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- DescriptionTo those familiar with the esoteric traditions of Buddhism, the Great Perfection is well kwn as a pathway of instant enlightenment, a vehicle for a sudden breakthrough of enlightened awareness here in the present. We may wonder, though, what the Great Perfection has to say about the obvious reality that there are all kinds of different beings who live under all kinds of conditions, and the reality that we ourselves go through all kinds of emotional turbulence even as we study the Great Perfection. What does the Great Perfection have to say about the demonic side of things? What does it say about our understandings of what divine beings are? How does it integrate a vision of the divine and the demonic into the fabric of instantaneous enlightenment? How do practitioners of the Great Perfection understand their own demons and preferred deities, and come to terms with them? In a world view wherein everyone is already enlightened, what is the function of compassion? These concerns are addressed in The Gods and the Demons Are Not Two. This Tantra offers a lengthy discussion of the demonic and the divine, with information on the recognition of demons and their different classes, how we can kw whether our lives are controlled by demons, a discussion of exorcism, and a thorough presentation on the Great Perfection's concern for all classes of living beings. We are introduced into a mythological world populated by a wide variety of demonic and heavenly beings and are encouraged to share the taste (ro snyoms) of what life is like for them, a kind of sympathetic comprehension of other beings. We are guided through the realms of samsara, and encouraged to share in the taste of what it would be like if we were some other being. How would it feel to be an element, a demon, an illness, a denizen of hell, an animal, or a god? Empathy is used to point us toward an understanding of a kind of perfection that there is in each and every living thing, a great perfection.
- Author BiographyChristopher Wilkinson began his career in Buddhist literature at the age of fifteen, taking refuge vows from his guru Dezhung Rinpoche. In that same year he began formal study of Tibetan language at the University of Washington under Geshe Ngawang Nornang and Turrell Wylie. He became a Buddhist monk, for three years, at the age of eighteen, living in the home of Dezhung Rinpoche while he continued his studies at the University of Washington. He graduated in 1980 with a B.A. degree in Asian Languages and Literature and another B.A. degree in Comparative Religion (College Honors, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). After a two year tour of Buddhist pilgrimage sites throughout Asia he worked in refugee resettlement programs for five years in Seattle, Washington. He then proceeded to the University of Calgary for an M.A. in Buddhist Studies where he wrote a groundbreaking thesis on the Yangti transmission of the Great Perfection tradition titled Clear Meaning: Studies on a Thirteenth Century rDzog chen Tantra. He proceeded to work on a critical edition of the Sanskrit text of the 20,000 line Perfection of Wisdom in Berkeley, California, followed by an intensive study of Burmese language in Hawaii. In 1990 he began three years' service as a visiting professor in English Literature in Sulawesi, Indonesia, exploring the remnants of the ancient Sri Vijaya Empire there. He worked as a research fellow for the Shelly and Donald Rubin Foundation for several years, playing a part in the early development of the Rubin Museum of Art. In the years that followed he became a Research Fellow at the Centre de Recherches sur les Civilisations de l'Asie Orientale, College de France, and taught at the University of Calgary as an Adjunct Professor for five years. He has published several volumes of translations of Tibetan literature, and is currently engaged in further translations of classic Buddhist literature.
- Author(s)Christopher Wilkinson
- PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Date of Publication05/12/2015
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectNon-Christian Religions
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight347 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Translated byChristopher Wilkinson
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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