Hmm, I posted this before really finishing what I meant to say...
mikenz66 wrote:That's a good point Will. Korfield has clearly done a lot of good things and helped a lot of people.
My take on Patrick Kearney's analysis is that the approach of Kornfield (and the others that he comments on) leaves out aspects of the Dhamma that Kearney (and presumably most members here) think are essential for "real Dhamma practise", as summarised in his closing paragraph:
Kearney wrote:Buddhism is not a collection of spiritual or therapeutic techniques. Buddhism is an ocean. If we want we are free to paddle on the edge of the shore, trying a technique here or a therapy there, occasionally getting our feet wet, but staying safely within our limitations. Or we can take the advice of Døgen Zenji, who said: "Arouse the mind that seeks the way, and plunge into the ocean of Buddhism." Ultimately the future of Buddhism in the West will be decided by those who take the plunge, because the paddlers will always draw back and, rather than adapt Buddhism to its new home, will develop new forms of Buddhised psychotherapy. For ultimately we must choose whom we will follow. We can follow Buddha or we can follow Freud; we cannot do both, because they are just not travelling in the same direction.
On the other hand, we should rejoice that Kornfield and others are making an effort to help people by introducing them to some Buddhist meditation techniques, just as we should rejoice any genuine attempt to alleviate suffering by non-Buddhists.
If I want advice on what I consider "Buddhist" practise, I read/listen to Kearney (among others), not Kornfield. However, Kornfield has certainly touched a large number of people.