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The New BuddhismThe Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition$
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James William Coleman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152418

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152418.001.0001

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At the Marrow: Practice and Belief

At the Marrow: Practice and Belief

Chapter:
(p.91) Four At the Marrow: Practice and Belief
Source:
The New Buddhism
Author(s):

James-William Coleman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152418.003.0004

This chapter discusses the differences among the three major branches of Western Buddhism and then turns to the common ground they share. These include Zen, Vajrayana, and Vipassana Buddhism. Zen was the first style of Asian Buddhism to take root in North America and, not surprisingly, it is has the largest influence there. Vajrayana groups practice many complex and intricate rituals, but in contrast to the formality of most Zen practice their approach seems far more casual. The Vipassana movement's roots are in the Theravada Buddhism of Southern Asia, which is by far the world's most conservative branch of Buddhism—in both its steadfast adherence to the Buddha's original teachings and its strong emphasis on the importance of celibate monasticism. Yet Vipassana is more westernized and less traditional than either Zen or Vajrayana.

Keywords:   Western Buddhism, Buddhists, Zen, Vajrayana, Vipassana, Theravada Buddhism

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