Buddhism is now widely accepted as the fastest growing “convert” religion among educated Westerners. There are reasons for its appeal: its comparative freedom from reliance on faith in dogmas that are hard to accept for pragmatic, scientifically inclined, Westerners; its inclusive attitude to the natural world; its ecological approach to the notion of use; its compassionate, forgiving, and non-violent, nature. But its emergence in the West has presented the most difficult challenge in its 2,500-year history — adapting to modernity.
The films looks through the eyes of the first generation of Western Dharma teachers at the myriad issues Buddhism faces and how it is adapting within a culture that runs on the engines of competition and greed, where many consider cruelty to be kindness and ignorance to be knowledge. But throughout its history Buddhism has adapted to new cultures with almost chameleon-like ease. So if its past is any judge, the sublime path our colonial forefathers dubbed Buddhism has begun a migration that over time will leave it, and quite possibly modernity itself, greatly transformed.