Getting Real, Getting Dirty

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Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby xylem » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:06 pm

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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:29 pm

These are all serious concerns. Of course these must be addressed with your lama.
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby alwayson » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:56 am

Damn, this is some crazy shit.

Can anyone else substantiate these experiences?
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby el_chupacabra » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:23 am

alwayson wrote:Damn, this is some crazy shit.

Can anyone else substantiate these experiences?


Yes, I have spoken to ex-members of both Diamond Way and the FPMT who reported similar experiences, although they concluded that Buddhists were not yet Buddhas and that Sanghas were populated by ordinary humans who were still deep in samsara.

I'm not quite sure what is meant by the phrase "deal with it". Does it mean ignore it and get on with your practice, or that you should bring it up in an open and frank discussion?
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby xylem » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:26 am

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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:34 am

xylem wrote:The advice to "deal with it" is just that: deal with it as a sangha, a community, as friends. As one of my lama's says again and again: "I'm not everything" meaning we need to do the work ourselves. He was referring to practice, but it equally applies to growing the sangha. Lama can't hold our hands. We have to support and care for each other with joy, love and devotion.

I didn't bring these examples up to shock or freak anyone out. These things happen in real life-- which includes the sangha. Buddhists aren't Buddhas.

I bring it up because we tend to focus on sexism and the like in this or that stanza of a sutra or shastra. I've never seen a pecha or book fly off the shelf and grab someone's ass or make someone feel less than. We do these things to each other.

-XY


el_chupacabra wrote:
alwayson wrote:Damn, this is some crazy shit.

Can anyone else substantiate these experiences?


Yes, I have spoken to ex-members of both Diamond Way and the FPMT who reported similar experiences, although they concluded that Buddhists were not yet Buddhas and that Sanghas were populated by ordinary humans who were still deep in samsara.

I'm not quite sure what is meant by the phrase "deal with it". Does it mean ignore it and get on with your practice, or that you should bring it up in an open and frank discussion?


If that sort of thing were to happen in our group, the offender would be ostracized.
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby Paul » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:49 am

Groping someone uninvited is not normal behaviour in a sangha.

Actually, I've never experienced that list of -isms in a sangha.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby el_chupacabra » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:24 am

Just to clarify - I don't know where the idea of univited groping came from, what I understood was that the men were trying to "chat her up", ie. verbal, and also "polite" in a sense, and yet nevertheless unwanted attention.
Also, I was referring to group phenomena rather than that of any single individual. As such, it was hard to pinpoint, for example I have seen similar with regard to age in a Sangha, where the younger people are all taking to each other and where a single older person was sitting alone. When I noticed this, I went over and sat with them and started a conversation. I could not say for sure whether that person chose to sit alone because they preferred it to the idle chatter, or whether they felt excluded. There was nothing deliberate or hostile on the part of the group, the only thing I would say was that they were so engrossed in what they were doing that they possibly lacked awareness - hard to fault them for being focused though.

Equally in the OP, "When pressed, he said everybody was really friendly, but he felt invisible there." Makes it difficult to say exactly what is going on. Maybe he just wasn't great at making friends and the rest of the group thought he was happy being a bit aloof, or maybe the group was in fact really cliquey.
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby Paul » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:33 am

el_chupacabra wrote:Just to clarify - I don't know where the idea of univited groping came from


xylem wrote:I've never seen a pecha or book fly off the shelf and grab someone's ass
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby el_chupacabra » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:50 am

Hayagriva wrote:
el_chupacabra wrote:Just to clarify - I don't know where the idea of univited groping came from


xylem wrote:I've never seen a pecha or book fly off the shelf and grab someone's ass


oh yeah, thanks :namaste:
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby BuddhistPariah » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:05 pm

xylem wrote:Once when I was at a teaching retreat, a dharma sister told me that she wasn't comfortable going to the gonpa because of-- her quote-- "the men circling her like she was a dog in heat". I saw much of this with my own eyes, men serially approaching every woman they could, bedding those willing right during the retreat. Of course these liasons work out no better than hooking up at a bar, and in the end one is forced to face a lover in the gonpa or doing dishes or whatever. Some left the sangha because it was too uncomfortable and weird.

