A Forgotten Western Buddhist Pioneer

Henri van Zeyst was one of the last of that generation of Westerners who came to Asia to join the Buddhist monkhood before the Second World War. Of the many who came, few lasted long. Henri went to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, and was still there 50 years later, although not as a monk. Those who came then and in later decades and did stay, usually flourished and became known to Western Buddhists through their writings on Buddhism and translations of Buddhist texts; Nyanatiloka and Nyanaponika, Nyanamoli, Nyanavira and Bhikkhu Bodhi being amongst the more famous. Henri van Zeyst remained little known outside his country of adoption, despite his numerous writings.



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