Buddhism's "Race Problem"

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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Quiet Heart » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:12 am

:shrug:
Personally I would presume:
BUDDHISIM doesn't have race problem.
But Buddhisim is an activity done by humans.
Humans can have a race problem.
And therefore....Buddhisim as done by humans....can have a race problem.
That's how it really works, isn't it?
:shrug:
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby PorkChop » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:26 am

viniketa wrote:Why do we see more "whites" coming to Buddhism in the West? I would think it is because more "whites" are feeling uncomfortable in the culture of Christianity, particularly "White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism", which is much different than African-American Protestantism or Hispanic Roman Catholicism.


To be perfectly honest, most of the Buddhist converts I've met have been former Catholics (my self included).
There are various reasons for native English-speaking people leaving the Catholic church, but going into those reasons might be considered bashing or disrespect and I don't want to do that.
As of 2011, there are upwards of 26 million "fallen away" Catholics.
That's a large group of people who might be on the look out for a religion/faith/spiritual practice that inspires them more than what they grew up in.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:50 am

catmoon wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: Like I said before, I am not interested at all in Theosophical/Masonic theories on race. Plus it is not really relevant to the whole discussion.

:focus:


Hear hear. I am sick to death of Blavatsky, theosophy, masons, calcified pineal glands and thinly veiled racism. It has gotten to the point where I am seriously considering deleting any post that even mentions any of the above. This is a Buddhist board, and it should not be used as a platform for the promotion of other religions.


He may be factually incorrect but racist? I don't think so.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:55 am

Konchog1 wrote:


Good advice by Morgan Freeman. I posted that over at Dhamma Wheel.

The Dharma is beyond all this race and nationality segregation. The Buddha spoke out against caste as having any special privileges and advocated for the spreading of Dharma to the rest of the world. The Buddha was one of the first known teachers to not teach just to one specific tribe or nationality of people. Jehovah taught to the Hebrew people and was called the "God of Israel" (not other nations?). Jesus and Christianity are often considered more universal, but in the Book of Revelations we see that only 144,000 make it to the Kingdom of Heaven; with only 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes making it there (so apparently you have to be Christian of Jewish ethnicity? Perhaps only the "Jews for Jesus" group makes it?).

It's a difficult and touchy issue. Either way you answer someone might call you a "racist." If you say that there shouldn't be groups for "people of color" then someone might call you a racist. If you say there should be such groups, then you might be accused of being racist; by engaging in reverse racism (from the historical direction); in this case not allowing whites to attend.

If they don't allow whites to attend, where do they draw the line? How about half-white, half-black people like my kids? If that is allowed, how about someone who is only quarter-black? How about one-eighth? If yes, why? If not allowed, why not?
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:15 am

The Dharma is for everyone,not just Asians,not just whites,not just minorities.It doesn't matter much though.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Yudron » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:33 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
If they don't allow whites to attend, where do they draw the line? How about half-white, half-black people like my kids? If that is allowed, how about someone who is only quarter-black? How about one-eighth? If yes, why? If not allowed, why not?


I think whatever person said they identified as a person of color would be welcomed. I don't know what white person has a need to be in a support group for Buddhist people of color.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:42 am

Yudron wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
If they don't allow whites to attend, where do they draw the line? How about half-white, half-black people like my kids? If that is allowed, how about someone who is only quarter-black? How about one-eighth? If yes, why? If not allowed, why not?


I think whatever person said they identified as a person of color would be welcomed. I don't know what white person has a need to be in a support group for Buddhist people of color.
And what if the person thinks he's not white but the staff do?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Indrajala » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:59 am

And what if the person thinks he's not white but the staff do?


What about fair skinned Central Asian types?

Image


Image


This whole "race" thing is a bunch of nonsense. The sooner people stop believing in it the better.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:06 am

my mother's mother's mother mother was African-American :tantrum: Let me in.

