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HeartwoodThe First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America$
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Wendy Cadge

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226088990

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.001.0001

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New Organizations: Wat Mongkoltepmunee and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

New Organizations: Wat Mongkoltepmunee and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 3 New Organizations: Wat Mongkoltepmunee and the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center
Source:
Heartwood
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226089010.003.0003

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

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