stuff gets examined.

The Buddhist Conspiracy *Revealed!!*

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This one happened one night when I lay down with one of the kids, intending to get up when she fell asleep to Be An Adult, take my “mood stabilizer,” etc. It didn’t happen. And I got a weird dream.

Possible Influences:

1.    An article I recently read in Tricycle regarding “bullying tactics” amongst Buddhist teachers on the internet.

2.  Internal dialogue on how difficult it would be to maintain a large-scale spiritual endeavour in our contemporary climate of little or no state or private individual funding of such things (ie, you don’t see the province of Alberta dropping dough on maintaining any sort of monastery, like you would’ve seen in historical Europe or Asia, nor do you routinely see successful business types paying for chapels to be built or prayers to be said in their names).  Spiritual leaders often fund their activities and communities by feeding the perceived “new-agey” market for often light-topic/shallow-discussion books, audio recordings, and so on – an unfortunate necessity that often gets them lumped in with  Dr. Phil/Celestine Prophecy – style quackery.

I am a Buddhist monk of unrevealed tradition, with some importance in the world of Buddhist monks, it seems. Over a course of a few months, I visit a number of different monasteries and Buddhist communities, and note that in each, there is some sort of busy activity going on behind the scenes involving computers, phones, and people lugging around boxes. I investigate after a few such visits and realize that the monastery in question is some sort of Amway distribution centre.  Visits to a few more monasteries/communities reveal the same.

Eventually I am at a multi-tradition meeting of Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Han, Ram Das, Pema Chodron, etc. I reveal to the assembled leaders what the communities I’ve visited have been up to. They, in turn, indicate that they’re aware of this activity, have quietly sanctioned it, and would not like to speak openly about it. When I persist in my desire to discuss it, and question its impact in relation to the goals and values of Buddhism, they have me dragged off to a back room where I’m roughed up by monks using various Amway products apparently meant for the torture market (the details have not survived, I just recall each new device or product being introduced ala Vince for ShamWow! by the monk that would be using it, and a quick look at a package with Amway all over it).

Periodically, I’m hauled out to a meeting hall with the various leaders, where I’m engaged in lengthy friendly small talk about various Buddhist-y things, always ending on the question of whether I’ve revised my position on Amway distribution. When I indicate I have not, I’m hauled back to the back room for more product demonstrations.

Eventually, we seem to come to some sort of unrevealed compromise, because I’m walking down the street talking to some people in business attire. I am wearing long robes of faded black and reddish-brown and a weaver hat. We turn a corner and there’s a group of monks in orange – I continue to walk along with the business suit people, but not speaking and drifting away like it’s a coincidental thing. The monks notice anyhow, change direction and start moving quickly towards me. I bid my businessy friends farewell and run off down a side street. I gather from this that while  I was permitted to leave by the gathered leaders, the rank and file bear me some ill-will, or that I really shouldn’t be talking to people lest I  share my point of view.


Written by balloonhed

March 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

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