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Since its birth in India, Buddhism has changed-and been changed by-every country that it took root in. This process began here when the Sixties counterculture embraced Asian wisdom teachings. Now communities of Buddhist converts flourish across the country, and meditation, the core Buddhist practice, is taught widely in schools, churches, and corporations. At the same time, American values have challenged Buddhism's male dominance and other nondemocratic traditions. The fascinating result is an ongoing dynamic.
Our study will begin with Buddhism's origin and principles and follow the trail through China and Japan and on to the United States. It’s a colorful story of strong personalities and controversies. The tale is told well in Rick Fields’ How the Swans Came to the Lake, which will serve as our text.
Please purchase the book prior to class: ISBN: 978-0877736318
Instructor(s): Merrill Collett
Merrill Collett has been a longterm resident at San Francisco Zen Center and its monastery, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He is the author of At Home With Dying, A Zen Hospice Approach. After thirty years in print journalism, he retired from The San Francisco Chronicle to live year-round in Tucson. He has degrees in history from Stanford and in international relations from Johns Hopkins.
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