International Journal of Transpersonal Studies




Transpersonal psychology has at times employed Buddhist terminology in ways that do not

reflect distinctions that underlie these tightly defined terms. From a Buddhist perspective,

attempts to equate Buddhist terms with language from other traditions are misdirected, and

produce results that no longer represent Buddhism. For example, it is an error to translate

certain Buddhist terms as referring to a shared universal consciousness; Buddhism explicitly

rejects this idea. Nor is it appropriate to assume that the generic, cross-traditional altered

state of nondual awareness postulated in some transpersonally-related circles is in any way

related to nirvana or other advanced states described within Buddhism. Buddhist practices

are focused on the achievement of particular knowledge and capacities, not the attainment

of altered states.

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