The faith know as Buddhism is growing. Some parts of it are those ethnic groups from the East while the growing portion is white Americans. There are now three million in the U.S. who self identify as Buddhists and another three million that practice parts of the faith like meditation.
The faith takes many forms. In Los Angeles, there are some 80 versions of the faith representing several countries. The American version reflects American culture just of the many others represent other world cultures.
American Buddhism stresses rationalization. It is popular among clinical psychologists as a way to deal with misery and suffering. The faith is strong on the view people have within themselves the where with all to stand up to whatever they face. American Buddhism is not in conflict with science.
In the U.S. the faith also believes in the present life, not the afterlife. All of existence happens between birth and death. If there is to be an escape to something better, the escape comes during the present life.
Adherents say Buddhism has more humor and is more light heartedness than Christianity. Common, they say, are self deprecating jokes.
Questionnaire research has found people 12% of the U.S. public saying Buddhism influences their spiritual lives.
One of the explanations for the growth of Buddhism is the U.S. preoccupation with religion. Thus, if one leaves the religion of his/her parents, they feel a need to have another.
The way Buddhism fits the culture of younger generations it is easy to understand its growth.