Monday, March 3, 2008

Buddhist (convert) community is weak

The current issue of Tricycle magazine (Spring 2008) surprised me in a few ways. First, there are pieces involving both Nichiren and Shin Buddhism. There is an article about conceptualizing religion through sociology and an article about conceptualizing God through beauty (by way of architecture). There is also a feature focus on Gandhi, which has been drawing quite a few responses. And there is an interview with Philip Glass in which he discusses his perspective on the effectiveness of the Buddhist community.

I think that basically the Buddhist community is a weak community. And it's weak because it's guided by self-interests. It's a feel-good community...

Compassion makes me feel good. Meditating makes me feel good. It's not for the welfare of all sentient beings...

You asked if the Buddhist community has anything to offer. In its present form, it doesn't. I find the Buddhist community very complaisant [sic], very self-absorbed.

-from the article "Unbending Intent"
If you don't have online access (neither do I), it's worth a look the next time you pass the magazine racks at your local bookseller. What do you think?

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