Next Article in Journal
‘Em Procissão Solene a Deus Orando, para os Batéis Viemos Caminhando’—The Long Ebb-Tide of Catholic Public Piety in the Former-Portuguese Enclave of Macao
Next Article in Special Issue
Effect of Raja Yoga Meditation on the Distress and Anxiety Levels of Women with Breast Cancer
Previous Article in Journal
A Way Forward for Discernment in Congregations: LGBTQ+ Inclusion Discernment
 
 
Article

The Technology of Awakening: Experiments in Zen Phenomenology

School of Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
Academic Editor: Terje Sparby
Religions 2021, 12(3), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030192
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 13 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meditation and Spiritual Practice)
In this paper, I investigate the phenomenology of awakening in Chinese Zen Buddhism. In this tradition, to awaken is to ‘see your true nature’. In particular, the two aspects of awakening are: (1) seeing that the nature of one’s self or mind is empty or void and (2) an erasing of the usual (though merely apparent) boundary between subject and object. In the early Zen tradition, there are many references to awakening as chopping off your head, not having eyes, nose and tongue, and seeing your ‘Original Face’. These references bear a remarkable resemblance to an approach to awakening developed by Douglas Harding. I will guide the reader through a series of Harding’s first-person experiments which investigate the gap where you cannot see your own head. I will endeavour to show that these methods, although radically different from traditional meditation techniques, result in an experience with striking similarities to Zen accounts of awakening, in particular, as experiencing oneself as empty or void and yet totally united with the given world. The repeatability and apparent reliability of these first-person methods opens up a class of awakening experience to empirical investigation and has the potential to provide new insights into nondual traditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: awakening; Chinese Zen Buddhism; comparative phenomenology; Douglas Harding; emptiness; first-person methods; Kensho; nonduality awakening; Chinese Zen Buddhism; comparative phenomenology; Douglas Harding; emptiness; first-person methods; Kensho; nonduality
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ramm, B.J. The Technology of Awakening: Experiments in Zen Phenomenology. Religions 2021, 12, 192. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030192

AMA Style

Ramm BJ. The Technology of Awakening: Experiments in Zen Phenomenology. Religions. 2021; 12(3):192. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030192

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ramm, Brentyn J. 2021. "The Technology of Awakening: Experiments in Zen Phenomenology" Religions 12, no. 3: 192. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030192

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop