This and That Blahblahblah


Was just going to leave it at that but perhaps blahblahblah is not sufficient.

Gave myself a couple of weeks holiday from doing much Internet stuff. Nice.

Read a few things that I could have gotten on a soapbox about but decided the climb up there wasn’t worth it at the time. I may revisit some of it later (oops I did later in this post)  if the mood hits or not.

Took an extended stay in Canada this summer and traveled back to India during this hiatus. Nice stay at the Hong Kong airport as a friend happened to be on the way to Bangladesh and we both had a couple of hours to kill, so a good conversation and coffee was had.

Arrived home to find Manoj (who I live with here) has had the whole place painted and a lot of electrical and other problems sorted out nicely.  Am always happy to see his smiling face at the airport at 2AM.  He’s not all that keen to come to Canada. “Maybe one time.” he says.  But he may just be placating me.

Things chug along.

Noticed this blog got listed on the Tricycle website somehow! Gasp. Will I still be able to tear into the Buddhist glossies with the same saber wit as always? (a little dull recently though) Sure why not.

Some want to get into Buddhist branding (OneCity blog) and others want to rewrite the precepts to encompass the brewing of beer-ask the Tibetans about that-they’ve been making Chhaang for years (and having had a taste of it in times gone by it ain’t that bad) or take in the Shambhala training on that and related topics. Something for everyone!

And the usual crews want to step up the SECULAR CRUSADE against religious Buddhism or whatever it is.

In fact, if I do nothing else for the next few months with my space here at Beliefnet other than help clarify that Buddhism is not a religion, I’ll feel that my time was well spent.  Jerry Kolber in comments on the OneCity blog.

Will there be enough interest and entrepreneurial spirit by the great leaders and dharma teachers in the West to forge something new, something that speaks to our culture in a way no other tradition can do? Kyle on Reformed Buddhist blog

Sounds a little “Crusady” to me. So what will be accomplished by all of this thought and effort to “enlighten” us ignorant, superstitious, religious types? Weeellll  I suppose there’s a name in lights somewhere-such things like “The man who brought a religion to it’s knees!!!” or “The man who brought a Diet of Worms to Buddhism!” (did ya get the reference to Martin Luther there?!) YESSS!!! You too will get your own Wikipedia page for the effort in another hundred years or so. It won’t help much in dealing with the Great Matter but who cares about that shit anyways?

There might be a co-authorship with that Hitchens guy or some other famous anti-religious crusading Atheist dude. Could fill the bank account quite nicely. Maybe even a guest spot on some talk show.

And who needs ethical guidelines  (or other “religious” crap like that) to get in the way of a good time anyways! Best to just make it up as we go along. If there’s collateral damage well that’s their karma! My New Age friends told me so.
And of course a few people will be ever grateful for their release from the suffering of repetitive strain injuries caused by having to iron all those stupid robes day and night!

It’s highly unlikely that the BIG NAME dharma teachers are going to throw off their robes and go frolic naked in Times Square in celebration due to this BIG NEWS that Buddhism isn’t a religion. (though wouldn’t that be quite a sight!)

So you know if these folks want to make some kind of secular sect due to their queasiness with anything smacking of belief/religion/tradition who cares? Call it contemplative science or logical enlightenment or or drunken boxing or any sort of brand that comes to mind. I am sure a couple of hundred million religious Buddhists around the world couldn’t give a shit about it and right now neither do I much.

It’s all the fucking politics of semantics anyways.


10 comments on “This and That Blahblahblah

  1. After spending years battling with prison administrations on the issue of the practice of Buddhism (any sort, secular or otherwise) in prisons. I’ll take Buddhism as a religion that is protected under that quaint document known as The Constitution. Yes, it’s a piece of paper ( actually a rolled sheep skin George…) but it’s OUR piece of paper! So for the sake of our rights to practice, let’s leave it as a “religion” and practice it as we will.

  2. Whoa, hold up, I never said Buddhism should be secular. Reformed, yes, but not secular, thanks.

  3. Ah, the great matter. I think people must forget about that after they free themselves from suffering. If only I were so lucky!

  4. Hi Kyle,

    Yes, but take a look at your blog – The Reformed Buddhist Blog – if ‘reforming’ Buddhism means advice on not dating vegan women because they “don’t swallow”, then you are welcome to keep it.

    If ‘Reformed Buddhism’ means images of sex, drunkenness, people with “I f**k on the first date’ t-shirts, and so on, you are welcome to it.

    If ‘Reformed Buddhism’ means posts that disrespect the Pali chants, that talk at length about a Venereable’s testacles, that seem to hold the entire Buddhist religion in contempt and ridicule, then, again, you are welcome to it.

    I’m sorry Kyle, I really have nothing against you personally and I actually think you are quite funny and very smart. But your blog, Reformed Buddhism, does little more than harm the Dharma in my opinion and put Buddhism in a very poor light.

    I mean, would the language you use and the graphic imagery you employ really be appropriate in your own Sangha? Or are you simply on your own, churning out your ‘reformed Buddhism’ as just an individual.

    If so, if your ‘reform’ is simply your own individula take on things with no real connection to a real existing Sangha with which you are actively involved, then this post is entirely acurate in its assesment….. blablablah.

    I seriously wish you peace Kyle.


  5. Thank you Marcus and NellaLou, you guys have given me a lot of great stuff to talk about in my next post! You guys rock!

  6. Hey! Just popping in to say Hi! I saw that you listed me on your blogroll and it is appreciated. I don’t know about a “strong” viewpoint” though – I accept all venues of Buddhist practice, even the secular one.

    Which brings me to my point. Buddhism always melds with the “home” religion of the regions that it enters (Taoism in China, Shinto in Japan, and Bon in Tibet). So I see the secular movement in Buddhism as an example of that melding. It seems that the secular movement needs some sort of contemplative practice sometimes and Buddhism fills that space.

    That being said, I find secular Buddhism somewhat flat and bland but again that is just my opinion.

    As per Kyle’s blog. Yes it is definately the “shock jock” of the buddhoblogosphere (damn I hate that term) but it does keep things moving sometimes and it needs no “real” connection to a Buddhist school or sangha to be topical. We all have our own takes on the Dharma and how to express it. Some just prefer to do it with squirrel testicals.

    @ Kobutsu – It always seems to me that when people argue over the term “religion” they really are just arguing over that damned term and nothing else. Just like I have calling my station wagon a station wagon so I call it an “urban SUV”. It still doesn’t change the fact that it is a station wagon. People can wag their tongues as much as they want – Buddhism will always be a religion.

    • On the religion thing my opinion is similar to yours.

      If Kyle wishes to be known as the Andrew Dice Clay of the Buddhist blogosphere that’s his prerogative.

      I have seen a recent post on his blog attacking me personally, another blogger, my Buddhist views which he has labeled “insane”, my liberal politics, and in conjunction with that has posited me as some kind of race traitor and a whole whack of other stuff. It’s so childish there can be no reasonable response. If he is “hated” by anyone it is not me. I have said that directly to him before. There have been times of reasonable debate between us but that is no longer possible.

      There is not much point in debating with the Diceman. He is always right. So in that light neither he nor his views will be mentioned here again.

    • Sometimes it is amusing. Sometimes it is helpful to clarify matters. Sometimes it is trivial and hurtful. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference in the thick of it. But I am leaning towards a little more consideration of the points of debate and a little less of the drama and personality issues.

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