“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.” ~ Chinese Proverb

It all seems so confusing. So many paths to choose from, so many “gurus”, so many instructional and experiential opportunities, so many “Flavors of the week !” …

If we were to forced to speculate on a single reason why all these choices have appeared in the West, we might conclude, in a word, that the pursuit of Happiness drew Americans East-ward.

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As Stillness Speaks continues its efforts to create, aggregate and distribute authentic resources for those deeply interested in self inquiry, we hope to continue deepening our coverage of the Eastern Wisdom traditions (e.g., Nonduality/Advaita, Buddhism) while expanding into, and thus sharing, the great trove of non-dual, and other, Western philosophical, literary (poetry), scientific and art contributions.

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Do you remember the sixties? Woodstock, the Vietnam War, The Black Panthers, The SDS (Students of Democratic Society) and The Weather Underground, the “Peace and Love Generation,” the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Six Day War, hippies, communes and….psychedelics?

In the late fifties and sixties, many Americans became disillusioned by the materialism, racism, colonialism, and the stress of Western culture. Looking for inner peace, they travelled to the East, primarily to India, Tibet, and Japan.

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Tiger Woods may best answer the core reason Westerners became attached to Eastern Wisdom: “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint….Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”

Some of the Eastern teachers and their Western students (upon return to the United States after their training) began to share views and practices which contrasted sharply with our material – centric, “consumptionist” culture {of duality}, thus further fueling the “east-ward” draw … which begs the question :

What was the secret promise held by the East that the West craved so deeply … ?

This is the key question we will explore through a series of upcoming posts, of which this is Part 1.

We hope you will join us as we survey this spiritual revolution, as part of which we will also explore how the core failure of “consumptionism” is a key reason many expect awakening to blossom in the West. 

“You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” ~ Eric Hoffer

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To access all parts of this entire series, please click on the link below
Exploring Eastern Wisdom’s Relevance for the West: a 9-part series


First quote (Chinese proverb): World of Proverbs.
Last Quote (Eric Hoffer): Quote Garden.
Featured & First Post Image: Collage of 1) Ganesha Painting at a Temple in Bhadrachalam, Khammam district, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2) Fire Om, by Koltrein, CC0 Public Domain, 3) Tibetan Buddhist thangka painting of a mandala, by Anonymous Tibetan Artist, United States Public Domain, and 4) Buddha & Enso Images at Chris Hebard’s by Cherie Manifest.
Second Post Image: Trimurti, Elephanta Caves, by Christian Haugen, CC BY 2.0.

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