Defenders of the one true dharma

When I occasionally read Buddhist or integral blogs, one thing that sometimes comes up is Buddhist fundamentalism, a defense of the One True Dharma.

As so often, it is easy to see it in others. A story is taken as true, other viewpoints are made wrong, and there may be the usual signs of taking a story as true, especially if it is challenged: a closed view, closed heart, emotional reactivity, compulsion. (The content of the story can be anything, for instance making Asian cultural baggage in teachings wrong, having a bone to pick about the approaches or terminology of related traditions such as advaita, taking a model or map as true and ignoring that reality will always show up outside of any map, relate to the green value meme as an ugly bogeyman hiding under the bed.)

It is also easy to see that whenever I take any story as true – however sophisticated, spiritual, mundane or ordinary it may seem – I become a fundamentalist and a defender of the One True Dharma. The dharma may be that I need people to love me, or the guy in the back of the bus to quiet down, or folks in front of the library to not spit by the entrance, and I make it into the One True Dharma for me, and something to battling reality with. I set myself up in a hopeless situation.

So when I notice Buddhist or integral fundamentalism, what does that mirror in me? When and how do I do the same?

When I notice, can I find the sincerity to explore it and find what is more true for me?

What happens when I resist experience? When I take a story as true?

What happens when I allow experience, as it is, with kindness?

What happens when I notice the fear behind reactivity and attaching to a story as true, and embrace the fear as it is, with heart and kindness? What do I find when I explore that fear through the sense fields? Is it solid? Substantial? Lasting? What is it without the label?

What happens when I inquiry into whatever viewpoint or identity I take as true? How would it be to live from its turnarounds?

What happens when I explore all of this in the sense fields? Can I notice that all drama comes out of interactions within my own world of images? The images of others holding certain views? The images of what I make into shoulds? The images of a me having shoulds clashing with the world? What happens when all of this is going on without being noticed? What happens when it is noticed, in real time?

Also, what is the validity in the views I initially take as fundamentalist? How can I live those in my own life, in a way that seems more sane, mature, wise and kind?



  • defenders of the one true dharma (buddhist fundamentalism)
    • easy to see in others (anti-detachment, anti-cultural baggage, anti-green (integral) etc.) (notice the symptoms of taking a story as true – closed view, closed heart, emotional reactivity, compulsiveness)
    • easy to see, attach to a story as true (instead of just a question, pointer, invitation for exploration + medicine for a specific condition an no truth or validity beyond that)
    • find the same whenever I take any story as true, I become the defender of the one true dharma

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