11 Oct 2010 Leave a comment
So I recently tweeted that I need more Buddhist geek friends. I never realized what kind of response that this would get me.
More than a few new followers have jumped on board my twitter train, so to speak.
However, what I need is not something I can easily find on-line. I have friends who are on twitter and friends who are bloggers and I treasure all of these wonderful folks. It's just not what I have in mind. What I need is the third part of the triple gem: sangha.
Jade Buddha Temple is good; they have great monastics that know their stuff and a welcoming environment, but I feel like the outsider as so much of their services and activities center around Chinese Culture and are in Mandarin. Now I know if I just keep showing up that will get better and they will eventually accommodate me. However, Chinese Mahayana is not where my path lies. I want to teach the dharma (one day) so my Path lies in Zen in some form or other. As I have no intention of shaving my head and taking Vinaya vows. Soto Zen resonates well with me. I find Dogen's work to be not only interesting but it just plain makes sense. However, Soto Zen in this country tends to be very upper Middle Class and white. I'm the last but I don't like the Lilly whiteness of the lineage of Suzuki that I have observed thus far. It also tends to seem very inaccessible and not welcoming because of it's high level of ritual that Americans are not familiar with. I'd prefer a T-shirt and jeans kind of Zen Center, instead of everyone in their practice robes and most of them wearing rokasus.
Let me be clear this isn't a slam on the Houston Zen Center. It's a great place and just like the JBT if I keep going then my comfort level will increase. At least there the language and culture barrier doesn't exist as much.
I'm not interested in attending the Korean Zen Center here either because it is colocated with a Korean Mahayana Temple and then you run into the same issues as at JBT.
In the end these are all MY problems. I really just want some local people to talk about the dharma with without them saying this like that makes so much sense, but… I have friends but most of them aren't particularly interested in my Path and don't want to talk about shunyata on the phone or absolute v. relative over coffee. I do have a few Buddhist friends but I feel like I'm way too enthusiastic about crap I read/hear/think/come up with while sitting and don't want to try their patience.
This will be what they will be.