deepbluehum wrote:I have found that it helps me think of the whole Tibetan thing as one thing. There's so much cross-fertilization there. All the stuff about inter-lineage rivalry and debate is Tibetan business. I look for good wisdom from the whole tradition. I do the same for South and East Asian Buddhism. As Western dharma people, we don't owe any loyalties. The onus is on them to substantiate their claims about their practices and tenets. We can do what we want with it. The era of Western Buddhism is ahead. At first it will be a non-sectarian deal that syncretically digests all these traditions. Later, Western buddhist sectarianism will arise, just like it did in all these other regions. But there is no duty to make friends. Scientists have no duty to incorporate the teachings of sorcery. If a teaching is scientific it will survive as long as a better science doesn't replace it. Where there is really good ancient science, clouded over by sorcery, it would be better to redact the sorcery. This is basically what Western buddhists are facing with all these traditions.
What's wrong with sorcery if it works?
Just abandoning something because it sounds mystical is not scientific. That's just wielding a blind faith believe, treating science like a religion. What would be scientific would be to put aside biases and test the method to see if it is effective or not. Most often the "western secular" Buddhists I converse with (usually over the interwebs) are just wielding materialism as a religion and calling it science. They aren't using the scientific method or being scientific (coming up with and testing hypotheses) in their analysis.
Just as science has shown mindfulness is effective at improving the mental state, it could be used to validate the higher practices, assuming you could get a target population large enough and qualified to perform them willing to be part of an experiment.