Buddhimergent, anyone?

A friend passed on this link from Salon ,and I just couldn’t help but smile in recognition as I read about the struggles that aging Buddhist teachers are facing to keep their practices relevant in a changing culture…

But we’re a small group, and off and on we wonder what the American Buddhist future will look like. What’s going to happen when our teachers — part of the generation that launched the spiritual tradition in the ’60s and ’70s — grow too old to teach and we don’t yet have a new crop ready to take their place? And while I eventually felt more comfortable with Buddhism — now, the rituals and the chanting in my practice seem necessary, not foreign — what if some people who might connect with the teachings feel too intimidated by the window dressing to walk through the door?

Ah yes…the seeker-sensitive Buddhist movement 😉 And then the Emerging Buddhists quickly follow…

Walk into many American Buddhist meditation centers, and you’ll see a majority of white, middle-aged faces. That’s not the case with a Dharma Punx gathering. On a Tuesday night meeting last fall, Korda sported a trucker’s cap, long plaid shorts, a bowling shirt and massive Buddhist tattoos. After a 20-minute guided meditation, many in the audience — arty hipster types in their 20s, 30s and early 40s — sprawled casually across the cushions while Korda and his co-teacher, Craig Swogger, gave a classic Buddhist teaching on the origin of suffering (using the word “stress” instead of “suffering,” though, and punctuating their points with a few expletives).

Wow.  They even cuss.  And did I mention they’re really into social justice, too? Anyhow, it’s a neat article, and a good reminder that we’re pretty connected as human beings in our struggles to find deeper meaning and spirituality in a post-modern, hyper-consumer age. The full text is here.


  1. I am a Islamyterian.

  2. Gesundheit,Ryan!

  3. Sorry it should be “an Islamyterian”. Thank you Mark. Blessings to you as well.

    I see a common thread among the genXers. We are seek truth and hunger in deep ways for something more than this consumer battery like existence that we are linked to in America.

    Real freedom only exists in the death we enter into as we enter into relationship with Jesus Christ. [Wow, that sounded fundy]

    When it all said and done and we are stand naked in the road that stops at the pearly gates, What shall we answer when asked, “What do you believe?”

    We all want more than a product and a docile hippie Jesus dispensing fortune cookie advise. Jesus matters because Jesus transforms. Jesus liberates. Not in a wordy fake ass sense. Jesus is flesh and mysterious. Thanks be to God for the realness present in Jesus and the life altering/shattering availability of this truth.

    If Jesus does not matter than all of this is bullshit anyway. I say F@$K it, it am going for broke.

    Jesus is the pill to which opens our eyes from which you can never go back.

  4. Huh. It’s not my tradition, but “stress” seems to not quite get at the existential depth of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. I’m sure Guru Parkitaba Williamson and the Buddhist Layman are suitably outraged.

  5. Probably about as outraged as John Piper and Chuck Colson are at Brian McLaren & co…

  6. I am so slow on the uptake, David. I totally missed your humor until I just now re-read it. Buddhist Layman indeed… :-)

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