[Buddha-l] Enlightenment for Sale! (was: Review of a review)

Barnaby Thieme bathieme at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 30 10:26:11 MDT 2010

> From: franz at mind2mind.net

> I should add that I do not mean to disparage Genpo Roshi or his  
> teaching. I *do* mean to disparage the way he's marketing it. To  
> commodify the dharma in this way is, in my view, to lose critical  
> distance from a globalized consumer culture that is, again in my view,  
> profoundly un-Buddhist.

Didn't you recently say a true dharma teacher must embody the dharma and actualize it in their teachings? It's hard for me to see how you can say that someone's marketing is disingenuous and exploitative, but their teaching is valid. On the contrary, the way a teacher institutionalizes and economizes their teaching is the clearest indication we can hope for regarding their sincerity, because that is precisely where they themselves have something at stake. That is, where their teaching is more than rhetoric. For that reason I contend that teachers should be very much held 
accountable for how they market themselves. 

I'm not trying to be snarky here, but living in California I constantly see what I find to be a harmful compartmentalization between how spiritual teachings are commodified and what the teachings are, and it concerns me. There is more enlightenment-for-sale in San Francisco, I warrant, than anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of LA. 

Barnaby Thieme
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