Oct 9th, 2010
It’s almost to the point that there’s a flavor of Buddhism for everyone, especially in the West! From A is for Amida to Z is for Zen, there are groups and teachings of all stripes … the monastic and the “out in the world” types … traditional and tradition breaking … many teachers in between, mixing and matching. The Western Buddhist world comes in ten thousand colors and flavors!
And that can be GOOD! I have never been a “my way or the highway, one size fits all” kind of Buddhist. Different folks may require different medicines for what ails them. Find the path and teacher(s) right for you.
All you have to do, though, is avoid the snake oil, the image driven jive and hype, soothing but empty cliches, crazy cults, charismatic charlatans and ego maniac gurus professing “freedom from ego”, downright crooks and con-men, New Age dribble and pseudo-psycho-babble, fast food drive-though spirituality. Also, don’t fall into “spiritual materialism” … shopping around in the Dharma department store for the fluffy and flashy, for teachers of ‘anything goes, feel good philosophies’, “teachings” that just say what we want to hear (and not what we need to hear). Oh, and if you do stumble on a worthwhile practice, be sure not to quit too fast … as soon as it becomes a little demanding.
Do all that … and you’ll be just fine!