Dharma Police!

Are you Buddhist? Have you ever met a Buddhist? Do you know what Buddhism is all about? Let’s get this out of the way. Buddhism (I’m speaking especially of Mahayana schools, as I am more familiar with them) is all about compassion and mindfulness. Right speech, right action and all that shit.

You wouldn’t know it from Buddhist fora. It might just be me, but I’ve never seen the kind of jeering anger in pagan forums that I’ve seen in Buddhist forums. People aren’t just snarky. They aren’t just trolls. They’re cruel with a breathtaking sincerity that can drive unexpecting seekers away from the faith altogether. Yet for all that, Buddhist fora are home to some of the kindest people as well, and they display great sincerity in their acts of kindness.

Sincerity is the great flaw and the great weakness of online Buddhism. Everyone means so well, but all too often, this sincerity leads to moral rigidity, and posters become self-appointed “Dharma Police” who think that the best way to correct a new Buddhist’s mistake is to come down on them harder than Palden Lhamo.

300px-PaldenLhamo

(This is Palden Lhamo)

2 thoughts on “Dharma Police!

  1. It’s a sign of emotional immaturity. I have fought hard against my inclination to behave that way, and an occasional Stephy Smash still happens. I fall off the rage wagon, I guess you could say. It’s a difficult standard to hold myself to, and sometimes I fail. But the people who enjoy it, or worse, who are deliberately mean about it, are emotionally underdeveloped, and most likely have no concept of the person on the other side of the screen being a human.

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