Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

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Indrajala
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Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:40 am

DDM recently had a mass wedding ceremony where 64 couples "tied the lifelong knot and took oaths". See here:

http://www.dharmadrum.org/content/news/ ... px?sn=1118

As far as I know this is a relatively recent development. There are examples to be seen elsewhere in Christian Asia where this happens. In the Buddhist context, though, I was surprised to see this sort of thing.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

JKhedrup
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:16 am

Not really to my taste, reminded me a bit of the Unification Church.

But, I think DDM is seeking a way to get families and young couples to continue to participate in dharma activities, so I am sure the intention was very good.

I very much would like to see the dharma continue in Taiwan and if these kinds of programs make that possible I guess I can't criticize too much.

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pueraeternus
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:07 pm

I wonder if they will perform such rites here in the NYC Chan Meditation Center. It is probably too small for a mass wedding, maybe at their upstate DDRC. :)
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JKhedrup
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:09 pm

I hope not. If the American press caught wind of it they'd equate it with the Unification Church for sure... It would create a lot of misunderstandings.

plwk
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby plwk » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:34 pm

Social service. Good thing, I think....


Alfredo
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Alfredo » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:41 pm

The difference is, at Dharma Drum you have to find your own wife.
(no longer participating on this board)

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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:06 am

Through Dzogchen we can really understand what God is and we don’t have to worry if there is a God or not. God always exists as our real nature, the base, for everybody. - Chögyal Namkhai Norbu

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Grigoris
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Grigoris » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:48 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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rory
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby rory » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:30 am

I find this entire behavior creepy. If they want to attract people preach the dharma, well to do people find life dissatisfying and we all meet illness and death eventually. A better example to copy is the wonderful Imee Ooi! She's modern and has wonderful versions of dharanis, mantras and various Buddhist works...
gassho
Rory
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Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Luke.A
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Luke.A » Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:45 pm

Hi Indrajala,

This is Luke. I think that the crux of the matter in all these discussions about Taiwanese Buddhism and its brand of modern Buddhism is that these masters are struggling to make Buddhism relevant to society outside of a large but quickly aging and mostly female segment of the population. I understand that from a purely traditional point of view, the notion of Buddhist weddings is perplexing.

But I want to argue that for the most part, people in Taiwan, the rest of East Asia and the West (with some exception of course) could not give less of a damn about traditional Buddhism, and (I would further argue) for legitimate reasons; most forms of traditional Buddhism are not primarily interested in or concerned with helping foster a happier, more harmonious society. As you put it yourself, Buddhism, in its traditional form, is not concerned with fixing Samsara (even if the byproduct of some of its activities might be of some help in a worldly sense). Well guess what, most people are not interested in adopting the worldview of traditional Buddhism and take it to its logical conclusion by renouncing aspects of existence they hold dear, and therefore you can't expect them to take any interest in that form of religiosity or support (financially) its institutions.

For the most part, the people of Asia have been a captive audience of Buddhism with no other options on the religious market. That's over now. Buddhism has to compete with religions that have far more appealing promises (believe in Jesus, be saved and join your family in paradise at death vs share sizable amounts of your financial or material wealth with monastics and maybe you (not really you) will be reborn on your own in heaven or the human realm for some time/renounce the world and maybe vanish from existence itself eventually) AND who take a far more proactive attitude about making the world a better place.

(This is NOT a critique of Buddhism, I'm just describing the situation.The narratives above reflect popular understanding of Buddhism in Asia through history)

Now, this wedding business and other similar innovations are exactly that; being proactive about trying to create a happier, more harmonious society where human flourishing is possible outside of monastic vows or a stringent upāsaka lifestyle. One can criticize these developments in Buddhism, but they make perfect sense in light of natural human inclinations. A more interesting criticism would be to object to some of these modern adaptations on the basis on the professed goals of their instigators (help build a happier society/world). For instance, I would agree that building ginormous stupas with starbucks in their entrance lobby is, in light of the above goals, a questionable allocation of (hard earned or acquired through human exploitation in the case of Taiwanese business men working in China) resources. But that of course is highly debatable and open to personal appreciation. I'm Just giving an example.

My 2 cents

Kindly,
Luke

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Indrajala
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:15 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Sherlock
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Sherlock » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:25 pm

I think there was always the use of religious rites directed towards prosperity in Asia both at the domestic and state level. Buddhists were also involved in social initiatives such as providing healthcare, drinking water and other services to the community.

The main difference perhaps is that all these are seen as either asking for the favour of devas and yakshas or merit-making -- the ability to have control over devas itself was a side-effect of advanced meditative development, something which might be neglected in e.g. Humanistic Buddhism.

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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby plwk » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:36 pm


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Indrajala
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:12 pm

Arguably famine was a much more pressing concern and widespread in premodern times. Even the wealthiest of countries suffered it at least once a decade.
tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

Kunga
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Kunga » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:53 pm

I think the problem is that they are not really making it relevant to people's lives, they are just perpetuating some kind of groupthink.

I have looked at a number of Asian Buddhist groups who sport grand masters claiming to be modern, progressive and scientific (as if those are necessarily virtues) yet in most cases it's the same old thing when you get past the flannel: ding ding, kerching kerching and lots of irrelevancies which fly in the face of those claims -the minutiae of pure lands, or obscurities from certain sutras, for example, whilst sweet, are the kind of theoretical stuff which I personally can't see the relevance of when it comes to real life situations. Oh, and you must accept and be subservient.

Better that things are taught which can change people's lives and attitudes: meditation, how to realise selflessless and overcome suffering. How to deal with psychological ailments, how to overcome fear, guilt, bereavement, obsession, neurosis. Practical methods. But that might be a little bit too radical.

Purely my own 2 c as on outsider, no offence intended. Btw, the same can be said for the Tibetan tradition - at least in Asia - too. I am not partisan.

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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby plwk » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:45 am


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rory
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby rory » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:33 am

Great post Ven. Kunga; when it comes to religion I'm such a pragmatist - help me deal with this life, the issues you mentioned, now.....

I guess that's why I wind up in lay Buddhism particularly Nichiren (Tiantai) type (though the personality cult also exists whether Ikeda or Niwanos of Rissho Kosei Kai). At least the emphasis is on personal practice, belief in Mappo, and importance of change within the person.You can do it anywhere (no far-away mountain peaks or special equipment necessary). And just about any idiot can read the Lotus Sutra with it's copious and obvious parables.

I'm one of them;-)
with gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

Qianxi
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Qianxi » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:15 pm


Qianxi
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Re: Mass Buddhist wedding in Taiwan

Postby Qianxi » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:38 pm



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