(The failure to) Go West

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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retrofuturist
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(The failure to) Go West

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:23 am

Greetings,

Buddhism seemed to travel happily in an Eastern direction across the Asian continent... I'm just wondering what forces stopped it making much progress in the westerly direction too?

I recall seeing that there was once some kind of Buddhist presence in Pakistan and Greece, but what exactly happened? What stopped the Dhamma's westward march?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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appicchato
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby appicchato » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:11 am

Hi Paul,

Hmmm...good question...

I just went here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Se ... lla-search

Just starting to snoop around a little though, and not much...yet... :reading:

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Dmytro
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Dmytro » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:50 am

Hi Retro,

You may find interesting the page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeut%C3%A6

Metta, Dmytro


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retrofuturist
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:09 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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christopher:::
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby christopher::: » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:19 pm

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"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:51 pm

I wonder if they were somehow wiped out or fell out of favour by a more user friendly religion?
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:21 pm

and would have influenced the early formation of Christianity.

How interesting, especially in light of Gnosticism, which had many ideals similar to Buddhism and which was unfortunately utterly destroyed.

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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David N. Snyder
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:38 pm

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho' they come from the ends of the earth!


Rudyard Kipling


I think it was the cultural and religious differences that kept it from spreading West. But thank goodness for Anagarika Dharmapala, Henry Olcott, and others who did make it come full circle to the West and back again.
Image




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Mexicali
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Mexicali » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:46 pm

There are a handful of surviving references to Buddhism in the Hellenistic world scattered around. One says that a Greek monarch converted to Buddhism but there's no independent verification of this.

Not the only, or even main, factor, but one of the huge checks to Buddhism's westward expansion was the rise of Islam.
"We do not embrace reason at the expense of emotion. We embrace it at the expense of self-deception."
-- Herbert Muschamp

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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby vitellius » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:00 pm


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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby genkaku » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:04 am

Smile just one smile




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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:40 am

I love stuff like this. Thanks!

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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christopher:::
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby christopher::: » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:20 am

Pretty fascinating implications. This would make a good movie/book...
Move over DiVinci Codes....



Check out:

300 CE -- Porphyry

ON ABSTINENCE FROM ANIMAL FOOD
BOOK 4: 6-22
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Individual » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:04 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:09 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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christopher:::
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby christopher::: » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:35 am

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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retrofuturist
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:50 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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pink_trike
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby pink_trike » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:58 am

After 10 years of intensive psychotherapy, a monkish life, and nearly 3 decades of practice. Whippersnapper. ;)

I've seen too many people here in the U.S. over the last 30 years lose their minds after they become involved with some types of Buddhism, and worked with too many of them in my private practice. If I was the king of the world, I'd mandate that Westerners start with a decade of strict Theravada _practice_
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Dmytro
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby Dmytro » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:34 am



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genkaku
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Re: (The failure to) Go West

Postby genkaku » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:59 pm

Smile just one smile





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