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White People are Scary

Discussion of Theravada Buddhism in the light of Zen.

Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:54 pm

a nice piece of work by Byron Katie and the black lady.

klqv wrote:
lok91 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:
lok91 wrote:
She's realizing she [black woman] is the one who needs to change right now. And perhaps her changing will ultimately help white people to change too.

White person convincing a black woman that she's the one who needs to change. White people are scary!


You can choose to see it that way -- or you can look past colour altogether.

I'm a white male so I don't need to look past color, or gender for that matter, in this country. I'm on the top. :)

yargh... i think that's how this video made me think - why don't i completely look past colour etc. / would i even want to. make sense?


interesting enquiry going on here too
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:37 pm

moon face buddha wrote:I really dislike the whole 'you should look past colour' idea. It implies that there is something WRONG with being black/white male/female left-handed/right-handed etc, and that we cannot have meaningful interactions with other humans until we see past colour and just see everyone as monochrome bland walking meat-puppets.


I also dislike 'shoulds'. I don't think I even use this word anymore. But isn't it good to know there is choice (in how we view things)? Good to be aware of the filters we see through? As the woman in the video saw through the filter of her thoughts about the way the world is?

When the word 'should' is removed (which you added) -- is there still that implication of wrongness?

I remember when I was about 5 years old, my parents bought me a black barbie doll. They gave it to me, and asked me the question, "what is different about this barbie doll than all your other barbies?" They were intending to teach me about prejudice. My response was: she has different clothes? "What else?" they asked. She has short hair? "Anything else?" She has curly hair... They kept asking what else, and I didn't quite get what they were wanting me to say, and I remember them looking at each other, surprised that I didn't "see it". See what? Finally they pointed it out, and I was confused what this whole thing was about. They explained that some people judge other people based on their skin colour, and this was my introduction into seeing with filters, I suppose.

Young children do not see these differences, until they are taught.



Our experiences and what we are taught by our parents, society, create filters that we see the world through.

By "seeing beyond color" what I mean is taking a look without some of these filters we've been conditioned to see through. But how can we do this until we become aware of what these filters (our thoughts about the world) are?

This issue of color is just an example. We have many other filters. What our practice does is help us to become aware of them.

Here is another example from Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, talking about his 'personality' being a filter to how he saw his musical performance (warning: there are a few profanities used, if you have delicate ears):

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby moon face buddha on Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:36 pm

'Seeing beyond colour'...another filter :O:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:46 pm

Wow, who would you be without these stories that stop seeing what is there. Glitzy, we've been down that road before, and all the other comparisons and criteria for judging that do not meet the criteria of zen.

Byron Katie is not a life coach, far from it. She is a awakened person with an almost unbelievable non-attachment who can see through illusion. I have seen her. She does this work routinely with people. It changes people's lives. She's been around for over 10 years. This is no act.

Let the shooting begin.

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Jok_Hae on Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:06 pm

chicka -Dee wrote:

Young children do not see these differences, until they are taught.


Ignorance, hated and greed are learned behaviors. Parents have a tremendous responsibility and we often fall very, very short in our efforts.

Hopefully, you can ignore the meta-discussion that has ensued. I didn't watch the video and won't (personal reasons which I won't discuss), but I appreciate very much the intent that went into posting it.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Kojip on Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:48 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Wow, who would you be without these stories that stop seeing what is there. Glitzy, we've been down that road before, and all the other comparisons and criteria for judging that do not meet the criteria of zen.


Linda Anderson wrote:Let the shooting begin.

Ok. :lol2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performative_contradiction



I appreciate where you are coming from chicka-dee. Where to does the chain of pain begin? white people? European Colonialists? Their forefathers? Where does the buck stop? I guess as Jok Hae says.... Us and our kids.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby partofit22 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:05 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:Young children do not see these differences, until they are taught.


very young children see everything but differences- they see white as white and brown as brown- they also will not think twice about telling a person with brown or white skin that their skin is the color it is -- or telling a flower that it's a flower with ten bent petals and broken stem- they're descriptive- children also become frightened without being taught to-
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby moon face buddha on Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:13 pm

http://guruphiliac.lefora.com/2009/03/2 ... -march-09/

The boot-camp tactics and mentality, the pressure to conform to total thought and behavior requirements, and many other features seemed very cult-like to me. I would not hesitate to say The School is a cult experience. And I'm sad for that, since I think The Work is a very useful tool for self-help. Something seems to be going very wrong in BKI and The School. All things arise, organize, and disintegrate. The School is on the down slope in my opinion. More later.


Sleep deprivation, food deprivation, and a 'thou shalt not doubt the guru' mentality...sounds like the usual pseudo-spiritual bs that we keep on seeing all around the world.

Edit - I just took at a look at the official website. She must be making some serious money of this stuff. I really don't understand why people want to pay so much money to a stranger in order to unlearn a lot of stuff. What the heck is so darn wrong with the journey of life?
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby lok91 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:15 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Let the shooting begin.


There's a big filter. :lol2:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:19 pm

We're getting way off topic, here.

The Topic is not the thought itself (white people are scary) -- it is seeing through the thought, that causes suffering and pain. And using self-inquiry to find our way.

Be back in a minute...
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:39 pm

This whole issue of race and racism is NOT what this thread is about. This just happened to be the issue for the woman in the video, the source of her suffering and pain. And through some self-inquiry, with the help of Byron Katie, she got to the heart of the matter, which boiled down to the thought (for her): "White people are scary". She built a whole identity and story around this thought, which was taught to her as a child, and it brought pain and limitation into her life.

What this thread is about is seeing that it is our thoughts, the stories we spin in our minds, that cause us pain and suffering. And learning to see this for ourselves, through our spiritual practice.

Anyone who has done this themselves will recognize it. And those who haven't will learn from seeing in someone else how this works.

Can you not see how this thought affected how she saw the world? And determined how she lived, interacted, reacted in the world? And when she isolated this thought (which likely took considerable work to do in the first place) and examined it, she found it didn't 'hold water' (so to speak) -- it wasn't really true. And more than this, it was the thought itself that caused her so much pain and suffering, and not really anything outside of herself.

THIS is what this discussion and thread is about -- have I made this clear?
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:55 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Byron Katie is not a life coach, far from it. She is a awakened person with an almost unbelievable non-attachment who can see through illusion. I have seen her. She does this work routinely with people. It changes people's lives. She's been around for over 10 years. This is no act.


Thank you, Linda.

Some might be interested to know that the foreward to her book I'm currently reading is written by John Tarrant, a Zen Buddhist teacher, who I see is the director of the Pacific Zen Institute. Not sure if he passes inspection with the crowd here or not? If this helps any with giving her an inch of space of possible acceptance.

Jok_Hae wrote:I didn't watch the video and won't (personal reasons which I won't discuss), but I appreciate very much the intent that went into posting it.

Good luck and thanks for practicing,
Keith


Thank you, Keith.

:Namaste:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby partofit22 on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:58 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:have I made this clear?


yes- :)
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:03 pm

partofit22 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:have I made this clear?


yes- :)


Thank you! :hugs:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Linda Anderson on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:03 pm

Dee,

Yes, you are very clear... every word of it. I agree that this is demonstrating a method of inquiry. The rest is is extra, no charge tho. :)

cease fire.. :lol2:

I also think that racism, as its own issue, goes far deeper... quite probably beneath and beyond what we are taught. We can only start with our own illusions and vulnerabilities.

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby So-on Mann on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:21 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:This whole issue of race and racism is NOT what this thread is about. This just happened to be the issue for the woman in the video, the source of her suffering and pain. ...

What this thread is about is seeing that it is our thoughts, the stories we spin in our minds, that cause us pain and suffering. And learning to see this for ourselves, through our spiritual practice.
...

THIS is what this discussion and thread is about -- have I made this clear?


Yes... the woman in the video is "taking the backwards step, turning the light and shining it inward." It could have been an example of a woman who was raped and thinks "all men are scary" or someone who was robbed by a Latino and thought "all Latinos are scary."

