mirco wrote:I understand it thus: The culturale roots of the teacher are american.
What about the IMS, founded in 1975? I would think they are far more culturally 'merican than a guy wearing purple robes... how many 'mericans wear purple robes? Seems like he's importing Indian culture, wouldn't you say?
I shudder at the thought of an American Buddhist anything... I get stopped routinely on the street by 'mericans who take affront at my robes, as though I'm an exhibitionist trying to attract attention by wearing something different. I was arrested last year and put in jail because some 'merican thought I was a streaker. If I were dark skinned and had an accent, I'd fit right in with the sikhs and hindu ladies.
No rituals and rites from asia, as you can often find in Theravadan Thai, Sri Lankan, etc. temples and monasteries.
The bottom line for me is that as soon as you say "American", you fit right in with "Thai Buddhism" in my mind, and I tend to think we'll have a hard time getting along... Buddhist is Buddhist is Buddhist. Don't we have enough schisms already?
The point is, I think, that you can find a lot of Buddhist places where there are recitations and rites connected to that very culture the founders come from. Also having the lays reciting stuff in Pali without explaining is quite common, as I heard.
The point is, I think, the clinging to "us" and "them" which is really what you do when you start a new "tradition". Seems like just a euphemism for sect, really. Like the "Thai Forest Tradition", as though the only Thai monks ever to live in forests were the students of Ajaan Mun. I agree with you that most Buddhist monasteries in America are culturally based and often quite far off track as far as Buddhist teachings go, but there are many exceptions, and no need to create a new tradition. Especially an "American tradition".
They also have a trining program for foreign monks at the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center, where tey can learn how to teach Dhamma in that easy language instead of using e.g. Pali terms and not knowing how to explain it in english, because they don't know tha language that well.
If by this you mean to say that the reason monks use Pali is because they don't know how to explain things in English, I think you've just insulted a fair number of people...
And this is the difference: plain english only, easy to understand wording, nothing will disappear in some unexplained exotic mist.
Actually, it is the "unexplained exotic mist" caused by colloquial English that we try to do away with by referring back to the Pali... if Vimalaramsi is really planning to do away with the Pali language, he's truly in a tradition of his own...