Friday, 1 August 2014

Buddhism in America: Symbols, Religion, Culture, Facts, Temple, Monk, Meditation

Buddhism in America: Symbols, Religion, Culture, Facts, Temple, Monk, Meditation 

Published on Aug 1, 2014
Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the United States behind Christianity, Judaism and nonreligious, and approximately equal with Islam and Hinduism. American Buddhists include many Asian Americans, as well as a large number of converts of other ethnicities, and now their children and even grandchildren. In 2012, U-T San Diego estimated U.S. practitioners at 1.2 million people, of whom 40% are living in Southern California.

Chögyam Trungpa founded Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, a four-year Buddhist college in the US (now Naropa University) in 1974.[70] Allen Ginsberg was an initial faculty member, christening the Institute's poetry department the "Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics". Now Naropa University, the school offers accredited degrees in a number of subjects, many not directly related to Buddhism.

The University of the West is affiliated with Hsi Lai Temple and was previously Hsi Lai University. Soka University of America, in Aliso Viejo California, was founded by the Sōka Gakkai as a secular school committed to philosophic Buddhism. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is the site of Dharma Realm Buddhist University, a four-year college teaching courses primarily related to Buddhism but including some general-interest subjects. The Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California, in addition to offering a Masters Degree in Buddhist Studies acts as the ministerial training arm of the Buddhist Churches of America and is affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union. The school moved into the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley.

The first Buddhist high school in the United States, Developing Virtue Secondary School, was founded in 1981 by the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association at their branch monastery in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California. In 1997, the Purple Lotus Buddhist School offered elementary-level classes in Union City, California, affiliated with the True Buddha School; it added a middle school in 1999 and a high school in 2001.[71] Another Buddhist high school, Tinicum Art and Science, which combines Zen practice and traditional liberal arts, opened in Ottsville, Pennsylvania in 1998. It is associated informally with the World Shim Gum Do Association in Boston. The Pacific Buddhist Academy opened in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2003. It shares a campus with the Hongwanji Mission School, an elementary and middle school; both schools affiliated with the Honpa Hongwanji Jodo Shinshu mission.[72]

Juniper Foundation, founded in 2003, holds that Buddhist methods must become integrated into modern culture just as they were in other cultures.[73] Juniper Foundation calls its approach "Buddhist training for modern life"[74] and it emphasizes meditation, balancing emotions, cultivating compassion and developing insight as four building blocks of Buddhist training.

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