Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Subject: Eastern Thought

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A famous hand position (mudra) seen on many Tantric, Hindu, Buddhist, and even Christian statues. It is simply a hand (usually the right hand) raised to shoulder height with the palm forward and all fingers together, pointing up. While this hand position is often used in the West to mean "stop," Abhaya is a Sanskrit word meaning fearlessness, and is used on icons to represent the dispelling of fear. It source is the idea that "my hand is empty so you have nothing to fear," and is often used to ...
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An organ that is associated with a specific chakra and through which that chakra expresses itself physically. 

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(Sanskrit) literally “First” and “Sons of the Fire Mist,” an alternate name referring to the Upper Manifestal seventh plane up from the physical level.

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Aghora means without fear. The term refers to a Tantric sect that engages in extreme practices. Aghoris embrace that which most of society would find intolerable. 

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The name of the ancient God of fire found in spiritual traditions from India.

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(Sanskrit) “Non-killing.” The Hindu doctrine of non-violence and non-injury, whether by act or word or thought. Hence, no negative Karma.

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Aikido is a martial art that relies on harmonious movements and minimal muscular effort to resolve conflicts.

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1.  Unlimited power. Forehead chakra located between the eyebrows. This chakra is associated with insight, perception, and intuition and is seeded and activated during Reiki One and Two attunements, respectively.

2.  (Sanskrit) “Command Center.” Primarily known the “Brow Chakra”.

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1.  Pronounced "ah-kash." Sanskrit word that has been adopted in the West as the name for the fifth magical element. It means aether or spirit.

2.  (Sanskrit) See Spirit. The fifth element of Spirit or Ether, one of the five tattvas or elemental forces—the others beingAir, Fire, Water, and Earth, which are derived from Spirit. It is symbolized by an indigo egg shape, and is associated with Vishudda, the throat chakra. It manifests as sound, but is not sound. It is all-pervading Space without dimension. Compare to the alchemical “Quintessence.”

Suggested Reading: A Chakra & Kundalini Workbook, by Dr. Jonn Mumford.

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The Arcane Magical Order of the Knights of Shambhala. An occult group founded in 1982 by Michael Magee (Lokanath Maharaj) by permission of HH Shri Gurudev Mahendranath (1911-1992) who was a guru (some say the last guru) of the Uttarakaula Tantric Order of northern India. AMOOKOS cleverly blended ancient Tantric and Western techniques and quickly grew all over the world, introducing people who would later become leaders in the occult community to Tantric philosophies and magickal techniques that ...
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1.  In alchemy and sex magick, it is the magically transmuted First Matter.

2.  Literally, that which is against death; the nectar of immortality. In classical Tantric sex rituals, commingled sexual fluids that are consumed by the practitioners. Some Neo-Tantric teachers refer to female ejaculate as "amrita."

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1.  The pure sound made without any two things striking. Heart chakra or center located at the center of the chest associated with love and compassion and is seeded and activated during Reiki One and Two attunements, respectively.

2.  Sanskrit. "Unstruct Sound." Primarily known the Heart Chakra.

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1.  A Sanskrit term that means “divine bliss.” Frequently included in Indian names, it implies oneness with higher realms of holy peace

2.  Commonly translated as bliss, but it can also mean happiness, joy, or sensual pleasure. 

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Ppronounced ahn-yuh-lee, the famous mudra, or hand position, often given among Tantrics, Buddhists, and Hindus, indicating an honorable greeting. It is made by pressing the palms of both hands together, with the fingers pointing up. It can be positioned at chest level (with the thumbs touching the sternum), at the forehead level (with the thumbs at the location of the third eye chakra between the brows), or above and slightly in front of the head. In some traditions you greet equals or ...
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(Sanskrit) “Parentless.” Alternate name for the Submanifestal, the sixth level up from the physical

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"Little heaven." The bindu or dot that sometimes appears above Sanskrit letters. It indicates prolonging and nasalizing the "m" or "n" sound. It is what gives simple mantras like Om their power to alter consciousness. 

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The Tattwa of elemental Water. It is symbolized by a silver crescent with the horns pointing upward as if a container.

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A form of the Tantric deity that combines the male Shiva with the female Shakti in one iconic form. Visually, the deity is divided vertically, with one half showing physical male characteristics and the other half showing female characteristics. The name is Sanskrit for "The Lord who is Half Woman."

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The Half Lotus Posture. In this modified version of the Lotus Posture, only one foot is placed atop the thigh when the legs are crossed. 

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Pen name of Sir John Woodroffe.
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1.  Pose or posture held comfortably. Poses for meditation and bodily control.

2.  Sanskrit. "Seat" or "Postures. Generally referring to any the postures or exercises taught in Hatha Yoga that provide a stable base for the body so that sensations do not disturb concentration.

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A Sanskrit term literally meaning "to strongly strive" or "to make strident efforts." Most people know it as a term as a noun, describing a type of school, often associated with a spiritual organization, and often set up as a live-in place of study, worship, and work. However, it can also be used as an adjective, describing a period when a person dedicates himself or herself to a spiritual life.
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"Eight-limbed." The eight stages of Patanjali's Yoga:

Yama: control 
Niyama: observance 
Asana: posture
Pranayama: breath control  
Pratyahara: sense withdrawal 
Dharana: concentration 
Dhyana: sustained concentration, and
Samadhi: universal consciousness with total psychological and physical integration.

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Literally, "the gesture of the horse." Ashwini Mudra is the intentional pulsing of the anus. This practice is very important in many Tantric routines, since it is a powerful way to raise energy within the body. It is also reputed to have a wide variety of health benefits. 

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A Sanskrit term for a mystical tree of knowledge. Curiously, it is shown inverted, with the branches extending down while the roots grow up. The branches represent the physical plane and the roots represent the spiritual plane, indicating the importance and value of the spiritual world.
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1.  The individual soul, the Self, the eternal principle.

