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  • hardie karges 4:09 pm on September 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Japan, , , , , , Tibet, ,   

    Buddhism and the Dialectic of Deliverance… 

    Buddhism needs no fancy metaphysics nor linguistics, multiple hells nor forty-two flavors of emptiness. Kindness and compassion are enough, metta and karuna and all that jazz. Which is one of the singular beauties of the faith, of course, that almost nothing is required up front, but some goodwill and a policy of non-aggression, ahimsa, such that oftentimes simply doing nothing, absolutely nothing, is the preferred path to advancement, simply because all other options are of lesser benefit.

    Some sects of Buddhism prefer a more elaborate presentation of gods and goddesses, but this is entirely optional and the historical Buddha himself had none of it. In fact, I’m not sure that the historical Buddha would even recognize Tibetan Vajrayana, or Japanese Zen, as something of his own inspiration. But such is the evolution of culture and language, so that a random mutation can be almost guaranteed to occur every eighty years or so, just like the DNA from which we all descend.

    But that doesn’t mean that Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists have nothing in common. They do. It’s just that these two almost-opposite branches of Buddhism are poised like the horns of a dilemma to offer themselves up as starting points for the next phase of dialectical Buddhism. So, given the superstitious and elaborate nature of Vajrayana and the sparse linguistic and meditation-oriented nature of Zen, what would be the next logical step for Buddhism to advance, at least in the West, that great field of dreams left to conquer?

    It just might be the original Theravadin style, with or without the religious trappings, so a more secular but traditional Buddhism, for lack of better terminology. And this is the current situation in the West, where those two extremes have found highest favor with the freedom-loving West, while the more disciplined original approach has found little favor—until now. Because the current acceptance of secular Buddhism goes back to the Early Buddhist roots in many important ways, but without karma, rebirth and past lives. The only question is how all of this will play out I the long run. My fingers are crossed. We are in need of some new synthesis to advance forward…

     
  • hardie karges 7:16 am on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Rinzai, , , , Tibet,   

    Buddhism is all about love—sweet dispassionate love… 

    img_1111It has long been predicted that Buddhism’s future is in the West, and for better or worse, that may very well be true. So the question then becomes: what kind of Buddhism would that be? For purposes of dialog and dialectic, I see the two chief protagonists to be the Thai Forest Tradition and Zen, both of which have numerous and faithful adherents in the West, and both of which can claim some purity of faith and doctrine…

    Tibetan Buddhism I imagine has as many or more adherents as either of the above, but is already mixed-and-mashed to the max, so the purity of doctrine is just not there, for better or worse, not to mention modern sex scandals, a dubious devotion to physical reincarnation, and a generation-jumping karma of retribution that just won’t quit. This was the final chapter to a previous crossroads, in Asia, and what worked there, and then, will not likely work here, and now… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:05 am on March 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , caste system, , , , , molecular biology, , , , Tibet   

    Buddhism, Rebirth and DNA… 

    img_1773The year 1953 should have been a big one for Buddhism. Something to do with Tibet, you’re probably thinking? No, something to do with the discovery of DNA, I’m thinking, because that meant that we Buddhists would no longer have to twist ourselves into human pretzels and insert our heads halfway up our… meditation postures…

    …just to Ptolemy-like add another feedback loop of ellipses and eclipses to somehow justify and make sense of rebirth, reincarnation in sheep’s clothing, rather than just toss the whole thing out as an outdated vestige of a previous era, in which learning was nascent and science non-existent… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:54 am on October 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chogyam Trungpa, , , , , , , , , , , , Tibet, ,   

    Buddhism 301: Do I save myself, or do I save the world? Decisions decisions… 

    img_1893I’m paraphrasing, of course, but this is the question that has plagued—no, let’s say intrigued’—the sangha (Buddhist community) for two and a half millennia, more or less, if not in so many words, then in so many actions, cutting to the chase, and allowing for interpolations and extrapolations, i.e. whether to think big, farming ideas and allowing for fierce and free debate, or to think small, on the achievement of individual ‘liberation’ and the purging of ‘defilements’ from the composite makeshift personalities that we call ‘I’…

    And if that’s an oversimplification, then it’s for a worthy cause, ’cause sharper focus is what’s needed for Buddhism to escape the same fate in the West that it met in India a millennium ago, going down in defeat largely because of its inability to distinguish itself from a resurgent ultra-nationalistic Hinduism and an insurgent Islam, such that Buddhism simply got lost in the shuffle of competing meditative traditions and could no longer count on its fall-back position as the non-Hindu alternative… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:32 am on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Tibet,   

    Buddhist Karma: more than just cause and effect… 

    img_2116Karma is one of the major tenets of Buddhism, and one of the most misunderstood. The issue of past lives I’ll save for later; first let’s deal with this life. The basic idea is that if you do good things, then good things will happen to you. And if you have to take at least one religious tenet on pure faith to qualify as religious, then I’ll take that one, which I firmly believe, that by doing good, the world is thereby incrementally vaccinated against evil. Thus karma is frequently called the law of ’cause and effect’, BUT…

    That’s not exactly correct. It’s better than that. It’s more than that. It’s purer than that. If I give you a five-spot and you hand me a hot dog, that’s not karma. That’s business, and bad health. Thank me for my custom, bloke. And if I pick up the neighborhood kids to take to school on Wednesday, because that’s my day to man the carpool, then ditto. That’s an agreement, therefore a transaction, maybe not business, since no money changed hands hand, but not karma, either… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:54 am on April 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Tibet   

    Separation of Buddhism and Politics, Church and Hate… 

    img_1987No, I’m not a Trump apologist, though I know a few of his supporters, and they’re not bad people, not necessarily, though there are always a few baddies on both sides. I have yet to ‘un-friend’ anyone simply because they’re a Trump supporter, though that possibility rises in direct proportion to the extent that they choose to talk about it. When you’re from Mississippi you learn to choose your words carefully, if not STFU entirely, which is my greatest lesson so far from Buddhism: we all talk too much and say too little…

    I am one of the few Dems I know who doesn’t dump friends because they’re DJT supporters, as long as they know how to STFU. Repubs should learn that trick, too. And many of them aren’t arch-cons, anyway, but conspiracy people, just like many of Bernie’s burners. And then there are Dems who wanted Trump to win just so that he could fall farther harder, and I can almost see that, just like the reasons to support ISIL, someone to shut down economies for the purpose of reducing Global Warming… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:36 pm on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I like your emphasis on inclusiveness. The challenge is to go beyond differences to find similarities … or, at least, points to agree on. The discourse needs to deepen and become more creative … easier said than done. Your post is a well informed and argued start …

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