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21 September, 2014
The Future of Buddhism in the West
Perhaps the most universal question among humanity is in regards to the purpose of our existence here on earth. In Western society, a multitude of beliefs and theories hearten the curiosity of many people- but is that really enough anymore? The state of the world is in crisis as war, poverty, and sickness undermine our universal well-being. Corrupt political systems are staggering while the world economy plummets, and any sort of moral resolution seems hopelessly unattainable. Even younger generations are beginning to recognize that their investment in the future abides by the same social structures which have resulted in the state of chaos we find ourselves in today. Yet, Western civilization is presently undergoing a significant evolutionary shift as people are beginning to look within themselves for answers, rather than outside of themselves.
The recent fascination in consciousness and power of meditation has brought to light the potential Buddhism has for advancement in Western culture. Buddhism has been centered on relieving human suffering for centuries, but it is now that their exercises and practices for individual enlightenment prove most beneficial to the West (Verhoeven, Martin J.).
Our health fields have hit a number of barriers within recent years. These barriers have presented themselves in a vast number of ways, including rapidly incessant cases of cancer, and diagnosis upon terminal diagnosis. Though distressing, these illnesses and perplex circumstances have been a powerful instigator for spiritual growth. According to the Buddhists, our experience of life is directly connected with the physical world around us (Verhoeven, Martin J.). What we perceive with our minds affects what will happen in the physical world. This is largely due to Karma, our past...