Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual by Sam Van Schaik

By Sam Van Schaik

From Wisdom's acclaimed reports in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism sequence, researcher and student Sam van Schaik introduces the Nyingma culture of Tibetan Buddhism, taking a look heavily at its perform of Dzogchen—and one in all Dzogchen's seminal figures, Jigme Lingpa—to make an in depth research of a center pressure inside Buddhism: does enlightenment improve steadily, or does it come all of sudden?

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Extra resources for Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig (Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)

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14 Similar concerns emerge in Nikolas Rose’s work on the psy disciplines and governmentality, specifically a recent trend away from traditional, external modes of surveillance and coercion towards more internalized forms, which feel as though they have been freely chosen by us for our own good: Through self-inspection, self-problematization, self-monitoring and confession, we evaluate ourselves according to the criteria provided for us by others. 15 Broadly encompassing in its conceptual scope, deeply personal in its everyday reality, and phenomenologically complex – ideas and propositions blending with symbol, myth, feeling, memory, faith, presumed unconscious content, and meditative states – the religion–psy dialogue resists adequate description, critique, and evaluation via any single meta-language.

29 The large audiences that both Doi and Kawai found for their ideas reminds us of how mistaken we would be to assess the impact upon Japanese society and culture of psychodynamic theories and practices purely on the basis of practitioner and client numbers, which have been consistently small when set alongside the boom in Rogerian counselling in recent decades. We would be equally mistaken in imagining that the political and ethical concerns arising from the religion–psy dialogue’s ties with nihonjinron can be addressed by drawing a clear line between fictitious parochialism on the one hand and legitimate, constructive social-psychological commentary on the other.

This relationship developed against the backdrop of a far broader, and deeply consequential meeting: between Japan’s long-standing, Chinese-influenced intellectual and institutional forms, and the politics, science, philosophy, and religion of the post-Enlightenment West. In striving to craft a modern society and culture that could exist on terms with – rather than be subsumed by – western power and influence, Japan became home to a religion–psy dialogue informed by pressing political priorities and rapidly shifting cultural concerns.

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