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Experiencing the sensing body: mind-body techniques, contemporary spiritual practices and the senses I 
Yael Dansac (Université Libre de Bruxelles)
Caroline Nizard (Université de Lausanne)
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Main Site Tower (MST), 01/004
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

By advancing heterogenous interpretations of the sensing body, mind-body techniques and contemporary spiritual practices promote holistic conceptions of the body. This panel seeks to address these phenomena, particularly their bodily, sensorial, and spiritual aspects.

Long Abstract:

Anthropologists are increasingly interested in the body, especially the sensing body, focusing on the relationship between contemporary spiritualities and mind-body techniques, thereby giving rise to discussions of bodily and sensorial experiences. Bodily practices can promote heterogeneous interpretations of the sensing body. Examples include contemporary Pagan ceremonies and mediumship sessions where somatic experiences are conceptualized as being produced by non-human beings, neo-shamanic rituals where sensory experiences are positioned as evidence of the presence of entities, and mind-body practices such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi which encourage physical movements that are interpreted as having the potential to bring about physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, or union.

This panel seeks to address the experience of the sensing body as a culturally constructed phenomenon. We wish to place particular emphasis on the relationship between learning processes and sensory experiences, the heterogeneous conceptualizations accorded to the body, the holistic dimensions promoted by contemporary practices and/or spiritualities, the translation and interpretation given to somatic experiences, and the collective and individual experience of the body and of the senses. Expected proposals may include but are not limited to: (1) How sensorial reality is learned, interpreted, and developed? (2) What the ethnographies on bodily experiences are? (3) How participants shape individual experiences? (4) How spiritual practices can bring about holistic dimensions of the body? and (5) How the intimate and subjective experience of the body is verbalized in order to be shared with others?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -