"Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

"Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:32 am

I saw someone post about this on another forum and thought I would post this here as I saw it was useful and posts some interesting questions.

As someone on another forum asked:

"Dosho Port's Blog... ...raises some critical issues. How old is your sangha (average)? How old is your teacher?"

Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!
October 1, 2012 By doshoport


Well, that’s one voice – my crabby-old-man-yelling-at-the-neighborhood-kids-to-stay-off-his-lawn voice.

Before I really get into this voice, first let me praise the Boomers for all they’ve done for Zen. Really. The Boomer Generation has been a great generation for Zen, instrumental for the Zen transmission to the West and important also sparking a revitalization in the East.

That said, here we are in 2012 and in Soto Zen, 22% of the respondents to a recent survey of dharma successors were over 70 years old. Almost 50% were between 60-69. Only 7% were in their 40s.

Now I like old people as much as the next person. I’ll be one soon myself. So I’m not hating old people here, just saying that when you’ve got 70% of your denomination’s priests over 60 years old (aka, Boomers and beyond), then you might have a problem.

It looks like the Boomer Generation did a wonderful job receiving Zen transmission, but to date, have not done such a great job handing it on.

Another possibility is that Boomers have been really careful with their transmissions and only given authorization to a very select, highly qualified group. That seems unlikely.

What does seem clear is that the Zen brand in the US – at least in most places – is a generational expression of the dharma that does not speak clearly to younger people.

Young folks were lined up at the Palisades Cliff on Lake Superior yesterday, annoyed that they couldn’t get their turns quickly enough to jump off a cliff 300 feet above the lake. If that kind of self-regard is at all typical of young people, there’s gotta be a lot more of them around who would also think jumping into Zen would be a good idea.

Now the sparsity of 20 and 30 year-olds in Zen does seem to be changing some in a few places and we’ll have to sit still for a couple decades to see if it’s too little too late or not. The question now seems to be how big the Great Contraction will be.

That gives me a little time for speculation.

So here’s my current theory: in the effort to reduce the intensity of Zen training and avoid some of the nasty issues that tended to come up in the intense practice containers like Zen pioneers Maezumi, Katagiri, Kapleau, etc., the Boomers threw the baby out with the bath. Out went realization and in came over-emphasizing community/belonging needs.

This shows up in the rather intense ambivalence to awakening that we find in the Zen whirl today. When the above group was asked to rate the following for priest training, “Experience of attaining insight/breakthroughs or openings/understanding of the Great Matter” (just the way that’s framed is so odd!) about a quarter didn’t think it was important.

I found that baffling until it occurred to me that this large hunk of dharma-transmitted priests view priest training akin to training Protestant ministers. For them, maybe, being a Zen priest isn’t about clarifying the Great Matter (even though it’s capitalized in the survey), but about getting down with the forms of being a priest. Not so much about the Great Matter but a career.

So the next generation will be required to study a little Dogen, deal with their psychological problems, sit a little sesshin, master elaborate systems of community consensus so that no one is ever even a little pissed off … and then will be able to roll out their credentials, gather a few followers and then sit back and watch the Zen dharma go to hell in one or two generations.

Like I said, it’s the Boomers’ fault.

And now you’ll have to excuse me. I think there are some kids on the lawn that I’ve gotta yell stuff at.


I think those are good questions, I've thought about that a lot, and with some concern as I have a great deal of caring and love for my aging population of monks.

It does need to be passed on to a later generation. And I definitely think it's an issue, and some better reaching out to, and understanding of young people and our ways and values and customs might help.

Again, as someone on another board said:
"Dosho Port's Blog... ...raises some critical issues. How old is your sangha (average)? How old is your teacher?"

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Astus » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:49 am

It's natural selection. Species that are incapable of reproduction die out. In Buddhism the minimal requirement is transmitting the form. In Zen it should be the substance that is passed on, but when the teachers don't have it how could the students?
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:19 am

I think that's a bit pessimistic of you.

