Tantra Illuminated takes the reader on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West s discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago in the far north of India. Using translations from from primary Sanskrit sources and offering a profound look at spiritual practice, this book reveals Tantra s rich history and powerful teachings.
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This book takes readers on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West's discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago, in the far north of India. The book uses translations from primary Sanskrit sources, offers a profound look at spiritual practice, and reveals Tantra's rich history and powerful teachings.
Understanding Yoga Therapy offers a comprehensive and accessible perspective on yoga therapy as a complementary, integrative route to promoting whole-person well-being. Readers will come away from the book understanding how the philosophy, texts, and teachings of yoga benefit a wide range of health conditions. The book is split into three helpful sections: Part I discusses foundational texts and their interpretations; Part II outlines the biopsychosocial-spiritual and neurophysiological model of integrative health pertinent to yoga therapy; and Part III focuses on practical applications separate from the more familiar diagnosis-driven models. Experiential activities and case studies throughout the text illuminate how yogic practices can be incorporated for optimal health. Bridging the ancient and modern, philosophical and scientific, Understanding Yoga Therapy offers a clear explanatory framework for yoga therapists, physicians, allied and complementary healthcare providers, and their patients and students.
This volume examines several theoretical concerns of embodiment in the context of Asian religious practice. Looking at both subtle and spatial bodies, it explores how both types of embodiment are engaged as sites for transformation, transaction and transgression. Collectively bridging ancient and modern conceptualizations of embodiment in religious practice, the book offers a complex mapping of how body is defined. It revisits more traditional, mystical religious systems, including Hindu Tantra and Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Bon, Chinese Daoism and Persian Sufism and distinctively juxtaposes these inquiries alongside analyses of racial, gendered, and colonized bodies. Such a multifaceted subject requires a diverse approach, and so perspectives from phenomenology and neuroscience as well as critical race theory and feminist theology are utilised to create more precise analytical tools for the scholarly engagement of embodied religious epistemologies. This a nuanced and interdisciplinary exploration of the myriad issues around bodies within religion. As such it will be a key resource for any scholar of Religious Studies, Asian Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Philosophy, and Gender Studies.
One thousand years ago, in the valley of Kashmir, a great Tantric master named Kshemaraja wrote his masterpiece: the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, which means "The Essence of the Recognition Philosophy". This text was a concise primer, written to introduce spiritual seekers to the Recognition philosophy in less formally philosophical, more approachable language. What Kshemaraja created turned out to be one of the world's great spiritual masterpieces, breathtaking in its brevity but stunning in its power. It came to be considered equivalent to scripture itself by later generations, because of its undeniable inspiration. This book expounds the subtleties of this spiritual and philosophical classic. One of the most powerful and revelatory spiritual masterpieces of world history, the Pratyabhijnahrdayam is one of the primary sources for the study and practice of nondual Tantrik Yoga, and it has never been accurately translated or fully explained until now.
This book analyzes the contemporary global revival of Nondual Śaivism, a thousand-year-old medieval Hindu religious philosophy. Providing a historical overview of the seminal people and groups responsible for the revival, the book compares the tradition’s medieval Indian origins to modern forms, which are situated within distinctively contemporary religious, economic and technological contexts. The author bridges the current gap in the literature between "insider" (emic) and "outsider” (etic) perspectives by examining modern Nondual Śaivism from multiple standpoints as both a critical scholar of religion and an empathetic participant-observer. The book explores modern Nondual Śaivism in relation to recent scholarly debates concerning the legitimacy of New Age consumptive spirituality, the global spiritual marketplace and the contemporary culture of narcissism. It also analyzes the dark side of the revived tradition, and investigates contemporary teachers accused of sexual abuse and illegal financial activities in relation to unique features of Nondual Śaivism’s theosophy and modern scholarship on new religious movements (NRMs) and cults. This book shows that, although Kashmir Śaivism has been adopted by certain teachers and groups to market their own brand of "High Tantra," some contemporary practitioners have remained true to the system’s fundamental tenets and teach authentic (albeit modern) forms of Nondual Śaivism. This book will be of interest to academics in the fields of religion and Asian philosophies, especially South Asian, tantric, neo-tantric and yoga philosophies, alternative and New Age spiritualities, religion and consumerism, and NRMs and cults.
Tsongkhapa's A Lamp to Illuminate the Five Stages (1419) is a comprehensive presentation of the highest yoga class of Buddhist tantra, especially the key practices - the so-called five stages (pancakrama) - of the advanced phase of Guhyasamaja tantra. Beginning with a thorough examination of the Indian sources, Tsongkhapa draws particularly from the writings of Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Candrakirti, and Naropa to develop a definitive understanding of the Vajrayana completion stage. Whereas in the generation stage, meditators visualize the Buddha in the form of the deity residing in a mandala palace, in the completion stage discussed in the present volume, meditators transcend ordinary consciousness and actualize the state of a buddha themselves. Among other things, Tsongkhapa's work covers the subtle human physiology of channels and winds along with the process of dying, the bardo, and rebirth. This definitive statement on Guhyasamaja tantra profoundly affected the course of Buddhist practice in Tibet.
The first English translation of the Vajra Rosary Tantra, with extensive annotations from Alamkakalasha's Commentary, with a detailed introduction by the author. The Vajra Rosary is perhaps the most significant and detailed teaching attributed to Buddha instructing a practitioner how to overcome the 108 energies and their related conceptions that circulate in the subtle body and mind, leading most of us to continued rebirth in cyclic existence. The Vajra Rosary tells us how to overcome these energies and achieve the freedom of enlightenment. It is one of the “explanatory tantras” of the Buddhist Esoteric Community (Guhyasamaja) unexcelled yoga tantric system, the most complete of the four systems of tantra described in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist literature. The book’s analysis of the Vajra Rosary Tantra illuminates for readers perhaps the most compelling reason of all to choose Rosary—the path to enlightenment is built on overcoming the 108 energy-winds and conceptualities, the number of beads on the ancient Indo-Tibetan Buddhist rosary. Readers will learn what practices to engage in to accomplish the goal of becoming a fully enlightened buddha through this comprehensive text.