Community in Western Buddhism

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Re: Community in Western Buddhism

Postby rory » Sat May 28, 2011 8:55 pm

Hmm, I think this thread should be titled non-Asian Western Buddhism, as at least in the U.S. we have 3rd generational Buddhist temples from 19th century Asian immigrants that have great sanghas that also reflect American culture. I've attended a Jodo Shinshu church, belong now to a Jodo Shu online group with Los Angeles temple affiliations & have experienced so much friendliness and support.
I remember mochi for New Years, cleaning the temple, being introduced to other members by the minister, tea & food after the service, taiko, lectures, martial arts lessons in the basement, Obon....gosh tons of things, it was the greatest, & totally family friendly. I briefly attended a Fo Guang Shan temple and they made me very welcome, there were tons of activities, a tearoom, cooking classes, children's and teenagers groups, lectures...

I also was part of a non-Asian temple and frankly never again; the control issues, the cliqueiness just like summer camp and high school.
we have great examples of warm genuine sanghas in the west, so go and check them out
gassho
Rory
Last edited by rory on Sat May 28, 2011 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Re: Community in Western Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 28, 2011 11:08 pm

rory wrote: we have great examples of warm genuinely sanghas in the west, so go and check them out

:twothumbsup:

It's a pity that the language and/or cultural barriers are too much of a barrier for some...

:namaste:
Mike
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Re: Community in Western Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 29, 2011 10:39 am

It's funny that I have never met a non-Asian Buddhist in person in my life. Lol.

As for Buddhism in the West, I will have to rephrase in my own words something like "Talking about eating but not full at all." Like me personally, I am supposed to follow teachings of Buddha and practice, but what I do is the opposite. I like to talk about compassion, but I still get angry easily and I still self-indulge.
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Re: Community in Western Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 29, 2011 1:39 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
rory wrote: we have great examples of warm genuinely sanghas in the west, so go and check them out

:twothumbsup:

It's a pity that the language and/or cultural barriers are too much of a barrier for some...

:namaste:
Mike


It can go both ways.

Some thriving and successful temples will be predominately made up of members from a particular immigrant community. They'll be less a temple in a sense and more of an ethnic community centre. In that sense curious outsiders will not be chased away, but not necessarily welcomed as warmly as they would one of their own.

One monk I know from Foguangshan told me that in branch temples in foreign countries it has been the case before that when non-Taiwanese start showing up in large numbers the Taiwanese stop attending.

The priorities of "ethnic temples" in many cases is not spreading the dharma in their host country, but just providing services for a certain demographic. It really depends on the leadership.
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Re: Community in Western Buddhism

Postby rory » Sun May 29, 2011 10:37 pm

Very true Huseng, some place can be ethnic centers
. But at the same time if the dharma is preached by knowledgable people & Buddhist culture is there we all can benefit. I sure have. Last Legend, I don't live far from D.C. maybe we will meet & you can see a real non-Asian buddhist;-) Mike I don't know why people limit themselves, they sure like the words of the Buddha who is from Nepal...I feel fortunate to have a great supportive sangha, people who are generations-old buddhists who have so much to teach me & they say new people's faith inspires them. So it works both ways.
gassho
Rory
Dharani of Amoghapasa Avalokitesvara:

Om amogha-padma-pasa-krodhakarsaya praveshaya maha-pashupati-yama-varuna-kuvera
brahma-vesa-dhara padma-kula-samayan hum hum

heart mantra: Om amogha vijaya hum phat
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Location: SouthEast USA

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