Buddhism has exploded into multiple arenas of American life over the past few decades. Books on mindfulness proliferate in airport bookstores, saffron-robed monks rally for environmental causes and Asian American immigrants build golden stupas and sprawling temples in America’s cities.
In Asia, Buddhism flourishes not only as a religion but also as an integral part of the social and political fabric. Likewise, Buddhists and non-Buddhist in the West invoke, interpret and spread the tradition widely during the course of their lives. The dynamics of Buddhism in Asia, its practice in the diaspora and its innovative developments within American public life make us mindful that Buddhism is not only an ancient tradition but also a living one.
- VideoReligion on the Move in Los Feliz
- ArticleLatter-day Zen: The Mormon Man Bringing Meditation to HomeThis article originally appeared in Tricycle Magazine. The first thing that I noticed on my visit to Thomas McConkie’s apartment near the University of Utah was a small wooden tan—the raised platform …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation,
- VideoReimagining Religion Conference: The Future of Religion in Los Angeles
- CommentaryWhat’s So Wrong with Mindfulness?This article originally appeared in Tricycle. “I was stressed out, burned out, and divorced. And then I started doing yoga.” This is how many people I have spoken to in the course …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Meditation and Prayer, Transnational
- VideoSpiritual Healing Networks in Long Beach
- VideoAgainst the Stream: Taking Refuge in an American Sangha
- ArticleMapping the New Landscape of Religion in Los FelizThis article originally appeared in BOOM: A Journal of California. Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church was in trouble. Its congregation had become too small to sustain the decaying Los Feliz building that had …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Christians and Christianity, Creativity and Innovation, LGBT Issues, Place and Religion, Religious Affiliation, Southern California
- Photo GalleryThe Korean Buddhist Version of a MegachurchSeoul isn’t just the megachurch capital of the world; Nungin Sunwon Zen Center is considered a mega-temple, with 100,000 members. Gold #Buddha at Nungin Sunwon #Zen Center in #Seoul, #SouthKorea. #ReligioninSeoul #nunginsunwon …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Korea
- CommentaryTraditional and Innovative – How Korean Buddhism Stays RelevantSouth Korea has become most widely known for its rapidly growing Christian population in the recent past, but nearly a quarter of the country’s population identify as Buddhist. (A majority of the …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Korea, Transnational
- CommentaryReligious, Spiritual and “None of the Above”: How Did Mindfulness Get So Big?This post originally appeared on Religion Dispatches. The ever-growing popularity of mindfulness—from corporate boardrooms to inner-city schools—has finally made my academic interest a conversation-starter at dinner parties. “Ah, the Buddha was talking about cognitive …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Meditation and Prayer
- CommentaryWhy Do Buddhists Give Money in Sri Lanka, But Not in the U.S.?During visit to observe a Los Angeles-based mindfulness group a few months ago, the teacher asked me to explain to her students the significant role that dana, one of the ten pāramitā …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Community Organizing, Creativity and Innovation, Economic Inequality, Faith-Based Organizations, Religious Leadership
- CommentaryCompetitive Religious Philanthropy in the Wake of the Nepali EarthquakeThis post originally appeared at Religion Dispatches. The death toll in Nepal has surpassed 8,500, Reuters reported this week, making it the country’s deadliest earthquake on record. In the aftermath of the disaster, …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Disaster Response, Hindus and Hinduism, Missionaries, Religious Extremism
“While much of what has been written about the contemporary mindfulness movement concerns the so-called secularization of the Buddhist path of awakening, this phenomenon can also provide us with some specific insights about spirituality in America.”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-743-1611
- Nalika GajaweeraResearch AssociateNalika Gajaweera is a cultural anthropologist specialized in Buddhism, transnationalism and ethics, with an area expertise in South Asia.
- Lori MeeksLori Meeks studies the social and cultural history of Buddhism in Japan, particularly related to the role of women.
- Nick StreetSenior WriterNick Street is a journalist covering religious change and innovation, Buddhism, Pentecostalism and LGBT issues.