Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
James Tan
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Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:56 pm

Greetings ,

Buddhism seems to be reserved for the Elite ?!
That's mean only very few can really get benefitted from it ultimately . Many could approach Buddhism but only on the surface level .
Why is it so ? Simply because dhamma is going against the stream of the world . And also it's too profound for many to comprehend.

Is it necessary or does it take something more to attract more people to embrace Buddhism ie the dhamma ?
:reading:

binocular
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by binocular » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:54 pm

To market Buddhism would be to present Buddhism as something to be consumed.

Yet Buddhism is not something to be consumed; even though many people remain on the level of merely consuming it.

James Tan
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:23 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:54 pm
To market Buddhism would be to present Buddhism as something to be consumed.

Yet Buddhism is not something to be consumed; even though many people remain on the level of merely consuming it.
Perhaps, "promoting strategy" to make it easier to understand and applying in daily life ?
:reading:

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DNS
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by DNS » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:48 pm

Yes, perhaps "strategy" is a better term. The Buddha was interested in Dhamma propagation. He was not interested in self-enlightenment only and did teach the masses and advised his monks to do Dhamma propagation.

“Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing.”
Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

In these modern times, probably the best strategy is focusing on meditation classes, retreats, various Dhamma talks and starting their interest that way. I have organized and attended many of these programs and I would say the vast majority attending do not consider themselves Buddhist and then after attending a program, some do initiate increased interest.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:01 pm

Yes, I think dhamma marketing or propagation is very important and helps with one's own practice. Sites like this are an important resource, and there are some extremely talented individuals around who can interpret the dhamma in line with modern needs and sensibilities, without losing the essence of the teaching. For me, though, the most important form of marketing is the natural consequence of a life well-lived within the dhamma. Better than campaigns and strategies is the example one gives in everyday life.

James Tan
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:17 pm

DNS wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:48 pm

In these modern times, probably the best strategy is focusing on meditation classes, retreats, various Dhamma talks and starting their interest that way. I have organized and attended many of these programs and I would say the vast majority attending do not consider themselves Buddhist and then after attending a program, some do initiate increased interest.
I do think many people are much more interested in enjoyment and don't want to attach to religion.
It takes a lot of effort and time , that's what stopping many approaching Buddhism .
I find that dhamma were easier understood by more educated people , whereas , less educated unable to grasp the core teaching of the Buddha. Of course another reason is learning dhamma without a teacher or guidance bear little fruit .
Last edited by James Tan on Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:reading:

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rightviewftw
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:24 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:01 pm
individuals around who can interpret the dhamma in line with modern needs and sensibilities, without losing the essence of the teaching.
How about this?
Jeremy: Y'know sometimes people ask me y'know like "What's your religion and stuff?" And I'm like "y' know it's like RTS." Uh, and they're like, "What's that?" And I'm like, "Y'know it's kinda like, kinda like Buddhism."

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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:34 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:01 pm
Yes, I think dhamma marketing or propagation is very important and helps with one's own practice. Sites like this are an important resource, and there are some extremely talented individuals around who can interpret the dhamma in line with modern needs and sensibilities, without losing the essence of the teaching. For me, though, the most important form of marketing is the natural consequence of a life well-lived within the dhamma. Better than campaigns and strategies is the example one gives in everyday life.
Internet wasn't available in many countries and parts of the world till last ten or twenty years I suppose .
I also think still not many know or aware of the existing of Online Buddhist Forum . Another thing is English might be a barrier for many people . Plus Computer , Smart phone or gadgets takes quite sometimes for one to learn how to use .

To live the teaching is most difficult and challenges always discourage one from following the path .

We need a Concise yet easy to grasp or understand dhamma courses or books or classes for beginner .
Last edited by James Tan on Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:41 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:24 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:01 pm
individuals around who can interpret the dhamma in line with modern needs and sensibilities, without losing the essence of the teaching.
How about this?
Yes, that guy is certainly Ajahn material. :smile:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:48 pm

James Tan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:34 pm
To live the teaching is most difficult and challenges always stop one from following the path .
Agreed, but it is still the most important factor, I think. If we can't live the teaching then we look like hypocrites and nobody will be interested; and if it is impossible to live it, then there is no point in marketing it.
We need a Concise yet easy to grasp or understand dhamma courses or books or classes for beginner .
Done!!

