Saturday, August 22, 2009

Plugging Good Reads

Here's a wonderful article about a twenty-something African-American woman practicing Buddhism in Kansas. Young. Black. Buddhist. Woman. I find her inspirational in a number of ways, including the fact that her writing exudes kindness to nearly everyone she mentions. She also writes about how, given the small sangha and where she lives, that she uses the internet as a way to support and enhance her practice. Given that this is true of many of us writing on-line, I think that is also worth noting. Kyle over at Progressive Buddhism points out the hybrid aspect of her practice, suggesting that this is a trend we'll continue to see more of in the future. Hybrid Practice

Those of who have access to a lot of sanghas, a larger Buddhist community, and who are in the racial majority of our sangha (in the case of most convert Buddhists that would mean white), should do our best to remember we are fortunate. Or ... maybe not. Richard over at My Buddha is Pink writes the following:

"It’s been my experience that “sanghas” or other Buddhist organizations initiated by Anglo individuals tend to attract people who call themselves Buddhist as long as they are comfortable with the “demands” made on them by whatever doctrine they are exposed to. As soon as the requirements become uncomfortable, such individuals discard their “Buddhism” like an ill-fitting garment."

You can read his full article here. Buddhism Light?

Maybe it's more difficult for those of us who have it easy in terms of choice, background, etc. Easy to get greedy and lazy, wanting everything to be just as you think it should be.

Just a few thoughts for you to ponder. Have a good day.


Kyle said...

Good thoughts Nathan.

I'd also point out the many rural communities, made up of both whites and blacks, have little to no access to sangha's either, outside the internet. Perhaps its the converts that lives close to large urban areas are the lucky ones, and not just white people in general. And the trend we are seeing is a major growth sector for Buddhism in the West will come from these rural areas, with generally more conservative folks.

A lot more growing pains on the way. :-)


Nathan said...

Hey Kyle,

I definitely agree with you about rural communities, and access issues. Partly, I brought up the access point because sometimes - like in Richard's post - I think those of us in the cities, who have lots of access to sanghas and other Buddhists - take that for granted. When you have a lot of choices, you can get into "picking and choosing" really easily.

I guess we can all be fortunate to have run into the teachings, however they may come.

Richard Harrold said...

Hi Nathan, an off-topic comment. I've been having trouble accessing the blog the buddha is my dj. The page won't load for me at all, just the header and the right side content. Always shows a page error. But others seem to be able to access it. I can't use the bloggers e-mail me option because of the error. Do you know who the blogger is?