Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The Buddhist practice of eight Waterloo, Ontario residents are explored in this study, highlighting the relationship between the reported outcomes of Buddhist practice and individual empowerment. By employing a heuristic research methodology, as described by Moustakas (1994), I use my own experience as a Buddhist practitioner to contribute to the research data and elicit detailed descriptions from the participants. The findings of the interviews reveal four common themes of the participants’ Buddhist practice: 1) increased awareness of unconscious habits; 2) peace from letting go of control; 3) a change in their perspective of self; and 4) enhanced connection with others. Discussion of the findings compares the outcomes of the participants’ practice with Riger’s (1993) proposed model of empowerment which incorporates both traditionally masculine ideals of control and individuality with traditionally feminine ideals of compassion and interconnection.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons