Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds

Meme: #Ritual

Meme: #Ritual. In their first issue of 2018, Adbusters proposes that, after the crash, ritual will fill the void left by 21st century network Capitalism, filling our emptiness with connection and meaning. I heartily agree, but my question is this:

Who gets to do ritual? Why is Buddhist ritual reserved for ordained Lamas and Ngakpas?


from Adbusters, Jan-Feb 2018

Adbusters Ritual.jpeg

Why are we in the West constantly being led to believe that the only genuine form of Buddhist practice is silent meditation? Why are we not told that drumming, dancing, ritual, costume, chanting, poetry, song, and other expressive arts are also important and genuine Buddhist practices?

Why are Buddhist rituals always a secret? Why is it only available to rich people who can afford to pay the cost of obtaining empowerments? Why can’t create our own rituals and dances?

Adbusters DIY Ritual.jpeg

Adbusters Jan-Feb 2018: DIY ritual

What rituals do we need to create for western Buddhism? for ourselves as practitioners?

2 comments on “Meme: #Ritual

  1. Shaun Bartone

    “Why are we in the West constantly being led to believe that the only genuine form of Buddhist practice is silent meditation?”

    My thought on this is that in the West we’ve fallen over ourselves technologically to create disconnection via electronic communication and told ourselves it’s made us more connected. Silent meditation looks very much like that. It’s a way to fool ourselves unto thinking we’re doing something together thereby increasing our connection. Nope. Communication makes us more connected. Really seeing each other, touching each other, talking to each other – those are the things that make us feel like we matter to the community and to each other as individuals. We have to decrease our fear of being vulnerable by being present. If not, we’re all just hiding and becoming more and more lonely and detached.

  2. Shaun Bartone

    I think you’re right in the sense that Westerners brought back what worked for them, which is meditation. They could have brought back the rituals, devotions and other aspects of ‘folk Buddhism’ that connect people into a community, but they didn’t. Westerners chose what they felt they needed, what they felt most comfortable with, which was, as you said, the one practice that separates and isolates people—meditation. So that’s what we got stuck with.

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This entry was posted on 2018/01/05 by .


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