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Embodied Philosophy’s Contemplative Studies Index.

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Achintya-Bheda-Abheda

Achintya-bheda-abheda is a philosophical concept that originated within the Gaudiya Vaishnavism tradition, a branch of Hinduism that focuses on the worship of Lord Krishna. The term "achintya-bheda-abheda" can be broken down as follows: Achintya: It means "inconceivable" or "beyond thought." It emphasizes that the nature...

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Adhikāra

The term adhikāra derives from the Sanskrit prefix “adhi-” and the verbal root /kṛ and means “to superintend” or “to be or place over.” The noun adhikāra refers to an authority, qualification, or entitlement with regards to rites of passage and “denotes a range of personal capacities and statuses, especially those conferred by religious...

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Ardhanārīśvara

Ardhanārīśvara is a hybridized deity form of Śiva and Śakti and is thus popularly depicted as half-male and half-female. A compound of ardha (अर्ध), meaning “half”, nārī (नारी), meaning “woman”, and īśvara (ईश्वर) , meaning “lord,” the name literally means “Lord who is half woman.” Ardhanārīśvara is thus a profound and...

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Bhakti

Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path or discipline within Hindu philosophy that emphasizes devotion, love, and surrender to a personal deity or a chosen form of the divine. The word "bhakti" is derived from the Sanskrit term "bhaj," which means to adore, worship, or serve. Bhakti yoga is considered one of the major paths to spiritual realization in Hinduism...

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Chakras/Cakras

The chakras (in IAST, cakra) are one of the most iconic representations of modern spirituality. Having been widely adopted outside their original Tantric cultural milieu by New Age expressions of spirituality and those interested in so-called “energy practices,” they have taken on a life of their own that can not easily be distinguished from the psychologized understanding...

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Death

Death always comes as a surprise even when we know it’s coming. It’s as much a part of life as birth. Yet, even when the deceased is an elderly gentleman who dies of natural causes, there’s something about death that feels unnatural. We should consider the possibility that death feels unnatural because it is unnatural. The elderly gentleman was once a strapping...

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Deity Yoga

“Deity Yoga” as a phrase is mostly associated with Tāntrik Buddhism such as Vajrāyana, where identification with a chosen deity occurs through various rituals and visualizations. The phrase has been adopted in other traditions to mean numerous things, but here, we’ll explore it from the perspective of Nondual Śākta Tantra. It would be an appropriation of sorts...

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Dharma

Dharma is an important concept found in many spiritual philosophies from the Indian subcontinent – including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. In Hinduism, dharma is simultaneously the eternal order that rules the universe and the duty or law that governs one’s life. Fulfilling one’s dharma is more than simply one’s purpose in life...

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