Naked Seeing: The Great Perfection, the Wheel of Time, and Visionary Buddhism in Renaissance Tibet
Naked Seeing investigates visionary yogas in the Tibetan Bon and Buddhist traditions: practices in which a meditator spends long periods of time in a dark room or gazing at the open sky, with the goal of experiencing luminous visions. The book examines these practices in two major esoteric traditions, known as the Wheel of Time (Kalacakra) and the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). As both of these traditions began experimenting with sensory deprivation, they found that immersion in darkness or light resulted in unusual experiences of seeing, and those experiences could then be used as gateways to pursuing some of the classic Buddhist questions about appearances, emptiness, and the nature of reality. This book presents the intellectual and literary histories of these practices, and also explores the meditative techniques and physiology that underlie their distinctive visionary experiences.
The book contains complete English translations of three major Tibetan texts on visionary practice. These are: a Kalacakra treatise by Yumo Mikyo Dorje, The Lamp Illuminating Emptiness; a Nyingma Great Perfection work called The Tantra of the Blazing Lamps; and a Bon Great Perfection work called Advice on the Six Lamps, along with a detailed commentary on this by Drugom Gyalwa Yungdrung.
About the Author
Chris Hatchell teaches in the field of Asian religions, with particular interests in Tibetan religion. His research focuses on Tibet, particularly the Bon religion and a system of philosophy and practice called the Great Perfection (rdzogs chen). He is especially interested in pursuing visual studies related to religious traditions, and his main research has been on Buddhist visionary practices.