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.
- ResourcesTransforming 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
- ArticleSonic Fields of Protection in Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 PandemicIn a piece for the Asia Research Institute, CRCC’s Nalika Gajaweera and fellow anthropologist Neena Mahadev examine how for Sinhala Buddhists, pirit recitations serve to channel Dharmic energies and intentions during the COVID-19 …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, COVID, Healthcare, Race and Culture
- ArticleMindfulness in a time of Dis-ease: Breathing through Cancer, COVID & Climate ChangeThis article was originally published in Mindfully Speaking, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. My mind was racing. I couldn’t sleep despite the fatigue of the first trimester …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Community Dynamics, COVID, Engaged Spirituality, Faith-Based Organizations, Meditation and Prayer, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleSpiritual Leadership in MyanmarI visited Yangon for the first time in January 2020, and from the airport tarmac into its downtown, the city had been signposted with billboards of Aung Sang Suu Kyi’s face. She …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Political Attitudes and Values, Religious Leadership
- ArticleBart Weetjens: Meet The Belgian Buddhist Training EntrepreneursThis article was originally published by Religion Unplugged, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. LALOBBE, France — Bart Weetjens wants to save the world by teaching meditation to one …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Europe, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleThe Mothers of the Righteous Society: Lay Buddhist Women as Agents of the Sinhala Nationalist ImageryThe following is an excerpt of an article by Nalika Gajaweera published in the Journal of Global Buddhism. Read the full article on globalbuddhism.org. Discussions about the gendered experience of Buddhism, especially …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Gender
- ArticleCaroline Yongue: A Buddhist Lay Minister Asks ‘What Is A Good Death?’This radio documentary was produced by The Spiritual Edge, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. Listen to it on The Spiritual Edge’s website. On a sunny October morning in …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Spiritual Exemplars
- CommentaryCelebrating Thich Nhat Hanh’s Influence on his 94th BirthdayThich Nhat Hanh’s 94th birthday—or continuation day—is Oct 11. In honor of the day, Plum Village monastics asked his friends and students to share short reflections on how Thay, as his followers …Topics: Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars, weforum
- ArticleChao-hwei Shih: Buddhist Nun Leads Asia’s Fight for Gay MarriageThis article was originally published in Harvard Divinity Bulletin, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. BUDDHIST MASTER THE VENERABLE Chao-hwei Shih beamed at two 30-year-old brides kneeling before her …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Gender, LGBT Issues, Religious Leadership, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleTuenjai Deetes: Eliminating Statelessness in ThailandThis article was originally published in Southeast Asia Globe, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. The week started with an unexpected long, warm hug. Thai people usually do not hug …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Environment, Immigration, Spiritual Exemplars
- ArticleAshin Issariya: Leading the Charge Against Militant BuddhismThis article was originally published in New Statesman, with the support of CRCC’s global project on engaged spirituality. January is the cool, dry season of traveling sermons in Myanmar, where members of …Topics: Asia, Buddhists and Buddhism, Engaged Spirituality, Religious Leadership, Religious Pluralism, Spiritual Exemplars, Violence
- VideoReligion on the Move in Los Feliz
“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.