Current American Buddhism makes no sense unless you understand its recent history.
- How Buddhism modernized in Asia, starting in the 1850s;
- How hippies created a new religion fusing the modernized export-grade Buddhism they encountered in Asia in the 1970s with American pop spirituality;
- And how their invention—“Consensus Buddhism“—became a political juggernaut, flattening alternative Buddhisms in its path.
I wrote only the first part of that, mostly in 2011. I have drafts for the rest, but since the Consensus imploded over the next few years, it didn’t seem important to finish.
Nevertheless, if you are interested in current American Buddhism, and in its possible futures, I expect you will find the contents of this section fascinating. I found the history startling as I did the research. Most of what we thought we knew about what Buddhism is, and where it came from, was invented history.