There's an article in the Religion section of last week's Huffington Post in which a Professor of Philosophy from Duke pontificates that American Buddhists "don't get it". His assessment is that most of us are practicing a watered-down self-help version of something pure and bold that we can't begin to grasp.
The article both infuriated and intrigued me. I get it. Anyone nowadays who considers themselves 'spiritual but not religious' can embrace the loose fitting tenants of Americanized Buddhism. Om size fits all, it seems.
Considering many American Buddhists look for wisdom from such respected teachers as the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Pema Chodron, I don't think the author's blanket criticism is fair. Self-immolation and saffron robes are not a requirement for seeking a better way to live.
But here's the article. Decide for yourself, if you're so inclined. Me? I've still got way too many miles to go down the Eightfold Path to let this guy trip me up.
Owen Flanagan, Ph.D.: Bourgeois Buddhists: Do Americans Miss the Point of Buddhism?