The JuBu Movement

June 25, 2003

Source: Beliefnet

On June 25, 2003 Beliefnet reported that "the first trickle of Jews began to convert to Buddhism about 50 years ago. The beat poet Allen Ginsberg was among them, and wrote, 'Born in this world/ you got to suffer/ everything changes/ you got no soul.' By the 1970s, there were enough Jewish Buddhists for Ginsberg's guru, Chogyan Trungpa, to talk about forming the Oy Vey school of Meditation. Now Jewish Buddhists--or Jubus--are the largest group of converts in the West, with all the hallmarks of an established movement... Jews who convert to Buddhism are encouraged to explore their Jewish identity, so it is natural for them to make much of the similarities between their two religions. The Jewish history of persecution and displacement is, they say, echoed by the treatment of Tibetan Buddhists at the hands of the Chinese. Other claims about the compatibility of the two religions are a little more tenuous. According to Nadav Caine, who gives lectures on the subject, 'Both Moses and the Buddha had a life-changing experience that caused them to flee the royal court. Both wandered - Buddha as a yoga practitioner, Moses as a shepherd.' At the bottom of the list is the similarity between the tree of knowledge in Genesis, and the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha was first enlightened. Both are trees."