Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America
Few Americans were more than dimly aware of Tibet until the early 1950s, when cinema newsreels showed its high plateaus being forcibly occupied by the Communist Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Fewer still knew anything about its form of Buddhism until Tibetans in the thousands began streaming out of the country in the violent aftermath of the abortive uprising against the Chinese in 1959. But within the flow of exhausted and destitute Tibetan refugees were many of the greatest figures of Tibetan Buddhism; like the others, they escaped only to toil in the appalling heat and dust of India and Nepal, building farm colonies in scattered rural areas. For a time, these brilliant scholars, yogis, and teachers struggled in obscurity to rebuild religious life in their new homes. But within a few years, some Westerners, including some Americans, found their way to the crude new Tibetan monasteries, and some Tibetan teachers were accepting invitations to visit or live in the United States.
Cozort, Daniel. "Tibetan Buddhism in the United States." In Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, edited by Eugene V. Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft, 131-57. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2006.