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Posts tagged ‘reflections’

  1. Reading the Saundarya Lahari – III

    Continuing from my last post in this series I will now turn to a brief examination of verse 7 of Anandalahari – which together with verse 8, provides a preliminary dhyana – a meditation/ritual image of the goddess. Continue reading »

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  2. Some Reflections on Transcendence – II

    “She who comes into being through the breath of life,
    from whom the Gods all took their birth,
    the Boundless Goddess of Infinity,
    who enters the cave [of the heart] and dwells there –
    This, I now declare, is that!”
    Kath Upanishad, IV, 7-9

    Continue reading »

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  3. Jottings: Queer Pagans or Queering Paganisms?

    I’ve been involved in the UK Queer Pagan scene for a number of years now, but whenever I decide to try and write about this, I find myself reflecting on what for me is a core issue – what happens when “Queer” is placed next to Pagan? Continue reading »

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  4. Jottings: talking “energies”

    “Energy” is one of those words which has to do a great deal of work. It has become something of a generic term that gets used in multiple contexts, sometimes to the extent where any exercise/experience which gives rise to sensations or emotions is attributed to an impersonal ‘energy’ being present, moving, flowing, or being blocked, trapped, or stored. Continue reading »

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  5. Reading the Saundarya Lahari – II

    For this post, I’m going to begin a brief examination of some of the themes present in verses 1-41 of Saundaryalahari – often referred to as Anandalahari – “wave of joy”. As I noted in the first post in this series, the Anandalahari is perhaps the most explicitly “tantric” half of Saundaryalahari providing cues for the dhyana (puja image) of the Goddess, Her mantra, yantra and her relationship to organising schemas of Cakras and Rays. For the present, I will concentrate on the first six verses of Anandalahari. Continue reading »

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  6. Jottings: On queering deity

    “The problem is not to discover in oneself the truth of one’s sex, but, rather, to use one’s sexuality henceforth to arrive at a multiplicity of relationships.”
    Michael Foucault

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Queer as a form of resistance to identification – a refusal to be categorised or reified into some kind of essential formation. Continue reading »

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  7. Reading the Saundarya Lahari – I

    Tantra is often (popularly) represented in western occult writing as though it were an “outsider” tradition in India, something on the periphery or marginal to the orthodox or “mainstream” forms of Indian religosity – and highly esoteric – something which can only be “decoded” with the correct keys or “initiated” understandings. This view, which I’ve recently argued (Treadwells lecture, October 2011) actually says more about western occultism’s self-representations than any tantric actualities, is something I’ve been trying to counter with much of the tantric-oriented writing I’ve been doing here on Enfolding. Although I’ve made occasional reference to the Saundaryalahari (“Flood of Beauty”) here a couple of times previously (see this post in particular), for this series of posts I’m going to examine this work in more detail, drawing in some of the themes I’ve been outlining in other posts. Continue reading »

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  8. Practice notes: on the garland of names

    “What you’ve done can’t be helped;
    the day is almost over.
    On a jeweled island
    Siva sits in Siva’s house.
    Contemplate Her always.
    Prasad says,
    Durga’s ambrosial name liberates.
    Repeat it without ceasing;
    drench your tongue in nectar.”
    Ramprasad Sen (trans. Rachel Fell McDermott)

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  9. Some reflections on Transcendence – I

    “…what is emerging now is the nondualistic understanding of “immanent” and “transcendent.” Long seen as opposites in Western cultural history, transcendence is coming to be understood as “beyond” but not “above” the material plane we can see in every day life. What science calls “complex dynamical systems” has illuminated in recent decades the extraordinarily creative, complex, dynamic processes going on at every fraction of a second within, around, and through every entity in the universe. Our minds will never be able to map the endless networks of what I call “relational reality,” so spirituality that seeks to commune with either immanence or transcendence now sees that they are not apart. This realization is not new to Eastern philosophy or indigenous cultures, of course; we were simply late coming to it in the modern West because of our dualistic and mechanistic worldview.”
    Charlene Spretnak, Immanence as well as Transcendence

    Continue reading »

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  10. Intensities: after the puja

    It seemed that I was enfolded through the sky
    Becoming a net; gauze; silken
    Bathed in feathers. Continue reading »

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