Transformative Experience in Buddhism: A Case Study
Keywords:transfer, transformative learning, transformative experience
The goal of our research was to explore Transformative Experience (TE) in Buddhist monks living in the monastic setting. Pugh (2011) defines TE as learning that enhances every day experience, including three components 1) motivated use, 2) expansion of perception, 3) experiential value. Our research looked to extend previous TE research by examining TE outside of formal classroom environments to gain better insight on facilitating TE. Three Buddhist monks from the American southwest were interviewed. Additionally, the primary author collected observational data from attending a traditional Buddhist ceremony. Results revealed that the monks interviewed, experience TE through a specific practice of Buddhist teachings, metta, or loving-kindness. Metta is a Buddhist practice centered upon generating thoughts of good will towards all beings. Adaptations of metta for secular use in educational settings were discussed.
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