Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
thornbush
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Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by thornbush » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:38 pm

A twofold question:
Name 3 challenges in our present age/time that you think Buddhism is facing now and why.
Name 3 challenges that you face as a Buddhist in daily life and why.

Thank you in advance :anjali:

Namo Amitabha Buddha!

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Lazy_eye
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by Lazy_eye » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:37 pm

thornbush wrote:A twofold question:
Name 3 challenges in our present age/time that you think Buddhism is facing now and why.
Name 3 challenges that you face as a Buddhist in daily life and why.

Thank you in advance :anjali:

Namo Amitabha Buddha!
Challenges Buddhism is facing

-- Challenges posed by brain science. Science, philosophy of mind and religion don't seem well lined up at the moment.
-- Institutional problems such as corruption, political interference, abusive or fraudulent teachers, etc.
-- Declining interest in Buddhism in some traditionally Buddhist countries...Korea, for instance. It's depressing.

Personal challenges

-- I'm skeptical by nature and wish I could develop more faith and trust in the teachings, or gain better insight into the doctrinal issues that give me headaches.
-- I don't have the opportunity right now to study with a teacher or attend a dharma center or temple. Too many other responsibilities...typical householder's problem...
-- Busy/wandering mind.

That's my take. Thanks for the question, Thornbush! Namo Amitabha!
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

nathan
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by nathan » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:48 pm

What could be the problem?

Buddhism can't have problems. Beings can have problems.
Beings can be human and can have buddhist thoughts and can still have problems with being.
Beings can be human and have buddhist thoughts and this can bring to an end all problems with being.
Same problems and same only valid solutions. Not much change in appearances of either.

Only knowledge of buddhism is going anywhere and in recent years an awareness of buddhism has been going all over the place. Is that a problem? Probably not for buddhism as a whole. Why would going out for a walk be a problem? Buddhism is taking a nice little walk in the park called the early 21st century global mindset. It looks to be about halfway through it's hike and thinking about going home again and sitting down. Does buddhism still contain solutions for the problems of human beings? If and when they sit down with it after their little hike together.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by jcsuperstar » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:25 pm

i dont have 3 and 3
but

i think buddhism's main challenge is that all sects are out actively competing for the same number of converts so there's bound to be conflicts (even if its just the silly internet stuff)

and my only problem is laziness, i like most everyone else have everything we need to practice this path, it's just a matter of getting the work done
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by pink_trike » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:32 am

thornbush wrote:A twofold question:

Name 3 challenges in our present age/time that you think Buddhism is facing now and why.

Name 3 challenges that you face as a Buddhist in daily life and why.
Buddhism:

- Mediatization and abstractification.

- Institutional and intellectual corruption

- Scientific and academic scrutiny.

Me:

- Finding time to practice

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by nathan » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:18 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
i think buddhism's main challenge is that all sects are out actively competing for the same number of converts so there's bound to be conflicts (even if its just the silly internet stuff)
Really? I haven't even noticed that. Seriously. What would make anyone else think they could change how I think about things, especially if their practice was doing them some good? People in every tradition seem to 'get it' or not. Whatever else they are arguing for or against is another thing but I would not be a buddhist at all if I had to argue that one kind was better than the others.

The idea of 'coverting' someone into a buddhist of one kind or another has never crossed my mind in my life. How would someone even go about doing that? Why? :shrug: As far as I can see, anyone who would want to convert me into anything doesn't have any buddhism to offer me.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by appicchato » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:50 am

pink_trike wrote:Me:

- Finding time to practice
Forgive the unsolicited view...practice starts when we wake up in the morning and stops (temporarily) when we knock out... :coffee:

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by jcsuperstar » Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:55 am

um one need only read the history of buddhism in asia to see how the school fought over converts, chan vs indian buddhism in tibet, mahayana vs theravada in sri lanka, all the various school in japan have fought (sometimes via wars) with each other.

i've been told by teachers from various schools that other schools arent really buddhism etc...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Ben
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by Ben » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:07 am

Hi jc
jcsuperstar wrote:um one need only read the history of buddhism in asia to see how the school fought over converts, chan vs indian buddhism in tibet, mahayana vs theravada in sri lanka, all the various school in japan have fought (sometimes via wars) with each other.

i've been told by teachers from various schools that other schools arent really buddhism etc...
It doesn't mean that those historical fights are continuing, or have to continue now. What you may find is some of those conflicts were ethnic in origin or there was some other motivation such as access to resources. Historians like to get revisionist with the historical record and portray history with their own ideological agendas and understanding.
Kind regards

Ben
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jcsuperstar
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by jcsuperstar » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:15 am

Ben wrote:Hi jc
jcsuperstar wrote:um one need only read the history of buddhism in asia to see how the school fought over converts, chan vs indian buddhism in tibet, mahayana vs theravada in sri lanka, all the various school in japan have fought (sometimes via wars) with each other.

i've been told by teachers from various schools that other schools arent really buddhism etc...
It doesn't mean that those historical fights are continuing, or have to continue now. What you may find is some of those conflicts were ethnic in origin or there was some other motivation such as access to resources. Historians like to get revisionist with the historical record and portray history with their own ideological agendas and understanding.
Kind regards

Ben
no i dont think they are, but that doesnt mean there wont be "turf wars" in the west also. i highly doubt theyll be to the extent they were in asia though..
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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retrofuturist
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:43 am

Greetings bhante, all,
appicchato wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Me:

- Finding time to practice
Forgive the unsolicited view...practice starts when we wake up in the morning and stops (temporarily) when we knock out... :coffee:
Well yes, I see it the same way but I suspect Pink Trike is referring to formal meditation sessions which I also find hard to schedule given my work and family commitments.

I think another challenge to "Buddhism" is surviving the transition to the West and the modernisation of its Asian homelands... there will be an insistence on ditching that which is not deemed relevant in the 21st century and hopefully those who are taking the knife to Buddhism know how to differentiate between what is Dhamma and what is cultural accretion.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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pink_trike
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by pink_trike » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:13 am

appicchato wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Me:

- Finding time to practice
Forgive the unsolicited view...practice starts when we wake up in the morning and stops (temporarily) when we knock out... :coffee:
Yes, you're right, Bhante A. Thanks for the reminder. :smile:
Last edited by pink_trike on Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by pink_trike » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings bhante, all,
appicchato wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Me:

- Finding time to practice
Forgive the unsolicited view...practice starts when we wake up in the morning and stops (temporarily) when we knock out... :coffee:
...referring to formal meditation sessions which I also find hard to schedule given my work and family commitments.

...hopefully those who are taking the knife to Buddhism know how to differentiate between what is Dhamma and what is cultural accretion.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Yup...my challenge is finding time for consistent, extended formal practice sessions (half day, day, weekend, and longer).

Not a knife...just a screen to filter out the big chunks of 2500ish years of culture add-on.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:00 am

buddhism as a group
1. New age teachers who cherry pick the "feel good" parts, and or claim enlightenment
2. Teachers who have no Dhamma training and pass themselves off as experts
3. The idea Buddhism has a pope and all Buddhists fall in line with them.

Personally
1/2/3. It can be easy to slip out of practice at times for various reasons
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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retrofuturist
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Re: Challenges to Buddhism and as a Buddhist

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:32 am

Greetings Pink_trike,
pink_trike wrote:Not a knife...just a screen to filter out the big chunks of 2500ish years of culture add-on.
Equally apt. I assure you I was thinking of a doctor's knife incisions... very delicate and precise - not a butcher's knife. :geek:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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