So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Blue Garuda
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:15 pm

[quote="Luke"] Is Vajrayana more popular in South American countries than it is in the US? I don't think so...

/quote]

That's what I would love to know - individual experience is obviously really valid and important, but I wonder if there any stats on this.

For example, Brazil?

Most maps just show distribution with all the 'West' as very low.
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Astus
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Yeshe,

The problem with the question is that just because a country is mainly Catholic doesn't mean that those who get involved with Buddhism were Catholics themselves. It can very well be that they see Catholicism as something they don't want at all so they have a very secular and materialistic approach which goes better with modern Zen and Theravada. Statistics are unreliable in case of religion and Buddhism in the West. I'd rather measure the presence of a religion in terms of official data, like the number of temples, clergy, annual income, social activities, media presence, etc. However, these kinds of information are not always available and can be hard to obtain.

Another thing is that one should make a difference between a country being historically Catholic or Protestant and the current situation. All EU countries are secular by nature and while for instance according to the Eurobarometer Poll 2005 81% in Portugal believes in God (one of the largest percentage in the EU) same-sex marriage is legal. In Poland the percentage was 80% and in 2007 88.4% were member of the Catholic Church, however, only 41% of the population attended regularly to churches in 2009. (stats from Wiki) Counting Buddhists is a lot more difficult as there are quite a lot of ignorance and misunderstandings about who is a Buddhist. Like, those who go to mass every Sunday are considered Christians but those who do meditation in a centre do not always (quite rarely) think of themselves as Buddhists.

We can discuss the Western phenomena related to Buddhism and we can also ponder on its future. To me personally what is actually interesting are doctrinal matters and their presentation. That's something more concrete and more important than clothes and rituals.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



Blue Garuda
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:39 pm

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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:22 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Blue Garuda
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:30 pm

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Huifeng
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:21 am



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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:12 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Chaz
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Chaz » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:55 pm


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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:37 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:16 pm

For example there are differences between US and German people in verbal conduct: Americans will not answer you in general if they don't understand a question (it's kind of like they get stunned) and Germans might not also but more likely they will say some kind of stock thing. If Germans get into a quandary in a discussion they are likely to behave like you haven't understood them and they will repeat something they believe to be true. Germans are direct usually and Americans believe they are direct but usually aren't and seem to me to be masters of some kind of passive-aggressive approach. Americans by and large reflect a kind of bully behavior and are usually devoted to the acquisition of social power. Germans don't seem to do this to the same extent (but I haven't worked in a German organization and they always have an identified person in their office who behaves like they are acquiring power - Americans don't actually always have someone in mind who is going this).

German political philosophy is generally focused on equality in society and helping others (I don't know if this was a significant element prior to the Nazi evil - the current German view is certainly taken from religious influence from the churches and from some philosophers and from the CDU and SPD parties having originated from Catholic church influences and from a feeling of atonement for the Nazi evil and perhaps from a real feeling of community). German social view generally reflects their dominant political philosophy.

Americans social life by and large are focused on their own self and believe ardently in a form of seemingly radical individualism but are actually people dominated by tribal and herd mentalities (however even within the dictates of the tribal and herd following they are nearly completely on their own and furthermore have identified people to reject and ostracize).

Americans are generally all about their and other people's feelings and are fearful of making mistakes in general and definitely socially and Germans don't care nearly as much about their or other people's feelings.

These are some actual cultural difference between two cultures that most people think are deeply related.

Kirt


"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:46 am

Stained glass, Srvasti Abbey

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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:49 am

Stained glass, commercial, for sale

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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:51 am

For lots more stained glass, see
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Huifeng
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am



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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:02 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:06 pm

I can't pull those links up (slow network right now) but I'm pretty sure Toynbee did say it somewhere. For one thing one of my teachers in Hawaii mentioned it (actually maybe two of them) so I have an upper date. But it may have been in an interview and not in a text. It may also have been attributed to him by someone like Ginsburg. But I'm pretty sure I've read the attribution from whatever source it was directly over the past few years.

Kirt


"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kirtu
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby kirtu » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:11 pm



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Aemilius
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Aemilius » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:14 pm

svaha

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Astus
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Astus » Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:32 am

Aemilius,

Excuse me, but where do you get these ideas from?

What connection do you see between Afghanistan and Europe? Yes, Alexander the Great conquered the land and left some Greek settlements around, then many others came and conquered it too. It doesn't mean that there was great cultural exchange between that land and Europe, especially considering that the Roman Empire was cut off from it by the Parthian Empire, then the Sassanid Empire after which the whole place turned to Islamic land with what the Christian Europe hadn't had much friendly relations.

It is not exactly true that everyone uses the Roman calendar, by which you could at best mean the Julian calendar what was changed in the Western part of Europe to the Gregorian calendar from 1582 on. The Roman Empire was not at all a secular society as you've perhaps heard of the Imperial Cult. They had not unified any castes but built an empire on slave labour and there were different classes of society. Finding connection between Jupiter and Pasupati is not really proper as one is a sky and weather god like Indra while the other one an animal god like Faunus, Jupiter is related to Dyaus Pita etymologically and functionally in the Vedic religion just as it is to Zeus. What you define as a modern city is not really clear, but on one hand the Romans used knowledge from other cultures like the Greek, also there were other quite developed lands throughout the world, like in Han Dynasty China; and in the same era the Gupta Empire is another example of a great civilization.

This conspiracy against Buddhism, well, can't say much of that. You know, even Freemasons and Jehova's Witnesses had to wear different badges in concentrations camps, but no badge for Buddhists (could have been of orange colour). Guess what, Nazis and Fascists were quite interested in Buddhist things. Would you say then that other evil Western forces worked against the poor Buddha followers?
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Aemilius
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Re: So, how about "Western" Buddhism?

Postby Aemilius » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:59 am

To Astus
I'll answer some of your points, according to afghan history it was conquered by Alexander around 325 BCE, then there developed the greaco-buddhist culture which reached its hight around 50 CE! This means a much longer greek presence in Afghanisthan than you are willing to admit.
You do not need to be "conspiratorist", it is plain evident that in ancient times people could and did go even around the world just on foot if they wanted ! There have been much wider contacts between continents, between lands and countries, but there is an isolationist rule in the writing of history which falsifies verything.
You too are falsifying the Roman history, greeks and romans had imported various articles from India by the sea route to the Roman empire, this was an accepted fact in 1970's, I can't remember the list of articles that were imported from India. There are greek maps from that time which describe the ports and harbours if Indian subcontinent, which shows an extensive knowledge of India's seashore.

It is as you choose to see it! You sound like a normal brainwashed history produced person to me, pardon me, no offence intended! Just look at the pictures and statues of Juppiter! Is he not holding a Vajra-Sceptre in his hand ?

Ofcourse there factually were slaves and barbarians etc in Roman Empire. The unification of the castes means that there was no separate traders, warriors, priests, and rulers. The civil servants, officials, senators and congressmen were themselves Warriors, they had a Priestly education, they were Businessmen or Traders and they were the Rulers ( and artists and filosophers) in One Person. This is the roman ideal of the New Man, Homo Novus.

Where do I get this from? Well, it kind of was around, when buddhism wasn't yet much known in Europe, at that time it was normal and easy to say in academic circles that Dionysos was born in the Himalayas in a city of Nysa, and he seems much like this Indian prince Lotus Born, etc... when they were more distant and did not have any followers or cults present in Europe, see?
svaha


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