Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Negotiating Rites$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ute Husken and Frank Neubert

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812295.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

Meaning and Enactment in a Buddhist Ritual

Meaning and Enactment in a Buddhist Ritual

(p.237) 12 Meaning and Enactment in a Buddhist Ritual
Negotiating Rites

Patricia Q Campbell

Oxford University Press

A ritual regularly performed at a Tibetan-based Buddhist centre in Toronto, Canada, highlights the process of negotiating meaning in Western Buddhist Centres. The Offering to the Spiritual Guide is a ritual regularly performed at Chandrakirti Centre, part of an international organization whose members are Westerners from non- Buddhist backgrounds. This detailed rite, which is intended to generate a special relationship between participants and their guru-deity, is often attended by participants who are entirely unfamiliar with the tradition or its cosmologies. Consultants contend that it is not important to understand the meaning or meanings of the rite in order to participate in it. Participation, in fact, appears to be more significant than comprehension. The Offering to the Spiritual Guide is explored here through performance theory, using a series of metaphors connecting rites to other kinds of performance or enactment. Although it has some limitations for understanding the meditative elements of the rite, performance theory highlights two significant elements in which the meanings of the rite are being negotiated: ritual identity and ritual action. Interview data indicates that, while some participants negotiate their relationship to the guru-deity through the rite, others are negotiating more basic meanings concerning their participation.

Keywords:   Chandrakirti Centre, guru-deity, participation, Offering to the Spiritual Guide

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .