Appropriation

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Appropriation

Postby Sko » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:28 am

Many concepts within Buddhist culture have been assimilated within more "westernized" countries and their cultures. Examples of this are yoga and buddhist philosophy self-help books. In your personal opinion as a practicing Buddhist, are you more concerned about the cultural appropriation taking place and the out-of-place misuse of Buddhist concepts or are you content and happy that any part of Buddha's teachings are helping people even outside primarily Buddhist countries?

-- Sko

(P.S. it's come to my attention recently that some new age Wiccan sects have begun using the chakras in their practices. This is just another addition to the list, obscure as it is.)
User avatar
Sko
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:26 pm

Re: Appropriation

Postby odysseus » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:43 am

Since Buddha sent out his monks to talk Buddhism with people for the benefit of everybody, I see nothing wrong in cultural adaptations in the West, also including self-help books. On the contrary, cultural variations of Buddhism in the West is a positive thing even if Buddhism is independent of culture - it´s needed. In fact, every known Western tradition could be adapted to fit Buddhism just to put it upside down.

The bad part is if Buddhism is equated to nihilism or individualism, but this is seldom the case.
Buddha is best on Earth. My lord is best.
odysseus
 
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Appropriation

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:55 am

Sko wrote:Many concepts within Buddhist culture have been assimilated within more "westernized" countries and their cultures. Examples of this are yoga and buddhist philosophy self-help books. In your personal opinion as a practicing Buddhist, are you more concerned about the cultural appropriation taking place and the out-of-place misuse of Buddhist concepts or are you content and happy that any part of Buddha's teachings are helping people even outside primarily Buddhist countries?

-- Sko

(P.S. it's come to my attention recently that some new age Wiccan sects have begun using the chakras in their practices. This is just another addition to the list, obscure as it is.)



Well, it's not like Western culture is the first non-native one to absorb Buddhism lol.

That said, there's always a fine line, and it's a work in progress at this point. The biggest dangers right now IMO are the appropriation of Buddhism for materialistic aims, and the leaving out of big chunks of important bits.. again though it's one of those fascinating areas where figuring out what goes in what category isn't always easy.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2565
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Appropriation

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:03 am

One of the remarkable things about Buddhism is its adaptability. It has been able to adapt to different cultures and different historical periods very effectively. Also the Buddha appropriated many concepts from the prevailing culture, such as karma, and the 'true brahmin', but gave them new meaning. So there is a porous membrane between Buddhism and the various cultures that it interacts with, which is probably as it should be. It doesn't mean that things can't be misrepresented or misunderstood but that is one of the risks associated with the wish to say anything at all.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Appropriation

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:20 am

Not something that bothers me, really. But then again, even sacrilege doesn't bother me. I think that other people do what they do, and I do what I do. And I'll let you do what you want while I do what I want to do.
User avatar
tomamundsen
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:50 am
Location: San Diego, CA


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], odysseus, rachmiel, udawa and 9 guests

cron
>