Aarhus University Seal

Martijn van Beek

Contemplative Communities as Communities of Care

This project seeks to shed light on the lived experiences of contemporary contemplative communities. Despite the exponential growth in research on contemplative techniques and their effects, little research exists on the existential integration of contemplative practices. Remedying “the simple pharmacology of contemplation” (Merton 1971), the project approaches contemplation as a way of being aimed at the realization of particular moral projects (Batchelor 2014; Merton 2003), which emphasize, not merely the care for the self, but also the care for others. Building on our earlier work on Buddhism, modernity, and the scientific study of meditation, the project will contribute to the anthropology of intentional communities (Brown 2002). Field research will be conducted in lay and monastic contemplative communities in Denmark (Rangjung Yeshe Gomde; Baunehøjparken), the UK (Findhorn), and France (Plum Village; Chanteloube).