Buddhism is one of the fastest growing religions in America and it has many different faces. In the introduction to this survey of the current situation, Charles S. Prebish points out that Asian Buddhist teachers and a growing number of American Buddhist masters are building an institutional foundation that is "stable, solid, and even ecumenical." The essays here for the most part are very academic and sober-minded.

Practitioners of Chinese Buddhism in the U.S. have taken vows aimed at alleviating the suffering and aiding the spiritual progression of all sentient beings. Chanting is very popular in Vietnamese and Korean temples. In many Dharma communities organized by Tibetan Buddhists, practitioners spend upwards to four hours a day performing tantric practices alone or in group settings. Insight meditation is particularly popular in America; it is organized around the spiritual practices of mindfulness, loving-kindness, ethics, and generosity.

This anthology also includes essays on Buddhist psychotherapy, Western Buddhist women, the gay community in American Buddhism, and, best of all, the socially engaged Buddhism of North America.