[Buddha-l] Watery dharma

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Sat Dec 15 13:12:51 MST 2007

Richard Hayes schreef:
> Recent discussions have got me thinking about hyphenated dharma, that is, a 
> combination of Buddhist practice with some other tradition. In particular, I 
> am intrigued with such things as Christian Zen, the Unitarian-Universalist 
> Fellowship, and Quaker Buddhism. One of the phenomena I have observed in 
> following discussions of such movements is that sooner or later someone makes 
> the claim that trying to combine Buddhist practice with something else 
> inevitably results in watered-down Buddhism. 
I guess it depends on your definitions. If trying to get nirwana is your definition of Buddhism, then it would be pointless to mix it with Quakerism, which would by analogy be trying to get to heaven. But maybe Quakers have another idea of their version of Christianity. A point in defence might be that doing meditation in a Christian context is another practice then doing it in a Buddhist tradition although it is the same technique. Running to catch a bus is also quite different from running in the Olympics.  
The aquatic problem comes as far as I can see from losing sight of ones goals or doing things for the wrong reasons. 
I have always wondered how a Catholic priest could practice Zen or yoga for other reasons then health alone, since Christians are already saved by Jesus death and baptism. But if such a priest would say that he does these things to enjoy his state of redemption a bit more, then I guess there's no objection. I only am not inclined to call this a mixture of Buddhism en Christianity. 
Asian people however seem to be more interested in what you do then in your reasons for doing it and in that perspective, one could very well speak of a mixture. 


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