Luke wrote:Really? Tell me the last time you saw poor minorities at a Vajrayana event.
And take a look at publications like Tricycle and Shambhala Sun and think about which demographic they are targeting.
Tricycle has proven more anti-vajrayana than not on many occasions, they are not targeting a vajrayana demographic they just begrudgingly include some vajrayana related information or articles occasionally. Shambhala Sun is of and somewhat for the Shambhala community: it's own entity and specifically unique in the way it's been oriented in recent years. I have no idea about it's national diversity as an organization, but it's quite big.
These should probably speak to you more of the target audience for convert-Buddhists (in general) in the U.S.A. who can afford fancy expensive magazines: not the nature of Vajrayana's inherent demographic. There's many reasons why people in desperate struggles for basic needs may not have the luxury to begin thinking about starting a new path, meditation practice or otherwise. They may have barely enough time to attend their local church or whatever their inherited faith's institution might be, let alone think overly about new options or investing in luxury magazines. I also guarantee you that the culture of materialism prevalent in the urban youth context (like those inhabiting the projects across the street from me) is pretty extreme. Anti-materialist philosophies and practices like any form of Buddhism are not easily approached or assimilated when coming from that basis. What's more, many people in Western countries encounter Buddhist philosophy in their studies at University, not as children --so that separates already who will most likely encounter these traditions in the first place. Most people who are destitute will not be able to attend college or University. There are not Buddhist missionaries going to preach on the street in poor neighborhoods: because Buddhism is not a missionary tradition, not
because it is purposefully ignoring a demographic.
That all said, in my local sanghas I believe minorities are equally represented relational to the percentage of "minorities" in the general population. As for poverty, the majority of the immigrant Tibetans, Bhutanese, Sherpas, etc. that are truly the majority Vajrayana practitioners in my area are anything but wealthy. And the minorities in my Sangha may be more well-off in general than the majorities. And most of the practitioners that I personally know that are white are struggling for money just as severely as I am, which is severely. Most make great sacrifices to be able to do retreat, etc. So if you are in a place/situation where abundance is prevalent in your sangha or otherwise you should rejoice and not start projecting a classist basis upon a stainless tradition. Most of the great yogis (of which there are and were many) have lived the majority of their lives in caves, charnel grounds, prisons and the like with hardly any decent basic resources, -my own root Guru included.