poto wrote:I don't think that language issues are the only problem. I apologize, I'm not always the best at wording my comments. In the text you quoted I probably should have said, "This is one of the main problems I'm talking about." Also, I will agree that Thai Buddhism is generally not nearly as ritualized as say Tibetan Buddhism, but there are still issues. Some of my comments were speaking about faults with the whole of Buddhism here in the West, not only Theravada, sorry if I caused some confusion.
Yes, sorry if I sounded a little defensive. I just get a little tired of these general discussions that point out this or that fault in this or that country or temple (as in the topic of this thread), and seem to overlook the immensely positive effects of the spread of the Dhamma.
If you don't mind me asking a loaded question, are you talking about places where you have visited and interacted, or are you speaking in general?
My feeling is that the issues are complex and diverse. There is a big difference between how the Sri Lankans here do things, compared to the Thais. I don't really find talking about general theoretical issues particularly useful.
poto wrote:You mention in your Wat that English speaking monks come and go, and the beginners drop off. Has any thought ever been given to allowing or encouraging lay teachers? In my experience the ethnic temples don't seem to be too open to lay teachers. Yet, some of the lay groups that are peer led seem to be thriving.
Yes, we've discussed things like that, but temple politics can be tricky...
And, to switch around a bit, one of the issues that the meditation teachers here are concerned about is getting the Thai people more active in meditation. We (not me personally!) invited a moderately famous Thai Ajahn here for the rains retreat, which really boosted participation by the locals. And he just took a New Zealand lay person back to Thailand with the aim of him ordaining...