This is a contiuation of a post I did earlier, regarding buddhism and its spreading to the west and its place in the west. These are a series of interviews with Lama Yeshe, who founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, which has 100s of centers worldwide.
He goes over topics like dharma in a daily life, and what buddhist practitioners in the west can do to support the growth of Buddhism in western countries. I think this is good general background information for people interested about the place of Buddhism in the west.
It’s a unique situation because most practitioners in the west are lay practitioners, so there are more dharma centers and meditation centers than there are temples.
Lama Yeshe addresses some of the obstacles that centers may face, which he explains as being the “explosion of dualistic dillusion” in the western environment and how to shape communities to counteract this.
The dharma center or meditation center then plays two roles: A place for practitioners to recharge themselves for what they face during daily life and acting as an actual physical place for refuge with the support of community.
In his vision of community, there is a vision of totality, where there is space for everyone. Space for lay people with husbands and wives, space for children, and space for monks and nuns. People live accordingly to what is natural for them.