Bottom line, she is taking responsibility for the thoughts that reside, rent free, in HER mind. The buck stops here.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:28 pm

Yes, yes. Thank you for helping us see this. :)
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby lok91 on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:43 am

chicka-Dee wrote:This whole issue of race and racism is NOT what this thread is about.

It's not what the video is about either. That's about doing "The Work" (Visa and MasterCard accepted).

This just happened to be the issue for the woman in the video, the source of her suffering and pain. And through some self-inquiry, with the help of Byron Katie, she got to the heart of the matter, which boiled down to the thought (for her): "White people are scary". She built a whole identity and story around this thought, which was taught to her as a child, and it brought pain and limitation into her life.

And now her identity is built around a person who does "The Work" and sees the world unfiltered?

NOT really about identity either...

What this thread is about is seeing that it is our thoughts, the stories we spin in our minds, that cause us pain and suffering. And learning to see this for ourselves, through our spiritual practice.

But what caused the thoughts...

Anyone who has done this themselves will recognize it. And those who haven't will learn from seeing in someone else how this works.

The video only taught me how "The Work" works. I will say that it's quite brilliant marketing.

Can you not see how this thought affected how she saw the world? And determined how she lived, interacted, reacted in the world? And when she isolated this thought (which likely took considerable work to do in the first place) and examined it, she found it didn't 'hold water' (so to speak) -- it wasn't really true.

It obviously wasn't really true. A black woman who is supposedly crippled by a fear of white people bares her soul, on-stage, in a room filled by white people. Yeah, that fear of white people sure limited how she interacted and reacted in the world!

NOT really about irrational fear either...

And more than this, it was the thought itself that caused her so much pain and suffering, and not really anything outside of herself.

In the beginning of the video she mentioned witnessing her children being beaten because of their appearance (black). I can't help thinking that that might have caused her pain and suffering. Unless that didn't really happen and was a self generated fantasy.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:59 am

Chicka Dee, I think you said it very clearly.

lok91 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:This whole issue of race and racism is NOT what this thread is about.

It's not what the video is about either. That's about doing "The Work" (Visa and MasterCard accepted).

This just happened to be the issue for the woman in the video, the source of her suffering and pain. And through some self-inquiry, with the help of Byron Katie, she got to the heart of the matter, which boiled down to the thought (for her): "White people are scary". She built a whole identity and story around this thought, which was taught to her as a child, and it brought pain and limitation into her life.

And now her identity is built around a person who does "The Work" and sees the world unfiltered?

NOT really about identity either...

What this thread is about is seeing that it is our thoughts, the stories we spin in our minds, that cause us pain and suffering. And learning to see this for ourselves, through our spiritual practice.

But what caused the thoughts...

Anyone who has done this themselves will recognize it. And those who haven't will learn from seeing in someone else how this works.

The video only taught me how "The Work" works. I will say that it's quite brilliant marketing.

Can you not see how this thought affected how she saw the world? And determined how she lived, interacted, reacted in the world? And when she isolated this thought (which likely took considerable work to do in the first place) and examined it, she found it didn't 'hold water' (so to speak) -- it wasn't really true.

It obviously wasn't really true. A black woman who is supposedly crippled by a fear of white people bares her soul, on-stage, in a room filled by white people. Yeah, that fear of white people sure limited how she interacted and reacted in the world!

NOT really about irrational fear either...

And more than this, it was the thought itself that caused her so much pain and suffering, and not really anything outside of herself.

In the beginning of the video she mentioned witnessing her children being beaten because of their appearance (black). I can't help thinking that that might have caused her pain and suffering. Unless that didn't really happen and was a self generated fantasy.


On the money bit, which a few people brought up, not just lok:

I think a way of doing self inquirey is shown in the video. It is perfectly possible to do it on your own and as far as I can remember Byron Katie has guidelines for everyone for free on her site and there are also these videos etc released for free so no payment is actually required. The work is out there for anyone interested.

The other thing about money is that for some people it is a delight to give the teacher money. Personally I feel happy to know that because of me my teacher can continue to live and share her teachings. So nice also to have the money to pay. I feel grateful to be well enough resourced to pay.

