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frederic

Buddha Bar, what do you think?

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

Tashi Delek!

 

Thank god for these degenerate times!

Of course it is not the point of Buddhism to mortify ourselves with rigorous ascetic practices, as you know, Shakyamuni Buddha rejected them in favour of the middle way. And rejoicing is an important aspect of the Buddhist practice, it is strengthening its positive effects and helping us to develop joyous effort for further development. :D

 

Nevertheless, it is good to be aware of the consequences of our actions. They do take place and our ignorance doesn’t preserve us from them. Interconnectivity means also responsibility. If we take advantage of spirituality to serve our personal (materialistic) goals, ignoring or even disrespecting the potential for growth that the spirituality offers, it is degenerating this rare and precious potential and bringing negative consequences for ourselves and the others. :cry:

 

It is indeed said that just seeing a picture or a statue of a Buddha brings positive imprints, but if we at the same time destroy the deeper levels of the same spirituality... :/ it doesn't sound very wise from the karmic point ov view and responsible from the common sense view. Responsible also for preserving the extinguishing value of faith (in the so called developed world). o:)

 

With best wishes,

chödrön

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Tashi Delek,

 

I am not familiar with this collection of music, but i do not feel (by the name of it) it is appropriate.

You can listen to it on the Buddha's bar website - don't see this as a recommendation, though :roll:.

 

Padmasambhava predicted that in our time Dharma will degenerate; and including Tibetan mantras in songs with "popy tunes" is an indication or the sad present-time actuality of this prediction.

Are you sure? As far as I know, you might have a cd of Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche reciting Vajra cutter sutra with the poppy tune background :wink: available at www.kunkyab.org) Don't you like it? :lol:

 

Best regards,

Draftsman

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As far as I know, you might have a cd of Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche reciting Vajra cutter sutra with the poppy tune background :wink: available at www.kunkyab.org) Don't you like it? :lol:
As a matter of fact, i don't! ;) But i absolutely adore the earlier version (also downloaded from Kunkyab.org) without the cheesy background!

 

Another good site to download mp3s of Dharma Teachings and some prayers is lamrim.com (you can find a recitation of the Heart Sutra by His Holiness the Dalai Lama there). The Kunkyab.org site has maybe more recitations of different Sutras (including the Sanghata Sutra), prayers, mantras, and excellent Teachings also. Recommended.

 

Best regards,

Khyenrab

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Guest Genjen

Tashi Delek,

 

To be precise, it is said that Shakyamuni Buddha gave 84.000 Teachings :)
Sorry for me being ignorant ! :?

 

I do agree on all said about the rest. Isnt it hard to know the right way until one is clarivoyant. :oops:

All the best

Genjen

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Sorry for me being ignorant!
We usually say: welcome to the club... ;)

 

About being clairvoyant and knowing the right way... :) I fell the most important thing is to follow the advice of your Lama, to do your sincere best to practice what he teaches. Then, for sure, through his Guidance, the feeling will arise that you "know" the right way and that you actually do follow the right Path to Liberation and Enlightenment. Not just intellectually...

 

This all sounds so "flashy", but i feel it is important to clearly define what we are doing or, better, to know very well what we would like accomplish. Otherwise we can easily join some other group, and start hugging trees. ;) Don't mean to disrespect, it's just a matter of direction we are taking...

 

With best wishes,

Khyenrab

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This Buddha Bar thing... But I can't help feeling that this is another demonstration of mankind's profound ignorance

Frederic

8O

Isn't it just an instance of interest for exotic culture, different minds, openmindedness? Are you sure not to be too close to fundamentalism!!! What about your compassion toward the people who like listening to Buddha Bar lounge music?

There is nothing to do with Buddhism, except misunderstanding!

 

 

and of the degeneration of the race...

I would swear i heard of these terms somewhere in Germany from a tiny moustached man...

:cry:

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If I leave aside my personal disliking for such establishments and the fact that because I'm Buddhist, I feel that the name and form of Buddha are disrespected, the strongest argument against Buddha Bar is that the fundamental principles of Buddhism are abused and transformed into their opposite in order to make profit. This is nowadays a very popular practice: use anything to make profit. It doesn't matter if ethics and sacred values are being trampled, the most important thing is to be rich and chique. Very selfish, don't you think?

