Disgust, horror, and Western Buddhism

Let us turn now, O sisters and brothers, to the Satipatthana Sutta, I:1:6:

If a monk sees a corpse dead one, two, or three days—swollen, blue and festering—he should think: “My own body is of the same nature; such it will become, and will not escape it.”

His mindfulness is established, and he lives detached, and clings to nothing in the world.

And if a monk sees a corpse thrown in the charnel ground, being eaten by crows, hawks, vultures, dogs, jackals or by different kinds of worms—

Or a body reduced to a skeleton, with some flesh and blood attached to it, held together by the tendons—

Or a skeleton, blood-besmeared and without flesh—

Or reduced to disconnected bones, scattered in all directions—here a hand bone, there a foot bone, a shin bone, a thigh bone; the pelvis, spine and skull—

He should apply this perception to his own body.

This is one of the most important types of meditation in Asian Buddhism.

Preferably, you should go to a charnel ground, where corpses are dumped to rot or be eaten by wild animals. Examine the bodies closely, in these various stages of decomposition. If you can’t get to a charnel ground, high-resolution photographs are the next best thing.

The Satipatthana Sutta is the classic explanation of vipassana. Most current Western vipassana systems are based on it. Influential Asian teachers highly recommend this corpse practice as a part of vipassana. Yet it seems not to be overwhelmingly popular among Western Buddhists. Why is that?

I think the answer points directly to the central failing of mainstream Western Buddhism. I’ll get to that later in this post. First, let’s look at how and why corpse practice works.

Disgust and horror in Theravada

Finding your own body disgusting cuts your attachment to worldly existence. And, if you don’t like having a body, you won’t get stuck in one next time. Horror of death motivates you to practice, abandoning all other concern. Here’s the Visuddhi Magga, another key text:

A monk who is constantly mindful of death will be diligent. He is disenchanted with all forms of existence. He has conquered attachment to life… The perception of impermanence grows in him, followed by the perceptions of suffering and non-self [the Three Marks of Existence]… The monk dies fearless, without delusion. If he does not attain Nirvana at that time, then he is at least assured of a happy rebirth in heaven for the next lifetime.

Corpse practice is also considered one of the best antidotes to sexual desire. Theravada sees that as the foremost obstacle to spiritual progress.

If you can manage to see women’s bodies as rotting sacks full of loathsome substances, your lust will lessen. [Meditators are generally assumed to be heterosexual males.] A closely related vipassana technique is called “reflection on repulsiveness,” also recommended in the Satipatthana Sutta. You contemplate each of the parts of the body in turn, concentrating on their disgusting qualities.

The #2 attachment is enjoyment of food. To counteract that, you practice contemplation of food’s inherent loathsomeness. This is one in the short list of standard meditations recommended by the Visuddhi Magga. It doesn’t seem to be hugely popular among Western Buddhists, however.

In both cases, inherent disgustingness is key to the meditation. You view physical reality as truly, necessarily, inevitably, irreparably disgusting. Disgust is the correct response; feeling attraction is a terrible error.

Renunciation and transformation

There are two fundamental approaches in Buddhism. One is renunciation, the main Theravada approach. You lessen the defiled emotions (such as sexual desire, or attachment to tasty food) by avoiding the things that provoke them. Then you use meditation to cut off the remainder.

There is a clear Buddhist logic to this; you can understand how renunciation ends suffering by extinguishing negative emotions.

The other approach is tantric transformation. Externally, you avoid nothing. (Enjoying sex and yummy food are both central to tantric Buddhism.) Internally, you don’t try to get rid of negative emotions; you might even deliberately intensify them. Instead, you transform your relationship with them, so that they cease to be problems. Tantric meditation makes all situations and experiences enjoyable.

Again, there is a clear Buddhist logic. If you enjoy everything, there is no suffering.

(There’s actually a third fundamental approach, Dzogchen self-liberation, but I’ll ignore that here.)

Disgust and horror in Buddhist Tantra

Corpse practice, disgust, and horror are as important in Tantra as in renunciate Buddhism. The practice is exactly opposite, though. Instead of making attractive things (women, food) disgusting, you make disgusting things attractive. Then you can enjoy them.

The key is the realization of emptiness—the fact that things have no inherent nature. Nothing is disgusting on its own account. Disgust is just your emotional response to it. With practice, you can break your habitual perception-emotion linkage. You can transform disgust into delight.

