Entering a Landscape of Mindfulness
This chapter introduces the landscape of mindfulness practices in the regions of South and Southeast Asia, where people overwhelmingly follow the kind of Theravāda Buddhism from which the modern mindfulness movement emerged. The chapter begins with a question: what kind of mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions are and could be used in a Thai psychiatric hospital, as part of a broader Buddhist cultural environment? It answers this question by introducing the methodological and theoretical project of Remembering the Present, including an overview of the interview and survey-based ethnographic research into sati with over 600 psychiatrists, monks, students, and villagers in Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka. It also previews some of the central findings of the book, in relation to what the author calls the TAPES of mindfulness: the ways that people frame mindfulness culturally around issues of Temporality, Affect, Power, Ethics, and Selfhood.
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