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Paradigm Change in Meditation on Selflessness in Tibetan Buddhism: The Progression from Space-Like Meditative Equipoise to Deity Yoga=藏傳佛教中無我禪修的軌範轉變 -- 從如空禪定到本尊瑜珈
Author Hopkins, Jeffrey
Source 當代藏學學術研討會
Pages235 - 261
Publisher Url
Location臺北市, 臺灣 [Taipei shih, Taiwan]
Content type會議論文=Proceeding Article
Keyword西藏佛教=藏傳佛教=Tibetan Buddhism; 佛教人物=Buddhist; 咒語=真言=陀羅尼=Mantra; 空性=Sunyata=Sunnata=Emptiness; 修行方法=修行法門=Practice; 密續=Tantra; 喇嘛=Lama; 慈悲心=Compassion=Metta=Loving Kindness=Maitri; 達賴喇嘛=Dalai Lama; 靜坐=Meditation; 禪修=Meditation
AbstractAcross the vast reaches of the Tibetan cultural region in Inner Asia—stretching from Kalmuck Mongolian areas near the Volga River (in Europe) by the Caspian Sea, Outer Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, the Buriat Republic of Siberia, Bhutan, Sikkim, Ladakh, parts of Nepal, the “Tibetan Autonomous Region,” most of Qinghai Province, and parts of the Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan Provinces which used to be included in greater Tibet—Buddhism is practiced in many forms by a plethora of sects and sub-sects. Though their systems vary widely, they agree on dividing their practices into basically two styles of meditation, SÒtra and Mantra (also called Tantra), and all groups present reasons why the Mantra system is superior. Based on Indian expositions of the greatness of Mantra, many scholar-practitioners catalogued and creatively developed these explanations, which came to be the means through which they perceived and ordered the otherwise overwhelmingly diverse forms of practice inherited from Buddhist India and elsewhere.
Most of the presentations of the distinctiveness of Mantra employ multiple formats for demonstrating its greatness, but one Tibetan scholar boils these down into a single central distinguishing feature—deity yoga, the meditative practice of imagining oneself to be an ideal being fully endowed with compassion and wisdom and their resultant altruistic activities. Whether or not one accepts that deity yoga is the central distinctive feature of Mantra, it is an important feature, and since meditation on emptiness is said to be the “life” of the SÒtra and Mantra paths and thus also of deity yoga, this essay initially presents how SÒtra and Mantra describe the practice of reflecting on emptiness and then of relating to appearances. As a basic theme of Great Vehicle Buddhism, the compatibility of emptiness and appearance offers a window through which SÒtra and Mantra can be not just glimpsed but felt in imagination. Using a meditation manual by the Fifth Dalai Lama, I explore the process of this central meditation with an emphasis on its implications with regard to the relation with appearances after realizing emptiness. Then, I present a tantric model of meditating on oneself as an ideal being, a deity, through the example of a particular Action Tantra.
For comprehending the distinctiveness of the tantric practice of deity yoga, the theory of paradigm change—as enunciated by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and adapted by Hans Küng for theology—offers insights that may help to distinguish SÒtra and Mantra models of meditation by calling attention to a possible personal crisis to which the sÒtra model may lead. My aim is not to use the data of this Asian tradition to support Kuhn’s model but to use his model to make more accessible facets of the tradition that could easily be missed. The SÒtra and Mantra models of meditation are investigated with the aim of exposing a possible crisis that requires an individual to move to the tantric model.
Created date2007.11.01
Modified date2011.06.13

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