What’s in Here

American Buddha was the first insurgent Buddhist voice, the first to speak out against a system of thought that is devoted to subverting democratic values with nostalgia for theocratic feudalism. Here are some of the articles that broke through the wall of silence.

 
 

Another View On whether tibetan buddhism is working in the west

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 backwardness. 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.

 
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INNER REVOLUTION -- ROBERT THURMAN GOES BACK TO THE FUTURe

Have you read Robert Thurman’s new book, Inner Revolution – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Real Happiness? From the subtitle, you'd expect to find a blend of Jeffersonian democracy and Buddhist psychological independence. Sort of the best of the West, and the best of the East. Good government from the West, healthy spirit from the East. The subtitle, taken directly from the United States Declaration of Independence, borrows a solemn ring of credibility from that hallowed political document. Little would you suspect that never once in the book's 322 pages would the Declaration of Independence be mentioned. Yet that is the case. Because strangely enough, Thurman has rejected democracy as the governmental system worthy to sustain human happiness, reserving that signal honor for theocracy.

 

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