This book is about Walter, Aaron, Jennifer, and others like them who have practiced meditation under the auspices of a Hindu guru for twenty or more years. It is also about the meditation movements in which they participate: Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, and Siddha Yoga. These are three of many such movements that, taken together, comprise a new hybrid form of religion. This new religion combines aspects of Hinduism with Western values, institutional forms, modes of teaching, and religious sensibilities. Lying at the conjunction of two worldviews, this phenomenon could be called "Hindu-inspired meditation movements," or HIMMs. Through personal, historical, and cultural lenses, this book explores the contours of Hindu-inspired meditation movements and their implications for American culture.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion
I just received a review copy of a new release by New York University Press, Transcendent in America: Hindu-Inspired Meditation Movements as New Religion by Lola Williamson. From the Preface: