The Problem With Buddhism
I’ve been a Buddhist for thirty years and am truly happy, so perhaps I have some insight…
The Buddha’s teachings are perfect. However, when the teachings move from one culture to another, there are problems, and adjustments are needed. Even though Buddhism is completely comprehensive, it may not be easy to comprehend the incomprehensible 😉 Only through proper instructions and logical reasoning of why and how, and then the putting of those into practice in order to experience, will understanding and realisations take place.
At the moment, we swim or sink, and there is very little back up. If we don’t ‘get it’, then it’s our problem – and there is little compassion shown to such students. People are still busy “acquiring”; they’re still too keen to be given a Tibetan name (I’ve got two!). When asking about problems we were having with meditation, my wife and I have both been told, separately, “You don’t have to meditate. No one’s forcing you; it’s up to you.” Not a helpful response.
The problem is elitism. I heard of an English man who lived nearby, and who was studying in the same tradition and practising the same deity practice as me. I thought, “Wow! It’ll be great to meet up!” At the end of a short phone conversation, he said, “I am addressed as ‘Dorje’” (a Tibetan honorific name): I just said, “Thanks, Greg,” – and we never spoke again…pity.
Buddhism has much to offer this modern, subversively manipulated world. Just yesterday, the front page of the TIMES newspaper ran two articles: “Governments admit to torture and paid $81m to psychologists to devise methods” and “Nearly half the British population are on prescribed drugs”. This is in the year 2014, and logic would wonder why the world was not at peace and why everything is not running smoothly.
The answer is, running smoothly does not make money! How did so much suffering come about? Answer: Greed. The reason why world is in austerity and recession is bankers’ greed; they were allowed – and are still allowed – to make insane profits at the expense of ordinary people. The manipulation comes about through a change in the use of language, and if think we’re free of this manipulation, look up Edward Bernays.
This is what Buddhism needs to be aware of: the suffering of our brothers and sisters, and not what Tibetan name to call your meditation cushion!
I ‘get the teachings’. I don’t ‘get’ the expensive, cultural bells and whistles.
Is there something you don’t ‘get’?