Becoming Buddhist

Experiences of Socialization and Self-Transformation in Two Australian Buddhist Centres

Becoming Buddhist

What does it mean to be a Western Buddhist? For the predominantly Anglo-Australian
affiliates of two Western Buddhist centres in Australia, the author proposes an
answer to this question, and finds support for it from interviews and her own
participant-observation experience. Les mer
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Becoming Buddhist

What does it mean to be a Western Buddhist? For the predominantly Anglo-Australian
affiliates of two Western Buddhist centres in Australia, the author proposes an
answer to this question, and finds support for it from interviews and her own
participant-observation experience.Practitioners'
prior experiences of experimentation with spiritual groups and practices-and
their experiences of participation, practice and self-transformation-are
examined with respect to their roles in practitioners' appropriation of the
Buddhist worldview, and their subsequent commitment to the path to
enlightenment.Religious commitment is
experienced as a decision-point, itself the effect of the individual's
experimental immersion in the Centre's activities.During this time the claims of the Buddhist
worldview are tested against personal experience and convictions.
Using rich ethnographic data and Lofland and
Skonovd's experimental conversion motif as a model for theorizing the stages of
involvement leading to commitment, the author demonstrates that this study has
a wider application to our understanding of the role of alternative religions
in western contexts.

Foreword \ Acknowledgements \ Glossary \ 1. Approaching the Western Buddhist Experience \ 2. Instruction and Practice at the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre \ 3. Self-Transformation through Vipassana Practice \ 4. Participation and Exploration at Vajrayana Institute \ 5. The Practice of Self-Transformation at Vajrayana Institute \ 6. An Overview of the Experimental Journey: Vipassana- and Vajrayana-Insights\ Appendices \ Notes \ References \ Index

Exploration of the nature of the socialization and commitment process in Western Buddhist contexts through use of interview material with individual Anglo-Australian converts.

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