Dream Worlds of Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism: The Third Place

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Dreamworlds of Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism explores the fertile interaction of Buddhism, shamanism, and Tibetan culture with the subject of dreaming. In Tibetan Buddhist literature, there are numerous examples of statements that express the value of dreams as a vehicle of authentic spiritual knowledge and, at the same time, dismiss dreams as the ultra-illusions of an illusory world. Examining the "third place" from the perspective of shamanism and Buddhism, Angela Sumegi provides a fresh look at the contradictory attitudes toward dreams in Tibetan culture. Sumegi questions the longstanding interpretation that views this dichotomy as a difference between popular and elite religion, and theorizes that a better explanation of the ambiguous position of dreams can be gained through attention to the spiritual dynamics at play between Buddhism and an indigenous shamanic presence. By exploring the themes of conflict and resolution that coalesce in the Tibetan experience, and examining dreams as a site of dialogue between shamanism and Buddhism, this book provides an alternate model for understanding dreams in Tibetan Buddhism.

About the Author:
Angela Sumegi is Assistant Professor of Religion at Carleton University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The dream narratives are fascinating, the scholarship is uniformly excellent, and the book will definitely appeal to South Asia area specialists, religious studies scholars, and anyone interested in the far horizons of the dreaming imagination.— Kelly Bulkeley, author of Visions of the Night: Dreams, Religion, and Psychology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791474631
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 5/8/2008
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Sumegi is Assistant Professor of Religion at Carleton University.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables

Ch. 1 Shamanisms and Dreams

The World as Being

Animate and Inanimate Beings

Contracts and Negotiation

Joining Heaven and Earth

Sleep and Dream as Shamanic Activity

Dream, Initiation, and Power

Envisioning the Invisible

Ch. 2 Dream in the Ancient Indian Matrix

Ritual and Homology in the Vedas

Vitality and Power in the Vedas

Sleep and Dream in the Vedas

Self and Dream in the Upanisads

Ch. 3 Indian Buddhist Views of Dream

Buddhist Dream Theory and Its Indian Context

Dream and Direct Perception of the Buddha

Dreaming and Paranormal Powers

Dream Interpretation and Classification

The Conception Dream of Queen Maya

Dreams of Awakening

Dream and the Moral Condition of the Dreamer

Ch. 4 Dream in the Tibetan Context

Conflict and Competition

The Lama, the Shaman, and the Yogi

Dream and Liberation: The Bodhi Orientation

Dreaming and Dying: The Karma Orientation

Dream and Divination: The Pragmatic Orientation

Buddhist Distinctions between Lama and Shaman

Shamanism and Soteriology

Ch. 5 Tibetan Dream Theory, Imagery, and Interpretation

General Dream Theory

Theory and Imagery from Medical Texts

Popular Dream Images

Dream and Evidence of Success in Religious Practice

Gaining Permission of the Deity

The Question of Tendrel

Dream and the Illusion of Illusion

Appendix Gampopa's Dreams




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