European Buddhism

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Ceisiwr
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European Buddhism

Post by Ceisiwr »

Why isn’t Buddhism taking off in Europe?
“There is happiness arising from sensual pleasures and pain arising from seclusion; the pain springing from seclusion is better than the happiness arising from sensual pleasures”

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Coëmgenu
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Coëmgenu »

Too many Vespas.
All utterances & all sounds that proceed forth
from the sattvadhātu or the dharmadhātu,
from the land, waters, skies, woods, or hills
are the secret dhāraṇīs of
आँः वाँः & भ्रूँ.
步嚕唵
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retrofuturist
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Craig,
Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:01 pm Why isn’t Buddhism taking off in Europe?
In "the West" broadly, Buddhism has had most success in penetrating "the Left". However, the left in Europe already has a religion, in the form of the European Union.

On the right, Europe already has its religion in various forms of Christian Nationalism and isn't in search of the godless.

And of course, your waves of Islamic immigrants have no intention of converting to Buddhism.

Against that backdrop, what demographic do you expect Buddhism to appeal to?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
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DNS
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by DNS »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:01 pm Why isn’t Buddhism taking off in Europe?
I think all religions are losing members. "The rise of the religious nones" has been reported many times. It is now the third largest "religion" in the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... opulations
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Dan74
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Dan74 »

I think Dhamma-based practices, such as MBSR, are increasingly found in Europe, especially given the dire state of mental health. Besides, minimalists, ecol-activists, yoga/Eastern spirituality people integrate some Buddhism into their lives. So while there may not be much of a growth of people who identify as Buddhist, the influence of Buddhism on people's lives may actually be growing. Not sure.
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Pondera »

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Sam Vara
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Sam Vara »

In terms of "Western" nations, European countries are below 1%, whereas the USA, Australia and New Zealand break 1%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_by_country

I think that's probably down to the general secularising tendency pointed out by DNS - most people in the West are giving up on religious belief - and that pattern is being offset by the small numbers of immigrants who identify as Buddhists. America and Australasia are more attractive destinations for those from traditionally Buddhist countries, so Europe is missing out in that respect. Retro makes a sound point in that immigrants to Europe are more likely to be Muslim, Christian, and Hindu. It would be interesting to know two more points:

1) What are the proportions of Western converts to immigrants? and

2) Are the emigrants from traditionally religious communities more likely to lose their faith when they hit the shores of America and NZ than those they leave behind? And were they likely to be more "westernised" and secular in the first place, less integrated into their religious community back home, as part of the reason why they found the West more attractive?

And then there is the issue of how these things are operationalised. As Dan says, religious ideas can spread by a sort of diffusion rather than wholesale conversion or migration. If a white London-born person believes in reincarnation and a version of karma, meditates, and has a buddha-rupa in her living room, but describes herself as "Wiccan" on her census form, then what sense can we make of the stats? Is she more or less Buddhist than her Vietnamese neighbours who offer incense to the Buddha every day because he'll help make their business profitable?
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DNS
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by DNS »

Sam Vara wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:18 am 1) What are the proportions of Western converts to immigrants?
Yes, I'd be interested in seeing some numbers on this too. For example, in the U.S. there are about 4 to 6 million Buddhists. But how many of those are Asian-American immigrants and their children/grandchildren? I'd guess the vast majority are Asian-Americans with probably about one million of the total Buddhists being Western converts and their children/grandchildren, but that's mostly a guess.

Since most people just accept their birth religion or become secular, I'd say one million is still a pretty good number, but it would be nice for the spread of Dhamma if the numbers were larger.
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by emptyset »

Same reasons it is not taking off in USA. I’m a middle aged white guy in Texas and when people find out I’m Buddhist, they look at me like I have 3 heads. Most people identify with whatever religion they were raised to believe in. They are conditioned and do not question or reject the conditioning.

How many people take the initiative to objectively study the world religions and make an educated decision for themselves? Regardless of what their family or culture expect of them?

Most people are not contemplatives.
"Whoever sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination."
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Ceisiwr
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Ceisiwr »

emptyset wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 6:47 pm Same reasons it is not taking off in USA. I’m a middle aged white guy in Texas and when people find out I’m Buddhist, they look at me like I have 3 heads. Most people identify with whatever religion they were raised to believe in. They are conditioned and do not question or reject the conditioning.

How many people take the initiative to objectively study the world religions and make an educated decision for themselves? Regardless of what their family or culture expect of them?

Most people are not contemplatives.
Yes I think that’s true for a large number of people.
“There is happiness arising from sensual pleasures and pain arising from seclusion; the pain springing from seclusion is better than the happiness arising from sensual pleasures”

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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Cause_and_Effect »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:01 pm Why isn’t Buddhism taking off in Europe?
What kind of weird question is that?

The Dhamma goes against the worldly stream, that is the answer.

Europe, and the West in general is becoming increasingly irreligious and valueless, essentially turning into mara's free domain, to do as he will. Its to large extent an ego centric based culture that generally doesnt like the idea of cosmic accountability, and the reality of kamma and rebirth.

That said, there is the pervasiveness of mindfulness as has been mentioned and I remember the quote of Tibetan teacher who said "Buddhism will come to the West in the form of psychotherapy".
"Therein monks, that Dimension should be known wherein the eye ceases and the perception of forms fades away...the ear... the nose...the tongue... the body ceases and the perception of touch fades away...

That Dimension should be known wherein mentality ceases and the perception of mind-objects fades away.
That Dimension should be known; that Dimension should be known."


(S. IV. 98) - The Dimension beyond the All
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Zom »

I think all religions are losing members.
This 8-)
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Lazy_eye »

It seems to have some appeal in Germany, at least from what I can tell. I used to travel there regularly for work and found there were quite a few Buddhist centers, representing various traditions. I sat with Theravada Buddhists and it was a very nice experience.
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Suddh »

Ceisiwr wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:01 pm Why isn’t Buddhism taking off in Europe?
I think it's actually rising in popularity in most European countries, no?
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Re: European Buddhism

Post by Radix »

retrofuturist wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 3:00 amHowever, the left in Europe already has a religion, in the form of the European Union.
Eh? You call that "the Left"?? Oh dear.
Western Buddhism is the perfect ideological supplement to rabid consumerist capitalism.
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