binocular wrote:When seeing monks in private jets, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:
"When I see monks in private jets, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see monks in private jets, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see monks in private jets, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust jet set monks - and what they officially represent, namely Buddhism."
"When I see monks in private jets, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
However, these concerns may be so painful or overwhelming that the person who has them will fall into denial, and instead just lash out at the jet set monks or other Buddhists they deem offensive. Because, after all, if all the monks (and all the other Buddhists) would behave properly, then one wouldn't be aware of one's doubts about the Dhamma and could - seemingly - carry on as a happy camper.
That sad, I'd like to see what would happen if those who are critical of those jet set monks would go and visit them and personally tell them what they think about the whole matter, how they find that seeing monks living in such luxury or sin affects their outlook on the Dhamma and their practice thereof.
While I think you've made a decent case, and I'm sorry because I feel like I'm nitpicking: I was hoping for an actual example, given the fact you stated categorically that one of the core problems is something existent
, and yet you gave no such existent examples
of such things happening - Just hypotheticals
. That'd be perfectly fine if your previous post hadn't been so definite in saying:
I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."
I think a better phrasing might have been 'one of the core problems people might face
Or 'actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves might
have about the Dhamma.
Again I'm sorry, because I get the sense that I'm acting like a bit of a prick here calling you out (especially after our tango in the other thread), but I have taken exception to the way you tend to speak quite categorically of your thoughts as if they are solid truths when they are by no means a definite thing, but are 'potentials' and hypotheticals as opposed to concrete things that are occuring.
I take solace in the fact that this niggle I seem to have with your posting style is not personal by any stretch, and I can say honestly that I have nothing against you and there is nothing but friendliness on my end right now.
As to the actual meat of what you had to say there, I don't find anything much to disagree with, it certainly is troubling that some people might experience doubts as a result of seeing corruption within the Sangha, or that they might feel disillusioned. And I think you are right that in such a case where a person might accost said monk they would in fact be much better off dealing with their own doubts, even if it was the incident that brought them to a head. I know I certainly have had such experiences of doubt in the wake of seeing unbecoming behaviour from bhikkhus when I went to Sri Lanka and it's never fun. But one must come back to the fact that Dhamma practice is a personal undertaking, for one's own wellbeing primarily, and as such you have everything you should need at your disposal already. That and a quick reminder of the fact that there are still a lot of good practitioners in this world who legitimately are striving is all I have ever needed to settle my doubts about the veracity of this Dhamma.