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.
- AnnouncementTransforming the American Sangha: Race, Racism and Diversity in North American Insight MeditationNorth American Insight Meditation institutions, rooted in the Vipassana tradition of Theravada Buddhism, are often seen as liberal, inclusive multicultural spaces committed to welcoming diverse constituencies into their communities. The research undertaken …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture
- ArticleSri Lanka’s Dual Crisis: Ethnic Conflict & the Debt EconomyThis article was originally published by Jamhoor. “Except for the home crowd cheering for our national team at an international cricket match, it was the first time I was seeing Sri Lankans …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, National and Cultural Identity, Protests and Uprisings
- CRCC in the NewsLA Times: Nalika Gajaweera on How Buddhists Are Responding to Anti-Asian ViolenceThe March 16, 2021 killing of six women of Asian descent and two others brought Asian Buddhists together across lineages and communities to confront anti-Asian hate. A year later, the LA Times …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Race and Culture, Violence
- ArticleBuddhadharma: Reclaiming Our So-Called “Cultural Baggage”This article was originally published by Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly. You can often hear Western meditation-based convert circles use the term “cultural baggage” to refer to the ritualized acts, cosmological ideas, and …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Immigration, Race and Culture, TAS
- ArticleBrother Chân Pháp Dung: Where the Search for Simplicity LeadsThis article was originally published in Yes Magazine, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Before entering monastic life, Brother Chân Pháp Dung gave away his worldly possessions. The last step …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Spiritual Exemplars
- VideoCreating Safe(r) Spaces for Mindfulness of Breath: Experiences of Race in American Mindfulness
- VideoThe Intersection of Gender, Nationalism and Faith-based Giving in Sri Lanka
- ArticleTeachers Turn to Mindfulness After a Stressful Pandemic YearThis article was originally published in Religion News Service, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. The past school year was the most challenging in Jon Salunga’s teaching career. It was …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, COVID, Education, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- VideoSexual Abuse, Whiteness and Patriarchy in Buddhist Sanghas
- VideoWhy a Complaint Collective in Buddhist Studies?
- Article#BuddhistCultureWars: Buddhabros, Alt-Right Dharma, and Snowflake SanghasThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism Vol 22, No 1 (2021) and was co-authored by Ann Gleig and Brenna Artinger. Abstract While often associated with a liberal demographic, the …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Political Attitudes and Values, Race and Culture, TAS
- ArticleSitting in the Fire Together: People of Color Cultivating Radical Resilience in North American Insight MeditationThis article appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism’s Special Issue on Buddhism and Resilience, Vol 22, No 1 (2021), co-edited by Nalika Gajaweera. Abstract Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted in California …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Creativity and Innovation, Race and Culture, TAS
“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.”
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- 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.