Another dharma sister shared with me that she came to the dharma because of some serious abuse and violence in her life. Dharma practice or teaching retreat as a place to hook-up was really not good for her. She just wanted a space to heal and not have to deal with sexual innuendo or advances. She basically wanted to be left alone to sit and take teachings and practice and contribute what she could between her various commitments getting her life back together.

I once had a dharma sister just announce to me "I'm not cleaning another God damned toilet!" and she left for the rest of the afternoon. Somehow the public restroom was defaulted to her and she just had it. Later when I ran into her this was something going on for years. Middle aged woman-- make her do food and cleaning. Oh yea, she has a master's degree in MIS, maybe SHE should be doing the advertising...

I remember running into an African American guy who once came to one of the centers I was involved with. He came a few times and never came back. I asked him about his experience. He said he found it all really interesting but that he didn't feel comfortable there. When pressed, he said everybody was really friendly, but he felt invisible there. All of the activity and social interaction just happened around him, to him, despite him.

When I was on the board of a center once, I brought up the issue of diversity. I pointed out that there was a huge African American university community that we've failed to interact with. The response from several board members: "black people don't practice this kind of Buddhism". When I tried to detangle that with them I was accused of being hostile and censured.

These are real experiences. The sexism I see in real sanghas isn't on the abstract level of what this or that classical text says about women. It's about people feeling welcome, safe, valuable. It's really that simple. Regardless of what the teachings might say or not say-- if people feel icky, less than, it's all bad.

These experiences I share aren't common, but they're not uncommon. I have others related to ableism, homophobia and classism. I have other examples of sexism and racism.

If we have warm and open communities where we actively work hard to deal with our cultural habituation, then we can have sanghas where women aren't things and people of color are human and LBGT people aren't freaks. If we don't do this, then we'll find any number of justifications for our bigotries in the sutra, shastras and tantras.

I've talked with some of my teachers about problems like this and their suggestion: deal with it. I think that's profound advice. We really are creating and supporting this thing with our own joy, devotion, effort and love for each other.


I think you can add this to your quotes:

viewtopic.php?f=77&t=3635
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby xylem » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:26 pm

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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby xylem » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:53 pm

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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:50 pm

xylem wrote:Once when I was at a teaching retreat, a dharma sister told me that she wasn't comfortable going to the gonpa because of-- her quote-- "the men circling her like she was a dog in heat". I saw much of this with my own eyes, men serially approaching every woman they could, bedding those willing right during the retreat.


Was this in the early 70's or something?

I'm not denying people's experiences and their perceptions. However people can deeply misunderstand one another. Recently at an empowerment several friends from various groups around the area were there. The wife of a friend of mine was also there and I had not meet her before. Usually I do not introduce myself to other people - I meet them by showing up a few times and usually we get introduced. However I went over to her and introduced myself. I don't remember her exact words but she responded nicely and then said that she was married. I thought that was a strange thing to say but said "Yes, I know, I know your husband". He was sitting right next to her and then further introduced us. But I think my intentions were misunderstood but it all worked out.

Is sexual or relational villainy rampant in groups?

Kirt
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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:08 pm

xylem wrote:I once had a dharma sister just announce to me "I'm not cleaning another God damned toilet!" and she left for the rest of the afternoon. Somehow the public restroom was defaulted to her and she just had it. Later when I ran into her this was something going on for years. Middle aged woman-- make her do food and cleaning. Oh yea, she has a master's degree in MIS, maybe SHE should be doing the advertising...


Come on - MIS - that's not even a real degree. It's all management. It's for people who know how to talk and sound good (like most things in the US now - so probably she should have been doing the advertising). And anyway, MS's are the new hs diploma.

However that shouldn't have happened and jobs should have been rotated. I am very disturbed by the women doing all the cleaning at one group and have tried to help. Sometimes the women will let me help and sometimes they won't.