2.  (Sanskrit) The Upper Superessential level of reality and consciousness. Also the vehicle of the Second Self.

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1.  (Sanskrit) The true self. The Soul.

2.  The Higher Self or Soul that is eternal.

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(Sanskrit) The Upper Superessential level of reality and consciousness.

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Sanskrit. The mental (silent) chanting of a mantra in which attention becomes so fixed that any lapse or disturbance is nearly impossible.

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Alternate (and more accurate in the terms of transliteration) spelling of “om.”
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A Sanskrit term for a mystic who is beyond daily physical concerns. Such a person is believed to no longer be attached to either their body or mind. They are believed to be incarnated pure consciousness.
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(From the Sanskrit avalokita meaning perceived or seen and Isvara, meaning lord.) In Buddhism, a bodhisattva who, as one entity, contains all the compassion of all the Buddhas. Avalokitesvara is widely revered.
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(From the Sanskrit avatara, meaning “descent”) In Tantra and other forms of Hinduism, an avatar is a physical incarnation of a higher being (a deva) or even a theophany, the physical incarnation of a god. The term implies that the entity consciously chooses to descend into a body on the physical plane. There are numerous avatars, and other spiritual traditions have adopted the word as a term to describe a deity incarnate. In Hinduism, the God Vishnu, the preserver, is said to have ten ...
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Sanskrit term for ignorance. It is believed there are two types of ignorance, the partial or total lack of knowledge, or incorrect or “wrong” knowledge. Avidya is one of the five traditional blockages (kleshas) to enlightenment, and some consider it to be the primary or source of these blockages.
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A Sanskrit term that can mean father, grandfather, sir, or wise old man. When Moslems conquered India it was often added to the names of Hindu and Sikh ascetics. Today it is often used as a term of affection for a holy man such as a monk or teacher.

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A Sanskrit term that means “lock.” In the practice of different forms of yoga, it refers to different muscular locks that can be used to direct and intensify the body’s energy.

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See: Muladhara

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A yogic posture that helps tone up the muscles of the pelvis and lower abdomen while stretching the thighs. To achieve this posture, sit on the ground and bend the knees, allowing them to move to the sides. Put your heels together and pull them as close to the groin as comfortably possible. It is believed that this pose can also help with sexual problems. The secret meaning of this term involves maithuna, sacred intercourse. While in the traditional yab-yum position, it is impossible for the ...
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Sanskrit. The Yoga of Devotion and Love in both a religious and philosophical sense. While the practice has been perverted into the deification of the Guru or teacher, the intention is the "Love of God" seen in all things. In some cases, the perversion has led to criminal abuse of the student—sexually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, and financially—while the teacher claims that clairvoyant insight has shown that these acts are for the "good of the student's soul."

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Achieving union with the Divine (“yoga”) through extreme devotion. In the West, perhaps the best-known method of Bhakti Yoga is the repetitive singing of brief songs dedicated to the Divine. Such repetition continues until self-awareness decreases and awareness of the Divine increases. However, there are traditionally eight other ways of practicing Bhakti Yoga, including listening to stories of the Divine, worship, and surrender of the self. Each has the goal of increasing awareness of the ...
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Sanskrit for enjoyment. Often used by Tantrics to mean sexual pleasure.

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Sanskrit term for ghost. Also a demon, goblin, imp, spirit, etc.
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Sanskrit. "Seed." The root sound of a chakra that is intoned as a mantra and releases its potential. Bija sounds of the first five chakras are Lng, Vng, Rng, Yng, and Hng.

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Bija is Sanskrit for “seed.” Bija mantras are simple sounds that have no meaning. However, vibrations caused by their repetition can result in activation of psychophysiological realities. For example, the bija mantras associated with the seven major chakras are as follows: Chakra..........Bija ...
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A Sanskrit word meaning "dot" or "point." In some Tantric traditions it is a term for the semen. It also can mean the focal point when meditating. Traditionally, Tantric yantras have a point in the center of the image. When drawing them that point was often made with a drop of menstrual blood or semen.

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(Sanskrit) Usually translated as "enlightenment," it more accurately means "to awaken." It is the state when you have quieted the mind to such an extent that only the true self is left. At this point a person can realize ultimate truth.
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A spiritual hero or Enlightened Being who reaches enlightenment, then forgoes its full benefits until all sentient beings have reached enlightenment as well.
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In Buddhism, the title of a person so spiritually evolved that he or she no longer needs to incarnate but who chooses to return to this world of suffering in order to teach others.
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The ancient shamanic tradition of Tibet. Eventually, Buddhism supplanted Bon, but some of the Bon concepts were incorporated into it, giving Tibetan Buddhism its own unique patterns, magick, and character.
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See the I Ching.

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Sanskrit. "Continence." The fourth discipline of the first stage of Ashtanga Yoga, calling for the moderation and self-control of sexual passions. Too often it is mis-taught as a requirement of celibacy, whereas all Yoga is life-affirming, not life-denying. "Required" celibacy, rather than being an exercise in self-control, is a deliberate practice of social control by external authority to re-direct the individual's emotional energies to the benefit of the authority figure or institution. It ...
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1.  A term for the Ajna Chakra based upon its location. See Ajna.

2.  Also known as Ajna in Sanskrit. The sixth psychic center, the "third eye" chakra, located at the brow. Associated with the color indigo, the Moon, the Sephiroth Chokmah & Binah. The primary means for clairvoyance and other psychic faculties. Brow Chakra (Ajna) Correspondences Alchemical Planet: MoonAlchemical Element: Silver      Animal: Owl                            Basic Drive: transcendenceTattva: ...
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Literally means awake. A Buddha is someone who has awakened to his true spiritual nature.
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1.  That part of the mind that discriminates, telling truth from what is untrue or unreal.

