Lay meditation movement and female spirituality: Chinese women practicing transnational mediation in contemporary China

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

This paper explores how the recent popularity of transnational meditation practices may have changed the paradigm of women practicing meditation and Chan revival in contemporary China. With the influence of Buddhist modernization, there has been an increasing number of Chinese monastics and lay people practising transnational meditation practices, such as samādhi and vipassanā, in various kinds of traditions in the past two decades. Some event travelled to other countries to learn meditation and even ordained as short-term monastics, like many yogis from all over the world. Returned travellers organized meditation retreats at Buddhist monasteries. Buddhist nuns and female lay cannot access to most Chan hall (cantang) of monasteries in mainland China. Nevertheless, among establishing transnational meditation communities, Chinese women have also taken active and important roles. Some nuns and laywomen even become teachers and pioneers promoting meditation and mindfulness. This phenomenon may have impacted on the traditional Mahayāna Chan monasteries to allow nuns and laywomen to practice at ‘public hall’ recently. Besides, a few Chan halls have been newly set up at nunneries. Drawing from ethnographic study in mainland China, this paper will examine the significant role of Chinese female meditators in the recent transnational meditation movement and Chan revival in contemporary China. Copyright © 2018 Hong Kong Sociological Association 20th Annual Conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Citation

Lau, N.-S. (2018, December). Lay meditation movement and female spirituality: Chinese women practicing transnational mediation in contemporary China. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Sociological Association 20th Annual Conference: Identity Politics in a Globalized World, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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