Comments on “Stealth Dharma”

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Open "Stealth"

Wow, I don't know if I read this before and didn't remember it (though I usually comment on every post I read - smile). But this is fantastic and has served as the model for my blog : Stealth Dharma (private) where non-Buddhist buddies of mine are taking the Aro course and discussing a text on neuroscience stuff.

But , as you say, it is not stealth really because I am very up front on what we are doing.

I think your clever idea of preserving the dharma in secular form is pratical and benefitial. Well said, well done. I hope this blog and your others lead to a book someday that does "stealth dharma" for populations who would not otherwise be receptive to the "sugary, weak, hypocritical, and unrealistic" versions of Buddhism out there -- not to mention the lack of efficient transmission power in culturally-soaked, the jargon-laden, the east-west dichotomizers, the zenophilic and more versions of Buddhism to much of the world.

You want to preserve

Anonymous's picture

You want to preserve Buddhism? There is only one way. Get rid of secrecy (completely). Get rid of Lamaism (completely). Make Buddhism something utterly open and utterly published, even for free. Make a site like www.accesstoinsight.org for Aro, which has every single Terma/tantra/teaching openly published, searchable, indexed, etc... In other words, the only way to keep Buddhism is to give it away. Buddhism is being destroyed because you try to keep it to yourself, you try to control it, control how it's perceived, who gets to learn what bits, you try to preserve Lamaism and useless Tibetan baggage and so on. I am sure you know all this. It's up to you to either do it or not. You don't have to get anyone's permission. The rules only exist if you honor them, but no one can force you to honor even one rule.

Playing with the thought soup

Rufus's picture

Preserving Buddhism may be easier if we add certain non-Buddhist ideas to the thought soup.
Take emotional intelligence training, for instance. It appears to be capable of getting people to a stage 4 (Kegan) level of emotional regulation without them needing social support. It also helps them become much more aware of what goes on in their mind. If it became widely practiced, then the notion of being more conscious would enter the thought soup. Thus, it would be easier to explain the benefits of Buddhist meditation to the masses.
(If you are interested in learning more about emotional intelligence training, I highly recommend the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0)
Another example is the concept of psychological agility. Basically, it refers to the ability to fluidly switch between things like selfishness and selflessness and introversion and extroversion; as well as the ability to make creative use of all of one's emotions. If this enters the thought soup as something positive, then it will be easier to market Vajrayana Buddhism. As a matter of fact, the reason I took a strong interest in Vajrayana after learning about it was because I had read The Upside of Your Dark Side.

An assembly required strategy

Rufus's picture

A theoretical solution to the problem that people don't take on whole systems these days is to attempt to break up systems into pieces can work relatively well on their own, sell them separately, and allow people who have received all of the pieces to do some simple assembly.
To give an example with Dzogchen:
non-escapism, psychological agility, and fluid meaning making can all be marketed separately from Dzogchen. Potentially, they could reach a very wide audience.
As you suggest, we may be able to sell Dzogchen meditation cut off from the rest of Dzogchen. As far as my practice is concerned, the only thing left to sell would be access to Tantric and Sutric attitudes as objects of fluid meaning making. If all of these things are successfully sold to the same individual, that as far as I'm concerned they have acquired Dzogchen as a system.