Waking the Buddha: How the most dynamic and empowering buddhist movement in history is changing our concept of religion ~ Clark Strand

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

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 on the extraordinary power of those teachings to help people become happy. These three men dared to revolutionize Buddhism by restoring it to its true purpose: to help people transform their lives and the world they live in. The result is a uniquely relevant form of Buddhism—one that “just makes sense” to the modern mind and is ready to meet the challenges of a global age.

Waking the Buddha will appeal to anyone who wants something more out of Buddhism—or any religion—as it explores the foundations of the Soka Gakkai’s practical spiritual path in which people take the principles of Buddhism and put them to work in everyday life. What makes the Soka Gakkai International unique in modern Buddhism? How could it have grown from a small organization of Buddhist educators into a global movement of over 12 million members in less than a century? What aspects of Soka Gakkai culture would other religious groups have to adopt or develop on their own if they wanted to move forward as this movement has done?

Through the author’s encounters with early Japanese Soka Gakkai pioneers, individuals who rebuilt their lives from nothing after World War II, and his interviews with the movement’s top leaders today, readers will find answers to these and many other questions in a book that places the Soka Gakkai International at the very leading edge of religion in the 21st century.

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.

DAISAKU IKEDA is President of the Soka Gakkai International, the world’s largest Buddhist lay group and America’s most diverse. In a rare interview, Ikeda speaks to contributing editor Clark Strand about his organization’s remarkable history, its oft-misunderstood practice, and what its members are really chanting for.
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. davidhare3000
    Mar 05, 2014 @ 19:47:48

    I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this book, thanks for the preview! David


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