[Buddha-l] Question for academic teachers of Buddhism

Curt Steinmetz curt at cola.iges.org
Wed Jun 25 18:52:46 MDT 2008

Richard Hayes wrote:
> Our experiences are quite different it would seem. In my experience the
> dividing line seems to be whether the language of choice is English or
> an Asian language.

I think the thing that gives it away is that the Cambodians usually 
practice with the Cambodians, the Japanese with the Japanese, etc. You 
do not see (please correct me if I am wrong) all the various Asian 
Buddhists gathering to practice non-meditation together. You see 
linguistically/ethnically/culturally defined groups getting together to 
practice a shared tradition. If you really wanted to share that 
tradition with them - in many cases they would be happy to obliged - if 
also somewhat bemused. But unless you speak their language, literally, 
there is little chance of it working out very well.

Also, these groups generally do have teachers, gurus, priests, etc, 
associated with them - and if someone were to go to those people for 
advice on spiritual practice they would probably be able to oblige with 
various kinds of instructions - depending on the tradition. If the group 
is Theravadin, or Korean or Chinese then there is a reasonable chance 
the the priest will be someone who can give would be at least vaguely 
recognizable to a western Buddhist as "meditation instructions".

Curt Steinmetz

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