 

And excuse me, but I don't think that I have much in common with that German guy with moustache because I believe that noone should make profit out of ethical values.

 

The fact that we respect the rules set out by the Buddha himself doesn't make us fundamentalist. It's the way we live. And I truly hope that one day we become "fundamentalist" in being compassionate, which in fact is the goal of Buddhism. But this doesn't meant that we must agree with everything that people come up with, especially if it's selfishly profit-oriented at the expense of something fundamentally good and sacred.

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There is nothing to do with Buddhism, except misunderstanding!

 

Just a few more comments to the previous post:

 

So, if it has nothing to do with Buddhism, why is it called Buddha Bar?

 

And isn't the root of misunderstanding ignorance?

 

In many cases openmindedness and interest in exotic things do not involve respect. Out of interest for exotic countries, tourists travel all around the world and sneer at what they call primitivity of the natives. And out of openmindedness they insist on lying topless or completely nude on beaches in countries where nudity is traditionally regarded a taboo and something disrespectul. By behaving this way, don't they show complete ignorance and disrespect?

 

And by using Buddha as an advertising mechanism, don't the owners of Buddha Bar show ignorance and disrespect, as well as those who come to the bar to drink alcohol and smoke in front of Buddha, harming their minds and preventing themselves from advancing on the path to enlightenement?

Mind you, they don't harm Buddha, they harm themselves by accumulating negative karma, so by knowing this, I can't be fundamentalist in the way you accuse us.

 

Yes, I can feel compassionate about ignorant people as far as my own ignorance permits, but this doesn't mean I have to agree with what they do nor that I will take the same measures as the little German guy you mention.

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...I can't be fundamentalist in the way you accuse us.

I do not accuse anybody! I just wanted to warn you!

 

Yes, I can feel compassionate about ignorant people as far as my own ignorance permits, but this doesn't mean I have to agree with what they do nor that I will take the same measures as the little German guy you mention.

I do hope so...

 

Nevertheless, there is no insult and the ignorance is not that profoud. You cannot prevent nor blame (in my opinion) anybody from thinking it is a good idea to promote one's disc by putting Buddha on the label. What this image rings in non-buddhist minds? How can anybody hurt anyone while liking asian art? For Lord Buddha's image is also asian art.

Just as Jesus Christ, Shakyamuni told not to adore is image??? Then could you explain me why is Lord Buddha the most common statue subject in the world, mostly in buddhist countries?

 

This Buddha Bar thing will not prevent buddhists from following Buddha's path. The listeners will not claim "Yeah, I am buddhist with this song!!"

 

Now, i felt sad too when I saw that! This is surely not part of the Dharma. I admit it upset me a bit :( . But I remembered it during the recent Muslim Prophet's Cartoon case and I thought that Buddha Bar was definitely not an instance of disrespect. "Different place=different mind".

 

Truth has so many faces, like a diamond!

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If you reread my posts, you will find out that I didn't say that it is wrong to put up images of Buddha in public places but that I don't think it's right to exploit the image to make profit, just as it is prohibited to make profit with buddhist teachings.

 

According to Dharma, it is not correct to mix Buddhist texts and images with other images and texts/songs that don't have anything to do with Dharma. The result is accumulation of bad karma by those who do it. Regardless of what you think, I believe it is true.

 

I do not hate the people who do it and I don't intend to punish anybody. I just think what they do is not right.

 

For me, the subject is closed. I don't intend to argue. I've already made my point. You are welcome to reread my posts. I've already pointed out the harmful aspects of the Buddha Bar concept and I stand behind what I wrote. You are most welcome to verify what has been said here against Buddhist teachings or ask a qualified teacher. My words are based on what my teacher has taught me about Buddha dharma. If I'm mistaken, he'll correct me, as he undoubtedly follows the forum.

 

But in future, refrain from comparing anybody here or anywhere else with the little German man. It's not compassionate to do so...

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Tashi Delek!

Chabi has opened new dimension/direction to this discoussion, what I rally like it. Since, this forum is open for anybody’s opinion, I think we are not obligate to be in 100% accordence. Yes, we have different minds and different energies. At last Lama Shenphen Rinpoche’s teaching, I’ve understood, that sometimes some discusions take negative stream and along it ended up in it’s own opposite. If I got the idea, I think it is a matter of enery which drives one particular belief not only regulations and priciples (in this case about Budha bar). From my point of view the main objectives conserning Buddha bar are not “to close the case”, but remain open for others opinions, yet not to cast off imediatly our own. Like this we can also broaden our understanding and develope good religious qualities, which I have alredy posted.