2.  The higher consciousness of the Second Self, sometimes called “Intuition.”

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A spiritual tradition based on the teachings and beliefs attributed to Gautama Siddhartha, known as the Buddha, who is believed to have lived in the 6th century b.c.e. Although people not familiar with this philosophy believe Buddha is considered a god, this is not so. In fact, the term Buddha simply means “enlightened one.” Since Buddhism is not about a specific deity, it is debatable to claim that Buddhism is a religion unless it is considered a non-theistic religion. Buddhism was a ...
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The fourth plane "up" from the physical, sometimes called the intuitional level.

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1.  An ancient Tantric concept adopted by Theosophy and brought into contemporary occult thought. There are supposedly multiple bodies or sheaths that make up a person (anciently there were 5, but the Theosophists made this 7). The causal body is the highest, most ethereal body. It is a veil for the true soul.

2.  Buddhi and Manas, the incarnating self. It is the Causal Body that is what is most  identified as the “Soul,” although it is not the ultimate Spirit. 

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A term meaning to bring your focus and attention back to the center of yourself. This is useful to eliminate disturbing issues that prevent you from focusing on the purpose of what you are doing: your work, your meditation, or your magick. One method of doing this is by grounding.
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An expression composed of two Sanskrit words: chakra, meaning circle, and puja, meaning ritual. Thus, a Chakra Puja is a ritual practiced by a group ("circle") of people. In the West, there are public Chakra Pujas that are open to the public, and more private Chakra Pujas intended for people initated into a particular Tantric tradition.

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Literally the “point of the moon;” however, in the Tantric “twilight language,” it means “moon juice.” The moon is symbolic of the spiritualized woman. The moon juice is the lubricating fluid created by a woman in preparation for spiritual sexual intercourse with her partner (maithuna).
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A Sanskrit term generally accepted to mean "student." It originally meant "servant," indicating the idea that a student is meant to serve his or her teacher in order to pay for (exchange energy for) the teacher's spiritual training.
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A Sanskrit term meaning a "copy" or "shadow," it is the astral image or astral body of a person.
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1.  This energy consists of static electricity, infrasound, infrared radiation, and magnetic fields. Chi is a complex form of energy that manifests itself in your vitality, your spirit, and your life.
2.  Vital life force often referred to as energy. A term commonly used in acupuncture referring to the energetic flow within the meridians.
3.  Energy or life force. Also known as Ki or Prana.

4.  The Chinese name for vital energy, comparable to the Hindu Prana.

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Also described as Oriental or Asian Medicine, Chinese Therapies is a term used to describe a wide assortment of practices for sound body, mind, and spirit. These include herbal remedies, acupuncture, acupressure and massage, energywork such as Chi Gung, and martial arts.
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A Sanskrit word referring to an energy path that is tinier than the more famous paths known as nadis. Chitrinis are said to actually be inside of the nadis.

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1.  One of the power centers found in spiritual traditions with a source in the Indian subcontinent. The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara in Sanskrit) is physically associated with the central chest area. When this chakra is overcharged or undercharged with spiritual energy, it implies that you are dealing with issues of spirituality and direct communication with the Divine. When appropriately charged it is said to indicate that you have freed yourself from those attachments in life that lead to ...
2.  Also called Sahasrara. The chakra located at the crown above the head; associated with the color violet and Sephirah Kether. Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) Correspondences Alchemical Planet: Mercury, UranusAlchemical Element: Mercury          Tattva: Bindu (a dot)Tattva Color: ClearTattva Form: rose seen from aboveTattva Sense: Higher SelfAnimal: None                                 Basic ...
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Although technically an abbreviation of Dakini, a Tantric Buddhist goddess of enlightened energy, it is often used by Westerners to mean a male priest, healer, or representation of Shiva.
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In ancient Tibet, a Dakini was a terrifying spirit or demon that would appear to magicians during their rituals. Volatile and wrathful, they may test the magician. In India, the term is often translated as “sky walker” or “sky dancer.” Dakinis are pictured as beautiful, sensuous, and naked (indicating they have been stripped of anything that might limit their spirituality). They also represent transformation and energy. Some modern women Neo-Tantric practitioners refer to themselves as ...
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A Sanskrit term that means an inner, spiritual vision of the divine. It is often used to mean a meeting with an important spiritual person, such as a priest, a priestess, a guru, etc.
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In Tibetan spirituality the central energy channel of the human body.
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A Sanskrit term for “goddess.” In the tradition of Hinduism known as Shaktism, she is the supreme deity.
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1.  As part of true meditation, a state of extreme focus or concentration.

2.  Sanskrit. "Concentration." The sixth stage of Ashtanga Yoga.

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A Sanskrit term meaning "law," specifically cosmic law or order. It is supposedly a person's duty to follow his or her dharma which is in complete accord with the cosmic order. Similar to Crowley's concept of one's "True Will."
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1.  A Sanskrit term meaning contemplation to a level where everything other than what you are focusing on is ignored. The second part of true meditation; a part of true meditation that follows dharana.

2.  Sanskrit. "Sustained Concentration." The seventh stage of Ashtanga Yoga.

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Literally “clothed with the directions of space; sky-clad” That is, wears nothing other than space; naked. The name of one of the two major sects of the Jain tradition wherein the males possess no property and wear no clothes. In some Tantric traditions, devotional or magickal rituals are performed digambara. It is theorized by some that Gerald Gardner may have used the term "skyclad" for ritual nudity in Wicca as a result of his years in India where he may have witnessed this.
See Also:  Skyclad
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(Sanskrit) Initiation into a spiritual path. Traditionally, diksha could only be given by a guru to his or her chela.

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A Western expression associated with the Tantric concept that, in Sanskrit, is known as Shakti, the creative, life-giving, universal force. In Western mystical traditions archetypal femininity is usually considered passive and receptive. In most Tantric systems Shakti is both the female and dynamic aspect of the Ultimate Reality.

