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At Home and in the FieldEthnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands$
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Suzanne S. Finney, Mary Mostafanezhad, Guido Carlo Pigliasco, and Forrest Wade Young

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824847593

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824847593.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2021

Losing My Mind and Loving Mosquitoes, Crickets, and Other Jungle Inhabitants

Losing My Mind and Loving Mosquitoes, Crickets, and Other Jungle Inhabitants

Reflections on Field Research and Its Frustrations at a Buddhist Meditation Retreat in Southern Thailand

(p.278) Losing My Mind and Loving Mosquitoes, Crickets, and Other Jungle Inhabitants
At Home and in the Field

Geoff Ashton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on the efficacy of Buddhist spiritual practices for Westerners attending a Buddhist meditation retreat in Southern Thailand. At the same time it shows how the introspective self-study involved in Buddhist meditation enacts a form of ethnographic research. The retreat in question had initially limited the options for the author to conduct his research, as it was structured to quiet the mind and draw attention to the immediacy of the moment. Despite initial setbacks, however, it became possible to conduct research through direct observation and limited interviews. Moreover, the author was able to employ a methodology to which Buddhist mindfulness training is particularly amenable through its emphasis upon introspective awareness: self-analysis.

Keywords:   introspective self-study, self-analysis, Buddhist spiritual practices, Buddhist meditation, Buddhist meditation retreat, Thailand, Southern Thailand, mindfulness training, Buddhism, Wat Suan Mokh

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