Queering Mindfulness: Genderqueer Technologies of Self-Care
Over the last decade, the mindfulness movement has brought meditation as a secular practice into the everyday lives of millions of people across the world to foster well-being, improve resilience, and practice self-enhancement. As mindfulness practices became promoted to and offered across a highly diverse demographic and in public and corporate sectors – from schools, hospitals, and sports to large corporations, critics argued that this expansion has turned mindfulness into a trivial form of ‘capitalist spirituality’ (Purser 2019). Yet, scholars and mindfulness practitioners in the fields of racial and queer justice (Kyodo Williams, Rod Owens, Syedullah 2016; Magee 2019; Ballard 2021) contend that mindfulness has the potential to generate both personal, spiritual, and social liberation. Using an intersectional feminist and queer perspective, this paper examines the development of queer dharma in the teachings of mindfulness practitioners like Jacoby Ballard and Michael Lobsang Tenpa, among others. Specifically, the paper delves into how these mindfulness teachers employ a queer lens to reinterpret the Buddhist concepts of self, emptiness, embodied presence, and empathy, with the goal of promoting personal healing and advancing social justice.
Ana Dragojlovic is an Associate Professor in Gender Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She works at the intersection of feminist, queer, decolonial and affect theory and is the author of Beyond Bali: Subaltern Citizens and Post-Colonial Intimacy (Amsterdam University Press 2016), co-author of Bodies and Suffering: Emotions and Relations of Care (Routledge, 2018, with Alex Broom), co-editor of Gender, Violence, Power: Indonesia Across Time and Space, (Routledge, 2020, with Kate McGregor and Hannah Loney), and co-editor of ‘Tracing silences: Towards an Anthropology of the Unspoken and Unspeakable’ (History and Anthropology, 2021, with Annemarie Samuels)
Meeting ID: 812 1179 0732