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Thread: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

  1. #1

    Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Hi.

    Interesting article: "At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a generation shift"

    http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/2 ... ?p=1&tc=pg
    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Thanks Fugen,
    This was a great article. I'm particularly fond of Risen Sensei! I see many similarities between the things mentioned in the article as what Jundo Sensei and Taigu Sensei are doing here. One thing which stands out in particular is this:
    Weik said he doesnt want Buddhist parents to feel they must leave their family behind when they practice. He and his wife started a Sunday dharma school for children as young as 4 years old, and they are trying to develop rites-of-passage for young adults so they feel included.
    This really reminds me of the work that's being done here to create a more family inclusive practice.

    Thats whats going on here, Weik said. Our job collectively is to do whats always been done. To authentically make this up as we go.
    I like how Rinsen Sensei describes the new direction as being in the process of creation, with stress on the idea of it being done as authentically as possible. I strongly agree with this approach!

    Gassho,
    John

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui rculver's Avatar
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    Article: "At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    I did a sesshin with Rev. Rinsen at the Toledo Zen Center last August. Great guy, great group. I'm glad what he's doing is getting a little attention. If Toledo wasn't 4 hours from me, I would love to spend more time with them.

    Ron

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Thanks Fugen. Very interesting read. The only thing is the piece fails to show how unpleasant some of the conservatives can be.
    Gassho
    Soen

  5. #5

    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Interesting read. I think Norman Fischer has also talked about this on the buddhist geek podcast. Ill see if i can locate. I been hearing this topic alot in zen circles. For me my family and practice are one. Zen action!!

    Buddhist Geeks episode 129: Buddhism May Need a Plan B
    Buddhist Geeks episode 130: Buddhism and the Evolution of Religion

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Interesting read. I think Norman Fischer has also talked about this on the buddhist geek podcast. Ill see if i can locate. I been hearing this topic alot in zen circles. For me my family and practice are one. Zen action!!

    Buddhist Geeks episode 129: Buddhism May Need a Plan B
    Buddhist Geeks episode 130: Buddhism and the Evolution of Religion
    Thank you Mike. Downloading them now!

    Gassho,
    John

  7. #7
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Quote Originally Posted by JRBrisson
    Thanks Fugen,
    This was a great article. I'm particularly fond of Risen Sensei! I see many similarities between the things mentioned in the article as what Jundo Sensei and Taigu Sensei are doing here. One thing which stands out in particular is this:
    Weik said he doesnt want Buddhist parents to feel they must leave their family behind when they practice. He and his wife started a Sunday dharma school for children as young as 4 years old, and they are trying to develop rites-of-passage for young adults so they feel included.
    This really reminds me of the work that's being done here to create a more family inclusive practice.

    Thats whats going on here, Weik said. Our job collectively is to do whats always been done. To authentically make this up as we go.
    I like how Rinsen Sensei describes the new direction as being in the process of creation, with stress on the idea of it being done as authentically as possible. I strongly agree with this approach!

    Gassho,
    John
    You picked out the same two quotes that stood out to me John!

    In terms of the first, I think it is excellent to have a way to include children, but even as a dedicated practicioner I'm not sure I'd send either of my kids to such a school. Although I am open to most of the ideas we've generated around Vesak and Rohatsu, I don't particularly want to inculcate my kids into buddhism and would rather let them come to it on their own if that is even their path at all! My father read a lot about buddhism, talked a lot about buddhism, and acted in many ways according to buddhist precepts...but if he had ever sent me to a Sunday school? There's a part of me that definitely thinks that would have turned me further away and not closer to this practice.

    In the second quote, I feel that I know exactly what Risen means and agree 100%, but the phrase "make this up as we go" even modified as it is by the word "authentically", could be very much abused and add to the ala carte attitude here in the States. For buddhist practice to spread here in the West that's exactly what must happen, but I don't think it going too far to say in some hands that statement could be dangerous. Just a thought...perhaps a slightly paranoid one...but likely a necessary mindfield for us to cross.

    Thanks for posting it Fugen!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Dosho wrote:
    In the second quote, I feel that I know exactly what Risen means and agree 100%, but the phrase "make this up as we go" even modified as it is by the word "authentically", could be very much abused and add to the ala carte attitude here in the States. For buddhist practice to spread here in the West that's exactly what must happen, but I don't think it going too far to say in some hands that statement could be dangerous. Just a thought...perhaps a slightly paranoid one...but likely a necessary mindfield for us to cross.
    I think you're absolutely right on this Dosho. Personally, I feel that there are very few people in the Zen world who could actually say this with complete respect and sincerity. For many others it would come across as greatly disturbing to me.
    Like you said though, this could also be easily misinterpreted in the wrong hands as an "anything goes" practice. Or, sadly, may just reinforce this as an existing idea which is already out there!

