Why Buddhism is not growing?

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DooDoot
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by DooDoot » Wed May 29, 2019 1:01 am

Manopubbangama wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:03 pm
Buddhism in Burma is alive and well and this is the country that will carry the torch of the sasana for at least the next 100 years.
I imagine the primitiveness of the Burmese (who, for example, easily succumbed to foreign Marxism) has resulted in the maintenance of their primitive interpretation of religion; which can be contrasted with Thailand, where economic prosperity and modernity are beginning to have an impact on religious life in Thailand, a country that is 95 percent Buddhist but that in the last 30 years has seen the number of Buddhist monks decrease by about half. See video here: https://www.pbs.org/video/religion-and- ... -thailand/ . Thus, in Thailand, for example, the primitive interpretations of Buddhism are probably declining but the modern or true interpretations probably growing.

Qatar/GNI per capita
128,060 PPP dollars (2017)

United Arab Emirates/GNI per capita
74,410 PPP dollars (2017)

United States/GNI per capita
60,200 PPP dollars (2017)

Saudi Arabia/GNI per capita
54,770 PPP dollars (2017)

Australia/GNI per capita
45,780 PPP dollars (2017)

Poland/GNI per capita
28,170 PPP dollars (2017)

Thailand/GNI per capita
17,090 PPP dollars (2017)

Sri Lanka/GNI per capita
12,470 PPP dollars (2017)

Myanmar (Burma)/GNI per capita
5,830 PPP dollars (2017)

5,830/17,090 = 34%

MN 135 appears to say material wealth comes from good karma made in past lives. If so, it appears the average Burmese has made 34% or 1/3 of the good karma made by the average Thai in their past life.

:redherring:
SarathW wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:06 pm
In my opinion, Buddhism is not growing due to the misunderstanding of the teaching and not practicing true Dhamma... As David said we need more monks who can set examples by their behavior to other people.
I sense the above may be accurate. In Thailand, the common people appear to not understand Buddhism very well but the past maintenance of their traditional culture I sense was helped by the multitude of monks. In other words, the people were "carried" along by the monks but now monks are in decline. My impression of Theravada is monks view common people as "puthujjana" therefore view them as unsuitable for learning about Buddhism.
SarathW wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:06 pm
Due to this, the Buddhists are an easy target for the conversion by other religions. Many Buddhist changes their religion due to economic benefits and status of other religions.
Yes. I sense this is true. In Australia, it appears many Asians convert to Christianity.
SarathW wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 10:06 pm
If you compare this to Muslim men the go the mosque very often and do not consume alcohol. Due to this many Sri Lankan trust Muslims when they come to business dealings. Christians are highly active in the social area. They use education and health and the economic power to impress people.
It seems Christianity & Islam are better designed for society because these religions believe god has a "plan" for creation or humanity.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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pilgrim
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by pilgrim » Wed May 29, 2019 1:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 11:54 pm

Thus, the only ones who would do such a thing, are those who are not yet wise, those who are 'tangled' and 'enmeshed', and see some benefit in evangelical expansionism. Arguably, this logic accounts for why only Dhammakaya is the only "Theravada tradition" (loosely defined) that does this kind of activity.

Metta,
Paul. :)
That's the common mindset Paul, but Buddhism has a history of active and determined missionary work starting with the Buddha himself. There are many instances of positive motivations for expansion in modern times too. Mass meditation retreats for lay people are a recent innovation esp the very successful model of Goenka's self replicating retreats. BSWA and Ajahn Brahm also has been very innovative in using the Net for dissemination. Unfortunately these initiatives are few. On the other hand, I know of monks and organisations which go out of the way to shun publicity - limiting retreats to a small circle of members only, or disallowing their talks to be video recorded, declining to have a webpage, etc. Of course, they would have their reasons for doing so but it would appear that propagating the Dhamma to more beings isn't a priority and this accounts for the poor growth of Buddhism.

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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 29, 2019 2:12 am

Greetings pilgrim,

Perhaps it's a subtle distinction, but when the Buddha said that the Dhamma is the greatest of all gifts, I believe he meant the Dhamma itself, as opposed the Buddhasasana, the Sangha or any other concept which might potentially be mapped to "Buddhism".

Returning to the case of Dhammakaya, they are indeed a case-in-point in terms of this distinction between propagating "Buddhism" and propagating the Buddha's Dhamma.

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by pegembara » Wed May 29, 2019 3:12 am

"This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding."

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And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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one_awakening
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by one_awakening » Wed May 29, 2019 4:17 am

DNS wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 4:42 pm
2. This Dhamma is for the contented, not for the discontented.
This one's interesting as many people come to Buddhism because of discontent.
Last edited by one_awakening on Wed May 29, 2019 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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one_awakening
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by one_awakening » Wed May 29, 2019 4:23 am

If you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim or even have no religion, you can still delight in sense pleasure.
“You only lose what you cling to”

SarathW
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by SarathW » Wed May 29, 2019 10:27 am

In fact, Arthur C. Clarke a futuristic visionary, in one of his books, mentioned that Buddhism will be the only religion that will survive by the year 2050 and that scientist cannot hammer it down or destroy it. :idea:
Source:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16297
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by DooDoot » Wed May 29, 2019 10:58 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:27 am
In fact, Arthur C. Clarke a futuristic visionary, in one of his books, mentioned that Buddhism will be the only religion that will survive by the year 2050 and that scientist cannot hammer it down or destroy it.
It sounds like you think Arthur C. Clarke was a Buddha with psychic powers. The way the world is heading, Judaism will be the only religion to survive by the year 2050.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Pulsar
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by Pulsar » Wed May 29, 2019 11:10 am

