Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:01 am

Alan your no's two three and four appear to be designed to filter out certain kinds of Buddhism.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:14 am

Hi Alan,
alan wrote:Do you believe we are all interdependent?
Do you believe in "Buddha Nature?
Do you believe we have "No Self"? If so, what is the goal of you meditation?

I think the questions asked are about attitudes towards the relative importance of dana, sila, bhavana. Perhaps there should have been more specific question about sila.

Your alternatives are rather technical, not really about attitude to various aspects of the Path. Besides the first two I quoted don't have much relevance to Theravada.

Metta
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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby A Medic » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:04 pm

1. Are you a Buddhist?
Yes
2. Are you interested in Buddhism because of the meditation?
No not entirely.
If you are a Buddhist ;
3. Do you see ‘ meditation’ as most relevant to the Dhama pracctice rather than other social meritorious activities? why?
Yes I do. I believe for me meditation is a chance to directly confront our "self".
4. Do you think to give material requisites to monks (Dana) can generate merits across Samsar (transsferring to next lives)?
and how this activity is important to you?
Honestly I don't know. I try not to think of stuff in the terms of next life, and stuff.
5. Name (can be a fake name), nationality, sex, status (monastic / lay), education (such as BA etc.) , martial status , age
Casey, American, male, lay, in college, single, 25



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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby alan » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:36 am

Take a good look at those questions. Are you familiar with what in politics is called a "push poll"? It is a tactic designed to elicit a response--one the poller wants.
Now, I'm not saying these are the same. But boil down the questions. What do we see? In my opinion it is this:
How much do you give? Why don''t you give more?
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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:16 am

Hi Alan,
alan wrote: What do we see? In my opinion it is this:
How much do you give? Why don''t you give more?

I don't really see it like that. While it might be worded better, I see the questions as probing different attitudes to the Path. The Buddha taught people generosity and virtue first, as a foundation for meditative development, and that's the way most Asian people I know understand the Path. Some in the West see the Path as just meditative technique. Those questions will certainly reveal that difference in attitude.

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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:24 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, I read the questions as an attempt to prove or disprove a similar hypothesis.

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: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:15 am

Actually, though I know the "theory", I do find thinking about these questions challenging.

Would I skip my morning meditation to make breakfast for the monks at my Wat? Which action would be more meritorious?
Ummm.... I could claim my cooking can't compete with the women who do that... :thinking:
Excuses, excuses...

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Re: Attitudes of Western Buddhists: 5 Questions to Answer

Postby shjohnk » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:18 am

I am confident this is not a 'data mining' scheme as it was posted by a member of the Sangha. I guess if you are skeptical, the best thing might be to just ignore the survey and let the people who feel so inclined answer it. As for what questions to ask, surely the person who is doing the research is clear what kind of information they are looking for?
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