Urthona - A Journal of Buddhism and the Arts

Allen Ginsberg – letting Imagination go...

On Mon, 22 March, 2021 - 10:38
Ratnagarbha's picture
Ratnagarbha

Highlight from new edition of Urthona magazine ‘American Zen’

see www.urthona.com to order issue 35 and read full article by Acarasiddhi

Acarasiddhi (Tony Press) of the Triratna Buddhist Order grew up in 1950s California. He was too young to be at the famous reading in City Lights bookshop when Ginsgerg’s Howl was unveiled, but he remembers very well the heady atmosphere of 1950s California when the world was opening up in all directions (land, space, imagination…)

Acarasiddhi goes on to give us a vivid account of Ginsberg’s arrival in California in the lively North Beach area of SF, and how he opened up a completely different way of ‘doing poetry’. Also covered are his subsequent explorations of Buddhism. Acarasiddhi concludes:

Celebrities come and go. Some dabble in Buddhism. Ginsberg did more than dabble. And as he was such a public man, his practice was both private and public. I suggest that his public practice, combined with his astounding communication skills, presence, and insistence upon honesty, went a long way toward helping re-ignite Buddhism in my troubled country. Disneyland in California still claims to be “the happiest place on earth,” but would that happiness didn’t have an entrance fee.

Find the full article in Urthona issue 35: American Zen – www.urthona.com

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