"The Pure Guidelines of the Monastery Are to be Inscribed in Your Bones and Mind" Dogen (2010, p. 42): Mental Health Nurses'™ Practices as Ritualized Behaviour
Forms of practice among nurses on acute care mental health units present a way of revealing how different traditions and values are in play between nurses and also within nurses.Â This paper represents one interpretive theme from a larger, hermeneutic study of nursesâ€™ experiences of nurse-patient relationships on acute care mental health units, using Buddhist perspectives as a resource for interpretation of interviews with nurses. Understandings of ritual in the Zen Buddhist tradition and Catherine Bellâ€™s (2009a) concept of ritualized behavior enabled an interpretive analysis of nursesâ€™ activities as the expression and reflexive reinforcement of underlying traditions, values, and beliefs. In particular, nursesâ€™ preferences among ways of relating with patients evinced contrasting background traditions of confinement and therapeutically directed engagement.
No hermeneutic work belongs wholly to its author, and I wish to acknowledge Dr. Shelley Raffin-Bouchal, my doctoral supervisor, and Dr. Nancy Moules, who was a very active member of my supervisory committee for all their guidance and support in conducting the study from which this paper emerged.
A version of this paper was presented by the author at the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 23, 2012.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
Anderson, R. (2001). Being upright: Zen meditation and the bodhisattva precepts. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell.
Barker, P., & Buchanan-Barker, P. (2005). The Tidal Model: A guide for mental health professionals. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.
Bell, Catherine. (2009a). Ritual theory, ritual practice. New York, NY: Oxford.
Bell, Catherine. (2009b). Ritual: Perspective and dimensions. New York, NY: Oxford.
Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.
Benner, P. (2000). The wisdom of our practice. American Journal of Nursing, 100(10), 99-105.
Clarke, L. (2009). The care and confinement of the mentally ill. In P. Barker (Ed.), Psychiatric and mental health nursing: The craft of caring. London, UK: Hodder Arnold.
Dogen. (2010). Treasury of the true dharma eye: Zen master Dogenâ€™s Shobogenzo (K. Tanahashi, Trans.). Boston, MA: Shambhala.
Gadamer, H.G. (2001). Gadamer in Conversation: Reflections and commentary. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Oâ€™Gorman, S.M. (1998). Death and dying in contemporary society: An evaluation of current attitudes and the rituals associated with death and dying and their relevance to recent understandings of health and healing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27(6), 1127-1135.
Palmer, R. E. (2001). Introduction. In H. G. Gadamer, Gadamer in conversation: Reflections and commentary (R.E. Palmer, Trans.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Peplau, H. (1988). Interpersonal relations in nursing. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Peplau, H. (1989). Selected works: Interpersonal theory in nursing. New York, NY: Macmillan.
Philpin, S. (2002). Rituals and nursing: A critical commentary. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 38(2), 144-151.
Philpin, S. (2007). Managing ambiguity and danger in an intensive therapy unit: Ritual practices and sequestration. Nursing Inquiry, 14(1), 51-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2007.00354.x
Wright, D.S. (2008). Introduction: Rethinking ritual practice in Zen Buddhism. In S. Heine & D.S. Wright (Eds.), Zen ritual: Studies of Zen Buddhist theory in practice. New York, NY: Oxford.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).