This is the first in-depth guide to Buddhism in North America, introducing the many facets of Buddhist practice and belief, highlighting the unique development of Buddhism in the West, as well as offering detailed listings to over a thousand meditation centers. The book is divided into four parts, the first three representing the major Buddhist traditions that have taken root in America: Theravada (The Path of Insight), Mahayana (The Path of Compassion), and Vajrayana (The Path of Devotion). The fourth part covers nonsectarian groups. Each part begins with several essays by leading Buddhist teachers, scholars, and longtime students to introduce the philosophy and practices of that particular school. Then follow listings of hundreds of centers and meditation groups identified with that tradition, with brief descriptions of each center's facilities, the schedule of regular practices and special retreats, information about teacher lineages, and full contact information. The listings are enhanced by over a hundred photographs of the centers and their teachers, as well as by sidebars highlighting their unique features, practices, and events.
This is a completely revised and vastly expanded edition of the author's Buddhist America: Centers, Retreats, Practices (published in 1988). In addition to being thoroughly updated, The Complete Guide to Buddhist America contains more than twice the number of listening and articles contained in the earlier edition.
"The front cover describes this book as 'the most comprehensive introduction to Buddhism in America – with dozens of articles by leading Buddhist teachers, scholars, and students, and detailed listings to over a thousand Buddhist meditation centers in the United States and Canada.' Cross-indexed by name as well as location, this volume functions well as a guidebook, though it will not fit into your pocket. The book is divided into four sections, reflecting the major paths of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, and a fourth called 'Buddhayan: Nonsectarian Buddhism and Mixed Traditions.' Here you will find a very brief description of BPF and a somewhat longer passage on the BASE program.
"There's more than one lifetime of possibilities listed here for investigation. Wonderful photographs of many of the authors and a clear design make this an invaluable tool for any seeker, useful for search, research, and tasting the many flavors of contemporary western Buddhism. Both the reality of so muchness and of putting it between covers is an awesome accomplishment."—Turning Wheel, Summer 1998, p.40
"More than a simple directory of Buddhist centers, this book offers an in-depth guide to Buddhist practices in America and to the crucial role meditation centers across the country are playing in shaping a uniquely American Buddhism. A Complete Guide to Buddhist America offers ample evidence that the lotus of the Buddha-dharma has not only taken root in the rocky soil of America but has blossomed with wondrous variety and profusion."—Rick Fields, author of How the Swans Came to the Lake: A History of Buddhism in America