Buddhism, once thought of as a mysterious religion from the East, has now become very popular in the West, including the United States. As Buddhism does not require any formal "conversion", American Buddhists can easily incorporate dharma practice into their normal routines and traditions. The result is that American Buddhists come from every ethnicity, nationality and religious tradition. 

The term American Buddhism can be used to describe Buddhist groups within the U.S, which are largely made up of converts. This contrasts with many Buddhist groups in Asia, which are largely made up of people who were born into the faith.

While Asian immigrants were arriving, some American intellectuals examined Buddhism, based primarily on information from British colonies in India and East Asia.

In the last century, numbers of Asian Buddhist masters and teachers have immigrated to the U.S. in order to propagate their beliefs and practices. Most have belonged to three major Buddhist traditions or cultures: Zen, Tibetan, and Theravada.

Buddhist education in the United States


Buddhist Study

University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley: Buddhist Studies

The Group in Buddhist Studies offers a minor in Buddhist Studies. Students interested in majoring in Buddhist Studies should consider the East Asian Religion, Thought, and Culture major offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

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