Features of Trance Mediumship in Tibetan Buddhism and Spiritulaism
Meilleur, Martha Maxine
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CitationMeilleur, Martha Maxine. 2018. Features of Trance Mediumship in Tibetan Buddhism and Spiritulaism. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe term "trance" comes from the Latin transitus (a passage) implying a passage from one state to another and it has been widely researched in fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology, psychology, and religion. Given the fact that trance is a well-studied, worldwide phenomenon and several religions, including Spiritualism and Tibetan Buddhism, incorporate it in their practice, what, if any, commonalities exist in its use across different religions. This study attempted to answer this question by examining the use of trance in Tibetan Buddhism and Spiritualism seeking to find any overlap. To do so, several sub-components of trance (i.e. methodology, philosophy, and purpose) were identified and examined. This paper theorized that the trance methodologies employed in both traditions would show similarities. It was also hypothesized that the philosophical framework of each tradition and varying purposes of trance would not demonstrate notable similarities. The evidence uncovered in this study did support these hypotheses and by revealing unexpected findings, themes, and deficiencies added to the body of literature on trance as well as Tibetan Buddhism and Spiritualism. These included the sacredness, veneration, and power that Tibetan Buddhism gives its oracles and the possible detrimental effects of advocacy and bias among the researchers studied.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42004043