Modern Buddhism is a Buddhism which tends to over placate. By this I mean Buddhism placates insofar as it makes rather deep concessions to materialism having little or no awareness or compunction about doing so. This leads me to suspect that those who are in the driver’s seat of contemporary Buddhism have little or no deep spiritual interest in Buddhism (which they should); who may even believe that Buddhism champions materialism.
Let me further say, this thought is not far fetched on my part. Look at what they teach in some of our junior colleges and universities.
“The Buddha’s psychological principles [are] derived logically from his materialist metaphysics. Lacking soul or permanent entity, distinct individual personality is an impossibility. What is mistaken for self is only a bundle of attributes (the senses and consciousness) held together temporarily as the spokes of a wheel are fastened around the hub” (World Civilizations, Volume 1, ninth edition, page 114).
How does this grab you? Well, it grabs me the wrong way—by the short hairs as we used to say in the Navy. I can envision, one day in the future, when Buddhism will be all about how to make samsara better, for example, by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, sitting in meditation at least once a day, recycling, and learning to live in the moment as might a modern day Candide in Voltaire's novella, Candide, ou l'Optimisme. And maybe we are already there. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this.
Placating, that is, making concessions to modern life, to a certain extent, can be tolerated I suppose. Yes, it is okay to eat fresh fruits, and even meditate while you are driving your Honda Civic to work. But should the very principles of Buddhism be tossed out which are primarily esoteric; which have to do with the attainment of enlightenment? By analogy this is like getting rid of the chili in the chili beans but still calling the dish you serve, chili beans. At some point somebody has to put a stop to this trend. Indeed, not all change is good.