Choosing Buddhism : The Life Stories of Eight Canadians
Mauro Peressini presents the experience of Canadians who chose to convert to Buddhism and to embrace its teachings and practices in their daily lives. Choosing Buddhism presents the life stories of eight Canadians who first encountered Buddhism between the late 1960s and the 1980s, and are now ordained or lay Buddhist teachers. In recent census records, over 300,000 Canadians identified their religious affiliation as Buddhist. The great majority are of Asian origin and were born into Buddhist families or were Buddhist at the time of their arrival in Canada. Since the late 1960s, however, the number of Canadians converting to Buddhism has doubled every decade, and this demographic now includes more than 20,000 individuals. The eight Canadians whose life stories are featured in this book are among the very first to have chosen Buddhism. Their first-hand accounts shed light on why and how people convert to a religion from such distant shores. Choosing Buddhism also offers contextual material that complements the eight life stories. This material enriches the reader's understanding of the life stories by offering additional information on the meaning of the Buddhist notions mentioned and by providing the broader historical and spiritual contexts that underpin the biographical accounts. While Choosing Buddhism will be of interest to specialists because of the first-hand accounts, it is primarily aimed at a wider audience interested in Buddhism, religions or spirituality in general. It will also be of use to teachers whose courses touch upon any of these subjects. By combining life stories and contextual material, and placing an emphasis on the concrete experiences of Canadians with whom readers can identify, this book is an introduction to Buddhism and to what it means to lead a Buddhist life in contemporary Canada.--$cProvided by publisher.