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Aloka
14 Mar 10, 10:51
Is there an emerging 'Western' Buddhism?.....or not? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject.

plwk
14 Mar 10, 11:08
Define 'western' http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/tongue.gif

Aloka
14 Mar 10, 11:17
Ok, well is there perhaps an emerging new form of Buddhism ....which is maybe being practiced by people who are more emersed in modern culture and education rather than in earlier traditional ethnic cultures ? http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

frank
14 Mar 10, 11:24
The impression l have is that Westerners tend to be more 'scientific' and in some ways more intense about Buddhism than Asians.
I feel this is both a good and bad thing. Bad because l feel that we miss some of the 'magic' when we discard the superstitions.
Really the whole of life is magic if we could only remove the blinkers.

Slartibartfast
14 Mar 10, 12:12
Buddhism seems to have a habit of adapting to it's surroundings. I don't think it is necessarily eastern, western northern or southern.

There is definitely a movement in buddhism that has a particularly western flavour though. I think it can be seen more in America with the likes of the Dharma Punx movement. We see very western figures like Noah Levine and Vinny Ferraro who take the dharma and translate it in a way that western ears can listen to. I think the guys before who went to India and came back with dharma tried too hard to keep it in its eastern clothes, if you get my meaning.

Mani
14 Mar 10, 12:18
Hmm. I'm don't know if there is an "emerging Western Buddhism" or not.

I think this will take a fair amount of time. One difference that I've noticed between the the West and the traditional Eastern countries, is that the general belief systems are different from the ground level, even before engaging in Buddhism. For example, even if one is not religious in this sense, most Westerners are brought up with the mindset of western religion in terms of "god" and must let go of that, whereas in the East I think many already have the basic belief structure that comes from their cultural history.

Another big difference I've noticed is in the East, there seems to be a general understanding of the correlation between body and mind and the practices of meditation, and other systems like tai chi, qi-gong, etc., are practiced widely and integrated as a very important aspect of life for many people. Once again, I think this stems from the culture. In my experience, many people in the West are fairly new to these ideas and only now are people slowly beginning to see the wide range of benefits. On a whole, Westerners are not fully "convinced".

But I do feel that Dharma is universal, and is able to be taught and integrated in any culture, though in the West it may take some time. Without straying from the core teachings, Buddhism has to teach according to the conditions. In some ways it need's to "catch up" with our busy society. By starting with a good basic understanding, and having people realize for example how grasping as a result of ignorance causes suffering, and using tangible examples relating to everyday life, I think people will be able to gain a better understanding of what Buddhism is really about in it's core level. Sometimes I wonder if some of this gets lost in a Westerner's view of "the Eastern mystique".


To sum this up, I suppose that yes, it is possible that "Buddhism for western people" is slowly emerging. Everything arises dependent on causes and conditions, and Dharma's are no different!

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

Esho
14 Mar 10, 15:18
But I do feel that Dharma is universal, and is able to be taught and integrated in any culture, though in the West it may take some time. Without straying from the core teachings, Buddhism has to teach according to the conditions.

I agree with you dear Mani,

Buddhism is about reality and how to understand it as it is. In that way if there is a "westernized" reality, then the teachings will integrate to that particular culture.



To sum this up, I suppose that yes, it is possible that "Buddhism for western people" is slowly emerging. Everything arises dependent on causes and conditions, and Dharma's are no different!

Good point Mani, thanks...

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/good.gif

Esho
14 Mar 10, 15:18
Buddhism seems to have a habit of adapting to it's surroundings.

That is the magic about Buddhism and what it makes, for me, so special.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
14 Mar 10, 15:20
I feel this is both a good and bad thing. Bad because l feel that we miss some of the 'magic' when we discard the superstitions.

I can't hold buddhism as a magical religion, I found its magic at the moment you can hold reality as it is.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
14 Mar 10, 15:23
from post #3

Yes Dazz dear, I think "We" have some sort of emerging "Wetern Buddhism" and it do not has to be good or bad because until the core teachings are parcticed the rest are only cultural gaments. I do not need to live, for example, as a Tibetan, to practice and understan the eightfold noble path or the four noble truths.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Kevin
14 Mar 10, 16:23
I see an emerging "Western Buddhism" all around me in North America; United States and Canada. Sometimes I have mixed feelings about that, but in the end this is what has happened with Buddhism throughout its history. From Theravada, to Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism. Ch'an. Zen. Similarly through Buddhism's southern route
In North America "One Dharma" is just beginning to stretch imaginations.
No worries though. New versions have ensured Buddhism's growth throughout the ages. New understandings, evolved teachings; this is our joint heritage! Compounded things change. Causes and conditions necessitate slightly different teachings. This was Buddha's way. A modern expression seems to express it well enough: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.
It's still Buddhism. Stick any adjective in front of it. If it teaches the Three Marks of Existence or Four Seals, its still Dharma to me.

frank
15 Mar 10, 05:12
I can't hold buddhism as a magical religion,

In the last line l write;
"Really the whole of life is magic if we could only remove the blinkers."

