Jikan wrote: Sometimes I get the feeling that "radical acceptance" is taken to mean that Buddhist practice is about making yourself more comfortable with the samsaric aspects of your life, rather than any kind of realization or transformation.
I share this same criticism of the 'secular Buddhism' movement, at the same time, I also wonder if for many, this isn't an important first step..I know it was for me.
If a person is willing to consider the possibility of basic psychological well-being as attainable and good, the minute that extends out to others or is contemplated more deeply, it opens up all kinds of questions that seem to lead to a more "Buddhist" view I think. Maybe i'm wrong, the sanitized Dharma teachings bug me in many ways too.
There's a social aspect to the attractiveness "ritual free" teachings too - "what will people think of me with all these crazy statues etc. in my house". Where I live in the PNW, basically you are either a hippy/counterculture person to some degree (in which case you're fine with crazy stuff), or you are so whitebread that you would have a hard time being caught dead around a bunch of thangkas, mantra chanting or whatever. I know it sounds mean to put it that way, but it's true, the mainstream culture here is just..white, white, white..growing up in New Mexico it was different, pretty much everyone was weird and individuality/eccentricity was far more tolerated, and expected in social interaction.
I think in regards to the OP, the problem is that maybe someone is ready to go beyond just "mindfulness" classes or whatever philosophically, but their cultural or other conditioning makes them have such a knee-jerk reaction to "rite and ritual" that they exclude anything but mindfulness/insight classes as a possibility.