How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

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How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby James the Giant » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:03 am

My friend persuaded me to try her kind of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, for a few months.
I completely changed my practise to hers, chanted earnestly, studied hard, attended twice-weekly Nichiren groups, and learned a lot.
It was very interesting and VERY different. But I didn't like it, and it's not for me. No sir! So it's back to my good vipassana practise. Whew! :smile:

How do you suggest I tell her and let her down easy?
She is seriously dedicated to Nichiren Buddhism, and I am concerned she'll see my rejection of it as a "Slander of the Law", and that I'll be casting myself into the "World of Hell", as they often say in that sect.
Her sect of Nichiren Buddhism is called Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and they are really keen on insisting they are the only True Buddhism, and everyone else is wrong and ignorant.
So it's going to be hard. Hmm.....

I could tell her the reasons I don't like it, but I feel that would be rude to her, as they are quite serious and fairly insulting reasons, from her perspective anyway.
(To describe the reasons here would definitely be sect-bashing and against the terms of service of any good Buddhist forum.)

So, suggestions?
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:10 am

Greetings James,

I think you'll need to discuss it, because if you can't come up with a resolution, in the long-term something like this could very likely become a deal breaker.

Good luck.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:16 am

I agree with retro!
alhough off topic slightly I would e interested in hearing more about your expierance, and toughts on the practice and 'sect' PM me if you don't mind, but only if you feel comfortable sharing.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:54 am

James the Giant wrote:My friend persuaded me to try her kind of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, for a few months.
I completely changed my practise to hers, chanted earnestly, studied hard, attended twice-weekly Nichiren groups, and learned a lot.
It was very interesting and VERY different. But I didn't like it, and it's not for me. No sir! So it's back to my good vipassana practise. Whew! :smile:

How do you suggest I tell her and let her down easy?
She is seriously dedicated to Nichiren Buddhism, and I am concerned she'll see my rejection of it as a "Slander of the Law", and that I'll be casting myself into the "World of Hell", as they often say in that sect.
Her sect of Nichiren Buddhism is called Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and they are really keen on insisting they are the only True Buddhism, and everyone else is wrong and ignorant.
So it's going to be hard. Hmm.....

I could tell her the reasons I don't like it, but I feel that would be rude to her, as they are quite serious and fairly insulting reasons, from her perspective anyway.
(To describe the reasons here would definitely be sect-bashing and against the terms of service of any good Buddhist forum.)

So, suggestions?

There's nothing you can do. Let her be offended. It's her problem, not yours.

What if she was a Scientologist? Would you still be uncertain of how to react? Is it only because her group purports to be "Buddhism" that you feel the need to avoid offending her?

You could put it lightly and say, "It's just not for me". If she presses you -- and she probably will -- you can try to avoid discussing it. But if she continues to press it, lay it on hard. Let her know exactly how you feel. She won't like it, but what else can you do?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:17 am

Sokka Gakkai is very controversial and has been excommunicated by the main Nichiren School in Japan.

From what I understand their main problem is lack of properly trained teachers and the tendency to worship their president, Ikeda. So people have very different experiences depending on which centre they started at. Ansanna on ESangha is well-versed in Mahayana and therefore has a relatively broad perspective, while someone else may have an extremely narrow view.

(I am not a Nichiren or Sokka Gakkai follower myself and have never been - would be good to hear from one).

But there is no reason to feel guilty of the glove does not fit. Theravada is great. To my mind it is more a question of our commitment (and finding inspiring kalyana-mitras and wise guides along the paths).

Good luck!!!

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:56 am

Here's what I would say:

Me: "I don't want to offend, but it's not for me."
Her: "Why not?"
Me: "I just prefer my own practice (Theravada)"
Her: "But why"
Me: "It's just what works for me, I respect your practice, so all that I ask is that you respect mine in turn."

There's really only one response to that:
Her: "Okay, I understand."

If you get anything else it's just a matter of reiterating the point: "I respect your practice, so all that I ask is that you respect mine too."

If she's a true friend, she will understand.

Metta
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby pink_trike » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:38 am

How about 'Theravada is a more comfortable fit" and leave it at that?
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Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:42 am

Greetings PT,

pink_trike wrote:How about 'Theravada is a more comfortable fit" and leave it at that?


It's more about whether she'll leave it at that! :tongue:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:29 am

BlackBird wrote:Here's what I would say:

Me: "I don't want to offend, but it's not for me."
Her: "Why not?"
Me: "I just prefer my own practice (Theravada)"
Her: "But why"
Me: "It's just what works for me, I respect your practice, so all that I ask is that you respect mine in turn."

There's really only one response to that:
Her: "Okay, I understand."

Not at all. There's something much more annoying:

"But what is it about Nchiren specifically that you don't agree with?"

