Chapter 2 explores how practitioners of different ages and class backgrounds come to the Temple of Universal Rescue to resolve what they describe as “imbalance” (bu pingheng). Imbalance is an unsettling psychological state that is created by the practitioners’ difficulties in resolving ethical dilemmas that are often generated by the disruptions and contradictions that contemporary urban life entails. The chapter explores how different temple-goers attempt to resolve the problem of imbalance by consulting different teachers and connecting with the teachings of different Buddhist schools. It relates these different approaches to their varying subject positions within urban Chinese society at large.
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