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Tibetan Buddhism, alongside other schools of the religion emphasize on the development of mental training techniques that facilitate the attainment of a status where Buddhists acquire an enlightened perspective of life. This enlightened process is solely possessed by Buddhists because the followers of the religion believe that everyone else does not share their viewpoint because they are blinded by the lack of mental awareness. The article titled “The Role of Meditation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism” attempts to highlight the essence of mediation as seen through Tibetan Buddhists. This paper critically analyzes the article, with a close focus on the subject matter covered in the course.
According to the content, meditation is an integral part of practicing Buddhist doctrines because it is the essence of cleansing the mind of the bad ideas that have been instilled from one generation to the other. While this sounds quite plausible from a believer’s point of view, a critical perspective on the claim reveals that Buddhists share the sentiment that every man can achieve a Buddhist perspective through intense meditation.
There is an obvious assumption that meditation can ultimately eliminate all types of suffering for the associated individuals. Meditation is believed to eliminate all types of suffering, including death (Powers 83). This implies that one can connect with their inner soul through focusing the mind on attaining a status where their mental focus is aligned with the true nature of reality.
The article also reveals that the Tibetan meditation approaches are meant to eliminate thoughts that foster negative afflictions by restructuring the mind. The purpose of the process is to instill mundane desires in individuals when they realize that materialism is a short-lived paradigm. The meditation process assumed by Buddhists in this school of thought is quite complex because they sometimes think about unrealistic images of the world and its contents (Powers 83).
The author fails to clarify this revelation with the procedural elements of the mediation process, which makes it difficult to connect with the audience. Some of the claims in the article sound farfetched, but it is apparent that one of the characteristics of the Tibetan Buddhists is the mystical powers possessed by some of the individuals.
One of the core principles of Buddhism is the concept of equality. Buddhists are compelled to assume a mental status where everyone is viewed as equal regardless of their social, political, and economic status. This is the main reason that death plays an important role in the mediation process as seen through the article. Apparently, Buddhists focus on death as a reminder that everyone will eventually lose their earthly status; hence, they are lured into ignoring material gains in their lives. Buddhists are required to eliminate their earthly desires, and this can only be attained if their mediation process is associated with a focus on the culmination of life (Powers 84).
The author utilizes direct quotes of the Buddha to explain the concept of eliminating normal human desires in different states of meditation. This gives the information the validity required to compel readers to believe the content. However, it would still be difficult to implement the highlighted stages for an individual learning the Tibetan Buddhist meditation process.
The article highlights some of the stereotypical and condescending ideas. “The minds of ordinary beings are scattered and confused…” (Powers 85). This is one of the contradictions seen with the Buddhists because one of the doctrines observed by the followers is that everyone is equal, but the followers also look down on the mentality of individuals who are not believers. The cyclic existence concept, which Tibetan Buddhists believe in, entails the subscription to an inhumane nature where birth is timeless, but individuals get through various life experiences that are temporarily halted by death.
This is the major reason that meditation focuses on attaining a mental status that connects with previous life paradigms for individuals. This concept can only be perpetuated by Buddhists; hence, other humans are deemed weaker and destined for permanent elimination from existence after death.
The article provides a comprehensive coverage of the various types of meditation processes practiced by Tibetan Buddhists. These include meditation processes to calm, stabilize, and control the brain (Powers 86). There are different mental abiding areas that individuals can attain through meditation. However, the article does not provide the procedural requirements in meditation that lead to the specific levels of mental abiding (Powers 88). This makes the article sound vague because most of the content only reports on the theoretical aspects of the meditation process.
The reviewed article provides a clear view of the importance of meditation for Buddhists, and it also clearly provides the theoretical aspects of the process and its results. However, there is little clarity on the procedures that take place in meditation; hence, readers are left wondering about the practical elements of meditation among the Tibetan Buddhists. The article quotes various Buddhists to enhance the validity of its claims, which is quite an impressive approach to writing about religious doctrines.
Powers, John. “3. Meditation: The Role of Meditation in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism.” Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala, 2007, pp. 81–99.