This story explores searching—spiritual and professional—in myself and through the experiences shared by those inhabiting a series of ashrams in India. The narrator of the story is the fictionalized Maya Blair, a graduate student conducting ethnographic research for her dissertation. In this narrative, Maya negotiates the performance of spiritual living and the tensions between researcher, ashramite, and researcher as ashramite. The spiritual concepts discussed, exchanges with the ashrams’ gurus, and accounts of ashram life are based on autoethnographic fieldnotes I compiled while living in these spiritual communities during a six-month sabbatical.
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