Friday, 10 October 2008
Internet Buddhist Pyrite
written by Kyle
I am not enlightened, nor claim to be, nor claim I am some Zen master or gifted teacher. I do, however, write this blog for many reasons. One is to offer up a the perspective of an average western guy who by chance fell into Buddhist teachings. I've seen new ways of viewing myself, experienced some pretty special moments of discovery and have had more 'ahhhhh' moments then I could even begin to count. I am nothing special. I have an ego just as most of us do, and I certainly gain some happiness to see people read my (poorly written) posts and maybe see someone take something away with them or even thank me for sharing. Perhaps I feel as if I could offer up some more modern ways of expressing the teachings or showing a point of view from an average Joe.
I have met some great people along the way, especially online. The vast majority of who want nothing more than to share some personal experiences, help people understand Buddhist teachings a bit better or just plain like to ease a troubled mind or two. I have read beautiful prose and poetry, heart breaking stories and uplifting encouragement from men and woman, long time practitioners and the newest beginner. I have seen people who take time from their busy lives who may work 60 hours a week, or who are raising a family of 7, just to lend an ear or offer humbled advice. And in return ask nothing but the satisfaction they get of seeing someone benefit in some way or perhaps a thank you now and then.
Then I've seen a few of these sites, big and well done with lots of great resources and links. Some of these have taken on a wonderful community spirit and the exchange of views and ideas go back and forth between all involved. Some of these sites are even gifted with teachers and writers, some even well known in the field, who give their time and advice, freely, in a genuine human caring way.
However, there is that darker, negative side of a few of these cyber Sangha's and supposed Buddhist sites. I see these "experts", who know each Sutra by heart and are quick to correct and admonish the errors of others. They drip with pride and scorn peering down upon those new to the study. New ideas and expressions of others are not welcomed and they are quickly put in there place. The cry "You are no Buddhist!" echo's about, devoid of compassion, sometimes cheered on by a few of their mindless flock. Yet there advice resonates like regurgitated rehearsed words, cold and calculated. For someone new to the teachings they are about as enticing as looking for shelter in a thunderstorm under an iron tree.
I hear sickening stories of a few bad seeds that take advantage of others, preying on peoples good nature, promising enlightenment and endless wonders for the price of a few bucks. Even some, perversely have entered into the real world, conning their way into the lives of some, stealing money or even sexually taking liberties under the guise of being a teacher.
A site may have glitz and beautiful colors and graphics only the best money can buy, and they may promise all sorts of great things and sacred teachings found nowhere else. However, if at the base of all the glitter and charm is not a compassionate heart, only glad to part with wisdom freely and with the understanding that some come to you not seeking judgment but consideration and humanity, then you and your site ain't worth a damn. To those that break the most basic of human decency and take advantage of innocence, either monetarily or sexually, ...well, I won't let my aggressive side be unleashed here.
If you are one of these disturbed individuals I pray someone forwards this to you to read. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Men and woman come to you from the dark, seeking shelter from the confusion and disorder of our modern world. They look to you for guidance, information and encouragement, not judgment and vanity. You take pride in your knowledge like a prancing peacock on the hunt for a mate and sit in the hollow gutter of your ego. If you fancy yourself an enlightened one, or a Buddha or some Bodhisattva then fucking live up to it.
I am so thankful to all those bloggers, communities and sites that keep the true
spirit of Buddhism and humanity alive and well on the internet. Keep it up, you are the future Buddhism needs and yearns for.
The doors of Buddhism should never have a lock upon them.
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