Elsewhere, I’ve written a page about the tantric approach to eating and drinking disgusting things. This is a practical, safe form of Buddhist Tantra; it is not difficult to experience the transformation of disgust into enjoyment.

The most commonly-known tantric corpse practice is chöd. Ideally chöd should be practiced in a charnel ground. There you visualize your own violent death, as horrifying as possible. Then you serve your dead body as a feast for all beings, who find it utterly delicious. Chöd transforms horror into fearlessness, and transforms revulsion for death and corpses into generosity.

Chöd is just the tip of the iceberg. The tantric scriptures are full of horrifying stories and images. Tantric Buddhist art often depicts corpses or parts of corpses. Human bones are used in most tantric rituals.

Disgust and horror in Western Buddhism

I suspect many Western Buddhists would say that corpse practice is just some sort of Asian cultural thing, not particularly Buddhist, and not suitable for Westerners.

Death was taboo in the West during the formative years for leading Western Buddhist teachers. You were supposed to pretend it didn’t exist. The traditional rituals that had made dying a community event were abandoned. Death became a private, hidden, shameful matter.

America was supposed to be hygenic. Disgusting things had no place. Food was, ideally, processed by machines into a uniform paste, to disguise its biological origins: Wonder Bread, Jello, Cheez-Whiz, Crisco, Twinkies.

So, it’s not surprising that when Americans brought Buddhism home from Asia, they left corpse practice behind. (In fact, they left out most meditation methods.)

But corpse practice is not an Asian cultural thing. Resistance to corpse practice is a Western cultural thing. Corpse practice is directly aligned with the essential principles of Buddhism. It is a powerful tool for either renunciation or tantric transformation.

The reason many Westerners don’t see the importance of corpse practice is that they aren’t interested in either renunciation or transformation.

Few Western Buddhists have any interest in giving up sex, or even Twinkies. Few Western Buddhists think that getting rid of all desire would be a good thing. Few Western Buddhists become monks or nuns.

Buddhist Tantra is also mostly unacceptable to Western Buddhists (despite the popularity of some Tibetan books and teachers). More on that in a future post.

So how is mainstream Western Buddhism supposed to work? There are clear explanations for how renunciation and tantric transformation bring an end to suffering. Does Western Buddhism have a third way to end suffering? Or does it have some entirely different goal?

Later in this blog series, I will suggest that there is another approach to ending suffering lurking in Western Buddhism. It comes originally from Christianity, but has passed through a series of transformations that make that hard to see:

  • In the early 1800s, Romantic Idealism promoted a theory of the end of suffering based on Christian salvation, but with the Christian mythology removed.
  • Romantic Idealism (now long forgotten) was popularized in a lineage of non-Christian spiritual movements: Transcendentalism, Theosophy, New Thought, and the New Age.
  • Psychotherapy began as the bastard child of Romantic Idealism and late-1800s pseudoscience. Its continuing development has been influenced by the Romantic lineage; for example, there are close relationships between Jung, transpersonal psychology, and the New Age.
  • “Social” theories of ethics and politics are rooted in Christian ideas of charity and good works.
  • All these have been major influences on Western Buddhism, and provide its often-unspoken explanation of the end of suffering.

I don’t think that theory can work. Secretly, it depends on God, and God is undead.

This abandoning of renunciation and transformation, and the substitution of a Western concept of salvation, is what I called “the central failing of mainstream Western Buddhism.”

Disgust and horror in future Western Buddhisms

The Western taboos on death, disgust, and horror seem to have lessened. The enormous popularity of vampire fiction among young people is one sign of that. And, the Baby Boom generation, which includes most Western Buddhists, have reached an age where it’s difficult not to think seriously about death.

I hope that means Western Buddhism can begin to discuss those things again.

I am writing a tantric Buddhist vampire romance novel, The Vetali’s Gift. It is all about death, disgust, and horror—although it’s also a romantic comedy, so you might not find it too tough to take. I try to show ways that these subjects can be approached in a serious yet light-hearted way.

The most recent episode takes place in a charnel ground, scattered with corpses in various stages of decay. It’s also got kinky sex and human sacrifice in it. What more could you want from Buddhism than that?

Notes

Brooke Schedneck has an interesting piece on corpse practice in Thailand, and Westerners’ reluctance to participate.

The excerpt from the Satipatthana Sutta at the beginning of this post is based on Thanissaro Bikkhu’s translation. His version compresses out much of the mind-numbing repetitions in the original. I have compressed out much more, without significant loss of meaning.

