Masaru wrote:Addressing the original topic of the thread, I suspect the reason Asians might seem reluctant to share their tradition with white people is that they're afraid whitey will come along and take out everything he doesn't like, start telling them what they're "doing wrong," and then take credit for the whole religion from the beginning, claiming that white people invented it. Which, historically, is what white people always do. The Nichiren sect, however, is "evangelical" in that it practices shakabuku, and shakabuku provides a corrective mechanism that keeps adherents from straying too far from the basic tenets and practices of the tradition. Homey don't play that. Joking but not.
Thanks for the response. I'm very familiar with the things you mention, because I grew up in a black neighorhood -- in Portland, Oregon, if you can believe it. (Yes, there IS a black neighorhood in Portland. My high school was 65% black.) And I noticed that you mentioned you are a "guido-looking Mexican American." Hmmm.... So am I. Sort of. You see, the only father I ever knew -- technically speaking, he was a stepfather -- was Mexican American, born in a migrant camp in Texas. He was friend with Cesar Chavez, whom I met when I was a little boy. I'm the little ("white") boy in this advertisment for Colegio Cesar Chavez, the first "chicano" college in the United States: http://oregondigital.org/cdm4/item_view ... =/cultural As for the "guido" part, well, my biological father is full-blooded Italian. So, I'm Italian American raised by a Mexican American father, which sort of approximates your self-description. Sort of. (I'm sure you're aware that "guido" usually refers to Italians.)
I should clarify, by the way, that the original question was rhetorical. And I should also mention that I really haven't ever felt any rejection from any Asians for being a Buddhist. If anything, my own hyper-sensitivity to seeming respectful to Buddhist culture and Asian cultures has made me insecure in some situations. In other words, I don't want to look like a big out-of-place "tourist." But then I also forgot to mention the following: at the Nichiren temple I attend, I actually got a lot of good feedback (from people of Asian descent) when they saw that I had the Hoben and Juryo chapters memorized. Actually, come to think of it, that may've been where this issue started with me. I had the chants memorized, and some members of the congregation (who are Asian) didn't. I was afraid that my appearance combined with the fact that I have the chapters memorized may make me look like a "show off" -- which I'm not at all. I have the chapters memorized because they've helped me hold my life together for the past two years.
Thanks for the response.