Perhaps the most fundamental mistake of Buddhists over the last 2,500 years, and in particular in modern times, is the silent treatment given to the most precious reward of all time we have inherited: freedom from suffering. As a whole, Buddhists are overly shy about what makes the teachings of the Buddha so valuable and most easily the greatest religious wellspring of enlightenment and wisdom in the last 2,500 years. The peaceful flowering of calm and joy that Buddha’s teaching offers all those who try it with everlasting freedom from the pain of worldly concerns and serenity in the path that lies beyond it is unmistakable.
The heart of this teaching is so important and so crucial for humanity ad so different, no other teaching places such prime importance on letting go of anger and hatred, which can on the whole positively influence every race, religion, and creed, can and should be taught to all people over all mediums for all time. The method or rather, patience, of Buddhists to wait for students to come to them has been a hallmark of Buddhist lineages for ages, but that means missing the great mass of humanity not so lucky has cost almost every Buddhist country to fall prey to sinister forces.
Buddhists in Western countries tend to view Buddhism as a “nice” philosophy with exotic oriental embellishments. Buddhists in Eastern countries tend to view Buddhism as something monks do in Temples. The fundamental effort of Buddhist theory and practice, cultivating the mind, is perpetually held in check by waves of beginners and cast aside when the work becomes overwhelming or too difficult. When asked about a different spiritual system of the 20th century, one of the first Western monks Allan Bennett replied “No Buddhist would consider it worthwhile to pass from the crystalline clearness of his own religion to this involved obscurity.” That point, about the crystalline clearness of Dhamma is fundamental to Buddhist ethics and philosophy. I think it is safe to extrapolate that if the observable benefits of a religion or spiritual practice is obscure of any sort, it lacks the wholesome clarity contained in the Buddha’s original teaching. Buddhists should highlight the miraculous and awe inspiringly simple gift of the Noble Eightfold Path to solving human problems in a completely wholesome manner. Indeed, Buddhist leaders are wary of suggesting that this approach is any better to any other approach. Comparing the benefits of Buddhist religious efforts and that of others is decidedly “unBuddhist.” But those differences do in fact exist. Ignoring that they exist does not make them de facto, vanish.
The failure of Buddhists in recent centuries, by personal or institutional failure to make the effort to bring Buddhism to a worldwide audience (an effort, ironically, only started by Christians and Western academics to explain the doctrines of native religions found by colonists) has led to a profoundly disappointing opportunity to alleviate suffering in the present world. How different would the word be today with the sangha in 17th century Britian? How could of the Czar’s been influenced in the 14th century? Today there is an entire lack of Buddhist missions in the countries of it’s early spread and in the present is at threat of being displaced in the countries it is currently widespread is testament of this fundamental failure of Buddhist missionary work. As the wheel of time progresses and global challenges test the very existence of humanity’s capacity to cope with environmental change we strongly believe only Buddhism has the full spiritual maturity to be able to solve the spiritual crisis of humanity. Without a global sangha to lead humanity to a purified moral life and unblemished mind, can leverage humanity away from the dark ordeal of terrorism and catastrophe that lurks behind every frightening news story.
It is up to Buddhists as a whole to choose whether they overcome this kamma with full understanding of the consequences of failure in the current historical epoch. We are greatful (yet saddened by the circumstances) by which the Tibetal Sangha in the 20th century but how this enabled the flowering of Buddhism in the West is heartening. But before a tragedy of equal proportions to the Tibetan diaspora is under threat in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar, and we must do everything necessary to ensure the last remains of Buddhist culture get the support they need to continue the great work. We urge our brothers and sisters to meditate vividly on the consequences that you will bequeath to future generations if we are not successful in checking the damage of fundamental karmic mismanagement of Buddhist countries. Not believing that our religion contains the most precious Triple Jewel in existence in our hearts and minds is a mistake we cannot make again. Our mission is our religion and it is symbolized by the numbers 969.Social tagging: 969 > buddhism > dhamma