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

ISBN : 9780199982912

Christopher Hatchell
496 Pages
158 x 235 mm
Pub date
Oct 2014
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Naked Seeing investigates visionary yogas in the Tibetan Bon and Buddhist traditions: practices in which a meditator spends long periods of time in a dark room or gazing at the open sky, with the goal of experiencing luminous visions. The book examines these practices in two major esoteric traditions, known as the Wheel of Time (Kalacakra) and the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). As both of these traditions began experimenting with sensory deprivation, they found that immersion in darkness or light resulted in unusual experiences of seeing, and those experiences could then be used as gateways to pursuing some of the classic Buddhist questions about appearances, emptiness, and the nature of reality. This book presents the intellectual and literary histories of these practices, and also explores the meditative techniques and physiology that underlie their distinctive visionary experiences. The book contains complete English translations of three major Tibetan texts on visionary practice. These are: a Kalacakra treatise by Yumo Mikyo Dorje, The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness; a Nyingma Great Perfection work called The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps; and a Bon Great Perfection work called Advice on the Six Lamps, along with a detailed commentary on this by Drugom Gyalwa Yungdrung.


Table of Contents
Part One: Seeing Literature
Chapter 1: Yumo's Lamp Illuminating Emptiness
Chapter 2: The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps
Chapter 3: Advice on the Six Lamps
Part Two: Views
Chapter 4: Seeing Emptiness
Chapter 5: Seeing Light
Chapter 6: Seeing Through Sexuality
Part Three: Seeing Sources
Translation 1: Yumo Mikyo Dorje's The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness
Translation 2: The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps
Translation 3a: Advice on the Six Lamps
Translation 3b: Drugyalwa's Commentary on the Intended Meaning of the Six Lamps
Bibliography and Abbreviations

About the author: 

Chris Hatchell teaches in the field of Asian religions, with particular interests in Tibetan religion. His research focuses on Tibet, particularly the Bon religion and a system of philosophy and practice called the Great Perfection (rdzogs chen). He is especially interested in pursuing visual studies related to religious traditions, and his main research has been on Buddhist visionary practices.

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