The teachers certainly do have it. We talk about them on a daily basis on here. With reverence and respect.

Obviously they do.

What seems to me, is that there's a lack of an ability to reach out and connect with the younger generation.

Whether it's simple marketing, (a challenge that all of the Baby Boom generation has towards us) or simply a lack of basic understanding of how to speak to us, and relate, and interpersonal skills when it comes to talking to our generation.

The Baby Boom seems to think we are rude. I hear a lot when I am talking to them about how "are we ever to expect to get a job, with the lack of personal skills we have?" What they don't understand is that our personal skills are based on the internet, and reaching out and understanding each other and the world around us, in a much more "macro" way rather than a "micro" way such as the Baby Boom Generation was brought up with. Such as nationalism and such. Millennial are much more international people. We relate to people in other countries and such.

We also view knowledge as something that is easily attainable, not something esoteric and such, the way the Boomers did.

If a boomer wanted to learn something when they were young, they had to slog through a library, sorting out books that may be questionably accurate, or be apprenticed, or "brought in" or initiated to knowledge by either the university system, or fraternities, or through skill-based apprenticeship programs, that passed knowledge on based more on longevity and loyalty, and a proven ability to take sometimes abuse by the person passing the knowledge on.

Millennials, just go to Wikipedia. Or watch tutorials on youtube.

By the time we actually go to school or enter a professional training environment, we already are vastly more familiar with the subject matter than Boomers ever were when they were in the same age and place in life.

We view sharing knowledge as an important way to progress society, whereas Boomers tend to look at knowledge as a bargaining chip, that should be earned by placing one's 'dues' in an organization or person.

Millenials are much less susceptible to advertizing. We see advertizing as what is is, an attempt by a company to sell us something, and we know that there is essentially a 'spin' or manipulation that is taking place as part of the advertizing that is likely not the whole truth or complete honesty, or even a downright lie.
And thus, we tend to view ads with complete skepticism, until we have a chance to get on google and investigate those claims for ourselves, or unless we have already done so repeatedly for a company or type of product, and thus can accurately judge the merits of the claims of an ad.

Boomers, didn't have any such way to investigate such claims when they were young, and thus were bombarded with them in TV commercials, and newspaper, and magazine ads, that they might not have any way of knowing if such a claim was true.

Thus, Boomers never learned how to tell the difference between whether information is true, partly true, misleading, contains some truth, completely misleading, or completely false.

That's why Boomers often say to us things like "well how do you know it's true, if it's on the internet?" It's because they don't realize that some sources on the internet are either credible, or lead to other searches that are credible, and by comparing many sources, it is possible to get to the truth of the matter.

Because many things Boomers were led to believe, are actually false, such as simple political claims based on fear, and as millennial we know that, It's often difficult to explain to a Boomer that what they believe is simply not true.

I remember as a teen trying to explain the history of Marijuana prohibition to my parents, talking to them about how it's being made illegal had nothing to do with it's alleged toxicity or being harmful to humans, but rather was due to old fashioned business anti-competitive interests of pulp acid paper industry people conspiring with their senator friends to pass a bill to outlaw hemp, which was a much better product and thus threatened their enterprise.

For millennials the above information is common knowledge which is why 2/3'ds of people under 30 support marijuana legalization.
And why it recently passed in Colorado and Washington for recreational use.

For Boomers, such ideas are scary. And they don't want to admit that they have been misled all their lives and don't know what they are talking about, or accurately understand history.
Their pride gets in their way, and they like to think because they are older, they are wiser and more knowledgeable.

Which, for the first time in perhaps many generations, is not actually true. The younger generation actually does know better.

In Buddhism, Boomers tend to get over their pride, because they know that pride is ignorance.

They can respect young people an value our knowledge.

But that doesn't mean that they still know how to relate to us, or that they understand our ways.
They simply never experienced that, the way we do, that constant exposure to knowledge and other ways of thinking.