I remember running into an African American guy who once came to one of the centers I was involved with. He came a few times and never came back. I asked him about his experience. He said he found it all really interesting but that he didn't feel comfortable there. When pressed, he said everybody was really friendly, but he felt invisible there. All of the activity and social interaction just happened around him, to him, despite him.


This is a problem. I don't have any idea how to fix it since I'm not a people person. And I usually don't introduce myself for a while anyway. One of the problems is that I quickly forget people's names (this was a real problem in hs classes and I had to devise ingenous ways to overcome it - but usually it was just if after 3 weeks I don't know a student's names then I owe them $1).

When I was on the board of a center once, I brought up the issue of diversity. I pointed out that there was a huge African American university community that we've failed to interact with. The response from several board members: "black people don't practice this kind of Buddhism". When I tried to detangle that with them I was accused of being hostile and censured.


I have heard an African-American man who is highly respected in one of the large lineage community groups basically say this (he actually said that Buddhism isn't on most African-American's radar as even a possibility, even considering Sokka Gakai - I was taken aback by this statement and we discussed this at length - he was/is a Trungpa student from way back and is a kind of wild guy and has a different point of view on quite a lot). I have also heard a Zen teacher say that her teacher said this and was shocked about that too (and our Zen group did have several African-American students). We have to address this exclusion but without proselytizing. Do you have any suggestions? Actually I need to visit with my friend and his wife and might bring this up again.

What is true for sure is that there are few African American faces in Tibetan Buddhist centers although there are some. There is a Vajra Brother of mine whom I see only once or twice a year at empowerments (he is much more Kagyu and until recently I only had minimal Kagyu contact except online) - as a result I have trouble remembering his name and this is just embarrassing.

t's about people feeling welcome, safe, valuable. It's really that simple. Regardless of what the teachings might say or not say-- if people feel icky, less than, it's all bad.


Yes, yes, yes all the way around.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby Malcolm » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:56 pm

PC Buddhism, yuck, spare me.
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby kirtu » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:PC Buddhism, yuck, spare me.


What's PC about no hitting on people and trying to be welcoming to everyone and not making women do most of the cleaning?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby alwayson » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:10 pm

kirtu wrote:not making women do most of the cleaning?

Kirt



Women have to do most of the cleaning?

Thats messed up yo.
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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby Malcolm » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:22 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:PC Buddhism, yuck, spare me.


What's PC about no hitting on people and trying to be welcoming to everyone and not making women do most of the cleaning?

Kirt



First of all, Buddhists, male and female, have a hard enough time getting laid.

Secondly, woman do most of the cleaning because men are slobs. It is not a plot. Woman, in general, have different needs around neatness than men do. Proof? Men's bathrooms and women's bathrooms.

N
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http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: Getting Real, Getting Dirty

Postby Virgo » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:42 pm

kirtu wrote:
What's PC about no hitting on people and trying to be welcoming to everyone and not making women do most of the cleaning?

Kirt

I can tell you what I personally think is wrong with it. You are not seeing people on an equal level but defining them by their outer charachteristics and trying to be "fair" to all these divisive classes you delusionally invent, when you see "woman", "black guy" etc. and treat them in any particular way whether bad or good based on such a classification. It is nothing more than racism (and sexism) in a nice way-- it's its flipside. Division is bred from defining and classifying people based on speech, culture, skin pigmentation, hair texture, shape of a persons genitals, etc. It's limiting, divisive, and impractical if you truly want to see all people equally. It's the game of division, with nice nice intentions. We need to all be equal, together, and not divided and then "brought together" because of our stupid skin colors.

The more we try to work on "equality" and so forth, the more we divide. My generation, in general, does this less than older generations (I am 31). The generation that is younger than me, in general of course, does this even less than my generation (of course there are always many exceptions). Older generation, in general, are addicted to classifying peoples and then treating either nicely or not nicely - depending on their own attitude - based on those classifications (understandably because of the times they have been through and the things they have witnessed). It has it's use. But ultimately. You;ve got to not work with these stupid "classes" at all to really have real equality. Just relate to people, not white, black, anything else. Dividing people and then bringing them together so that all the divisions are considered equal is like a bad joke.

Kevin

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