Having been involved with Buddhism for decades, including being trained and credentialed as a teacher in one of the major movements in Japan, it’s evident that something vital is missing in Western neo-Buddhism. This blog is dedicated to airing issues, facts, and principles concerning “the other Buddhism.” By “the other Buddhism” is meant the tremendously rich heritage excluded by anglo neo-Buddhist constructions watering down/dumbing down the tradition to three representatives! Post-monastic Buddhism is also included.
Western Buddhism has become far too much of a series of sectarianized stereotypes for my liking – stereotypes having little to do with living Buddhism as I’ve experienced it among various Asian traditional movements. Pioneering 19th century interpreters stuffed Buddhadharma into convenient categories of Western thought, deciding it is a religion – and, as such, can be distilled down to doctrines characterizing its various ‘sects.’ Detrimentally relying on one traditional origin myth, it was arbitrarily decided one movement represents a fiction named ‘original Buddhism.’ Where the buddhists traditionally talk of complimentary ‘streams’ and ‘movements’ our Western pioneers turned them into sectarian movements antagonistic to each other. It was also decided that true Buddhism is the stuff monks do, even that monks take vows of poverty (very untrue). Further decisions were rendered concerning what movements constitute true and authentic Buddhism, and what movements are less than the real deal.
The Other Buddhism aims to bring to public recognition the richness and diversity of Buddhism as a practical vehicle to spiritual awakening, emotional intelligence, irreversible awakening, and the equally valid non-monastic and post-monastic integrative buddhisms. Some recourse will be made to primary texts, especially the rich, powerful guiding mythic image informing Buddhism’s majority tradition, the bodhisattva/awakener.
My qualifications include a MA in Buddhist Studies from a Buddhist graduate school, and Kyoshi certification granted by Jodo Shin Shu Hompa Honganji-ha in Kyoto, Japan in 1972. Kyoshi is the Shin equivalency to a roshi in Japanese Zen. Since the 90s I’ve integrated Buddhist metapraxis with athleticism/play as bodhibuilding.