Based on twenty months of ethnographic research from 2016 to 2019 at Buddhist educational programs for youth in Hồ Chí Minh City, this article investigates the emergence of urban therapeutic Buddhism. Responding to the heightened public concerns over youth’s well-being and mental health, urban monastics are adapting Theravada vipassanā meditation and Thích Nhất Hạnh’s mindfulness teachings to help youth address their social-emotional concerns. The article argues that by promoting a lifestyle based on Buddhist mindfulness and meditation practices, Buddhist monastics and youth are fashioning a framework of ethical personhood and moral community that challenges, but also reinforces, market-socialist morality.
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