Bogin, the nephew of author Rick Fields, and the author of the introduction to the 40th anniversary edition, will discuss How the Swans Came to the Lake this landmark modern classic unfolding the story of Buddhism’s spread to the west with James Shaheen, the editor-in-chief of Tricycle.
How the Swans Came to the Lake opens with the story of Asian Buddhism, including the life of the Buddha and the spread of his teachings from India to Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Tibet, and elsewhere. Coming to the modern era, the book tracks how Western colonialism in Asia served as the catalyst for the first large-scale interactions between Buddhists and Westerners. Author Rick Fields discusses the development of Buddhism in the West through key moments such as Transcendentalist fascination with Eastern religions; immigration of Chinese and Japanese people to the United States; the writings of D. T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and members of the Beat movement; the publication of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki; the arrival of Tibetan lamas in America and Europe; and the influence of Western feminist and social justice movements on Buddhist practice.
This fortieth anniversary edition features both new and enhanced photographs as well as a new introduction by Fields’s nephew, Buddhist Studies scholar Benjamin Bogin, who reflects on the impact of this book since its initial publication and addresses the significant changes in Western Buddhist practice in recent decades.
BENJAMIN BOGIN, a scholar of Himalayan Buddhism, is associate professor and director of Asian Studies at Skidmore College. He is the author of The Illuminated Life of the Great Yolmowa and the coeditor of Himalayan Passages: Tibetan and Newar Studies in Honor of Hubert Decleer.
James Shaheen is the editor and publisher of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, an independent quarterly magazine that presents Buddhist wisdom and practices from a number of traditions to a Western audience. James began his Buddhist practice in the mid-1990s, studying with teachers from a number of Buddhist traditions. He is particularly interested in Buddhism's growth in the West and its applicability to Western politics, culture, and everyday life.
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