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July 23, 2009


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I love this - have you been reading Brad Warner's blog?

It is sad, but what you are saying here is true. I really don't know from where the "be in the moment" idea came from. As I see it, the mainstream professional dharma teachers need to appeal to broad public to earn a living. They therefore cannot afford to alien the vast majority of Western Buddhists who are mainly looking for a way to cope with their depression or anxiety. Best is then to teach “mindfulness of the present moment” as a substitute for Prozac and Xanax.

However, for a young conservative underground Buddhist like me, the present is a continuous flickering flow of perceptions, sensations and thoughts called mind-moments (cittakkhana). The path of mindfulness requires one to deeply investigate the nature of these mind-moments to see their genesis (uppada), development (thiti), and dissolution (bhanga) in order to gain insight into their three characteristics, to realize that they are impermanent (anicca), that they do not bring satisfaction (dukkha) and that they are not our true self (anatta). The fully realize these three characteristic of phenomena is Nirvana, to be simply mindful of the present moment is to float like a pumpkin on the river of Samsara.

But who really wants to reach Nirvana? Samsara is so pleasant, provided that we find a way to deal with our depression and anxiety! So let’s twist things a bit and assume that Nirvana is Samsara and that form is emptiness. Samsara is then perfect as it is in the present moment. Doesn’t sound very Zen? Yes, that’s 21st century neo-Zen!

I appreciate your post. I don't agree and I think you really overgeneralize what modern buddhism is but that is your prerogative.

preach on!

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