As big corporations embrace meditation, some Buddhists fear their religion’s being co-opted by elites
Powerful, well-funded institutions want to invest in Buddhism. They’ve been eyeing the neighborhood for ways to manage employee stress and put a more compassionate face on free trade. The only question is whether the current tenants will band together to disrupt them. Buddhists now fear their religion is turning into a designer drug for the elite. Some are fighting back against this trend. “Just like the gentrification of a neighborhood where new, wealthy people displace people who have lived there longer,” Ream writes, “the dharma is undergoing a process of gentrification in San Francisco today.”
All of this started when, a couple of people armed with yoga mats, pungent body-order and self-righteousness stormed the Wisdom 2.0 conference. If you didn’t know, this conference is an annual gathering of life coaches, tech elites and spiritual teachers billed as a “conversation about the merging of wisdom and technology,” and topics range from mindful business and leadership to social entrepreneurship and innovation. “Most of the workshops offer lifestyle and consumer choices that are meant to help people heal from the harm, emptiness and un-sustainability associated with living under capitalism, but [they do so] without offering an analysis of where this disconnection comes from,” Amanda Ream, one of the disruption’s organizers, writes in a blog post for Tricycle Magazine explaining why she disrupted the conference. “The conference presents an evolution in consciousness of the wealthiest among us as the antidote to suffering rather than the redistribution of wealth and power.”
Here’s the thing
Religion is a tool. It is a means to an end and usually that end is sectarian violence; or accepting to live in a deplorable situation now because in some strange afterlife you will be front of the line for all the rides in heaven. Yes there are some people who have used religion to help others or as a disciplinary measure to calm their zeal for life just till it’s tepid and uninspiring, but the exceptions do not define the rules!
Who do these Buddhist think they are, Do they feel that Buddhist is special, do they think that it is not doomed to lead to sectarian violence like the Buddhist monks in Burma terrorizing Muslims ? I would even be willing to that religion is like a loaded gun in a safe. It takes someone to come in pick up the gun and use. Since when have human beings not been vengeful, ignorant belligerent. The Tech Industry cares about $$$ not people.
Buddhist and meditation and all that fancy shit is one way to squeeze more juice out of the employee.