Buddhism's "Race Problem"

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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:41 am

If we have good standing in Buddhist communities we should "fumigate" by speaking openly about Buddha Shakyamuni's view on judging people by the group they were born into.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby rebelhermit » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:19 pm

Let me shed some light on the article linked by the OP.

Most Asian-American Buddhists practice at home, and small numbers also observe their faith at Buddhist temples, the kind known for their ornate architecture and large Buddha statues. Studies have found that most Asian-American Buddhists seldom or never meditate. Their practice of the faith includes venerating ancestors, spiritually observing holidays such as Lunar New Year and doing yoga, and most believe in nirvana and reincarnation.

The second camp of Buddhism is made up largely of white converts, who count for about a third of U.S. Buddhists, but whose practice of the faith has arguably seen the most cultural popularity. This group, which mostly focuses on meditation, has its origins in Tibetan, Zen and Vipassana traditions that were popularized by a handful of white Americans who traveled to South and east Asia to learn from Buddhist masters as interest in alternative spirituality peaked during the countercultural movements of the 1960s.


It is true that most of the Asian Americans who migrated to the US do not meditate. Because most Asian Americans who migrate to the US are the blue collar, business types who made their fortunes in Asia and then migrated to the US because the US has better air, better track records of human rights, better economic opportunities, comparatively smaller number of population which translate into wider spaces and less crowds, bigger houses, etc. You can't deny that the US has a better quality of life than most countries in Asia except perhaps South Korea and Japan.

But let's explore this issue for a second. Most Asian Americans are the blue collar, business types who are more interested in making money than spiritual cultivation. Do you think that such money makers are interested in meditation and spiritual cultivation? Of course not! Most Asian Americans, particularly the Chinese/Taiwanese/HKese who make up more than half of the Asian Americans, are only interested in making money! Screw Meditation and give me the Dollar baby that is how most Asian Americans think!

The Asians who do meditate, most are monks, yogis and ascetics btw, are only found in the Asian mountains, forests and temples. They don't care about making money and moving to the US even though the US has a better quality of life. They only care about attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara immediately. Hey even the article stated that most white buddhists learnt the skill of meditation from Asian Meditation Teachers. What, you think that meditation is an art commonly found in the US and meditation originate from the US?

The article linked by the OP is clearly biased against Asians in favor of white buddhists by trying to paint the skewed picture that Caucasian Americans are more interested in meditation than the Asians themselves which is completely bollocks. I can tell you right now that the sum of meditators in the US, regardless of race, is a drop of water in an ocean compared to the number of meditators in Asia.

In fact, I would even gamble on the possibility that Europe or the Middle East has a greater number of meditators than the US because Gnosticism has its origins in Europe and Gnostic Europeans meditate. There is a number of non-Vatican possibly Orthodox Christian or East European Monks who meditate as well. The Middle East and Israel have their own followers in the Kabbalah and Sufi Traditions who also practice the art of meditation.

So what's the point of this rant? Well I just want to point out that despite all the religious freedoms which the US possess, the number of true meditators in the US is a pinprick compared to the number of meditators in Asia or even Europe and the Middle East. How many Buddhist temples are there in Asia alone compared to the number of Buddhist temples in the US? How many Buddhist Monks live in Asia compared to the number of Buddhist Monks in the US?

Let's be frank here. Americans in general are not interested in meditation, enlightenment and liberation from samsara. Most Caucasian and African Americans, like the Asian Americans, are only interested in making money, getting a mate, raising children and generally having a good time. Most Americans are not interested in getting out of life. It is less than 1% of the American population who are really interested in meditation and going within.

I think that if Maitreya Buddha is ever reborn in this world, he wouldn't waste his time and energies trying to enlighten the Americans. He would instead, spend his time and energies, in Asia trying to enlighten the Asians because there are simply much more Asians than Americans who are interested in attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara.

Suffering is the key motivation which pushes a human soul to attain enlightenment and liberation from Samsara. The Americans are too busy enjoying themselves to want to attain Enlightenment. Compared to the Americans, the Asians living in Asia do not have such a good life and it is precisely the suffering in Asia which will motivate the Asians living in Asia to attain Enlightenment and liberate themselves from Samsara.

The number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in Asia versus the number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in the US is more than ample proof that Asians in general, are more interested in spiritual cultivation and enlightenment than the Americans. Well I am sure most Americans in here would disagree with me but the proof is in the pudding so as to speak.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:04 pm

rebelhermit wrote:It is true that most of the Asian Americans who migrated to the US do not meditate. Because most Asian Americans who migrate to the US are the blue collar, business types who made their fortunes in Asia and then migrated to the US because the US has better air, better track records of human rights, better economic opportunities, comparatively smaller number of population which translate into wider spaces and less crowds, bigger houses, etc. You can't deny that the US has a better quality of life than most countries in Asia except perhaps South Korea and Japan.
What is this opinion based on? Do you have access to some research or are you just making this up?

