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Digital Zen: Buddhism, Virtual Worlds and Online Meditation

TitleDigital Zen: Buddhism, Virtual Worlds and Online Meditation
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGrieve, G
Series TitleReligion, Media and Culture
Citynew York
KeywordsBuddhism, Digital, Ethnography, Meditation, Second Life, Virtual World, Zen

Because it makes its practitioners mindful of desire, _Digital Zen_ argues that the primarily Western converts who practice Anglo-Buddhist digital religion offer a form of religion that allows them to flourish in a late capitalistic society. Much contemporary popular religion is a protest against, and also a product of, the suffering produced by the desires of living in late capitalism. Being mindful of desire is crucial for human flourishing in late capitalism, because while “solid” modernity was driven by need and production, the current “liquid” system is driven by desire and consumption. Digital Buddhism is an apt place to locate such desires because freed from the physical, digital media display the unhindered imagination of its users, and Buddhism, throughout its historical phases, has seen desire as the cause of suffering.