Dec 28, 2007
Both the 12-Step program and the Buddhist path of recovery from suffering can be described as “recovery from the ego.” Scott Kobai Whitney, resident teacher at the Plum Mountain refuge unpacks how crucial vigilant mindfulness is to both formulations of the path.
There is in the Buddha’s early teachings a concept very much like the 12-Step ideal of true sobriety. It’s called, in Pali, appamāda. In fact, this is the title of the second chapter of the Dhammapada. Like most modern scholars writing in English, Gil Fronsdal translates appamāda as “vigilance.” In the commentary to his translation (Shambhala 2006), he elaborates, saying that it could also be translated as “diligence, heedfulness, watchfulness.” And …
Apr 10, 2007
Historians of religion often repeat the accepted truth that it takes about two centuries for a culture to absorb a new religion and make it its own. Buddhism is certainly not a new religion on the world scene; nevertheless, it may be turning into something new as it is adapted to fit Euro-American culture. And this revised Buddhism might be neglecting crucial elements of the original teachings in favor of values and practices that give comfort to us in the receiving culture. As North Americans and Europeans, we seem particularly attracted to the enticing and psychologized project of spiritual enlightenment, but we are neglecting, at our peril, other fundamental Buddhist values and practice