And what is this category "Asian Americans" you are talking about? There are a number of distinct waves of immigration into America from China (for example) in the 19th Century, in the 1940's (escaping the Civil War) and then following the institution of Communism. Those coming to the US in the last wave would not necesarily be Buddhist anyway. They would more likely be atheists Anyway, not all "Asians" are Buddhists. Filipinos are largely Catholic Christians. Sri Lankan migrants may well be Hindu. Indonesians and Malaysians are mainly Muslims. Singaporeans are only nominally Buddhist (33%) with the second largest religious category being Christians (18%) followed closely by atheists (17%). Indians are Hindu. etc...
But let's explore this issue for a second. Most Asian Americans are the blue collar, business types who are more interested in making money than spiritual cultivation.
How can somebody be blue collar and business types at the same time? Either they are blue collar and thus workers/labourers or they are white collared self-employed or employers.
The Asians who do meditate, most are monks, yogis and ascetics btw, are only found in the Asian mountains, forests and temples. They don't care about making money and moving to the US even though the US has a better quality of life. They only care about attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara immediately.
Your source for this?
So what's the point of this rant? Well I just want to point out that despite all the religious freedoms which the US possess, the number of true meditators in the US is a pinprick compared to the number of meditators in Asia or even Europe and the Middle East. How many Buddhist temples are there in Asia alone compared to the number of Buddhist temples in the US? How many Buddhist Monks live in Asia compared to the number of Buddhist Monks in the US?
And...?
I think that if Maitreya Buddha is ever reborn in this world, he wouldn't waste his time and energies trying to enlighten the Americans. He would instead, spend his time and energies, in Asia trying to enlighten the Asians because there are simply much more Asians than Americans who are interested in attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara.
So Maitreya would go teach those that require it the least?
Suffering is the key motivation which pushes a human soul to attain enlightenment and liberation from Samsara. The Americans are too busy enjoying themselves to want to attain Enlightenment. Compared to the Americans, the Asians living in Asia do not have such a good life and it is precisely the suffering in Asia which will motivate the Asians living in Asia to attain Enlightenment and liberate themselves from Samsara.
Nonsense. Fistly it is clear that you have no idea what the Buddha taught about suffering. Secondly, there are countless people in developing countries all over the world undergoing extreme gross suffering (dukha-dukha) that spend no time at all meditating to achieve enlightenment because they are simply too busy trying to survive.
The number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in Asia versus the number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in the US is more than ample proof that Asians in general, are more interested in spiritual cultivation and enlightenment than the Americans.
No, it is simply proof that Buddhism originated in the particular region. The number of churches (for example) can also be taken as a type of proof that Americans are interested in some sort of freedom from suffering. You forget that mainstream American culture is European in origin, and thus Christian.
Well I am sure most Americans in here would disagree with me but the proof is in the pudding so as to speak.
I'm going to disagree with you and I am not American. I am going to disagree with you mainly because you engage in broad generalisations without supplying any relevant facts.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby rebelhermit » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:47 pm

And what is this category "Asian Americans" you are talking about? There are a number of distinct waves of immigration into America from China (for example) in the 19th Century, in the 1940's (escaping the Civil War) and then following the institution of Communism. Those coming to the US in the last wave would not necesarily be Buddhist anyway. They would more likely be atheists Anyway, not all "Asians" are Buddhists. Filipinos are largely Catholic Christians. Sri Lankan migrants may well be Hindu. Indonesians and Malaysians are mainly Muslims. Singaporeans are only nominally Buddhist (33%) with the second largest religious category being Christians (18%) followed closely by atheists (17%). Indians are Hindu. etc...

Trust me, even after WW2, most Asian Americans are wealthier compared to those living in Asia.. The Asian American Buddhists in the article linked by the OP clearly refer to the numerous Chinese Buddhist associations most notably Fo Guang Shan which boast large number of followers but almost none of these followers practices meditation.

Most Chinese Buddhist practitioners only pray to Buddha for money, love, health, etc. kinda like how most Christians pray to God for money, love, health, etc. and fulfillment of all their material desires which is the opposite of what Buddha and/or God wants humans to do in the first place!