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Author: David Chapman

Author of the book Meaningness and several Buddhist sites.

26 thoughts on “Disgust, horror, and Western Buddhism”

  1. Great post, thank you. I will send you my essay on a related topic when it comes out: it’s on Buddhism and charnel grounds, and speculative philosophy.

  2. I think there is some logical connection made between ‘the loathsomeness of the body’ and the motivation to practice, in Buddhism’s native cultures– that is missing in the sanitized and sin-obsessed West. I can imagine ‘corpse practice’ making folks here either desperate to grab the goodies while they can [gaudeamus igitur, and all that], or really depressed and cranky.

    Personally, I have sometimes meditated on the loathsomeness of Twinkies: it works something like corpse practice– an analysis of the composition and degradation cycle of the object in question.

    Of course, humor is also a possibility: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOY-jJeOeBk
    I believe Hokai Sobol pointed me at this…

  3. Coming from a renunciation tradition I like the sound of reversing things and carrying on with what I find enjoyable and turning everything else and all the disgusting things into being enjoyable aswell! I think I must have unwittingly practised tantra with olives… I couldn’t stand the things, but I could see how much pleasure other people were getting from them. So I started by chopping one olive up into tiny little pieces and sprinkling it over my salad, and gradually moved on to two and so forth. Nowadays I can get through a whole jar at a time. With most things I find sensual pleasure in I have a tendency to do to an unhealthy excess, so surely I would have to keep reverting back to the renunciation tradition to stop me from dying from an olive overdose??

  4. Thanks for the post, it makes interesting reading. Coming from a renunciation tradition I like the sound of reversing things and carrying on with what I find enjoyable and turning everything else and all the disgusting things into being enjoyable aswell! I think I must have unwittingly practised tantra with olives… I couldn’t stand the things, but I could see how much pleasure other people were getting from them. So I started by chopping one olive up into tiny little pieces and sprinkling it over my salad, and gradually moved on to two and so forth. Nowadays I can get through a whole jar at a time. With a lot of things I find sensual pleasure in I have a tendency to do to an unhealthy excess, so surely I would have to keep reverting back to the renunciation tradition to stop me from dying from an olive overdose??

  5. You have described how modern Asian buddhism mutated to include features of religions and societies that might be hostile to it, like an innoculation which might or might not succeed in fooling the disease – with the risk of contracting it from the very preventative, and anyway the necessary sacrifice of mutating in the process. To add to your repertoire of past and present influences that are shaping buddhism today, I wonder to what extent the rise of Islam has also had an effect. I am thinking of the ethos of Islam, that its followers should aim to bring about social justice, a kingdom of heaven, in this world. Is the fear of this newly ‘competing’ ethic helping to fuel the ‘central failing’ you point out in western ‘conference’ buddhism? One way to characterise that failing is as a non-buddhist superstition about an end to suffering *within samsara*. (The conference format itself is both token and fetish of this reorientation around ‘social justice’, and the dysfunctionality of buddhist conferences ought to be sufficient proof of just how wrong-headed that is.) First reaction might be that this query about Islam is absurd, nothing could be further from the minds of western buddhists. Maybe not, in conscious terms; but maybe 19C Asians were not always so conscious of why they set about modifying their traditional buddhism. Historians in the future looking back at the overriding obsessions and influences of our times might connect causes and effects that are presently outside our field of vision and focal range.

  6. Hi Kate!

    I think there is some logical connection made between ‘the loathsomeness of the body’ and the motivation to practice, in Buddhism’s native cultures– that is missing in the sanitized and sin-obsessed West.

    I think matters are a lot simpler than that. Corpse practice is clearly a means of firmly establishing the First Noble Truth–Life is suffering, here as well as in Asia. And it was actually part of the Buddha’s crucial encounter of the world of suffering. Also, as is clearly indicated by the translation, stumbling across a corpse in any condition anywhere, was a commonplace occurence in South Asia.

    Further, people do not have a real sense of how much has changed, at least in America, about death, birth, and sickness, and how short a time ago it changed. The world you are speaking of is only about 65 years old [seven years older than I am] and began about 1945.

    My grandmother lost a son in a childbirth that took place in her home. He was one of nine other children, all home delivered. My mother was delivered, at home, by a doctor who was so slipshod due to his age that he failed to make out a birth certificate for her, causing her an immense amount of trouble 40 years later.

