How the Swans Came to the Lake
A Narrative History of Buddhism in America 3rd Revised edition
By (author) Rick Fields
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How the Swans Came to the Lake by Rick Fields
Book DescriptionThis new updated edition of "How the Swans Came to the Lake " includes much new information about recent events in Buddhist groups in America and discusses such issues as spiritual authority, the role of women, and social action.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780877736318
(215mm x 140mm x 38mm)
Imprint: Shambhala Publications Inc
Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc
Publish Date: 7-Jul-1992
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Rick Fields
Chop Wood, Carry Water, Paperback (December 1984)» View all books by Rick Fields
Discusses the spiritual aspects of learning, sex, family life, work, money, play, health, technology, social action, and ecology.
US Kirkus Review » The story behind Fields' title illustrates the critical flaw in this otherwise agreeable survey. In early December 1976, "the Karmapa" announced that he had come to the US because the teachings of Buddha had preceded him. "If there is a lake," he said, "the swans would go there." The author of this appealing remark turns out to be a Tibetan holy man, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, numero uno in the "Karma Kagyu order," who is such a spiritual heavyweight that his arrival sends Trungpa Rinpoche, the most fashionable guru in Boulder, Colo., and king of the Naropa Institute, into a positive dither of preparation. The Karmapa's triumphal tour of America proves to be a series of splendid Meaningful Moments: the time he recited the mantra "om mani padme hum" 180 times, his performance of a "long Mahakala puja," etc., etc. If all this sounds more like esoteric Orientalist chitchat than a chapter in the history of religion, then blame must go to Fields. He's so dazzled by the colorful stream of Asian missionaries (Dharmapala, Nyogen Senzaki, Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, et. al.) bringing enlightenment to these shores, and so taken up with the doings of their famous American disciples (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Snyder), that his account often resembles the annals of an exclusive, sophisticated club. And any curious newcomer to Buddhism reading Fields might mistakenly conclude that only monastic types with a good Sanskrit-Japanese vocabulary need apply. On the other hand, Fields' narrative is pleasant reading, ambling its way from Shaloyamuni to William Jones to Madame Blavatsloy to Philip Kapleau - not to mention interesting minor figures much as Charles T. Strauss, a young Jewish businessman who became the first official American convert to Buddhism in 1893. Readable and informative, but too loosely structured and too busy with personalities. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Rick Fields
Rick Fields is the author of several books, including "Chop Wood, Carry Water " and "The Code of the Warrior. " He was formerly the editor of "The Vajradhatu Sun, " an international journal of Buddhism, and is currently the editor-at-large of "Tricycle: A Buddhist Review. "
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