Freeing the Buddha
Brian Ruhe travelled to Thailand and married Pia Ruhe, a shaman who has trained in alternative medicine since age 16. Now living in Vancouver, the couple have collaborated on Freeing the Buddha, a 416-page first instalment of a planned trilogy.
“In my efforts to spread Buddhism in the West,” says Brian Ruhe, who teaches Buddhism and meditation at Douglas College, “I must acknowledge the inspirations I have gained from the Sikh temple on Ross Street in Vancouver, and by televised All Star Universal Wrestling.
“The Sikh temple had been on the front cover of The Vancouver Sun for a couple of days per week because of debates between moderates and fundamentalists. All Star Wrestling is a teacher because the wrestlers are masters of creating a crowd-drawing spectacle by pretending to be adversaries to one another.
“The pioneers of Western Buddhism can learn invaluable lessons from these fine examples because a skilful display of differences in view can provide free promotion for Buddhism.”
The Ruhes’ book offers ‘a dangerous collection of essays’ meant to incite, not unlike WWF theatrical performers. There are references to The Beatles, UFOs and modern politicians. In ‘Rescuing Jesus from the Christians’ Brian Ruhe argues that if Jesus was alive he would say the religion he taught was closer to Buddhism than contemporary Christianity.
In ‘Adolph Hitler—The Bad Boy of Buddhism’, he contends that Hitler was an accomplished medium ‘who turned into the negative powers of the higher realms’ to magnetize Nazi Germany. (604-733-8477)
[BCBW SUMMER 2000]