    As a boy, my father attended a public hanging. One hundred years ago in my town 50% of the deaths were caused by The White Plague: tuberculosis. Most of these people didn’t die in a hospital. My grandfather contracted TB about then, but spontaneously remitted due to his great physical strength and to intelligent home care, such as boiling all the bed linens regularly and opening the windows as much as possible, so he could breathe fresh air. And even in the 1950’s, adults in leg braces from surviving infant polio were fairly common. Even President Franklin Roosevelt was one.

    One of my professors in college was forced to make a living in the 1930’s as a rural itinerant corpse photographer, mostly of infant deaths. The custom was to burn a lot of incense to cover up the smell. To his dying day, a sudden encounter with incense [this was the early 1970’s and it was everywhere on a college campus] would send him into a uncontrolled and sudden rage from what he endured doing it.

    All of this vanished as fast as snow in spring in the good years after World War II, which were the years Buddhism finally made it to the West. But the earliest pioneers of it [I studied with a couple] grew up in a world that was hardly very sanitized, and had seen plenty of death, at home, in their town, or in battle, and were not in the least naive about it.

  7. I think a lot of Buddhists lose sight of the Four Noble Truths, particularly if they have not studied with systematically trained monastics. The point is to truly grasp them as a part of everybody’s life, no matter how comfortable that life is. Everything else is just technique. I would say that the hardest one to grasp in the West is not Life is Suffering, but Suffering has a Cause, and that this is a function of a Buddhist world here that has truly lost touch with Karma, Cause, and Effect, or has never studied the traditional explanations of how they work.

  8. It is important to enter into a tradition efficiently and effectively, and this means not succumbing to the desire to pick-and-choose what parts of a tradition/lineage to employ. While, it is NOT necessary to adopt the cultural accretions which may surround a practice, it is quite necessary to have someone who is competent determine exactly what is and is not accretion. It is even more important to have someone competent remove the cultural matrix so that such an excision can be done without damaging necessary and essential function. There is no value in a 21st century American or European layperson becoming a replica of a 10th century Tibetan, Chinese or Japanese monk. But, if we engage in picking-and-choosing when approaching a tradition, we may simply be short-circuiting the complex structure of its constellation of impacts, and likely to end up developmentally lopsided, or completely deranged.

    Trekchöd is one of the practices that I engaged when entering the Buddhist stream in the eighties, and as long as it is part of a comprehensive program, and not seen as an end in itself, it can be incredibly useful in helping one dissolve the bonds of attachment we have to our sense of being a discrete, unique self directly tied to our ‘bag of gore’. However, done without proper guidance and with a simple idea of creating aversion to ones embodiment it can be quite damaging to the psyche and generative of all manner of dissociative disorders. And, while there aren’t many charnel grounds around in the West these days, a trip to the terminal wing of a hospital or morgue can be effective depending upon the types of cases in the one or cadavers in the other.

    I think it is well to remember in the context of David’s post, that Christianity, too, has its own versions of this discipline. And when Christianity is engaged as a complete and functioning tradition (something generally not seen in the West during the Victorian age or this age of televangelism and sanitized fundamentalism), thanatopsis of some sort forms a valid and useful part of the full spectrum of developmental disciplines of that religion.

    @David – turly, the West (especially in america) is so afraid of death and disfigurement and pain, that it cannot address these issues well. And it is so afraid because it has so long identified self with body. Have you seen ‘Sunshine Cleaning’ – a very interesting look at death in america and coming to terms with it – filmed right here in Albuquerque, too ;)

    Another very useful post, David. Thank you!

  9. @ Lawrence — Olives: nice example! It’s hard to die of an overdose of olives, which is what makes the disgust practice a relatively safe form of Tantra. But, yes, definitely, when unhealthy excess is a problem, one practices renunciation. I’ve never tried cocaine, because I think I’d probably like it, and that would be seriously bad. So I take a strictly renunciative approach there. More broadly, negative emotions can cause big trouble for you and for other people, which is what makes Tantra dangerous. That’s one reason it’s only practiced under supervision from a teacher who can rein you in if you go off the rails.

    @ Rig’dzin Dorje — Interesting possibility!

    @ Karmakshanti — Good points; thanks for the interesting anecdotes also. I suspect that the Satipatthana Sutta was intended as a progressive series of exercises, starting with mindfulness of breath and posture, which is pretty much all that has made it to the West. Those are preliminaries to establish the clarity of mind needed for the analytical meditations that are the bulk of the Sutta. It ends with the Four Truths, going through them in detail and examining their implications.