Why be popular? why be ranked at the top?
Buddha says to Nagita:
May I have nothing to do with fame, Nagita, and fame nothing to do with me.
Whoever cannot obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — as I do, the pleasure of renunciation, the pleasure of seclusion, the pleasure of peace, the pleasure of self-awakening,
let him consent to this slimy-excrement-pleasure, this torpor-pleasure, this pleasure of gains, offerings, & fame
AN 6.42
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
PS Nagita was Buddha's attendant then, this sutta repeats in three different sections with small differences, AN 5.30, AN 8.86.
An impressive message 'not to seek fame', for
fame
interferes with mind's high achievements
.
Goal of buddhism is different from other religions,
self alone is the refuge
is harder than praying to God. A majority of people need a crutch, they feel they fall into an abyss without God, Vishnu or other. For some it is like comfort candy. World thrives mostly on superficial things, and so with time, true buddhism will decline, even as Buddha predicted.
Even to folks who are familiar with Dhamma, practice of the Noble Path is a challenge, just think what right speech means? The practice requires a steel determination, constant awareness. Right view means looking at the world with a renunciate's attitude.

Stuff like the 5 precepts are common to most religions i.e. Quakers, Christians. Without being buddhist there are many very wonderful people in the world, in a general sense.

DNS wrote
2. This Dhamma is for the contented, not for the discontented
.

Not all buddhists I've met are contented, therefore not truly buddhist :) or not truly great people, in a Dhammic sense? Thanks for the reminder.

SarathW wrote
scientist cannot hammer it down or destroy it
SN 56.11 says
And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas
cried out: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion
the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma
that cannot be stopped by brahman or contemplative, deva, Mara or God or anyone
in the cosmos
This too is blessing :candle:

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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by SarathW » Wed May 29, 2019 9:46 pm

Sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude. In the past …

In the future …

At present, too, sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn14.15/en/sujato
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed May 29, 2019 10:40 pm

Greetings all,

Some posts have been split to a new topic: Jews in Buddhism

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

SarathW
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by SarathW » Thu May 30, 2019 9:14 pm

There are few suttas in SN 14 which explain how people converge and come together due to an element.
https://suttacentral.net/sn14-dutiyavagga
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Why Buddhism is not growing?

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 30, 2019 11:56 pm

SarathW wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:31 pm
Why Buddhism is not growing?
I think contemporary Buddhism lacks the social dimension to grow. The suttas appear to place a duty upon monks to teach lay people morality & appear to not place a duty upon monks to teach lay people meditation. Yet contemporary Buddhism is generally about meditation & esoteric matters than lay people cannot really practise effectively. The family orientated are more likely to be attracted to Islam or Christianity because there are few if any Buddhist institutions offering support for families.

For some years, I worked with mass-market meditation retreats but when I eventually became deeply involved I realised mass-market meditation retreats were merely opportunities for most attendants to experience their neurosis & to discuss their moral problems with the teachers. I imagine mass-market retreats in the USA would be opportunities for teachers trained as psychotherapists to acquire paid clients. The lack of moral teachings, particularly sexual, which is the "social dimension", assists in maintaining the demand for these mass-market meditation business enterprises. If people actually knew the right way to live, morally, obviously they would not experiment so much with meditation retreats.
SarathW wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:46 pm
At present, too, sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have a bad attitude come together and converge with those who have a bad attitude. Those who have a good attitude come together and converge with those who have a good attitude.
I quote the above often. Contemporary Buddhism is not mostly catching "gods & humans" in its net, as the Buddha intended. It is mostly catching "hungry ghosts & hell beings" thus become a "therapeutic" tradition rather than a socially orientated tradition. I imagine a "therapeutic" tradition would struggle to grow because it is based in healing suffering rather than maintaining well-being.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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chownah
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Re: Why is buddhism not growing

Post by chownah » Fri May 31, 2019 3:01 am

Why is buddhism not growing? For an answer why not look to the suttas and search out references to the decline of the dhamma?.....oh.....you aren't inclined to do that?.....could your inclination be one of the reasons for why buddhism is not growing?
chownah

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Re: Why is buddhism not growing

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:10 am

Greetings,
chownah wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:01 am
Why is buddhism not growing? For an answer why not look to the suttas and search out references to the decline of the dhamma?.....oh.....you aren't inclined to do that?.....could your inclination be one of the reasons for why buddhism is not growing?
I'm inclined to do that personally, but then, when something like the Ani Sutta gets quoted, some people seem to get upset about it and prefer something more "inclusive". Perhaps this "neediness" is what weakens contemporary Buddhist practice? This theory fits with what DooDoot insightfully said above...
DooDoot wrote:Contemporary Buddhism is not mostly catching "gods & humans" in its net, as the Buddha intended. It is mostly catching "hungry ghosts & hell beings" thus become a "therapeutic" tradition rather than a socially orientated tradition. I imagine a "therapeutic" tradition would struggle to grow because it is based in healing suffering rather than maintaining well-being.
Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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