New Buddhism is a term that makes me cringe. Any “New Buddhists” I’ve encountered(3 or 4) were narrow minded dogmatic egotists who like to spend most of their time arguing that only their point of view is the “Real Buddhism” based on selective quotations of sutras and a lot of emotional ranting. They are the antithesis of Buddhism. Anti-Buddhas (sort of like an Anti-Christ in the Christian tradition) if you will. If you want to fight about it we can go and Dukkha it out in the parking lot later.
New Buddhist Jargon #1
(explanations are in footnotes for those not familiar with terms of devotology and devotologists)
Devotologist…Someone who specializes in proper religious forms and terminology (Devotology) usually to the exclusion of the essence of the source of those forms and terms. Closely related to the Dogmatist who tries to shove those forms and terms down everyone’s throat. Usually also a Vegementalist.
Vegementalist…A person who demonstrates their spirituality through food choices in an obnoxious, arrogant and judgemental way.
Dharma Pimp…Buddhism all dressed up in a provocative manner to express the ease with which the Dharma Pimp will sell you his or her own, often trademarked, patented and copyrighted path to bliss. Usually $150 per mind blowing session. 1.
Church of Caveat Emptor…Presided over by the Dharma Pimp. 2.
Faux Fo…Fake Buddhists trying to sell things using the Buddha’s name or image. ie Buddhist Punk clothing, The Buddha Bar. Mild form of Dharma Pimping. 3.
Sahma-D…Purveyor of sitar seasoned elevator music. Often also heard in spas and New Age bookstores. 4.
Simple Lifers…Celebrity types buying their stairway to heaven. And making a television series or, for the more intellectually serious, a documentary about it.
Ami-tofu…Preferred food of the vegementalist. 5.
Ah-me-too-fool!…High maintenance monk. 5.
Titvas…forbidden things. 6.
Samaskaras…Successive reapplications of paint on the eyelashes in an effort to emulate the look of the Tara on the Thanka hanging in the living room. 7.
Zazen Den…Meditation room at home. 8.
Jetta Metta…Driving in a courteous manner. 9.
Mantra Tantrum…Forgetting the words and showing the frustration. 10.
Skhandhal…Using ignorance as an excuse. 11.
Karma Mama…Unplanned pregnancy. 12.
Aroma Coma…Fainting caused by way too much incense burning in a small room.
Moshy Roshi…A punk rock Zen teacher.13.
Dukkha Hookah…Getting stoned due to a broken heart. 14.
Batman Anatman…A superhero who doesn’t really exist. 15.
- Dharma-teachings of Buddha
- Caveat Emptor-buyer beware
- Fo-name of Buddha in the Pure Land Buddhist tradition
- Amitofu or O-mi-to-fo (pronounciation varies depending on region)-Amida Buddha-Chinese form of Avalokitisvera , the Buddha of Compassion.
- Tattvas-the five forbidden things that are taken up by those on the Left-hand Path in Hindu Tantrism. These variously include wine, meat, fish, certain grains, dealing with the dead, killing and sex depending on the particular situation.
- Samskara-this is a tough one to explain. Wikipedia has quite a long piece on it but one needs to be a devotologist to understand it all. My view, very very simply put, is that it is the lies we tell ourselves, that others have told us and we’ve accepted, all the things we believe without challenge, cultural things, world view, self esteem and self-conciousness, what we understand the world to be in our narrow and limited way, the subconcious stuff that drives us as human beings to misunderstand ourselves, others and reality. Ignorance of reality. Ego(in conjunction with Skhandhas). In a more Buddhist way it is the cause of that which causes karma. Our actions cause our karma but something causes our actions. That is what is meant here.
- Zazen-seated meditation.
- Metta-loving kindness.
- Mantra-a phrase, word or sound chanted repeatedly to focus the mind, to demonstrate faith and for various other reasons.
- Skhandhas– divisions of the mind that work with Samskara and keep one from realizing reality as it is. I think of it like different mental knots that we untie or interconnected mazes we wander around in and finally get out of with meditation. This is talked about at great length in the Abhidharma (sometimes called Buddhist psychology or an explanation of the philosophical aspects of Buddhist scripture from a psychological perspective) section of the Tripitaka (Buddhist scriptures). Current cognitive psychology theory in the West is just beginning to touch upon this.
- Karma-the result of action to which one has attachment. Attachment is governed by Skhandhas.
- Roshi-(with a long o sound for the linguistically pedantic) a respectful term for a Zen Buddhist teacher.
- Dukkha-suffering. In Hindi (which comes from Sanskrit) dukkhna (verb) means to suffer or to sorrow most often from some kind of loss. It almost means to grieve deeply.
- Anatman-“no-soul” This is a negation of the idea of a permanent soul separate from the rest of the universe. Atman means soul. Hindus and some Buddhists believe in some form of atman that gets actually reincarnated.
So the footnotes here I now realize explain a good part of my basic Buddhist view. It seems so much more complicated when thinking about it for the intellectual purpose of Understanding It All.