The Buddhism trend in decline.

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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby gyougan » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:54 am

lisehull wrote:
gyougan wrote:Around 2005 there was a lot of optimism about Buddhism in the West. There was a feeling that Buddhism will grow and grow in the West.

But there's no such a feeling anymore.

And I think it's partly because so few Buddhists have proper realization anymore. Buddhism has become simply smoke & mirrors and many Westerners can see through that. They were naive ten years ago but are no longer.


From where did you obtain this information?
:namaste:


It's only my personal feeling so take it with a HUGE grain of salt. :smile:
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby greentara » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:35 am

It's interesting to note the number of Asians i.e. Koreans, Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Chinese etc that have Western first names and have converted to Christianity. Whether it's the lure of materialism and trying to'fit in' a corporate world with all its trappings?
Also proselytising by the Christian church can't be overlooked, There are many and varied reasons in this new globalized corporate 'nightmare' that is being created as we speak.
Lack of job security and the casualization of the work force make people feel vulnerable, powerless and perhaps no religion or a simple form of devotion is all they can muster.
The internet with its cult of celebrity, sensational trial by media and ready porn is a great drawcard.
One must always remember the Buddha said his teaching is only for those with a little dust in their eyes.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:59 am

greentara wrote:It's interesting to note the number of Asians i.e. Koreans, Vietnamese, Singaporeans, Chinese etc that have Western first names and have converted to Christianity. Whether it's the lure of materialism and trying to'fit in' a corporate world with all its trappings?


That's perhaps part of it. The global monoculture is primarily English speaking and the greater skill you have navigating it, the more access to wealth and luxuries you get. This is why male businessmen and politicians the world over wear suits, even though strictly speaking it is foreign garb for most of them. Countries like China and Japan with rich cultures basically tossed most of their old culture out the window in favor of everything western. Government institutions and values promoted in education systems are all based on western models. Popular culture from music to lattes and fashion all emulate the west.

The more adept you are with the monoculture, the more likely you are to succeed in it. That's why so many youth around the world want to learn English and recently have started to absorb a lot of American and European culture indirectly through the internet.

In Korea I hear that Christianity is associated with powerful western culture, democracy and everything that Koreans apparently aspire to be. Buddhism is associated with backwards cultural practices and a "weak Korea" of the past.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby odysseus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:58 am

I thought Christianity rejected materialism? Jesus scolded the money-lender and things like that. But I can not judge, anyone can misunderstand Buddhism also.

I think we can´t use the Internet for any trends, though it´s interesting. There are for example not many members on this forum and there are not many reads on the threads. I read that there are 5 million Buddhists in USA by an article. In my European country, 83% don´t believe in a personal God. What else they turn to is unknown.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby underthetree » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:52 am

gyougan wrote:
lisehull wrote:
gyougan wrote:Around 2005 there was a lot of optimism about Buddhism in the West. There was a feeling that Buddhism will grow and grow in the West.

But there's no such a feeling anymore.

And I think it's partly because so few Buddhists have proper realization anymore. Buddhism has become simply smoke & mirrors and many Westerners can see through that. They were naive ten years ago but are no longer.


From where did you obtain this information?
:namaste:


It's only my personal feeling so take it with a HUGE grain of salt. :smile:


But it's a good point. How many realized beings are there in the world? Who is becoming realized in the West? How many have become enlightened in the last ten years? Twenty years? Fifty? The last century?

It gave me pause to read the recent thread on Buddhist saints. Every candidate was from the Middle Ages at the very latest.

Either Buddhism is a path to enlightenment or it isn't. There are plenty of people for whom acquiring outward trappings (empowerments and the souvenir bags that go with them; thangkas and statues; or just the chance to make tea for Rinpoche at the center) is apparently a satisfactory end in itself. But I worry that the internet and the airplane are making Buddhism a phenomenon of the surface: shiny, attractive, mirror-thin. Perhaps we've all given up waiting for someone to achieve rainbow body in St Louis or Cardiff or Milan. For those of us who would rather swiftly attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings than belong to some glorified Orientalist country club, is there, perhaps, a growing sense of unease, of losing heart?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:49 pm

Andrew108 wrote:I also know that there are western practitioners who have genuine realization, but they are somewhat undervalued.



