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Spreading Buddhism - Dhamma Wheel

Spreading Buddhism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Thaibebop
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Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:48 pm

I am not crusading here, but I do wonder about this topic from time to time. I see on campus when people set up stalls and TV, heck even on my my phone I can downloads apps that is nothing more than having the Bible or the Koran on my phone. I never see Buddhism though.

So, are people who practice not wanting to spread the Dhamma? I could understand this as I would be fearfull of being lumped into the same group as the pushy Bible beaters on street corners. Why else would someone not want to spread it?

If you were going to try and spread the Dhamma what would be the best ways and why? I do realize that a lot of us here will say being a living example, or perhaps answering questions only when asked, great answers by the way. However, I am interested in more active aproaches. Should Buddhist wisdom be downloadable apps for people's cell phones? Should people be mailed Buddhist information? We got in the mail last week an invitation to a church presentation. They didn't know us, just mailed it out! Out of the tatics to spread a faith would any work for Buddhism? Should Buddhism have it's own methods?

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:56 pm

Nothing wrong with missionary work, but probably should be done in a gentle way.

"Wander forth, O bhikkhus, for the welfare of the multitude, for the happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of devas and humans. Let not two go the same way. Teach, O bhikkhus, the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing.” Samyutta Nikaya 4.453

Posting flyers to introductory Buddhist meditation retreats, Goenka retreats, etc. at natural foods stores and other places where there might be interest sounds like a good way to go. Of course there is the internet and all of the information that can be found there. But some will not search for it, so flyers and pamphlets are not a bad idea, if done in a gentle way.

I always liked this site, which seems to promote Buddhism very well:

http://www.justbegood.net/
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Cittasanto
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:00 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:32 pm

I work as an IT Architect and we use the word Evangelism when referring to our task of making new technologies known to others, and a few days ago someone asked me "what name do you have, in Buddhism, for the notion of evangelism?". My answer was that the notion of evangelism, as know in Christianity and IT was not that evident in Buddhism, and if there was such a word I had no knowledge of it.

I told that person that the Buddhist attitude was a bit more reactive than proactive, that we were, in general, willing to talk about Buddhism and answer questions, but there was not a strong movement to spread Buddhism in the same way other religious/philosophical groups do.

This person was a little surprised by this, not sure why...
With Metta

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pink_trike
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:25 am

Street corner evangelism is so judgmental. I think the most effective way for the Dharma to be evangelized is by living according to it's recommendations and practicing...in doing so we model calmness, decreased reactivity, and the spontaneous effective compassion that naturally arises as clarity grows - all within the context of our daily lives. In my experience this causes people to ask about the Dharma and we can then talk about our personal experience of it. This approach helps us avoid the "we've got something you need" poison.
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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Thaibebop
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:05 am


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Thaibebop
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:08 am


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Thaibebop
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:14 am


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Thaibebop
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:23 am


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genkaku
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby genkaku » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:41 am

A line that popped into my mind one day was this: "Just because you are indispensable to the universe does not mean that the universe needs your help."

If asked, answer.
If unasked ... well, don't you have something useful to do?

Buddhism would have died out a long time ago if the best it could do was to rely on a fawning, leaflet lifestyle.
Smile just one smile




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Thaibebop
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Thaibebop » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:50 am


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pink_trike
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:07 am

Last edited by pink_trike on Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Cittasanto
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:37 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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zavk
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby zavk » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:48 am

Hi Thaibebop

Interesting questions! :thumbsup:

As I was reading your initial post, I noticed something that got me thinking. In your OP, you couched your question in terms of 'spreading the Dhamma' rather than spreading Buddhism'. I think that can actually present a different perspective on the issue.

The Dhamma as I'm sure you are aware is not strictly 'Buddhism'. In this sense, 'Buddhism' is really a label for particular sets of ways of thinking and acting that, over the course of history, has proven to be very effective for engaging with the Dhamma.

I am not qualified to give a nuanced explanation of what the word Dhamma entails. But from what little I know, some of the qualities of the Dhamma include:

sanditthiko -- to be experienced in the here and now

akaliko -- timeless or unconditioned

ehipassiko -- which can be examined or investigated

Dhamma can also be used in a very general sense to refer to the 'way things really are'. This means that we can 'spread the Dhamma' without necessarily spreading 'Buddhism'. According to the specific circumstances that we find ourselves in, I think we can encourage people to better understand the reality of their present experience. In this sense, people who are working in, for example, healthcare, social work, counselling, education--anyone really--can 'spread the Dhamma' without necessarily evangelizing 'Buddhism'.
With metta,
zavk

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:40 am

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mikenz66
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:18 am

Last edited by retrofuturist on Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected attribution of quote

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pink_trike
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:58 am

The Dharma stands on it's own just fine without the container and institution of Buddhism.
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.

Sanghamitta
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:06 am

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:35 am

Well said, Sanghamitta.

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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Re: Spreading Buddhism

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:40 am

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.


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