Cultural Appropriation.

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, Apr 24, 2022.

  1. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I don't see what the big deal is with Buddha in the garden. The first thing with Buddhist practice is to withdraw from secular society. Buddha often meditated outdoors.
     
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  2. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    I think the issue is more the use of Buddha statues (or those of any religious figure) as a mere decoration. At my local store, they're stacked next to things like gardening tools and pink flamingo decorations; they're not really dealt with as devotional items but as typical secular garden decorations.
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Devotional practice really isn't the main thing in Buddhism. Transforming your mind is what it is all about. You are digging in the dirt of your mind, pulling unskillful weeds and cultivating skillful crops within the garden of your mind.

    This just might be my Zen training speaking here. Mindful gardening is very Zen. Having Buddha there is an excellent reminder.
     
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  4. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    Yes, sorry, I think I do recall reading that Buddhism is non-theistic (or at least, theism isn't the focus). My main interest and knowledge is in the Abrahamic faiths (and other forms of monotheism), so I'm sadly uninformed when it comes to Buddhism! I do agree that religion/spirituality and gardening mixes well, I was more referring to flippant/irreverent uses of statues of Buddha, Jesus, etc.; when its done genuinely and with respect I think its beautiful. I love Mary Gardens, for example.
     
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  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I'm most familiar with Theravada as practiced in SE Asia. The culture emphasizes respect and devotion of the Buddha and images of him.
     
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  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I stand corrected.
     
  7. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Sure, the culture and the religion are very closely intertwined. The devotion is derived from the thousands of Suttas where people paid respect to the Buddha.

    In the places I'm familiar with, Buddhism is present every day, in rituals and customs - feeding the monks, lighting joss sticks and decorating the home shrine with fresh flowers, making gestures of respect, requesting a chant from the monks... the philosophy and meditation practice is there, but more in the background, pursued by a few forest monks and dedicated laypeople. It's often a bit of a shock for Western Buddhists to encounter the forest monks they may have heard so much about, engaged in hours of chanting praises and prostrating before an image of the Buddha :)

    On the other hand, Zen and other schools in Japan, I have heard, are mostly concerned with funerary rites, and as you say, as a philosophical and meditation discipline for a few dedicated persons.
     
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  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Personally, I would find this perfectly acceptable. The literature is being read. (Unless pages are ripped out of the book in the bathroom, then I would probably laugh my *** off.)
     
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