The Buddhist Geeks - Episode 145: The Survival of American Buddhism

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This week, we're joined by Shambhala acharya and Naropa University professor, Judith Simmer-Brown. She joins us today to discuss four areas, which she learned about while at Colombia University in the late 60's, that help determine whether or not Buddhism will take root in a new country. These four are:

  1. The translation of core Buddhist texts into English
  2. The development of a monastic lineage w/ American lineage holders
  3. The training and appointment of dharma transmission holders
  4. Royal patronage, or financial support from within the country

After describing each area of focus, Judith goes into depth as to how we're doing with the first three areas, today in America. She shares her reflections, while also raising some provocative questions, as to how we're doing with building a sustainable infrastructure for Buddhism to prosper in the West.

Next week, we'll finish the conversation by exploring the 4th area in depth, and speaking about how we can best invest in the future of American Buddhism.

This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2 (airing next week).