Here’s an interesting profile from the LA Times on the JuBus, those folks born Jewish who find comfort in the practice of Zen Buddhism.
I live in the land of the JuBus (for the next month, anyway) and have come to know this peculiar breed of Jews intimately. Even my Jungian Jewish therapist, with his admonitions that much of my mishegoss is self-created, used to be a Buddhist priest. I’m so used to hearing yiddishisms in yoga class that they don’t even sound out of place anymore (“Oy, it’s my turn to shlep all the meditation cushions to Spirit Rock tonight!”)
The popularity of JuBuism is evident in bestselling books like “The Jew In the Lotus” and David M. Bader’s“Zen Judaism” and “Haikus for Jews”, but even more so in the numbers: 30 percent of converts to Buddhists were raised Jewish.
The JuBus are purely an American and dare I say Californian? creation, and since so many Jews are raised in secular environments, I can see how the simplicity of Buddhism can be attractive. So many claim that they’re “peace with paradox” of being both, but is this really possible? (I ask this purely out of detached curiousity; I can barely get a handle on one set of beliefs, the last thing I need is another spiritual path. Even though I just love those maroon robes so fancy!)
The article quotes the Dalai Lama: “If there is a problem and there is nothing you can do about it, there’s no use worrying. If there is something that can be done, there’s no use worrying. And with that understanding can come contentment, even joy.”
Funny, my Zen Jungian therapist with the very Jewish last name says the same thing.
Hand-wringing, insomniac Jewish mother koan: If there is no worrying, the mind will collapse.