Buddhism, Racism, And Jazz

Norman Fischer

Article Preview

To access this entire article and all other member-supported
content, join Tricycle as a Supporting or Sustaining Member

THE OTHER DAY I PICKED UP a world religions textbook my twin sons were using for their freshman high school history course. The chapter on Buddhism had a subdivision entitled "Western Buddhism," and here you could see pictures of life in an American Zen Buddhist monastery, along with thoughtful text on the subject. I was surprised. Apparently, with the accelerated pace at which everything moves these days, American Buddhism has arrived at a point of establishment while still being formed. It seems then a good time to think about it in a fresh way, to unearth roots we haven't yet dug. Maybe if we look at it from a different angle we can see something we haven't seen before. Looking at this textbook, thinking about roots—at the same time that I've been taking a self-directed crash course in jazz, listening to Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, et al.—got me musing on connections I hadn't noticed before.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.

Become a Supporting Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Supporting Member

Become a Sustaining Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Sustaining Member