With best wishes,

Tatjana

 

P.S.: - The Buddhism’s primary focus is on the Buddha’s teaching and not on the Buddha’s person; ofcourse not to abandone respectfulness toward Buddha’s appearance.

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Tashi Delek.
But artists probably should be allowed some more freedom of expression than the businesmen
I`m not so sure what artists do you have in your mind :) ...Western artists usually express their own individuality by the help of the symbols. Yet, the Tibetan artists use their individuality as a tool to make the religious symbols more vivid and alive. First seek public acclaim, while the Tibetan artists usually remain anonymous.

 

Best regards,

Simona

 

Dear Simona,

this is not probably the right theme, but the European culture started abandoning this type of artistic production from 14th century (Italian humanism and reneissance). Alas - there are 6 and more centuries that separate us from that culture. And I'm not saying this to mock you or to scorn Tibetan art - just to point out what a huge historic difference is there. The main problem is that already for 5 centuries European art is not religious any more.

 

Best regards

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

I guess that the “artistic freedom”, bereft of ethical goals, is also the argument of those who parasite on the already existent cultural artefacts (charged with high voltage of centuries old believes) to substitute their own lack of inspiration. It can be indeed disrespectful and arogant towards the cultures that are often described as "behind us". But - behind in which sense? Not in ethical, i believe.

Again, as Dechen has already pointed out, it is not directed against mother sentient beings, but their way of acting.

 

All the best,

chödrön

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

I guess that the “artistic freedom”, bereft of ethical goals, is also the argument of those who parasite on the already existent cultural artefacts (charged with high voltage of centuries old believes) to substitute their own lack of inspiration. It can be indeed disrespectful and arogant towards the cultures that are often described as "behind us". But - behind in which sense? Not in ethical, i believe.

Again, as Dechen has already pointed out, it is not directed against mother sentient beings, but their way of acting.

 

All the best,

chödrön

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Tashi Delek,

I guess that the “artistic freedom”, bereft of ethical goals, is also the argument of those who parasite on the already existent cultural artefacts (charged with high voltage of centuries old believes) to substitute their own lack of inspiration.

The essence of freedom of expression is to enable the flow of information and promulgation of ideas. So-called commercial speech (e.g. advertising) is legally considered as "low-value speech" and is thus not entitled to as much protection as other forms of expression.

 

"Desecration" of symbols is not only "one-sided". A state flag can be burned in a honorary way - to show the degradation of one own's state, similar goes for religion/religious symbols. Also, recognizing this kind of freedom gives us a bit of distance towards our own belief. But it should be a case-by-case analysis: an artist e.g. puts a cross in the piss and takes a photo. Is this done in order to achieve a special glow or for the sake of provocation? Is provocation over the line? Should everything that is morally questionable be legally forbidden?

 

I saw a part of the famous cartoon show, which showed Buddha as a prisoner on the run, ful of tatoos and attachment for the material. Yet, it was only a fantasy of the main character - and it was meant as a joke. Also, in previous parts they showed Buddhism in a very nice way, so it didn't bother me.

 

Best regards,

Draftsman

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Artistic freedom is freedom as long as it has to break some taboos, societal normsin order to enable reflection about things that are supposed to be accepted as given. Usually, what is not reflected becomes rigid and leads either to ideology and ideologic manipulation (or, in the case of religions - it leads to fundamentalism, narrow views etd.)

 

In that sense, artistic freedom as means to provoke a really thourough reflection about ethic values, about the condition of society and the interhuman relations in such a society - is very precious. It is (or it is supposed to be) as an analytic meditation in a bit different form.

 

However, there is a substantial difference between artistic freedom and propagation of negativities is very thin. It is this difference that one has to see - also as a buddhist. Some artists claim their artistic freedom in order to promote something that has nothing to do with a thourough reflection of self and of society. But this is not art - as I am concerned.

 

What is this division line? What is important is HOW this breach of norms relates to the whole text (work of art). For instance: you may remember the film of Gaspar Noe L'irreversible. There is a 10 minute long scene of a very brutal rape. I had great problems when I had to force myself to observe such violence. But: in what context did it appear?

