Embodying Healing: Tantric Ritual Short-hand and the Training of Anthropological Attention

Another excellent blog entry on Mantra Healing methods:

A Perfumed Skull

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Elaborate ritual procedures are a hallmark of Indo-Tibetan tantra. Tantric rites are often long and complex – ceremonies typically involve multiple parts or stages, each replete with lengthy chanted liturgies, extensive visualizations and gestures, and both physical and imagined offerings. The ability to memorize such procedures, and to properly and elegantly execute the intricate choreographies of body posture and movement, recited mantras, and imagined forms which they require, is a key part of what makes up tantric expertise. Large-scale, extended rituals involving a number of different people, ritual trappings, and processes are important in Tibetan Buddhist contexts and are conducted frequently. Yet the prevalence of externally elaborate ritual performances should not be taken to mean that smaller, quicker and more ‘internal’ ritual procedures are not also a vital and valued part of Tibetan ritual specialists’ activities.

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