ISBN-10: 1438430930

ISBN-13: 9781438430935

The united states appears turning into a Buddhist nation. star converts, the recognition of the Dalai Lama, motifs in well known video clips, and mala beads on the mall point out an expanding inculcation of Buddhism into the yank realization, whether a comparatively small percent of the inhabitants truly describe themselves as Buddhists. This e-book appears past the trendier manifestations of Buddhism in the United States to examine exceptionally American Buddhist methods of life—ways of perceiving and knowing. John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff have prepared this specified assortment based on the Buddhist idea of the 3 Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The Buddha part discusses the 2 key academics who popularized Buddhism in the United States: Alan Watts and D. T. Suzuki and the actual varieties of spirituality they proclaimed. The Dharma part offers with how Buddhism can enlighten present public debates and a attention of our nationwide prior with explorations of bioethics, abortion, end-of-life judgements, and recognition in past due 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 kinfolk lifestyles, Nisei Buddhists, homosexual liberation, and Zen gardens.

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Suzuki’s father died when the boy was only six, leaving his widow and five children in dire economic circumstances. Despite mounting difficulties, young Suzuki continued his education until he was seventeen, when the family’s financial problems forced him to drop out of school. Fortunately, his studies had given him sufficient acquaintance with English that he was able to find employment as an English teacher, a crucial linguistic acquisition in view of his subsequent career as an interpreter of Zen to the West.

Organism and environment, figure and ground, part and whole, and subject and object thus need to be understood as aspects of the larger fields or systems that constitute them. Gestalt psychology, according to Watts, gives the fundamental account of this interrelationship: “What we perceive . . is never a figure alone but a figure/ground relationship. ”32 The behavior of agents in an environment is described, in turn, by general systems theory to a similar effect: “The structure and behavior of any system is only partially accounted for by analysis and description of the smaller units that allegedly ‘comprise’ it.

Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch, The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993); and B. Alan Wallace, Buddhism and Science: Breaking New Ground (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003). 69. Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991), 107ff; and Watts, The Book, 54–55. 70. Dennett, Consciousness, 416ff; and Watts, Way of Zen, 47. 71. Daniel C. Dennett, Freedom Evolves (New York: Viking Penguin, 2003); and Watts, Nature, 7.

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American Buddhism as a Way of Life


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