But seriously, in terms of the race thing: There is a history that goes along with it. People have been rejected or treated differently. So to have a space where they don't feel that as much might be a door into the broader Sangha. It is not the ultimate solution, but it is skillful means to help the dharma reach more people.
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: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:38 am

Personally, though I can understand the reasoning behind it, I find the notion condescending. I (having been the victim of racism) feel that it would be better to foster an environment where all people always feel welcome rather than have specific days where "darker" people are more welcome. It is just silly.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:18 pm

JKhedrup wrote:But seriously, in terms of the race thing: There is a history that goes along with it. People have been rejected or treated differently. So to have a space where they don't feel that as much might be a door into the broader Sangha. It is not the ultimate solution, but it is skillful means to help the dharma reach more people.
With respect Venerable, while your idea has merit. I believe this practice would lead to "us against them" thinking. It would become an ego game. If someone feels uncomfortable they should kindly be reminded to ask themselves who is uncomfortable and where the feeling has arisen from.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby PorkChop » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:33 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
JKhedrup wrote:But seriously, in terms of the race thing: There is a history that goes along with it. People have been rejected or treated differently. So to have a space where they don't feel that as much might be a door into the broader Sangha. It is not the ultimate solution, but it is skillful means to help the dharma reach more people.
With respect Venerable, while your idea has merit. I believe this practice would lead to "us against them" thinking. It would become an ego game. If someone feels uncomfortable they should kindly be reminded to ask themselves who is uncomfortable and where the feeling has arisen from.


Just to reinforce this.
In the States, we have direct, cultural experience with the concept of "separate but equal" and the common consensus is that it is/was not a good thing.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby wisdom » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:54 pm

The guy who introduced me to Dzogchen was a black guy who had literally lived in Africa. Dharma is for everyone.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Sherlock » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:35 am

Maybe for beginner's classes it can be fine, but with more experience of the Dharma, people should be able to overcome this kind of bias.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am

Quiet Heart wrote::shrug:
Personally I would presume:
BUDDHISIM doesn't have race problem.
But Buddhisim is an activity done by humans.
Humans can have a race problem.
And therefore....Buddhisim as done by humans....can have a race problem.
That's how it really works, isn't it?
:shrug:


Some people(like white supremacist)might misuse Buddhist themes,such as karma,for their own purposes.But they're just racist and misinformed.
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Kunga » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:27 pm

Call me an old cynic, but I think a lot of it is just another way of making money.

A friend pointed out one centre (I forget the name) that leads retreats specifically for so many different categories of people, from young gay men to Disabled Hispanic Grandmothers (I made up the last category but it's not so ridiculous), that one imagines they corner the market for those very categories in that area. Retreats don't come cheap these days, but of course there are exceptions.

In the UK the big money spinner is (secular) Mindfulness - and a parallel to the Dharma centre I mentioned above is emerging in a non-Buddhist milieu.

I thought we weren't in the identifying ourselves by our many labels game? Anyway, money will destroy the Dharma in the West (or, rather, the love of it), if the seeds haven't already been sown by corrupt tulkus and feckless students.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby justinjames » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:14 pm

I first thought this thread was troll bait... but alas. I skimmed over the article and walked away with two thoughts -
1. This is absolute rubbish
2. I wasted my time. Shame on me.

:soapbox:
I cannot fathom how any experienced /studied practitioner could believe skin color, background, or sexual orientation would have any impact on a persons progress on the path. blood letting, cranial capacity, leaches, and voluntary trepanation are the domain tinfoil hattery.
The Buddha ordained women, dalits (untouchables), criminals, etc. These actions of the Buddha were confronted with hostility and anger at the time. Buddha dismissed the objections - to paraphrase a saying, "they are me, and I am them". What matters is the person - not what She or He looks like, or who their parents are, how much money they have or the cloths that they wear. Buddhahood is within us all -equally-, being white, brown, black, yellow, or purple with white spots makes no impact on the persons innate nature. To argue otherwise corrupts the very basic teachings of the Buddha.

/rant over
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:50 am

Huseng wrote:This must be a predominately American issue because where I come from over yonder in the northlands beyond Montana and North Dakota race isn't so much of a big deal.

Canada isn't a racism free utopia as much as some people like to think it is.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:18 am

The Huffington Post is the American version of The Daily Mail without the sexy pictures.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby uan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:04 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Jesus and Christianity are often considered more universal, but in the Book of Revelations we see that only 144,000 make it to the Kingdom of Heaven; with only 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes making it there (so apparently you have to be Christian of Jewish ethnicity? Perhaps only the "Jews for Jesus" group makes it?).


This is a misrepresentation of the Christian position - this is the position of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a sect of Christianity that comprises about 0.4% or less of all Christians. It's frustrating when Christians (and non Buddhists) come on Buddhist forums and totally misrepresent what Buddhism is based on stuff they "heard". It's equally frustrating when Buddhists do it towards Christians.
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