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Does evangelism really help others?

howhow Veteran
edited October 2013 in Meditation
This came up for me on the recent thread on vows about the wide range of views of them. Some were related to meditative practice and some to the serving of others.

Somewhere between indifference and evangelism is skillful means.
To me skillful means is the active addressing of ones own hindrances that then can help others with theirs. The problem arises when one allows the difficult work of trying to address one's own hindrances to become subjugated by a focus on helping others. Such an imbalance makes the practice of serving others, just another way of solidifying everyone's ego.

Its easy for most of us to see the limits of indifference but for spiritual enthusiasts, evangelism is often not recognized for being just as ego bound. This problem inflicts students and masters alike.

Just try to find a Buddhist teacher in scandal who hasn't surrounded themselves with their own evangelicals.



vinlynlobsterDavid

Comments

  • Yes we don't have to make a project in a heavy way. Kindness is light hearted and with a warm heart. It is spontaneous. We don't have to pump ourselves all up or even we don't have to get a different heart. We are good enough already and when we shine with the joy of meditation automatically we will be clearer and less grasping for generosity. If you are only giving the gift of your own opinions then it is mostly for yourself to relieve anxiety of having someone disagree or 'not see the light'.
    howDavid
  • Evangelism -- an enthusiasm I certainly have felt in the past -- relies on the notion that if enough people agree on what is right and if I agree with them, then I too am right.
    :clap:

    Exactly so.
    That is why a genuine teacher is not trying to generate 'right view as I see it', in others. Not trying to promote ideology, opinions and the latest or most respected dharma understanding. That is the blind leading the blind.
    What the genuine teacher is trying to do is wake people up. Then we can abandon evangelicalism, best dharma practice, inappropriate kindness, practice without need assessment, behaviour modification and 'this is what the enlightened know' conjecturing etc.
    Those who are awake and teachers know what to do, with whom, when and how. What gets in the way of this is the blind constantly saying, 'we see what you are doing, we may be blind but we know what seeing is'.
    You do? Then you are awake . . . only you are not? Run that past me again . . . :screwy:
    The one I love is 'there is no difference between the realized and the z z z . . . '
    True enough also quite a difference.

    Here endeth the lessen [sic]

    howKundoDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    Even Buddha could admit when he is wrong. The only case I recall is when he relented and agreed to let women into his sangha, but still. Yes, having the two sexes co-habitate could lead to greater temptation and lack of focus but what is more important the liberation of minds or the ease of the lesson?

    I think people see more truth in a teacher that doesn't need to be right all the time even if it seems like they are.

    Evangelism seems too close to guru worship for my tastes... How can I see the truth if I'm trusting someone else's eyes?

    Sorry @how... I hope this still ties in but this kind of topic always makes me think of the stunning contrast between Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama. Fairly different vehicles but they run on the same fuel... Is one more awake than the other?
    vinlyn
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    The Buddha was never wrong.
    He never denied women a place in his sangha.

    That aberration was added later.
    Let's just say 'words were put into his mouth'.
    Kundo
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    The Buddha was never wrong.
    @Federica -- So that last bit of food he ate was a deliberate bit of suicide? :)
    vinlyn
  • howhow Veteran
    @ Federica & genkaku
    Not to put this even more off track (I do think that bit about women was a later addition & wrong isn't knowing if food is poisonous or not)
    but
    didn't one of his sermons reportedly cause a number of his followers to commit suicide?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    To say that Buddha was never wrong is to anoint him a God. He was a very, very wise man.
  • how said:

    didn't one of his sermons reportedly cause a number of his followers to commit suicide?

    I have been to sermons and dharma talks that induce that tendency . . .
    :p
    KundoToshBodhivaka
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    I have been to sermons and dharma talks that induce that tendency . . .
    Aside from the cute metaphor, I have seen some that had the literal effect.
  • Aside from the cute metaphor, I have seen some that had the literal effect.
    That is terrible :bawl:
    http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/10/acceptance-of-regret-shame-dread/

    It is why the chemical imbalance that drives people to such desperate measures needs to be addressed. Modern medicine with all its imperfections can aid our friends here.

    Nihilism is no part of Dharma. Well meaning ignorance is no substitute for knowledge. If we are surrounded by potential, hope, love and confidence in our ability to break through, then evangelical dharma, unenlightening 'teachers', Bodhisatvas and the well meaning sangha samsara dwellers are no substitute for a touch of realisation.

    The lectures and sermons that offer us a viable means to support, personal 'salvation' and bring us out of clinical desperation are to be commended.

    I am sure many of have had dharma friends or ourselves have gained the capacity to change our whole being to make a difference.
    http://www.myrkothum.com/10-inspirational-quotes-by-the-buddha-teachings/

    The power of Christ compels you
    oops wrong religion
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    how said:


    Just try to find a Buddhist teacher in scandal who hasn't surrounded themselves with their own evangelicals.

    I question this. Maybe I'm thinking of some Lama in some obscure Himalayan place who took some liberties that he shouldn't have?
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    @Nirvana -- I think @how is pretty much on the money. How many distressed organizations can you look at and not find a willful leader surrounded by yes-men?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Thinking back to my time in Thailand, I'd say it happens as How presents it as often as not. Maybe more often than not.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    O, Genkaku, I agree, but was just scrutinizing this rather canny remark that in some tribe's tongue could be quite pithy indeed.
    Edit: I mean the sentence struck me as quite striking, but some mischievous devil in me had to question it within myself and I was moved to share a note of such skepticism.
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    @Nirvana -- Up with all skeptical devils!
    Nirvana
  • howhow Veteran
    I could have been more clear.

    Single events of serious preceptual breakage will result in a monk disrobing. Anybody can potentially mess up in this way. My sympathies.

    When Buddhist teachers are found to have been doing this for a while (scandal), the common factor that has been justifying or hiding these perceptual breakages from the Sangha, always turns out to be their surrounding evangelicals.

    It is not so much about messing up, but messing up and hiding it. Ya need a shield of yes men & women to do this.
    Nirvana
  • A lot of Buddhists who sleep with their students are open about it.
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited October 2013
    ^: Question
    Scandalous!?????
  • genkaku said:

    Evangelism -- an enthusiasm I certainly have felt in the past -- relies on the notion that if enough people agree on what is right and if I agree with them, then I too am right.

    Good luck with that notion.

    I suppose evangelism is like a drug then. It works to a certain extent. It is like using heroin to avert pain in cancer victims and it works as long as the drug does not wear off.
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