Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program¬†– “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

D.T.Suzuki (1870-1966)

[D.T.Suzuki – photo by Mihoko Okamura]
Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki (1870-1966), the great roshi, (teacher), prolific author of a variety of texts, including the hugely-influential An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1934) and Zen and Japanese Culture (1959), subject of Michael Goldberg’s extraordinary film, A Zen Life (2006), is universally credited with introducing Zen (Japanese Buddhism) to the West. Gary Snyder, in the film, calls him “probably the most culturally significant Japanese person in international terms, in all of history”. Carl Jung had earlier written, “Suzuki’s works on Zen Buddhism are among the best contributions to the knowledge of living Buddhism…We … Read More

Ellen Pearlman: My Lunch With Mihoko

Ellen Pearlman is currently working on a history Buddhism’s influence on the American avant garde & her lunch with Mihoko is a result of some of that research as well as of course her own curiosity.

 The following article originally appeared in American Buddhism as a Way of Life, recently published by SUNY Press.

“Allen Ginsberg lay in a coma, dying. An oxygen tube laced across his nose as he tossed and turned against his portable hospital bed. Sitting beside him that early April night, I held his cool, surprisingly delicate hand and meditated with him despite his coma. … Read More