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FBA Podcast: Individualism, Materialism and the Challenges of the Dharma

On Sat, 18 December, 2021 - 06:00
Sadayasihi's picture
Sadayasihi

After exploring the relationship between the transcendental (lokuttara) and historical time, Saccanama looks at the challenges facing us at this particular point in history. Individualism and materialism present challenges both to our society and to our practice of the Dharma. Put them together and we have a form of capitalism which is so dominant that it becomes impossible to imagine any other system. Set against this, the Dharma is always challenging.

This talk is part of the series Challenging Dharma for Challenging Times given at the Nottingham Buddhist Centre, 2020.

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Responses

rodashruti's picture

Thanks for posting this! I am listening to the first talk in Saccanama’s series, “Individualism, Materialism and the Challenges of the Dharma.”

I wanted to respond to the passing comment in this talk (and others that I’ve heard) that we wouldn’t be able to be Buddhist in Islamic countries. I have some concerns about using this kind of blanket statement when speaking with an audience not familiar with Islam (which is most westerners).

Religious tolerance is more nuanced in majority Muslim countries than this kind of statement allows. For example, see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/07/10/are-muslim….

In addition, the current climate in the west is extremely Islamophobic and anti-Arab in general. Muslims, Arabs (of all religions), and people who are mistaken for them are at minimum misunderstood and invisible, and at the extreme are targeted for violence. It is easy for people to fit these kinds of statements into an unhelpful portrait. Islamophobia has a real impact on real people.

So, for these reasons, I think that it’s best to find another way to express how lucky we are to have conditions that support our practice. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the talk.

Respectfully,
rodashruti