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Talking to New Age/Western buddhists - Dhamma Wheel

Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alan
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Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:18 am

Hi friends. I've recently been thinking about how to approach people who espouse Buddhist beliefs from a very self-help, psychological perspective. Many of their ideas sound good to our western ears, yet are not in accordance with the Dhamma. How to relate to them without sounding like a fundamentalist? When is it right speech to point them to the original teachings?

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:27 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:47 am

Is the Dhamma a psychotherapy?

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:49 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:10 am

Ud 6.4?

alan
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:33 am

So my point is...all these people think they are right. How to best talk Dhamma to people who really care, but are coming from a blind spot? (That would be from a new age, self-help perspective).
Ajaan Thanissaro has an excellent article "The roots of Buddhist Romanticism" which I found very helpful. Does anyone else know of similar info? I would love to know. Thankyou.

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:34 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:47 am

Are we reading the same thing?

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christopher:::
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby christopher::: » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:56 am

Hi.

In regards to your question, i think it depends on what the person is into, what their goals are, how firmly they believe what they are getting into. If someone is really into astrology, crystals, edgar cayce, ufos and wicca rituals, there may not be much you can say. If on the other hand they are really into the peace, power of now and inner silence messages of Eckhart Tolle then there's much room for common ground. You can tell them about Vipassana practice, Buddha's teachings on mindfulness, and discuss similarities.

A key thing for me is not to put down or denigrate where someone else is, or even what someone like Tolle is teaching but rather to point out how similar things were taught by the Buddha, have been practiced for centuries, tested and proven. Then just point a finger, pass an article, recommend a book related to what they seem to be focusing on now, if the other person shows an interest.

There are a number of good Western dharma teachers who are not New Age, but do understand "that audience" pretty well, in my opinion, and can serve as doorways to a deeper exploration...

Examples: Thich Nhat Hanh, Lama Surya Das, Joseph Goldstein....

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:05 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:10 am

I have no problem with Tolle. My question is about the "Go with the flow, we all have Buddha Nature, don't bother with too much thinking, don't overthink the words" types. How to deal with them? I mean, without being obnoxious. I'm trying not to be that way.
Also, does anyone have a reference to how the Dhamma came to be taught in the west as it is now?
Thanks.

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:16 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:21 am

It is being taught as a psychology, as a way to relax, as away to communicate with your peers. All good things, in there own right. But is this Dhamma?

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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:31 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Ben
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:32 am

Hi Alan

From your posts I sense a desire to set people straight with what the Buddha actually taught and to help free them from the delusion of New Agist appropriation and misrepresentation of Buddhist concepts and ideas.
If that is the case, then i would have to agree with Mr Pink's point of view expressed in his first post on this thread. The best way to communicate the Dhamma to others is to live a Dhammic life. There really isn't anything else that needs doing.

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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christopher:::
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby christopher::: » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:47 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

alan
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:50 am

Excuse me Ben, I posted that before your statement. Didn't mean any disrespect. Although we may disagree.
Anyone want to answer my question?

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Jechbi
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby Jechbi » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:55 am


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pink_trike
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Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby pink_trike » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:56 am

The right time to expose others to the original teachings is likely at the point that you can do it free from judgement of their view and path, and in the context of your own understanding of how the teachings benefit your own path.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Talking to New Age/Western buddhists

Postby alan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:57 am

Bedtime for me, friends. Thanks for your thoughts.


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