Buddhism: Just for Asians?

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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:27 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
OregonBuddhist wrote: I was wondering if anyone who isn't culturally (or perhaps biologically) "Asian" can therefore truly be Buddhist.


let me ask you this...can anyone who wasn't living in India 2500 years ago "truly" be buddhist?
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Or another variant- if you accept the reasoning that implies Buddhism is just for Asians you have a problem. Anyone from India can use the same reasoning to demonstrate Buddhism is just for Indians and they have priority here. So the Japanese, the Thais, the Koreans, the Chinese, even the Tibetans would not be "real Buddhists"! That's how crazy this idea is.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:01 pm

OregonBuddhist wrote: I was wondering if anyone who isn't culturally (or perhaps biologically) "Asian" can therefore truly be Buddhist.


This question has been asked to my teacher (lama) many times.
He said that because the causes of suffering
(conflicting emotions, attachment, greed, anger, ignorance, etc.)
are exactly the same now as they were in the Buddha's time,
and also for the same for all people in all cultures,
that the remedy is exactly the same and just as applicable.

It is true that various cultures have had an influence on the institution of buddhism
but the dharma is the same as it always was
and the only place where it is really practiced is in the mind.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby OregonBuddhist » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:38 am

Thank you for the interesting responses.

I suppose what I'm trying to get at is as follows: at some point, Buddhism goes beyond religion/faith and becomes a part of a cultural identity.

I, a former Catholic, once had a conversation with a woman who said that Catholicism isn't just a religion, but also a culture. By that point, I hadn't attended a Catholic service in about a decade, and yet I agreed with the woman -- as I still felt, in some ways, a part of the "culture of Catholicism." (We all love to swap horror stories about how strict the nuns were, and how "fun" it was to be taught that all the ugliness of the world was our personal fault.)

I attended a Buddhist service last week where Asian people (some of Asian descent, some from Asia) took part in a blessing, despite the fact that they said they aren't that observant of the religion -- and a few people even said they "aren't Buddhist." But they took part in the blessing because they are Asian, or of Asian descent, and therefore it is a part of their cultural makeup and background.

I, as a former Catholic, have no problem with anyone converting to Catholicism later in life. But I know they will not have the same experience and perspective on Catholicism as I did -- because they CHOSE the path, and it was forced on me and I grew up with it. I sometimes wonder if a similar dynamic comes into play with Buddhism.

One of the things that made this come to mind for me is that I have some Asian friends who are not religious in the slightest, and yet they have been surprised and intrigued to know that I am studying Buddhism. This made me realize that at some level Buddhism is a cultural identity.

I suppose the other side of this situation is as follows: there seems to be a movement within "American Buddhism" to attempt to get rid of the Asian roots of the religion/faith/path. Or at least that's my interpretation on the matter. (I sometimes wonder if this is maybe one reason Nichiren Buddhism gets a bad rap from some people: it brings the Asian roots with it.)
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby icylake » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:14 pm

i'm a korean. who starated my spiritual experience as protestant christian. and christianity in Korean can not merely conceived as "western religion". my turning to Buddhism in fact was almost the same to what "new buddhist" in western world experienced.. and as many dharma friends mentioned above, we Koreans, Chinese, Japanese's oroginal religions-shamanism, premitive Taoism, premitive Shinto - have nothing to do with Buddhism. but after we accepted buddhism, many concepts of buddhism introduced into our culture- the concept of samsara, nirvana, suffering - and in fact. Christianity,or Abrahamic religions are asian religion too.. as a catholic, when you saw the Coptics pray prostrationg in front of altar, could you feel that they are "Europeans" ? merely because they are Christians? can you imagine the Malaisians, indonesians, Uzbekhistans, Khazaks, pakistanis, Afghanistanis used to be Hindu of buddhist? The Celtic, Germans, Skandinavians, Lituanians were not Europeans before accepting Christianity?

