November 24, 2009

Zen Buddhism in Brazil

Dangerous Harvests blogger Nathan shares an article about Zen Buddhism in Brazil.
The author, Cristina Moreira da Rocha, writes of the history and development of Buddhism (primarily Zen Buddhism) in Brazil, beginning with the arrival of Japanese immigrant laborers in 1908 up to the present day diversity of approaches Buddhism and Buddhist communities. What I have been struck with is how many parallels there are to the North American Buddhist story.
He expands on five themes that jumped out at him, namely, the initial arrival through Asian immigrant communities, oppression of citizens and immigrants of Japanese descent during World War II, the increase of Buddhist “missionaries” and teachers arriving during the 1950’s, the issue of whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy, and a certain level of Christian influence. Both pieces are well worth your time, but for those of you with very little time to spare, Nathan’s post is a good summary.

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