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Zen in America.ppt

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					Buddhism in the United States

      An Idiosyncratic Survey
Imagining America & the Orient
North Americans Turn East
             • American authors and
               poets Emerson and
               Thoreau found
               Transcendentalism”
             • Influenced by Asian
               religion & philosophy
             • Bhagavadgita in
               particular
                  Thoreau
• Thoreau interested in
  the Lotus Sutra
• Lived and meditated
  at Walden Pond
• Meditated on self &
  nature
• Thoreau might be
  called a “pre-
  Buddhist”
Walt Whitman
      • Whitman also
        influenced by Asian
        religions
      • In particular by
        Buddhism
      • His work introduced
        many Asian concepts
        to a larger public
              Bronson Alcott
• Greatest “idealist” of
  Transcendentalists
• Put his theories of
  vegetarianism,
  education etc. into
  practice
• Helped publish an
  early biography of the
  Buddha
Sir Edwin Arnold
        • Wrote the Light of
          Asia
        • The book was a re-
          telling of Buddha’s life
        • Became an overnight
          sensation
        • Accurate treatment of
          Buddhist doctrine in
          popular terms
Madame Blavatsky & Col. Olcott
               • Blavatsky known
                 for “occult” powers
               • Olcott & Blavatsky
                 start “Theosophy”
               • Publically claim to
                 be Buddhists
               • Travel to Sri Lanka
                 to revive Buddhism
Anagarika Dharmapala
          • Student of Col.
            Olcott and Mme.
            Blavatsky
          • Important in revival
            of Buddhism in Sri
            Lanka
          • Travels to US—is
            well received
The East Turns West
Chinese & Japanese in America
• California Gold Rush
  in 1848 brings first
  wave of Chinese
  immigrants
• By 1852, 1 in 10
  Californians were
  Chinese
• California known as
  “Gold Mountain”
Immigrants & Six Companies
             • Most Chinese
               immigrants from
               Guangdong (Canton)
             • Immigrants organize
               into organizations
               called the “Six
               Companies”
             • These become
               centers for festivals
               and religious life
        Early Chinese Temples
• By 1875, there were 8
  temples in Chinatown
• By 1900, there were 400
  up and down the West
  Coast
• Temples reflected
  Chinese popular religion
• Taoist, Confucian,
  Buddhist images all
  together
Japanese Immigrants
          • Japan lived in strict
            isolation
          • 1854: Commodore
            Perry negotiates a
            “Friendship” treaty
          • 1860: Japan sends
            ambassador to US
          • 1868: Japan allows
            citizens to travel
            abroad
                    Hawaii
• First immigrants went
  to work on Hawaiian
  plantations
• Most did not thrive in
  the harsh conditions
• Many stayed in
  Hawaii and married
  Hawaiian women
             Early Buddhism
• Most Japanese went
  to Hawaii for work
• Conditions were
  difficult
• Debt, gambling,
  drinking, and
  prostitution spread
• Buddhist priest starts
  organization to assist
  immigrants
World Parliament of Religions
               • Major conference of
                 world’s religions held
                 in Chicago, 1893
               • Most delegates were
                 Christian
               • Many Asian religions
                 represented
               • Japan, India, China,
                 Thailand, Sri Lanka
              Soyen Shaku
• Soyen Shaku
  represented Zen
• Roshi from the Rinzai
  School
• First Zen master ever
  in America
• Teacher of D.T.
  Suzuki
Anagarika Dharmapala
          • Attends World
            Parliament
          • Is very successful
          • Travels and
            speaks across the
            US
                D.T. Suzuki
• D.T. Suzuki was
  Soyen Shaku’s
  student and
  interpreter
• Becomes most
  important interpreter
  of Zen in the West
Dr. Paul Carus
       • Dr. Carus invites
         Soyen and
         Dharmapala to his
         home
       • Eventually invites
         D.T. Suzuki
       • Carus publishes
         many books on
         Buddhism
 “Ethnic” or “Immigrant”
Buddhism in the 20th Cent.
 Buddhist Churches of America
• Shin Buddhist
  groups combine to
  form Buddhist
  Mission
• Later this becomes
  Buddhist Churches
  of America
• Trains English-
  speaking priests
His Lai Temple
       • TaiwanBuddhists
         found the His Lai
         Monastery in CA.
       • Largest Buddhist
         monastery outside
         of Asia
       • Site of a Buddhist
         University
 “Import” Buddhists in the Early
          20th Century
• Zen is most
  successful at
  converting
  Americans
            Nyogen Senzaki
• Student of Soyen
  Shaku
• Came to America in
  1906
• Lived on his own for
  17 years
• Gave first lecture on
  Zen in 1922, 17 years
  after arriving in US
2nd Wave: Sokatsu and Sokei-an
               • In 1906, a 2nd group
                 of Zen Buddhists
                 arrive in US led by
                 Sokatsu Shaku
               • This group takes up
                 residence in Berkeley,
                 Hayward, and finally
                 San Francisco
               • Sokei-an (left) is
                 Sokatsu’s chief
                 disciple
                D.T. Suzuki
• Suzuki returns to
  Japan with his wife to
  write and teach
• Founds the Eastern
  Buddhist scholarly
  journal
• Is invited to England
  to lecture
• Meets Alan Watts
Alan Watts
     • Watts deeply
       impressed with
       Suzuki.
     • Becomes a Buddhist
       at age 15
     • Becomes editor of
       Middle Way journal at
       age 26 despite never
       attending college
D.T. Suzuki Returns
          • Suzuki returns to US
            in 1949
          • Teaches at Hawaii,
            Claremont, and
            Columbia
          • Classes attended by
            famous psychologists,
            artists, composers,
            such as Erich Fromm
            and John Cage
Beat Poets
     • In the early 1950’s, a
       group of young poets
       and writers exposed
       to Zen
     • This group included
       Allen Ginsburg, Jack
       Kerouac, Gary
       Snyder, Kenneth
       Rexroth, and others
         Zen and Pop Culture
• By the late 1950’s,
  Zen achieves fad
  status
• Suzuki appears on
  TV, profiled in the
  New Yorker and
  Vogue
• Zen invoked to
  validate the latest
  theories
Tibetan Buddhism
Geshe Wangyal/Deshung
      Rinpoche
Tarthang Tulku/Chogyam
        Trungpa
Western “Tibetan” Teachers
Vipassana (Insight Meditation)
American Vipassana: Founding
          Teachers
              • Travel and Study in
                SE Asia
              • Found Insight
                Meditation Center
Smoky the Bear Sutra

				
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posted:12/19/2012
language:English
pages:39
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