This chapter listens in to the conversations between Chinese monk-hermits and Dream Trippers, as they meet and interact at the temples and caves of Huashan and other Daoist sites. These dialogues uncover their misunderstandings, humorous quid pro quos, and moments of “transnational communitas,” as they approach each other with an ambiguous mix of expectation and condescension, search for a common language to talk about the experience and requirements of Daoist cultivation, and gossip about each other. Although they manage to break through barriers of culture and social positioning to experience a shared sense of seeking after Dao, they remain worlds apart in their understandings of self, practice, virtue, lineage, tradition, and authenticity.
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