America is such a melting pot. How can we have a genuine American Buddhism? What will it look like, feel like, taste like?
Dzogchen Ponlop is a teacher, a poet, visual artist and city-dweller, based in the United States for two decades.
November 13, 2010 / Rebel Buddha
Tags: America, American Buddhism, Buddhism, chai, coffee, cultural container, culture, form, melting pot, religion Categories: Featured, The Blog •
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There is no ONE American or Canadian Buddhism. With hundreds (if not thousands) of centres, teachers and sangha communities, we are all part of a giant turning wheel of dharma. We each do our part to become the Bodhisattvas we dream ourselves to be.
Mmmm…tastes like Lunchables.
Is sad to hear talk about America implying US and Canada. America is more than that and actually, bigger that those 2 countries is Latin America. In my view, Buddhism have but forgotten Latin America; its language and its needs. I don’t feel we are a melting pot – a theory that was used to blur real differences among cultural ethnic groups that arrive to US/Canada.
The resources in Latin American about Buddhism is almost nonexistent and the access to practice very difficult if one does not read/speak English……..
I wish we could change that. So many folks eager to learn the path!!!!
I think we will no doubt get there. What American Buddhism will look like is hard to imagine exactly… Plenty of material to work with though, that’s for sure!
And I wonder what form Canadian Buddhism will take? Canada is often described as a mosaic, something very different from the melting pot of America. While we share much with our American cousins, we have a very different history and hold dear very different wisdoms.
Just look at the Beaver and the Eagle!
How will our Canadian container look as it blossoms naturally and organically out of this vast expanse?
Returning to Canada after several years overseas, I was surprised to find I could actually hear the particular hum of this land. Let’s listen and allow.
Rather than melting pot the metaphor that seems slightly more pat is ‘tossed salad’. Where in the past the pressure and even desire to assimilate and become ‘American’ has undergone change. Now people happily hold on to their sense of identities rooted in other national origins and heritages. The waves of new immigration into the U.S. demonstrate this change as the possibility of dual citizenship. U.S.ican Buddhism is like all such ‘isms’ an organic process. The container here may well be a paper cup but also made of recycled material to some degree which is valuable also.
i think Buddhism in America will need to find a generalized middle to each of the many diverse traditions from all over the world. Magazines like Shambala Sun and Tricycle try to just that by giving American readers a taste of this and a taste of that. Those who live near Sangas of a tradition they can relate to are in luck, but others at a loss. That’s where technology kicks in and will have a defining role in bringing about this American definition of Buddhism.