January 19, 2010

Buddhists Angry (Compassionately) at Sectarian Bullsh*t

Angry Buddhists on the Airwaves!  I was asked to be a guest of DharmaDude LIVE Monday night and had a great time talking some Dharma with Dharmacharya Gurudas Sunyatananda.  Topics were expansive; ranging from Haiti, Pat Robertson, Zen practice, blogging and the “lines we draw in the sand”.  We even had callers from the Buddhobloggosphere with The Reformed Buddhist and Zenfant’s Home For Dirty Dharma weighing in with their opinions.  The show was an hour long and just ignore my stumbling in the beginning – My live radio cherry was popped but Dharmacharya was as gentle as promised!

Listen to it here

Join Dharmacharya Gurudas Sunyatananda and his guests for an insightful look at postmodern spirituality. Our guest on this week’s show is the blog author of Zen Dirt, Zen Dust, John Pappas. John is a Zen Buddhist practitioner, originally from South Jersey and currently serving in what he calls Buddhist Purgatory, which is known elsewhere as the Great Plains of South Dakota. Join us as we discuss such things as Buddhist sectarianism, the dangers and benefits of attaching to a group or viewpoint, and take a look at some other current events from a Buddhist perspective.
Personally, from my perspective of Dharma and Buddhist practice we put far too valuable a price the “Authentic” practice or teachings and too little on active exploration, experience and free-thought.  When we attach too much to one group/teacher/sect we can lose sight of the Dharma and our practice as a whole.
Suddenly we are attacked by individuals that question us because we don’t have a teacher or the right one.  I am the first to admit that I feel a special affinity to the school of Zen as well as a specific affinity to those I practice with both online and “in the flesh”.  At the same time, though, I attempt to recognize when feelings of aversion to others schools or methods rise up.  That is just an action and mental formation of my ego.  My construct of a “line in the sand” that needs to be washed away.
The only contaminantof the Dharma lies within ourselves when we are narrow-minded or dismissive rather than compassionate and understanding.  This doesn’t mean that we can’t argue or disagree but it does mean that we need to realize that we all walk the path at different speeds, velocities and even direction.
When you despise without engagement and compassion, you impair your own practice of the Dharma.
Focusing on the essential teachings of compassion, altruism, loving-kindness and social justice, and looking at ways to bridge the self-imposed limits on human potential, the Dharmacharya inspires, challenges and entertains listeners. “We’re about exploring spirituality without the chains of institutional religion, religious superstition or separatism,”



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