Interconnections between Self and Others: Building an Ethical Foundation for a Mindful Model of Spatial Literacy
Bliss, Stacey Lynette
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This dissertation is a qualitative ethnographic study exploring embodied mindfulness practices in relation to self and community. I begin by recasting mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn, 2013; Langer, 1989) as literacy (Soloway, 2015) so as to bridge mindfulness studies with contemporary socially situated understandings of literacy (Cazden et al., 1996; Gee, 2015; Street, 1984). My aim is to redress personalized and individualized notions of mindfulness by reclaiming an ethical framework of mindfulness located in the social sphere. Through observations and interviews in self-reflexive ethnographic research (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995) with educators of meditation and yoga in Chile, Canada and India, I explore how mindfulness-based practices are transformational in relationships with self and others. As conceptual frameworks, I turn to the philosophical work of Emmanuel Levinas (1969, 1989) and Thich Nhat Hanh (1993) to query the connection and interconnection between the personal and the social. Based on analysis of the data, I propose a spatial model of literacy.