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Long Strange JourneyOn Modern Zen, Zen Art, and Other Predicaments$
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Gregory P. A. Levine

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824858056

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824858056.001.0001

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Zen Sells

Zen Sells

(p.195) 8 Zen Sells
Long Strange Journey

Gregory P. A. Levine

University of Hawai'i Press

This final chapter focuses on Zen associated commercial products and marketing campaigns that use Zen and Zen art, aesthetics as well as the sale of Zen meditation supplies by non-profit businesses run by Zen monastic communities. It examines corporate “borrowed interest” campaigns, on the one hand, and Zen teachings of Right Livelihood, on the other, to consider two dispensations of retail (retail Zen, and Zen retail, as it were), while also pointing to the circulation of representations of Zen from one space into another, and the counter-narratives and claims to authenticity that may emerge in the process. The chapter considers among other examples Shiseidō’s “Zen” perfume, a recent Mercedez Benz commercial, critique of the latter by members of the Treeleaf Zendo community, and the retail store of the non-profit Zen Mountain Monastery.

Keywords:   borrowed interest, Mercedes Benz, non-profit, retail, Right livelihood, Shiseidō, Treeleaf Zendo, Zen Mountain Monastery

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