Intersections of Buddhism and Psychology: An Ethnographic Study of Contemplative Practice in Bhutan

Spring 2018 Grant Recipient

Graduate Student

Michelle Walsh (Religious Studies) This project analyzes the influences shaping the transnational flow of Buddhist meditative and contemplative practices. As neuroscientists have produced research suggesting that Buddhist-derived meditation practices can be effective treatments for certain types of mental health issues, I will examine how people are developing innovative approaches to contemporary meditation using traditional practices in a Buddhist society. Investigating the elements and factors surrounding one's experience of contemplative practice in a changing Buddhist environment with emerging mental health concerns, I incorporate discourses of modernity and secularism and offer a view of a culture in the midst of the process of globalization.