Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Yes, cultural context is important. Is Batchelor’s assessment that reincarnation is Brahmanistic baggage of the zeitgeist of Buddha’s time an place? Are stories of the discourses of the Buddha accurate? We can only look at the general resultant theme to decide (imperfect).

Since meditation is such a big part of Western Buddhism and in my observation a small part for Asian lay Buddhists your comments on what affect that downplaying Buddhism has on Vipassanā is important and worthy of thought and discussion. To be honest, I don’t start a meditation session thinking about Buddhist cannon. I follow the advice of the monk who told me to begin with an attitude of loving kindness. Buddhists don’t have a monopoly on that. My remarks about the general change with introduction to a new culture is not an indication that I don’t think it can be problematic. If you mix a teaspoon of sewage with a bottle of wine you get a bottle of sewage.

Retired and living my golden years in a world full of angry people.

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