Maybe it's just the cynical frame of mind I've been in lately, but reading some of the Zen and other Buddhist blogs to which I subscribe has become tedious.
Tedious, as in a near-complete waste of time.
Tedious, as in one lesson after another in what I consider how NOT to think, and how NOT to behave toward one another.
The angry exchanges between people who declare one another to be deluded, misguided and misinformed have grown wearisome. It has become a pissing contest between people intent on showing how learned they are, how much they know, how far along on the path toward "enlightenment" they are -- or, ironically, how much they don't know, each trying to outdistance the other from the very term "enlightenment" (but doing so in ways calculated to underscore their wisdom nonetheless).
Buddhism, as I understand it, is a way of seeing reality firsthand, through one's own efforts. Despite the guidance of teachers, it seems to me that ultimately we're all flying solo.
It's also my understanding that these glimpses of reality can't adequately be described in words. If all this is so, then why are we so intent on trying to prove each other wrong (or right, for that matter)? It just seems awfully counterproductive to me.
I think it's quite telling that so many of the comments that are posted on these blogs just as quickly disappear, with the notice "Post removed by author" left in their place.
Not long ago, I was told that Dogen Zenji, the great 13th century Japanese Buddhist thinker, said that calling someone a "Buddhist scholar" was a supreme insult. I think I'm beginning to understand why.
And I think I also understand why it's so hard to find a "good Buddhist teacher."
They're all in here, enlightening the blogosphere.
One last comment: Mea culpa. Rather than being above this criticism, I'm right in the thick of it myself.