In a Huff-Po article on the recent Garrison Buddhist conference:
Kornfield admitted disappointment that the gathering had no representatives of Asian Buddhist temples, which are some of the oldest and largest in the U.S. and largely serve immigrant communities.
"There is still a pretty big divide between temples and teachers whose communities are of immigrants and those who are called convert Buddhists. I don’t know how to address this," he said.
On Twitter @ZenDirtZenDust responded:
There is a lot of dialogue between Buddhists and people of other faiths. Big multi-faith panels discuss important issues of the day. Some of these are televised or stream over the Internet. We even have Christian-Buddhists, Jewish Buddhists, Atheist Buddhists, convert Buddhists of all sorts.
But how about Buddhist Buddhists? That is those born into a Buddhist culture or Buddhist family. Somehow they get overlooked in all this dialoguing.
The Inter-Faith situation seems to be well covered. That leaves the Intra-Faith situation to be considered.
Perhaps an Intra-Faith Teaching Council is worth developing. Or holding an Intra-Faith Buddhist Conference. Or an Intra-Faith teacher exchange. Or holding Intra-Faith Buddhist celebratory events. Or setting up Intra-Faith regional dialogues. Or researching what already exists along these lines. There’s plenty. Here are some useful models. Perhaps, if contacted, these organizations can give some input on future directions.
Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils-is an enormous umbrella group which represents all Buddhists, of all schools and sects by way of inclusive regional councils.
The Buddhist Council of the Midwest-representing the Chicago area
The Buddhist Sangha Council of Southern California-which was begun by the late Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara
The seeds are already there.
Maybe it’s time for some “Western Buddhists” to get over the sense of “specialness” that conversion sometimes brings.