Buddhist Thought Leadership

An unexpected place to see though leaderhip in action.

Philip Morgan

Just a quick share today of an article that gives an unexpected example of thought leadership: https://palladiummag.com/2022/05/28/creating-west-coast-buddhism/.

This paragraph provides a nice overview of what you'll get if you read the article:

Buddhism had to gradually adapt and be adapted to become a part of the modern Western religious landscape. It’s a process that began as soon as Europeans systematically studied it in the nineteenth century. Meditation practices were stripped of their traditional context and given new purpose while still retaining the allure of their oriental origins. Books portraying Buddhism as the religion of modernity excited people’s interest, and accessible retreat-based meditation programs were meant to keep it. This transformation, a collaboration between Western countercultural figures and Eastern religious reformers, tells a story of how a modern religion is shaped and the contours of its future.

To be precise, I would say the campaign of change that transformed Buddhism into a form that fits Western sensibilities was not a focused, planned campaign. It kind of emerged from the uncoordinated work of multiple people over time.

But still, it's interesting to see many of the elements of thought leadership at play in an unexpected context.