Distinguishing Genuine Dharma
We reassure ourselves that the changes we’ve made in Buddhism are all for the best—that Buddhism has always adapted itself to every culture it enters, and we can trust it to adapt wisely to the West. But this treats Buddhism as if it were a conscious agent—a wise amoebic force that knows how to adapt to its environment in order to survive. Actually, Buddhism isn’t an agent, and it doesn’t adapt. It gets adapted—sometimes by people who know what they’re doing, sometimes by people who don’t. Just because a particular adaptation survives and prevails doesn’t mean that it’s genuine dharma. It may simply appeal to the desires and fears of its target audience.