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A Hindu and Tantric holiday primarily celebrated in India and by Indian expatriots. Using the Indian calendar, it can start in late September or in October and lasts for five days ending in October or as late as early November. Also known as Divali or Deepavali, it has varying significance to people across India. However, one of the most common practices is the use of an increasing number of small lamps known as Diyas, indicating the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. It may have ...
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The magickal systems of Asia and Southeast Asia, including India, Tibet, China, and Japan. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the writings of H. P. Blavatsky and other members of the Theosophical Society helped popularise Eastern Occultism in the West. The Western magickal order The Golden Dawn took one book—Nature's Finer Forces by Rama Prasad—and incorporated some of its Eastern teachings on the Tattwas into its magickal system.

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A Sanskrit term meaning "one-pointedness" when mentally contemplating an object for meditation.
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The science and study of the effect of environmental factors on living. Includes guidelines for determining the best location and direction of your home and workplace; where the rooms in your home should be to best facilitate energy flow; and how to create a garden that will bring positive energy and good luck into your home. Includes two major schools of thought. The Form School examines the shape of the land, the shape of your building, and even its direction in relation to the land around ...
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1.  In Theosophy, the primary cosmic energy that brings the manifested universe into being. It is closely related to the life-force or One Life.

2.  The primary Cosmic Energy fundamental to the universe. Fohat manifests as universal physical forces: motion, gravity, electricity, magnetism, sound, heat, chemical reactions, radiation, etc. These physical forces are convertible, one into another.

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To place the two palms together. The Namaste or Prayer Position in India, this symbolizes respect and also activates the ten meridians of the body.
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One of the oldest and most popular Sanskrit mantras. It is based on a verse of the Rig-Veda one of the oldest books in the world. It is also a traditional musical rhythm and has many variations. The original Sanskrit words (usually preceded by om bhur, bhuvah svaha, are: Tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. Dedicated to the Goddess Savitri, is not easily and directly translated. Krishnamurthy gives: "We meditate upon the radiant Divine Light
of that ...
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A Western version of Chinese feng shui or Indian Vastu, geobiology explores interactions between the Earth and the heavens. It allows people to plan out what are supposedly the best places for homes, businesses, cities, etc. Geobiologists would do this work with the help of dowsers.

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A hand bell used in Tantric, Hindu, and Buddhist rituals. 

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Sanskrit. "Knowing." The Yoga seeking realization through Knowledge and Understanding. It is "Gnosis," the direct perception and comprehension of "Universal Truth." It is "Cosmic Oneness."

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Knot. Three protective mechanisms located in the sushumna that only open once a practitioner has achieved sufficient level of purification.
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A modern concept not related to any traditional idea of karma. Group karma is the karma that is developed by a group of people. Participation in the group is supposed to associate you with the karma of all the others in the group. However, traditional karma is based only on what you do, not what others do.
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Also known as the trigunas or three gunas, these are the three essential qualities or characteristics found in all matter according to the ancient writings of India. The Sanskrit names of these qualities are rajas or activity, tamas or rest, and sattva or balance.
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(Sanskrit Gu, darkness and Ru, destroyer. Hence, destroyer of darkness) Generally used to mean a teacher or the leading teacher of a particular philosophy or practice. The original concept, however, was more complex. A guru was traditionally an enlightened being and capable of being in direct contact with God. When a student (chela) first meets the guru (meeting a guru in person is called darshan), the guru was supposed to instantly know what unique training the person needed to become ...
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The oldest known mantra, it is the sound of the breath going in and out. It literally means “swan.” In some traditions it is reversed, being So-Aham.
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Sanskrit. "I am He." A mantra used in meditation to release a positive emotional attitudes of omniscience and omnipotence from the Unconscious. It is pronounced "Hum" as the breath is exhaled followed by "So" in inhalation.

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Sanskrit. "Absolute Necessity" (to overcome the inertia of the human organism). One of the four Yogas mentioned in the Upanisads (Mantra, Raja, Laya). Symbolically, it is the "union" (Yoga) of the "Sun" (Ha) with the "Moon," (Tha) and thus dissolving the polar opposites through the interface of Mind-Body.

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The path of yoga that first pays attention to the physical body through asana, pranayama, and meditation practices that give rise to the awareness of spirit.
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1.  One of the power centers found in spiritual traditions with a source in the Indian subcontinent. The Heart Chakra (Anahata in Sanskrit) is physically associated with the central chest area. When this chakra is overcharged or undercharged with spiritual energy, it implies that you are dealing with issues of universal love or decision making. This is also the chakra that lies between the lower, physically-based chakras and the upper, spiritually-based chakras. As such, it is a link between our ...
2.  Also known as Anahata.The fourth psychic center. The chakra located at the heart; associated with the color green, the planet Sun or Venus, and the Sephirah Tiphareth. Heart Chakra (Anahata) Correspondences Alchemical Planet: Sun, Venus                 Alchemical Element: Gold      Tattva: Vayu (Air)Tattvic Color: BlueTattva form: HexagramTattvic Sense: TouchAnimal: Birds, Deer                 ...
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Buddi-Manas. The God within, our “Father in Heaven.”

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In Tibetan spirituality the sound for the divine life force.
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1.  The nadi to the left of the sushumna with qualities akin to the moon or lunar aspects of life. Associated with intuition, the feminine, and cooling.

2.  Hindu goddess of abundant food and of the earth, she would grant any blessings asked of her. Goddess of nurturing energy.

3.  There were two Mountains known as Ida in ancient Greece, one in Crete and one in Phrygia (modern Turkey). Both are linked to mother goddesses.

4.  Sanskrit. One of the three major nadis (psychic nerves). Ida runs up the left side of the spinal column (the Middle Pillar) carrying feminine, intuitive, cooling energy, exiting in the left nostril and triggering right brain hemisphere functions.

