[So when the early American Vipassana teachers came home from their Asian sojourns in the late 1960s and early 1970s it made perfect sense to them to abstract pure meditation practice from its Asian Buddhist contexts and teach what they saw as a “secular” form of dharma that anyone could participate in, regardless of tradition or circumstances. The idea that Buddhism and Buddhist meditation was nonreligious drew many thousands of Americans to the dharma, in spite of the fact they never had any intention of joining an Asian religion.
This view of Buddhism is considered completely incorrect by most contemporary Buddhist scholars I know and have read. They maintain that there is no way to strip religion from its context, and that without its texts, rituals, customs, and traditions, it isn’t Buddhism at all. Moreover, they maintain that whatever good might come from meditation practice as a so-called secular activity is pretty superficial. It won’t last. Or, if it does last, it will be so watered down, so unmoored from any cultural ballast, from any actual substance, that it will eventually be subsumed into the general American consumerist madness (as, they feel, yoga has been). Why We Need a Plan B
Norman Fischer - Buddhadharma - posted by WH @ 5:53 AM 7 comments]
The endeavor at SCIY to turn Integral Yoga into something secular like Vipassana will fail. [TNM]