Dalai Lama Addresses Challenges of Practicing Buddhism in America

September 25, 2003

Source: Beliefnet.com


On September 25, 2003 Beliefnet.com ran a story from the Religion News Service on the Dalai Lama's conference with American Buddhist leaders: "For hundreds of thousands of Buddhist lay practitioners in America who look to the Dalai Lama as a religious authority, the most significant event on his 16-day tour may have been a closed-door meeting in Garrison, N.Y, where the India-based lama met with 275 Tibetan Buddhist teachers and scholars to discuss the challenges of teaching and practicing Buddhism in America. Leaders of local Buddhist centers in the Western Hemisphere cite the lack of a church structure, poor communication between Buddhist sects, and the need to update a centuries-old ethical code as some of the difficulties that have arisen as Buddhism gets incorporated into mainstream America. Buddhist leaders said the meeting, the first of its kind, was long overdue, reported Tsewang Phuntso of the Office of Tibet, the office that represents the Dalai Lama to the Americas."