How the swans came to the lake: A narrative history of Buddhism in America

Fields, Rick

Published by Shambhala, 1981
ISBN 10: 0877732078 / ISBN 13: 9780877732075
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Synopsis: This 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.

Review: "If there is a lake, the swans would go there."

So said the 16th Karmapa when asked why he visited America in 1976. Of course, the Karmapa wasn't the first swan to go to the lake. In a book of immense scope, Rick Fields surveys the history of Buddhism in America from the quasi-legendary Fu-sang in the sixth century to Asian immigrant communities to the latest trends in American Buddhism. Writing as a storyteller as much as a historian, Fields takes us back to the earliest European contacts with Buddhism, most notably, Sir William Jones, who was just about to go to America on the recommendation of Ben Franklin, when at the last minute, fortunately, he chose India. His work would influence the American Transcendentalists and eventually the great Theosophist and first American convert to Buddhism, Henry Steel Olcott. A sympathetic writer, Fields is also meticulously inclusive. Besides the obvious transmitters, like D.T. Suzuki and Philip Kapleau, Fields traces the forgotten influences of Paul Carus, Ernest Fenollosa, and Dharmapala. One memorable story is of the ex-Navy submarine mechanic Heng Ju, who walked, three steps then a kowtow, over and over, all the way from San Francisco to Seattle for a berry pie. Fields has countless other stories that make How the Swans Came to the Lake a priceless contribution not only to Buddhism in America but to Buddhism itself. --Brian Bruya

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Title: How the swans came to the lake: A narrative ...
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: 1981
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Fields, Rick
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Published by Shambhala, Boston (1986)
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Book Description Shambhala, Boston, 1986. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Fair. Fair; large softcover; pictorial wraps are somewhat chipped at edges, a bit cured at corners, some shelfwear soil to outer pp. edges; a couple of pp. in text block have light penciled underlining. Documents the planting and flourishing of Buddhism in America. Many black and white photos. Bookseller Inventory # 76993

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