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Look Inside The Social Organization of Zen Practice

The Social Organization of Zen Practice
Constructing Transcultural Reality


Randall Collins
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  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521183987

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About the Authors
  • This book, first published in 1998, provides both a first-hand account and a theoretical analysis of the way an American Zen community works. The form Zen practice takes in the United States is described in detail through close study of two Zen groups in southern California. Preston leads readers through the buildings and grounds of a Zen residential community and introduces them to the main forms of Zen practice, paying special attention to the styles and implications of meditation. The book's second half develops a theory of the nature of religious reality as it is shared by Zen practitioners. Preston attempts to explain how this reality - based on a group's ethnography yet at the same time transcending it - relates to meditation and other elements of Zen practice by drawing on the notions of ritual, practice, emotions, and the unconscious found in the writings of Pierre Bourdieu, Randall Collins, Erving Goffman and Emile Durkheim.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521183987
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Randall Collins
    Part I. A Sociological View of Zen:
    1. Approaching the study of religion
    2. On going native
    Part II. A Profile of Zen Membership and Formal Orgainzation in Southern California:
    3. A profile of Zen membership
    4. The physical layout of a Zen center
    5. Formal organization and staff
    Part III. The Zen Teacher:
    6. The teacher
    7. Daily schedule
    8. Interaction with students
    Part IV. What is Zen?:
    9. Learning about Zen
    10. Varieties of Zen practice
    11. Zen viewed sociologically
    12. Zen practice
    Part V. Meditation as a Social Phenomenon: I:
    13. Becoming a Zen practitioner
    14. Consequences of meditative practice
    15. Becker's model
    Part VI. Meditation as a Social Phenomenon II:
    16. The social constructionist view
    17. Meditation defined
    18. Some consequences of meditative practice
    Part VII. Doing Zen Meditation:
    19. Sudnow's view of improvised conduct
    20. Using Sudnow to see Zen practice sociologically
    21. The social organization of Zen meditation
    22. Problems in Zen practice
    23. An experience of sitting meditation
    Part VIII. The Social Organization of Zen Meditative Ritual Practice and its Consequences:
    24. Bourdieu's concept of habitus
    25. Ritual, self-transformation, and reality construction
    Part IX. The Meanings of Zen Practice:
    26. Subjective (conscious) meaning
    27. Objective (unconscious) meaning
    Part X. Summary and Conclusions

  • Author

    David L. Preston


    Randall Collins

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