On the second part of your post lok, it is difficult to compute how these things work but if you have practised sincere self inquirey and gone very deep and released yourself from a paradigm, your life actually changes. Once you experience that there is no turning back because you know somewhere deep inside that things are not what they seem.

A slight criticism that I would have of Byron Katies process from what I see in the video is that I feel almost like her student was flipped into the other side of the duality namely 'white people are comforting'. Holding that paradigm is just as erroneous as holding it's opposite. I am not sure where her process goes from there but once the opposite is contained in my view both need to be released. When that release happens, you are operating from a place of purity, rather than dancing with the conceptuL reality you are holding inside.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:01 pm

Lok91, you're missing my point entirely if you think this is about Byron Katie and "The Work". No. I was meaning to show this as an example, to show how our thoughts are the cause of much of our suffering. If you don't see that, that's fine. I'm really not here to debate endlessly and try to defend anything. Either you see something useful here or you don't. Either way is fine with me. :)


Much of our spiritual practice is a form of inquiry. Meditation, looking inward. Many, many teachers use some form of self-inquiry. Many Buddhist ones! Who am I? Who is the one asking? It's really a very natural part of things, a curiosity about the world and how things 'work'. And in spiritual practice we turn this around to look at ourselves. And it can be completely free! I'm not asking anyone to go out and pay for a teaching. But many of us do!! I've paid dana and fees to go on retreats, learn meditation, yoga, attend dharma talks and sessions.

So let's just please not turn this into a bashing thread. This is just a way to skirt the real issues at hand. If you have some constructive criticism, this can be helpful.

goddess wrote:A slight criticism that I would have of Byron Katies process from what I see in the video is that I feel almost like her student was flipped into the other side of the duality namely 'white people are comforting'. Holding that paradigm is just as erroneous as holding it's opposite. I am not sure where her process goes from there but once the opposite is contained in my view both need to be released. When that release happens, you are operating from a place of purity, rather than dancing with the conceptuL reality you are holding inside.


Hi goddess -- thanks for bringing this up. It is a good question, and what this 'flipping' technique is about, is once you've identified the thought behind your suffering, you question the truth of it. And a way of doing this is looking at different forms of the opposite thought, and finding whether the opposite is as true as the thought we are holding onto (grasping). This is actually a way of releasing the grasped thought, or moving to hold both thoughts equally (when they are held equally, one or the other is not grasped) -- usually the grasped thought has some deep roots, and so by finding 3 reasons that the opposite is also true, it helps to uproot the thought that was causing us suffering.

I would say that we still do need to "dance" with the conceptual world (this is a great way to put it!) only we find ourselves in the world, but not of it.


partofit22 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:Young children do not see these differences, until they are taught.


very young children see everything but differences- they see white as white and brown as brown- they also will not think twice about telling a person with brown or white skin that their skin is the color it is -- or telling a flower that it's a flower with ten bent petals and broken stem- they're descriptive- children also become frightened without being taught to-


Yes, I think so, partofit -- children see the world much more 'purely', and are so observant! And honest.

But largely, isn't fear something that is learned through experience? We do seem to have instinctual fears, but does a newborn baby have fear? They cry from overstimulation, hunger, feeling uncomfortable -- but when does actual 'fear' enter their experience? This is an interesting question.

And where does suffering come from?

As part of a class that I took on the 4 Noble Truths, using the book "Dancing With Life: Buddhist Insights for Finding Meaning and Joy in the Face of Suffering" by Phillip Moffitt, we examined our experience of suffering (dukkha). Some questions the teacher asked us to look at:

"When a feeling of dukkha has arisen in your mind, ask yourself how much of this suffering is an objective fact and how much of it is my emotional resistance to it?"

And: Ask yourself "Am I suffering in this moment"? Experiment with separating the physical or emotional difficulty from your mind's reaction to what's painful. Which is worse?

We don't want to suffer, but instead of examining our suffering, we turn away from it, try to to cover it up with more pleasant things, tell ourselves all kinds of stories about it.

Isn't this what many of us are really here for (engaged in spiritual practice)? To find the truth of our suffering? And yet how much do we really talk about it or look at it?
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