the "Culture" will change all the time. just like Lord Buddha said...there is nothing permanant...some years ago, there were a fierece debate on cultural identety in South Korea,, that is " as a MODERN Koreans, we are the decendants of Decartes or Yi hwang(famous confusinism scholar in the 16the century)?" at that time i felt it's just funny because confucionism was imported from China. but conceived as "Ours" but why not for Decartes? :D even before the 4th century, almost all of european ancestors were not Christians. i think it's cultural or collective ego, just like collective kharma. and i can see western buddhists are in the process of making thier own buddhism. many relatives of mine live in California, so i visted them several times, then i found that the Koreans always go to Korean church, Korean temple only. they don't go to western church.. even those 'western" church itself devided into "european church", "afro-american church" and so on.. and the the atmosphere of Dharma centers for Westernsers and that of Immgrant temples are totally different. many Asians even can not try to attend dharma talks in Dharma centers. :D of course there may be some asian factors in western dharma centers too, just like Catholic chrch in South Korea have many latin-italian word in thier ceremony. but i sometimes imagine, in the 4th century, how the roman-citizens felt about "Amen", "Hallelujah" , when they heard it at the first time.. sorry for my bad english. but i think the immpermanance of every thing is the core of buddha's teaching.

greetings from icylake :namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby OregonBuddhist » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:54 am

Thank you for the response. With regard to you being a Korean Protestant Christian, I am aware that Christianity is actually an "Asian" religion -- because Israel is on the Asian continent. However, culturally speaking, the Protestant Christian movement comes out of Germany during the 1600s, and it therefore is originally a part of the German and European cultures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism

I'm sure you're aware that the phenomenon of East Asians being Christian is a relatively recent phenomenon, just as it is relatively recent for Americans to practice/study Buddhism.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the following: "and as many dharma friends mentioned above, we Koreans, Chinese, Japanese's oroginal religions-shamanism, premitive Taoism, premitive Shinto - have nothing to do with Buddhism." Are you saying there are people who grow up in Asia who have nothing to do with Buddhism? Or are you referring to the fact that Buddhism originated in India and eventually moved into the East Asian countries?

Thanks. :)

icylake wrote:i'm a korean. who starated my spiritual experience as protestant christian. and christianity in Korean can not merely conceived as "western religion". my turning to Buddhism in fact was almost the same to what "new buddhist" in western world experienced.. and as many dharma friends mentioned above, we Koreans, Chinese, Japanese's oroginal religions-shamanism, premitive Taoism, premitive Shinto - have nothing to do with Buddhism. but after we accepted buddhism, many concepts of buddhism introduced into our culture- the concept of samsara, nirvana, suffering - and in fact. Christianity,or Abrahamic religions are asian religion too.. as a catholic, when you saw the Coptics pray prostrationg in front of altar, could you feel that they are "Europeans" ? merely because they are Christians? can you imagine the Malaisians, indonesians, Uzbekhistans, Khazaks, pakistanis, Afghanistanis used to be Hindu of buddhist? The Celtic, Germans, Skandinavians, Lituanians were not Europeans before accepting Christianity?

the "Culture" will change all the time. just like Lord Buddha said...there is nothing permanant...some years ago, there were a fierece debate on cultural identety in South Korea,, that is " as a MODERN Koreans, we are the decendants of Decartes or Yi hwang(famous confusinism scholar in the 16the century)?" at that time i felt it's just funny because confucionism was imported from China. but conceived as "Ours" but why not for Decartes? :D even before the 4th century, almost all of european ancestors were not Christians. i think it's cultural or collective ego, just like collective kharma. and i can see western buddhists are in the process of making thier own buddhism. many relatives of mine live in California, so i visted them several times, then i found that the Koreans always go to Korean church, Korean temple only. they don't go to western church.. even those 'western" church itself devided into "european church", "afro-american church" and so on.. and the the atmosphere of Dharma centers for Westernsers and that of Immgrant temples are totally different. many Asians even can not try to attend dharma talks in Dharma centers. :D of course there may be some asian factors in western dharma centers too, just like Catholic chrch in South Korea have many latin-italian word in thier ceremony. but i sometimes imagine, in the 4th century, how the roman-citizens felt about "Amen", "Hallelujah" , when they heard it at the first time.. sorry for my bad english. but i think the immpermanance of every thing is the core of buddha's teaching.

