11. “Being here fully”: Autoethnographic Approaches to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as an Embodied Group Interaction of an Authentic Self

Embodied Reception - South Asian Spiritualities in Contemporary Contexts - Henriette Hanky

Alan Schink [+-]
Ulm University
Alan Schink, PhD, is a sociologist with a focus on the sociology of culture, religion and the body. His dissertation was an ethnography on the culture of conspiracy in Germany. He teaches qualitative research methods at the Paracelsus Medical University of Salzburg and is a freelance stress reduction and mindfulness trainer.

Description

Alongside modern yoga, mindfulness meditation is considered to be a driving force for “revolutionizing” body-mind practices in Western societies. A major influence here is the popular MBSR programme, developed in the late 1970s by the MIT-educated scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn. MBSR practitioners position themselves predominantly within scientific and therapeutic discourses. In more opaque ways, modern mindfulness also refers to principles of Buddhist spirituality, while at the same time universalizing the method of mindfulness meditation. This paper investigates what it means to be present in modern mindfulness, and especially in the setting of Mindfulness Based-Stress Reduction (MBSR). Focus is laid upon the group setting and interaction in which mindfulness as an embodied practice of being present is enacted and cultivated. The paper is based on (auto-)ethnographic accounts, produced by the author as a practitioner and trained teacher of MBSR/mindfulness and sociologist of religion in one person.

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Citation

Schink, Alan. 11. “Being here fully”: Autoethnographic Approaches to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as an Embodied Group Interaction of an Authentic Self. Embodied Reception - South Asian Spiritualities in Contemporary Contexts. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2024. ISBN 9781800503540. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=44430. Date accessed: 14 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44430. Sep 2024

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