TRobinson465 wrote:I myself am probably the opposite of you, I have had strong interest in religion since a very young age, all religions interested me actually, not just Buddhism.
Actually, we're not so different. I too have had a keen interest in religions for many years. I have studied religions at university and became interested in Buddhism in particluar because it fitted more with my then
views on how best to live my life. I practiced meditation and found it to be very beneficial in many ways, not least in helping to keep my mind quiet and focussed. My interest in Buddhism happened long before my academic studies and long before I met my wife. But I was, and still am, interested only in some aspects of Buddhism. I'm not interested in being part of all the supernatural aspects of Buddhism, such as karma, rebirth and merit
We are living in an evolving world where times change for one reason or another and I'm sure you will agree that Dhammakaya to a large extent has taken this on board in terms of how they have interpreted some of the original teachings of the Buddha as I understand it. Although, to be fair, is it not true to say that the many different forms of Buddhism have been doing this for centuries?
Anyway, back to the main point here, and that is that I believe that Dhammakaya as an organisation have a responsibility to ensure their followers are not becoming too extreme
in the way they conduct themselves in everyday life.
Interesting, the parts of religion that interested me the most was the supernatural and afterlife aspects. And yes, Dhammakaya is very "merit" based so you are definitely not one of the people who would like it. Millions do though, in part because they find karma and the merit aspects of Buddhism to be useful, I find it useful also since i dont expect to become an arahant in this life and will have to face rebirth again.
I wouldnt say Dhammakaya "interprets" Buddhism differently as a result of the evolving world, at least not that much. i think most of the differences come from approaching Buddhism and emphasizing certain parts of Buddhism to adjust to the modern world. I remember one news article call it a temple that appeals to the "spiritually hungry" middle class, which i think is somewhat accurate. And yes many forms of Buddhism come as a result of changing times, for example in many Chinese traditions of Buddhism, monks grow their own food rather than rely on alms, the reason being in ancient Chinese culture, it was looked down upon to live off others rather than produce things yourself. This type of adjustment to culture and times is pretty prevalent in the history Buddhism and all religions really.
i think you make a good point, I can see why you would want them to tone it down. From my understanding though the temple is run by monastics who devote thier lives to Buddhism, so im pretty sure theres a disparity in what they perceive as extreme and what you perceive as extreme. It should also be known that how you describe your wife, she seems to be part of the devoted subgroup that attends Dhammakaya, which is sizable, but still just a minority of Dhammakaya goers
In answer to your first point, perhaps it could be partly done through their DMC TV channel although from what I've seen of that it is very unlikely. I don't understand very much Thai language but I get the gyst of some of the stuff.
Your second point is nonsensical and completely irrelevant because as far as I know dhammawheel is not an organisation in the same way as Dhammakaya.
As for this point, I agree Dhammawheel is different, but I agree with the concept of Chownahs point, I think the idea you are suggesting makes sense but this isnt that practical in reality. I dont think Facebook is capable of stopping people who go overboard with thier site, they can try, but there's no way to stop this. If you are familiar with the Pokemon Go craze thats been going on in much of the world, including America, many people go overboard with the game, and Niantic has tried to get people to tone it down (i know cuz i play the game lol, thats actually why i was busy last weekend and couldnt reply on here in a timely fashion) But really, no matter what Niantic does there are always going to be fanatics who take the game too far and i think this is Chownah's point. Your suggestion that Dhammakaya try to keep followers from becoming too extreme makes sense, but it doesnt seem feasible. There are people of every kind who are fanatic, apple fans, comicbook fans, etc, and no matter what the organization does there will be people like this.