    @ James C. — I agree with all that, particularly about the importance of having competent people sort out what’s essential. That’s another reason I’m a student of Lamas who can point out my misunderstandings. Unfortunately, though, different apparently-qualified people have quite different opinions about what is essential; and how are beginners to know which to follow? This tends to contribute to a sense of “if even they don’t agree, I might as well choose for myself what parts of Buddhism I want.”

  10. @ David

    Excellent. Thank you.
    You said,

    The reason many Westerners don’t see the importance of corpse practice is that they aren’t interested in either renunciation or transformation.

    I agree that Americans are not interested in renunciation. And since the corpse practices that were largely transmitted were the renunciate version, it was rejected. The Tantric version was probably not embraced because of all the layers of gods, ceremony, secrecy and such — not because of lack of enthusiasm for transformation.

    But you hint that you will tell us in a future post why I am wrong on that.

    You said:

    Later in this blog series, I will suggest that there is a third approach to ending suffering lurking in Western Buddhism. It comes originally from Christianity, but has passed through a series of transformations that make that hard to see:

    That third approach is Dzogchen, correct? Or is this a fourth? — the Chrisitanized one. I am confused. Because above that you said:

    (There’s actually a third fundamental approach, Dzogchen self-liberation, but I’ll ignore that here.)

    You wrote:

    This is what I called “the central failing of mainstream Western Buddhism.”

    Sorry, didn’t follow that. What is “this”?

    Lastly, in the USA, which Buddhist groups actually practice transformative Tantric things without the renunciation. Not Theravada (right?), Not Zen (right?). Shin? Only Vajrayana? Or ar most Vajrayana just doing Sutra renunciation stuff (watered down Vajra) because that is what sells?

    Looking forward to more posts.

  11. I just read the comments:
    @ James C: You said,

    “It is important to enter into a tradition efficiently and effectively, and this means not succumbing to the desire to pick-and-choose what parts of a tradition/lineage to employ.”

    All sects of Buddhism (hundreds of them) started with someone:
    (a) picking and choosing what part of traditions or lineages preceded them
    (b) adding their own insights, experience, preferences or ideas

    Then folks follow that pick-and-choose until someone has the nerve not to follow your advice to “not succumb”.

    In all fairness, you said, “someone who is competent ” must do the picking-and-choosing. But each sect (many very contradictory) was formed by folks who convinced others that they were competent.

    So for me, when I hear the rhetoric that we must respect traditions, I doubt that those who you follow (Shinran, for example), held that same view. Someone has to reject that view to allow for change. But a system is unstable if everyone is trying to change it. So we keep the rhetoric going. Ways of shaking of this rhetoric are accomplished by mystics, tertons and prophets — they cash in on similar epistemological maneuvers when they say, “Hey, I got a different way to do this. Oh yeah, I agree with the tradition, but here are some changes.”

    Are you worried that David is promoting a pick-and-choose? Are you worried that his analysis shows systems as composed of modules and forgets the big coherent system?

    Reading your comment and looking at your excellent site, your experience seems hugely broad and your insights deep and so I look forward to your opinions.

  12. Hi, Sabio!

    The Tantric version was probably not embraced because of all the layers of gods, ceremony, secrecy and such

    I think that’s right. It would probably be much more popular if de-traditionalized and de-mythologized.

    It would probably still have limited appeal because it means diving into your most horrifying emotions. Most people would rather have a “nice” religion that doesn’t require that.

    which Buddhist groups actually practice transformative Tantric things without the renunciation.

    I don’t know of anyone who teaches Tantra with no Sutra/renunciation at all. Shambhala Training was that originally, but renunciation got added in a few years ago. I’d be very interested if anyone knows of others. Perhaps one of the Bön lamas? I don’t know much about Bön, but I gather that it has shamanism in place of Sutra. That might be wrong.

    The secularized “Three Doors” system being developed by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (a Bönpo) looks promising; but it’s not public yet.

    Or are most Vajrayana just doing Sutra renunciation stuff (watered down Vajra) because that is what sells?

    “Vajrayana” doesn’t mean “Tibetan”; there’s Vajrayana in Japan and elsewhere. It means “Tantra” or “Tantra plus Dzogchen.”

