Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

TRC wrote:Well, I'm not really interested in either of them as spiritual teachers, so form my point of view, after giving it some consideration, I guess the answer is, yes. I've seen the Dalai Lama on cooking shows. Do you think that this engenders credibility?

It's not really his job to "engender credibility", he is already a credible Buddhist teacher, and that is even well outside the realm of considerations his mainstream celebrity, sectarian concerns, his position within Tibetan Buddhism specifically, etc.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

Post by reddust »

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Right, that's true.

Alot of what TNH and HHDL puts out on things like Oprah falls into that exact category though, and really..that's a definition of upaya. If a Buddhist leader can't use materialism as a medium to communicate their messages effectively, IMO that is not a great thing. More impressive is IMO what people like TNH and HHDL do, which is present a very simplified set of ideas in these arenas that can benefit the people listening, however unattractive or incomplete it might seem to us Buddhists, what they are doing is IMO very valuable. It's exactly what they are "supposed" to be doing isn't it? Benefiting beings with the Dharma, and letting them make a connection to it, in way they can comprehend and value.

Chogyam Trungpa mentions a couple places that people who run away from materialism in that way ( reflexive aversion/revulsion and refusal to acknowledge that Dharma can transmit, or at least plant seeds in that culture) have lost the plot. I'm beginning to agree with that more and more.
I was not saying this is a bad thing, but it did make me uncomfortable...Still figuring out why, maybe my aversion to the church lady issues I thought I had gotten over a long time ago. I am not wise enough to know if this is fruitful in the long run regarding Buddhism and making connections. I also get hooked into selling the Dharma as a product, I feel this maybe a valid issue. I don't see corporatism and Buddhism going together very well, especially since Buddhism is supposed to address the causes of suffering and the corporatism profits from suffering..

EDIT: hopefully the Buddhist teachers can do some transforming here :namaste: and I am not skillful enough to take my thoughts much further unless you are able to forgive my clumsy ways.
Last edited by reddust on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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reddust wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Right, that's true.

Alot of what TNH and HHDL puts out on things like Oprah falls into that exact category though, and really..that's a definition of upaya. If a Buddhist leader can't use materialism as a medium to communicate their messages effectively, IMO that is not a great thing. More impressive is IMO what people like TNH and HHDL do, which is present a very simplified set of ideas in these arenas that can benefit the people listening, however unattractive or incomplete it might seem to us Buddhists, what they are doing is IMO very valuable. It's exactly what they are "supposed" to be doing isn't it? Benefiting beings with the Dharma, and letting them make a connection to it, in way they can comprehend and value.

Chogyam Trungpa mentions a couple places that people who run away from materialism in that way ( reflexive aversion/revulsion and refusal to acknowledge that Dharma can transmit, or at least plant seeds in that culture) have lost the plot. I'm beginning to agree with that more and more.
I was not saying this is a bad thing, but it did make me uncomfortable...Still figuring out why, maybe my aversion to the church lady issues I thought I had gotten over a long time ago. I am not wise enough to know if this is fruitful in the long run regarding Buddhism and making connections. I also get hooked into selling the Dharma as a product, I feel this maybe a valid issue. I don't see corporatism and Buddhism going together very well, especially since Buddhism is supposed to address the causes of suffering and the corporatism profits from suffering..

What are they supposed to do, refuse the interviews unless Oprah changes her ways?

Whatever "corporatism" is to you, it's a sure thing that it isn't the first human "ism" to profit from suffering, nor the last. Stubborn refusal to put out their messages due to some sense of aversion wouldn't achieve anything, IMO.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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Johnny Dangerous wrote:

What are they supposed to do, refuse the interviews unless Oprah changes her ways?
Maybe, I don't know.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
TRC wrote:Well, I'm not really interested in either of them as spiritual teachers, so form my point of view, after giving it some consideration, I guess the answer is, yes. I've seen the Dalai Lama on cooking shows. Do you think that this engenders credibility?

It's not really his job to "engender credibility", he is already a credible Buddhist teacher, and that is even well outside the realm of considerations his mainstream celebrity, sectarian concerns, his position within Tibetan Buddhism specifically, etc.
Yes I think it is his job to engender some credibility, to responsibly convey Dharma.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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reddust wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:

What are they supposed to do, refuse the interviews unless Oprah changes her ways?
Maybe, I don't know.

If the answer is yes, then what should they do exactly, ask Oprah to donate more money to charity, ask her to help overthrow or reform capitalism? Do you think that is the place of people in their positions?

