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Posts tagged ‘bodies’

  1. Tantra keywords: Embodied

    “I praise the circle of deities innate within the body, an elevated assembly continually present, the end of everything, vibrant and the essence of experience.”dehasthadevatacakrastotra

    For this post, I want to discuss some “Tantric” themes which relate to embodiment – in particular, whilst stressing that Tantra constitutes an embodied practice, I also want to point towards a key difference between South Asian and “western” esoteric epistemologies – that underwriting Tantra’s embodied practice is what might be called an embodied theology. Continue reading »

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  2. Theorising Practice II: Habitus/Hexis

    One of the consequences of the mind (theory)-body(practice) divide in contemporary approaches to magic (and more widely, spiritual development in general) is the notion that the spiritual/magical is set apart from the material/everyday world. There is a pervasive belief that materiality (and the concerns that relate to it) is a burden to be overcome; that development requires that the concerns of the body be transcended. This kind of discourse tends to privilege abstracted knowledge over bodied experience. Yet all practices (including those understood as inwardly turning, such as meditation or visualisation) involve our bodies. Continue reading »

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  3. Kula Bodies – I

    “Yes, we perceive our own world in connected, synthesized and unfolded series, always from some specific zone of perception, such as the human eye or body. This is the productive synthesis which is at heart of all experience, not only human experience. We can see the way in which the eye connects its visual field, the way human bodies connect to produce groups, the way organisms connect to produce ecological synergies. But it is illegitimate to go from connection and production to an unseen but presupposed subject or ‘who’ that is the ground or hidden order of production. From organized bodies–assembled through connections–we can extrapolate a ‘body without organs’ that must have been their condition, but this will always be read back from its effects.”
    Claire Colebrook Deleuze: A Guide for the Perplexed

    Continue reading »

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  4. Occult gender regimes: the Yin-Yang binary

    We shouldn’t be surprised that contemporary occult representations of gender mirrors and reifies the binary oppositions of masculinity and femininity central to western culture. One aspect of this that does interest me is how appeals to non-western cultural concepts are deployed to further legitimise this regime. Continue reading »

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  5. Scented bodies

    This morning, descending the pristine stairwells of the office, I’m hit by a blast of smells from the restaurant on the ground floor. Continue reading »

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  6. Nyasa Bodies

    One way to understand Nyasa is that it is a methodology of intentional skinplay – interidentifying bodies with the mantras/deites; a gnostic touching. Nyasa makes bodies multipli-cities; porous to a flooding of capacities (shaktis). Continue reading »

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  7. Mantra bodies

    “Then, established in the body of the mantra, he should practice the supreme concentration. The supreme mantra body is manifested in the succession of letters.”
    The Purification of the Body, Gavin Flood, Tantra in Practice, p517

    As one might expect, occasionally in my practice I encounter things I don’t quite understand. I put them aside for later and, occasionally, understanding ‘bursts’ forth at a later point. I’ve been practicing various forms of Bhuta Suddhi for some years now, and from 2004 have been working from various versions of this practice, of which the main two are the chapter by Gavin Flood in Tantra in Practice; the second in The Lakshmi Tantra. But, until recently, I’ve failed to grasp the idea of the mantra-body. It wasn’t really until I read Loriliai Biernacki’s Rewnowned Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex, and Speech in Tantra (Oxford University Press, 2007) that understanding went from a trickle to a flood – the stream joining other streams, as it were. Continue reading »

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