012 2:33 am

Yes, interesting, but the question/comment which popped up in my mind came from a tangential connection to a different subject. A member of group X, let's say, was complaining that the general perception of group X was that they were environmental vandals, and she and her friends were very definitely *not*. I agreed with her on both points but had to say that the general perception was about 99% true since 99% of X *are* environmental vandals, as she acknowledges. But she hadn't taken the next step, which is to realise that separating the general public's perception of her and her friends from the perception of the 99% is going to be almost impossible.
It's a numbers game. If 95% of American Buddhists are "white" (whatever that means these days), that will quite reasonably be reflected in their perception of themselves, and each other, and the minorities amongst them. It should also be reflected in the general public's perceptions of American Buddhists.
If only 50% are "white", it ought to be vastly different.
So how justified is "Angry Asian Buddhist" in being offended and upset that his segment of the population doesn't get as much consideration/respect as he thinks it ought to?
That's a genuine question, BTW, since I don't know the numbers.

:namaste:
Kim

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 3:46 am

Greetings,

I'll be honest, it all seems like a lot of needless hullabaloo.

The Noble Eightfold Path is an individual pursuit.

All this talk about this community does this, that community doing that, this community doesn't adequately recognise my preference or identify etc.etc... it's all politicking and expressions of atta, and that politicking and identification will only take someone further from, rather than closer to enlightenment.

Everything being argued is something that should be let go of.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

dhamma_newb
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:36 am

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby dhamma_newb » Thu May 24, 2012 3:59 am

I agree with Retro. The thought that I'm an "Asian American Buddhist" never even occurred to me until I read that article. Who cares? I surely don't.

I am grateful to be able to practice the Buddha's teachings with friends regardless of their color (or lack thereof ;) ).
The watched mind brings happiness.
Dhp 36

I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.
Walt Whitman

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Thu May 24, 2012 4:40 am

Sure, to be overly attached to any identification, group or individual, is, well, attachment. It doesn't seem to me that the author is calling for this, just greater awareness of certain dynamics of social relations which are sometimes overlooked.

As for whether when it comes down to it, the NEP is an 'individual' pursuit. Well insofar as no one can Awaken on our behalf, that's certainly true. But at the same time, aren't we also advised that admirable friendship is the whole of the holy life? Don't we take refuge in the Triple Gem, which includes of course the sangha? I know that what we precisely take refuge in is the Noble monastic sangha. But is the Noble monastic sangha not a community? And where would any monastic sangha be without the generosity and support of the lay community? Hasn't this historically been the case, that laypeople and the monastic community support one another?

To be sure, there has been a certain individualistic turn with the development of modern Buddhism, and especially in its encounter with the West. The possibilities opened up this encounter certainly shouldn't be discounted. But it is something else altogether to say from the basis of this historically conditioned development that traditional communal practices are really superfluous habits--because this is not the reality. For without millennia of communality where would Buddhism be? Would it have survived for over two thousand years? Would we be able to engage with it today?

Moreover, even if some of us may be able to fruitfully engage with the dhamma in individualistic terms, it remains the case the for the overwhelming majority of Buddhists in traditional Buddhist societies, the dhamma is interwoven with their everyday communal practices. Anyone who has visited those countries would have experienced that. This is evident also in dhamma centres which have taken root in Western societies. How then could we cultivate hospitality and gratitude towards these other groups of people who may have very different views and approaches towards the dhamma, but without whom there would not have been the continuity of tradition?

Again, I won't deny that it could be counterproductive to be overly attached to group affiliations. But there's something else in this interview that warrants attention too. Communal dhamma practice may seem superfluous to some of us, but what are the implications of asserting from what is really a situated, contingent position that it is superfluous, given that communality constitutes the life-worlds of many, many Buddhists who have been subjected to centuries of colonial oppression and the ideological subversion of their traditions by Westerners who have claimed to know better, even today?

Could it be that what may seem like needless hullabaloo to us is actually hurtful to others who have been repeatedly condescended to--perhaps by this very rhetoric itself, that they shouldn't get too upset about this or that aspect of their social customs because they are really 'needless hullabaloo'?
Last edited by zavk on Thu May 24, 2012 4:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
With metta,
zavk

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 24, 2012 4:44 am

_/|\_

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 4:49 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 4:59 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Buckwheat
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am
Location: California USA

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby Buckwheat » Thu May 24, 2012 4:59 am

Everything the same, everything unique.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Thu May 24, 2012 5:13 am

With metta,
zavk

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 5:22 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Fri May 25, 2012 12:03 am

With metta,
zavk

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Fri May 25, 2012 12:05 am

With metta,
zavk

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 1:28 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Fri May 25, 2012 1:36 am

With metta,
zavk

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 1:39 am

Greetings zavk,

I'm not speaking about any 'unconditioned' here, but if you are comfortable with your approach then all is well.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
zavk
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby zavk » Fri May 25, 2012 1:53 am

Oh I do not think you're denying my approach. No problem here.

My point in going through all the trouble to clarify myself is more precisely to suggest (as the 'Angry Asian Buddhist' also attempts to do in his own way) that we could exercise more circumspection in how we go about saying what is needless hullabaloo or which particular approach is more closely aligned with the vertical axis or not. This is not directed only at you, but I'm offering it more generally for consideration. Even if one feels that one has sound basis for making such propositions, given that we always speak from a situated position, and given that we always and already inhabit an environment constituted by unequal relations, such propositions have certain reverberations which may be unskilful.

:anjali:
With metta,
zavk

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 1:55 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Who is the Angry Asian Buddhist?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2012 12:53 am



Return to “Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine