In the first part of a multi-part discussion with Buddhist teacher and scholar Hokai Sobol, we explore the invisible, and rarely discussed, forces that shape Western Buddhism. In particular what we call “culture” shapes our institutions and communities in ways that we rarely see with clarity.
Hokai spends a good bit of this initial discussion exploring the traditional story that has been handed down to us. This story includes the various cultural assumptions surrounding the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions, in the different countries and time periods in which they existed. These norms include the what it means to have a “healthy attitude” (or “right attitude” as it’s often formulated), what the proper teacher-student relationship is, and what hierarchy looks like in these cultures.
This is part 1 of a multi-part series. Listen to part 2, Exchanging Dharma – The Consumer Mindset.
Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info )