Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and Change in by Joanna Cook

By Joanna Cook

In modern Thai Buddhism, the burgeoning acclaim for vipassanā meditation is dramatically impacting the lives of these so much heavily concerned with its perform: clergymen and mae chee (lay nuns) dwelling in monastic groups. For them, meditation turns into a significant concentration of lifestyles and how to remodel the self. This ethnographic account of a thriving Northern Thai monastery examines meditation intimately, and explores the subjective signification of monastic tasks and ascetic practices. Drawing on fieldwork performed either as an analytical observer and as an entire player within the lifetime of the monastery, Joanna prepare dinner analyzes the incentive and event of renouncers, and indicates what impact meditative practices have on contributors and group association. the actual concentrate on the prestige of mae chee - half lay, half monastic - presents a clean perception into social relationships and gender hierarchy in the context of the monastery.

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Extra info for Meditation in Modern Buddhism: Renunciation and Change in Thai Monastic Life

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When we repress our emotions or suppress our emotional content, whatever we are denying accumulates weight, or what I have come to call vibrational density. This heaviness can take many forms. But in all cases it impedes your spirit’s natural ability to shine. Think of the way we sometimes describe our emotions: We stuff our anger. We hold back tears. We have a lump in our throat. We gird our loins. We think we’re protecting ourselves, but really what we’re doing is keeping our optimal selves behind a wall.

Neither is the bad parker or the old person. Nor are your colleagues. The sleeping dragon is already there. We must acknowledge that our anger is a part of us. Our natural tendency is to make it about the person who cut the line or scratched the car. But we need to develop the awareness that we are not the victims of what’s happening. In fact, we are being presented with a valuable opportunity to use what is happening as a catalyst to free ourselves from our normal state of reactivity. How often in life is it true that the only person in the room who knows you are angry is you?

Sophie’s been dealing with some middle school girl problems, and you worry that her self-esteem will be permanently damaged. Then, of course, there’s always your health. You wake up in the morning with a headache, are sure it’s a tumor. Before you know it, you’ve become a sick, unemployed, poor parent, all in your mind. Whatever your particular fears are, they serve to constrict you and make your whole field of energy narrow. Fear begets fear. Call to mind the image of a garden. What happens if we don’t weed a garden?

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