July 13, 2010

Diagramming Western Buddhism

Can a Venn diagram represent the relationship between Buddhism, the West, and Western Buddhism? The Buddha is My DJ recently posted an alternative from the traditional two-circle diagram. From DJ Buddha:

a diagram [would] take into account the diversity of sub-cultures within the West (or America) and how those sub-cultures interact with and adapt a diversity of Buddhist traditions in dozens of complex ways. An accurate diagram would look more like a fractal, something I can’t draw with a Sharpie, and something that should not be described with a singular noun.

So it's not as simple as A=The West, B=Buddhism, C=Western Buddhism:

According to The Buddha is My DJ, it should look more like this (times 20):

Images: www.djbuddha.org

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jjwalker7730's picture

I guess the old "Internal School, established in 1968 will be part of this. Here is my contribution of practices developed over the years.
Greetings, I would like to introduce myself and look forward to sharing in the blog. I am a 72 year old ready to put out a collection of free practices and Buddhist teachings as used at the Internal School since 1968, please share these and go to http://www.bluedragonzenacademy.com (type or paste at the top of the web page, not in a search box for now).
The emphasis of the practice is achieving singleness of mind thru the cultivation of the force (chi). This factor is raised to a level of mind and body harmony on account of the directive intention exercised during the practice. It is thru this that the Master Hand moves, that creative quality when the art is not a mere display of technical skill patiently learned under the tutorship of a good master, but an original and creative intelligence.
There is a section on practices for wounded veterans and as a former peacetime marine I want to share these.
My credentials are on this site.
Jim Walker, (Son Hae)
Dharma Master, Il Bung Chan Buddhist Order,
Martial Arts Master, Korean National Martial Arts Order
Patriarchal successor of Dr Seo, Kyung-bo, 76th Zen Patriarch)

Long Life and good Health

To the limits of Western Buddhism (and beyond) « Dharma Folk's picture

[...] “Buddhism” and the “West.” His post was interesting enough for Tricycle to re-blog, followed up with the question of whether it’s even kosher to talk about the [...]

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Bill's picture

Or are they just trying to make the diagram look like a lotus?

seedoubleyou's picture

Assuming each circle represents each Buddhist tradition, combined with the others representing the multitude of cultural differences and diversity that exists in the West from our 'melting pot' beginnings, I would tend to agree.

Especially because many cultural backgrounds and traditions carry with themselves their own stigma and behaviors that then find themselves intermixed with Buddhism and all of its own. It almost seems to convince you that each of us creates our own based on just that particular and almost unique combination.