I don't think they quite know how to handle that or talk to us in a way that relates.

It's important, because a Dharma talk based on the value of compassion when seeing things such as the rape in India of the woman in Delhi, relates more to our generation, as we are exposed to these sorts of things.

But for a Boomer, it might not occur to them that something in another country would effect us so directly.

So they might have a talk on something else instead.

That's what I mean about not being able to relate.

It's not that the Dharma isn't effective, or as useful to our generation or as valuable.

It's learning how to say it in a way that relates to our suffering as a generation, and not as much to theirs.

There really is a generation gap here, and I think that is what prevents more young people to reaching out to Buddhism.
We want it to relate to us and what we deal with, and what we see, and are having to go through.
And perhaps an acknowledgement of the ignorance of our parents generation and their own shortcomings.

Often we've tried to tell the Boomer Generation things that were not only right, (and consistantly proven so when the consequences of actions later came to bear), but also were plain to see from our perspective, but we were ignored, because the older generation assumed that because we were younger they knew better, and that we didn't know what we were talking about, and certainly couldn't know more than them.

There's a lot here.

But I do think that a basic lack of ability to relate is the cause of the age imbalance.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby greentara » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:59 am

sarah, "Millenials are much less susceptible to advertizing. We see advertizing as what is is, an attempt by a company to sell us something, and we know that there is essentially a 'spin' or manipulation that is taking place as part of the advertizing that is likely not the whole truth or complete honesty, or even a downright lie.
And thus, we tend to view ads with complete skepticism, until we have a chance to get on google and investigate those claims for ourselves, or unless we have already done so repeatedly for a company or type of product, and thus can accurately judge the merits of the claims of an ad"
Wow theres some sweeping statements here! What a self congratulatory tone you have.
Never has advertizing been more manipulative, Never has society been controlled by so few.
Businesses funded by a raft of very well paying corporate sponsors which flood a particularized and highly malleable target mass market with products. Products largely unfettered by government regulation, constraint, or objective appraisal. Big corporations push not only tangible products and goods, but services and therapy-of-the-day alleged “healing techniques” with little or no vetting beyond that of the market place.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:15 am

greentara wrote:sarah, "Millenials are much less susceptible to advertizing. We see advertizing as what is is, an attempt by a company to sell us something, and we know that there is essentially a 'spin' or manipulation that is taking place as part of the advertizing that is likely not the whole truth or complete honesty, or even a downright lie.
And thus, we tend to view ads with complete skepticism, until we have a chance to get on google and investigate those claims for ourselves, or unless we have already done so repeatedly for a company or type of product, and thus can accurately judge the merits of the claims of an ad"
Wow theres some sweeping statements here! What a self congratulatory tone you have.
Never has advertizing been more manipulative, Never has society been controlled by so few.
Businesses funded by a raft of very well paying corporate sponsors which flood a particularized and highly malleable target mass market with products. Products largely unfettered by government regulation, constraint, or objective appraisal. Big corporations push not only tangible products and goods, but services and therapy-of-the-day alleged “healing techniques” with little or no vetting beyond that of the market place.


Your statement doesn't have anything to do with, or contradict my statement that you quoted.

your statement, what you said, is quite obvious to my generation.

We're well aware of that.

We don't view advertizing as evil.
We just view it as what it is, an attempt to sell us something, that we may, or may not be interested in, or support, or have a use for.

If we like the product, or support the company, or have a use for it, we buy it, if we can afford it.
And usually, after we have investigated the merits of it on our own.

We don't simply take the ad at face value.

And obviously I am speaking in generalities here. There are of course going to be some people who don't do this.
But in general, is a generality of my generation when compared to Boomers, this is true.

I am speaking in generalities, this is what this conversation is about.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Megha » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:20 pm

Well I seem to remember an old teaching story that Bodhidharma had just this problem when he came to China.

He had a fashion show, a raffle, and a big advertising campaign across China to promote Zen.

