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Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience$
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Yaroslav Komarovski

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190244958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190244958.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

The Mystical Panorama

The Mystical Panorama

(p.1) Chapter 1 The Mystical Panorama
Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience

Yaroslav Komarovski

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses mystical experience, appraising the contemporary debate between “constructivists” and “essentialists” over the issue of unmediated mystical experience and discussing benefits of and problems involved in using categories like “mystical experience” when addressing experiences and realizations dealt with by Tibetan Buddhist thinkers. Treating the direct realization of ultimate reality as one of the highest expressions of mystical experience, it argues that it is one of the most challenging topics of Tibetan theories and practices, and the issues of accessing that realization, maintaining it, and providing an adequate description remain a focus of heated polemics. It shows that although many elements involved in this polemical issue are unique to the Tibetan Buddhist world, their analysis can help us achieve a better understanding of mystical experiences in general and the issue of (un)mediated mystical experience in particular. Overall, it provides a background for analysis of “mystical experiences” in Tibetan Buddhism.

Keywords:   mystical experience, direct realization of ultimate reality, unmediated mystical experience, Tibetan Buddhism, constructivists, essentialists, intersectarian polemics, intrasectarian polemics, Tibetan philosophical theories, Tibetan contemplative theories

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