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What is American Buddhism? (DVD)
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Buddhism in America is still in its infancy. It took about 500 years for Buddhism to become fully established in Tibet after its first introduction there. It has been here in America only about 50 years. Having been imported from Tibet, China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of Asia, Buddhism here still retains much of those various different cultural practices and flavors and has little identity of its own as an American spiritual tradition. In this wide-ranging and delightful talk Mitra Karl Brunnholzl explores the current infancy of Buddhism in America and the West in general. Although Buddhism has moved from country to country and culture to culture, Karl points out differences with its current move to America and the West:
1. All previous Buddhist cultures were Asian and all were essentially feudalistic. They were clan/group/family oriented. American culture is more democratic and leans more toward individualism. 2. The last major spreading of Buddhism (to Japan) happened centuries ago. Its move here has just begun. 3. The various Asian Buddhist traditions had relatively little interaction with each other due to limited and slow means of travel and communication. With multiple Buddhist traditions being introduced here at once, and with fast means of communication and travel, interaction among the seedling Buddhist groups here is very strong and frequent. 4. Asian Buddhist traditions were much more male dominated compared to what is emerging in America and the West.
Karl explains that all of these factors and differences are pointing to a style and culture of Buddhism that will be unlike anything before. With many questions and much discussion from the audience of dharma students, Karl explores the new possibilities of American Buddhism with insight, historical perspective, and delightful humor. 1 two hour talk on 1 DVD.
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