Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and by Christopher Hatchell

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By Christopher Hatchell

Buddhism is in lots of methods a visible culture, with its famous practices of visualization, its visible arts, its epistemological writings that debate the act of seeing, and its literature full of photographs and metaphors of sunshine. a few Buddhist traditions also are visionary, advocating practices through which meditators search visions that come up prior to their eyes. Naked Seeing investigates such practices within the context of 2 significant esoteric traditions, the Wheel of Time (Kalacakra) and the good Perfection (Dzogchen). either one of those experimented with sensory deprivation, and constructed yogas concerning lengthy sessions of residing in darkish rooms or staring at on the open sky. those produced strange stories of seeing, that have been used to pursue a number of the vintage Buddhist questions on appearances, vacancy, and the character of truth. alongside the best way, those practices gave upward push to provocative rules and prompt that, instead of being apprehended via inner perception, spiritual truths may additionally be visible within the external world-realized throughout the gateway of the eyes. Christopher Hatchell offers the highbrow and literary histories of those practices, and likewise explores the meditative thoughts and body structure that underlie their distinct visionary experiences.
The ebook additionally deals for the 1st time entire English translations of 3 significant Tibetan texts on visionary perform: a Kalacakra treatise by way of Yumo Mikyo Dorjé, The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness, a Nyingma nice Perfection paintings known as The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps, and a Bön nice Perfection paintings known as Advice at the Six Lamps, in addition to a close remark in this via Drugom Gyalwa Yungdrung.

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Additional resources for Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and Visionary Buddhism in Renaissance Tibet

Sample text

76 Withdrawing the winds from the two side chan­ nels is said to be one of the physiological bases for the arising of vision, as this process withdraws the sense faculties from their ordinary objects and opens the way for the alternative sense-powers (such as the divine eye, and so forth) to perceive objects such as empty-form. During breath control, after the winds enter the central channel, the practitioner encoun­ ters a spontaneously appearing empty-form image of Kalacakra and his consort Visvamata, who appear within the yogi’s body, at the site of the central channel.

One method is to recognize that, because the religious traditions of the time had not yet closed themselves off from each other, traces of their contact can often be found in their writings. Seeing this contact, however, requires reading multiple works as a group, across sectarian lines, and this sort of reading can feel uncomfortable and cumbersome for those of us who are interested in Tibetan religion. In particular, we have come to feel most secure within the rigid sectarian boundaries that characterize Tibet’s classical period, and so we tend to read in ways that retrace those fault lines: emphasizing iso­ lated traditions, individual personalities, and single texts.

However, this stage also marks a transition point in the six yogas, where the practitioner is not just focused on visual forms but also begins to work with the wind-energies of the subtle body. 76 Withdrawing the winds from the two side chan­ nels is said to be one of the physiological bases for the arising of vision, as this process withdraws the sense faculties from their ordinary objects and opens the way for the alternative sense-powers (such as the divine eye, and so forth) to perceive objects such as empty-form.

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