Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:45 pm

What originally made Zen famous in the West was its anti-intellectualism, anti-structuralism, iconoclasm, minimalism, etc. That is, the way DT Suzuki painted it. There was also a fascination with Japanese culture. But it seems that while that idea of Zen is still alive and well, it leaves too much out. That means that people are mostly free to fill out the huge gaps with their own ideas - thus the many Zen of this and Zen of that - but that results in Zen being little more than a catchword. It takes enormous dedication/fanaticism to stick with a formless and aimless seated meditation as the centre of one's faith. Generally it just turns into some relax time. My hope is that Korean Buddhism can establish itself in the West as a comprehensive practice and doctrine, since there are apparent intentions to do so by the Jogye Order (largest Buddhist organisation in Korea).

I can second Dzoki in that in Central Europe it is Tibetan Buddhism that rules the land, Diamond Way being the number one by miles. In Hungary's case there are a couple of historical reasons too, for instance Alexander Csoma de Kőrös. Another example, the last time the Dalai Lama was in Budapest (2010) he had an audience of more than 10,000 people (that is 0.1% of the entire population of the country) in a stadium. Of course that doesn't mean all were Buddhists.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:10 pm

Another reason for the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism is I think the high-quality translations available of many of the essential materials.

Because the Tibetans emphasize teaching during dharma assemblies (as opposed to say, group sitting meditation, which is actually a Western innovation in TB), there is a huge amount of material available. Traditional Geshes (the majority of my experience is with the Gelug order, though also HH Karmapa teaches in this way) will often take a text as the basis of their teaching. They will gloss the text with commentary in the majority of cases, which makes reproducing their classes in book form very easy for their students. In this case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his commentaries are widely read all over the world and instant bestsellers.

So there are very accessible books on all aspects of the path of Tibetan Buddhism. People pick up a book by a Tibetan teacher and find it easy to understand and practical, so naturally if they go to the next step of looking for a centre it will likely be in the Tibetan tradition.

Generally the quality of the translations is quite high. Many of the translators of the classical texts (rather than books based on oral teachings) are university educated scholars, with English as their first language. There are also many scholar-practitioners, which means that the works are often quite fresh and readable rather than try university-level analysis. In the Chinese tradition often not enough care has been put into producing publications (sorry, I am not trying to offend). The quality of the grammar is as poor as that of my posts on Dharma Wheel, and there are many spelling mistakes. That labeled as "practical" or "humanistic" is often very relevant to those coming from Chinese cultures but very foreign and confusing to Westerners.In short, they are for the most part not books or translations that people would read or buy.

There are a few exceptions to this. Notably the excellent work of the Buddhist Text Translation Society (Master Hsuan Hua), Kalavinka, and some of the translations of Ven. Sheng Yen's work. On the board we have Ven. Hui Feng and Huseng who are native English speakers translating high quality stuff. (NO they did not pay me to say that). But for the most part, what I see is not of the same quality as the Tibetan publications of Shambhala, Wisdom or Snow Lion (wait, are Snow Lion and Shambhala one thing now?)

The volume of Tibetan Buddhist material is also quite high. This is because most lamas stress the translation of text important to their lineage into the English language, so each practice tradition tries to produce its own publication, so the amount of what is available is pretty staggering. The 84,000 Project to translate the Kangyur is amazing and though I have heard those in the Chinese Buddhist community express a wish to do this with the Chinese canon, I do not see anything as concrete.

In terms of it being free to study in Taiwan for example this is true. But unless you have a firm grasp of Chinese you will likely find it difficult. In terms of what is on offer to laypeople I am not as knowledgeable, as most of what I know comes from my experience as a monk in the monasteries and the experiences of fellow Western monastics I have spoken to.

I don't know of any monasteries there that are really equipped to handle Westerners properly which is why I usually mention CTTB in the USA for those interested in Chinese monastic life. Being a Chinese monk or nun also involves conforming to the standard modes of behaviour of Chinese Culture (Confucian) as well as Buddhism. Most will find this difficult and without other Westerners there for support unless one's resolve is firm it can be very discouraging. Controls on things such as communication with one's family down to things like how shoes are lined up under your bed, and how to address and interact with superiors are very difficult to adjust to for individualistic (selfish?) Westerners.

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A wise man keeps them secret within.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:17 pm

I think, in terms of numbers of Tibetan Buddhist centers in the U.S., we have have to bow to Trungpa Rinpoche who established many many franchise Dharmadhatu (now Shambhala) centers all over the place. They excel at being gateway programs for English language speakers. But looking at the Buddhanet directory, I would say that Zen, Pure Land and Theravadin centers greatly outnumber Tibetan Buddhist centers.

