British Buddhism: Teachings, Practice And Development by Robert Bluck

By Robert Bluck

British Buddhism provides an invaluable perception into modern British Buddhist perform. It offers a survey of the seven greatest Buddhist traditions within the uk, together with the woodland Sangha (Theravada) and the Samatha belief (Theravada), the Serene mirrored image Meditation culture (Soto Zen) and Soka Gakkai (both initially Japanese), the Tibetan Karma Kagyu and New Kadampa traditions and pals of the Western Buddhist Order. in accordance with wide fieldwork, this interesting book determines how and to what volume British Buddhist teams are altering from their Asian roots, and even if any kinds of British Buddhism are commencing to emerge. regardless of the recognition of Buddhism in Britain, there has thus far been no learn documenting the complete variety of teachings and practice. This is an original study that fills this hole and serves as an enormous reference element for additional reports during this more and more renowned box.

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Extra info for British Buddhism: Teachings, Practice And Development (Routledge Critical Studies in Buddhism)

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Again coverage seems to vary. In 2000 BD listed 359 groups, centres and organizations, the largest numbers now being East Asian (107), Theravada (94), Tibetan (71) and FWBO (52) (BD, 2000). However, in addition Soka-Gakkai International UK (SGI-UK) and the NKT claimed 300 and 183 groups respectively. Combined information from BD (1997, 2000) and RelUK (1997, 2001) gives a more complete picture and suggests that in 2001 there were almost 1,000 Buddhist groups in Britain, the largest numbers being East Asian (454), Tibetan (284), Theravada (124) and FWBO (78).

Walshe (1978: 168) recognized that ‘endless chanting in Pali’ and ‘continual prostration before Buddha-images’ may seem inappropriate, until one has the humility to appreciate their value. Ajahn Sumedho (1996: 34) described the devotional practice of bowing (regarded with suspicion by some lay Buddhists) as ‘putting what we identify with at the feet of the Buddha – offering ourselves to the truth’. Ven. Suvaco (2002) explained how bowing and chanting helped to establish ‘a sense of clarity and presence’ before meditation, but with deeper involvement they become ‘symbolic gestures of going for refuge’.

Finally, there are organizations supplying Buddhist requisites, from meditation cushions to Buddha statues, either made in the West or imported from Asian countries. * * * Buddhism in Britain has become much larger and more complex since 1965, within a diverse religious pattern that includes a fragmented Christianity, other 23 AN OVERVIEW OF BUDDHISM IN BRITAIN major world religions, NRMs and New Age spirituality. There are Theravada, Tibetan, Zen and FWBO groups in most cities and large towns (with all four present in both Cornwall and the Scottish highlands) (BD, 2000; RelUK, 2001), and more informal ‘engaged Buddhism’ activities in several areas of social welfare and education.

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