How Buddha Brands Himself

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The Zen lifestyle doesn't tend to be one of indulgence; it's not particularly known for cocktail-swilling, meat-eating, late-night partying, fashion-wary devotees. And yet, Buddhism as marketing theme continues to grow.

In Newsweek's joint column with Beliefnet.com, Alana B. Elias Kornfeld and Valerie Riess explore how, after all the yoga and om-inspired t-shirts, Buddhism is giving birth to restaurants all over the U.S. and even a new Ben & Jerry's flavor: Jolly Lama.

What's the attraction? Said Stephen Starr, owner of the Buddakan restaurants in Philadelphia and New York, "I was looking for an image that felt good and safe." (And that was trendy enough to make him a lot of money...)

We're sure Richard Gere and the Dalai Lama will be dropping in soon.
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