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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Buddhism in the Modern World: Adaptations of an Ancient Tradition


Tibetan Buddhism was virtually unknown outside of its Himalayan stronghold before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, which precipitated an exodus eventually numbering more than 100,000, including most of its prominent lamas. Almost immediately, Westerners began to find their ways to India and Nepal, to establish relationships with these teachers, and to invite them to travel and live in the West. In little more than forty years, this little known branch of the world's quietest major religion has reached around the globe to establish a presence in nearly every major city and area of the West. Hundreds of thousands of Westerners are now involved in some way with Tibetan Buddhism, and while it may or may not eventually become a major religion in the West, it has become clear that there is only one major barrier to its further expansion: the emergence of a cadre of Western-born teachers.


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