franz at mind2mind.net
Tue Apr 12 14:28:40 MDT 2011
Being the author of a book applying Buddhist principles to business, I
thank Timothy Smith and David Living for their defenses of this sort
of mash-up. I have absolutely no problem (obviously, if I've written a
book on it) putting Buddha to work. My co-author (a business
consultant) and I were consistently impressed by the harmony of best
practices in the sangha and the modern workplace. Articulating and
operationalizing this harmony, deepening it through bringing in
further Buddhist insights, seems a very good thing to me.
But Joanna warned,
> I always viewed this trend as a corruption of Buddhist practice
> and teachings, another example of how capitalisim commodifies
> anything, and tries to commodify everything.
I agree with this as well. When Buddhist practices reshape business
practices I am sanguine. But when business practices reshape Buddhist
practices I am intensely disturbed. This is why I come down so hard on
(the now disgraced) Genpo Roshi's Big Mind enterprise, especially in
its 5-5-50 guise. That is a example of, at least to me, blatant
commodification of Buddhism, exactly what Joanna warns against. When
Buddhism is delivered to the people via the mechanisms of
commodification, it loses its ability to critique the structures of
capitalism. Very unskillful.
But, to be candid, I've had my share of critics at author events
taking me to task for what they see as my own contribution to
commodifying the Buddhadharma. They are not entirely wrong.
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