greetings from icylake :namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby icylake » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:29 am

Hi! oregon buddhist..

the Latter..^^ Buddhism was not originated in east-Asia... but have been our cultural base for two thousands years. maybe christianity is becoming a part of traditional east-asian culture now. and buddhism is becoming ....a part of Western culture too..

palm together. :namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby OregonBuddhist » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:49 am

Thank you for the response. And thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. This thread helped me remember something I knew to begin with: that it doesn't matter. LOL :twothumbsup: What I mean is ... I never, ever "thought twice" about being a so-called "Westerner" (someone of European descent) practicing Buddhism. I became aware of Buddhism at a point in my life (my childhood) before I had any concept of "race." I didn't consider I was among "Japanese people" (though, certainly, they were), but just that I was among, you know, people. Like me. So, truth is, it took me by surprise to learn that some find it unusual that I, a so-called white westerner, practice Buddhism. I decided to look into that for a time.... And now I'm back where I started. So, thanks. :namaste:
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Kabouterke » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:42 pm

Masaru wrote:
Huseng wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Addressing the original topic of the thread, I suspect the reason Asians might seem reluctant to share their tradition with white people is that they're afraid whitey will come along and take out everything he doesn't like, start telling them what they're "doing wrong," and then take credit for the whole religion from the beginning, claiming that white people invented it. Which, historically, is what white people always do. The Nichiren sect, however, is "evangelical" in that it practices shakabuku, and shakabuku provides a corrective mechanism that keeps adherents from straying too far from the basic tenets and practices of the tradition. Homey don't play that.

Joking but not.


I personally wouldn't say that that's a reason why Asians would react reluctantly or suspiciously, as the original poster perceived. I think you are looking at that through a uniquely American POV.

There are many reasons, IMO, why Asians might not act overly excited when you tell them you are Buddhist.

First, IF the Asian person you are talking to was raised in traditionally 'Buddhist" family, they might only have a general knowledge about Buddhism and they might not feel any real attachment to it (again, depending on your family and what country you're from, etc). Buddhism in East Asia is kind of in the same state that Christianity is in Western Europe. Yeah, we've got some stunning monasteries and cathedrals here in Europe and we are the home of centuries of cultural/religious traditions and influence, but most people really don't care about religion anymore and it doesn't play any role in everyday life, politics, society, etc. It's viewed with suspicision and as being no longer relevant. The churches and cathedrals are perpetually empty, basically. If you stopped someone on the street and asked them about religion, they might have a vague idea of life after death and God and know a few basic tenets of the faith but it would be a while before you came across a practicing Christian. Religion's seen to be something for old women and kind of over-zealous eccentrics... Either that or it's a private matter.
I mean, most of the Japanese people that I shared an apartment with while I was studying said pretty much the same thing. There are still monasteries and magnificent buildings and Buddhism has deeply influenced the civilization, but it's a thing of the past. Some of the Koreans that I knew also spoke about Buddhism suspiciously. While it's new in the West, Buddhism has always been entangled with political, social and economic matters in Asia. Just think of some Buddhist schools and organizations and their support for WWII in Japan. It's just not something most people really are concerned with in their daily lives anymore. And for some, the only contact they have with the religion is for certain festivals/holidays, births, deaths, and weddings. That's it. So, don't be surprised that they don't whip out their mala and start reciting sutras with you on the spot when you tell them that you are Buddhist. On top of that, imagine an Indian guy met you on the street and said "Hey! You're American! I'm Christian!" You'd probably be like "Oh...ok. That's nice."

