Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
spiritnoname
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Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby spiritnoname » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:42 pm

Okay,.. so I've noticed something kinda funny,...

Most Buddhists seem to be more interested in stuff than in Buddhist training.

Okay, so I'm looking on google adwords:keyword tool

Global Monthly Searches for Buddha: 2,240,000
That's a lot of searches huh?

Global Monthly Searches for Mala: 2,240,000
LOL I really did not make that number up,.. it is the same number of searches as for Buddha.

Global Monthly Searches for Meditation: 1,830,000

Global Monthly Searches for Buddhist: 1,000,000

Global Monthly Searches for 5 precepts: 2,900

Global Monthly Searches for Vajrayana: 14,800

Buddha Statutes: 33,100

Meditation Cushion: 12,100


LOL so as you can see,.. these pretty little beads are a major source of interest in Buddhism, or something like that, people are more interested in a set of beads than they are meditation,.. and if you consider that 80% of the time someone searches for Buddha they're looking for a trendy nick knack and not learning about Buddha, you can pretty much chalk up the majority of Buddhist related searches to stuff people can buy.

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ground
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby ground » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:04 am

Never mind.

Kind regards

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Huifeng
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Huifeng » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:07 am

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mala says (emphasis added):
Hinduism a string of beads or knots, used in praying and meditating
To what degree are Google results an accurate reflection of what people do? :thinking:

spiritnoname
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby spiritnoname » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:45 am

It's hard to be exactly sure what the extrapolated data means, but I think it's safe to say these are trends of interest.

This significant number of mala searches has been consistent for at least a year,.. I've considered making posts on malas which is actually a pretty boring topic just to get more search engine traffic.

When I was a kid I contributed to these statistics, finding the right mala was a nice dharma related outlet for my junk collecting tendency. I was always looking for a iron or fulgurite mala. Dharma flavored neurosis,.. mmm.

Pema Rigdzin
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:15 am

First things first, you're better off keeping your mind on your own practice than on what other people are or aren't doing. It's been well known since long before Google that the amount of people who truly try to put the Buddha's teachings into practice is comparable to the number of stars visible in the daytime. So I'm not sure why you're surprised. In any case, it's nothing more than a cause for compassion.

Secondly, not that it matters in light of the above, but you're just assuming people's intentions for doing searches for the Buddha and those items (which are often used in authentic spiritual practice). How do you know how many of the people who went on to purchase those things are engaging in spiritual materialism and how many are wearing those beads down, flattening out those cushions, or getting those statues consecrated and making offerings in front of them?

Pema Rigdzin
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:20 am

spiritnoname wrote:It's hard to be exactly sure what the extrapolated data means, but I think it's safe to say these are trends of interest.

This significant number of mala searches has been consistent for at least a year,.. I've considered making posts on malas which is actually a pretty boring topic just to get more search engine traffic.

When I was a kid I contributed to these statistics, finding the right mala was a nice dharma related outlet for my junk collecting tendency. I was always looking for a iron or fulgurite mala. Dharma flavored neurosis,.. mmm.


Considering the inner meaning and significance of a mala in Vajrayana practice, the topic could be a pretty profound one and the search for a particular one might not be anything like you describe. Many great masters of India and Tibet have taught very profoundly on the topic of malas and the particular qualities of certain substances from which they can be made.

spiritnoname
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby spiritnoname » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:11 pm

Pema Rigdzin I'm not seriously critical of this,.. the fact of things is that if people come to Dharma for whatever reason and they benefit that's ok, I'm just playing at the idea because it's funny to me. It is a good idea to give people Dharma related gifts, that material thing can be the skillful hook.

I know of a lot of teachings that are referenced to malas, it's what holds a lot of sacred couples together, very important, but you can't find that teaching online, no reason to search.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:First things first, you're better off keeping your mind on your own practice than on what other people are or aren't doing.


Haha, I love that, it's very true, I wish people would say it to me more often. [Sidesteps and lets that criticism hit the ego unawares.]

I used to work in a shop that sold Buddhist implements, statues,.. people would always tell me what they were buying these things for, or asking me questions about them that gave away what their need was. This was in Southern California and really,.. 2 times I met real practitioners, 1 nam yo ko renge or however and 1 vajrayana lady going to the same teaching as me later. One time I thought there was a third,.. a lady asked me for Dzambala,.. I'm like,.. "omg she knows Dzambala",.. then she says she needed money haha, Some feng shui thing,.. no interest in the precious qualities of Dzambala, not a practitioner.

:rolling:
Don't mistake me for being serious here, I'm just playing, I think the whole subject is funny, like the way Santa has nothing to do with Jesus or the way some white people dress like Tibetans haha.

Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:31 pm

IMHO people do everything for selfish reasons, including coming to truth. That's OK.

seagrace
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby seagrace » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:56 pm

my humblest apologies. Often when I don't understand a term or a concept, I will google it. Sometimes combining key words to see if I get different results. It is merely a quest for knowledge, I'm sorry if I skewed the results. :reading:

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Indrajala
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Indrajala » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:23 pm

This isn't a new phenomenon.

Historically and at present it has been the case that many individuals pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for some kind of aid in worldly matters.

Not only that, but it used to be that temples and monastics were used to some end for the state. Whether it be to avoid catastrophes or to generate merit for the emperor through sutra recitation, it has often been that interest in Buddhism is for samsaric reasons.
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Mr. G
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby Mr. G » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:19 am

Yes, I remember Professor Ronald Davidson brought this up in his book "Indian Esoteric Buddhism" as well.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

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kirtu
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Re: Interest in Buddhism for samsaric reasons.

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:24 am

mr. gordo wrote:Yes, I remember Professor Ronald Davidson brought this up in his book "Indian Esoteric Buddhism" as well.


What did Davidson say?

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"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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