genkaku wrote:Buddhism would have died out a long time ago if the best it could do was to rely on a fawning, leaflet lifestyle.
I am not suggesting leaflets, though. I've seen other places people always asking 'how did you find out about Buddhism?' That's a good question. If no one is talking about, how did it spread? Someone talked at some point. So, yes perhaps just answering question is best, I know that is what I have been doing and will keep doing, yet I wonder........
It's interesting that the modern take is that we shouldn't go out on the street corners and preach Buddhism. This is so far from what the Buddha actually taught as to be humorous. But then, in his day, reasoned discourse on what passed for street corners was the norm. At the new and half moon, all the big cities had gatherings of heretics and ascetics and Brahmins who would go and debate each other. The towns and villages may have even had similar, though smaller, observances. And his directive to his monks was for them to each go off in their own directions and offer the dhamma to as many people as they could. So I wonder when the change happened?
Not that I advocate televangelizing or leafleting. I think a calmer and more reasoned approach sets us off as, well, calmer and more reasonable.
For myself, Buddhism has helped me so much that I confess to an evangelist streak. Or maybe it's a bodhisattva streak. Technology is a great way to make Buddhism available to those who want to find it. The question is how do those who don't know it's Buddhism they're looking for find it? My answer is that we should offer the best writing possible on the subject that's relevant. Set up a blog and write about your practice. Words you use in describing your issues will turn up as results in searches by people with the same issues. You can find Buddhism in Second Life, where writing intriguing titles for upcoming topics draw the curious in and let them find out first-hand and in a non-threatening way what Buddhism is actually about. Discuss your practice in youtube videos – title and description are key, just like good writing in a blog would be.
I hope to hear more ideas from folks in this thread – it would soothe my bodhisattva-ish soul (that's figuratively speaking, of course).