RikudouSennin wrote:to be honest i think if there was a black person who reached levels of advancement, and could testify to the turth of the buddhas teachings, then there will probbably be more intrest.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:I figure the largest issues are probably time and money, to be blunt.
In addition though, seriously..white people from protestant background especially have a whole set of social mores that are kind of well...incredibly stuffy to nearly anyone else. I am as white as the driven snow but grew up on the much lower end of middle class, around loud people of Irish descent, and am married to a Jew. One thing i've come across since coming to the Pacific Northwest from the Southwest United States is that there is a kind of "White culture" I never really knew existed before.
It tends to be very liberal in many ways, but exceptionally conservative in terms of conversational style, display and attitude towards emotion or contention, as well as a kind of unspoken expectation of a ridiculous level of politeness in interaction - to a point that is stifling sometimes. I can see how black folks or whoever else would be uncomfortable with it, it makes me uncomfortable and i'm technically from the same racial background and culture - at least somewhat.
dsaly1969 wrote:Ethnic temples are also generally far more child and family friendly than the "elite" centers.
Sara H wrote:dsaly1969 wrote:Ethnic temples are also generally far more child and family friendly than the "elite" centers.
That's an important observation.
I've also noticed that many of the (for lack of a better word) "white people" Center's also tend to be very child unfriendly, as if they are adult spaces only.
There seems to be an aversion to children practicing, as though , to quote the movie Patch Adams "This is SERIOUS!!!! BUSINESSS!!!!" lol.
And children arn't allowed.
I've actually seen some people speak as though they don't have a right to bring their children, or that it would be wrong of them to encourage their children to practice, or make it available to them.
It's really really weird.
I love seeing children at Dharma Centers.
Thrasymachus wrote:2) Those who are disillusioned with Black Baptist and other Churches are lost deep into vapid hip-hop culture which seems to me a government program to channel the energy of the poorest and most apt to revolt away from Martin Luther King type social activism or Black Panther like social militancy. Now it is all about petty criminality, hoes and drugs, so their energy is safely dissipated into hopeless directions that cannot change social conditions and will assure blacks remain the poorest community in the foreseeable future. Martin Luther King could have gained the respect of whites and blacks alike, rich, hypocrite rappers despite their relative popularity in popular media, genuinely cannot however be an example even in their old neighborhoods, where they often get jacked if they dare to show up.
Knotty Veneer wrote:I am of the opposite opinion. I don't know how you can really do silent sitting or long pujas or retreats etc. with kids running around the place.
I do not have or want children and am grateful that the monastery I visit most often does not allows under sixteens to stay over night. It's the only space I know which actually caters for single people and is reserved as an adult space. Why does everything need to be "child-friendly"?
Does this mean that you can't have a serious practice if you have a family? I think in the completative traditions it pretty much does - or at least it's a whole lot harder.
dsaly1969 wrote:This is why I dislike the elitism of "contemplative" traditions which seem to cater to this type of selfish attitude which is typical for white people with some disposable income and who want to be "isolated" from the rest of the world. If you cannot maintain your mindfulness with the real world around you then perhaps your practice is not all that beneficial.
Pure Land and similar schools seem to be a better match for those of us who live in the real world. They are Buddhism for "real life".
Knotty Veneer wrote:dsaly1969 wrote:I don't think it's selfish (and isn't the line "selfish attitude which is typical for white people with some disposable income" just plain racist?). And I live as much in the real world as you do. I did not chose to have a family though. Where is it written that we all have to do the nuclear family thing? My lifestyle choice limits some of my options in life. So does yours. But that is not the fault of "comptemplative traditions". If you chose to have kids - you limited your options in some regards.
Comtemplative traditions are more difficult for people who have chosen to have families. If there is a system whether Pure Land or Western Mindfulness that can get you to the same level as someone who has time to devote to retreat and daily practice, go for it. How though do you manage to maintain mindfulness in your real world without being able to do retreat or even formal sitting practice?
dsaly1969 wrote:One, I'm white so it is not racist just an observation of the kind of folks who join "white elite" Buddhism (generally white-focused Tibetan, "Insight Meditation", and Zen Sanghas).
dsaly1969 wrote:I'm not saying that everyone has to do the "nuclear family" thing - but dharma centers should NOT be restricted to adults only. The dharma is supposed to be for everyone in everyday life including those with families.
dsaly1969 wrote:BTW, ethnic temples DO have retreats and such which are for adults and not kids - but they offer a wider array of dharma services which can include all rather than promote a discriminatory policy and overexcessive charging of fees for dharma programs which is often the case for "elite" Buddhism.
dsaly1969 wrote:Ethnic temples provide a nice balance of both contemplative and devotional practice. This is often the case in Chinese/Taiwanese temples where they practice a blend of Ch'an-Pure Land practice. "Elite" Buddhism is a rarefied, meditation "contemplative" focused practice which does not generally even exist in Asia (which combines both contemplative and devotional traditions in observance) and was developed to meet the WANTS of white Westerners. BTW, there is a strong Pure Land component within Tibetan Buddhism but you would not know it from what most white converts practice.
David N. Snyder wrote:In a word one of the biggest things preventing more African-Americans from joining Sanhas is: culture. As Thrasymachus and others have noted the cultural differences are significant from the contemplative forms of Buddhism. Take a look at this African-American church service:
And compare that to the noble silence of sitting meditation, the very quiet and solemn practice we do in sitting meditation, walking meditation, retreats, even the way we eat our food!
However, socio-economic class also has a lot to do with it and as more African-Americans come out of poverty, there will be greater participation. I have met several African-American Buddhists, but admittedly most have been middle to upper-middle class.
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