Mindful Transformation: A Phenomenological Study

Dissertation, Fielding Graduate Institute (2003)

This study explores the question of how becoming a phenomenologist is a transformative process. The research is grounded in my lifeworld, using extensive data from my personal lived-experience journals, which cover a 20-year period. The methodology of this qualitative study evolved from Bentz and Shapiro's synthesis of phenomenology, hermeneutics, Buddhism, and critical social science as forms of mindful inquiry. My engagement with the philosophical literature underlying these traditions, in relation to my journals, was a self-transformative process. I discovered new interpretative tools as I engaged in my inquiry. These tools emerged as paradoxes, koans, and identity moments during the interpretative process. In such moments one is naturally moved to introspection. These moments may move one to a changed worldview. ;Don't you notice that there are particular moments when you are naturally moved to introspection? Work with them gently, for these are the moments when you can go through a powerful experience, and your whole worldview can change quickly. Buddhist philosopher, Sogyal Rinpoche
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