The other Asian American Buddhist associations like say the Thais, Cambodians, Vietnamese and other SEA Theravada Buddhist associations can boast a much higher percentage of meditators than the Chinese Buddhists.. How do I prove my words? Well you gotta hang around the Asian Americans to know how Asian Americans are truly like..

How can somebody be blue collar and business types at the same time? Either they are blue collar and thus workers/labourers or they are white collared self-employed or employers.

I wanted to change the word blue collar to white collar but then most asian americans are indeed the blue collar business types. Small-time importers, small restaurant owners, grocery shop owners, laundromat owners, you know.. those type of small-time, self-employed businesses where more often than not, it is just the owners themselves running the place without the need to hire any additional employees.. this would be what I mean by blue collar business types..

Not every business makes millions of dollars in profits every year..
The Asians who do meditate, most are monks, yogis and ascetics btw, are only found in the Asian mountains, forests and temples. They don't care about making money and moving to the US even though the US has a better quality of life. They only care about attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara immediately.
Your source for this?

Me, Myself and I who have traveled and lived in Asia for a number of years. Take it with a pinch of salt if you are so disinclined to believe me.

I think that if Maitreya Buddha is ever reborn in this world, he wouldn't waste his time and energies trying to enlighten the Americans. He would instead, spend his time and energies, in Asia trying to enlighten the Asians because there are simply much more Asians than Americans who are interested in attaining Enlightenment and getting out of Samsara.
So Maitreya would go teach those that require it the least?


No M. Buddha would teach those who require it the most. IE. those who suffer the most and who possess the greatest desire to get out of samsara by attaining enlightenment.
Suffering is the key motivation which pushes a human soul to attain enlightenment and liberation from Samsara. The Americans are too busy enjoying themselves to want to attain Enlightenment. Compared to the Americans, the Asians living in Asia do not have such a good life and it is precisely the suffering in Asia which will motivate the Asians living in Asia to attain Enlightenment and liberate themselves from Samsara.
Nonsense. Fistly it is clear that you have no idea what the Buddha taught about suffering. Secondly, there are countless people in developing countries all over the world undergoing extreme gross suffering (dukha-dukha) that spend no time at all meditating to achieve enlightenment because they are simply too busy trying to survive.


And let me point the finger back at you. How do you know that there are countless people in ASIA who are too busy trying to survive because they are undergoing extreme gross suffering? Does one need to be free of suffering in order to meditate?

The number of monks alone in Asia clearly outnumber the number of meditators in the US, regardless of race. Are you telling me those Asian monks do not have time to meditate because they are too busy trying to survive? What a load of bollocks! You forget brother, that the Asian population is 4 BILLION plus while the US population is only 300 million plus. Even a small percentile of the Asian population still results in a higher number of meditators than the US!
The number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in Asia versus the number of Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks in the US is more than ample proof that Asians in general, are more interested in spiritual cultivation and enlightenment than the Americans.
No, it is simply proof that Buddhism originated in the particular region. The number of churches (for example) can also be taken as a type of proof that Americans are interested in some sort of freedom from suffering. You forget that mainstream American culture is European in origin, and thus Christian.


And the lack of spiritual knowledge regarding Christianity arises. First off being a Christian nowadays doesn't mean you believe in Enlightenment and Spirituality. It simply means you are a Religious Christian who believes in God but do nothing to reach God and to become God. In fact most Christians find it sacrilegious to even think about becoming God which is clearly the opposite of how the game of Enlightenment works in the first place.

BTW, just an insider tip here. The Vatican upper clergy believe in meditation, reincarnation and enlightenment but they remove all these extremely important spiritual information from the bible. Jesus taught meditation, reincarnation and enlightenment when he was alive as he was part of the Essenes (a spiritual order which the Vatican destroyed because they do not want the teachings of Enlightenment to spread around in Europe) which is why the Vatican or the Romans at that time killed Jesus because they wanted to prevent Jesus from widely propagating meditation, reincarnation and enlightenment throughout Europe.


An Enlightened Buddhist not only believe in God/Buddha/Whatever name given to the God Consciousness inside but they also attempt to reach God/Buddha/Consciousness inside in order to become Enlightened and destroy the Maya covering their spiritual senses.

Now you might delete this post because of what I have just revealed but do I care? Nah, it would only give me additional proof that the West isn't interested in fighting for the Truth but just wanna maintain the status quo so that they can continue to live in dreamland.
Well I am sure most Americans in here would disagree with me but the proof is in the pudding so as to speak.
I'm going to disagree with you and I am not American. I am going to disagree with you mainly because you engage in broad generalisations without supplying any relevant facts.
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Simon E. » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:56 pm

Oh boy.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby pueraeternus » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:11 pm

Simon E. wrote:Oh boy.


Yes?
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:34 pm

rebelhermit wrote:The other Asian American Buddhist associations like say the Thais, Cambodians, Vietnamese and other SEA Theravada Buddhist associations can boast a much higher percentage of meditators than the Chinese Buddhists.. How do I prove my words? Well you gotta hang around the Asian Americans to know how Asian Americans are truly like.
First of all there is not really such an entity as an "Asian American". It is as ridiculous a category as an "European American" So the first thing you have to do is get over the sweeping (and invalid) generalisations.
I wanted to change the word blue collar to white collar but then most asian americans are indeed the blue collar business types. Small-time importers, small restaurant owners, grocery shop owners, laundromat owners, you know.. those type of small-time, self-employed businesses where more often than not, it is just the owners themselves running the place without the need to hire any additional employees.. this would be what I mean by blue collar business types..
Petite Bourgeisie is the correct term.
Me, Myself and I who have traveled and lived in Asia for a number of years. Take it with a pinch of salt if you are so disinclined to believe me.
And who are you? A pseudonym with a proxy IP. If you don't mind, I'll take your word with a fistful of salt.
And let me point the finger back at you. How do you know that there are countless people in ASIA who are too busy trying to survive because they are undergoing extreme gross suffering? Does one need to be free of suffering in order to meditate?
First of all I did not talk specifically about Asia but the developing world in general. Secondly one needs to have conditions conducive to meditation in order to meditate (or it least it helps mightily).
The number of monks alone in Asia clearly outnumber the number of meditators in the US, regardless of race. Are you telling me those Asian monks do not have time to meditate because they are too busy trying to survive?
Read what I wrote above about conditions conducive to meditation.
You forget brother, that the Asian population is 4 BILLION plus while the US population is only 300 million plus. Even a small percentile of the Asian population still results in a higher number of meditators than the US!
yes, there are probably more people in "Asia" meditating than there are in America. So what?
And the lack of spiritual knowledge regarding Christianity arises. First off being a Christian nowadays doesn't mean you believe in Enlightenment and Spirituality. It simply means you are a Religious Christian who believes in God but do nothing to reach God and to become God.
Didn't you just say that this is also the attitude of the majority of Chinese Buddhists?
In fact most Christians find it sacrilegious to even think about becoming God which is clearly the opposite of how the game of Enlightenment works in the first place.
Really? Do you have a source for this claim?
An Enlightened Buddhist not only believe in God/Buddha/Whatever name given to the God Consciousness inside but they also attempt to reach God/Buddha/Consciousness inside in order to become Enlightened and destroy the Maya covering their spiritual senses.
So now you are saying that God (Abrahamic I guess) and Buddha are the same thing?
Now you might delete this post because of what I have just revealed but do I care? Nah, it would only give me additional proof that the West isn't interested in fighting for the Truth but just wanna maintain the status quo so that they can continue to live in dreamland.
Who exactly is living in "Dreamland" is still a matter of contention.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Yudron » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:41 pm

I'll ignore all this Jesus and Maitreya talk for now.

I just spent three weeks receiving empowerments from a great Tibetan teacher in a mixed group of Chinese, Tibetan and white people in the U.S. Everyone sacrificed something to be present there, everyone had faith and devotion, and I could not see any difference in the hearts of folks there based on race and nationality.

The Dharma is very slowly becoming established in this barbarian country, and I think we have a lot of potential.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby kirtu » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:46 am

Yudron wrote:The Dharma is very slowly becoming established in this barbarian country, and I think we have a lot of potential.


At least two lineage holders have declared during teaching that the US is a central land.

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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Yudron » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:21 am

kirtu wrote:
Yudron wrote:The Dharma is very slowly becoming established in this barbarian country, and I think we have a lot of potential.


At least two lineage holders have declared during teaching that the US is a central land.

Kirt


Oh, really? Do tell!
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby kirtu » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:09 am

Yudron wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Yudron wrote:The Dharma is very slowly becoming established in this barbarian country, and I think we have a lot of potential.


At least two lineage holders have declared during teaching that the US is a central land.

Kirt


Oh, really? Do tell!


I'm uncertain if I should elaborate on this further as neither outright declared the US or the West a central land per se. They seemed to stop just short of it by stating that Buddhism is no longer foreign to the US and that practitioners are sincere and that the teachings of Buddha are available and can be found with ease. So it was this sense and several of us commented that in effect the lineage holder had declared the US to be a central land now. One of my lamas did come out and actually say that and another lama shocked me by saying that the lamas of old Tibet knew perfectly well that the teachings of Buddha would be disseminated to the west (and not in the little drips and drabs typical of the 1700-1880 period).

