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Remembering the PresentMindfulness in Buddhist Asia$
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J. L. Cassaniti

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707995

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707995.001.0001

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Power and the Ghosts of Insanity in Lay Thai Life

Power and the Ghosts of Insanity in Lay Thai Life

(p.112) 3 Power and the Ghosts of Insanity in Lay Thai Life
Remembering the Present

J. L. Cassaniti

Cornell University Press

Mental powers are thought to arise through mindfulness practice in Thailand. This chapter explores these powers, and how they are understood to be developed in practice. It begins with a story of a man who has gotten into a minor car accident in Chiang Mai because, he says, he had lost his mindfulness. It then turns to an examination of the popular media, elementary school education, and governmental influences that people learn from in their understandings of the powerful efficacy of mindfulness. The second part of the chapter focuses on the ‘ghostly powers’ of the self in Northern Thai articulations of non-self (anatta) and khwan, a kind of ‘spirits of the person’, and the third section examines how power works in and through the global, transnational flows of authoritative biomedical technologies in the hospital. Together the chapter argues for some of the ways that mindfulness has become a marker of psychological strength and well-being.

Keywords:   Education, Textbooks, Social media, Khwan, Anatta, Biomedicine, Power, Ghosts, Non-self

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