Is there more to Buddhism than sitting in silent meditation? Is modern Buddhism relevant to the problems of daily life? Does it empower individuals to transform their lives? Or has Buddhism become too detached, so still and quiet that the Buddha has fallen asleep? Waking the Buddha tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement in the world today—and one that is waking up and shaking up Buddhism so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives. Drawing on his long personal experience as a Buddhist teacher, journalist, and editor, Clark Strand offers broad insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai, with its commitment to social justice and its egalitarian approach, has become a role model, not only for other schools of Buddhism, but for other religions as well. Readers will be inspired by the struggles and triumphs of the Soka Gakkai’s three founding presidents—individuals who staked their lives on the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the extraordinary power of those teachings to help people become happy.
About the Author
Clark Strand is a spiritual writer and former Zen Buddhist monk who was previously senior editor of Tricycle magazine. He is the author of How to Believe in God: Whether You Believe in Religion or Not and Meditation Without Gurus as well as countless groundbreaking articles, including the first comprehensive feature article ever written in English on internet spirituality. He has founded and led spiritual study groups, taught workshops and retreats, lectured at colleges and universities, and has spoken at some of the largest Buddhist gatherings ever held in America. He lives in Woodstock, New York.
"Waking the Buddha offers an absorbing, perceptive look at the often-misunderstood Soka Gakkai International movement and at how it is redefining not just the practice of Buddhism but religion itself. An eye-opening book, both fascinating and important." —Dinty W. Moore, author, The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life
"A must-read for anyone interested in Buddhism and its transmission." —Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California
"More than just a Buddhist Reformation, this may be the 4th turning of the wheel of Dharma, and all traditions (East and West) have much to learn from what is offered here." —Rev. Michael Ellick, founder of Occupy Faith
"Clark Strand brings his poet's eye, editor's care, and practitioner's insight to the one-of-a-kind work of 'Buddhist journalism' that is Waking the Buddha." —Rev. Danny Fisher, chair of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Dept., University of the West
"It is a practical guide for anyone searching for the answer to the question: 'How can I incorporate Buddhist principles in all aspects of my life?' If your practice is waking up, this book is for you." —Koshin Paley Ellison, co-founder of New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
"Waking the Buddha is about waking Buddhism from its own slumbers, as well as waking the Buddha who slumbers in us all. Clark Strand has painted a compelling portrait of the evolution, and revolution, of human religion in the new millennium." —Lou Marinoff Ph. D., author, Plato Not Prozac, Therapy for the Sane, The Middle Way, co-author with Daisaku Ikeda, The Inner Philosopher