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Comparison between ‘The Repetition of the Sacred Name of Amitabha’ and ‘Jesus Prayer’ - Focusing on the Concept of ‘Deautomatization’ and ‘ASC: Altered States of Consciousness’ -

Seong, Hae Young 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

As a meditation technique, the ‘Jesus prayer’ of Christianity and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ of Buddhism demonstrates unusual similarities. For both religious practices, ‘language’ functions as the most important key to changing the human consciousness. Both meditation techniques also imply that our everyday consciousness may not be all, and that the subliminal dimension of human consciousness may be revealed by means of the repetition of certain words. In this way, human language can be a crucial tool guiding us to the dimension that human language cannot represent. Furthermore, a comparison between ‘Jesus prayer’ and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ provides us with some insights concerning meditation techniques. Indeed, the difference of meditation techniques should not be exaggerated. The unusual similarities clearly demonstrate that, as a mantra technique, ‘Jesus prayer’ and ‘the repetition of the sacred name of Amitabha’ are of the same kind. Both methods emphasize love and commitment and also emphasize the emotional aspects which have been neglected by the mainstream in both religious traditions. At the same time, both methods can be properly analyzed by the concepts of ‘deautomatization’ and ‘altered states of consciousness’. In that sense, the comparative study of meditation technique illustrates the need to adopt a more balanced stance towards inter-religious conflict regarding which of the two is the better meditation skill.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.