Oh no, wait, no he didn't. He sat opposite a wall for 10 years. And after all that time he had one disciple and he refused to teach him at first, until he cut off his own arm.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:27 am

Megha wrote:Well I seem to remember an old teaching story that Bodhidharma had just this problem when he came to China.

He had a fashion show, a raffle, and a big advertising campaign across China to promote Zen.

Oh no, wait, no he didn't. He sat opposite a wall for 10 years. And after all that time he had one disciple and he refused to teach him at first, until he cut off his own arm.



Your comment is completely beyond the point actually.

Buddhism is well established in the west.

The problem is a generational one, the lack of ability of one generation to relate to the other.

This isn't a 'new religion in a strange land'.

Your response seems to suggest that the onus of responsibility is on the Millennials to seek out Boomer instruction, regardless of whether or not those Boomer teachers can adequately relate to the younger generation.

Transmitting the Dharma is exactly that. It's a two way flow.
Receiving it, practicing it, and then passing it on. Handing it off to the next generation.

The Boomers idea on this seems to be "if you build it, they will come". Like that old cheesy ghost baseball movie.

No that's actually not the case. Boomers do need to put in more effort than that.

Other Buddhist organizations like SGI don't have any problem attracting new members.

Many of the current Dharma Teachers learned about Zen when they were in College, and yet the current generation of teachers doesn't seem to do any or very much outreach to college students.

That's not exactly practicing what they were taught.

You can't just sit around passively and expect people to come to you.
There needs to be a more active approach than that. Some taking of initiative.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Megha » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:04 am

Your comment is completely beyond the point actually.

Buddhism is well established in the west.

The problem is a generational one, the lack of ability of one generation to relate to the other.

This isn't a 'new religion in a strange land'.

Your response seems to suggest that the onus of responsibility is on the Millennials to seek out Boomer instruction, regardless of whether or not those Boomer teachers can adequately relate to the younger generation.

Transmitting the Dharma is exactly that. It's a two way flow.
Receiving it, practicing it, and then passing it on. Handing it off to the next generation.

The Boomers idea on this seems to be "if you build it, they will come". Like that old cheesy ghost baseball movie.

No that's actually not the case. Boomers do need to put in more effort than that.

Other Buddhist organizations like SGI don't have any problem attracting new members.

Many of the current Dharma Teachers learned about Zen when they were in College, and yet the current generation of teachers doesn't seem to do any or very much outreach to college students.

That's not exactly practicing what they were taught.

You can't just sit around passively and expect people to come to you.
There needs to be a more active approach than that. Some taking of initiative.

In Gassho,

Sara H


Well, to be frank, the American Zen crowd aren't up to much, so you're not missing out on anything, and neither is anyone else.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby greentara » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:20 am

Megha, Loved your comment, straight to the point!
There's a beautiful old saying "when the flower blooms the bees come ininvited" but if the teaching is watered down, stage managed with lots of rhetoric thrown in....well what do you expect the results will be?
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Jikan » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:19 am

greentara wrote: if the teaching is watered down, stage managed with lots of rhetoric thrown in....well what do you expect the results will be?


viewtopic.php?f=69&t=7613

That said, I have reason to believe there are earnest practitioners of all generations, doing the work in North America and Europe and elsewhere too: without the hyperbole and stagecraft. You can even find some here at DharmaWheel, to our benefit. I suspect the schools and centers that are basically under the radar now, fostering practice in good faith, will be the ones that last.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Thus-gone » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:39 am

Megha wrote:Well, to be frank, the American Zen crowd aren't up to much, so you're not missing out on anything, and neither is anyone else.


And you know this how?
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Jinzang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:49 am

Millennials, just go to Wikipedia. Or watch tutorials on youtube.


