Friday, July 8, 2011

American Buddhism Keeps Asian Influence, Adapts to West

Boys aged five to 14 have their heads shaved as they start a five-day retreat. A rite of passage in many parts of the Buddhist world, it gives them an introduction to Buddhist teaching and offers a brief taste of the life of a monk. Here at the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, the congregation is predominantly Chinese American, but these children get their instruction in English.

A class of 31 boys receives instruction at the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, California, with their heads temporarily shaved as monks, in a retreat to introduce them more deeply to Buddhist life before they return to their regular lives, July 2011.

The Hong Kong-born director of outreach, Miao Hsi, explains that American Buddhism is largely divided on ethnic lines.

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