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Buddhism in the USA

Please explain in detail the following:

What has made Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism so popular in the west (meaning the US)?

Please touch on the following:
? Need for meditation and peace in American lifestyle.
? Persecution of Tibetan Monks publicized by Media.
? Zen's allowance for American materialistic living.

Thanks!

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Please see response attached. Good luck with your continued studies and take care.

UPDATE BELOW (also in file "Response Posting 50502 Feedback.doc"):

1. What has made Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism so popular in the west (meaning the US)?

Please touch on the following:

? Need for meditation and peace in American lifestyle.

Zen Buddhism (i.e., meditation, relaxation tapes, etc.) is appealing to Americans, who live a very hectic lifestyle, and have a need for ways to relax (i.e., meditation, etc.). In fact, western thinkers influenced by Buddhist teachings did not accept the role of God as the Creator. A religion without the idea of God was something new in the eyes of Westerners, and many Americans were attracted by the Buddhist ideal of compassion, which is supposed to permeate all living beings. This compassion ideal often brings peace to Americans, as does the ritual of meditation and yoga. In fact, Zen Buddhism, one of the most austere branches, adherents employ the primary tools of sitting meditation, "following the breath" and stilling the mind (i.e., peace) (http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ADM/daniel.htm).

In sum, to solve this problem of a fast lifestyle, Americans have found through Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism that they can harmoniously feel at peace and anticipate a peaceful world. In fact, many Americans join what is known as "sanghas," or small communities of spiritual seekers who meditate together regularly, informal groups like this are where increasing numbers of Americans are experiencing their first brush with Buddhism. This is to get away from the busy hectiv lifestyle. The participants in sanghas range from those struggling with busy lives to members of 12-step groups for drug, alcohol, and other addictions. They may include disaffected members of other faiths, as well as those who want to supplement traditional American religious upbringings with other meditative tools. in fact, it has been noted that many Americans feel that Buddhist practices offer them a credible alternative to mainstream churches because they focus on particular spiritual methodologies which they feel can help them in their daily lives. However, many Americans focus more on techniques that help concentration and stillness (i.e., peace) than they do on the esoteric theologies of Buddhism that surround these practices.

In summary, an increasing number of magazines and the Internet offer information on meditative techniques related to Tibetan ...

Solution Summary

This solution explores the factors that have made Tibetan Buddhism and Zen Buddhism so popular in the United States (e.g. need for meditation and peace in American lifestyle, persecution of Tibetan Monks publicized by Media and Zen's allowance for American materialistic living.

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