Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby anjali » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:31 pm

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:44 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

User avatar
Karma Dorje
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:46 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Indrajala » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:53 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

User avatar
anjali
Global Moderator
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:33 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby anjali » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:29 pm

All things are unworthy of clinging to (sabbe dhammā nâla abhinivesāyā). --Shakyamuni Buddha
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. --Gendun Rinpoche

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 8493
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby DGA » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:16 pm


User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Malcolm » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:21 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

User avatar
Karma Dorje
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:23 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

User avatar
conebeckham
Posts: 4553
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby conebeckham » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:15 pm

I want to be clear about the context of my prior comments, so here are some statements...

First, I think "institutions" have a place, and there is certainly a need for infrastructure, and for the ability to have support systems for teachers--and, for that matter, serious students. I also understand the points made earlier on, by Pemachopel I believe, regarding transmission and tradition. With regard to Rimay, I strongly believe that each tradition should be maintained in it's own context-i.e., transmitting (bits of) Lam Dre should not be combined with transmitting (bits of) Naro Cho Druk, etc. This is not to say that one teacher cannot hold, and transmit, both, but there are good reasons for "not Mixing"--Rimay does not mean "mixing," but "respecting." Part of "respecting," to my mind, is acknowledging the unique and self-sufficient natures of each individual "chariot" of practice. Of course, over time, much "rubbing together" or "friction" has led to a certain amount of cross-traditional commentary, notably with Dzogchen/Mahamudra, but also with other systems of yoga, etc. So, I think it reasonable to have free-standing institutional appartus for these various lineages, and associations with institutional lineages.....Identifying oneself as, say, a Karma Kagyu Center, specializing in Mahamudra and the Six Yogas traditions, is not necessarily parochial.

The problems arise when such institutions become the "vocation" of people who are more interested in maintaining or increasing "market share," increasing wealth and power, whether personal or institutional, at the expense of the ideals of free inquiry, cooperation, and mutual respect. It's a dangerous job, in general, seeking a life in "Dharma" alone--where one's sole support comes from donations and fees for "spiritual activities," IMO. Looking at many of the Mahasiddhas of India, in fact, they worked at various sorts of labor--some of it quite menial. Grinding sesame seeds for oil, weaving, being professional musicians, even procuring johns for prostitutes!! It seems to me that when the more "base" motivations of fame, fortune, and influence become more important than the well-being of students and society in general, parochialism also increases.

There''s a difference, therefore, between Purity of Practice and Transmission, and Parochialism of institutions.


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

User avatar
Karma Dorje
Posts: 1236
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:35 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:06 pm

"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

Alfredo
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:52 am

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Alfredo » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:33 am

Okay, I get that you want there to be more cooperation. But who gets to join the group that is cooperating? For example, which of the two rival Panchen Lamas will you recognize, for purposes of allowing their dharma centers to join your group? (Do you expect them both to join, or just plan to admit the first one that applies?) Will Zen people be expected to join the Shugden boycott? And what about centers run by lamas involved in scandals, or whose credentials are a little dodgy?

Ad hoc, bilateral arrangements might be more do-able. It may be that rather than putting like with like, a Tibetan center might find it easier to ally with a totally unrelated Buddhist group (a Zen center, let us say), so they avoid competing with each other, and aren't so closely related that they fight over doctrine or lineage. But then, few non-Tibetan groups (being larger, more united, better organized, and better-funded, with plenty of lay support) would see any benefit in cooperating with the Tibetan groups. In fact, I think it is mainly the Tibetan Buddhist groups that are divided in such a way that inter-lineage cooperation would solve any problems. Sure, there are two rival Korean Buddhist orders (which tend to hate each other), but each of them is large by itself.
(no longer participating on this board)

pemachophel
Posts: 941
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby pemachophel » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:17 am

In Boulder, CO, the Ratna Shri Center (Drigung) allows other Dharma groups to rent their shrine-room at a very reasonable rate. The local Tara Mandala group meets there weekly (?) or at least regularly. Other groups also use this space on an ad hoc basis. However, this center is run by Westerners and there is no resident Tibetan Lama. So they are free to act pretty independently.

Tulku Sherdor (of Blazing Wisdom center in upstate NY), an American Lama, runs the Rimay Monlam at Garrison Institute (in Garrison, NY) each year. It is open to any Tibetan Buddhists who wish to participate. The prayers are either non-sectarian or equal space is given to each of the major sects (for instance, the monlams for each sect to flourish and expand). Last May's monlam included Nyingma, Kagyud, Sakya, and Gelug students and Teachers. However, only one Asian Teacher attended, a Mongolian Geshe who had been sent as a representative of his Teacher. Numerous Tibetan Lamas have been invited for the last two years, but none have chosen to come. (Whoops. My mistake. Khandro Kamala, Chatral Rinpoche's Sangyum, came for an afternoon and was a highlight of the event this year.) It's notable to me that this event is organized by a Western Lama and that it has not gained any buy-in by Tibetan Lamas. It could be a great venue for ecumenism within Tibetan Buddhism here in the U.S. This year, Teachers from each of the four sects gave representative teachings from their lineages. It was really good.

:namaste:
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

Kunzang
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 3:10 am

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Kunzang » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:26 am

I think "disciple stealing" and the fear of it (especially the fear of it) is a long-standing part of this "parochialism" culture.

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Indrajala » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:38 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

JKhedrup
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:17 am

This is an interesting historical observation. It also connects with the thread on monasticism. It seems probable that the disappearance of Buddhist monasticism did not bode well for the future of the Buddhist teachings in India.

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6312
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Indrajala » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:10 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

dzoki
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby dzoki » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:11 am

While what has been said so far is true, here in central Europe, we have an exceptions, especially when it comes to city centers. In Bratislava, Samadhi center is shared by Karma Kagyu (KTC group), Dzogchen community and two theravadin groups. In Prague Lotus center is likewise shared by several groups - theravada and zen, there used to be Tibetan groups too, but they either moved out (conflicts with theravadins over the use of alcohol in pujas) or they disappeared (members moving abroad etc.). Also in Vienna several groups of all traditions share one center - Fleischmarkt Buddhist center, though each group has their own little gompa/medtitation hall there. Countries such as USA or France are quite rich, so there is no such necessity for the groups to come together and share one center, because they still manage to survive financially. Of course it would be much more efficient to share, but both teachers and students often do not want to do this. In case of students this is usually when they built up the center themselves and are very attached to it and want it to stay exclusively Kagyu or Nyingma or whatever.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Malcolm » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:29 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

Pema Rigdzin
Posts: 1037
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:19 am
Location: Southern Oregon

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:42 pm


User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 14670
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Buddhist Parochialism in the West

Postby Grigoris » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:46 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde


Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 28 guests