If you counted the number of people here who were not raised in Buddhist families and then formally took refuge in the Three Jewels, maybe the numbers of individual would be higher for Tibetan Buddhism, for all the reasons stated by people above. I suppose some young immigrants are Buddhist by birth and never think about it much, and a lot of people who go to zen and vipassana centers retain their old religious beliefs and just use meditation to relax on the weekends. They don't want Guru Rinpoche or Tsongkhapa staring at them from the temple wall.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:22 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Another reason for the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism is I think the high-quality translations available of many of the essential materials.


Those great translations only sell 3 - 4,000 copies each. This was told to me by one of the better scholar practitioners who has had many translations published through Snow Shambhala Lion. Most of the people at my main center don't read much, especially translated materials.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:26 pm

That is interesting to note! Perhaps HHDL's books are the exception.
Most of the people I know in Buddhism are voracious readers of dharma stuff but I suppose that Sanghas vary widely and many might emphasize a formal sitting practice more than study.

I still think if you look at the Buddhist section of your average bookstore, though, more than half is usually coming from the Tibetan tradition or inspired by it.

But if you are talking about the more scholarly things I think you are probably 100% right. To me it is amazing that there is enough funding to get things like the Tsadra series and Lam Rim Chenmo published. I am very grateful for the work of the translators as well as the generosity of the benefactors.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Astus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:47 pm

While I can only agree regarding publications with JKhedrup, there is another thing I'd like to add here. And that is the difference in the source material itself. Most of the texts translated from Chinese are either Chan works or sutras. Both are difficult to understand for any beginner, or even not so beginner readers. Without a firm knowledge of essential Mahayana doctrines it is only natural that there will be serious misunderstandings. But to get the knowledge of basic Mahayana one has to start reading either academic translations from Sanskrit or works from the Tibetan tradition. And here I'm talking about classical works, not introductory books.

Here is an example of a classical Chinese Buddhist text that was later often referred to in Chan,

"In entering there is transcendence and in emerging there is subtlety. The entering of wisdom is transcendent, [since] the outer defilements have no support. The emergence of wisdom is subtle, [since] the inner mind is devoid of activity. When inwardly the mind is free of intentional activity, one is no longer moved by various views. When outer defilements have no support, one is no longer bound by manifold existence. Free from the bonds of manifold existence, discursive thought no longer charges about. Unmoved by various views, there is inconceivable quiescence and cessation. This can be called originally pure and intrinsic transcendence and subtlety."
(Treasure Store Treatise, ch. 2, in "Coming to Terms with Chinese Buddhism", p. 204)

It is not a matter of bad translation but mainly a foreign terminology. And Dogen - whose works are almost completely translated to English - is a whole different level. Longchenpa's Precious Tresury series are like childen's books compared to that in terms of language.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Yudron » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:48 pm

JKhedrup wrote:That is interesting to note! Perhaps HHDL's books are the exception.
Most of the people I know in Buddhism are voracious readers of dharma stuff but I suppose that Sanghas vary widely and many might emphasize a formal sitting practice more than study.

I still think if you look at the Buddhist section of your average bookstore, though, more than half is usually coming from the Tibetan tradition or inspired by it.

But if you are talking about the more scholarly things I think you are probably 100% right. To me it is amazing that there is enough funding to get things like the Tsadra series and Lam Rim Chenmo published. I am very grateful for the work of the translators as well as the generosity of the benefactors.


Yeah, I was referring to translation of the texts of Tibetan Buddhism, not transcripts of contemporary Tibetan Buddhist teachers... which are much easier to digest for most people.

Still, practice is prioritized over study in the Nyingma groups I am in... and this is the wish of the lamas.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby PorkChop » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:22 pm

I have to agree with the sentiments that it's the easy-to-follow language used in the translated texts & used by the big speakers.
TB has folks like Robert Thurman, Robina Courtin, Richard Gere, Keanu Reaves, Thubten Chodron, Pema Chodron, Karin Valham, Thubten Dondrub, Constance Miller, Mattieu Ricard...
They're all westerners and they're easy for westerners to relate to...
I also agree that the linear progression of the Lam Rim is very attractive.
Those are the 2 big reasons that I've become very interested in Tibetan Buddhism; even though I was initially wary of it's "trendiness" and by the sheer amount of ritual.

