Justin Whittaker, over at American Buddhist Perspective, is asking…
The story of Buddhism has always been one of adaptation and transformation. This month I am inviting a discussion about how Buddhism has adapted to and transformed America (that is, the Americas) with optional special attention to climate and climate change.
His blog post includes links to several interesting articles by others, reflecting on the current state of affairs in western Buddhist practice.
It would take more time than I have to give a full and fair picture of how I think and feel about Buddhism’s adaptation to, and transformation of, Canada. So far, I have invested more than 40 years in developing an answer. Here is what I’ve come up with to this point…
Buddhism (in which I include both the understanding of and practice of) has grown exponentially over the past 50 years in the west. For more detail on what that looks like in Canada, you can read my article in the Journal of Global Buddhism: Highlights from the Survey of Canadian Buddhist Organizations, published earlier this year.
This news blog, Sumeru, and its complementary directory, canadianbuddhism.info, receive an average of 7000 page views per month. Our Buddhist Eco-Action page on Facebook, Plot to Save the Earth, has close to 300 members and is growing globally.
For the future, I would like to hear a lot less from American Buddhists about the contents of their own heads, a lot less repetition of Buddhist aphorisms, and a lot less feel-good platitudes about integrating mindfulness into everyday pursuits. On the other hand, I would like to hear what American Buddhists are doing to make this a better world for others, to provide a realistic alternative to violence and greed, and to make plain their lifelong dedication to dharma practice, whatever that practice looks like.
Today is July 6th. Happy 78th birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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