African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the West

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
zsc wrote:T

The Buddha's teaching is that our current circumstances are not only due to the karma from past lives.


Yes, the Buddha's teaching is that our current circumstances are due only to our actions from past lives.


Malcolm wrote:The in the Karmavibhanga, the Buddha states:


SN 36.21 wrote:"Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans."


:shrug:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:58 pm

On the other hand, having complete strangers who don't care about you ask "What are you?" is annoying, as plenty of Asian-Americans say. Black women get this in the form of invasive questions about our hair ("Can I touch it?" "Do you wash it?" "Is that your real hair?" etc.). This ascribes an "alien" quality to someone that is dehumanizing. It's creepy, like we are regarded as zoo animals who need to be carefully studied.


Try having long blond hair in Tibet, if you want to feel like a zoo exhibit. You think these experiences are unique to black people in the US? They are not. They are experienced by anyone who travels somewhere where they are not the majority. Most of us here are widely travelled people, not ignorant rednecks in the N. Georgia mountains.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Malcolm » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:02 pm

daverupa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
zsc wrote:T

The Buddha's teaching is that our current circumstances are not only due to the karma from past lives.


Yes, the Buddha's teaching is that our current circumstances are due only to our actions from past lives.


Malcolm wrote:The in the Karmavibhanga, the Buddha states:


SN 36.21 wrote:"Now when these ascetics and brahmans have such a doctrine and view that 'whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,' then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmans."


:shrug:


2. "Master Gotama, what is the reason, what is the condition, why inferiority and superiority are met with among human beings, among mankind? For one meets with short-lived and long-lived people, sick and healthy people, ugly and beautiful people, insignificant and influential people, poor and rich people, low-born and high-born people, stupid and wise people. What is the reason, what is the condition, why superiority and inferiority are met with among human beings, among mankind?"

3. "Student, beings are owners of kammas, heirs of kammas, they have kammas as their progenitor, kammas as their kin, kammas as their homing-place. It is kammas that differentiate beings according to inferiority and superiority."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 8.html#top
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:24 pm

zsc wrote:@dzogchungpa and Simon E. - As I said earlier, "white guilt" is besides the point. It's not even the point.

OK, that's a relief.
zsc wrote:Again, did the Buddha have "guilt" (a useless emotion by the way) about being born a prince, in the upper crust of the caste system? No, but he did oppose it.

The idea that the Buddha opposed the caste system is not uncontroversial. From "Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian tradition" by Williams:
The Buddha was critical of the intrinsic supremacy of the brahmins, and with it the ideology of varna. But it would be misleading from this to infer, as some modern writers do, that the Buddha was ‘anti-caste’. First, a criticism of the varna system is not in itself a comment on jati, caste, although it could be transposed to the ideology that nevertheless underlies caste. For his part the Buddha spoke of the true brahmin as one who had spiritual insight and behaves accordingly (see the famous Dhammapada Ch. 26). In this sense the Buddha affirmed a hierarchy not of birth but of spiritual maturity. It is not obvious that the Buddha would have any comment to make about a brahmin who is also spiritually mature (understood in the Buddha’s sense). The Buddha was not offering social reform. And this is what one would expect. The Buddha was himself a renouncer of society.
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby conebeckham » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:25 pm

It is a uniquely 20th Century Western Meme that Buddha opposed the caste system.
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:34 pm

@Johnny Dangerous - You pose a false dichotomy between "dharma" and "politics". Nothing can eclipse dharma. Our practice isn't a "Sunday-only" exercise, but permeates our whole life experience. Awakening that denies the conditions of real life is not awakening. "Politics" is not about who you vote for, but is really just how humans interact with and relate to each other, so we are all "political" because we are all human. Your insistence also denies interdependence and karma, which I elaborate on in my responses to Malcolm and AlexanderS below.


It has nothing to do with Dharma being an "only sunday" thing, it is has to do (in this instance) with not turning your Dharma into distinctly samsaric activity, which is exactly what people are doing when they make Dharma practice into something that gets molded primarily by their political beliefs. Working with one's Karma is done in a lot of different ways, and it's pure rationalization to say you are working with your own Karma by trying to change the "outside" world...IMO. There are good conventional reasons to be politically active mind you, but it is typically samsaric activity - you can see this in the very way people talk about it, political activism for it's own sake by definition is not Dharma practice.

yet your language betrays you. For example, it was only when rory brought up the fact that I and she are both women that you described her responses as "shrill"


Are you serious? I have used the term on here with men too, in fact mostly with men. Do a search for "shrill" if you don't believe me, it's findable - I checked. Do your research before shooting your own projections at me like that, it's an appropriate description for the tone with which many people discuss politics - including you and Rory, IMO, but certainly not limited to you. I called her post shrill because it was, as well as being completely unproductive and seemingly intended only to snipe at others and stir the pot, I feel completely comfortable with the definition.

You are finding bogeymen where none exist. I'm so tired of this deflective, uniquely American preoccupation with extrapolating grand meaning from every little term or word. I might be married to a feminist attorney, I might be a stay at home dad raising my kids, I might have grown up in a majority Hispanic city, I might have grown up with a physical disability, and I might quite a bit different than who you have decided I am. You have no idea what kind of life I live or my relationships, and notions regarding gender, or race. Statements like that making these sweeping assumptions based on my use the word "shrill" just show you have no clue whatsoever who you are talking to, but wish to paint your own picture of them nonetheless.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Seishin » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:08 pm

I have to say that I am amazed and disgusted by some of the false accusations and blatant sweeping generalisations that have appeared on this thread. I would have thought better from intelligent adult Buddhists. Thread now locked, and I really do not see any reason to let this charade to continue.
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Seishin » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:45 pm

Thread now unlocked.

Please note; refrain from personal remarks.

Gassho,
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:22 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
yet your language betrays you. For example, it was only when rory brought up the fact that I and she are both women that you described her responses as "shrill"

Are you serious? I have used the term on here with men too, in fact mostly with men. Do a search for "shrill" if you don't believe me, it's findable - I checked.

Are you suggesting that zsc go shrill seeking?
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby JKhedrup » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:31 pm

I hope everyone can participate in a discussion about the issues. Iwent through anti oppression training to do a volunteer job as a student. Partof it involved role reversal where we white folks got to experience what it was like to be in the minority. I will say it was not pleasant but valuable, I learned a lot.

Since ordination 9 years ago I have spent at least 7 years in Asian Buddhist communities in the east. Overcoming the language and cultural barriers In each community taught me a bitabput whT it is like to be in the minoritu (of course I realize this was a choice and pocs born in white countries or refugees have a different paradigm). Still, those experiences made me more aware about how our privilege as Caucasians sometimes renders us somewhat blind in terms of seeing hidden power structures that keep others down.

So I hope to learn more and read this with interest here in India, in a Tibetan house in a Tibetan monastery.

I will say that as a translator I consider my audience carefly and use layperson s terms rather than Buddhist jargon to translate Geshela's teachings for non Buddhist audiences for example. Similarly since most people here seem unfamiliar with the terminology of equitystudies or the identity politics paradigm, some words like macro and micro oppression should be fleshed out so people know what is being spoken about.

In terms of how this relates to karma, I agree happiness necessarily comes from virtue, and suffering from non virtue. However consider that if our success comes partly due to oppression even if mild, we are accumulatong negativity and will face the resultant suffering. So more equity means less danger of accumulating negative karma.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby JamyangTashi » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:07 pm

One inspirational figure that seems to be successfully engaging with several communities is Venerable Dr. Pannavati
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Re: African Americans & people of Color, & Buddhism in the W

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:14 pm

Thread locked for review.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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