great example of white people and their invasive shit
These days, monks in Asia, weighed down by centuries of tradition and custom, have in some cases lost touch with this universal aspect of sitting, and no longer have a clear understanding of why to do it. One Zen monk from Japan who was visiting a Zen retreat center in America observed the enthusiasm and numbers of meditators with astonishment. “How do you get them to meditate without beating them?” he asked. In his training temple in Japan, the young monks disliked meditation, and saw it as an unpleasant burden.
Really? Some white d00d knows best why a Zen monk should be meditating or his relationship with mediation?
Ugh. Anyway. I’m more interested in this paragraph, however:
When [white people] showed up at Sokoji to learn to meditate, Suzuki welcomed them. His Japanese-American congregants were not so sure. Meditation was not their focus. They attended weekly worship services where they recited Buddhist scriptures and prayers and heard a sermon by Suzuki, but like church groups everywhere, much of their activity was social and cultural. Many of the older congregants had been interned during the war, and the temple was still a place for reviving and maintaining Japanese culture as well as a base to be re-accepted into the postwar mainstream culture.
He does on to say how the white people, superior in their practice of meditation, never really interacted with the Japanese Buddhists, rather they held themselves aloft and, well, didn’t actually engage the people who grew up with and lived this culture.
But it really doesn’t touch how the sudden presence of white people (this happened in the 60s before white people started building their white people only Buddhist meditation centres and retreats), acts as a colonizing force for one of the very few public spaces where I’m sure these Japanese people had come to appreciate as being whiteness free.
He goes on to say that maybe the integration of these two communities will be the next stage of Buddhism’s modern revival. Which is curious… because I didn’t actually realize that Buddhism needed a modern revival.
Is it not still existing and thriving in many of the places it was popular? Are there not still long lasting traditions that have many adherents? Or am I dangerously fucking confused about what the fuck this white d00d is talking about.
(like… I know the number of Buddhists took a big hit with the communist revolution in China… but. Um. What?)
Like. Are we really going to ask people in Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, etc. if Buddhism needs a revival in their countries? I get the feeling the answer would be