This presentation overviews a number of projects that are part of a larger research agenda focusing on the intersection of contemplative practices and technology use. Our overarching research goal is to understand how technology is currently being used by contemplative individuals and communities, which, we believe, is a step toward exploring a more balanced, middle-way approach to the use and design of technology in everyday life. We are taking a grounded theoretical approach to ethnographic study of an online Buddhist community and an in-person meditation center, informed by a human-computer interaction disciplinary perspective. The presentation will focus on a project exploring the practice of group meditation over video chat. We will discuss the experiential aspects of this practice, the roles it plays in individuals’ practices and in communities, its relationship to other types of meditation practice, and its effect on the lives of those engaging in it.

Katie Derthick

Human Centered Design & Engineering