Monday, March 26, 2012

Western Buddhism part 1

Buddhism is in the process of Westernization - its teachings and practices are being interpreted anew from Western perspectives. This is not the first time that Buddhism has been re-interpreted. Buddhism spread from India to China, to South East Asia, to Japan, and now to America. Each culture has construed different ways to teach and practice. Colors, mantras, and mudras are of great importance in Tibetan Buddhism; yet there is only shikantaza (sitting) in Japanese Soto Zen. All these unique teachings and practices of Buddhism are completely valid – the Buddha’s teachings are more like guidelines and are flexible. And boy oh boy, in this materialistic, energized, living-life-to-the-max America, Buddhism in for a stretch. In a few centuries, the Eastern Buddhism that recently transmigrated to America is going to look and feel much different.  In the following posts I will discuss the primary difference between Eastern and Western Buddhism and the future of Buddhism in the West. I will continue with my musings as well J  

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