Thanks for this. I find I'm having trouble with your second paragraph, about the cultural appropriation. There is something quite unpalatable about it being a key ingredient. I'm not sure what it is yet, but find below my first attempt at figuring it out.

I recognize that this acting in accordance with what you perceive to be the path of your ancestors, rings true for you.

Making it a caution, or worse, an injunction, for others, though - it seems like you're crossing the line into religious dogmatism.

Spiritual traditions through the ages have been exposed to, and affected by, the cultural cross-currents of the age in which they were extant.

Without such cross-currents, we would not have anything like the wide diversity of Buddhist practices and philosophies we see today. And that's just Buddhism.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that you are trying to harken back to the fundamentals of the spiritual current within which you feel at home, and there is definite beauty in that. I have done that.

And I am definitely on board in making every effort to genuinely understand the practices you do, within their appropriate cultural contexts and settings - even if they are thousands of years old.

What I would oppose is any rule that affects the freedom of others. Your response puts things just a little too strongly for my tastes.

To stay with the gustatory, it tastes like cultural conservatism dressed up as spiritual, or otherwise progressive, doctrine.

Referring to true guides and helpers only makes things more religion-y, in the sense that the pillar on which your rule barring cultural appropriation rests is wholly experiential, and objectively hard to verify.

Perhaps I'm just uncomfortably challenged in my own paradigms. There is a bit of that involved, I think.

Anyway, I'd be interested in your thoughts on all this.

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Meditation student, and sometimes teacher.

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