Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Dr. Melissa Jean
Dr. Andrew Olendzki
This thesis explores Buddhist concepts of conceit of self and the comparing mind and the impact they have on an individual’s interaction with the wider world, specifically in relation to behavior that could unknowingly contribute to oppression. It asks if discussion, dialogue, and mindfulness practice around concepts of conceit of self and the comparing mind could help to illuminate and evaluate bias and reduce prejudice, discrimination, and oppression. Dharma talks and articles about conceit of self and the comparing mind are engaging and relatable (Baraz, 2011; Bradshaw, 2016; Feldman, 2008; Fulton, 2018), as are Buddhist informed social justice views that include these concepts (Manuel, 2015; Williams et al., 2016). This thesis argues that awareness of conceit of self and the comparing mind, along with the intention to foster and practice an attitude of curiosity toward the self and interdependence with others, will increase personal, interpersonal, and societal harmony and decrease oppression. This thesis includes a facilitator’s guide for a course offering called “The Self and Comparison.” The guide contains a program description and lesson plans, suggested resources and practice assignments for participants, and sample proposal, promotional, and evaluation notes. The goal of the program is to increase individual awareness of the self and comparison in an environment similar to the third space written about by Williams et al. (2016), incorporating mindfulness meditation in a group setting. This Creative Project aims to increase awareness of conceit of self and the comparing mind and to provide opportunities for the facilitator and participants to foster and practice an attitude of curiosity toward the self and interdependence with others.
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Clingan, Joanne, "Considering Oppression Through a Buddhist Lens: Conceit of Self and the Comparing Mind" (2021). Mindfulness Studies Theses. 42.