FROM THERAVADA TO TANTRA: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN TANTRIC BUDDHISM?
Abbreviated Journal Title
This paper examines recent innovations in the American vipassana or insight community, specifically a current I identify as West Coast Vipassana' that has revisioned the Theravadin Buddhist goal of liberation, from a transcendental condition that demands a renunciation of the world, to an embodied enlightenment' that affirms everyday householder life as a site for awakening. I draw on Jeffrey J. Kripal's tantric transmission thesis to advance an essentially tantric hermeneutic of West Coast Vipassana. I argue that while West Coast Vipassana is originally based in Theravada Buddhism, an Asian renouncer tradition that sharply differentiates between the immanent and transcendent, it has taken a markedly tantric turn in America. I also note, however, that it considerably differs from traditional Buddhist tantric traditions such as Tibetan Buddhism or esoteric Japanese Buddhism in being distinctively modern and American.
"FROM THERAVADA TO TANTRA: THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN TANTRIC BUDDHISM?" (2013). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 4029.