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A Sanskrit term usually pronounced "ish-varuh," it means "lord." In ancient Indian tradition, it usually indicates a choice for a personal deity.
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A Sanskrit term meaning an awake state of mind.
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An Indian religion founded between the 6th and 9th centuries BCE. There is no creator deity in Jainism, which is similar to Hinduism and Buddhism in its beliefs in reincarnation and karma. Jains are noted for their commitment to non-violence and their expansive understanding of that term.

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1.  The repetition of a mantra or name of God as a form of devotion, honor, or to induce an altered state. Note that some people conflate the concept of a mantra with that of japa. Japa may be performed out loud, quietly, silently but with the moving of the lips, or just in the mind.

2.  Sanskrit. Constant repetition (silently or audibly) of an affirmative mantra to drive it deeply into the subconscious mind.

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A Sanskrit term meaning the control of the senses. To some Tantrics it relates to the concept of controlling the sexual act and determining when to orgasm. To others it means orgasm per se.

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A Sanskrit term meaning a living being in itself. This is different from any qualities or attributes such a being may have. It equates to the Theosophical term "monad."
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Achieving union with the Divine (“yoga”) through knowledge (jnana). The techniques include learning to discriminate between what is real (anything that is eternal) and unreal (everything else), developing the ability to detach yourself from the unreal, practice of six virtues such as control of the mind, perfect concentration, faith, etc., and intense longing for freedom from rebirth (reincarnation). One of the four major yogic paths.
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Tantric magick circle.
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A sexual position in which the person being penetrated is on top, astride and facing the person on the bottom. 

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1.  A Sanskrit term meaning "desire," although the intensity and strength of desire as a driving force often results in people relating it to lust. Although this lust is often seen as sexual, it is also the lust for life and experience. Kama is also the name of the ancient Indian deity of desire.

2.  (Sanskrit): Emotional Consciousness.

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Literally love or desire points. Marma therapy, which is used in both Ayurvedic and Tamil medicine, is akin to acupuncture or acupressure. Dr. Mumford introduced a system of building sexual arousal using these points at Gnosticon, and it is described in detail in The Essence of Tantric Sexuality

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Literally meaning book, aphorisms, or rules of pleasure (especially sexual pleasure), this book—attributed to the Hindu philospher Vatsyayana and dated between 400 b.c.e. and 200 c.e.—has been considered the ultimate Hindu love manual and an important part of Tantra. In actuality, it has little to do with Tantra and not much to do with sex. It's composted of seven sections: General Remarks: Five chapters on the aims of life and personal conduct. Sex Techniques: Ten chapters with ...
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The Sanskrit term for what is known in the West as the "causal body." This is based on the concept that our physical body is just one of several bodies each person has. It means the most subtle (or innermost or highest) body that veils the soul.
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1.  Depending on the culture, the concept of karma has several different interpretations. While some schools of thought use the term to mean a sort of payback for our good and bad deeds, others (notably Buddhist scholars) maintain that karma never means the effect of a good or bad deed, but the deed itself. This initial deed, they argue, sets into motion a chain of events that leads to eiher good or bad situations, depending on the nature of the original deed. Edgar Cayce, on the other hand, taught ...
2.  Rewards for past deeds, whether positive or negative. Karma is an objective, impersonal balancing mechanism existing in the universal spirit.
3.  Action or deed. The cause and effect law of the Universe in which each thought, word and action have a result. Seeds of yesterday or past life karmas bear fruit today or in future lives.

4.   In general, the force generated by a person’s actions.

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1.  Achieving union with the Divine (“yoga”) through selfless service to all of humanity. The technique is simply to be kind and generous to others to the best of your ability, and consecrating your actions to the Divine. “Karma” means “action, so a person who practices karma yoga should be focused on the action and not on the outcome of the action. It is believed that if you are thus focused, the lessons of karma will be learned and you will be less likely to need to reincarnate. One of ...

2.  The Yoga of detachment by consciously cutting the emotional and energetic tie between action and reaction. No reaction, no karma, no pain.

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The emotional service you owe to the universe in this life to compensate for your emotional selfishness in a previous one. The areas of life represented by your natal Neptune house.
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A form of Tantra. The most significant scriptures were written between the sixth and twelfth centuries. Abhinavagupta is the most celebrated author of Kashmir Shaivite texts. The tradition has all but disappeared, due in part to the violence in Kashmir over the last thirty years. Swami Lakshmanjoo was among the last great gurus of the tradition, and some of his disciples have carried the teachings forward. Daniel Odier also teaches a form of Kashmir Shaivite Tantra. 

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Sanskrit meaning "family," "group," or "self-contained unit." This refers to the group orientation of a set of Tantric traditions, the most famous of which are focused in South India. The Kaulas were noted for flaunting taboos as a means of achieving liberation. They are usually considered left-handed sects of Tantra, meaning that they followed Tantric traditions literally rather than symbolically. Rituals of some Kaula sects include the practice of maithuna, ritual sexual intercourse.

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A Tantric and Yogic practice in which the tongue is placed behind the uvula, inside the nasopharynx (the space where the mouth and nasal passages meet.) 

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A Sanskrit term that technically means "Ether-goer," but is popularly translates as "sky walker." It means the ability to project the consciousness at will.
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Position to lock in energy by folding the tongue back and pressing the soft palate of the mouth behind the teeth.
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1.  The Japanese spelling of the Chinese “qi” or “chi,” the universal life force.
2.  Universal energy. Also known as Chi or Prana.
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Sanskrit for "sheath" or "body," it usually refers to the five bodies of the human: physical, vital, mental, intellectual, and blissful.