That being said, I think the Thai/Lao Theravadins have done well in the US, as have the Vietnamese.
Zen has a very deep presence here as well.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby greentara » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:50 pm

Kaji, "As a Chinese Buddhist living in a Western country, I have been trying to "casually" spread Buddhism to people around me whenever an apparently opportune moment arises. My temperament makes me want to go about this ardently, but circumstances prevent me from doing so, especially my recent family situation. I have realised I not only lack freedom, but the necessary skills and knowledge. Until then... gotta train more"
Going about it ardently without much skill and knowledge is pointless. I understand if you are very interested in a 'religion' you want to talk about it, mull over it, discuss it. The Christians are famous or 'infamous' for it.
An old saying "When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited"
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:34 am

kirtu wrote:Masters Sheng-yen and Hsuan Hua devoted their lives to this transmission. It did work but after their parinirvanas not much has been done.


But how much English did they learn?

You can have instructors for various activities that can teach using translators, but at the end of the day Masters in a foreign land need to speak the language of that land and speak it well.



Humanistic Buddhism is needed in a place like the US where the poor are relegated to the trash heap and public education has totally failed.


Humanistic Buddhism is not humanism. I don't even really think of it as charity work. It is a religious movement in the Chinese Buddhist world acting as a reaction against perceived failures of past times coupled with the ideas eminent authors like Taixu and Yinshun proposed.

For instance, Buddhists in China used to fund themselves basically on doing rites for people on request. They would receive money to do rites for deceased relatives, or pujas for longevity. As a result Buddhist institutions had no strong economic foundation and this lead to monks and nuns basically making a living off of their priestcraft. Taixu and Sheng Yen pointed out a perceived need to gain economic independence (i.e., not exclusively depending on the laity with operating costs gained from business operations and investments). The structural organization also changed from there being numerous independent temples run by autonomous committees to massive well-organized and orderly institutions complete with departments, accountants and HR departments. Modernization came to mean operating like a western not-for-profit organization.

Charity is of course something Buddhists anywhere do, but I don't really think Humanistic Buddhism is anymore engaged in it than non-Humanistic traditions. The massive surplus of capital available leads to projects of questionable value.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:35 am

Kaji wrote:For some reason, a lot of Chinese Buddhists I've met do not have a strong intention to break away from samsara... forget about achieving buddhahood. Buddhism to them is a religion that gives them blessings, a way of life, spiritual guidance, ritualised practice, etc., and not so much what Buddhism is ultimately for... sad but true...


I believe that's the case in any country really.

Most Buddhists don't aim for liberation in this life. It is a distant aim.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:37 am

anjali wrote:Although, I have to say, DDRC is a very nice retreat facility and will feel more like Asian Buddhism has adapted to the West, rather than Asian Buddhism has be transplanted in the West.


I think that's because it is mostly natives who go there. It isn't like a lot of Chinese temples in the west which are basically there for Chinese expats of various nationalities which lack the will or people to really open up to the host culture.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:55 am

JKhedrup wrote:The Chinese temples on the other hand often function as cultural centres for the Chinese diaspora. The cultural aspects can be overwhelming for people with no knowledge of Chinese language and customs. Many Westerners who I met at a Chinese temple where I stayed in Canada for a time specifically mentioned the dharma functions (fa hue??? forgetting...) as particularly alienating. Bowing in unison, trying to put the sash on the haiqing perfectly, and a very stern formal atmosphere are difficult for many to take. People feel uneasy and afraid to make a mistake (afraid to fart, as one man said).


Yeah, that is something they don't realize isn't so pan-cultural.

I once signed up for bodhisattva precepts and spent the first three days learning how to "properly" bow, prostrates, put on the haiqing robe, etc..., and then we went through the whole ceremony on a practice run (it didn't count). Finally on the morning of the fourth day we did it for real. There is a stated belief in Chinese Buddhism that the more grandeur and choreographed the ceremony, the greater the impact it will have in transforming practitioners. This works for them and has its roots in very ancient Chinese customs, but that doesn't translate well into many other cultures.

This is unlike in Tibetan gonpas where you can prostrate any which old way you care to. Seating is usually first come first serve. I found the gonpas in Nepal and India to be pretty chill. There might dog shit all over the ground outside while the Lama is sitting there reading the paper, but that kind of atmosphere is just really relaxing. This is unlike in, say, a Chan hall where filthiness is somehow a sign of someone's practice lacking and must be corrected immediately.



Another thing to mention is that many Westerners like to study in a linear, progressive fashion- similar to how they studies in school. In many of the Gelug centres (perhaps this is the case in other centres too), this is quite possible. One can begin foundational studies on progressive text like the Lam Rim or Bodhisattvacaryavatara to get a firm basis, and then seek teachings on tougher topics like Madhyamika, and take classes on tantric practices.