The Internet certainly makes some kinds of research easier. But since we are talking about "a special transmission outside of scripture, with no dependence on words and letters," I don't know who you can investigate Zen through the Internet. As has always been the case, you need to find a good teacher and practice.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Ukigumo » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:05 am

Speaking as a "millennial" (born in the 1980s) I have to agree there is definitely a generation gap. It is a bit of a turn off for me to see a sangha composed almost entirely of older white people; and a lot of the "style" of these communities definitely seems like it comes from an earlier era (the 60s or 70s). The recent scandals in several prominent Western Zen institutions are probably not doing much to win over a newer, younger generation, either.

However, my first meditation teacher was a boomer and I was deeply inspired by some of the literature coming out of that period (Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi's Zen Mind Beginner's Mind), so I am also very grateful for those bommer practitioners who helped to ensure that Buddhism put down roots in the West.

That said, at the end of the day I am just more drawn to more traditional institutions, such as the Chan temples which serve immigrants and "cradle Buddhist" communities as well as convert Westerners. This has as much to do with my own personality and heritage as it does with the fact that I am a bit turned off by the generation gap and other issues in "Western Zen". I am much more inspired by the writings of people like Ven. Sheng-Yen or Dae Haeng Sunim than I am by somebody like Brad Warner.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:34 am

New Software update available!:

Western Soto Zen ver. 3.0

There is a new software update available for installation.

We highly recommend installing this update as it includes fixes for critical system errors, various bug fixes, new features, and stability updates.

Please visit the Millennials for more information.


[Remind me Later] [Skip this update] [Accept and Install]

*grins*

In Gassho,

Sara H
Last edited by Sara H on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Jinzang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:35 am

I haven't found the trick to make myself thirty years younger, or to change my race. So I guess I'll have to continue being one of those old, white Boomer Buddhists. I'd like to think I have something to say. Maybe I should write more on my blog, develop an audience of Internet savvy millenials, who don't the awful truth about me. (Will have to get rid of my picture.)

If you can find a center with qualified younger teachers, by all means go there. But staying away from a center because the people there aren't like you is self-defeating, right? You've been hanging out with people like you all your life and you're not enlightened yet. Maybe you ought to stretch yourself and hang out with people who aren't like you.
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:00 am

Jinzang wrote:I haven't found the trick to make myself thirty years younger, or to change my race. So I guess I'll have to continue being one of those old, white Boomer Buddhists. I'd like to think I have something to say. Maybe I should write more on my blog, develop an audience of Internet savvy millenials, who don't the awful truth about me. (Will have to get rid of my picture.)

If you can find a center with qualified younger teachers, by all means go there. But staying away from a center because the people there aren't like you is self-defeating, right? You've been hanging out with people like you all your life and you're not enlightened yet. Maybe you ought to stretch yourself and hang out with people who aren't like you.


I'm not sure who this was addressed at specifically, but the problem is not that we (Millenials) want younger teachers.

It's not an age problem.

It's a communication problem.

Old people all throughout time, when coming into their dotage, have needed to learn how to accept, appreciate and communicate to younger people. In order to pass on their knowledge and resources to a future generation.

Your parents generation learned how to communicate with you.

You need to learn how to do the same with us.

This is not a ladder that people climb. it's a two way street.
It's not a one-way ladder that people are perpetually climbing upwards.

It's like a library. You check a book out, have it for a period of time, and then give it back. But the book does not belong to you.

You don't hold the book, and then wait for other people who might be interested in reading it to come track you down and ask you to give it to them.
It's not your book. You need to return it, and give it back actively.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:08 am

That's the point. The Dharma does not belong to the Baby Boomers.

It belongs to the world.

You do have to return it, and give it back. (and figure out how to do that. As the current holders, it's your responsibility.)

It's like that scene from Avatar: "All energy is only borrowed. And one day you have to give it back."
That's actually the truth. There's quite a bit of wisdom in that line.

You do have to give it back.

