Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience

ISBN : 9780190244903

Yaroslav Komarovski
304 Pages
145 x 209 mm
Pub date
Jul 2015
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In this book, Yaroslav Komarovski argues that the Tibetan Buddhist interpretations of the realization of ultimate reality both contribute to and challenge contemporary interpretations of unmediated mystical experience. The model used by the majority of Tibetan Buddhist thinkers states that the realization of ultimate reality, while unmediated during its actual occurrence, is necessarily filtered and mediated by the conditioning contemplative processes leading to it, and Komarovski argues that therefore, in order to understand this mystical experience, one must focus on these processes, rather than on the experience itself. Komarovski also provides an in-depth comparison of seminal Tibetan Geluk thinker Tsongkhapa and his major Sakya critic Gorampa's accounts of the realization of ultimate reality, demonstrating that the differences between these two interpretations lie primarily in their conflicting descriptions of the compatible conditioning processes that lead to this realization. Komarovski maintains that Tsongkhapa and Gorampa's views are virtually irreconcilable, but demonstrates that the differing processes outlined by these two thinkers are equally effective in terms of actually attaining the realization of ultimate reality. Tibetan Buddhism and Mystical Experience speaks to the plurality of mystical experience, perhaps even suggesting that the diversity of mystical experience is one of its primary features.


Chapter One: The Mystical Panorama
Setting the Stage
What does Tibetan Buddhism have to do with mysticism and experience?
Glancing at the issue of (un)mediated mystical experience
Chapter Two: The Mind Dimension
Mind models
Conceptuality and direct perception
The problem with pure consciousness
Chapter Three: The Path Dimension
Path models
Mediations: whither and when
Negations and deconstructions
Chapter Four: Mystical Complexities
A few words about ineffability
Mystical experiences and polemics
Mystical commonalities
Chapter Five: Contesting the Ultimate Experience
The Geluk position
The Sakya position
Contemplating differences differently
Conclusion and Final Remarks

About the author: 

Yaroslav Komarovski is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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