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Was accused of "culturally appropriating" Buddhism by an old friend I ran into.

I came back to my college homecoming this weekend (graduated this past May from a small liberal arts school), and found myself in a conversation with a guy who is currently in seminar training to be an Episcopal priest. He was a religion major when we were in School together, and someone I considered a friend when we were in school, although we have not kept in touch. In front of a crowd of roughly 15 other people I graduated with - none of which I ever had any type of friendship with when I was in college - he said verbatim "Quit appropriating their culture. Just because you know a guy doesn't mean you can claim their culture as your own."

I have been practicing Buddhism seriously for a few months now, and have told a few people about it. Regrettably, I told a few people who I don't trust, and I presume they've been talking about me behind my back for the last couple months.

I'm thankful that I was able to stay grounded in the moment as a result of the building up of my meditation/dharma practice, and looking back all I can do is feel sorry for him. I'm curious if you all have found yourselves in similar situations, and if so how you have responded. Is it worth the battle to try to convince someone with such a closed mind that there is existential truth in Buddhism that isn't found anywhere else, or is it wise to simply let it go and continue to cultivate the path?

submitted by /u/hongshizi
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Was accused of "culturally appropriating" Buddhism by an old friend I ran into.


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