Published: April 16, 2013

The Center for Asian Studies is pleased to invite you to the following event:

Buddhism to-go: Creating Mobile Sacred Space Through Smartphone Meditation Apps

Monday, April 22, at 12:00 p.m.

Guggenheim 201E, CU-Boulder campus

This brown bag luncheon will feature a talk by Joanna Piacenza, MA Candidate, Department of Religious Studies. Buddhism online, like many representations of religions online, has taken on new definitions with its new medium, replacing historically accepted practice with nondescript spirituality: Buddhist blogs emphasize vague mindfulness while negating the doctrine rebirth; the Dalai Lama chooses ambiguous spiritual language over heavily Buddhist discourse in his tweets; smartphone applications filter out institution in favor of the individual. This presentation addresses shifting perceptions and representations of Buddhism in contemporary American society, as framed through a smartphone meditation application. The deinstitutionalization, demythologicalization and psychologicalization of Buddhism has morphed the ritual of meditation into a private, personalized, and self-help practice, which in turn has detached the practice from its Asian roots. This presentation investigates how the medium of the smartphone, with is highly mobile and audial characteristics, has helped change the message of meditation.