Re: Richard Gombrich - Comfort or Challenge
...failure to denounce cruelty and torture, as well as failure to recognize the ignorance at work in holding to tradition and preventing ordination for women!
appicchato wrote:...failure to denounce cruelty and torture, as well as failure to recognize the ignorance at work in holding to tradition and preventing ordination for women!
Having been there that day I was a little surprised he was saying what he did, where he did (Mahamakut Buddhist University)...his address was given in English to a gathering largely made up of about three hundred, mostly Thai, monks with no command of the language...I was wondering at the time what they would think if they understood what he was saying...
pilgrim wrote:"So if we have such a good product, why can’t we sell it?"
Dmytro wrote:Hi,pilgrim wrote:"So if we have such a good product, why can’t we sell it?"
This question explains very well the peculiarities of the Western Buddhism.
It has to be 'sell-able', and therefore has to conform to the Western mores.
mikenz66 wrote:Haven't had time to listen yet but one of Ajahn Brahm's recent talks contains some comments about the address:
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/component/ ... onomy.html
Buddhism and Autonomy
Ajahn Brahm challenges ideas about autonomy and freedom, and about knowledge and faith, in Buddhism and in other religions.
Ajahn refers to Richard Gombrich's keynote address 'Comfort or Challenge?' for the International Conference on Dissemination of Theravada Buddhism in the 21st Century, held in Salaya, Bangkok, Sep/Oct 2010. Click here for the text of the address.
Professor Richard Gombrich is chairman of The Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.
mikenz66 wrote:The discussion of Gombrich is at about 50 minutes. Ajahn Brahm expresses agreement with Gombrich's concerns (even though Gombrich is from Oxford, not Cambridge ).
tobes wrote:For other people who may be interested, the talk was generally about.....well, this may sound strange, but it's true.....the democratic anarchy that defines (or should define) Buddhist modes of organisation.
Gombrich wrote:To start with, let me revert to comfort and challenge. As the Ven Sugandho has written in the conference document, Theravādin missionaries obviously prefer comforting to challenging. Rather than teaching Buddhism to the indigenous people of their host countries, they mainly run cultural centres for the Buddhist immigrants from their countries of origin, centres which indeed operate largely in Sinhalese, Burmese, Thai, etc., not in the language of the country where the missions operate. To run such a centre is not in itself an unworthy thing to do: in the modern world most countries regard providing cultural attachés and consular services as part of their diplomatic mission. But if this is the main and central activity of the mission, it points to an extremely serious underlying weakness in the Theravāda Buddhism we find in the world today: its parochial nationalism. It is outrageous that the vast majority of Theravāda Buddhists, whether monastics or laity, consider only Buddhists of their own nationality to be true Buddhists; and whatever they may say in public, that is indeed what most of them think.
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