The story on the film is told backwards. After that scene there is a scene - completely without sound, in fresh, green coulours, where the woman daydreams about having a baby. She, in fact, is pregnant. The scene is very soft, calm. And before that we come to know that she lead a very decadent way of life - which did not make her happy. All this context makes the violent scene even more violent - as the watcher is aware of the fact that this hope of another, different life is now completely impossible. Violence made it impossible. Of course, this is not the only dimension of the film - I just limited myself to it in order to make an illustration.

 

 

About Buddha Bar(s). They are a consumerist variant of new age spirituality. So - if new age spirituality is about "I take what I like in order to progress on my spiritual way, if possible, without any efforts", then Buddha Bar promises even more. Its clients do not have to abandon any of their lifestlyle to get a relief from the stress caused by their very lifestyle. In addition, there they come to meet their social equals - so, it is an elite meeting elite in a nice religiousely decorated (it is a decoration, a kitch indeed) environment. Buddha statues there probably associate the calmness (nirvana! 8O ) of the place and its clients, but at the same time they function as a silent afirmation of samsaric lifestyle ideals of costumers of Buddha bars. By that a clear distinction between what is a real spiritual way and what effort it demands and the real meaning of Buddha is impossible to distinguish from samsaric instant calmation. So here a crysis of religion goes even deeper; but it is only a continuation of a 5 centuries long process of secularization.

 

This process, just to remember you, began by sale of indulgences back in the Middle Ages: capital can bring you even Heaven (or, Buddhahood) - without the need to really transform the self!

What is even more sad is that what was sold back in the Middle Ages, today gets either the form of a clearance sell or the form of a 5-minute (instant) transformation. Come to Buddha-Bar and get enlightment in 2 hours! Buy yourself tantric sex spiritual experience and get enlighment!

 

Here I would like to add just the Rene Girard's thought about sacrifice crisis. By this, Girard describes a situation in ritual societies where the lack of distinction between the mythological figure that was the bearer of life - and its double (that was the bearer of death) caused vendettas and even extinction of some ritual societies! So: the lack of disinction always brings the society in crisis of ethic and other values. The chief characteristic of such societies are wars or extreme instability. Does it sound familiar? Perhaps this parallel with Girard is not very -well chosen in our context, but ours is certainly a society in a sacrifice crisis.

 

So, let us meditate analytcally well...

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

Tashi Delek,

 

Usually, what is not reflected becomes rigid and leads either to ideology and ideologic manipulation (or, in the case of religions - it leads to fundamentalism, narrow views etd.)
I agree, this is one extreme. The other one is laxity of ethical values, lack of care for the needs of the others.
But this is not art - as I am concerned.
I agree with you that what makes art valuable is its quest for the essence behind the appearance, a quest for a whole picture, similar to most of the philosophies or religions, but… I’m afraid that what is today regarded as art is mainly subdued to the art market – which is, as you know, not necessary subjected to these high criteria that you are talking about.
different life is now completely impossible. Violence made it impossible.
It can be very hard, it can last very long time – but I would never say it is impossible. This reminds me of the Schnittke's concert that you have mentioned on the Karma and media topic: the tendency is to lose hope. In the name of what truth? It’s too easy to say there is no hope. We can reach Enlightenment, how couldn’t everyday things be reachable? I guess sometimes we lack a belief in our potentials. We can transform our minds, we can develop our potentials, we can help others in infinite ways, but if we don’t believe in it, we won’t move a finger. I'm afraid that our time – art included – more often discourages then encourages us to believe in our true nature.
This process, just to remember you, began by sale of indulgences back in the Middle Ages: capital can bring you even Heaven (or, Buddhahood) - without the need to really transform the self!  

What is even more sad is that what was sold back in the Middle Ages, today gets either the form of a clearance sell or the form of a 5-minute (instant) transformation. Come to Buddha-Bar and get enlightment in 2 hours! Buy yourself tantric sex spiritual experience and get enlighment!

It’s incredible how spirituality can be distorted. :cry: :cry: :cry:

 

So I hope that we will keep walking on our Path well, to be able to help all the others as soon as possible, to fully develop the Awakening mind, to open the eyes of Wisdom and to reach Buddhahood. {..}

 

All the very best,

Chödrön

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