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June 19, 2013

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In a more general sense, though, I agree with you. People come to Buddhism for whatever reason, and suddenly "get it all." It's often an improvement (if you want to judge such things) over what they might have been chasing after before, so who wants to get too bugged about it? Do they REALLY "get it" though, after a year, or two, or 10, or 20? Who cares? They are living their lives.

Why do we know "what Siddartha saw when he became awakened" is what we should want to see? I'm not saying it isn't either. It seems like an odd metric, though, unless you're attributing to something called "Buddhism" something that really is more universal.

It isn't hard for me to imagine that "what Siddartha saw when he became awakened" is what I might like to see. But it seems odd terminology to me and I'm not sure I see the utility in it.

"Many Western teachers, to my mind, are more failure than success."

They are failures because they tried, and failed. The situation in the East is oftentimes worse. They don't even try to understand. They just accept Zen/Buddhism as a family thing or a social status thing, they learn to perform (funeral) rituals, and that's it. It's all just a formality. Since it's a part of their own culture, they never really look into it. Kinda like modern Westerners aren't interested in Christianity. - Buddhism is something exciting and mysterious to the Westerner; to the Japanese, the connotations are entirely different: boring rituals, strange chanting in low voice, funerals, thousands of different idols ... Of course there are exceptions - but the exceptions exist equally East and West. The West is not worse. If anything, the West will save Buddhism, with people like you that are genuinely passionate about it, and spent decades researching it.

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