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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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Mystical Complexities

Mystical Complexities

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 4 Mystical Complexities
Source:
Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience
Author(s):

Yaroslav Komarovski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190244958.003.0004

This chapter addresses the category of ineffability—the critical point of convergence of studies of mystical experience and Tibetan approaches to realization of reality. It also explores the relationship between mystical experiences and polemics, showing the critical role the latter play in the former. In particular, it focuses on “internalized polemics”: a deconstructive process of contemplation of ultimate reality which consists of using specific types of Madhyamaka reasoning that are “internalized” through analytical meditation. It also demonstrates certain areas where Tibetan thinkers argue for compatibility of realizations and experiences across different traditions while acknowledging their overall diversity. In this context, it outlines the position of Shakya Chokden, who argues that despite contradictory worldviews, different types of contemplative conditioning leading to realization of reality, and conflicting descriptions of that realization, followers of the two major systems of Mahāyāna Buddhism―Niḥsvabhāvavāda and Yogācāra—can access the same direct meditative experience of ultimate reality.

Keywords:   commonalities of mystical experiences, diversity of experiences, Shakya Chokden, ineffability, Madhyamaka, polemics, internalized polemics, analytical meditation, Niḥsvabhāvavāda, Yogācāra

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