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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
REVIEW | JUSTIN WHITAKER 119 Brach.” What follows is a sweeping history of the inclusion and diversity work that would follow at IMCW—work that was a struggle, particularly for white sangha members who were unprepared to see the racist reality around them as it was. Nonetheless, in IMCW’s work and across the country in California, at Spirit Rock with Larry Yang and at the East Bay Meditation Center with Mushim Patricia Ikeda, there is a clear sense of progress through the struggles; barriers are being confronted and are coming down. As Gleig puts it, advocates of this work see Buddhism as “a potent remedy for collec- tive American suffering” and see the work they are doing as a remedy for limitations in modern Buddhism. Gleig further elucidates the contours of the shifting Buddhist landscape as it moves away from the hippie, free-love experimen- tation of the Boomer generation toward a series of new challenges around diversity, power, transparency, and the growing dif- ficulty of making a living as a Buddhist teacher. Postmodern American Buddhists are cautious about allowing Buddhism to be separated from the world around them as an individualistic practice, insulated from the economic and ecological vicissi- tudes of the current age. They also know the progress occurring in some sanghas is not matched everywhere, that many people of color continue to feel alienated and that abuses of power still find deeply entrenched support. This is a monumental contribution to the growing literature and scholarly awareness of American Buddhism. Like McMahan’s work, this book is imminently readable and filled with details that will pique the curios- ity of, and hopefully inform, Buddhists of America and beyond. potent features to be coopted by prevail- ing individualistic and capitalist values is a clear danger, other changes are more positive. One such area of opportunity is seen in how postmodern and postcolonial approaches challenge the patriarchy and racism of Buddhist communities. Zen teacher Myoan Grace Schireson offers a multidimensional analysis of sex scan- dals in Zen communities, breaking down personal, interpersonal, and what she calls transpersonal elements involved. Careful to lay final responsibility on the teacher, she does not shy away from dis- cussing ways in which communities fail to protect vulnerable populations and how some women seek power and status through their relationships with teachers. Schireson’s background as a psychothera- pist shows through in her ability to parse out the various dimensions of the scandals rocking Zen Buddhism, and Gleig makes it clear that this is an important way in which Western thought is successfully merging with Buddhism in the develop- ment of an “American Dharma.” A second area of opportunity is in deal- ing with the dynamics of race and racism. Gleig recounts a poignant story of Travis Spencer, an African American who visited the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW) in 2010. The IMCW had flourished under the leadership of Tara Brach, but on this evening, despite the room being crowded with white faces, no one sat next to Spencer. As he put it, he was visited by “The Ghost of Racist Past” in his thoughts during meditation. He wrote about that night afterward and reached out to Brach, an “action that initiated a longstanding commitment to IMCW, and a personal friendship with