Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is *this* what Buddhism is about?

Vincent Horn quotes Roger Walsh as saying...

So, we are at this enormously pivotal time in human history where we desperately need what Buddhism and other contemplative practices have to offer us. And we are called as individuals and as a spiritual community to develop the skillful means that makes optimal use of contemporary technology and information to respond as well as we can both individually and collectively to these crises.

I can agree with that. 

But must Buddhism be culturally relevant? Must Buddhism be "cutting edge?" Must Buddhism "adapt to the West?"

No, not at all. It neither excludes nor includes the trendy and the mass produced.  In a world where Buddhas can be had for money at Wal-Mart,  where one can practice non-attachment at Burger King, why should anyone think one should be "special" for practicing Buddhism.

None of this is what I think, what you think, what Roger Walsh thinks, or anyone else.  And the opposite is true, as well.

I am not a Buddhist because of the Dalai Lama, nor because of Steve Jobs (I didn't know he was a Buddhist).  I am not a Buddhist because it's trendy, but rather because I can help myself and others with this path.   In a certain sense I think it's important to extrapolate something Thomas Merton wrote somewhere; my extrapolation is: I think it's useful to be somewhat irrelevant, because that indicates a certain degree of non-attachment. 

3 comments:

Lorem Ipsum said...

There is a danger, is there not, that we take the truth and twist it into what we want it to be?

To my mind it is too easy to declare yourself a Buddhist and then continue living the way you always have done. How does that help anyone else, never mind yourself?*

Thank you, by the way, for the most intelligent, most relevant Buddhist blog that I'm aware of.

*'A fool associating with a sage
Even for a lifetime
Will no more perceive the Dhamma
Than a spoon will perceive the taste of soup.'
The Dhammapada

Bob0104byWas0104ham said...

may the blessing be always with you!! ...............................

Mumon said...

Lorem, and Bob etc.:

Geez, I'm deeply humbled.