Description

The Buddhist monastery holds in tension a profound ambivalence about the body and body aesthetics. On the one hand, non-normative bodies are denied ordination, and the ascetic body is articulated as beautiful and well-formed. On the other hand, Buddhist meditative practices train the ascetic gaze to dis-articulate and de-form the body in order to realize the truth of existence. Within this ambivalence—beauty and deformity—I seek locate disability in South Asian Buddhist monasticisms.