“Turn Down for What?” & Buddhism – an intro for the modern world

“Turn Down for What?” & Buddhism – an intro for the modern world February 28, 2016

This is from a while ago, but as I was in India when it came out and Montana for most of the time since, I hope I can be forgiven for missing it. It’s a short, pretty accurate introduction to Buddhism that might appeal to, say, college freshmen.

I especially appreciated the Buddha’s early life as being described in terms of having the ultimate “helicopter parents.” Also useful was his use of a tablet gift to demonstrate the pervasive nature of suffering*. Either you

  • don’t get it – and suffer
  • you get it, love it, and drop it and break the screen – and suffer
  • you get it, love it, don’t drop it and it lasts a long time but eventually it’s no longer adequate or up to date…. you suffer.

As he points out, it turns out that the mindfulness and meditation practices taught in Buddhism have been shown to be beneficial for dealing with a variety of life’s stresses. However, as he also rightly states, the principles upon which these practices are based are often contrary to the principles of contemporary society (e.g. consumerism/productivity): “I mean, the American Dream isn’t to learn how to be satisfied with what you have and seek happiness from within.”

*Many translators have moved away from “suffering” for the Pali term dukkha, preferring the perhaps more accurate “dissatisfactoriness” which is long and clunky or “stress.”

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