It doesn't belong to you.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Jinzang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:19 am

I don't see it as a matter of communication. I see it as a matter of trust. Everything worth saying was said long ago, by people far wiser than me. But what's needed is the courage to take that one necessary step "from the top of the 100 foot pole." Finding the courage to do that takes trust. I have my thoughts on how to build that trust, but someone meeting me could very well decide not to grant it, and I can't really blame them for that.

I'm always looking for ways to communicate the message of Buddhism better and make everything simpler and clearer without any necessary scholasticism or mystification. For now you can read my collected comments on reddit or my partial translation of a text on mahamudra. Which is hosted on github. How could anything possibly be more up to date than that?
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Sara H » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:40 am

Jinzang wrote:I don't see it as a matter of communication. I see it as a matter of trust. Everything worth saying was said long ago, by people far wiser than me. But what's needed is the courage to take that one necessary step "from the top of the 100 foot pole." Finding the courage to do that takes trust. I have my thoughts on how to build that trust, but someone meeting me could very well decide not to grant it, and I can't really blame them for that.

I'm always looking for ways to communicate the message of Buddhism better and make everything simpler and clearer without any necessary scholasticism or mystification. For now you can read my collected comments on reddit or my partial translation of a text on mahamudra. Which is hosted on github. How could anything possibly be more up to date than that?


I think for members of my generation to trust the Boomers, your generation needs to apologize for the damage they've done to the world, and the resources that were given to them that they've squandered, instead of protected and then passed on.

And I think there needs to be some genuine contrition on that, and acceptance that you did do some harm. And a willingness to take what you have left, and reach across the aisle so to speak and reach out to us and say you are sorry.

An be willing to listen to us from now on when we tell you things, when most of our lives you've thought yourselves superior, when we often do see things that you are quite blind to.

It's the most common story of my generation. You've got to stop acting like you know better, and stop and listen.

And apologize.

Why would we trust somebody who's not willing to listen to us?

When we point out ways that you're being destructive or need to correct your course, and you aren't willing to listen, and actually do what we suggest?

The Boomers are like a forest fire. They just consume every resource they come across, and leave a swath of destruction and wake of damage in their path.

That's wrong.

That's harmful. And it's a breach of the "leave no trace" rule.

You were supposed to inherit these resources, use what you needed, nurture them, foster them into more growth, and then pass them on to future generations.

Instead you consumed them all for yourselves. Like everything in the world was the private property of your generation.

How are we supposed to feel about that?

How are we supposed to feel when we've watched all our lives, knowing we will receive nothing?

How are we supposed to feel now that we have come of age, and over 25 percent of us are unemployed or can't find work, or can't find adequately paying work, or can't afford school, or can't get financial backing to start our own businesses, or etc?

How would you feel?

And the entire time both ourselves, and your parents generation (the WWII Generation) tried to tell you to stop, to be responsible, to pass it on, to think of your kids, to stop being selfish, etc, etc.

Your generation didn't listen to either one of ours.

And so now where are we? The fiscal cliff. The Economy of the world in ruins. The environment in ruins. Mass extinctions. Global warming. Mass unemployment. The first generation in generations that is poorer than their parents...

How are we supposed to think about that?

Would you trust you? If you were one of us?

Your generation has proven themselves to be untrustworthy of even the most basic responsibility.

And now you complain that we must seek you out ourselves, that it's our responsibility to come to you as our Teachers?
You don't exactly inspire wisdom or enlightened behavior.

I read more of the writings of the WWII generation's Dharma teachings than I do of the Boomers.
Their worldview shaped by witnessing mass suffering relates to me more.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: "Zen is Going to Hell and It’s the Boomers’ Fault!"

Postby Jinzang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:51 am

Somehow you have the misapprehension that Zen Buddhists are running the country and making the decisions you so rightfully abhor. And, no, I won't apologize for the policies of Clinton/Bush/Obama, though I will join you if you plan a protest.

Every Buddhist group I've ever known about has been skewed strongly to the left. Ecology? Recycling? Back to the Earth? It was the hippies, many who became the first generation of Western Buddhists, who popularized these ideas.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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