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  • Writer's pictureMarina V Parrish

Down from the Mountain to the tiny desert Village. Why Dharma in the West needs Makeover

This is a very controversial topic I would say, but I have to write this. Simply because I support both religions and both of their philosophical background views. On the deepest level they promote and believe in the same outcome, they just use different acronyms and languages.

Why I think Dharma in the West is loosing it's power to Christianity in some sense at the present moment. Many things happened since 2016, COVID -19 ERA, and I felt that Dharma in the West began declining. I began questioning why this could have had happened and realized it is the way Westerners established Dharma in the the West on the first place. They build this as a Corporation. Structures all centers and most retreats on the base of corporate established structure. They helped their internal members, as long as remain the members, but not the outside communities or people who left the church. They build Dharma Centers in a Christian country with Christina lifestyle, but with much of Christian approach. They did not actually established it as Dharma, with some exceptions. On top of it, their community evolvement did

not go beyond their own Dharma Communities.

Why? I think because Dharma is the West was originally established by the Celebrities. And when these, mostly bipolar and schizophrenic people, changed their interests and switched back to "God", it influenced the progress of the Dharma ... Most, if not all American politicians are devoted Catholics or Baptist / 7th Day Adventist Christians.

But, Dharma Centers rarely do 5K runs, Cancer Walks, volunteering for the Catholic hospices or homeless shelters, do drug addict donations drives for Holidays, etc. They live on donations, but they don't donate themselves. On the deepest level, they stick with their own internal structure, uninvolved with outside World in some sense. It felt like they had their own internal government within everyone else's. Like Amish communities. However, Amish Communities do a lot of farming and crafts sales to the outside world and way more restricted. I guess it is ok, but I felt like if they want to make it Universal and useful, they need to get involved in more social causes, at least for the communities they had established.

Why I think Dharma Teachings are more advanced and go beyond Christian?

Christianity forces the idea of "God as your Punisher". For every bad or good action you commit.

And idea of either Heaven or Hell, as your final option. While Dharma teaches, that you are responsible for your own actions, and, your punishment can come in a various forms, depending on the level of your actions. If you kill ~ you may get killed or imprisoned, if you cheating ~ you will be cheated on, if you steal ~ you will become a bankrupt, if you lie ~ no one will believe you, when you tell the truth, etc. What is the answer to fix all of these past actions? Recognition or acceptance of the fault , completely changes the outcome of your actions. But only, if person is genuine in their realizations. Same as a Christian confessions idea. So, Dharma goes a little beyond idea of confession. It forces person to recognize the effect of their actions, before they commit them. And make a conscious choice. I would have to say in Old Testament there was a saying "First there was a sound, then was the word and the word was "God". God has created human as his own image". Dharma teaches that better than Christianity.

Dharma was mostly and better established on the West cost, due to these areas being culturally dominated by the Asian descendants. With all these said I felt in the recent years Dharma in the West has deteriorated. People began losing interest in both philosophy and spirituality. Many of the old Lamas had passed away, new younger Lamas are not as inspiring, at this time. They don't have much to share in terms of life experiences, most of them grew up under Western influence from the beginning. And many people returned to base Christianity, because they still fight more for local social causes ...

I wish people would merge the two together. Buddhism teaches more in terms of self-care, self-control, mind and body progress, birth and re-birth, while Christianity teaches and preaches more community evolvement. Both teach people how to become selfless, kind and possibly successful, both teach idea of resurrection, which is basically the same things, we are being reincarnated. Both believe in good and bad spirits and energies, both believe in bad and good "magicians", etc. But, on practice and in my personal experience on the personal level, most Christians are fascists. And I am very sorry to say this, but it is a fact. They DO NOT ACCEPT foreigners, they always try to convert them. Especially when it comes to other religions.

I had a conversation with 2 women, one muslim from Egypt, another California Catholic. Both got angry at me for saying people get re-born, death is not the end. But what did the Jesus do? How is resurrection different from the idea of incarnation? God created you as his own image and you continue this journey until you yourself realize you are God's child, but you did not get it. They call it "the Divine Pride Realization" in Highest Yoga Tantra. God creates, God gives birth to myriad of the things and ideas, God learns, God teaches, God exist and influences reality he exist in. We all do the same things. Parents teach their children: how to talk, how to walk, how to think. There isn't much difference when it comes to the deepest levels of underlining philosophies of both religions. I feel, if people study both philosophies together it would bring twice the benefit for everyone.



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