Western vs. Eastern Perspectives of Buddhism a a Solace in Chronic Illness: Evidence from an Ethnographic Study of Buddhist Nuns with a Chronic Illness

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/304024
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Western vs. Eastern Perspectives of Buddhism a a Solace in Chronic Illness: Evidence from an Ethnographic Study of Buddhist Nuns with a Chronic Illness
Author(s):
Wijesinghe, Sunny; Wijesinghe, Shihan
Lead Author STTI Affiliation:
Non-member
Author Details:
Sunny Wijesinghe, MS, MPH, RN, Sunnywijesinghe@hotmail.com; Shihan Wijesinghe, BSc;
Abstract:

Session presented on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Purpose:

This research explored the role of Buddhist spiritual practice in the lives and health of Sri-Lankan Buddhist nuns living with a chronic illness. It was to fill the following knowledge gap as to how Buddhist practice, in its entirety, with its rituals and meditation, influenced coping in illness. In the context of finding solace in chronic illness spiritual practices based on Buddhist psychology such as mindfulness/vipassana, and mindfulness-based stress reduction have been studied in the West. These studies focus only on the aspect of meditation. Buddhism, as observed in Buddhist countries, includes a strong sense of Buddhist community, and a significant component of rituals.

Methods:

This descriptive ethnography followed the iterative, and recursive linguistic approach of Spradley (1979, 1980). Thirty Sri Lankan Buddhist nuns with a chronic illness were selected through a snow-ball sampling strategy. Twenty secondary informants added input from the health care, lay Buddhist, and Buddhist-scholar perspectives. Participant observation and semi structured interviews were used to explore cultural domains, and clarify each domain with taxonomies.

Results:

The repeating cultural theme identified the role of Buddhist spiritual practice in nuns’ life as “managing responsibilities”. Responsibilities ranged from those to the Buddha, social circle, and toward maintaining the monastery/domicile. The role of spiritual practice in their health was mediated by the priority of their responsibility/ies and the strength of their social links.

Conclusion:

 Regardless of up to what extent they practiced meditation, rituals or both, the strength of the purpose, and availability of social resources determined the nuns’ maintenance of health. Behaviors witnessed in this study resembled those in theories of Salutogenesis (Antonovsky,1979) and transcendence (Charmaz,1983). These findings have implications to nursing practice, education, research and policy in that nurses can be the first contact  to explore, identify, and inform where the chronically ill can find meaning (spiritual or otherwise) and social resources.

Keywords:
spirituality; cross-cultural; chronic illness
Repository Posting Date:
22-Oct-2013
Date of Publication:
22-Oct-2013
Conference Date:
2013
Conference Name:
24th International Nursing Research Congress
Conference Host:
Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference Location:
Prague, Czech Republic
Description:
24th International Nursing Research Congress Theme: Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration. Held at the Hilton Prague Hotel.
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_GB
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_GB
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleWestern vs. Eastern Perspectives of Buddhism a a Solace in Chronic Illness: Evidence from an Ethnographic Study of Buddhist Nuns with a Chronic Illnessen_GB
dc.contributor.authorWijesinghe, Sunnyen_GB
dc.contributor.authorWijesinghe, Shihanen_GB
dc.contributor.departmentNon-memberen_GB
dc.author.detailsSunny Wijesinghe, MS, MPH, RN, Sunnywijesinghe@hotmail.com; Shihan Wijesinghe, BSc;en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/304024-
dc.description.abstract<p>Session presented on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013</p><strong><b>Purpose: </b></strong><p>This research explored the role of Buddhist spiritual practice in the lives and health of Sri-Lankan Buddhist nuns living with a chronic illness. It was to fill the following knowledge gap as to how Buddhist practice, in its entirety, with its rituals and meditation, influenced coping in illness. In the context of finding solace in chronic illness spiritual practices based on Buddhist psychology such as mindfulness/vipassana, and mindfulness-based stress reduction have been studied in the West. These studies focus only on the aspect of meditation. Buddhism, as observed in Buddhist countries, includes a strong sense of Buddhist community, and a significant component of rituals. <p><strong><b>Methods: </b></strong><p>This descriptive ethnography followed the iterative, and recursive linguistic approach of Spradley (1979, 1980). Thirty Sri Lankan Buddhist nuns with a chronic illness were selected through a snow-ball sampling strategy. Twenty secondary informants added input from the health care, lay Buddhist, and Buddhist-scholar perspectives. Participant observation and semi structured interviews were used to explore cultural domains, and clarify each domain with taxonomies. <p><strong><b>Results: </b></strong><p>The repeating cultural theme identified the role of Buddhist spiritual practice in nuns’ life as “managing responsibilities”. Responsibilities ranged from those to the Buddha, social circle, and toward maintaining the monastery/domicile. The role of spiritual practice in their health was mediated by the priority of their responsibility/ies and the strength of their social links. <p><strong><b>Conclusion: </b></strong><p> Regardless of up to what extent they practiced meditation, rituals or both, the strength of the purpose, and availability of social resources determined the nuns’ maintenance of health. Behaviors witnessed in this study resembled those in theories of Salutogenesis (Antonovsky,1979) and transcendence (Charmaz,1983). These findings have implications to nursing practice, education, research and policy in that nurses can be the first contact  to explore, identify, and inform where the chronically ill can find meaning (spiritual or otherwise) and social resources.en_GB
dc.subjectspiritualityen_GB
dc.subjectcross-culturalen_GB
dc.subjectchronic illnessen_GB
dc.date.available2013-10-22T20:27:49Z-
dc.date.issued2013-10-22-
dc.date.accessioned2013-10-22T20:27:49Z-
dc.conference.date2013en_GB
dc.conference.name24th International Nursing Research Congressen_GB
dc.conference.hostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursingen_GB
dc.conference.locationPrague, Czech Republicen_GB
dc.description24th International Nursing Research Congress Theme: Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration. Held at the Hilton Prague Hotel.en_GB
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.en_GB
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