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Aloka
29 Mar 11, 21:01
Dear friends,

Is there a new approach to Buddhism emerging in the modern world ?

If so, would that be a good or a bad idea in your opinion?



Kind wishes,

A-D

fojiao2
29 Mar 11, 23:19
Five thoughts on this:

1. I think that in the west there is what some of people call "Buddhism Lite" which is using the teachings as a kind of psychological therapy, or as a way of making suffering a little more bearable as opposed to actually freeing oneself through enlightenment.

2. Buddhism in the modern world must come under the scrutiny of modern science. People ask questions about rebirth and so forth in ways that may not have previously occurred.

3. Buddha, at least according to Mahayana literature, predicts a time when people are not able to grasp the very profound and subtle meanings of the dharma

4. As a religious tradition rather than philosophical school, Buddhism, as it is taking root in the west, has yet to encompass the various rituals associated with birth, marriage & death that are already part of other religious traditions

5. The role of the begging monk is yet to be determined.

plwk
30 Mar 11, 02:00
Is there a new approach to Buddhism emerging in the modern world ?
Like getting an empowerment via blackberry?
Like participating in a MSN/Skype video conference zazen?
Like doing a virtual alms giving to virtual monastics on their rounds?

http://sportsbettingwins.com/images/biggrin.jpg

fojiao2
30 Mar 11, 03:33
Like getting an empowerment via blackberry?
Like participating in a MSN/Skype video conference zazen?
Like doing a virtual alms giving to virtual monastics on their rounds?

http://sportsbettingwins.com/images/biggrin.jpg

...Like an on-line sangha!!!!

Cloud
30 Mar 11, 06:58
Buddhism has been spreading and changing for over two thousand years now. Someone in another thread mentioned "Modern Theravada" or "Original Buddhism", which seems to be a trend toward recognizing what the Buddha actually taught as opposed to just taking one of the current "schools" directly as they are.

I think the new approach is to go back to what the Buddha taught. It's to try and separate "Buddhism" from "the Buddha's Dharma/Dhamma" in an effort to actualize the true meaning of his teachings in an effective way.

Esho
30 Mar 11, 15:42
I think the new approach is to go back to what the Buddha taught. It's to try and separate "Buddhism" from "the Buddha's Dharma/Dhamma" in an effort to actualize the true meaning of his teachings in an effective way.

Yes. Which also means to set apart the teachings of the Buddha from religion (gurus, rites, fears, blindness...), and I think this is a good approach, a lot more better for humankind.

Cobalt
30 Mar 11, 22:58
2. Buddhism in the modern world must come under the scrutiny of modern science. People ask questions about rebirth and so forth in ways that may not have previously occurred.

Yes. Yes yes yes.


I think the new approach is to go back to what the Buddha taught. It's to try and separate "Buddhism" from "the Buddha's Dharma/Dhamma" in an effort to actualize the true meaning of his teachings in an effective way.

Agreed. I also think it does this a great injustice to refer to it as "Buddhism lite," as fojiao2 did and as some others do.

This is a term I've seen used a lot to refer to whatever this thing is that modern people do, and from what I've seen, it seems to be a favorite term for demeaning the dharma practice of people who don't believe in magical dragon realms or reincarnation or ghosts or gods or demons or luck. I'm not intending to accuse fojiao2 or using the term this way, but rather intending to bring up where and how else it seems to be used because I was reminded of it.

The thing referred to by many as "dharma lite" certainly requires that a lot of cultural baggage and superstition be carved away from Buddhism as a religion so that the Buddha's teachings can be clearer, but that minimalism probably doesn't deserve to be demeaned as often as it is. If dharma practice has been weighed down by centuries of hierarchies and ritual and mythology, maybe it's a good thing to carve away some dead weight. After all, we should probably not be attached to Buddhism-flavored traditions just because they're ancient, or familiar, or... well, actually, I think someone else said this better.


"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

We will know when we have found a core liberative teaching of the Buddha, because it will be both true and functional. Anything that doesn't fit those criteria is probably just baggage that--yes--dharma practice is lighter without. So... to answer the original question of the thread? I think that this sort of Buddhist practice is becoming easier to find and is getting taken more seriously, but I hardly think it's new. On the contrary, I feel like this approach to knowledge, growth, and understanding is what has kept the core of dharma practice strong even as people over the ages have hung superstition and all other kinds of nonsense all over it.

fojiao2
31 Mar 11, 00:53
My understanding is that The Buddha taught the cessation of suffering, and that "Dharma lite" refers to merely making suffering a little cozier.

plwk
31 Mar 11, 01:31
Buddhism in the modern world must come under the scrutiny of modern science.
I have been to some temples/centres where this statement is treated either with scorn or with a wry smile...one is lucky if not treated as a suspected troll or as a misfit if this statement is made...

fojiao2
31 Mar 11, 02:36
My point is that whether we want to admit it or not, people are going to look at Buddhism from the perspective of the 21st century, because that's where we are, and that includes scientific methods.

daverupa
31 Mar 11, 08:32
My understanding is that The Buddha taught the cessation of suffering, and that "Dharma lite" refers to merely making suffering a little cozier.

That's the "good in the beginning" part of the Dhamma being "good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end".

clw_uk
01 Apr 11, 00:24
I think there is a trend to move away from ritual, cultural add ons, superstition and a heavy dependence on authority and instead to look at what the core teachings are

Also there is a move away from sectarianism between the different schools

To my mind the Dhamma coming to the West is the best thing that has happened, blown a lot of the cobwebs away and has shown the Dhamma



From my own position as a westerner first approaching Dhamma, I wanted to know what the closet records were of the Buddhas teaching and was less interested in later interpretations and sectarian stories of authority


From this I see the Buddhism as this

The Four noble truths/Dependent Co-Arising and the three marks

The rest is just commentary or cultural add ons :)

fojiao2
01 Apr 11, 11:54
The rest is just commentary or cultural add ons :)

I like the cake, but it's the icing that makes me really appreciate it.