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The Sound of Two Hands ClappingThe Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk$
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Georges B.J. Dreyfus

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232594

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232594.001.0001

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Commentary and Meditation

Commentary and Meditation

(p.164) 8 Commentary and Meditation
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping

Georges B. J. Dreyfus

University of California Press

The interpretive practices of a tradition are revealed when one examines its message, the audience to which the message is addressed, and how the message is intended to influence its audience. Hence, this chapter considers both hermeneutical and pragmatic dimensions of Tibetan scholasticism. It examines how commentary functions in the Tibetan tradition and the pragmatic dimensions of commentary, focusing on the ways in which traditions and institutions use texts to form their members and orient them toward their religious goals. In general, communities can use texts for a variety of purposes, which often revolve around the desire for sociopolitical power. That such is the case with Tibetan monastic education as well should be no surprise. The chapter looks at the soteriological role of commentary, its relation to meditation, and its participation in the construction of meaning, particularly in relation to the study of the path. The study of the path plays an important role in constructing a religious worldview and developing virtues such as faith and confidence.

Keywords:   scholasticism, commentary, meditation, path, texts, monastic education, virtues, faith, confidence

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