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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby pemachophel » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:49 pm

Two comments, both hearsay:

First, I heard one Tibetan Lama say in public that, as the Buddhadharma disappears from this world, America, the Land of A, will be the last place it is still found and practiced. Sorry, I'm not remembering this Lama's name and where He said this, but it was within the last year or so. Having a "senior moment."

Second, a couple of years ago, Anyen Rinpoche, speaking in public, said that He and another Tibetan Lama were talking about the differences between Their Euro-American students and Their Asian (i.e., Chinese & Vietnamese) students. These two Lamas agreed that their Euro-American students were more interested in meditation/Dzogchen, while their Asian students were more interested in wealth, health, offspring, and long life. From Their mouths, not mine.

:anjali:
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Luke » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:57 pm

Indrajala wrote:I think this is a largely American problem, but correct me if I'm wrong.

You think racism is only an American problem?? You should come to Hungary where is a huge amount of hatred towards the gypsies. I've taught a few 8th graders in Hungary who think that the solution is to kill all the gypsies! I showed one of my students a picture of Gloria Estefan and the student recoiled in disgust and said, "She looks like a gypsy!" Needless to say, I haven't seen many gypsies at Buddhist events here...

Anyway, regarding the article in the OP, I think it's great to have meditation classes for only non-white people if it brings more people in contact with Buddhism who wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to try it out otherwise. Hopefully, the minority participants of these events will develop more confidence and will eventually go to any Buddhist events which interest them, regardless of the race of the participants.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby greentara » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:58 am

Lhug pa, In these days of rampant materialism be glad anyone turns up! Don't worry about ethnicity; be glad there are still seekers. Its only a rare one who reaches for the pinnacle, be it Thai, Burmese or ex hippie.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:39 am

Luke wrote:You think racism is only an American problem??


No, I'm talking about Buddhism having race problems. Americans are constantly going on and on about race. You have to identify as some race or another. It creates a lot of political classes, cultural spheres and so forth. It is a sick divisive way of thinking that unfortunately seems to play a role in Buddhism in America.

Of course racism exists elsewhere, but the way the article describes its relationship to Buddhism seems largely an American problem.

You should come to Hungary where is a huge amount of hatred towards the gypsies.


That's arguably not racism, but just discrimination.


Anyway, regarding the article in the OP, I think it's great to have meditation classes for only non-white people if it brings more people in contact with Buddhism who wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to try it out otherwise.


See this is what I'm talking about: divisive thinking. That it is somehow positive and beneficial to divide and segregate people if the divided party somehow enjoys special benefits.

This just perpetuates the problem.
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Re: Buddhism's "Race Problem"

Postby Luke » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:31 pm

Indrajala wrote:No, I'm talking about Buddhism having race problems. Americans are constantly going on and on about race. You have to identify as some race or another. It creates a lot of political classes, cultural spheres and so forth. It is a sick divisive way of thinking that unfortunately seems to play a role in Buddhism in America.

Well, there are big divisions in American society, and I feel that it's much more ignorant to ignore them than to at least acknowledge them.

Of course, if you could care less that a lot of western Buddhist groups are quite homogeneous, then it's no problem for you! lol
But such a viewpoint may ignore the qualities of the group which keep different sorts of people away.

For example, most Hungarians just don't want gypsies around to begin with and so they will never raise the question of why gypsies often don't want to join their Buddhist groups. Most white Hungarians just despise them and therefore, wouldn't even bring up the subject. Do you think that this is a much better way to think??

Indrajala wrote:
You should come to Hungary where is a huge amount of hatred towards the gypsies.

That's arguably not racism, but just discrimination.

I see the two words as basically being synonyms. What do you see as the major difference between the two?

Indrajala wrote:
Anyway, regarding the article in the OP, I think it's great to have meditation classes for only non-white people if it brings more people in contact with Buddhism who wouldn't have felt comfortable enough to try it out otherwise.


See this is what I'm talking about: divisive thinking. That it is somehow positive and beneficial to divide and segregate people if the divided party somehow enjoys special benefits.

This just perpetuates the problem.

It only perpetuates the problem if it's perpetual. I see these things as just temporary solutions, stepping stones, if you will.

For example, if a black person enjoys a few all-black Buddhist retreats and learns more about Buddhism there, and later goes to mixed-race Buddhist events, then what's the problem? However, if people kept going to black-only Buddhist groups forever, then I would find that silly and negative.
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