Another thing is that Buddhism is inherently tied to Asian culture and civilization (and vice versa). Most Asians are probably not aware that there are schools and forms of Buddhism in the West that are currently developing indepently from their Eastern traditions. Because of that, I would imagine some people think that you are possibly one of those Westerners who are waaaaay too enthousiastic about Buddhism and all-things-Asian and bow at everything and collect swords and draw anime and wear mala beads around town and don't drink anything else other than green tea. I mean, there's tons of them amongst us who forget that they were born this side of the Ganges. Japanese even has a name of this category of Westerners.

The other thing is that Buddhism has taken a very "participatory" form (as I'll call it) in the West. In many types of Buddhism, lay participation is limited to donations, caring for the monks (such as providing food, basic chores), going to dharma talks and lighting some incense and slapping a prayer wheel or two. Many Western schools have blended this version of lay Buddhism with practices that are traditionally reserved for clergy. So, when you tell an Asian person that you are Buddhist (who is actually a believing Buddhist) they might probably only think that this is the extent of your practice.

Just my thoughts. :coffee:
Last edited by Kabouterke on Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:29 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Kabouterke » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:42 pm

Wow. Sorry. I just noticed this is a threat from 2012. Sorry for digging this back up, guys.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Kabouterke » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:01 am

OregonBuddhist wrote: I suppose the other side of this situation is as follows: there seems to be a movement within "American Buddhism" to attempt to get rid of the Asian roots of the religion/faith/path. Or at least that's my interpretation on the matter. (I sometimes wonder if this is maybe one reason Nichiren Buddhism gets a bad rap from some people: it brings the Asian roots with it.)



Well, every school of Buddhism brings its Asian roots with it. It's impossible not to. I would argue that Nichiren is one of the more flexible schools of Buddhism in the West, culturally speaking. It's nothing unique to Nichiren Buddhism. Your last comment has been debated in Buddhist and academic discussions since the 1950s and could easily be turned into a separate thread. I think the debate should be how much of Asian culture is necessary and essential in Buddhism and how much of Western culture we can incorporate. If not, IMO, Buddhism will always be seen to be a foreign niche-interest and will never catch on.

I alluded to this in my comment above: In Zen schools in the West, you bow to everything. You bow to your meditation cushion, you bow to the toilet that you just pissed in. :toilet: You bow the donation you just gave, you bow to everyone you see in the Zendo. Some people get so enthousiastic about Buddhism that they try to adopt big doses of Asian culture and go a little overboard. Ex. I was grocery shopping a few years ago and I saw a woman who meditates at the center I went to. She seriously came up to me, put her hands in front of her face in 'gassho' and did a deep, five-second bow in the middle of the aisle. :namaste: I, of course, didn't take offence but I didn't reciprocate either. We are Buddhists after all, not convert-Asians.

So, no. It's not just Nichiren. ;)
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby LastLegend » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:31 am

Yeah, I have yet to see an enlightened Western patriarch. Don't be offended, but that's what we need to work on.

But to answer the OP, keep moving forwards and don't give what others are saying.

Peace. Yes, I am Asian.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:51 am

We have along way to go.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:45 am

LastLegend wrote:Yeah, I have yet to see an enlightened Western patriarch. Don't be offended, but that's what we need to work on.

But to answer the OP, keep moving forwards and don't give what others are saying.

Peace. Yes, I am Asian.

There's plenty of eminent westerners in history who attained to influential positions in Buddhism.

As for patriarchs, that's just not the shape which western Buddhism is taking. The western equivalents of patriarchs are the writers, scholars, and translators. Just as many western people in the past century, if not more, have become Buddhists because of the work of people like the Rhys Davids, I.B. Horner, Edward Conze, Gil Fronsdal, Alan Watts, Anagarika Govinda, Pema Chodron, Surya Das, Robert Thurman, Matthieu Ricard, Stephen Batchelor, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Goenka, Sangharakshita, and Thanissaro Bhikkhu, than because of the work of patriarchs (though HHDL may be an exception).
We are Buddhists after all, not convert-Asians.

I think this sentiment may be really important to developing "western Buddhism."

This may sound silly, but I have noticed that when people take on foreign characteristics and customs too zealously in Buddhism, you can see a glassy look in their eyes derived from the pleasure of attaching to a new and exciting identity. It is like a drug to some people, and they just want more - the clothing, the food, the language. I do not mean to denigrate or insult anyone by saying this, but I just look at it as another form of attachment. In the west, it has occurred in some places, but in most instances Buddhism has not taken on its western form, but remains an east in the west. In China though, new Buddhist converts did not start to wear Indian dhotis and drink tea from Darjeeling - instead they chanted texts in Chinese (bastardising the Sanskrit mantras), and inserted pre-existing Confucian and Taoist imagery and vocabulary into everything. We should not shy away or be afraid from doing the same in the west. I also have yet to see a decent liturgy in English which is in verse with good metre.

One of the advantages of developing western Buddhism today also, is that we may have the greatest wealth and accumulation of scholarship and knowledge on the various stages and forms of Buddhism throughout history and geography. We can actually pronounce Sanskrit mantras correctly if we want to. We can also go straight to newly discovered primary resources and analyse texts for accuracy in a way which previously was not possible in Asia centuries ago.

We have the potential to contradict the theory of the decline of the Dharma completely if we put our minds to it together (if it hasn't already been done).
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Wu-Ji » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:33 am

Ben Yuan wrote:Alan Watts, Anagarika Govinda, Pema Chodron, Surya Das, Robert Thurman, Matthieu Ricard, Stephen Batchelor

I don't think most Asians knows about some of those names, but if they do learn about what they actually teaches, then I suspect there will be more suspician and mistrust toward "Western Buddhists". As far as I can see, Westerners cannot protect the Dharma yet, instead it's been a ripe play ground for externalists and evil teachers to do their work.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Wu-Ji » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:40 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
OregonBuddhist wrote: I was wondering if anyone who isn't culturally (or perhaps biologically) "Asian" can therefore truly be Buddhist.


let me ask you this...can anyone who wasn't living in India 2500 years ago "truly" be buddhist?
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.
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I know this quesiton isn't directed at me, but it's a simple answer.

Someone who takes refuge under the Triple Gem
Uphold the 5 Precepts
Have faith in the 3 Dharma Seal, 12 Chains of Dependent Origination, Rebirth, cause and effect, 4 Noble truth, the Triple Gem can be referred to as True Buddhists.

Of course people makes mistakes along the way, attachements, arrogance etc etc, but as long as one enters the Way with faith then they can become True Buddhists.

Sounds abit Dogmatic? I think it's better safe than sorry. Hell is not a nice place, and the easist way to go is by wrong views and distorting the Dharma.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby JKhedrup » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:39 pm

Yeah, I have yet to see an enlightened Western patriarch. Don't be offended, but that's what we need to work on


We have to start with qualified teachers who have really studied, meditated and practiced. What we have now are large numbers of people who aren't very qualified but inflate their credentials, and only a few really suitable teachers. Being a dharma teacher is a privilege and a responsibility. One I am not myself prepared for (as I've said, that's why I translate, otherwise I'd feel like a hypocrite). And if we do ever get to the high level you mention, we'd need patriarchs and matriarchs due to the gender equality paradigm in our societies.

I would argue we have a couple of really good examples, though, so it isn't completely hopeless. Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Passano, Ven. Heng Sure, Ven. Tenzin Palmo, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Matthieu Ricard etc.

Unfortunately, for every 1 qualified person such as the one I mentioned above, we have 30 with inflated credentials who are not really suited to take on the roles they aspire to.
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
-Sakya Pandita
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:42 pm

The few Asians acquaintances and friends i've mentioned I was Buddhist to, most were observant, but not very interested in Buddhism near as I can tell, like alot of folks, religion was just part of their cultural backdrop. So they thought it was nice, but didn't really care, nor did I expect them to, I certainly didn't bat an eye that some of the Vietnamese guys I've worked with are Catholic, even though that's technically my families religious heritage.

