K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:49 am

I've noticed a few Buddhist teachers that have the pomp and mannerisms of a hollywood kung fu master.

I sometimes wonder what's going through the mind of these people. :thinking:

I would ask them directly, but I'm sure I would get a 1990's movie line, "who is asking the question (I don't want to answer)?". :sage:

How do these people stay in business? Is it a form of schizophrenia? :shrug:

Should I praise them for keeping in character so long? :applause:

Still waiting for the ninjas to show up,

Ramon1920 :popcorn:
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:52 am

What or who is a hollywood kung fu master?

Anyway, people like that stay in business because many people interested in Buddhism have no cultural background in it, and know little to nothing about it. Not hard to take advantage of people looking for answers when they are a blank slate like that, you can make up any old thing really and anyone unmotivated enough to vet or at least consider the information will lap it up I suspect.
"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
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby shel » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:01 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:What or who is a hollywood kung fu master?


The reference harkens back to a prior age, youngster. The correct answer is David Carradine, 1936–2009.

Ramon1920 wrote:I sometimes wonder what's going through the mind of these people.


If I recall correctly, something like, "I seek water."
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:08 am

Heh i'm old enough to remember Kung fu, at least in reruns on a crappy old balck and white;). Just didn't connect the dots.

Anyway, one thing that bothered me when I was involved with one Zen group was that some people seemed to maybe have a kind of anti-intellectual bent, in the sense that they thought "practice" was so much more important than intellectual understanding that they pretty avoided any intellectual understanding whatsoever. I very much liked my teacher, and he didn't engage in this sort of thing, but I did get this vibe from many of the students.

In that kind of environment, meaningless but cool-sounding slogans and stuff can really find a home. Being unwilling to engage in any "intellectual Buddhism" pretty much means that you won't be able to critically evaluate what's being taught.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5I94bT23cQ
"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
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:13 pm

Ramon1920 wrote:I've noticed a few Buddhist teachers that have the pomp and mannerisms of a hollywood kung fu master.


??????

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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby lobster » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:04 am

How do these people stay in business? Is it a form of schizophrenia?


A lot of the time it is reflecting the needs and expectations of students.
:oops:

Teaching independent of form, formality and expectation also comes from senior practitioners who are not playing a part. The issue is then not the business of crazy teachers but crazed students . . . :shrug:

What would you prefer from teachers? Who is an example for you? :popcorn:
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby Ramon1920 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:37 am

Good examples of Western teachers that can be looked up online are Thubten Chodron, Alex Berzin, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and Bodhi Bhikkhu.

There's no, "Look at me. I'm special." that I've seen about them.

They are respectful of the teachings.
They take the teachings seriously and avoid misrepresenting.
They are knowledgeable of the teachings.

Time of course may corrupt the teachers mentioned. So if someone reads this in a few years, it may not represent my opinion any longer.
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby flavio81 » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:25 pm

Ramon1920 wrote:I've noticed a few Buddhist teachers that have the pomp and mannerisms of a hollywood kung fu master.


That is your impression, not a fact or an objective assessment.

A teacher can use skillful ways that would appear ridiculous to others. Yet, he might probably be doing it so it can be of benefit to people who wouldn't be benefited from Buddhism with a different presentation.
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby shel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:22 pm

flavio81 wrote:
Ramon1920 wrote:I've noticed a few Buddhist teachers that have the pomp and mannerisms of a hollywood kung fu master.


That is your impression, not a fact or an objective assessment.


On the contrary, people are often just what they appear to be. The fact that the obvious is so often overlooked is disturbing.

A teacher can use skillful ways that would appear ridiculous to others. Yet, he might probably be doing it so it can be of benefit to people who wouldn't be benefited from Buddhism with a different presentation.

So it's all in the presentation, aye? Since when does the truth require smoke and mirrors?
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby justsit » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:31 pm

shel wrote:
A teacher can use skillful ways that would appear ridiculous to others. Yet, he might probably be doing it so it can be of benefit to people who wouldn't be benefited from Buddhism with a different presentation.

So it's all in the presentation, aye? Since when does the truth require smoke and mirrors?


So there's only one way to present truth??
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby shel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:55 pm

justsit wrote:
shel wrote:
A teacher can use skillful ways that would appear ridiculous to others. Yet, he might probably be doing it so it can be of benefit to people who wouldn't be benefited from Buddhism with a different presentation.

So it's all in the presentation, aye? Since when does the truth require smoke and mirrors?


So there's only one way to present truth??


No. Even Hollywood has presented truth... on occasion.

But the truth is that the concept of "expedient means" has been overused and abused, by followers. It's high time we started calling a spade a spade.
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby justsit » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:54 pm

shel wrote: the truth is that the concept of "expedient means" has been overused and abused, by followers. It's high time we started calling a spade a spade.

Yeah, that's where the wisdom part comes in. :smile:
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby shel » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:58 pm

justsit wrote:
shel wrote: the truth is that the concept of "expedient means" has been overused and abused, by followers. It's high time we started calling a spade a spade.

Yeah, that's where the wisdom part comes in. :smile:


Unfortunately wisdom is a rare commodity in any group, religious or otherwise, so the concern appears to be valid. :emb:
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby greentara » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:24 am

Shell, "So it's all in the presentation, aye? Since when does the truth require smoke and mirrors?" Thanks, couldn't agree more.
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby flavio81 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:21 am

shel wrote:But the truth is that the concept of "expedient means" has been overused and abused, by followers. It's high time we started calling a spade a spade.


Well, if you like "calling a spade a spade" and establishing how "the truth" should be presented, then you will like Fundamentalist Christian Evangelism more than Buddhism.
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Re: K̶u̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶u̶ Buddhist culture in America

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:14 am

Well, it could be pride, a love for glamor, or a reminder of the lineage and to glorify the teachings (Pope Benedict style).
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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