July 30, 2009

How to demean an Angry Asian Buddhist

All the way back to the first Angry Asian Buddhist post, I’ve repeatedly noticed certain types of comments meant to stymie discussions of racial marginalization. Fortunately, these people noticed too.
  • Derailing for Dummies “A simple step-by-step guide to derailing awkward conversations by dismissing and trivializing your opposition’s perspective and experience.”
  • Wite-Magik Attax “A predictable series of non-arguments that attempt to denigrate, negate, or invalidate ideas, feelings, or experience as related by a brown person. These attacks take many forms, and while each person making the attack thinks their (dys)logic to be unerring, they echo timeless and faulty cognitive patterns. These Wite-Magik Attax invariably escalate in intensity, however, the longer the brown person attempts to assert their reality.”
  • We heard it before (from Resist racism) “Commonly expressed but boring responses to various posts.”
Not that I haven’t had my share of unjust silencers. (Sorry!) My favorite Buddhist dismissal is, “In the Enlightened mind, there is no race, no Asian, no Black, no White.” Right. Just don’t swim in our pool.

6 comments :

  1. Your favorite Buddhist dismissal is also one of my favorites. It is such an empty and meaningless retort in my view, and quite elitist at that, because it implies that the speaker "knows more Buddhism" than I do, or it has a parental tone, like "silly you, don't you know an enlightened mind knows no race?" Well, of course not, I do not have an enlightened mind. And I suspect, neither do the people who make such statements.

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  2. Nice list. Was reading the Wite-Magik Attax list yesterday also. What he has written there is very true and looking through the list and comparing it to comments in various places quite obvious. I would like to apply this kind of list to male privilege in a post some time also.

    Example:

    The John Wayne approach, "There there li'l lady, why don't you let a big ol', big brained man do your thinking for you."

    Ha!

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  3. Is Buddhism inherited?

    ps. I don't try to engage myself about it, but I think there is still a lot of class warfare going on. I think it even comes into play when people make racism happen. Not as if it was all premeditated on grounds of class, but I think that class warfare is a real thing, today - and the politics that follow after it, like the wake of a boat in an oil-slick.

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  4. The Buddha set an example for people to follow. He accomplished a great goal in his lifetime. He gave advice and methods on how to achieve what he done--which was in the time of a most degenerate age, he attained the awakened state, anuttarasamyaksambodhi or fully completed enlightenment. Following in his example, the mind that has the gnosis of the non-dual aspect of reality, sees that there is no difference between you, the computer you are using, the table or your neighbor. The non-dual mind sees that there is no separation. Everything is of that infinite aspect. How can infinity be incomplete? The Heart Sutra states that the Buddha went "beyond the Beyond." He went beyond all created thought and conception to Ultimate Reality.

    It's your ideas, illusions of dualism that prevent one from seeing the true reality and the nature of all things. There is no separation! There is no 'us' verse 'them' or 'black' verses 'white' or any of that nonsense. If you can train the mind to include everything that is out there, the supposed good and bad--the TOTALITY of reality, one will eventually see that it is the mind that creates those little compartments to put people and things into.

    Get over the duality aspect and the world opens up because you have refused to see the illusion of form, formlessness and constructed thoughts.

    The anger and resentment fades away because you see the EQUANIMITY of all beings and all things. So, yes in the enlightened mind there is no race, no other tags of self-identification, like gay or straight.

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  5. This is an ideal world. If I am seeing the samsaric world in an ideal way-then of course it is equanimity all around. These pronouncements:
    "It's your ideas, illusions of dualism..." "...or any of that nonsense." and these orders "Get over the duality aspect..." that the offense occurs.

    In the enlightened mind there is an acknowledgment of the suffering of others not the blithe dismissal of that suffering with a lot of reinterpretation of Buddhist doctrine and attempted coercion to see things as they are NOT. Reality is not some non-dualist's dream for people who are suffering.

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  6. Who have I offended? The dualistic mind or the mind of equanimity? If you are offended, you should seriously think why words and phrases have disturbed your peace of mind. DId I clearly state that "YOU PERSONALLY should get over the duality aspect?" Maybe I should written that as "From my experience, ONCE you get over the duality aspect the world opens up...." And for me it did and I am relating my experience with my deluded thinking about race and my self-cherishing thoughts.

    "Attempted coercion"? Did I hold a gun to your head? Did I force you to reply? Did I force you to read the blog? Nope. This is a Buddhist blog by the way, where there is discussion and yes, even "reinterpretation" of Buddhist concepts and doctrines according to what was remembered by Ananda and recorded by the sangha.

    The Buddha did clearly state that suffering originates within the mind, through illusionary thoughts and ideas about reality. The Dharma is comes to life when it is applied, when the Buddhas words have struck a chord with you to spur you to make different choices about your thinking. With the Dharma, you have the space to allow for introspection and take a different course of action. You begin change by changing yourself. To eliminate suffering of yourself and others, you start by initiating the change where the source of suffering begins--within your own mind.

    Seeing the non-dual nature of things and equanimity, your mind's hard edges begins to soften and actually want to do something about the suffering instead of playing some sort of role as a 'victim' or being slighted by the world or feeling powerless to do anything. The more you enforce the victim identity the more you enforce the separation and the unwillingness to assist others who are in your same situation.

    In my case, I am Native American and I've seen racism to a good degree, from whites, blacks, asians and hispanics. I'll even go as far as mentioning passive-racist ideas, like the 'Hollywood' romanticized version of American Indians--how we're so peaceful, spiritual and everyday is a session in the sweatlodge. There were inter-tribal wars with plenty of genocide all around because of incorrect perception--the 'other' tribe was perceived to be different or they 'offended' the other tribe in some manner.

    Through the study of non-dualism and applying Buddhist principles, I have come to an understanding THROUGH APPLICATION that I don't need to think that I am a 'minority' and that other people are any different than myself. The suffering that is on the reservations is the same suffering of any third-world nation or inner city. The realization that people suffer in the same way is other other side of equanimity. You're sadness is the same as mine, the same as your neighbors. That's part of being a human during this period of time.

    If I can change the way I think and operate, I can eliminate the suffering of those illusionary thoughts, and apply patience, compassion and develop a true sense of bodhicitta. By doing this and setting an example like the Buddha did, I can help others. But I can't do it until I start to work out my self-deluded illusions that exist within my mind. I have to learn how to cope with them, tame them and eventually eliminate them--escaping samsara in the process. Or if you have extreme bodhicitta and the aspiration to become a Buddha, you follow the path of the Bodhisattva and make the vow to return to help others.

    I clearly acknowledge the suffering that goes on in this world and I want to do something about it. The Buddha set the example and I am trying to follow his teachings and instructions to better myself and the world.

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