Nancy Eberhardt (Anthropology and Sociology) has published a paper in Contemporary Buddhism, Volume 18, 2017 – Issue 2. The title and abstract are below.

Caught in the Middle:
The Changing Role of Buddhist Meditation for Older Shan Adults

In this paper, I examine the role of Buddhist meditation and other ascetic practices in the lives of village elders in a rural Shan community in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. My focus is not on the techniques used but rather on the larger social and cultural context in which the practice occurs. Traditionally, the taking on of ascetic practices by village elders has been associated with moral development and enhanced psychological and emotional well-being. I describe recent changes in these practices, including their differential significance for middle-aged women, and consider the implications of these changes for local understandings of the ‘normal’ course of human development.


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