That's a good point. Chinese Buddhism has plenty of similar treatises like those by Zhiyi, though they are largely left to scholars to read and study. Ordinarily people are taught how to do choreographed motions to music which is supposed to be a transformative process (again this goes back to ancient classical thought where Confucius had the same ideas), whereas with westerners we tend to want to understand the theory and see rites as entirely secondary (and unnecessary in many cases). With Taiwanese Buddhism they'll probably give little booklets by their grand master or Shifu detailing easy to understand ideas rather than introducing them to something more rich and critical.

With the exception of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, none of the Chinese temples I have visited offer a complete, in-depth study program with qualified teachers in English, other than very brief introductory courses. Even for the Western born Chinese kids, many of them told my they found the sutra lectures interesting but felt they were very piecemeal, and it was hard to develop a firm knowledge.


It has been suggested to me before that many Taiwanese people interested in Buddhist philosophy don't look to Chinese traditions and just go straight to Tibetan Buddhism. The bookstore certainly reflects the interest in TB in Taiwan.


Tibetan lamas are in general more casual and approachable than Chinese masters. While a Chinese bhikshu or bhikshuni might consider it inappropriate to appear in photos holding babies with an arm around the student, for most Tibetan lamas this would not be a problem. The emphasis on being "chuangyen" or dignified is what allows the Sangha to be respected in the Chinese community, but ironically to many Westerners it seems stiff and unwelcoming.



Yeah, this is pertinent, too. There is a stated belief that Venerables in Chinese Buddhism should maintain a strict image of purity and grandeur so as to preserve the faith of devotees for the fear that doing otherwise they'll be wrecked and abandoned Buddhism. I think this is also in response to the devotees perhaps wanting infallible monks and nuns to look up to. This leads itself to personality cults where a group's Shifu approaches divinity and the system does everything it can to preserve that image. It comes across as cultish to many outsiders.

There's also the belief that laity have no right to criticize renunciates, which many Chinese monastics like to repeat. The texts actually just say not speaking of the faults of renunciates (like seeing a monk drinking, you're not supposed to broadcast it to everyone as it harms the well-being of the sangha and community), though it doesn't say you can't challenge them on their opinions and criticize their statements. However, it isn't described like this at all. Criticism, both internal and external, is disdained and discouraged.

You have teachers tell people from the start to empty their cup and not have preconceived notions when listening to a teaching. This isn't a wise approach with critically thinking people who would much rather be able to debate and reason with a teacher rather than simply taking it all on faith or with a blank mind. Especially if you're addressing people who arn't entirely convinced about whatever it is you have to say.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:56 am

passel wrote:Probably Chinese Buddhists will be importing Western teachers pretty soon; it's already happening from time to time.


Instructors of various scholarly subjects, yes, but not on any institutional level. In other words they don't have any power to make decisions or reform things.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:05 am

JKhedrup wrote:
Generally the quality of the translations is quite high. Many of the translators of the classical texts (rather than books based on oral teachings) are university educated scholars, with English as their first language. There are also many scholar-practitioners, which means that the works are often quite fresh and readable rather than try university-level analysis.


Yeah that's an important point. A lot of the translators of Tibetan texts are Buddhists themselves, so paying them as scholars is beside the point because presumably they take a deep personal interest in their work. It is a mixed bag when it comes to translators of Classical Chinese. Some are even a bit hostile towards Buddhadharma and like to poke at perceived flaws.



In the Chinese tradition often not enough care has been put into producing publications (sorry, I am not trying to offend).


This is a real problem that needs to be addressed. I agree.


The quality of the grammar is as poor as that of my posts on Dharma Wheel, and there are many spelling mistakes. That labeled as "practical" or "humanistic" is often very relevant to those coming from Chinese cultures but very foreign and confusing to Westerners.In short, they are for the most part not books or translations that people would read or buy.


You can try to give them away, but who knows how many people actually read them.


The 84,000 Project to translate the Kangyur is amazing and though I have heard those in the Chinese Buddhist community express a wish to do this with the Chinese canon, I do not see anything as concrete.


It won't happen anytime soon. There is the money for it, but neither the people nor the widespread will. You could try to train translators, but there is a big difference to be seen in that western translators of Tibetan can go back to TB communities which speak their language and/or are cosmopolitan. You would be hard pressed to find native English speaking scholars of Chinese Buddhism who come from cosmopolitan Buddhist communities. Basically, if you translate Chinese Buddhist texts, some Chinese Buddhists might love you for it, but it is basically irrelevant to most of the community (very few inside the community will want to read what you produce). If you were translating into English for your English speaking community you'd be much more appreciated, but most Chinese Buddhist communities are not primarily English speaking.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby PorkChop » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:55 am

Huseng wrote:
passel wrote:Probably Chinese Buddhists will be importing Western teachers pretty soon; it's already happening from time to time.


