Over on Ganachakra there is an excellent post about the challenges of translating Buddhism to the West. How it gets distorted, censored, and misunderstood, and what it leaves behind. It’s really worth the read to think about how Vajrayana gets presented/understood differently in the West than in cultures where it has roots. When I try to explain to people what my practice involves, they’re often confused, I’ve been angrily told “That’s not Buddhism” and that my practices are “Anti-Buddhist” and I just have to point out that Buddhism, specifically Vajrayana, is a different animal than most people realize. This article really grapples with that.
Blue Garuda has started a new blog devoted to shamanism, appropriately called Blue Shaman. It’s largely Tengerism Shamanism, and Himalayan shamanism, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it expanded to at least compare/contrast with other forms of traditional shamanism. Right now it’s some wiki cut and paste, and some articles brought from the old blog, but it will be worth a follow.
Speaking of Shamanism, here is an article about tattoos in Shamanic/religious contexts, it’s really fascinating to see some of the uses of tattoos. I’ve been thinking a lot more about my first tattoo in the next while, so I loved reading through that and thinking about it, and reflecting on the history of inked bodies.
And speaking of tattoos (go segues) how about a tattoo made from the cremated ashes of a loved one? I think this is an amazing idea, plus I would love to be able to tell people “Yeah, that tattoo? It’s my Grandma…no, I know it doesn’t look like her, I mean it’s actually her.”
I think a lot of the scientific articles about meditation are overdone. We get it, it’s good for you and changes your brain, but this one has some interesting findings including what happens when meditators…disappear during MRIs.
Prefer a more historical look at magickal and religious topics? Then the newly launched Ancient Esotericism is for you. Adding three extra nifty points is the fact that Sarah Veale from Invocatio is the website coordinator.
A pretty good TED talk about the benefit of 10 minutes of mindfulness a day, and different approaches
io9 asks if we can learn synaesthesia. My sister and I both had grapheme with the same colour associations, and this may explain it, though we also had day-colour crossovers this doesn’t explain. I said “had” because mine changed in my early twenties. I still experience grapheme and other minor forms of synaesthesia, except now my sense crossovers are all Queen Scale. Seriously… Letters are now linked with colours and scents based on their Hebrew equivalents and the correspondences. This is your brain, this is your brain on Golden Dawn Magick…
Two minute video explaining Witchcraft