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Buddhadharma : Winter 2017
IN 2011, MORE THAN two hundred Buddhist teachers, mostly American, gathered at the Garrison Institute in upstate New York to discuss the state of Buddhism in the West. Organized by first- generation American baby boomer teachers such as Lama Surya Das and Jack Kornfield, as well as popular Generation X teachers such as Noah Levine and Sumi Loundon Kim, the Maha Teacher Council focused on three main themes: “the promise and the pitfalls” of the secularization of the dharma, the challenges of adapting the dharma to new contexts “without losing depth,” and passing the teaching torch “from elders to the next generation.” This invitation-only event was the subject of much commentary on Buddhist media and in the blogosphere. Some participants raised questions about the invitation process, probing the issue of which teachers had the authority to represent Buddhism in the West. Con- cern was expressed regarding the underrepresentation of Asian and Asian American teachers and lineages; closely related were critiques about the lack of racial, gender, and sexual orientation diversity The Shifting Landscape of Buddhism in America Ann Gleig photo | Troy Jarrell / UnSplash Buddhadharma: The PracTiTioner’s QuarTerly 23