Buddhism in America

Buddhism in America has struck a responsive cord and has also become a product of pop culture and the politics of repressed Tibet that have produced a Tibet Chic. Buddhism is also the antithesis of our consumer-oriented society since it stresses simplicity, austerity and directness. Chanting and spiritual seeking are rampant in a modern age were we can no longer define ourselves by our occupations or our status.  Indeed, we no longer have lions to kill so that we are initiated into manhood, and just cooking and having babies used to define our womanhood.  Still, the monk who said just sixty years ago that, introducing Buddhism into America would be like holding a lotus against a rock and waiting for it to take root has proved incredibly wrong.

Satoru

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philosophy of life

Because Buddhism poses no creator or god and sees all other central religious figures as teachers, Buddhism can be practiced without leaving a person’s faith of birth and at the same time allow the individual the attractiveness of universal interconnectedness.  Buddhism, the world’s fifth largest religion, unlike other religions, encourages you to question and challenge authority in your search for truth and the “right” way. Buddhism’s concerns are so removed from most organized religions that Buddhism to many is thought of as a philosophy of life since Buddha is regarded as a great sage but not a deity.

Satoru
www.samuraizen.com

Wisdom cannot be compartmentalized.

Wisdom cannot be compartmentalized.

Most of the books about Buddhism that I have read over a long duration fall into three distinct categories. The first is the complex scholarly thesis that delves into the esoteric origins and workings of the Buddhist philosophies. Many terms in foreign languages are used and practical application is generally overlooked. The other category is the simplistic, one saying on a badly illustrated page, containing an almost cliché’ adage. Very few of the sayings can be applied or utilized in today’s societies. The third category are the texts known as Sutras which were written by the followers of Siddhartha as he became known as the Buddha, the enlightened one. The sutras were collections of the Buddha’s lectures and dialogues and are chanted by Buddhists worldwide because they embody wisdom.

Satoru
www.samuraizen.com