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Bodied Mindfulness

Women’s Spirits, Bodies and Places

Winnie Tomm

Publication Year: 1995

“I see spirituality and social change to be integrally related to each other. I believe that liberation efforts that are supported by spiritual experiences of integration promote human dignity as well as social equality.”

Bodied Mindfulness combines spiritual, social and analytical perspectives to explore topics central to women’s development: spirituality, women’s bodies, cultural constructions of women’s sexuality in language, sexual ethics, the sexual contract in politics and at work, and the relation between nature and culture. It is Tomm’s deeply held conviction that women need to bring a vital spirituality to feminist social criticism in order to resolve these issues and increase their power to promote social justice and ecological balance.

Tomm embraces a vast store of knowledge from diverse sources, including Buddhist, shamanist and feminist resources. In a move away from abstract theorizing, she explicitly connects theory with realities lived by women. Grounding theory in personal experience — her own and others — Tomm delivers a powerful and empowering account of women’s spirituality. The resulting ontological transformation allows women to live deeply in the body while strengthening their relation to human and non-human matter and energy.

Bodied Mindfulness will be of great interest to feminist scholars in all disciplines, but most particularly to those in Women’s Studies and Religious Studies.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-viii


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p. ix

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p. xi

THIS BOOK IS the result of a search for a textbook for a course I was scheduled to teach at the University of Alberta. I couldn't find the kind of text that I wanted, so I applied for a SSHRCC grant and was successful in obtaining one...

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pp. 1-14

IN THIS BOOK, I explore topics that have been central to my discussions with students in Women's Studies and Religious Studies for the past ten years. These topics include spirituality, women's bodies, cultural constructions of women's sexuality in language, sexual ethics...

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1. Self as Spiritual

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pp. 15-65

SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE IS the basis for Buddhist theories of mindfulness. It is probable that every person's spiritual path includes the development of mindfulness, i.e., increased attention to what is happening at any moment. The level...

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2. Spirituality and the Body

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pp. 67-114

IN THIS CHAPTER, I explore some central issues pertaining to the satisfaction of women's desire for self-determination with regard to their spirituality and their bodies. First, I provide an interpretation of eroticism as a form...

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3. Sexuality and Language

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pp. 115-166

LOGIC IS ABOUT discerning truth. Language expresses particular logical methods used throughout history to secure stable judgments about changing circumstances. Logic is generally believed to be necessary for getting beyond material...

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4. Ethics of Connectedness and Resistance

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pp. 167-207

IN THIS SECTION I wish to show that ontology, epistemology, and ethics are inextricably intertwined. I discuss the three interrelated topics in terms of two different, but contiguous orientations to ethics: justice and caring...

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5. Exclusionary Politics at Work

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pp. 209-265

SO FAR I HAVE been discussing mindfulness with regard to spirituality and bodied knowledge, and living ethically in relation to oneself and to others. Now I shall focus primarily on social places that have defined many...

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6. Towards 'Living With'

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pp. 267-319

IN THE FIRST chapter I referred to the doctrine of pratityasamutpada, i.e., life as a continually changing process of interacting conditions. It is a basic metaphysical doctrine about the temporality of everything...


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pp. 321-336


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pp. 337-344

E-ISBN-13: 9780889205833
Print-ISBN-13: 9780889202696

Page Count: 356
Publication Year: 1995

OCLC Number: 180704511
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Bodied Mindfulness

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Subject Headings

  • Women -- Religious life.
  • Feminist spirituality.
  • Feminist theory.
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