Buddhism in America

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Buddhism in America

Postby Luke » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:51 pm

Here's an interesting excerpt from "The Lotus in the New World: Buddhism in America" which I found. I'd be very interested in seeing the whole thing sometime.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Luke » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:36 pm

Here's something different about the same subject. It's a short NBC news report about Buddhists in America.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby spiritnoname » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:55 pm

I like the first video.
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby tamdrin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:45 pm

ohh Geshe Michael Roach the Aryan being :) :) :)
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Tilopa » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:09 pm

tamdrin wrote:ohh Geshe Michael Roach the Aryan being :) :) :)


And highly realized Tantric master! :tongue:
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:22 pm

Luke wrote:It's a short NBC news report about Buddhists in America.


The first video in particular is misleading.

In the first there is this linkage of Buddhism with Hitchen's nihilist agenda. In retrospect the second video is fairly accurate for a 20 sec. presentation and it is of course true that Buddhism is spreading in the US mid-west with the construction of temples and organization of communities.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby DharmaChela » Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:36 pm

I didn't notice any linkage of Buddhism with Hitchens. Mind giving an example or two?
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Chaz » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:16 am

Tilopa wrote:
tamdrin wrote:ohh Geshe Michael Roach the Aryan being :) :) :)


And highly realized Tantric master! :tongue:


And Buddies with His Holiness the Dalai Lama :woohoo:
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:45 am

DharmaChela wrote:I didn't notice any linkage of Buddhism with Hitchens. Mind giving an example or two?


The NBC video clips from YouTube has two NBC News broadcasts. The first broadcast paints Buddhism as a "seeker" kind of thing by presenting a female "seeker" who is identified with Buddhism and then immediately transitions to Hitchens talking about his issues (and in particular about one of his books) and then transitions back to the female "seeker" interviewed and she discusses Hitchens book. If you didn't see that they you didn't watch the clip.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:50 am

Chaz wrote:
Tilopa wrote:
tamdrin wrote:ohh Geshe Michael Roach the Aryan being :) :) :)


And highly realized Tantric master! :tongue:


And Buddies with His Holiness the Dalai Lama :woohoo:


Well I was shocked to see Roach in the clip. He has become a controversial person and is no longer considered a valid teacher at least not by Lama Zopa for example. And to say that he's buddies with HHDL is certainly too much. Perhaps you both meant this as sarcasm?

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:10 pm

How long will the popularity Buddhism currently enjoys in America last I wonder?

When the trend wears off what will become of Buddhism in America?
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby tamdrin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:01 pm

Yes Kirt,
I and I think Tilopa were being sarcastic. But all jokes aside why don't Lama Zopa consider him a valid teacher? I mean I think it was pretty cool of him to come out with his girlfriend b/c as it turns out many lama's who pretend to be monks to the public secretly have relationships (especially with western women)

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:02 pm

Huseng wrote:How long will the popularity Buddhism currently enjoys in America last I wonder?

When the trend wears off what will become of Buddhism in America?


When do you judge the popularity you see to have begun? Why do you think it is a trend and not a long-standing phenomena?

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:13 pm

tamdrin wrote:Yes Kirt,
I and I think Tilopa were being sarcastic. But all jokes aside why don't Lama Zopa consider him a valid teacher? I mean I think it was pretty cool of him to come out with his girlfriend b/c as it turns out many lama's who pretend to be monks to the public secretly have relationships (especially with western women)

-Tamdrin.


That wasn't the actual issue and I don't especially want to start a controversial thread. Roach is alleged to have attained some non-mundane degree of enlightenment (this wouldn't be a problem either if it had been kept privately), the intimate relationship is justified because he claims his gf is Vajrayogini, apparently for real, not as an emanation of some sort, and became a co-teacher at his desert retreat, but most importantly he is seen as teaching a non-orthodox views and combining Christianity and Buddhism. Hopefully he has not really done this but this is the claim.

None of this is insurmountable except for his apparent non-orthodox teaching apparently combining Christianity and Buddhism. So Lama Zopa is alleged to have challenged him to manifest the traditional signs and Roach has declined. None of this would really have come up publicly but some people asked about the traditional basis of his teaching and then this came out. Roach's teaching prior to going on the retreat around 1998-1999 out in the desert are considered valid.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby tamdrin » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:20 pm

I'm not so sure that his teachings are invalid. ALthough I wouldn't take an initiation with him but I don't see him telling people to accept Jesus as their saviour or anything like that. What I did see him trying to do was to appeal to a larger audience by teaching Christianity with BUddhist frills, I.e. applying his ideas about emptiness to the Christian teachers and seeing them in that light. Whatever I see his people many of them have supposedly completed equivalent of a geshe degree (teachings which he translated ) and are heading into a three year "retreat for peace" in the desert... So it is very hard to judge who is getting the real thing and who isn't. I'm sure the intelligent should be able to distinguish the BUddhist path from the path of others...
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Chaz » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:23 pm

kirtu wrote:And to say that he's buddies with HHDL is certainly too much. Perhaps you both meant this as sarcasm?


Yes I was being sarcastic. Considering that some years back, Roach, along with some students were denied audience with HHDL while they were in Dharamasala and certain gifts to His Holiness were returned, I wouldn't say they were "buddies".
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby spiritnoname » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:41 am

I read Roach made a big mistake in Dharamsala, held a teaching without permission when HHDL was giving a teaching,.. That's a is huge violation of guru devotion. Roach definitely knew this,...

He's done other things too I read,.. but this is a detail that hasn't been mentioned yet,.. I think it is a major reason.

Roach was an idiot as far as I can tell, another Westerner who (because no one nearby is knowledgeable enough to know what he's doing is wrong and smack him down), decided to become a prophet and start a cult,.. but I don't know,. this is based on hearsay, I don't know him.

If it's true he's broken samaya with his teachers though,.. he's just a set back for Vajrayana in America,.. Another Western teacher screw up, making white people look bad to Tibetans. Making Vajrayana look bad to white people.
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Indrajala » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:49 pm

kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:How long will the popularity Buddhism currently enjoys in America last I wonder?

When the trend wears off what will become of Buddhism in America?


When do you judge the popularity you see to have begun? Why do you think it is a trend and not a long-standing phenomena?

Kirt


I think it is trendy because Buddhism has been made a commodity and highly commercialized in popular culture. As such it can only last so long before the consumer masses find something else to fill their appetites on the spiritual marketplace.
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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby kirtu » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:23 pm

Huseng wrote:I think it is trendy because Buddhism has been made a commodity and highly commercialized in popular culture. As such it can only last so long before the consumer masses find something else to fill their appetites on the spiritual marketplace.


I don't see that at all. If anything Buddhism is still virtually invisible in the West.

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Re: Buddhism in America

Postby Indrajala » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:16 am

kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:I think it is trendy because Buddhism has been made a commodity and highly commercialized in popular culture. As such it can only last so long before the consumer masses find something else to fill their appetites on the spiritual marketplace.


I don't see that at all. If anything Buddhism is still virtually invisible in the West.

Kirt


I think it is vastly misunderstood but not invisible.

Go to any big chain bookstore and you'll find a lot of books on Buddhism. Some of it is complete crap, some of it is okay. There are temples, dharma centers, zen halls and so on in many cities. It is there, but just not as widely discussed and relevant to society as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Everyone knows who the Dalai Lama is, but probably can't really say what it is he practises.
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