Depends on what you mean by realization.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's definition is very stringent. If you can place your hand in fire without it being harmed, then he will consider you realized. Since he himself cannot do this, he does not consider himself realized, just a little nore experienced than we, his students.

I personally believe he is an arya, someone who is actually an awakened person -- but that is just me.

M
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:55 pm

Cleaned much of this thread and split a lot of topics. It was my fault for letting it get so derailed.

Please continue discussion of original topic here.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:05 pm

underthetree wrote:
But it's a good point. How many realized beings are there in the world? Who is becoming realized in the West? How many have become enlightened in the last ten years? Twenty years? Fifty? The last century?



I can think of at least five people within the past 15 years who acheived total realization -- two bonpo in Tibet, a couple of buddhist yogis in repkong, Khenpo Acho is famous. I am sure there are more.




It gave me pause to read the recent thread on Buddhist saints. Every candidate was from the Middle Ages at the very latest.


Nah...there are plenty of saints, enough to go around for everyone, even in this century, Buddhist, Bonpo and Hindu -- even Christian.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby alpha » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Malcolm wrote:
underthetree wrote:
But it's a good point. How many realized beings are there in the world? Who is becoming realized in the West? How many have become enlightened in the last ten years? Twenty years? Fifty? The last century?



I can think of at least five people within the past 15 years who acheived total realization -- two bonpo in Tibet, a couple of buddhist yogis in repkong, Khenpo Acho is famous. I am sure there are more.




It gave me pause to read the recent thread on Buddhist saints. Every candidate was from the Middle Ages at the very latest.


Nah...there are plenty of saints, enough to go around for everyone, even in this century, Buddhist, Bonpo and Hindu -- even Christian.


How about westerners?
How many of those you know who have been educated in the west have achieved ,are very close to achieve or just about to achieve total realization or are very far gone , almost continually integrated,day and night ,free ,totaly free, nearly free,just about to be free?
How many?
Or lets go one step lower.
How many you know ,westereners, who can carry their rigpa around ,on leaving home,getting on the bus,reading on the bus,getting off the bus,taking the tube,reading on the tube getting off the tube,walking to office ,on the way to office saying hello to 50 individiuals,spending 10 hours doing shit in a stupid f...d up office..leaving work.. etc...and so on...?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:28 pm

alpha wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
underthetree wrote:
But it's a good point. How many realized beings are there in the world? Who is becoming realized in the West? How many have become enlightened in the last ten years? Twenty years? Fifty? The last century?



I can think of at least five people within the past 15 years who acheived total realization -- two bonpo in Tibet, a couple of buddhist yogis in repkong, Khenpo Acho is famous. I am sure there are more.




It gave me pause to read the recent thread on Buddhist saints. Every candidate was from the Middle Ages at the very latest.


Nah...there are plenty of saints, enough to go around for everyone, even in this century, Buddhist, Bonpo and Hindu -- even Christian.


How about westerners?
How many of those you know who have been educated in the west have achieved ,are very close to achieve or just about to achieve total realization or are very far gone , almost continually integrated,day and night ,free ,totaly free, nearly free,just about to be free?
How many?
Or lets go one step lower.
How many you know ,westereners, who can carry their rigpa around ,on leaving home,getting on the bus,reading on the bus,getting off the bus,taking the tube,reading on the tube getting off the tube,walking to office ,on the way to office saying hello to 50 individiuals,spending 10 hours doing shit in a stupid f...d up office..leaving work.. etc...and so on...?


ChNN very recently said that he knows of students in the DC who have concrete knowledge of Dzogchen, good practitioners, this means they are very integrated.

M
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http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:I also know that there are western practitioners who have genuine realization, but they are somewhat undervalued.



Depends on what you mean by realization.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's definition is very stringent. If you can place your hand in fire without it being harmed, then he will consider you realized. Since he himself cannot do this, he does not consider himself realized, just a little nore experienced than we, his students.

I personally believe he is an arya, someone who is actually an awakened person -- but that is just me.

M

You think he is a full fledged Buddha or just someone who is realized?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:24 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:I also know that there are western practitioners who have genuine realization, but they are somewhat undervalued.



Depends on what you mean by realization.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's definition is very stringent. If you can place your hand in fire without it being harmed, then he will consider you realized. Since he himself cannot do this, he does not consider himself realized, just a little nore experienced than we, his students.

