Monday, November 6, 2017 - 11:29
... far beyond Thailand and Myanmar to every continent except Antarctica. Buddhism hasn't witnessed such explosive growth since the 6th century CE.
For the dharma, globalism has been good—very good. One morning, you might read in the New York Times about the Dalai Lama’s latest speaking tour. A day later, in Minneapolis, Matthieu Ricard might be recording a podcast for On Being. Vacationing one summer in southwestern France, you could stumble across Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hahn’s European base. Plum Village, though, is only one small part of a network that includes residential centers on both coasts of the United States and branches as far south as Buenos Aires. Not to be outdone by Zen or the Tibetan schools, Vipassana has traveled far beyond Thailand and Myanmar to every continent except Antarctica. Buddhism hasn’t witnessed such explosive growth since the 6th century CE. But what will happen to the dharma now, with nativism on the rise everywhere? In March 2017, India’s prime minister put his country’s Muslims on alert by appointing a militant Hindu priest as chief minister of the most populous state. A few months later, in Poland’s capital, Donald Trump told a cheering crowd, “ The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” At the same time, India and China, both nuclear powers, nearly came to blows in a simmering dispute over a dirt road bordering Bhutan. Not so long ago, it seems to me, the growing trend was an eagerness to become global citizens. Disappearing jobs and a loss of sovereignty help explain what happened after that, but the reversal has a deeper cause: globalism’...