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Another View On Whether Tibetan Buddhism Is Working In The West [Kindle Edition]

Tara Carreon
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

A former American convert to Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years speaks her mind. Her viewpoint is that, although American Tibetan Buddhists have made the decision to adopt traditional Tibetan Buddhist beliefs because they seem authoritative and reliable, this decision has been a mistake. First, she finds that Tibetans themselves suffer from ethnocentrism and cultural arrogance that blinds them to the virtues of Western culture and predisposes them to favor all things Tibetan. Second, she finds American students far too willing to abandon the advantages of our intellectual training and democratic culture of equality in favor of medieval concepts still espoused by Tibetans due to their cultural predispositions. The solution, this student says, is to abandon Tibetan cultural belief systems, stripping Buddhism to its core values of straightforward inquiry and insight into appearance and emptiness, supplementing these values with Western virtues of optimism, creativity, and the scientific method. Such a change in spiritual approach can lead to real cause for optimism and freedom from outmoded notions that merely lead to psychological subjugation. (Length: 6,555 words)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 28 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002FQK4PS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #668,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile question, the answer seems to be no. 11 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This author speaks out against the often medieval mindset that accompanies much of vajrayana in the West. As a practitioner of many years standing she is certainly qualified to make these accusations and she does so in a generally restrained manner that only occasionally becomes a rant. She is not alone in holding these views and indeed I would not disagree with much of what she says. However this essay could be a bit more balanced. I find myself unwilling to totally disregard practices that involve myth and magic, which may still have a place, but perhaps require a more nuanced view than traditional blind acceptance. The essay's conclusion is that a form of Buddhism bereft of asian cultural trappings is the answer. I still feel there is an unresolved question as to where to draw the line. I sense she sides with teachers like Stephen Batchelor in wanting a fairly radical trimming. There are some teachers present and past like Chogyam Trungpa and others who have presented the principles of these teachings in a format that is more accessible to western students without discarding their tantric underpinnings. (For anyone interested in this topic David Chapman has an extensive blog on wordpress that also considers this issue, and which I recommend.) It was necessary to air this topic as a warning to anyone throwing themselves wholeheartedly into a foreign cult/ure without the necessary degree of scepticism, but I would have welcomed further evaluation of ways to take this forward.
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