Jewels by Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka
BDK America
Publish Date: 
Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka


7 x 5 x 0.6
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Introduction to Buddhism for American Youth


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Jewels: An Introduction to American Buddhism for Youth, Scouts and the Young at Heart, introduces Buddhism to youth and young and other interested adults to Buddhism in America today. The book is dedicated 

To Buddhist youth and young adults on whose shoulders the future of American Buddhism rests 

Tanaka Sensei identifies both the outer jewels and the inner jewels of the title, drawing from  the Flower Garland Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. As outer jewels, we are all unique and valuable individual jewels linked with all other individuals in Indra's Net. .Inner jewels are the precious treasure of mental and spiritual happiness Buddhists can develop. 

From History and Tradition to Buddhism Today

The book identifies the historical legacy of Buddhism, outlines basic teachings and practices, and concludes with practice in daily life. 


The author provides special attention to the needs of the Scouts of America, first because the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting had initially asked him to write an appropriate introduction to Buddhism, and second out of the author's own gratitude for his own scouting experience.

Unique Aspects of American Buddhism

Readers will see the unique aspects of American Buddhism celebrated, aspects identified as equality, practice-focused, scientific, socially engaged, emphasis on the here and now, and humor.

Table of Contents

       Preface     ix
       Introduction     1     

Part One: Legacy
       1.  Buddhism in America     9
       2.  Life of the Buddha     34
       3.  Brief History of Buddhism in Asia     52
       4.  Brief History of Buddhism in America     73

Part Two: Basic Teachings and Practices with Humor and Light-hearted Stories 
       5.  Four Noble Truths     87
       6.  Karma and the Eightfold Noble Path     104
       7.  Four Marks of Life     125
       8.  Popular Passages, Metaphors, and Stories     136

Part Three: In Daily Life
       9.  Issues and Problems in Daily Life     159
     10. Questions Often Asked about Buddhism     180
     11. Humor as a Way to Learn and Share Buddhism     190

     Epilogue     214

     Appendix I:   Important Dates in Buddhism and Christianity     219
     Appendix II:  Buddhists in the World     223
     Appendix III: Various Buddhist Traditions in the United States     225
     Appendix IV: Relating to Other Religions     231
     Appendix V: Buddhist Holidays     235
     Appendix VI: Buddhist Scouting in America     237

     Index     241