djbuddha was kind enough to award us the Honest Scrap Award a few weeks ago, but it’s taken us some time to communicate and post about this ourselves. There are three rules that go along with this award: (1) brag about it, (2) chose a minimum of seven blogs that we find brilliant, and (3) list ten honest things about ourselves. Since this is a group blog, we’ve decided to divide up the labor. This has taken a while, and for the sake of our own sanity, we’re keeping this short and sticking to the rules as best we can. We all brag. We each listed two blogs we find brilliant, for a total of eight. Finally, we each gave you three honest tidbits about ourselves, for a total of twelve. Thanks, Scott!
Tricycle printed a letter to the editor from Scott Mitchell that criticized their “Buddhism by the Numbers” piece in the Fall 2008 issue. If you can’t read his whole complaint, it’s also available on his blog. There are four specific issues, but in this post, I’m addressing one in particular:
The exclusion of the Hawaiian population is troublesome for a number of reasons: chief among them the continual marginalization of Hawaii as part of the United States, and the marginalization of Japanese-American Buddhists generally. In other words, these Asian-American Buddhists were literally not counted in this report.
That’s one side of the coin. Here’s an alternative perspective: I imagine that the Pew Study did some internal analysis and concluded on excluding Hawai‘i, since the Aloha State’s unique contribution to the national profile would not have justified the extra contract cost in contacting them. Now I’m not saying that excluding Hawaiians is fair, but it’s worth crunching the numbers to see to what extent the Buddhists of Hawai‘i really do change the national profile.
Some recent blog posts relating to race and meditation.
A recent post by Scott Mitchell lists “several concerns with the meditation-centric rhetoric of contemporary Buddhism in America.” One of them was written with a sharpness that perhaps only the Angry Asian Buddhist could love: the rhetoric of “meditation is practice” but chanting and other Buddhist practices are “just ritual” perpetuates the notion that white folks are doing something unprecedented in American Buddhism while Asian folks are simply carrying around their cultural baggage.