Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

As Compared with the Average Eastern Buddhist, are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Absolutely not
2
25%
Some are, but not most
3
38%
Most are
3
38%
Yeah, definitely
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 8

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christopher:::
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Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby christopher::: » Tue May 04, 2010 3:56 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
You misread my comment.


Sorry about that.

m0rl0ck wrote:
The thing is i dont think we have the buddhist equivalent of the easter and xmas christian here in the west, the way they might in the east.


Yes, true!

Nibbida wrote:This is what Thanissaro Bhikkhu had to say along these lines: "Several years ago, when Ajaan Suwat was teaching a retreat at IMS, I was his interpreter. After the second or third day of the retreat he turned to me and said, "I notice that when these people meditate they're awfully grim." You'd look out across the room and all the people were sitting there very seriously, their faces tense, their eyes closed tight. It was almost as if they had Nirvana or Bust written across their foreheads."



Yeah, this is kinda what i was referring to... but it's actually a "good" thing in many ways, and Asian culture is not so different, actually. It's just that what i've observed is there tends to be much more of a priority placed on education and career then on spiritual freedom and liberation.

When ego and social comparisons dominate this perfectionism and drive for achievement can have negative consequences- many people here in Japan judge themselves and one another by education level, test scores, who's school is best, which company is best, etc.

I've just watched this first hand in our home, with my wife (who is Japanese) and our eldest son who had to take high school entrance exams a few months ago. It's been hell, for her, for him...

:meditate: :jedi:
"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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Nibbida
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Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby Nibbida » Wed May 05, 2010 8:54 pm

Yeah, I'd say the Japanese are an exception to that generality. From what I understand they take the idea of perfectionism and run with it.

Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby Mukunda » Wed May 05, 2010 10:39 pm

I think that, as a general rule, new converts to any religion tend to take it "more seriously", and focus on it more than those born to the tradition, and most "Western Buddhists" are converts. Whether that makes them perfectionists or overachievers, I don't know.

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christopher:::
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Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby christopher::: » Thu May 06, 2010 2:32 pm

Good points.

:thinking:
"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

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby PeterB » Thu May 06, 2010 3:37 pm

So have you drawn any conclusions from your poll Chris, or are you still wading through the seven votes ?

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m0rl0ck
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 06, 2010 4:48 pm

PeterB wrote:So have you drawn any conclusions from your poll Chris, or are you still wading through the seven votes ?


Personally, im finding the fact that the poll got seven votes out of over a thousand members, statistically significant :)
A monk asked Unmon,
"Not a single thought arises: is there any fault or not?"
Unmon said,
"Mt. Sumeru."
~Case 19, The Book of Equanimity

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christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby christopher::: » Fri May 07, 2010 8:02 am

All i learned so far is that i have a perfectionistic aspect to my persona that would very much like to delete this poorly worded poll (and topic) and put it in the trash...

So, guess its been useful in that sense.

:tongue:
"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
Posts: 15474
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Are Western Buddhists Perfectionistic Overachievers?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 07, 2010 8:26 am

Greetings Chris:::,

I don't know about the delete, but I can go you the next best thing and close it.

:ugeek:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Through corruption of the Dhamma comes corruption of the discipline, and from corruption of the discipline comes corruption of the Dhamma. This is the first future danger as yet unarisen that will arise in the future. You should recognize it and make an effort to prevent it. (AN 5.79)

"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." - Thomas J. Watson

Never again...


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