Flight of the Swans: Dharma Comes West
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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: