Dixie Dharma: Inside a Buddhist Temple in the American South by Jeff Wilson

By Jeff Wilson

Buddhism within the usa is usually considered in reference to practitioners within the Northeast and at the West Coast, yet actually, it's been spreading and evolving during the usa because the mid-nineteenth century. In Dixie Dharma, Jeff Wilson argues that zone is important to realizing American Buddhism. throughout the lens of a multidenominational Buddhist temple in Richmond, Virginia, Wilson explores how Buddhists are adapting to lifestyles within the conservative evangelical Christian tradition of the South, and the way conventional Southerners are adjusting to those more recent individuals at the non secular panorama.

Introducing a bunch of neglected characters, together with Buddhist circuit riders, modernist natural Land monks, and pluralistic Buddhists, Wilson indicates how local specificity manifests itself via such practices as meditation vigils to heal the injuries of the slave alternate. He argues that southern Buddhists instantaneously use physically practices, iconography, and meditation instruments to enact unique sectarian identities at the same time they take pleasure in an artistic hybridity.

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We must understand the true significance of this story. It is not that the Buddha needed to be reminded of what he 50 V I S I O N A N D T R A N S F O R M AT I O N had to do. He did not need Brahmã Sahampati to come and advise him that he ought to teach. What this episode and this part of the Pûjã signifies is that the disciple must be ready: the disciple must really want the teaching and must entreat, as it were, the teacher, the Buddha, to give the teaching. ’ This part of the Pûjã, then, represents that readiness and willingness to receive the teaching.

Why is there this terrible gulf, this terrible chasm, between our theory and our practice, our understanding and our operation? Why are most of us most of the time unable to act in accordance with what we know is true, what we know is right? Why do we fail so miserably again and yet again? The answer to this question is to be sought in the very depths of human nature. We may say that we ‘know’ something, but we know it only with the conscious mind, with the rational part of ourselves. We know it theoretically, intellectually, abstractly.

The Four S’u-nyata-s Šûnyatã literally means voidness or emptiness, but it signifies much more than either of these words conveys. According to context šûnyatã can mean ‘real’, or ‘unreal’, or ‘neither real nor unreal’ – so it is quite a bewildering word! Let us then go through the four kinds of šûnyatã, bearing in mind that they are not just figments of the metaphysical imagination, but attempts to communicate in conceptual terms a vision, or something the Enlightened Ones have actually seen and experienced.

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