[Buddha-l] leaving home - culturally speaking

jkirk jkirk at spro.net
Tue Dec 11 18:00:33 MST 2007

 -----Original Message-----
From: buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com
[mailto:buddha-l-bounces at mailman.swcp.com] On Behalf Of curt
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:14 PM

T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" famously ends with "shantih shantih shantih".
What's up with that? It turns out that Eliot is just one of many Western
intellectuals over the years who have been heavily influenced by Eastern
thought in their youth, only to retreat to the beliefs/ideologies of their
"upbringing" with advancing age. In their own (very different) ways Paul
Williams and Stephen Batchelor have become two of the more recent (and high
profile) members of this club.
From: Kirkpatrick jkirk at spro.net: 

"...only to retreat to the beliefs/ideologies of their "upbringing" with
advancing age."
Well, not quite. Alan Watts, once an Episcopalian (or was it pure Anglian?)
minister, never changed his take on eastern thought before he died. Same
with Timothy Leary, and  Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass. These three had
enormous dedicated followings in the states, many of whom continue to buy
tapes of their talks, read their books, etc.
Earlier there was "Dwight Goddard (1861 ?1939), who published an anthology
of Buddhist writings, The Buddhist Bible. ... In 1930, he began publishing
ZEN: A Buddhist Magazine. In 1932, he collaborated with D. T. Suzuki (see
below), on a translation of the Lankavatara Sutra. That same year, he
published the first edition of A Buddhist Bible, an anthology of Buddhist
scriptures focusing on those used in Chinese and Japanese Zen, which was
enormously influential." [from wikipedia].
Then, there is "The City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas (????, Wànf?Shèngchéng), an
international Buddhist community and monastery founded by the Venerable
Master Hsuan Hua, an important figure in Western Buddhism. It is one of the
first Chinese Zen Buddhist temples in the United States, and one of the
largest Buddhist communities in the Western Hemisphere. The city is situated
in Talmage, Mendocino County, California about 2 miles east of Ukiah, and
110 miles (180 km) north of San Francisco. It was one of the first Buddhist
monasteries built in the United States. The temple follows the Wei-Yang Ch’a
n (Chinese Zen) school of Buddhism. The city is noted for their close
adherence to the vinaya, the austere traditional Buddhist monastic code."
[wikipedia]  I'm not sure of the current success of this organization in
attracting converts and or devotees, but it is certainly well-endowed.
This is where Al Gore got in trouble collecting donations when he ran for

Joanna K.

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