Chapter

New Organizations: Wat Mongkoltepmunee and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

in Heartwood

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226088990
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226089010 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.003.0003
New Organizations: Wat Mongkoltepmunee and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

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This chapter focuses on two specific Buddhist centers: Wat Mongkoltepmunee (or Wat Phila), a first-generation Thai immigrant temple; and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (CIMC), a first-generation convert Theravada Buddhist organization. The chapter describes how Wat Phila and CIMC were formed as organizations in light of existing institutional, social, and cultural environments in the United States. While Theravada Buddhist teachings were central to the founding of both Wat Phila and CIMC, neither group was started within another religious organization or formal institutional structure, with the result that the teachers and practitioners at both centers had considerably flexibility in crafting these new organizations. Certain kinds of structural spaces are available for religious groups in the United States and this chapter explains how each group approached these spaces and fit within them from their beginnings in 1985 to the present. The chapter also introduces the teachers and practitioners at each center and outlines how and why people get involved with each center.

Keywords: Wat Mongkoltepmunee; Cambridge Insight Meditation Center; Theravada Buddhism; America; Buddhist organizations; religious practitioners

Chapter.  13946 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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