Thursday, March 13, 2014

Native American Buddhism and Tibet

Ashley Wells, Xochitl, Maya, Wisdom QuarterlyHendon Harris  ASK MAYA
Pueblo/Gompa Lamayuru high in India's Himalayas, Ladakh (
See that pueblo? - Yes, pa. - It's Tibetan. (CM)
In response to Buddhism among the Pueblo Indians, USA, Hendon Harris (Chinese Discover America) writes: Thank you, Wisdom Quarterly, for your kind words regarding my work on Native Americans and Tibetan Buddhism. 

The more research I do, the more I am convinced that Hwui Shan and his four fellow Buddhist clerics from Gandhara (Indo-Pakistan/Afghanistan) actually made it to North America (Fu Sang) in 458 CE as he reported.
Native American (SuperG82/flickr)
I understand your objection to my use of the [portmanteau] term "Vedic Buddhism." You are technically correct.

The reason I have used those words together is to make a point. Buddhism began in a Vedic environment and as a result shares much in common even to this day with Hinduism and the other Dharmic religions of ancient India. 

A proper understanding of the cultural connections between these religions, particularly in ancient times, is essential for understanding the mix of symbols and customs that show up today dating from ancient times here.

Tibetan dancer, monk (CD)
[Well, Hendon, it is certainly true that Buddhism/Jainism and Hinduism share many themes, symbols, motifs, and cultural roots, yoga being the result of the influence of shramanic religions (Buddhism and Jainism being the two most popular and long-lived) on Brahminical Vedantic "Hinduism" (all of the traditions of the Indus River area taken by the British who coined the term "Indus-ism" as one post-Indus Valley Civilization conglomerate no matter how different they are) -- taking it from temple priesthood and intermediaries between people and God(s) into a forest tradition and direct personal experience. May we suggest "Indian Buddhism" or "Buddhistic Hinduistic"?]

Buddhism went "West" from Gandhara!
The Native American Seven Step Seven Vow Wedding Ceremony is a Hindu tradition. Phallic symbols (lingam) are common to ancient India's Dharmic religions as are mandalas, mantras, and manjis (swastikas) [-- not to mention the very name "Indian" referring to both disparate populations]. I have to be able to explain the cross section of evidence.

REPLY: Hendon, as for your central question -- "Did the Chinese discover America?" -- the answer is yes: Buddhism In America, Part 1Buddhism in Mexico before Christianity, Mexican Buddhists (BBC)... It is all laid out by Rick Fields in How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (, which could have been titled how Chinese Buddhist monks stumbled onto the American continent (Mesoamerica) a thousand years ago, centuries before Columbus brought conquest and Catholicism or the British sent pilgrims and capitalism. Who really discovered America? According to historians, the Chinese were here before Columbus.

Chinese discover America (in 1421) long before Europeans

Siberian Vajrayana Buddhist animist in teepee, Tsaatan wigwam, Mongolia (Hamid Sardar)

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