Buddhist Modernism and the American Vipassana Movement

Joseph Cheah

in Race and Religion in American Buddhism

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756285
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918874 | DOI:


Buddhist Modernism and the American Vipassana Movement

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This chapter began with the contextualization of the historical circumstances in Burma and the United States that brought about the interactions between these two groups; namely, Burmese Buddhist specialists (monks and lay meditation teachers) and the American vipassana practitioners. It argues for a more comprehensive understanding of what “modern Buddhism” means for various constituents by investigating the ways in which some of the key figures of both Asian Buddhist modernists (e.g., Mahasi Sayadaw, U Ba Khin, Ajahn Cha) and the pioneers of American vipassana movement (e.g., Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg) converged with respect to the dissemination of vipassana meditation. It examines modernist approaches of these central figures of both East and West in the adaptation of vipassana meditation.

Keywords: Buddhist specialists; Mahasi Sayadaw; U Ba Khin; Ajahn Cha; Jack Kornfield; Joseph Goldstein; Sharon Salzburg; vipassana meditation

Chapter.  10922 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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