If you give an ambiguous response, she could you press you for more detail and specifics, and provide elaborate rebuttals.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:48 am

James the Giant wrote:My friend persuaded me to try her kind of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, for a few months.
I completely changed my practise to hers, chanted earnestly, studied hard, attended twice-weekly Nichiren groups, and learned a lot.
It was very interesting and VERY different. But I didn't like it, and it's not for me. No sir! So it's back to my good vipassana practise. Whew! :smile:

How do you suggest I tell her and let her down easy?
She is seriously dedicated to Nichiren Buddhism, and I am concerned she'll see my rejection of it as a "Slander of the Law", and that I'll be casting myself into the "World of Hell", as they often say in that sect.
Her sect of Nichiren Buddhism is called Soka Gakkai International (SGI) and they are really keen on insisting they are the only True Buddhism, and everyone else is wrong and ignorant.
So it's going to be hard. Hmm.....

I could tell her the reasons I don't like it, but I feel that would be rude to her, as they are quite serious and fairly insulting reasons, from her perspective anyway.
(To describe the reasons here would definitely be sect-bashing and against the terms of service of any good Buddhist forum.)

So, suggestions?


Just say it.

Why speculate about reactions, that may not happen in the way you imagine, and why fear them? Fear to lose her is in vain...... you will lose her one day anyhow....she is impermanent .

So better follow your own path.

"Walk alone like a Rhinocerus"

Just say: "Hey, I'm more comfy with Vipassana, luckily we're both Buddhists, huh?
It could be worse...."

If she can't handle that, perhaps it's time for you to move on, so you can be "yourself."

If you have to hide your true colors, who will you be?

You can't live like a shadow, can't live a lie forever.

So, toss away all fear. Abandon attachments.

Best of luck.

-A
Last edited by Annapurna on Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:55 am

Greetings James
I tend to agree with Mr Pink and Blackbird.
There's no reason why you can't be economical with what you tell her and avoid a difficult situation.
You don't have to be brutal with the truth.
I would just say 'its not for me' or, 'I prefer vipassana'
And leave it at that.
I hope it sorts itself out!
metta

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:04 am

Perhaps what will determine the outcome is the degree of her attachment to Sokka Gakkai. It is one of the more militant wings of Buddhism, and makes high demands of its members.It is also less tolerant of other forms of Buddhism than is the Buddhist norm. That factor could mean that your options are fairly clear and limited James. I hope I am wrong and that you reach a resolution.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:29 am

I agree with Ben.

The truth can be shared in a way that avoids clashing, that avoids unnececcary hardships and is gentle and caring.

However, the mere fact to disagree and choose another path may be seen as unkind, and cause great irritation.

I know so, because my partner became a fundamentalist Muslim lately, and he asked me to either veil myself, or hit the road.

I chose the road, with all the heartache and tears that initially entailed.

But it brought me to the insights I have now.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:35 am

Annabel wrote:I agree with Ben.

The truth can be shared in a way that avoids clashing, that avoids unnececcary hardships and is gentle and caring.

However, the mere fact to disagree and choose another path may be seen as unkind, and cause great irritation.

I know so, because my partner became a fundamentalist Muslim lately, and he asked me to either veil myself, or hit the road.

I chose the road, with all the heartache and tears that initially entailed.

But it brought me to the insights I have now.


Oh my %&* !!!
I am sorry to hear that Anabel.
You're in my thoughts and metta.
May the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha be your anchor.
metta

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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:38 am

Greetings Annabel,

:group:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Aloka » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:44 am

Re #1, I agree that a gentle approach would be best in this situation.

Annabel, I am so sorry to hear about the situation with your partner. I hope you can find comfort in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Kind wishes,

Dazzle
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby James the Giant » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:46 am

Annabel wrote:I agree with Ben.
The truth can be shared in a way that avoids clashing, that avoids unnececcary hardships and is gentle and caring.
However, the mere fact to disagree and choose another path may be seen as unkind, and cause great irritation.
I know so, because my partner became a fundamentalist Muslim lately, and he asked me to either veil myself, or hit the road.
I chose the road, with all the heartache and tears that initially entailed.
But it brought me to the insights I have now.

Gosh! That puts my little problem in perspective!
Hope you were able to get through that without too much suffering!

Hug! :console:
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:48 am

Thank you all. :group:

It's still hard, sometimes. I suffered, yes. I loved him. I still worry about him... I wish him well.

It would be so great if he could find Buddhism. I still hope for that. He's been through more than one religion.

PS: I owe him a lot too.

He gave me the Dhammapada.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:09 am

There's nothing wrong with bashing sects. They deserve to be bashed. A sect, by definition, has split off from Buddhism, and promotes an unorthodox teaching. Bash the wrong view, not the person following it.

140. Those monks who explain what is not Dhamma as not Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma.

141. Those monks who explain what is Dhamma as Dhamma, work for the welfare, happiness, and benefit of gods and men. They make much merit and preserve the true Dhamma. (Gradual Sayings)

If you just explain Dhamma as Dhamma, without commenting on Nichiren's teachings, then you may be able to avoid conflict. In my experience, though, that will be difficult — because sectarians are often very attached to their wrong views, and if you're not with them then you're against them.
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Re: How do I tell my friend I don't like her kind of Buddhism?

Postby Annapurna » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:35 am

Thank you, Bhikkhu Pesala. :namaste:
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