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Dream TrippersGlobal Daoism and the Predicament of Modern Spirituality$
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David A. Palmer and Elijah Siegler

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226481760

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226484983.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

The Subject

The Subject

(p.1) 1 The Subject
Dream Trippers

David A. Palmer

Elijah Siegler

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces us to the "China Dream Trip," a tour of Daoist sacred sites organized by Healing Tao USA, one of American's main providers of courses and workshops on Daoist practices of meditation, healing, and the body. It also introduces us to the "dream trippers," an eclectic cast of characters from varied backgrounds, brought together by their shared interest in Daoist practice. The authors explain how Daoist self-cultivation practives have been adopted and transformed by Western culture, often in ways that are unrecognizable from their ancient Chinese origins. The authors give an account of the "transnational diffusion" of Daoism, paying especial attention to the ways these techniques and ideas become embedded into a uniquely American context, with its own notions of self-improvement and spiritual practice. Ultimately, the book seeks to sketch the co-evolution of seemingly incommensurable approaches to spirituality through the intersecting trajectories, experiences, and encounters of practitioners. All of this, they argue, has contributed to the emergence of a global Daoist field within which claims of authenticity and authority are communicated, contested, and negotiated.

Keywords:   Daoism, China, meditation, healing, the body, "dream trippers", trasnational diffusion, spiritual practice, authenticity

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