Instructors of various scholarly subjects, yes, but not on any institutional level. In other words they don't have any power to make decisions or reform things.


Starting kung fu back in 1994 was my first actual exposure to Buddhism and Taoism.
If over a decade in traditional Chinese martial arts (tcma) taught me anything, it's that when it comes to Chinese culture - Chinese seem to prefer Chinese as presenter as well as the target audience.
It was very rare that a non-Chinese (or at least non-asian) was touted as much and received the same accolades that their Chinese counterparts received.
There was almost a disdain for "outsiders" participating in their culture.
I remember a whole bunch of jokes that anybody who wasn't Chinese was a barbarian.
The Chinese organizations I've seen first-hand (Hip Sing Tong, On Leong Tong, Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association, US Wushu Kungfu Federation, etc) have been perfectly happy to just target the immigrant and American-born Chinese communities and not look for any participation from groups extending beyond that.
I could imagine them maybe having some resources for non-Chinese-speaking American-born Chinese; but I don't see a huge drive to open up to non-Chinese.
Not trying to be overly harsh or judgmental, these are just my opinions based on first-hand experience.
I don't think they feel they need westerner participation.

Might be more likely to learn Chinese styles of Buddhism from the Vietnamese, who seem to be quite a bit more open & inclusive.
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:59 am

:smile:
Back in the 1970's....actually 1965 to be truthful....when I first encountered Zen as a freshman in University, Zen was regarded as the "cool" thing to be.
Yes, since you asked, I am that old...66 years old in 4 days.
When asked your "religion" saying you were a "Zen Buddhist".....even if you weren't really all that sure what either the thing you called "Zen" or "Buddhisim" in fact really was.
But it sure was "cool".
I guess now the "cool" factor is with the Tibetan boys.
And, for me personally, my "Zen" practice has changed a lot. Sitting on mats and counting breaths looks like silliness to me now.
I think Zen has become to institutionalized, too structured. The "rebellion" factor in Zen of the 60's and 70's is long since gone.
That's only a personal view, but I can see where a beginner encountering Zen for the first time, could be frankly bored by "sitting quietly, doing nothing"
Now it's the Tibetan and esoteric suff that has all the theatre.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
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in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:09 am

Yes there is the cool factor but I don't think Tibetan culture is as in as it was in the 90s, around the time the Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet films came out. And while the cool factor may get people in the door, when they realize how much work, study and practice is involved to really "get it", they often don't stick around. A bit of the revolving door syndrome.

I think that the best hope for Chinese Buddhist organizations would be to establish institutes to train and educate qualified Sangha and lay teachers, and then give them the freedom and form to "propagate" in their own culture, while staying true to the teachings. There are certainly the resources for this but I have to admit that Chinese monastic life's emphasis on conformity, for example, might disallow any "special treatment" for people from Western cultures. (Which, on the other side of the coin, might mean that those who manage to stick around are extra exceptional).

The next step would be to have a graduated course of study of the Buddhist fundamentals, much like the "Discovering Buddhism" course of the FPMT, but instead perhaps using material sourced from Chinese texts. Lectures on tougher topics can be given in an engaging matter to keep the students past the beginner level. If you look at the Avatamsaka Sutra lectures of Ven. Heng Sure at the Berkeley Buddhist monastery, he presents beautifully for a Western audience and people have been going there for years.

It's funny because I spoke with Geshe la a fair bit about trying to establish a dialogue between Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism in the context of presenting for Westerners. He is all for it and has a natural affinity with Asians. But how to get such an endeavour off the ground is beyond the means of either of us, our main concern right now is making sure what we present is attractive enough to keep the students coming for more and our classes at the centre feasible.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby Astus » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:46 am

Another thing is that here if you mention Buddhism, people think it exists in India - Buddha was Indian, right? - and then the Dalai Lama and Tibet. That Buddhism is a major religion in China, that's not common knowledge at all.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Why is Tibetan Buddhism more popular?

Postby PorkChop » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:51 pm

Astus wrote:Another thing is that here if you mention Buddhism, people think it exists in India - Buddha was Indian, right? - and then the Dalai Lama and Tibet. That Buddhism is a major religion in China, that's not common knowledge at all.


Not sure about that... Shaolin monks are pretty well established in the mainstream culture of the west.
In fact, they are probably the more common conception of a "monk" these days than western Catholic monks and arguably more well-known than the Dalai Lama.
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