Fake meat's surprising evolution, from Buddhism to the Beyond Burger

November 8, 2019
While plant-based meat may seem new and buzzy, China began concocting it way before the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat burst onto the scene, CNN reports. What’s more, its creations have approximated a far richer array of fake meats, beyond the “burgers” trending in the West, emerging from a food culture that has long celebrated ingenuity. In China, the practice of imitating meat has its... Read more about Fake meat's surprising evolution, from Buddhism to the Beyond Burger


A mudra is a ritual gesture made by the position of the hands or body, and signifiying the activity or quality of the Buddha or bohisattva depicted. Common mudras of the Buddha include: the cupping of hands with palms up in the lap in the mudra of meditation; the placing of the right hand on the ground, indicting that the Buddha is calling the earth to witness his steadiness in the face of temptations; touching the fingers of the left hand to the right hand at the chest to show the Buddha in the act of teaching.

Buddhist meditation

Buddhist meditation is the practice of quieting the mind and bringing it to full attention, as did the Buddha in the meditative practice that led to his enlightenment or awakening. Cultivating an alert, wakeful consciousness through meditation is practiced in several distinctive schools: the vipassana tradition of insight-meditation or mindfulness; the Tibetan schools of visualization; and the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Zen traditions.

Dharma transmission

The formal handing over of the lineage succession from teacher to student is called Dharma transmission. This transmission ensures the continuity of the Dharma as it has developed in the teaching and practice of a particular school of Buddhism. The student receiving transmission from his or her teacher becomes the Dharma heir of that master.

Eastern Pure Land of Azure Radiance

The Eastern Pure Land of Azure Radiance, presided over by Bhaisajya-guru (the Medicine Buddha), is described as pure, radiant, and without any suffering. Simply by reciting the name of the Buddha with full faith, one can be reborn in a Pure Land and thus continue one's cultivation with no distractions.

Glassman-roshi, Bernard Tetsugen

Ordained a Soto Zen priest in 1970, Bernard Glassman eventually became the first American-born Dharma heir of Maezumi-roshi’s Soto Zen lineage. In 1995 he was given the title of roshi and, upon the death of Maezumi-roshi, Glassman assumed leadership in the White Plum lineage. Glassman-roshi’s center, the Zen Community of New York, has launched an extensive and progressive array of for-profit and non-profit programs addressed directly to the urban crisis. Greystone Bakery, Greystone Family Inn for homeless families, and Issan House (a residence for people with AIDS).

Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra, originally one section of the Prajnaparamita Sutra, attained great importance in East Asia as an independent scripture. Its central message is that phenomenal appearances do not reveal ultimate reality but constitute projections of one’s own mind.

Seung Sahn, Zen Master

Master Seung Sahn, the 78th patriarch in his line of transmission in the Chogye order of Korean Buddhism, was the first Korean Zen Master to live and teach in the West. In 1972, he started the Providence Zen Center. A decade later, he formally organized the Kwan Um School of Zen to provide administrative support to his growing network of centers in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

The Platform Sutra, attributed to Huineng (638-713), the sixth patriarch of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, contains the main elements of this Mahayana school: the way of sudden enlightenment through “no-thought”; universal Buddha nature pervading all reality; and the sunyata (emptiness) of all phenomena.

Hanh, Thich Nhat

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and a world-renowned teacher of socially and politically conscious “engaged Buddhism.” In 1966 Thich Nhat Hanh was invited by the Fellowship of Reconciliation to tour the United States so he could explain to the American public why Buddhists were leading demonstrations against the American-supported Saigon government. As a result of his outspoken appraisal of the Saigon government’s policies, Nhat Hanh faced certain imprisonment upon his return to Vietnam. He took asylum in France, where he founded Plum Village, an important center for meditation... Read more about Hanh, Thich Nhat


Higan is a week-long Japanese Buddhist festival in which people offer respect to the dead. It is celebrated twice each year, once in the spring, starting on March 18 or 19, and again in the fall beginning on either September 20 or 21. The term higan is linked to the Sanskrit term paramita, which means literally “going to the other shore.” In the Japanese Pure Land and True Pure Land traditions, this “other shore” is identified with Amida’s Pure Land.

wheel of the Dharma

The Buddha’s first sermon is called “The setting in motion of the wheel of the Dharma.. Hence, an eight-spoked wheel is often employed to represent the Buddhist tradition as a whole.


Vihara means “residence” in Sanskrit and Pali; the term is used to designate the living quarters for Buddhist monks, i.e. a Buddhist monastery. In addition to the living area for the monastic community, a Vihara will typically include a Buddha image, a stupa (reliquary mound), and a Bodhi Tree.