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Contemplative Studies Index


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Śrī Caitanya introduced a profound insight.
Non-dualism literally means "not-two".
Saṃsāra refers to the cycle of death and rebirth.
Svapna is a Sanskrit term for dream.
Pūjā is the procedure of developing a deep and sweet intimacy with a deity or object of adoration.
The literal meaning of the word tarka is logic or reasoning. Quite simplistically, it is the ability to put together a series of related notions through logical deduction based on experience – our own or learned as generalizations. Depending on the type of reasoning we use and the kind of experiences we’ve had, the conclusion […]
In many ways, the entire practice of Yoga can be understood as an engagement with prāṇa. Prāṇa is the vital energy of life itself.  It is the basic material for all that exists.  In Sanskrit, prāṇa is a compound word made up of the prefix pra + root verb aṇ.  Pra is an intensifier that […]
Śakti (often transcribed as shakti) means “power” and is the divine feminine force personified in all expressions of the Hindu goddess. She is the dynamic, primordial creative energy that supports life. In the śaiva traditions, śakti is considered non-separate from śiva, or that Absolute Consciousness that is the ground of Being. This union is historically depicted in […]
The word bhakti literally means love and devotion. It is derived from the Sanskrit root bhaj, which means to share or participate.  A “bhakta” is a person who practices “bhakti,” or loving devotion to god or the divine. And, while bhakti draws upon common experiences of love it is much more than an emotional whim […]
Dharma is an important concept found in many spiritual philosophies from the Indian subcontinent, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. These philosophical traditions that are often referred to as “dharmic traditions,” because they share a commitment to dharma and various forms of spiritual liberation.  The term dharma is derived from the Sanskrit root verb dhr, […]
Sāṃkhya is referred to by many as the oldest philosophical system of India. Some of Sāṃkhya’s key concepts are first mentioned in the earliest of the Vedas, however the reality of oral tradition in India suggests that Sāṃkhyan ideas are in fact much older than the Vedas in their written form.  Sāṃkhya is one of […]
The very first instruction I received from my Guru in Asana practice was “Inhale.” Sri Krishnamacharya had started coming to our house in the mornings to teach my brother. A few days into it, I came to the room to join my brother and father. All were standing in Tadasana or Samasthiti, and Sri Krishnamacharya with his default head […]

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