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148 :jumping:

dharmacorps
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:53 pm

DNS wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:48 pm


“Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing.”
Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

It occurs to me though, that in the ancient world with wandering ascetics, there was a cultural value in asking them to teach, and a custom that the bhikkhus only teach when asked. Meaning, monks and Buddhists don't generally go around preaching uninvited. How do we balance those in the modern world? I think having exposure to the teachings on the internet, in-person groups, books, etc is sufficient. Having it available is the best method I would say. If people find the value in it that's great, but often trying to evangelize is more harmful than good.

James Tan
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by James Tan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:59 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:48 pm
James Tan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:34 pm
To live the teaching is most difficult and challenges always stop one from following the path .
Agreed, but it is still the most important factor, I think. If we can't live the teaching then we look like hypocrites and nobody will be interested; and if it is impossible to live it, then there is no point in marketing it.
We need a Concise yet easy to grasp or understand dhamma courses or books or classes for beginner .
Done!!

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148 :jumping:
Would it be possible to have a 10 pages dhamma lessons for beginner starting from introductory of 3 Gems, Refuge and 37 factors etc etc to Liberation ?! A simplified concise map.


How long does it take to finish : "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi ?
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:09 pm

James Tan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:59 pm
Would it be possible to have a 10 pages dhamma lessons for beginner starting from introductory of 3 Gems, Refuge and 37 factors etc etc to Liberation ?! A simplified concise map.
Sure, there are several on the market already, and on-line. And lots of organisations run introductory courses with handouts and readings for beginners. I've taught on them myself.

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Bundokji
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by Bundokji » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:43 pm

I don't pretend to understand the Dhamma, but this is my take from my experience with Buddhism so far.

Like any other religion, some individuals are capable of understanding its deeper meanings better than others probably due to personality traits, natural intelligence, or maybe because they have been around in samsara longer (if you believe in literal rebirth).

While Buddhism is a peaceful religion, it can be more harmful than other religions in many different ways, something not often admitted by Buddhists.

Buddhism's focus on suffering makes it attractive to troubled people. While you can argue that all humanity is troubled, but to various degrees. Buddhism also challenges the common sense perspective of the world causing problems in the process in terms of relationship between the individual and society. I also know people who abandoned their families to seek enlightenment (because the Buddha did so). The Buddhist attitude towards desire in general and sexual relations in particular can certainly lead to problems between many couples. The practice of meditation in most cases results in the knowing faculty receiving more development that the service of the will requires, something most of us do not seem to be designed for!

I remember watching a short documentary about Ajahn Chah and his disciples, and to my own surprise, the video admitted how difficult the practice is at the beginning (not mentioning how long that beginning is) and that it is not uncommon for monks to try to kill themselves!

In this very forum, you would find many followers of a monk who did kill himself, and arguments on what level of enlightenment one is allowed to kill himself (as he would not be doing it out of desire/ignorance).

By trying to observe as an outsider this forum for instance, you would see people with different levels of mental developments, but even those who are brilliant, some of them are really strange. In Arthur Schopenhauer's writings about genius, he emphasized the link between genius and mental illness. The followers of a teaching that causes people to question their existence will have to be somehow queers or maybe even sick!

So, should Buddhism be marketed? not sure!
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

2600htz
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Re: Does Buddhism needs marketing ?

Post by 2600htz » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:21 pm

Hello:

I think propagation of Buddhism was successful, like 10% of the world´s population is a buddhist.
What i think its missing is a)quality of the teachings being delivered (so it doesn´t become cultural buddhism in countries where its already big) and b) emancipation, distribution, countries like Thailand have more than 90% of the population, while countries like mine maybe 1%?, so finding a good meditation center in south america is almost impossible.

Regards.

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