American Buddhism as a Way of Life - download pdf or read online

ISBN-10: 1438430930

ISBN-13: 9781438430935

The USA looks turning into a Buddhist nation. famous person converts, the recognition of the Dalai Lama, motifs in renowned video clips, and mala beads on the mall point out an expanding inculcation of Buddhism into the yankee attention, whether a comparatively small percent of the inhabitants truly describe themselves as Buddhists. This ebook appears to be like past the trendier manifestations of Buddhism in the US to examine relatively American Buddhist methods of life—ways of perceiving and figuring out. John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff have prepared this particular assortment in keeping with the Buddhist proposal of the 3 Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The Buddha part discusses the 2 key lecturers who popularized Buddhism in the United States: Alan Watts and D. T. Suzuki and the actual sorts of spirituality they proclaimed. The Dharma part offers with how Buddhism can enlighten present public debates and a attention of our nationwide previous with explorations of bioethics, abortion, end-of-life judgements, and awareness in overdue capitalism. the ultimate part at the Sangha, or group of believers, discusses how Buddhist groups either formal and casual have affected American society with chapters on relatives existence, Nisei Buddhists, homosexual liberation, and Zen gardens.

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Watts’s characteristic nondualism is apparent, however, in the way he subtly veers away from Suzuki’s presentation of satori as the essence of Zen. 21 In so doing, Suzuki relied uncritically on the metaphor of religion as a path or quest with a transformative experience as its goal. Watts, by contrast, was drawn to a more paradoxical side of Zen teaching, alluded to by Suzuki but unstressed, according to which path and goal are one, and thus according to which enlightenment consists in the realization that there is really nothing to be achieved.

Ruth also provided Watts with access to a wide circle of American friends, including the Jungian wing of the New York psychoanalytic community and local Buddhists. One of these Buddhists was the independent Japanese Zen teacher Sokei-an-Sasaki, with whom Watts briefly undertook koan study. indd 19 11/15/09 8:32:50 AM 20 David L. Smith through a mailing to Ruth’s Jungian social network. The book he published in 1940, The Meaning of Happiness, was a product of this milieu, attempting to define a territory where depth psychology and “Oriental wisdom” overlap.

Watts, Nature, 7. 45. See Watts, Nature, 62–63; and Watts, Way of Zen, 8. 46. Watts, Nature, 42. 47. Watts, Nature, 21. 48. Watts, The Book, 151. 49. Watts, Nature, 116. 50. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, trans. D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961), 149. 51. See Nordstrom and Pilgrim, “The Wayward Mysticism,” 381–401. 52. Watts, In My Own Way, 290. 53. Watts, The Book, 127. 54. Watts, Wisdom of Insecurity, 116. 55. Watts, The Book, 125. 56.

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American Buddhism as a Way of Life


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