Friday, April 03, 2009

Aaron Lackowski's guest post

Interesting article about the future of Buddhism, taking roots in the USA.

Here are some questions Aaron Lackowski asks:

"How do Americans take a tradition with deep roots in contemplative practice and monasticism and broaden it for a society that will mainly be lay parishioners? How are families included? How are the communities of shared values and social action that are so much a part of American religious life to be included?"

I wonder about these things. There's a question about how I integrate this very personal spiritual approach with my family. They see me meditate, they see a photo on a book cover, they say, "it's the Buddha," and they can chant, "om mani padme hum." They play with my mala (that a friend brought back from Bodh Gaya).

Part of my Judeo/Christian conditioning maybe, I want to indoctrinate my children, really teach them a lot so they know a lot, maybe in a open ended way, but so they know something about the Dharma. I suppose I just need to trust that I'm going to teach them in a way that won't be indoctrination but will respect their individuality. I fear I will hold back out of fear.

The reason why I do feel confident is in part discussed in the following quote;

"y now everyone has heard the Dalai Lama’s apocryphal quotation on Buddhism and science. When asked what would happen if science discovered something that was at odds with Buddhist belief, he replied, “We would change our beliefs.” While some have questioned exactly what the Dali Lama meant, there does appear to be a very different attitude toward science in Buddhism than in other American religions. This is an important distinction that bodes well for the Buddhist perspective. The future of all religious enterprise will, to some degree, hinge on its response to science."

It just feels more comfortable to me that Buddhism is pragmatic and respects the individual. Not that other religions necessarily don't but I never felt it.

No comments: