i'm in the early stages of exploring Buddhism. i try to keep a very basic meditation practice, and as part of that, i enjoy engaging with buddhist scripture and thought from various schools and traditions. to be clear, i am American myself. i find buddhist ideas and practices appealing, and i think it's clearly possible to have an authentic engagement with buddhism as an american...
at the same time, i do not find it easy to accept the authenticity or authority of prominent American Buddhists. i understand that someone like bhikkhu bodhi is worthy of respect, for example. but i prefer to turn to other sources to try to learn dharma.
partly this comes from an ingrained preference for old texts. i'm somewhat reluctant to accept modern commentary, particularly when it comes from people who were not raised in a buddhist culture. i'm even somewhat reluctant to rely on material from american publishers who focus exclusively on buddhism, as there's a potential "proselytizing" aspect. i usually look to the academic press in the first instance, where utility is goal: an accurate translation and a detached presentation of ideas.
i am wondering if others have confronted these feelings, and if so, what you might have done with them. do you still feel this skepticism to some extent? did you move past it towards a more inclusive perspective?
this is a fairly long post. thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and reply.
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