Anyone who wants to know HHDL's opinions on those things can look them up, they are one of the first things I looked up when I became interested in Tibetan Buddhism.
TRC wrote: Yes I think it is his job to engender some credibility, to responsibly convey Dharma.
So, responsibly conveying Dharma means making meaningless gestures of abstinence from the public eye, from two of the most well known Buddhist leaders in the world? you guys should defend your positions better if you're going to call people like that on the carpet, IMO. Either one of these guys will talk about the terrible parts of capitalism and the evils of various parts of modernity, as well as possible solutions, and do..have you not read their books? Just because It is not their way to throw their ideology or life experiences in everyone faces, in the way that we expect of them, does not mean they are doing something irresponsible or endorsing anything by going on Oprah.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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I guess my reaction to this interview was, fluffy Buddhism sold on corporate media is foo-foo-la-la and when people actually find out it isn't they are gonna want their money back. Kind of like taking a pill to fix your depression isn't addressing the real reason you are not feeling well, you are reacting to sense data incorrectly and more than likely you need to change your diet and eat more greens, exercise, drop the junk food. Yeah, you are gonna have to take responsibility for your life. But then again, those who stay once they do come in contact with the Dharma and start serious study, integrating the lessons learned into their life were meant for the path. So again, I am left with an uneasy feeling and I may be too immature to figure out what that is right now. More than likely I am over reacting but also have a valid concern. This happens to me all the time :thinking:y
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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I just had a thought! Buddhism was adopted by the Monarchy/State/Government/Authority in other lands, so maybe it will be adopted by Corporatism! Funding problems will be over :thumbsup:

EDIT: also please look at what I said regarding Kornfield, he reminded me of the Church Lady, that wasn't really a put down. I don't know the guy, I've said that several times now and as I said I don't go by influential or popular vote. Now I am going to have to go back through my thread to make sure I was a good girl :twisted:
Last edited by reddust on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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So, responsibly conveying Dharma means making meaningless gestures of abstinence from the public eye, from two of the most well known Buddhist leaders in the world?
Yes. "meaningless gestures" is your evaluation of it, but not mine. These appearances dumb-down the public expectation and understanding of Dharma. I mean, a cooking show is a bridge too far for me. But hey if it's populism and a superficial understanding of Dharma you are trying to cultivate, then perhaps you've found the appropriate vehicle.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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reddust wrote:I just had a thought! Buddhism was adopted by the Monarchy/State/Government/Authority in other lands, so maybe it will be adopted by Corporatism! Funding problems will be over :thumbsup:
Yes, there does seem to be a cosiness emerging with Buddhism and Corporatism. This is unhealthy IMO.

EDIT: In the West that is. However, this relationship is not a new one.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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TRC wrote:
So, responsibly conveying Dharma means making meaningless gestures of abstinence from the public eye, from two of the most well known Buddhist leaders in the world?
Yes. "meaningless gestures" is your evaluation of it, but not mine. These appearances dumb-down the public expectation and understanding of Dharma. I mean, a cooking show is a bridge too far for me. But hey if it's populism and a superficial understanding of Dharma you are trying to cultivate, then perhaps you've found the appropriate vehicle.
All it takes is for someone to be in the right frame of mind when watching said cooking show, or oprah, for them to purchase one of their books, and the rest is history. I'm pretty sure they are not attending these shows with the intention of giving a full fledged dharma talk, and why should they? Nobody would listen or understand half of it anyway.

It's funny that a person with 6 posts would come on to the forums with such a hostile tone, and contribute nothing. Then again your vehicle must be working wonders for you.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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TRC wrote:
reddust wrote:I just had a thought! Buddhism was adopted by the Monarchy/State/Government/Authority in other lands, so maybe it will be adopted by Corporatism! Funding problems will be over :thumbsup:
Yes, there does seem to be a cosiness emerging with Buddhism and Corporatism. This is unhealthy IMO.
I don't think the individual can stop this, only time will tell if the two can get along. Hopefully, Buddhism will have a positive influence on the corporate structure making profits from the suffering it causes. If Buddhism can't hold it's own it will become another product for mass consumerism, stripped of all it's nutrition for longer shelf life.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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I don't think this is a negative thread. I think this is a thoughtful thread regarding how Buddhism is sold on corporate media.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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reddust wrote:
TRC wrote:
reddust wrote:I just had a thought! Buddhism was adopted by the Monarchy/State/Government/Authority in other lands, so maybe it will be adopted by Corporatism! Funding problems will be over :thumbsup:
Yes, there does seem to be a cosiness emerging with Buddhism and Corporatism. This is unhealthy IMO.
I don't think the individual can stop this, only time will tell if the two can get along. Hopefully, Buddhism will have a positive influence on the corporate structure making profits from the suffering it causes. If Buddhism can't hold it's own it will become another product for mass consumerism, stripped of all it's nutrition for longer shelf life.
You certainly have a great turn of phrase reddust. This is also my concern.

Sorry, If I'm upsetting you Jesse, it's not meant to be upsetting, but it is obviously challenging. This will now only be my 8th post, hopefully that doesn't disqualify me from expressing a point of view. But I apologise again if it has upset you.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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I don't often find myself in the position of defending Oprah, but the more wealth and power you acquire, the easier it is to work your will in the world, since you WILL have to contend with wealthy people whose intentions often are in direct opposition to your own and sometimes it just comes down to who has more money, since deep pockets will gladly tie you up in legal fees as long as it takes to exhaust your money/power to oppose their interests.

