Seeding Buddhism in New Zealand: Namgyal Rinpoche and the Lake Rotoiti Retreat, 1973
Keywords:New Zealand, postmodern Buddhism, lived religion, seeding, Pacific Buddhism, ngöndro, Vipassana, Namgyal Rinpoche
One of the earliest Buddhist events to take place in New Zealand was a three-month retreat led by a Canadian Buddhist teacher known as Namgyal Rinpoche, on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, in 1973. This article will provide a qualitative case study of the retreat, and show how the practices and motivations of the group reveal and challenge the assumptions of some of the theoretical frameworks scholars have used to interpret the spread of dharma to the West. Instead, more contemporary frameworks such as “lived religion” and “postmodern Buddhism” more accurately classify the group and their practices. In addition, I argue that a set of horticultural metaphors, proposed by Wakoh Shannon Hickey with the additional category of “seeding,” best describes the mechanisms of transmission that brought Buddhism to New Zealand.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hadleigh Tiddy
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