WARNING! My opinion to follow! ;P As most of you know I do not think my opinion belongs on a blog aimed at promoting the true, pure Buddhadharma, however being an American Buddhist , who has been very very lucky to have found wonderful, authentic teachers and didn’t have the burden of wadeing through “Neo-Buddhism” “Feel good Buddhism” “New age Buddhism” “Buddhism without conviction” “Self Serving Mindfulness and Meditation without Right View ” and whatever else lends itself to this movement of “Feel good Buddhism” , I feel this whole Maha Teacher Council is just as Brad Warner put it so accurately “Oh nice. A self-selected groüp of important Büddhists get together to decide what’s best for the rest of us.”
Is there really a such thing as “American Buddhism” anyway, or has a “Maha Teacher Council” , materialism , and egotism created this thing called American Buddhism? Buddhism is Buddhism, the Doctrine is the Doctrine, any thing else falls short.
My only experience with Buddhism is in America, I do not know what it is like in other countries, but I do know when we have councils whose attendees ( where is the entire list of attendees anyway, still looking for it, won’t someone share?) are less than authentic, ordained Masters of the Dharma what comes out of a council will be less then the entire complete Buddha’s Doctrine, in full, which is the same in Asia, India and America. I am an American Buddhist, can you tell that from the content in my blog? The Doctrine is the same. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there were some authentic Master’s there , and I am certain there were non-Buddhist discussing … well discussing what actually ?!?!? O.0 It still isn’t clear to me , even after reading Rev. Danny Fisher’s interview with Lama Surya Das . ( I assume Rev. Danny didn’t attend, was he invited? If not that says alot in itself, he’s an authentic American Buddhist Reverend )
Did they discuss how to raise funds for Dharma propagation in the America ? Fund books, Sutras and Sutta’s for free distribution?
Did they discuss how to raise funds to build good noble Monasteries in the America?
I really can’t think of anything else more important.
**if you would like to fund books inquire at any noble Monastery or contact the B.A.U.S. ( Buddhist Association of America, NY ,USA ) . IBS ( International Bodhisattva Sangha CA, USA ) is also collecting Dharma materials so they can build Buddhist libraries in prisons. Or Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project So many good places to fund Dharma propagation. How about supporting a new Monastery, Dong Hung Temple Buddhist Education center is building a new Monastery in Virginia USA, is also collecting books for their new libray and the last I heard Dong Hung also needed a new van as their’s was in an accident , Soshimsa Zen-Center in NJ USA is also needing a new van to be able to continue the many outreach programs planned for the future , or help support Monastics in America such as Dhammadharini “Women Upholding the Dhamma CA USA” and Alliance for Bhikkhunis CA USA and last but not least how can we forget to give back to one of our most noble Masters of the Dharma of our time, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s organization Buddhist Global Relief NY, USA &WORLDWIDE. There are many noble efforts to donate to, I regret I can not post them all.
I invite anyone who was at the “Maha Teacher’s Council” to put to rest my concerns, please prove me wrong.
In the Dharma,
Melissa Upasika (just a plain old lay person devoted to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha)
I sincerely thank Brad Warner and MADHUSHALA for blogging their thoughts, concerns and insights and keeping the rest of us who really wouldn’t know about this great “Maha Teacher’s Council” informed. I personally would not have known because I don’t read, subscribe, or give any thought to any person or publication that would have mentioned this great “Maha Teacher’s Council”
Buddhism In America: What Is The Future?. written by Jaweed Kaleen of the HUFFPOST RELIGION
Now for the intent and purpose of me humiliating myself by sharing such strong opinions I ask serious American Buddhist practitioners please read Teaching Buddhism in Americaby Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi “In my view one of the major errors that is being made in the teaching of Buddhism here in the U.S. (and more broadly in the West) is the fl at identifi cation of Buddhadhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) with meditation, especially with insight meditation. I see the Dhamma as having a much more extensive range. It involves at least three essential components, which I would call right faith, right understanding, and right practice. Th e practical side is also extensive, and might be summed up in the famous verse of the Dhammapada (183): “To abstain from all evil, to cultivate the wholesome, and to purify one’s mind: that is the instruction of the Buddhas.” Th ese three principles, stated so simply, are quite compressed. Th ey can be elaborated in diverse ways at great length. At the very root of all proper Dhamma practice, in my view, is proper faith, which is expressed by the act of going for refuge to the Triple Gem. By going for refuge, one reposes faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha as one’s supreme ideals. Th is expression of faith should be grounded in understanding what the Th ree Gems represent. Th us faith, understanding, and practice are intricately interwoven. “
Two styles of insight meditation by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi “On the basis of this choice, we find that meditators divide into two broad camps. One consists of those who focus exclusively upon the immediately tangible benefits of the practice, suspending all concern with what lies beyond the horizons of their own experience. The other consists of those who recognize that the practice flows from a source of wisdom much deeper and broader than their own. In order to follow this wisdom in the direction to which it points, such meditators are ready to subordinate their own understanding of the world to the disclosures of the teaching and embrace the Dhamma as an organic whole. These are the ones who adopt Buddhism in its religious and doctrinal sense as the framework for their practice.” Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
if you are new to Buddhism I suggest reading
What The Buddha Taught by Dr Walpola Rahula and go from there.