Daniel Capper deposited Guru Devotion and the American Buddhist Experience on Humanities Commons 1 year, 2 months ago
This book explores why numerous Americans currently adopt the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. It suggests that many Americans become Tibetan Buddhists because of satisfying long-term relationships that they develop with Tibetan religious teachers, or lamas. To reach this conclusion, life stories of several practitioners were collected in the course of more than two years of field work at a major Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the United States. Analyses of these life stories, following self psychology, reveal enhanced self-esteem, personal autonomy, and creation of meaning in conjunction with Buddhist practice. The final chapter suggests that Tibetan Buddhist practice may respond in growth-enhancing ways to the psychological and social dimensions of some Americans’ lives.