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Buddhist organised religion in Myanmar

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I had a discussion with a friend yesterday who had spent some time in Myanmar recently, and she related to me some experiences she had had there which caused her to largely give up on Buddhist organised religion. I found it quite difficult to listen to, because in giving up on organised religion she had also cut some ties with the dharma.

Basically she had come across some situations where Buddhist monks were organising violence against the Rohingya people, they were taking money donations in an organised fashion from the very poor at harvest time, they were playing games on smartphones, and so on.

In general I ended up agreeing with my friend that organised religion often ends up being a parasite on the society it lives in, and rarely offers much in return. There are a few exceptions like the Thai Forest monks, but on the whole the behaviour seems hard to condone.

Where do you stand on Buddhist organised religion in general?


  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I'm very impressed with Buddhism in Thailand. It seems to mostly serve the genuine needs of the Thai people. As with any other group of people, there are a few bad eggs, but the Sangha in Thailand is important in holding the culture together. Personally, I'd like to see monks do more outreach (not proselytizing) as Western ministers often do, but it's not my culture to make such decisions.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't really have an opinion on whether it's good or bad. It's too broad to categorize that way. The monks in Myanmar have been misbehaving for a long time. But they don't stand for the Buddhism I know and practice. Just like the Phelps church doesn't stand for most Christians. There are screwballs in every bunch.

    In hierarchies (which all organized religion has) you always run into problems with humans becoming addicted to control and other attachments. But their failure to understand their own religion and work hard to practice it doesn't influence my ability to do so.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Where do you stand on Buddhist organised religion in general?

    On a personal level...I don't really see Buddhism as a religion (organised or otherwise) ...

    Organised religion is (from what I gather), when people can and do (more often than not) become too attached, I guess it's no different for those who see Buddhism as a organised religion...

    It would seem humans and organised religion are not compatible...History has proven this over and over again...

  • 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
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As a heretic, rhino sutra follower, I consider our uniformed branch symbols, much like statues.

    My behaviour is not exemplary but I don't persecute Muslims, Pagans, Windows users or the Sour-Sangha and their demons. In other words, how I behave is my primary responsibility ... [could do better]

    I am quite happy to say when I am a disgrace or call out those fuelling hate, whether that is 'radical' wahhabism, sangha hijackers, lame lamas or the phone fuelled trump or other mind manipulators etc

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    Some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!...

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
    meet them at the door laughing,
    and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.
    —Bodhi Rumi

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @federica said:
    This is disturbing, too... @vinlyn...?

    Yes, I'm aware of that situation. An outlier, as there will be in any "organization".

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