Sobeh
15 Mar 10, 05:54
The whole of life isn't magic, it's dukkha.

Western Buddhism is simply answering the following question for modern Western peoples: "What does the Dhamma mean for us?"

It isn't that the 'West' is making its own Buddhism, it's that the 'West' is joining the existing dialogue on Buddhism worldwide.

frank
15 Mar 10, 06:20
The whole of life isn't magic, it's dukkha.

Yes strictly true but there is magic in there somewhere.
l'm sure you have looked through a micro-scope,have seen a beautiful sunrise/sunset with your 'significant other'.

Sobeh
15 Mar 10, 06:32
Yes strictly true but there is magic in there somewhere.

Maybe the same as 'the five khandas are strictly true, but there is a self in there somewhere'. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/wink.gif

frank
15 Mar 10, 07:00
from post #15

Not exactly because the 'magic' doesn't exist in the same form as the khandas. In the sense that the khandas support our ignorance,or is it that ignorance supports the khandas?

Mahaa-Parinibbaana Sutta (DN 16)
Impermanent are all component things, They arise and cease, that is their nature: They come into being and pass away, Release from them is bliss supreme.

— Mahaa-Parinibbaana Sutta (DN 16)1

Aloka
15 Mar 10, 08:36
,have seen a beautiful sunrise/sunset with your 'significant other'.

Awwwh, bless. Sounds like the 'magic' of romance , Frank !

I recall such 'magic' when I first started seeing my late husband. However magical farts under the duvet and smelly socks eventually replaced the delightful romantic joy of 'oneness' with sunsets. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/biglol.gif

frank
15 Mar 10, 08:51
Awwwh, bless. Sounds like the 'magic' of romance , Frank !

Hey Dazz,maybe your right,the trick is keeping the magic/romance alive.

andyrobyn
15 Mar 10, 10:26
the trick is keeping the magic/romance alive.

Not all day every day though ... as anything would get dull after awhile, the moments we can still create even after years of practice, friendship , marriage or whatever are enough ... reminds me of the line from a movie when a guy says he never takes a women to the airport at the beginning of a relationship 'cause eventually you have to move on from doing that and he never wanted anyone to say to him " why don't you ever take me to the airport anymore "

Can relate to your comments Dazz http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/biglol.gif

halfcajun
15 Mar 10, 14:06
Hello Y'all:
I believe there will be a Western Buddhism. It all ready seems to be taking taking shape.
Generally, more laity-led, ecumenical, liberal, and inwards-looking. (I said "Generally..." Forgive the broad brush stroke.).
In the novel <u>Dune</u>, there's a quote I really like: "The beginning is a delicate time." We Buddhists in the West (with the guidence of the Three Jewels and our Eastern teachers http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif ) are fortunate to witness, and in our own way, be a part of this birth.
Presently in the West, all the major traditions are co-exisiting side by side for the first time in history. Add dollops of egalitarianism, technology, and science, and who knows how it's going to turn out? Will Buddhist holidays be as well known as Easter, Ramadan or Yom Kippur? Will Buddhist customs be as well known as Baptism, the Hadj or a bar mitzveh? We won't truly know for generations. That's fine with me. The Buddhadharma is eternal, it will unfold here as it will.

On a lighter note, Dazz, your remark on flatulence and smelly socks cracked me up. Ah, the joys of domesticity!

Finally,...Frank, I readily admit that I don't know you, but I was very pleasantly surprised by your remarks on the magic & relationships. I didn't know you had it in you. Shame on me.

Y'all have a very good day! Metta to all!
Bill

jamesve1
15 Mar 10, 16:10
Hi everyone, this topic is quite related to the topic I posted "The role of lajja (shame) in Buddhism".



In some ways it need's to "catch up" with our busy society.

Or the opposite. Persons/Buddhists in the "East" could say just the same about "Western" society. Or, the two are just completely different due to cultural factors. Or, Western society will learn the "hard way" http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/zonked.gif (joking).



Add dollops of egalitarianism, technology, and science, and who knows how it's going to turn out?

Good question ...

Esho
15 Mar 10, 17:59
from post #12

Sorry frank dear..., I miss that line, indeed it's true...

thanks,

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

Esho
15 Mar 10, 18:12
Yes strictly true but there is magic in there somewhere.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

jamesve1
15 Mar 10, 18:30
It isn't that the 'West' is making its own Buddhism, it's that the 'West' is joining the existing dialogue on Buddhism worldwide.

I think it's a combination of both, and that inevitably the places where the teachings 'sprout up', the 'culture' or people of that place change the teachings in some way or another - they create new forms of the teachings, or new understandings of the teachings. But the teachings stay the same for the most part, right? And if they do, how?