By Geoffrey Samuel

This ebook, the 1st complete account of Tibetan Buddhism in 20 years, levels as no different research has over numerous disciplines and languages, incorporating old and anthropological dialogue. Viewing Tibetan Buddhism as one of many nice non secular and mental achievements of humanity, Samuel analyzes a fancy society that mixes the literacy and rationality linked to centralized states with the shamanic strategies extra normal between tribal peoples.

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Extra info for Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies

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Rather, this path means to gain an increasingly thorough understanding of each one of the two realities-seeming and ultinlate-and eventually realize that they are not tWo separate levels of existence, but the different outlooks of the confused dualistic minds of ordinary beings versus the nonreferential wisdom minds of those who directly experience how things really are, with the former eventually dissolving within the latter as we progress on the path. From this perspective, what may seem to be contradictory is seen not to be so at all.

Therefore, the most important point whenever we study, recite, or reflect on something is to watch how our mind is reacting to it while doing so. Question: I am wondering why the sfttra is often recited or chanted in a monotone, such as in English and Japanese? KB: There are different traditions. I cannot really say much about the Zen tradition, but the English version seems to follow the way it is 31 INTRODUCTION mostly chanted in that tradition. Though it is a monotone, if we do it properly, with the right beat, so to speak, it actually has a lot of power.

Buddhahood. So this nondual wisdom already exists in all sentient beings as the natural prajfiaparamita and is merely uncovered on the path. " This definition of scriptural prajfiaparamita is similar to the above definition of the dharma of scriptures. Again, the scriptures are not said to be matter, such as ink and paper, but what appears as such under the influence of a buddha or bodhisattva in the minds of those students ·who still have dualistic appearances. For this is the only way they can perceive the teachings, in this case, the prajnaparamita slitras and their commentaries.

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