Oprah seems to be using her power for good and if she gave it all away to charity immediately (or whatever your preferred idealistic fantasy) she would lose her power. She also seems to be interested in spreading positivity and trying to empower people to succeed... and she is an employer to many!
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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padma norbu wrote:I don't often find myself in the position of defending Oprah, but the more wealth and power you acquire, the easier it is to work your will in the world, since you WILL have to contend with wealthy people whose intentions often are in direct opposition to your own and sometimes it just comes down to who has more money, since deep pockets will gladly tie you up in legal fees as long as it takes to exhaust your money/power to oppose their interests.

Oprah seems to be using her power for good and if she gave it all away to charity immediately (or whatever your preferred idealistic fantasy) she would lose her power. She also seems to be interested in spreading positivity and trying to empower people to succeed... and she is an employer to many!
I've heard this argument as well and it's valid. If you have the money use it to bring the people up not keep them down in the mud of poverty. I would have to look at her income compared to the lowest paid of her employees. Also are her charities a tax shelter for her wealth? Right now most CEO make over 400% of their lowest paid employees. It used to be 10% (my memory is really flaky)....CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratio Ballooned 1,000 Percent Since 1950: Report See it's worse than I thought!
Last edited by reddust on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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TRC wrote: Sorry, If I'm upsetting you Jesse, it's not meant to be upsetting, but it is obviously challenging. This will now only be my 8th post, hopefully that doesn't disqualify me from expressing a point of view. But I apologise again if it has upset you.
Then express your point of view, just do it by attacking points and not the person holding the view.
I mean, a cooking show is a bridge too far for me. But hey if it's populism and a superficial understanding of Dharma you are trying to cultivate, then perhaps you've found the appropriate vehicle.
Thing's like that are unnecessary, and only serves to create a hostile atmosphere, but as for the topic of the thread, i agree it is constructive. So I apologize as well.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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What this thread really shows to me is a kind of...(mostly, probably) American cultural sense of entitlement about viewpoint and ideology, where you believe that everyone has a duty to vehemently toss around their ideology like so many in this country now do, agree with your theoretical solutions or be branded a "sell out" or some such, from vaccine opposition to the Tea Party, everyone wants everyone to agree with everything one believes, always, or else they are wrong wrong wrong. And of course, guilt by association abounds with this sort of thinking.

Amazing to me that folks here on a Buddhist forum questioning the motivations and actions of Buddhist leaders who fled Tibet, marched with Martin Luther King, and so many other things, because they appeared on Oprah once.
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

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Johnny Dangerous wrote:What this thread really shows to me is a kind of...American cultural sense of entitlement, where you believe that everyone has a duty to vehemently toss around their ideology like so many in this country now do, or be branded a "sell out" or some such, from vaccine opposition to the Tea Party, everyone wants everyone to agree with everything one believes, always, or else they are wrong wrong wrong. And of course, guilt by association abounds.

it is nothing short of hilarious that folks here on a Buddhist forum questioning the motivations and actions of Buddhist leaders who fled Tibet, marched with Martin Luther King, and so many other things, because they appeared on Oprah once, seriously.
I am not saying sellout, I am not being mean, I am exploring how Buddhism will integrate in America. I posted this interview because I thought it was nice, but like, it made me feel uncomfortable and I wanted to explore why. I wanted to see what other people felt about this before I said anything. Take a look at how the thread started. One thing I find in America is it's not safe to question authority, as if I am questioning Kornfield character, maybe it's a human issue, I dunno. I am questioning why I felt uncomfortable and came to the conclusion it's more to do with the marketing of Buddhism within the corporate structure rather then Kornfield, or other prominent Buddhist figures.

Hey why aren't you guys who are jumping all over me and TRC get all over the other guys who suggested Kornfield liked Vedanta (maybe he is a closet true selfer) :tongue:
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Re: Oprah sits down with Jack Kornfield

Post by dzogchungpa »

reddust wrote:EDIT....Oh RAMANA MAHARSHI is into Vedanta .... I know who he is...you guys are so bad. Can't a Buddhist be friends with a Vedanta person without causing all sorts of gossip. :tongue:
I don't think Kornfield met RM. He did meet Nisargadatta Maharaj, and lists him as one of his teachers here: http://www.jackkornfield.com/about-bio/

Here's everyone's favorite corporatist lackey on RM:
HHDL_on_RM.PNG
HHDL_on_RM.PNG (97.18 KiB) Viewed 1637 times
(see p. 76 of https://s3.amazonaws.com/ramanafiles/mo ... %20Jan.pdf)

I guess you can't expect credibility from someone who would go on Oprah.

:shrug:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
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