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Zen RitualStudies of Zen Theory in Practice$
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Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.001.0001

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 Dharma Transmission in Theory and Practice

 Dharma Transmission in Theory and Practice

Chapter:
(p.261) 9 Dharma Transmission in Theory and Practice
Source:
Zen Ritual
Author(s):

William M. Bodiford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.003.0010

Chapter 9 provides an example of ritual transformation in the movement of Zen from one culture to another. After describing dharma transmission in East Asia by highlighting the theme of the family explicit in it and then focusing on transmission in the Sōtō school of Japanese Zen, the author describes a newly created ritual for the confirmation of dharma transmission in the Sōtō sect of North America. This ritual—called the Dharma Heritage Ceremony—was created in the recognition of participants that an “accessible Western ceremony” to recognize and confirm dharma transmission was essential to the ongoing success of their Zen practice in North America. This essay asks, “What issues arise when Zen teachers attempt to transplant these various aspects of dharma transmission into twenty‐first century North America?”

Keywords:   Sōtō Zen, Zen in the West, American Zen, Dharma Transmission, Japanese Zen

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