On topic and thanks for that answer to my query...
Doesn't the fashion for Buddhism ebb and flow in the west?
Yes, I think so. This has less to do with Buddhism as such than with the preoccupations, needs (perceived and real), and social problems of the capitalist world.
Example: There has been recently an emphasis on "mindfulness" in a utilitarian sense: you practice mindfulness because your life is stressful (costs are increasing, wages are not, jobs are scarce, insecurity is contagious), you can't afford to take a proper vacation as in the Fordist years, so you have to cope somehow... hence, mindfulness has its moment in the workplace. A US Congressman has a book out on this topic, essentially claiming that mindfulness makes better citizens. &c. Is that Buddhism? Not really. It's just a moment in mass culture reflecting the real tensions in everyday life.
Meanwhile, the Buddhist teachings are available, good teachers are here and eager to find serious and committed students, so it's simultaneously true that North America & Europe are excellent places to be right now because the teachings are available and it's possible to practice in earnest here. what good fortune!
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