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Thread: The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

  1. #1
    An article I found from tricycle magazine :


    The Dangers of Diluted Buddhism

    Some charismatic leaders take advantage of Western misconceptions rather than correct them, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from the UK argues.

    By Lama Jampa Thaye

    Continues at the link:https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/diluted-buddhism/

    Lama Jampa Thaye is a westerner who is a teacher of the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.


    Any thoughts about the article?



  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    While I don’t practice Tibetan Buddhism, I certainly think he has a point. We are seeing many teachers being being called out on hypocrisy. I feel that some teachers are teaching “ Buddhism Light”. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of the same.

  3. #3
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    It's a fun rant isn't it? Although it may be somewhat out of context, adapted from a book 'Wisdom in Exile: Buddhism and Modern Times', by Lama Jampa. I tracked it down and found that is was free to download from Amazon as a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, so I did. To be fair to him I'll have a quick read and let you know if he has a way to resolve the issue, or whether he sees no point in adapting to the West, and then say what I think.

    Meanwhile I think his central argument, about the danger of only taking one aspect of the path, is sound, if there is no discussion about why other aspects of the path have been developed in the past. To undertake meditation thinking that that is all you ever need is as mistaken as underestimating it's power to transform by itself. The kind of changes it brings can be life changing, but out of context they may not always be positive.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by philg View Post
    It's a fun rant isn't it?
    My eyes glazed over at some point! Did you read the comments section at the end of the article?

  5. #5
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    Just finished the book. I know what you mean about eyes glazing over. There are some good points in the book, such as the problem of taking meditation out of the context of traditional practice and the limitations of Western versions of Buddhism, but there are some sweeping statements which would reduce the impact of the useful points it makes on the average Western reader interested in Buddhism and meditation.

    In general the bad points revolve around a tendency to use extreme examples to make more general points, such as using 'scientism' to dispute any use science may have as part of a world view. Scientism being where one only uses science to make sense of the world with the rejection of any other area of human inquiry. He accuses science of sleight of hand to suggest that consciousness can arise from electrical and chemical processes or that life can arise 'magically' from non sentient matter, like Pinocchio transforming from a piece of wood into a boy. On the other hand he is happy to accept a Buddhist 'mindstream' that drifts through the world, attaching itself to conditions which arise, without really going into the issue of what exists as a mindstream.

    I could go on, and there are lots of other other things I would question, but overall the book makes interesting reading as an effort to convince the reader that the only valid Buddhism is that transmitted from an accredited teacher who is part of an unbroken tradition. In other words he didn't see any point in adapting Buddhism to the West. Happy to list a few more points raised in the book if anyone is interested.

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