Oh Kristy, what an excellent post :-) My comments are below. . .
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Kristy McClain <healthypl...@...> wrote:
> *bows* to Kirk et al;)
> I address my comments to your last paragraph on what indeed is happening to
> zen in the west. I am by no means a scholar on the topic. I offer my
> observations as I see a troublesome trend. I have been concerned in recent
> years about the commercialization of spiritual practices, like zen.
> Retreats, books, CD's, other media and the internet have made spirituality a
> lucative venture.
The first question asked isn't "How many people could benefit from this?" The
first question asked is ALWAYS "How can we make money from this?" And people
rush forward, happy to pay exhorbitant prices for nothing but empty words and
> Radio programs like Hayhouseradio.com, among many others, suggest they exist
> as a means to "spread the message". Ok, I don't have a problem if people
> have money or not. But I am tired of attraction laws, and affirmations and
> chants and meditations, that propose this is a process of coercing some
> karmic force that can lead you to enlightenment while sitting in a Rolls
> Royce, ( a-la- Louise Hays of Hayhouse). Maybe I'm naively purist, but
> something seems fundamentally wrong to me.
I completely agree. And this has always been true. If you want to look at it
from a christian (western) perspective Jesus said very similar things about the
pharasees and others. Sad but not surprising that nothing has changed in 2000+
years. . . .
> I am puzzled by the statement in all these books that the "answer" is not in
> a book, but it still costs $24.95 to gleen this "truth". Retreat fees are
> outrageous. Omega, Spirit Rock, and the like-- all are reaping big rewards,
> and I do indeed think it has corrupted the translation and transmission of
> the teachings and its history.
I have not attended a retreat in years for this very reason. . .
> One other thought..
> In the west, there has been this effort to manipulate the dharma so as to be
> acceptable to the westernized student mind-set and culture. Hence, the "Big
> Mind" process. While many rave over this technique, it has never worked for
> me. It simply feels like Jungian group therapy. I see value in the process
> for many seeking better self-awareness and coping skills in life.
I think this is exactly correct. And speaking of Jung, I agree with his
assertion that whole cultures can be introverted or extraverted and that
America is extraverted in the extreme - I think this is why most Americans have
so much trouble with zen and other eastern teachings.
> But I don't see how it relates to Soto, Rinzai or any other traditional
> Moreover, though American myself, I am sick and tired of the needyiness for
> self-gratification many Westerners feel they are entitled to. A sense of
> entitlement could perhaps sum up a western mind-set.
I agree most whole-heartedly!!!
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