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Intersubjectivity in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism

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This essay focuses on the theme of intersubjectivity, which is central to the entire Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It addresses the following five themes pertaining to Buddhist concepts of intersubjectivity: (1) the Buddhist practice of the cultivation of meditative quiescence challenges the hypothesis that individual human consciousness emerges solely from the dynamic interrelation of self and other; (2) the central Buddhist insight practice of the four applications of mindfulness is a means for gaining insight into the nature of oneself, others and the relation between oneself and the rest of the world, which provides a basis for cultivating a deep sense of empathy; (3) the Buddhist cultivation of the four immeasurables is expressly designed to arouse a rich sense of empathy with others; (4) the meditative practice of dream yoga, which illuminates the dream-like nature of waking reality is shown to have deep implications regarding the nature of intersubjectivity; (5) the theory and practice of Dzogchen, the 'great perfection' system of meditation, challenges the assertion of the existence of an inherently real, localized, ego-centred mind, as well as the dichotomy of objective space as opposed to perceptual space.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3130, USA .

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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