“Buddhism 3.0″ in Japan

from Japan Times: Buddhist priest Issho Fujita instructs participants in a Zen meditation workshop| KYODO

From Japan Times: Buddhist priest Issho Fujita instructs participants in a Zen meditation workshop

From the Japan Times comes a report on “Buddhism 3.0″ and the two priests who came up with the idea. Using the book they wrote by the same name, Issho Fujita and Ryodo Yamashita are traveling and offering workshops across Japan, encouraging a conversation about the direction of Buddhism in the country and catching the attention of young Buddhist priests navigating a tradition that is losing some of its authority in modern culture.

Contrary to more conventional accounts of Buddhist history, the two propose that Buddhism 1.0 is the Mahayana tradition that arrived in Japan more than a thousand years ago, while 2.0 is Theravada Buddhism, which only started to gain popularity and awareness in Japan in the 1990s. Buddhism 3.0 attempts to integrate the wisdom of the two traditions, offering body-friendly approaches to meditation and “specific skills to ease heartache.”

Fujita serves as head of the Soto Zen International Education Center and has taught extensively at centers across the United States; Yamashita has studied Theravada Buddhism and is the abbot of a temple he founded in Kamakura.