- Posted April 20, 2013 by
Buddhism - The end of an era?
For approximately the last 50 years, Buddhism has risen to great popularity in Western society. Many attribute this to the Dalai Lama, a smiling, iconic figure of the Buddhist community and Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan People. His work has been to not only spread the teachings of Buddha, but to help people grow spiritually and make the world a better place, whether you follow Buddhist teachings or not.
Many great teachers have left their homes in Tibet, China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, and other places, dedicating their lives to teaching those wanting to learn. Many Westerners have also taken their vows of Monk or Nun and have done the same.
The “Dharma Bums” of the 60‘s created a wave of Westerners looking for something other than the traditional western religions and doctrines, finding their spiritual paths in Buddhism. Many donned the robes of Monk or Nun and returned to their home countries to teach and establish Dharma Centers around the world. Today, a Dharma Center can be found in almost any city with members ranging from children to the eldery.
However, unfortunately, many teachers of that era are reaching their latter years.
A teacher that was ordained by Ven. Kelsang Gyatso (82 years old) recently posed the question; “What will happen after the Masters have passed?”
Not everyone can teach. It takes a special kind of person to be a good teacher, yet even more so to live what they are teaching and embody it.
So, while many teachers have risen from this generation of Masters, the question remains; What will happen to Buddhism once the Dalia Lama and other Masters have passed?
If you believe in rebirth, the Masters will be reborn and return as Masters once again. However, there will be approximate 20 - 30 year gap between the time of their passing, rebirth and their readiness to teach once again.
After around 2550 years, Buddhism is thriving more than ever. In my personal opinion, I feel that the seeds have been planted and are growing healthy and bearing fruit. What has been taught cannot be untaught and interest continues to grow as people continue seeking spiritual fulfillment and a path to inner peace and a better world. The internet is now a popular and useful vehicle for almost any information sought, and the teachers that will remain after the passing of the Masters will continue their work in helping the people interested make sense and apply in their daily lives what they find on the internet and book stores.
As Buddha taught; “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”