Author Topic: Buddhism is the new opium of the people  (Read 13031 times)

Daiho

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Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« on: March 23, 2011, 02:30:22 AM »
This is the choice: genuine reform, or a tawdry golden statue in the corner of your living room.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/22/western-buddhism

rideforever

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Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 09:03:23 AM »
I wrote a response

Jeeprs

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Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 09:11:54 AM »
It is totally up to the practitioner. It  can be a delusion, and it can be a path to liberation. Buddhism can be an ego trip, or a way of transcending ego. It is also providing plenty of material for inventive writers, critics and journalists. And don't expect that atheism is going to give it a free pass. When it is realized that Buddhism is also a religious path, the anti-religious will attack it just as they attack every other belief. 

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 10:25:31 PM »
Buddhism fits with the west not as an opiate for the masses but because it is fundamentally empirical in stance, evidential, personally verifiable. Therefore, and as a practical way of life, the Dhamma fits the western framework of scientific rationalism. The transition and reform of Buddhism is well underway and miscalculated by the Guardian. It will only take a few practitioners to work things out for themselves and to personally verify certain stages on the path for Buddhism to dismiss the dogma that came with it, strip itself of cultural agglomerations and get real. It will take only one practitioner to sit on his ass for long enough letting go for there to be a Western Buddha. Then the global reform of Buddhism will begin for real. This is not belief. Buddhism in the west differs as it is largely a lay practitioners' art. It's monkeys and typewriters. The odds of nobody getting enlightened - when so many are seeking truth - are very slim.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

chintan

  • Maun
  • Member
    • Vipassana - Goenka
Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 08:05:29 AM »
It's monkeys and typewriters. The odds of nobody getting enlightened - when so many are seeking truth - are very slim.

 ;D - wonderful perspective.

By the way is it only me or others also had a problem even comprehending what he wants to communicate?

Metta..

Jeeprs

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 08:40:06 AM »
A Buddhist activist called Ethan Nichtern did a review of Zizek's critique of Buddhism in which he noted

Quote from: Ethan Nichtern
The first hint we should have that meditation is not a passive withdrawal into a mental shell is this: Meditating is actually really hard! Things that are passive tend to be easy, right? Watching Project Runway for half an hour is a piece of cake. Watching your mind for half an hour, not so much. The truth is that mindfulness — paying direct attention to what our thoughts do in the present moment — is not at all peaceful, at least not in the “easy” sense of the word. Anyone who has tried it on a regular basis knows this. Why is it hard? Because coming back to the moment again and again is a true revolution against habit, a rebellion against our cultural tendency to always avoid what we are feeling and experiencing. It is this chronic avoidance of ourselves (not the rigorous practice of self-awareness we do on a cushion) that lies at the core of mindless consumer culture. Without having an actual practice, however, there’s no way Slavoj Zizek or any of the rest of us could really see the irony of this realization.

Source

'Without having an actual practice' - that is the key thing here.  There is no way that meditation is an opium for anything. It is the exact opposite of escapism, it is facing the self with no distractions and no barriers.

Sure 'Buddhism' is a trendy part of Western cafe culture, in fact around where I live, stone Buddha figures are very popular garden ornaments. It means nothing, though. Those who really are willing to commit and sit go beyond all these simplistic criticisms.

Incidentally, don't you love the photo in the linked article? It is so obviously a male model attempting to look like 'somebody meditating' but without any actual experience of what it is like to sit in meditation. It perfectly complements the article, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 08:47:18 AM by Jeeprs »

Namaste

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 04:25:06 AM »
Incidentally, don't you love the photo in the linked article? It is so obviously a male model attempting to look like 'somebody meditating' but without any actual experience of what it is like to sit in meditation. It perfectly complements the article, in my opinion.

Maybe the next Buddha will be a guido  :D

rideforever

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism is the new opium of the people
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 03:38:41 PM »
There is no way that meditation is an opium for anything. It is the exact opposite of escapism, it is facing the self with no distractions and no barriers.

I agree with this in general, although I have found that when I am experiencing strong emotions I can attempt to escape by sitting in shamatha which I find calming, rather than sitting with the emotions themselves which involves pain.


 

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