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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:55 am 
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Dharma Centers

Group Pujas

I see alot of derisive talk on here about these two things, i'm curious as to why..and also, what constitutes a Dharma Center in this derisive context?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:20 am 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Dharma Centers

Group Pujas

I see alot of derisive talk on here about these two things, i'm curious as to why..and also, what constitutes a Dharma Center in this derisive context?

I mostly dislike the people.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:26 am 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Dharma Centers

Group Pujas

I see alot of derisive talk on here about these two things, i'm curious as to why..and also, what constitutes a Dharma Center in this derisive context?

I mostly dislike the people.



I hear that, what about them though? Is it just "grizzled old vet" syndrome where you get sick of windows shoppers and "testers" etc., or is it something cultural thing i've yet to encounter?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:47 am 
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You know, the usual stuff, crazy people, posers, people who really like enforcing rules etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:11 am 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
I hear that, what about them though? Is it just "grizzled old vet" syndrome where you get sick of windows shoppers and "testers" etc., or is it something cultural thing i've yet to encounter?


It seems that dharma centers, by nature, should attract people with more neuroses than average. "Happy" people have no need for teachings that reduce or eliminate suffering. Even amongst those that are attracted, the emphasis is frequently on lessening than eliminating suffering. If your goal is elimination, it can be less confusing to be surrounded by people who have no relation to the Dharma than those who are focused on a different goal within it -- particularly one that may be so subtly different as to escape notice.

Just some thoughts.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:41 am 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
crazy people, posers, people who really like enforcing rules etc.


Yeah.. I hear you. I guess I pretty well expect everyone to be that way, and am rarely surprised when I meet them lol..I like crazy people though, and honestly sometimes I like being around them. I'd take crazy over just plain dilettante or control freak any day of the week.

monktastic wrote:

It seems that dharma centers, by nature, should attract people with more neuroses than average. "Happy" people have no need for teachings that reduce or eliminate suffering. Even amongst those that are attracted, the emphasis is frequently on lessening than eliminating suffering. If your goal is elimination, it can be less confusing to be surrounded by people who have no relation to the Dharma than those who are focused on a different goal within it -- particularly one that may be so subtly different as to escape notice.

Just some thoughts.


I think I see where you're going with that, some people seem to shop around much in the way people do for Yoga etc. "hey, i'm gonna do this thing that'll make me feel great"...where the motivation is basically just to find a product to make your life better. I've always imagined that for teachers this is probably the most disheartening thing, though I have no idea.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:19 am 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Dharma Centers

Group Pujas

I see alot of derisive talk on here about these two things, i'm curious as to why..and also, what constitutes a Dharma Center in this derisive context?

I mostly dislike the people.


I hear that, what about them though? Is it just "grizzled old vet" syndrome where you get sick of windows shoppers and "testers" etc., or is it something cultural thing i've yet to encounter?


It's mostly because people who frequent Internet forums lack two things: patience and compassion. Most of us are likely just misanthropes.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:56 am 
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monktastic wrote:
It seems that dharma centers, by nature, should attract people with more neuroses than average. "Happy" people have no need for teachings that reduce or eliminate suffering.

The logic is impeccable and, yep, I've noticed that consequence, too.
The upside is that you have a group of people who do take their spiritual/mental life seriously enough to want to improve it, and if they hang around long enough they are generally pretty good people.

As for group puja, I suspect it has something to do with westerners' tendency to secularise the dharma ... :thinking:

:namaste:
Kim


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:07 am 
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If you are the type to dislike people at Dharma centers, chances are you are among the people other people dislike at Dharma centers.

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Last edited by Anders on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:21 am 
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Interesting question.
At first I was inclined to skip it but then I realised that there was one group that particularly bothered me..the ' Blue Rinsers '..*
I am being honest here, an online policy I have often learned to regret..
Women of a certain age who attach themselves to a centre, or teacher, or school, or website and never really commit, they go to Vajrayana teachings on Saturday and Midnight Mass at Christmas.
They are full of folksy wisdom but never really get it...
And yes I do realise that there is a lot of projection there, and possibly unresolved issues... :smile:


* The term btw was not coined by me..but by a western born member of the Dalai Lama's staff team who spends a good deal of his time fending them off when they demand personal audience with H.H.