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Sanskrit term for a wide variety of techniques, however it most often relates to physical practices used to manifest kundalini energy.
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Kriya means action, and Kriya Yoga practices generally combine subtle head movements, breathing techniques, mantra and visualization to lead the practitioner into a meditative state. Paramahansa Yogananda was Kriya Yoga’s best-known exponent in the West, but there are a number of other lineages. For a more in-depth discussion of Kriya Yoga and the term Kriya, see Chapter Three of The Essence of Tantric Sexuality

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See Kaula.

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1.  The practices, meditations, and techniques used to activate the powerful potential of spiritual energy.
2.  Allegedly a method of exciting the Kundalini energy at the base of the spine and causing it to rise up to the head, bringing enlightenment.
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A term used by Theosophists and said to have been used in ancient Asian spiritual orders. It means, "disciple."
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1.  Pronounced “Lie,” it uses breath and visualization to recreate the changes that the physical and spiritual bodies go through during sexual activity. This is usually presented as an allegory of causing the Kundalini energy to rise. It is the source idea for Kundalini Yoga.

2.  The Yoga of the arousal, release, and control of Kundalini and latent nerve energies "sleeping" within the human nervous system as the result of stress, resistance, and denial.

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In Tibetan spirituality the name of the alien race that evolved into humanity.
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Sanskrit. Male Sex Organ, Penis. (See also Shiva Lingam.) While represented by the erect penis as an object of religious veneration, the reality is as a symbol of Male Positive Sexual Force operative at the Etheric (and above) level.

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Ancient Sanskrit term for the astral body.
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1.  A Sanskrit term that literally means a “sign” or a “mark,” it is generally used as a term among modern Tantrics to mean a man’s phallus. The lingam of the deity Shiva is often a representative of that deity and receives worship and adoration from His followers.

2.  Literally mark or sign, implying the mark or sign of the male deity. Thus, it also means penis. As a symbol, the lingam is associated with Shiva. 

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In the ancient Indian Vedas, these are protector spirits who guard the world.
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Usually refers to a beautiful flowering plant, the nelumbo nucifera. It's seeds can remain viable for long periods, the longest on record being 1,300 years. The seeds are planted or become embedded in the soil of a lake bed or river, its stem extends to the top (as much as five or six feet) and its leaves and large flowers float on the surface. Mystically, the lotus has several meanings. The circular flowers are seen as representative of the chakras. The long stem can represent the energy path ...
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A magical power described in Tibetan mystical literature. It is the ability to travel vast distances across the land easily and without rest.
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Sanskrit word meaning “great” or “mighty one.” Often used as a prefix to magnify the meaning of a title or term.
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A Sanskrit word literally meaning the great (maha) seal (mudra). A Tantric yoga position that begins with the practitioner sitting with his or her left heel pressed against the perineum (the midpoint between the anus and genitals). Then the nine orifices of the body are closed (2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, mouth, anus, and genitals) for the control of the physical and spiritual breath. According to some Tantric traditions Mahamudra refers to ritualized Tantric sexual union. 

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Great Tantra. An orgasmic experience that results in an altered state of consciousness commonly known as enlightenment.
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Sanskrit for a "Great soul." Mahatmas are considered to be perfected beings, teachers, sages, etc. The Indian leader Gandhi was often given this title. Some mistake it for his first name; however, Gandhi's first name was Mohandas.
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In traditional Tantra, the Ten Great Wisdom goddesses, the mahavidyas or dasa mahavidyas (Sanskrit dasa=ten; maha=great; vidyas=wisdoms). When Shiva and his consort, Shakti, in the form of Parvati, got into an argument (over a game of dice), he threatened to leave. She manifested ten forms of herself, ten goddesses, to guard the directions (east, west, north, south, southeast, southwest, north east, northwest, above, below). Each one brought some form of fascinating wisdom to keep Shiva ...
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1.  In traditional Tantra, a term indicating ritual spiritualized sexual intercourse.

2.  Sanskrit. Sexually Paired Couple, Male & Female.

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(Sanskrit) The Higher Mind or thinking function. The action of mind which produces or modifies the manifestation of objects. The incarnating ego.

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1.  A Sanskrit word that means “circle.” Mandalas are designs that are usually circular and are constructed around a central point. In Buddhism and Hinduism, mandalas are frequently used for spiritual and meditation purposes, but they can also be used to gain access to your subconscious mind.
2.  Circle. A symbolic representation of the universe which is visualized to enhance spiritual practices.
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1.  City of gems. The chakra located at the solar plexus and concerned with will power, setting boundaries, fire, and mental energy.
2.  Chakra located at the solar plexus below the navel, color yellow, associated planet Mars, associated Sephirah: none suggested. The Solar Plexus (Manipura) Correspondences Alchemical Planet: Jupiter Alchemical Element: Tin Gemstone: Amber, topaz Animal: Ram Basic Drive: Pleasure Body Function: Digestion Element: Fire Tattva: Tejas (Fire) Tattva color: Blue Tattva form: Crescent Tattvic Sense: Taste Chakra Color: Yellow Order of chakra unfoldment: 4th Location: Over navel Part ...

3.  Sanskrit. Also known as the Solar Plexus Chakra. The Third Psychic Center known in Sanskrit as Nabhi located at the solar plexus below the navel. Associated with the color yellow and the planet Mars. No associated Sephirah suggested.

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1.  The term “mantra” has entered modern vocabulary and is popularly used to mean “a repeated phrase.” People with a bit more study recognize that its source is from Sanskrit and is used in many Hindu, Buddhist, and other traditions. Some who have done more study understand that many of the words used in mantras embody different aspects of divinity and are magically and spiritually powerful. The true meanings of the term go even deeper. The word “mantra” comes from two Sanskrit words. ...
2.  A common literal translation of the Sanskrit word mantra is “the liberating thought.” Another definition is: “instrument or vehicle of thought.” Although similar to it, a mantra cannot be totally equated with the Western concept of prayer. A prayer is usually a supplication, a request made by the supplicant. The mantra is regarded at once an invocation, a benediction, an affirmation and a promise. A mantra can be changed out loud or sung silently within the mind. The main object of ...
3.  Instrument of thought. Series of sacred sounds or syllables which, through the repetition and reflection of them, can bring powerful spiritual insights.

