Mass culture is telling us — at least in Europe and in the West that Buddhists do not fight, I hate violence, avoid negativity and can live indefinitely without money. But if you dig deeper, you find that Buddhism is unlikely to be something fundamentally better than Christianity or Islam.
What is Buddhism in European and American culture, found out the magazine The Atlantic. Six popular myths about Buddhism, which are described in this a huge journalistic investigation.Myth # 1: Buddhists don't care about money
The ADO Shimano, a Buddhist monk from Japan, arrived at Kennedy international airport in new York on 31 December 1964. He was 32 years old. He was a beggar.
But what Shimano was abundant, so is energy. Very quickly he found the first followers and began to spread the teachings of Zen in the United States. He gradually conquered all of America and opened a Studio for meditation in Manhattan. Live he was in a huge loft overlooking Central Park. The widow of the founder of Xerox gave him a check for $1 million Shimano quickly converted his popularity into huge plots of land and real estate. He gave money to even Fund Rockefeller!
Shimano today belong to dozens of Zen monasteries in the United States. And his life became the life of a businessman, not a monk.
Examples of the Zen master became very rich, more than enough. And with few exceptions, all of these "new Americans" began to live in Grand style, turning the doctrine into a business.Myth # 2: Buddhists are not interested in sex
Shimano had sex with more than one dozen of his students — of both sexes. He says it is not a violation of Buddhist precepts. Similar scandals have surfaced in the press countless times: the followers of this monk does not indulge in any sexual pleasures, and are not going to abstain.
If you study the history of Buddhism in China or Japan, it will be obvious that the "secret" sexual relationship between monks and laity were common a thousand years ago.
All of these stories now become a mandatory part of the American tabloids. American society is known to be quite conservative. Men here do not like. Therefore, Buddhism as a doctrine is rapidly losing its reputation.
Comes to the fact that some monks publicly declare: "the Buddha had many mistresses and lovers." Although there was no history that the Buddhists became sex offenders (sleeping with minors, for example), attitudes towards strangers in strange clothes and with a shaved head changing.Myth # 3: Buddhism suitable for everyone, even Christians
In the US recently there was a scandal about the fact that two girls who studied Zen Buddhism in local studios, was hospitalized with a mental breakdown. The Zen master just now starting to admit that for people with signs of mental disturbances, meditation can be very dangerous — as hallucinogenic drugs, for example. Although cases of psychosis resulting from meditation, while quite small, the growth in the popularity of Buddhism in Western countries, the problem may become serious.Myth # 4: the Buddhists are some of the kindest people in the world
Shimano now 81 years old, he had a couple of decades married to a woman who, obviously, is not mind. Or different, but she is convinced in the opposite. The fact that Shimano is constantly "runs into" her in every way and shows off his intellectual superiority.
Humiliation of others in order to exalt themselves — a practice in which a Zen master succeeded better than all the rest.Myth # 5: Buddhists do not accept violence
Zen Buddhism mostly attracts people who have problems with the perception of the world. Western people become followers of the teachings usually after experiencing a tragedy, or if they suffer from depression for other reasons. This is not surprising: all religions are based on people with psychological wounds.
But often these people become victims of mild forms of sexual violence. Zen master can hit their students — and they would accept it as part of the training. Women with sincere followers of Buddhism at all hard to get along — due to the fact that the latter do not shy away from domestic or sexual violence. Shimano is just one example.
Some churches in the States are distinguished by the fact that their superiors were literally extorting money from parishioners. It got to the point that some teachers were accused of theft or other crimes. In Japan, even popular the phenomenon of mass ritual suicide. They also often practice Orthodox followers of this religion.Myth # 6: Buddhism can not become an obsession
Atlantic tells the story of a girl named Elaine, who was a parishioner of Buddhist temples for 11 years. Now she is experiencing some kind of psychological hangover: at the time the girl was literally obsessed with Eastern philosophy.
Then she got married. And the husband gradually brought her back to a normal life. Now she fears people like Shimano. She calls them "powerful" people, which can cause harm to anyone and at any distance.
Just as it happens in almost all sects, a significant part of the followers of Buddhism negatively perceive those who was one of them, but then was able to start living a different life.
Robin Westen, a researcher of religious cults, said that regardless of how the name of this or that doctrine, it is still a cult.
"When you get into the monastery, you leave the worldly life. You sleep five hours a night. Go barefoot. Eat only rice. Always sit on the floor. Rubbed his knees. Sitting in unhealthy positions for 12 goddamn hours a day. Every morning you Wake up at 4 a.m. and start the day with chanting mantras. And keep a vow of silence. The only person you can talk to the dude, who initially believes himself to be much smarter and more advanced than you. Ideal conditions to go mad," he says.
In many Western countries you can find hundreds of stories where women have left husbands and children to follow his new religion. If you look at the situation impartially, it can hardly be considered normal.
So think always of your own head.