    Gassho,
    John

  9. #9

    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Hello,

    just my two "shot from the hip" novice-priest cents, please take with a pinch of salt.

    All that is needed for any kind of spiritual practise and inquiry to be authentic is a truly radical willingness to face what is, instead of chasing after what one wants. If your will to no-holds-barred truthfulness is present, any activity becomes authentic practise (though it might not always be skillful).

    If you are more concerned about a cultural look, your favourite theology (God/Gods/no gods/ pink unicorns in a rainbow heaven), about becoming the Samurai or Kung-Fu Panda of your dreams etc., no matter how many official seals, initiations and certificates you can accumulate, it will all be in vain.

    Not to say that there are not very sound reasons for trying to stick with structures that might have proven useful for hundreds of years....all I'm saying is one shouldn't lose too much sleep about whether one's practice is authentic in relation to Asian traditions per se. If you can't recognize IT in a dirty trailer park, what good is all the incense? Just steer clear of thoughts of gain in any way.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  10. #10

    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Notice that i plan to plagiarize this :
    8)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hans
    If you can't recognize IT in a dirty trailer park, what good is all the incense? Just steer clear of thoughts of gain in any way.


    Gassho,

    Hans Chudo Mongen

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Be careful tho, trailer parks attract tornadoes you know
    On the other hand, your temple attracts earthquakes; so what's the difference, right :roll:

  12. #12
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    And for those REALLY attached to the Japanese tradition, here is Han's posting again. Now, if you don't understand this Jundo and Taigu you're not real Zen Buddhists and the Zen Buddhist police will have to come and reposses your papers: :lol:

    ???にちは?

    ち???ど???? - 司*の????私の?つの"?'??????? ??????は"?ひとつまみの塩で? てく*????

    精???な練'と??で????と?調? の???????種?の??に?要な?と ?代???に??????????の?'追?? ????????に?面?????の???? な?欲で???禁?????の???に? ?の???*?????*???べての ??は?*??な練'?そ??は常に巧み ではな???????ま?????にな?? ???

    ?な?は?ど??なに?くの?式の?? ??な?の夢などの??*?????? ???????にな???とにつ?ての???? ?'???な?の好みの?*??//????のな????/?の天の????の????????? ???要で???*????????? ??と??????積でき??証???は?そ ??は?べて??にな??ま???

    ??年??....?べて私??って???* ?に便??証???て?????????な? ??*に??に???のに??常に妥? ???な??と?'?って????で ?1つは????の練'はの??で??? ?ど??につ?ては?*???ま??失っ はな??な?isそ????????の伝 との?????な?????????? ???でIT?'認*?できな?*?は?? ???のは??べての??で?????* の???な??で????の????'避 ????


    ????

    ???Chudo Mongen

  13. #13

    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Hey Treeleafers -

    Just a quick note to say hello. Glad to see that some of my comments stimulated a conversation here! I talked with the reporter for just over 45 minutes and we convered a wide range of topics. Interesting to me which ascpects of the conversation she choose to pull out, and the way she framed the Buddhist Teachers Council meeting.

    The issue they were facing had been percolating for years on blogs, in Buddhist magazines and on the sidelines of spiritual retreats. It often played out as a clash of elders versus young people, the preservers of spiritual depth versus the alleged purveyors of "Buddhism-lite." Organizers of the gathering wanted the finger-pointing to end. The future of American Buddhism was at stake, they said.
    She was a really nice woman, and this part is really for drama and has no real correlation to the experience. Most everyone there was in a spirit of mutual respect and earnest dialogue.

    - Rev. Rinsen

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    Quote Originally Posted by Rinsen
    Hey Treeleafers -

    Just a quick note to say hello. Glad to see that some of my comments stimulated a conversation here! I talked with the reporter for just over 45 minutes and we convered a wide range of topics. Interesting to me which ascpects of the conversation she choose to pull out, and the way she framed the Buddhist Teachers Council meeting.

    The issue they were facing had been percolating for years on blogs, in Buddhist magazines and on the sidelines of spiritual retreats. It often played out as a clash of elders versus young people, the preservers of spiritual depth versus the alleged purveyors of "Buddhism-lite." Organizers of the gathering wanted the finger-pointing to end. The future of American Buddhism was at stake, they said.
    She was a really nice woman, and this part is really for drama and has no real correlation to the experience. Most everyone there was in a spirit of mutual respect and earnest dialogue.

    - Rev. Rinsen
    Hi Rinsen Sensei,

    Thanks for dropping us a line. Great to have you here at Treeleaf!

    Gassho,
    John

  15. #15
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Re: Article: At a crossroads: Buddhism in America is facing a

    WZEN.org is currently playing two talks on the conference topic.
    http://wzen.org/broadcast-schedule/weekly/

    Check out
    • Sounds from Zen Mountain - Mondo with Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei
      One Flavor Zen Dharma Talk - Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

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