I think instead of feeding people what they expect, they need to be challenged by the Dharma.
I agree completely (and thank you for bringing some life to what has been a constipated and neurotic discussion). This is why I think rory is pointing to something important:
One of the reasons I find Tendai-shu so appealing: the systematic
diversity of practices available. At the most basic, you have three services (the Lotus service, the Amida service, the Heart Sutra service); you have a multiplicity of approaches available beyond this, including esoteric practice and intensive silent meditation. This is not eclecticism, however. Tendai-shu is a Lotus Sutra school. Practically, this means that all these practices are oriented around a single pedagogy, if you will. The point is to present an appropriate gate through which this or that person can pass. Pass into what? The single vehicle.
I don't think this is spoon-feeding. All aspects of the Dharma are challenging because they require people to face the aspects of themselves they would rather not address, and to throw a familiar set of pleasures (samsaric habit) under the train for the sake of a bigger project. This is something that, in my opinion, the Batchelor-style Buddhism that rory is correct to put under critique cannot demand of someone.
The problem rory raises is reducible to upaya, in my opinion. History has vetted certain methods for bringing people into practice. They have proven to work over time. How can we deploy these now to serve the ultimate and provisional needs of contemporary people? That, to me, is the fundamental question, rather than anxiety over who is reciting which piece of scripture at what time in which temple (tut! tut!).
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