Going Online and Taking the Plane. From San Francisco to Jerusalem. The Physical and Electronic Networks of “Jewish Mindfulness”
AbstractIn this article, I analyze the emergence of a new hybrid practice within American Judaism: “Jewish mindfulness”. Jewish mindfulness is a new meditation practice inspired from “mindfulness meditation”, a westernized form of Buddhist meditation.
I look at the role played in the Internet in the rapid success and in the geographical unfolding of this new practice within the transnational English speaking Jewish religious networks.
First, I retrace the emergence of the practice of Jewish mindfulness and the role played by Internet in this process. Second, I focus on the genealogical and geographical structure of today’s Jewish mindfulness networks. Finally, through focusing comparatively on two groups offering the practice of “Jewish mindfulness”, I show how the Internet becomes the surface of expression of hybrid discourses that are not necessarily expressed as such.
In conclusion I suggest that electronic networks can be used to support, rather than to replace “offline” religious connections.
Buddhism, Judaism, mindfulness, hybridity, lineage, transnational networks, diaspora