Last edited by Simon E. on Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:40 am 
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On a personal note I can say hand on heart that I have never disliked a Puja..and that invariably despite everything, even the young couple who feel that they must bring their hyperactive toddler who they have not even begun to socialise in a way that respects situation and context, it starts to take on its own life and I feel elevated.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:52 am 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
It's mostly because people who frequent Internet forums lack two things: patience and compassion. Most of us are likely just misanthropes.


Hehe, don't forget a lack of social skills. :tongue:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:16 am 
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Anders wrote:
If you are the type to dislike people at Dharma centers, chances are you are among the people other people dislike at Dharma centers.
:rolling: Ain't that the truth!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
Interesting question.
At first I was inclined to skip it but then I realised that there was one group that particularly bothered me..the ' Blue Rinsers '..*
I am being honest here, an online policy I have often learned to regret..
Women of a certain age who attach themselves to a centre, or teacher, or school, or website and never really commit, they go to Vajrayana teachings on Saturday and Midnight Mass at Christmas.
They are full of folksy wisdom but never really get it...
And yes I do realise that there is a lot of projection there, and possibly unresolved issues... :smile:


* The term btw was not coined by me..but by a western born member of the Dalai Lama's staff team who spends a good deal of his time fending them off when they demand personal audience with H.H.



Blue Rinsers..lol

I think for me it's the "professional Buddhist", and the dictatorial organizer that bother the most. Personally, thus far with the two sangha i've been involved with i've found that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks, but I go in expecting that there will conflict and annoyance anyway. I can agree that it's always a headache dealing with people, organization, pecking orders, etc. I recently had something pretty irritating happen to me in that vein and i'm doing my best to shrug it off and keep going. I practice daily on my own, but for whatever reason at this point it's a motivating factor for me to go do a group Puja led by the Lama.

One thing I do tend to avoid is any kind of discussion group..which is ironic since I use this forum so much.

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Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Sherab Dorje wrote:
Anders wrote:
If you are the type to dislike people at Dharma centers, chances are you are among the people other people dislike at Dharma centers.
:rolling: Ain't that the truth!

Are you guys implying that people don't like me? :crying:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:42 pm 
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For my personal taste there's too much manipulation, intrigue and power play at Dharma Centers.

I agree that Dharma Centers attract people who are much more neurotic than average, plus there's also the narcissistic type who abuses the Dharma to prove his superiority over the rest of mankind. These people do whatever is necessary to climb the hierarchy ladder (practice the ngondro, learn Tibetan, do a 3 year retreat, or become a nun/monk) and with every step they take on the ladder they get more aggressive and abusive towards everyone "below" them.

Unfortunately the Tibetan teachers often don't seem to care much about such abusive structures. Normally the teacher is on the other end of the world and only visits "his" center once or twice a year for a weekend course. On this occasion the people who rule the Center are often very good at keeping unwanted persons away from the teachers, i.e. people who critisize their power play. And maybe also some teachers don't really care as long as the Center generates enough profit.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:08 pm 
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Karma Dorje wrote:
people who frequent Internet forums lack two things: patience and compassion.
Can't see the connection here - I think Futerko nailed it :tongue:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:54 pm 
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veery interesting thread. i cant say that i have had a bad experience of a dharma center or the people there. usually they are very kind hearted.

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It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:03 pm 
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KonchokZoepa wrote:
veery interesting thread. i cant say that i have had a bad experience of a dharma center or the people there. usually they are very kind hearted.


Well, I can't say my experiences have been totally positive with the people across the board, but I can say that going to them has been worth it due to simply getting more face time with teachers, and I can say that most people i've interacted with were genuine..even if sometimes it seems like the non-genuine ones were louder, life is like that. Like I said, I kind of expect with any organization that it will have certain inherent problems and attract a few people that i'll have to just adopt the philosophy of live and let live with. There are junior Napoleons walking around in all aspects of life really.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:07 pm 
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If one feels vexed by posers or window shoppers then that is the problem of said vexed practitioner, not the posers nor the window shoppers.

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