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Embodied Consciousness In Tantric Yoga And The Phenomenology Of Merleau-Ponty

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Chapter Summary

This chapter strives to illustrate how the Tantric dimension of yoga and the particularly incarnational version of phenomenology expressed by Merleau-Ponty both share a profound commonality that may be mutually illuminating. Perhaps the original inter-religious movement, the practice of yoga is an ancient approach to personal spiritual development that eschews dogma, creed, and institutionalization. By applying the meditation method of nirodaha, the yoga practitioner strives to disconnect or put into abeyance the cognitive, perceptual, and emotional habits (samskaras) that distort ones experience of the objects of world. Edmund Husserl employed a radical meditation method which he called the epoche, which is an inhibiting or putting out of play of all positions taken toward the already-given objective world. The chapter concludes that phenomenology needs a somatic methodology that can go beyond academic language and yoga needs a language that will not do violence to the lived somatic experience of contemplative practice.

Keywords: epoche; Merleau-Ponty; nirodaha; phenomenology; Tantric yoga



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