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The Institute of Buddhist Studies would like to thank all the panelists, participants, and guests who made the 2010 Buddhism Without Borders Conference such a wonderful success!

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Buddhism without Borders: Contemporary Developments of Buddhism in the West

at the Institute of Buddhist Studies
Berkeley, California
March 18 - 21, 2010

Panel IV: Identifying Buddhists, Buddhist Identity, 9:30 - 12:30

Finding Buddhism in Blogs

Mindy McAdams, University of Florida

To bring fresh insight to what is now an almost 20-year-old discussion of “two Buddhisms” in North America, it is necessary to seek out new voices and perhaps undertake new methods of study. It is suggested that an examination of posts and comments at Buddhist weblogs can provide access to attitudes and practices outside the mainstream and major tributaries of Buddhism in North America.

For this study, the researcher read all 80 posts made by Arunlikhati at the Dharma Folk blog (http://dharmafolk.wordpress.com/) from April 14, 2008, through April 2, 2009, as well as 311 comments and 28 pingbacks on those posts. Particular attention was given to two posts dated December 3, 2008, and March 24, 2009, because of a focus on issues that divide and separate Asian American and white Buddhists. These two posts were discussed at length in other Buddhist blogs, providing an opportunity to study the conversation dynamics of the “Buddhoblogosphere.” Related posts at nine other Buddhist weblogs were also analyzed, along with more than 100 comments left on those posts.

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