Flight of the Swans: Dharma Comes West

Buddhist thought, Buddhist practice, and Buddhist poetry have had a huge impact on North American culture since the 1950s. For several decades, the teachings of Buddhist adepts seemed inseparable from cultural revolution, from poetry, from free speech. Writers and artists popularized haiku, poems of enlightenment, the anti-war movement, and the recognition that ecosystems are living beings. They wrote sutras and used magical language. Haiku flourished in WWII internment camps for Japanese-Americans. Much of this counter-culture and tangled history arrived at Naropa University at its founding. This course will delve into the Beats, Dharma bums, ghost tantras, and the empowerment of women. The role of Asian American communities, converts, mountains, and rivers are part of the mix. Cross-listed as REL348.
Course Number: REL546
Units: 3.0
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