I met one guy who seemed to think it was really cool when I saw his (IIRC) Gaunyin necklace, but unfortunately we had such a language barrier we couldn't really have a conversation about Dharma.

I don't feel I need anyone's approval other than direct teachers etc. though, and I have alot of faith that the Dharma crosses cultural boundaries and moves to places and people ripe for it. So people and their various cultural confusions are just something that is there during the process. Meaning no offense toa nyone naturally, but I would not assume that the average Asian Buddhist is somehow clued in in a way that I would listen to them above the average non-Asian Buddhist.

Buddhist teachers of course, are a completely different matter and it seems like the vast majority of the one's that resonate with me come from traditionally Buddhist cultures..that's ok though, I don't feel the need to appropriate their culture to follow the Dharma, sometimes it's a grey area, but hey..welcome to samsara.
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby Monsoon » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:41 pm

Interesting topic.

Firstly, a disclaimer. Although I am comparatively new to following the Dharma, I do not, and have never, proclaimed myself 'buddhist' to anyone who hasn't specifically inquired of me. Following the Dharma as best as I can is simply what I do, and how I am at the current time. When visiting temples I do not actively seek to engage other worshippers, but neither do I shy away from those who are curious. If people want to give me funny looks because I am a Westerner in a Chinese temple, well, that's their affair. Good luck to them!

My partner is Chinese and she regularly pays respects to the Buddha. Whether she does so as an automatic cultural thing or from some deep seated conviction I am not entirely sure, and I think it is inappropriate for me to pry into.

Now, when I look at a statue or a picture of Shakyamuni the first point that I notice is the countenance of absolute tranquility that he wears. This is so compelling to me that I have long ago ceased to notice what cultural background any particular image may spring from. Same goes for both the male and femal versions of Avalakiteshvara; the compassion captured by the artist outweighs by far any considerations of gender. This is a true phenomenon for me.

Further, Westernising these images for popular consumption is quite likely to diminish their intended effect. To recall an earlier post, someone suggested using Beyonce. In doing so she would have to have her face made into an expression that has yet to be seen on it in life. It would take some getting used to, having to reconcile this image contrast in my opinion.

Personally I don't feel that altering images really helps with core understanding, but rather promotes the empty use of icons similar to what is wheeled out by most media outlets today. When the Dharma is truthfully and skillfully conveyed, no image is required.

As with all my postings, feel free to rip me a new one! :namaste:
Let peace reign!

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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby hansen » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:20 am

Replying to the original post, I have a friend who's name is Thien, which is of the same root-word as "Zen" - and I've got "admission documents" from a Vietnamese Buddhist order, but I've never shared this with him. I'm pretty selective as to what parts of my life I call "Christian" or "Buddhist" - and I'll put it out there that such overly broad sweeping categories really might just add more fuel to the discrimination mind. They tend to foster arguments that seem to never get resolved, because the tendency to categorize in this way is too broad and sweeping. I hope this doesn't offend anyone who's worked really hard on becoming "Buddhist" !! The part of Christianity that states that only a certain kind of Christian, and for sure no one else, can get "saved" or can be spiritual, this I reject entirely, and yet I can recite the words that "saved" Christians use, with honesty. I don't try to encompass the entirety of Buddhism, either. Since I come from the Christian culture and morality, I tend to use that more frequently to model myself as a good person. However, I am convinced that a fundamental transformation of the person is possible through the Buddhist path AS IT IS, a traditional path that has been kept current, whereas the real Christian contemplative path is only now being reconstructed - I could ramble on. I've had to deal with really offended Christians when they find out I meditate !!! wow ! :reading:
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Re: Buddhism: Just for Asians?

Postby yan kong » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:54 pm

I find it interesting that every time westerners talk about an American or western Buddhism they seem to wasn't to change it forcefully. This is never the impression of Buddhist development I get when I read about it's history in the east. I don't think the gradual change in Buddhist art in, for example, China was done with conscious intention. Neither do I think that it came to include Confucius or Taoist elements with intention. I think Buddhism will change in the west, but I don't think it will be of any use to force it.
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