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

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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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.
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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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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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
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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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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 :)
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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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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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. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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