Friday, August 03, 2012

Critical Ecumenicalism

Subhuti came out with a Buddhist Manifesto.

Go read it, and process what you think, ponder on it.

My feeling was that not much new was said, but it's cool to see it all in one place, but then as I read it, I could feel the spiritual energy coming from it.  Subhuti has a fantastic mind, and he's very active in India and Turkey, and probably a lot more stuff that I don't even know about, including pumping out these amazing essays.  I wish Windhorse would just go ahead and collect them all in a book.  (And reprint Meeting The Buddhas, an awesome awesome book.)  Subhuti is an admirable man.  And by the end of pounding away, he has me wanting to take over the world, create a pure land.  Awesome.

Here is a quote from it:

"The challenge Buddhists face today is to find ways of communicating and practising the Dharma that are truly effective in these new circumstances."

I'm actually having trouble getting quotes off my iPad, so I'll just leave you with this one.  It's a rich document that doesn't really lend to quoting, though there's a lot of interesting stuff in there.  

Googling "Buddhist Manifesto" you only get references to Glenn Wallis' Buddhist Manifesto, from 2009, other than Subhuti's, 2012.  Mr. Wallis has similar themes of getting back to basic Buddhism, which accepting modern developments, founding things on Gotama's teachings.  He sees meditation as the basis, he references the Anapanasati Sutta, and, "careful analysis of the categories of lived experience."  He's afraid that "skillful means" could easily lead to "anything goes":  What would stop us from saying that something was Buddhism?  From there he goes off on solutions that have a faint whiff of recognizability to me, but honestly, I didn't connect ultimately with this manifesto as much as I did with Subhuti's, and therefore I highly recommend Subhuti's as the best on the internet in the summer of 2012--and likely much beyond.


Chrisy said...

Yes felt the same as you Stephen...nothing new but good to have it all in the one place...
Read Subhuti's Women, Men and Angels this week also...can see why it stirred up so many people...hope all is well with you and your loved ones...

S. Bell said...

I only read a chapter of Women, Men and Angels. My feeling was he was trying to prove something I wasn't interested in trying to prove. And I didn't feel like watching someone prove that would be interesting. My friend said people would be offended, then he would come and talk to people and they wouldn't be offended, and then when he left they would go back to being offended. I'm glad the book was withdrawn. Not sure why he felt compelled to write it.