Open letter to insensitive marketers
Mark Shefsiek stashed this in The eternally happy Yogi
If you are using Buddha or anything associated with the image of Buddha please stop. We Buddhists try to keep a light heart and can laugh at ourselves. We will not issue any threat of retaliation for the desecration of our beliefs. That said your works lay somewhere on the spectrum of culturally insensitive to downright offensive.
Lets look at just one term, Buddha Bowl. The bowl of a monk is the physical representation of humility, non-attachment and the empty space that holds the nourishment of both alms, offerings, and the Dharma itself.
That does not seem to be equivalent to one of Oprah's favorite things.
Become One with Your Bowl
Enjoy a moment of Zen with the handmade Buddha Bowl. Nestled naturally in your palm, this bowl allows you to enjoy rice, soup, cereal and hot cocoa with ease. Its comforting shape washed in soothing color, this dish brings a touch of tranquility to your daily routine. Who knows-maybe you'll find enlightenment in your morning latte. Available in many colors: olive, pacific, aubergine, black bean, tofu, and butter. Created by Flavour Design. Sold individually. Handmade in southern California.
Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Foods (which incidentally is pursuing a trademark at this time for Buddha Bowl)
What does lesser evil popcorn even mean? And should evil and Buddha be next to a smiling pink image with popcorn ?
Moving from the bowl to "moment of Zen" which is used by The Daily Show to give a 30 second sound bite of the absurd. Is that appropriate?
For people in Tibet, where some see His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a living representation of Buddha, possessing an image of HHDL can result in arrest or beatings. Millions of people have died for their faith and culture and continue to die.
And yet, I walked into a 300 square foot display for lesser evil coconut flavored popcorn because there is a lot of corn and coconuts in Tibet.
We have a teaching about bowls where the bowl is a person and wisdom is mother's milk. If the bowl is upside down the result is obvious. If the bowl is cracked no matter how much you put in it will all leak out. If the bowl is dirty or poisoned the milk is ruined.
The bowl must be upright, solid, and clean. This marketing is ignorance personified.
Those using Buddha to sell product, there was a little one next to the makeup at Whole Foods, please stop. I know that some are just being clever and opportunistic and others are probably sincere about their actions. However using the sacred to sell, snacks , trinkets, furniture or worse yet Zen lifestyle (clearly you have not lived in Zen temple) you are disrespecting those that live their lives or died for their Dharma practice.
Please think right thought, right speech, right action. If a monk walked up to you with his begging bowl would what you are selling nourish his being and support his practice.
If not please leave our religion and traditions out of your marketing plan.
Buddha thanks you for your consideration.
Stashed in: @dalailama