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From Comrades to BodhisattvasMoral Dimensions of Lay Buddhist Practice in Contemporary China$
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Gareth Fisher

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839666

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839666.001.0001

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(p.57) 2 Balance
From Comrades to Bodhisattvas

Gareth Fisher

University of Hawai'i Press

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.

Keywords:   China, psychology, social change, Pure Land Buddhism, Zen

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