4.  A word or phrase, usually in Sanskrit, Hebrew or Latin, [that may be] repeated or chanted repeatedly as a way to still the mind in meditation, and/or to instill a particular feeling or to invoke a special state of consciousness. Mantras are usually associated with particular images which may be visualized during meditation and chanting for increased effect. Some mantras are "God Names" and the associated images are of the deities. 

5.  Mind tool, from manas (mind) and trayati (tool). Mantras are words or sounds that serve to focus the mind or direct energy. Mantras can also function as incantations. They range from single syllable Bija or seed mantras to being quite complex and multisyllabic. Mantras can be repeated mentally, under the breath or as chants. Each method has its own unique impact on the mind of the practitioner and the physical environment. In his younger days, Dr. Mumford was renowned for his ability to induce ...
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An expression created by Dr. Jonn Mumford describing the methods of using certain mantras to achieve a state of trance and anesthesia.

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Sanskrit. "Man" (mind, to think) and "tra" (a tool or instrument), so literally, a "mind tool" for manipulating consciousness. The systematic use of sound vibrations (usually monosyllables) to bring about physical, psychic, and psychological changes. See also Mantra, involving the use of associated images visualized during meditation and chanting.

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Sanskrit. The sixteen vital body areas that are concentrated upon in certain exercises of Raja and Hatha Yoga. The location varies in different traditions.

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A particular training of the whole person, and not just the physical body, uniting physical and psychic actions. See also "Tao."

Suggested Reading: Carnie: Chi Gung: Chinese Healing, Energy and Natural Magick

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Sanskrit for “illusion.” In spiritual traditions it is sometimes mistakenly used to mean that the physical world is an illusion. Traditionally, however, it simply means that since everything we know about the world comes through our senses, we can misinterpret reality. Therefore, it is only our interpretation of the world that is an illusion. For example, both ancient mysticism and modern science acknowledge that everything is made of vibration. However, we see the physical world as solid ...
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A mythical mountain in ancient Indian lore. Since it's claimed to be about 672,000 miles high, it's obviously not real! There are many stories about it in ancient Indian lore. It's considered to be the abode of the gods and demi-gods. Mount Meru is known as Shiva's mountain, superficially representing the entire body. Mystically, however, it represents the spiritual mountain of the major chakras with the energy paths, or nadis, that connect them.

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A Sanskrit word (pronounced "mohk-sha" with a long "o") that means "release." It is the concept of being free from needing to reincarnate as all spiritual lessons have been learned.
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Sanskrit. "Dead pose." The relaxation posture also known as Shavasana.

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1.  Seal. Used with Hatha Yoga postures as a way to seal energy into the body, known as a bhanda; also hand gestures which can affect the energy channels of the body.

2.  A gesture, most often of the hand, that has symbolic significance and that can bring about physiological or psychic changes in the practitioner. Also, a kind of parched grain that is used in the traditional Tantric sex ritual. 

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Sanskrit term that literally means mouth (mukha) union (maithuna) and therefore stands for oral sexual practices. Specifically, it is used to mean spiritualized mutual oral sex. When the position of a couple is this way, they can mutually orally worship the lingam and yoni and their bodies are said to form a symbolic image, or yantra

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1.  Root lock. The contraction of the perineum is used to seal in energy and bring up the vital life force more strongly into the body and aura.

2.  Literally root lock. In Tantra and Yoga, the practice of tightening and holding the anal sphincter. 

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1.  Foundation. The chakra located in the base of the spine, just inside the perineum in men and below the cervix in women. This chakra contains qualities of survival, fear, and grounding. This chakra is used in Reiki Warrior to connect with the earth and ground the student.

2.  Sanskrit. "Root Chakra." The first psychic center physically represented by the testes or ovaries and the sacral, or pelvic, plexus. The Earth center; also called the Base Chakra, suggesting grounding and matter (Latin "Mater," meaning "Mother") from which our being evolves as a seed sprouts.

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In Tantra and Hinduism, an inanimate object such as a small (or sometimes, large) statue or idol into which deity is invoked. The object is then considered fit for worship as it now is the deity. This idolatry, although contrary to biblical injunctions, is based on the concept that deity is everywhere, so it could certainly fill a statue, drawing, etc.
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1.  Yogic nerve. Energy channel in the aura; same as meridian.

2.  Sanskrit. "Motion." An astral nerve tube involving the polarization and depolarization waves of activity in the nervous system. Yoga teaches that 72,000 such nadis exist in the psychic counterpart of the gross body.

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Sanskrit. The purification of the nadis through conjoined breathing and mental exercises.

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A traditional Indian salutation used similar to the Hebrew Shalom or Hawaiian Aloha. There is no universally accepted translation, however it generally means "that which is of the gods in me recognizes and honors that which is of the gods in you." It is often accompanied by the gesture known as the Anjali Mudra. This gesture is made by bringing together both palms with the fingertips of the both hands pointing up while giving a slight bow. Hold the before the heart with an equal, at the third ...
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One of the power centers found in spiritual traditions with a source in the Indian subcontinent. The Navel Chakra (Manipura in Sanskrit) or Solar Plexus Chakra is physically associated with the navel area, although some say it is a bit lower to match the Japanese concept of the Hara or Chinese idea of the Tan Tien. When this chakra is overcharged or undercharged with spiritual energy, it implies that you are dealing with issues concerning personal power and energy. It is symbolized by a lotus ...
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A term first used by Sir John Woodroffe and others in his circle in the context of their early-twentieth-century efforts to revive and reclaim the Tantric tradition. It is more commonly attributed to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) who used it to describe his system, which incorporated ideas and methods from a variety of sources, including other spiritual traditions and human potential movement psychology. Neo-Tantra is now used more generally, and sometimes disparagingly, to refer to Western ...
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In Tibetan spirituality a state achieved when an individual resolves all dualities and ceases to incarnate.
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An archaic Sanskrit term that generally means "power." Therefore, it is sometimes used to indicate the energy of virility or the ability to reproduce.
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1.  Also AUM; the Universal sound of Creation that manifests in all things.
2.  In Hinduism, the sound that is the source of all. It has its own symbol in Sanskrit. It is traditionally pronounced Ah-oo-mm, starting in the back of the throat, moving to the center of the mouth and ending with closed lips, metaphorically representing all sounds. Also pronounced in other ways (such as “ohm”) depending upon purpose, dialect, etc. It is used as a start to most Hindu mantras.