I personally believe he is an arya, someone who is actually an awakened person -- but that is just me.

M

You think he is a full fledged Buddha or just someone who is realized?


I think he is someone who is the constant knowledge of his own state.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby greentara » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:25 am

I was in the bank the other day and struck up a conversation with a Cambodian woman who happened to work there. After some small talk I asked her whether she was a buddhist and did she think buddhism was in decline?
I discovered her parents were practicing buddhists but she of course had no interest in religion and was only too happy revelling in the consumerism around her.
I believe someone on this blog mentioned that in Japan elderly women were perhaps the only ones who took buddhism seriously.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:59 am

I'd like to think these trendlines suggest that people are researching less and doing, sitting, practicing, more.

Perhaps there was a period of investigation, discovery, and now we are in a phase where those still in the practice are a fairly dedicated group.

For a possibly absurd example, the term "BMX" spiked big in 2008, and has since trended down. I'm guessing BMX is far more popular today than it was in 2008. In 2008, people wondered what it was, and got on their computers, Today, they're getting on their bikes, just as we are on our cushions...

I feel Buddhism today is as strong as it has been in the West, ever. There are so many good teachers, and the wackos and fraudsters are being weeded out. I'd say Buddhism in the West is a 'growth industry.'
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Osho » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:42 am

Nighthawk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:I also know that there are western practitioners who have genuine realization, but they are somewhat undervalued.



Depends on what you mean by realization.

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's definition is very stringent. If you can place your hand in fire without it being harmed, then he will consider you realized. Since he himself cannot do this, he does not consider himself realized, just a little nore experienced than we, his students.
........................................
We have neo Sufis here in the UK who seem to do little else but fire walk and place their unblemished hands onto red hot coals. Theyr'e not necessarily 'realized beings' but it does make for good theatre.
...............................
I personally believe he is an arya, someone who is actually an awakened person -- but that is just me.

M

You think he is a full fledged Buddha or just someone who is realized?
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:22 pm

Osho wrote:We have neo Sufis here in the UK who seem to do little else but fire walk and place their unblemished hands onto red hot coals. Theyr'e not necessarily 'realized beings' but it does make for good theatre.



Um.... that is not what he means. He means putting one's hand in a fire and leaving it there indefinitely.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby alpha » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:57 pm

i dont want to be difficult but why is CNNR asking his disciple things he cant do himself.
According to him the one who can integrate ,in this instance, with the fire element will get permission from him to teach dzogchen.
Why is he not saying for example .."if you at least have my knowledge of dzogchen and my level of integration then you can teach dzogchen to others".
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Malcolm » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:03 pm

alpha wrote:i dont want to be difficult but why is CNNR asking his disciple things he cant do himself.
According to him the one who can integrate ,in this instance, with the fire element will get permission from him to teach dzogchen.
Why is he not saying for example .."if you at least have my knowledge of dzogchen and my level of integration then you can teach dzogchen to others".


No, what he said was if you can do this, then he wants to take teachings from you!

As for the second statement, he is saying that, all the time.

M
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby spanda » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:48 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Um.... that is not what he means. He means putting one's hand in a fire and leaving it there indefinitely.


I've seen for a a lot of example that proves Vajrayana system is very "pragmatic".

The prove that you succeed in tummo it's by soaking some wet sheets in cold Tibetan winter, the sign of success in Phowa practice, the famous hole in the head, the prove that you are realized is to make some very clear physical miracle: placing the hand indefinitely in a fire, flying (like Milarepa), etc. The prove that you have really realized the illusory character of reality is by transcending any physical law (the story I read here about Dharmakirti (I think), when he was walking and he bump with his head on a pillar, and when the monks around him laughed, he pass the hand through the pillar (I remember correctly?)). The prove that you are completely realized in Dzogchen is the complete dissolution of the physical body, etc.

It is Vajrayana so pragmatic, or I understand it all wrong? Because I like this pragmatism/realism. In this way, nobody can really cheat that he is a great realized being, because he could be very easily tested.
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Re: The Buddhism trend in decline.

Postby Osho » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:08 pm

Is that a metaphor or do some people actually believe that sort of thing really happened?
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