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Issues in śamatha and vipaśyanā : a comparative study of Buddhist meditation


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Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies


Chu, William
Long, J. Bruce


The union of śamatha (tranquility meditation) and vipaśyanā (insight meditation) is the unique Buddhist path t o deliverance. This dissertation explores various schemes of śamathadeveloped in distinct meditation systems, so as to analyze the different degrees of samādhi which affect the power of insight in eradication of defilements. The nature of dhyāna/jhāna is explained quite different in the canonical and commentarial materials of Buddhist schools. How a meditator practices mindfulness of breathing is based on how a meditator interprets what the dhyāna/jhānais . This dissertation provides various possible explanations for the diverse dispositions of meditators in meditation practice. In insightmeditation, when consciousness acts with skillful mental qualities, one is able to penetrate the true nature of all physical and mental phenomena; in the cycle of rebirth, consciousness links the present existence and the next. The different roles ofconsciousness in rebirth, and deliverance are investigated. This dissertation is mainly based on the Chinese Canon to examine key issues in meditation practice, revolving around the significance of tranquility meditation and insight meditation.


Degree Granter

University of the West



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