American Buddhists Navigate the New "Dharma Melting Pot"

October 24, 2003

Source: Beliefnet

On October 24, 2003 Beliefnet published an interview with Joseph Goldstein on his new book One Dharma. Goldstein discusses the revolutionary "dharma melting pot" taking place in America, where Buddhists of vastly different traditions are interacting, arguing, and creating a new kind of Buddhism. Goldstein argues that "the nature of American society is very fluid, very open, and not so tradition-bound. There is a lot of experimentation and inquiry that goes on here that is part of our culture, even more than in Western Europe... There are two main divisions in Buddhism in America. One is called ethnic Buddhism—people from Asia who’ve settled here, such as the Thai, Burmese or Tibetan community who follow their own traditions. The other is Americans who may have gone to Asia and practiced there, come back, and started teaching in this country. Like me, and others like me. We’re taking the teaching from Asia but we are not Asian, so very different things happen."