Body, the Lived Experience: Chinese Female Laity and Their Meditation Practices
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CitationYi, Qi. 2022. Body, the Lived Experience: Chinese Female Laity and Their Meditation Practices. Master's thesis, Harvard Divinity School.
AbstractFocusing on the expression––regaining the ownership of the body––this thesis attempts to explore the gendered dimension of the Chinese lay meditation movement from two aspects. In one aspect, I examine how the ownership of the female body is intertwined with a nationalist discourse of the state interest that emphasized physiological fitness for the sake of the nation. In this sense, this essay intends to illustrate how Chinese females’ body was not only physically being disciplined, but also ideologically and narratologically controlled by the state since the nineteenth century. In another aspect, I investigate how the females’ bodies have retreated into the private area and the ownership of their bodies has been returned to them with the help of the bodily practice of meditation. In this sense, with a study of the embodied experience of two groups of female meditators, this essay argues that the lay meditation movement with an individual-oriented dimension has opened the possibility for women to have a more private interpretation of their bodies. In this way, the lay meditation movement raises a resistance toward the nationalist portrait of the female body that constantly addresses the relationship between the physical wellness of individuals and national strength.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37373006
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