    Most Tibetan Buddhist teachers heavily emphasize Sutra (renunciation), for various political and historical reasons (so they aren’t teaching Vajrayana, or not much). There are many exceptions… Chögyal Namkhai Norbu comes to mind immediately, for instance. Actually I’m not sure he teaches renunciation at all; I forget.

    Thanks for pointing out two ways what I wrote was gramatically unclear and could be misunderstood. I’ve fixed them, I hope.

  13. @Sabio Lantz

    Were my advice about not to picking-and-choosing put forth with the desire to uphold a traditionary stance (i.e. upholding tradition for traditions sake) I would heartily agree that such advice was completely off base. I hope to make it clear in what follows that such is not the case.

    I completely agree with you that all sects started with someone picking and choosing. Presumably, however, the person doing the choosing when initiating a lineage was competent to do so (not always true of course). What happens when this is not the case is that one gets bits and pieces of a development process without the capacity for rounded development.

    One might make the analogy that learning addition and subtraction in school is great, but without multiplication, division, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, sociology, history, art, etc. –chances are one will never be a competent and creative engineer.

    >>”But each sect (many very contradictory) was formed by folks who convinced others that they were competent.”

    Very true. Where that convincing was based upon a lack of competence, problems inevitably arise. However, contradictions between sects/lineages/traditions/schools are not necessarily evidence of any lack of competence in the founders. What is useful and beneficial within a given context may be clearly contraindicated in others. The people in a given context may be unbalanced in very specific ways which only a very unique blend of upaya may be able to treat, and the founder may count on subsequent lineage holders to make adjustments as needed as the effects of the initial selection of upaya has had an effect. And, when dealing with specific individuals within a context, competent guides tailor their guidance to the needs of the individual as unique from the group.

    One might make the analogy of a physician who prescribes specific medicine for specific syndromes (constellations of symptoms occurring together). If the physician prescribed the same medicine to everybody, some would get better, some would get worse, some that were reasonably healthy would become acutely ill, etc.

    Of course, there is also the fact that a general competence does not mean that there are no real and important differences in formulations of the dharma due to specific lineage-holders having seen further and deeper than others. For most of us, these subtle points of difference are seldom of any great moment as we may not yet be so refined that such subtle distinctions are vital–so gross remains our perceptions and conceptions.

    >>”So for me, when I hear the rhetoric that we must respect traditions, I doubt that those who you follow (Shinran, for example), held that same view”.

    As far as my meager competence allows me to see, Honen did a very competent job of adjusting the existing tradition to the extent he was able to do so given the strictures of his time and place. Shinran, following on from what Honen began, did a very competent job of further adjusting the tradition according to the needs of time, place and people. This process of adjustment continues. The utter stagnation of a teaching amounts to misdiagnosis and malpractice. Sadly, this is often the case in Jodo Shinshu circles, as it is in others, and is usually indicative of a tendency toward absolutism and the desire to be given a thing that cannot be given so much as caught.

    >> “Are you worried that David is promoting a pick-and-choose? Are you worried that his analysis shows systems as composed of modules and forgets the big coherent system?”

    I am corroborating some points he made about leaving some elements out when ‘Western Buddhism” was being ‘invented’. David has shown that he is very aware of both the value and danger in tradition and he seems to ride the crest of that wave quite well. As neither of us are perfect, I am sure we each fall away from the crest occasionally. I have found that David’s strengths are my weaknesses, so he helps keep me on my toes.

    Thank you again, David and Sabio, for the opportunity to clarify and for the very discussion itself.

  14. I agree. Disgust and lust are subjective biases, that is heavily influenced by this evolved brain and body we’ve inherited and can be shaped by practice. There is value in using one to help cancel out the other to come to a truer view of the matter around and in us.

  15. woooo, another completely misleading and wrong blog about Buddhism! This “Western Buddhism” should be called “Maraism”.

  16. @thug4lyfe – you may need to expand your post for it to be helpful to the readership here. Among other things the blog clearly seeks to outline – and in places challenge – some of basis, concepts, and structures of ‘Western Buddhism’. If you refer to ‘Western Buddhist’ as ‘Maraism’ you must have challenges you too would make regarding ‘Western Buddhism’. Thus potentially I would imagine you agree with a number of the points raised in the blog (albeit you presumably feel them more strongly that the author). So: if you agree with some of the author’s points, presumably you don’t feel the blog is really ‘completely wrong’. . .

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