3.  A symbol that predates written language. Om is often described as being the primordial sound; it is also called the primordial or liberation mantra. Chanting it, even just for a few minutes, can produce changes in consciousness.

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Ekagrata in Sanskrit. The capacity to focus intently on a single thing, without distraction. 

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1.  A Sanskrit term meaning lotus flower. In Tantra, a word often used to mean the Yoni.

2.  Sanskrit. "Lotus." An alternate name for the psychic centers. Padma refers to their potential growth and development, just as a lotus (flower) bulb is capable of development into a lotus in full bloom. The lotus root is embedded in mud (the unconsciousness, inertia, blind instinct, darkness, and ignorance), with the stem immersed in water (emotions, subconsciousness, sentient awareness through feeling), and the bloom floating above the water in the full sunlight, i.e. the "Light" of ...
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Sanskrit. "Lotus pose." An advanced foot lock (easily maintained yoga posture) suitable for meditation. It is a symmetrical arrangement of the legs produced by placing the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh (Buddhists reverse the position with the right foot on top) said to resemble a lotus flower. The pose produces a total solid base with a low center of gravity, while conserving blood for the torso and head.

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A Sanskrit term that means "an uninterrupted line or succession." In ancient Indian traditions, it relates to the concept of initiated teachers or gurus. A person who is authorized to carry on the teaching of a tradition or group is said to "hold parampara."
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The author of Yoga Sutras who lived sometime around 200 BC. He divided Yoga into the eight distinct branches, or stages, we know today. This outline of Yoga is known as Ashtanga.

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(Neé Peter Coon or Perry Baker, 1875–1955) Using the name “Oom the Omnipotent,” Bernard introduced hatha yoga and Tantric sexuality to the US during the early 1900s. He formed the Tantrik Order in America using the name “Shastri,” opened the New York Sanskrit College, taught hatha yoga, produced one issue of a journal, and was popular among the elite of the East Coast including two of the Vanderbilts. He purchased the Nyack, New Jersey estate of Joseph Hilton and built the Clarkstown ...
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1.  The nadi to the right side of the sushumna whose qualities are akin to the sun or solar energy. Associated with active, fiery, logical and masculine.

2.  Sanskrit. One of the three major psychic nerves, or nadis. Pingala is visualized as running up the right side of the spinal column conveying masculine, heating, rational energy. It exits in the right nostril and is a trigger for left-hemisphere functions.

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An alleged technique supposedly performed by women who have performed kegel exercises until their inner, vaginal muscles are very strong. Thus, during Tantric intercourse, a woman can caress a man and stimulate him without any outwardly visible motions. Mythically, some woman who are masters of this technique are able to hold on to a man so strongly they can drag him across a room.

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A Sanskrit word meaning “lord.” Although applied to many Hindu deities, it usually is a title of Brahma, the creator deity of Hinduism.
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A Sanskrit word that literally means “bringing forth” or “originating.” It represents the concept of there being a pure, undifferentiated, and original state of anything. It differentiates into qualities or tendencies known as the gunas: rajas, tamas, and sattva.

In some forms of Hinduism, prakriti is equated to the goddess Shakti, the source of energy and power.
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A Sanskrit word meaning “liquefy” or “dissolve.” It is used, spiritually, to describe the melting away of maya, our misunderstanding of the true nature of reality. When this occurs, the three gunas or qualities, are perfectly balanced.
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1.  The science of breath control used in Hatha Yoga.

2.  Sanskrit. Breath control. The control of life force (prana) through the regulation of the respiratory process, coupled with visualization. "Pra" means "first or before," and "ana" means "breath"—literally, the first essence underlying the breath.

3.  Control or regulation of the breath, usually applied to various Tantric and Yogic breathing techniques. Since prana also refers to energy, another way to think about controlling the breath is to understand it as directing energy.

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Sanskrit. The first element, Earth, symbolized by a yellow square or a cube. The Tattwa of Muladhara with cohesion and solidarity as principle characteristics.

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Also spelled “pooja,” it is a Sanskrit term for a spiritual or religious ritual. It is sometimes used to describe a circle or group of people that assembles for spiritual or magickal work.

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One of the sets of sacred Hindu writings, it consists of many books usually attributed to, or considered collected by, the poet Vyasa. They cover five general topics: cosmogenesis or the creation of the universe, secondary creations, the geneology of the deities, the creation of humanity, and the history of the patriarchs.
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The Hindu concept of an ideal, heavenly, or archetypal human. It is similar to the Kabalistic concept of Adam Qadmon. It sometimes is taken to mean the higher or spiritual aspect of the individual that is eternal. It can also be equated with Brahma, the Hindu creator deity.
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The modern spelling of the Chinese word pronounced “chee” and formerly spelled “chi.” It is the name of the universal life force.
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Chinese breathing exercise while meditating.

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Sanskrit. "The Royal Path." A system of meditation to control the constantly moving "mind stuff" and thus producing a union of the conscious and subconscious minds leading to a third state called the superconscious mind ruling over the many facets of our being. It is the "realization of Self."