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 jam-packed with pictures and metaphors of sunshine. a few Buddhist traditions also are visionary, advocating practices wherein meditators search visions that come up sooner than 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 built yogas related to lengthy sessions of residing in darkish rooms or staring at on the open sky. those produced strange reviews of seeing, which have been used to pursue the various vintage Buddhist questions on appearances, vacancy, and the character of truth. alongside the best way, those practices gave upward thrust to provocative rules and instructed that, instead of being apprehended via inner perception, non secular truths may additionally be noticeable within the external world-realized in the course of the gateway of the eyes. Christopher Hatchell provides the highbrow and literary histories of those practices, and in addition explores the meditative suggestions and body structure that underlie their certain visionary experiences.
The booklet additionally bargains for the 1st time whole 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, besides an in depth observation 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
Y u m o ’s lam p illum inating em ptiness I 23 The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness is a rare document from the early days of Kalacakra in Tibet. Probably composed in the final third of the eleventh century, it is among the earliest writings on Kalacakra by a Tibetan author and provides an image of the time when Kalacakra was not a dominant tradition but a new import whose esoteric practices of vision and reformulations of key Buddhist ideas must have been viewed with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity.
The concern of the Kalacakra tradition is to show how these are not recent innovations but practices and ideas that were indeed contained in other teachings, albeit hidden from view. This is also one of the core ideas animating Yumo’s own work. As we will see later, he very consciously extracts citations from non-Kalacakra works and uses them to suggest how distinctive Kalacakra views about the Great Seal have pedigrees in other tantras. ” He then forms a col lection of citations from other works containing the same words “radiating light” and arranges the citations so that they take on meanings suggested by each other.
A basic issue that these two groups—like all Buddhists—want to emphasize is that their ideas and practices can be traced back to a buddha and thus do not come from outside the Buddhist world. 16 The Great Perfection has also been subject to similar questions about its authenticity, these based on the fact that non-Tibetan textual sources for the tradition are absent and that INTRODUCTION | 15 its presentations of the body, the cosmos, and visionary yoga seem at first glance to be unique in Buddhism.