This was posted on social media today, and I took a moment to read the essay. I thought it quite good, and very straightforward. From the comments section, there was a fair amount of blowback toward the author, who is a teacher in the UK. " Lama Jampa Thaye is a teacher of the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. He has been teaching for over 30 years and is the spiritual director of the Dechen organisation of Buddhist Centres." Wiki
In many cases, we have embraced a spurious system that is Buddhist in name only, and, what is more, we have often embraced masters who are masters in name only. No wonder we are disappointed when we discover that Buddhism is far from what we imagined. How the truth is going to hurt when we find out how we have allowed ourselves to be deceived.
However, resentment at the phony package we have been sold, or at the flourishing of the fakes, is somewhat misplaced. First of all, we gave them their power, out of a mixture of credulity and lack of curiosity about Buddhism itself. Secondly, our motivation, all too often, was essentially frivolous and led us to prefer the fashionable and famous over the authentic but unglamorous.
His themes resonated with me, and perhaps they will resonate with others here at D&D. I see every day examples of western Buddhist themes being paraded in social media, for example, and few bear any real resemblance to what the Buddha taught. The tragedy, IMO, is that the Buddha gave us an real antidote to the poisons of western greed and a society bent on a trajectory toward more violence and harm. Yet, so few in western Buddhism appreciate the gift of the Dhamma.
So, once again, thanks to Sutta Central for making the Dhamma available, and giving those with the curiosity, energy, and diligence the ability to read and appreciate the Dhamma. Thanks to our learned ajahns here, and the skilled kalyana mitta here that mutually support each other.
The author of this essay, in the wake of scandals and false teachers, is receiving some severe blowback for this essay. Perhas this response suggests just how far adrift western “Buddhism” has drifted. Or, it suggests that many in the west just want their Buddhism the same way that they want their suits and their beds: bespoke, comfortable, soft, and luxurious. A projection, as the author intimates, of their own deluded western consumerist tastes.