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Tantric Yoga and Alchemical Qigong Terminology

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The Broader Topics

Tantra (historical, vs NeoTantra): Expansion to Liberation, the cosmic loom or web of causal interdependence and connectedness…
Yoga: Union
Alchemy and Rasa Shastra: Mixing external substances with fire or a catalyst to produce a new, different substance
Internal Alchemy: bringing together internal qualities within the body to transmute them into new qualities or release new energies

Religious Sub-Traditions with Tantric Yoga Components:

Mahayana Buddhism
Vajrayana Buddhism

Varieties of Yoga Practice

Hatha Yoga: Solar/Lunar Yoga, the yoga of force, using physical posture (seat of consciousness), attitude, breath, internal muscle control to unify the left and right nostril breath-streams in samadhi
Raja Yoga: The “King” of Yogas, samadhi itself, later conflated with Patanjali’s Ashtanga (eight limbs) of Yoga
Bhakti Yoga: Yoga of Devotion
Jnana Yoga: Yoga of Knowledge of the Self through inquiry
Kriya Yoga: Yoga using repeated synchronous movements of breath, body, mantra, and awareness to achieve kundalini integration and Self-realization
Karma Yoga: The yoga of selfless action
Nada/ Naad Yoga: The Yoga of internal and external sound
Laya Yoga / Kundalini Yoga: Laya Yoga is the yoga of Absorption and Resonance, resulting in the kinetic flow of kundalini shakti, and later dynamic equipoise of awareness (Vidya)

  • Mantra Laya: absorption in mantric sound
  • Yantra Laya: visual absorption in sacred geometry
  • Ishta Devata Laya: visual absorption in an anthropomorphized image of divinity
  • Mahavidya Yoga: the yoga of resonance (Laya) with the meditative cycle of the 10 Mahavidyas

The Sexual Yogas:

NonDual Yogas:

Acts of Practice:

Tapas: a transformative austerity
Sadhana: a systematic spiritual practice designed to accomplish a specific result
Kriya: a completed practice or action within a yogic discipline

Tools, Knowledge, and Practices within Tantra and Internal Alchemy

Mantra: The mental tool – using sequences of sound
Mantra Japa: Chanting or mental repetition of Mantra
Yantra: a mystical diagram, literally, an instrument of support (for visual awareness), also used to create energetic spatial context through sacred geometry
Nyasa: sanctification of the body through touching or placement of awareness or holy names
Qigong Literally, Vital Energy Work or Breath Practice
Taoist Internal Alchemy/ Neidan
Asana Seat or Location of Consciousness or Meditation, posture
Pranayama Control of the Consciousness through regulation of the breath
Bandha Internal Muscle Locks (literally, to tie together in a bundle, from which the english term bandana is derived)
Yamas and Niyamas: Yogic Morality and Ethics, which vary contextually by chronology, culture, and yogic system
Pratyahara Withdrawal of the attention from the gross sensory faculties to the root of the subtle senses…
Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi (Samyama)

Tao Yin: Taoist Postural Yoga, similar to Hatha Yoga
Tsa Lung Trul Khor: Physical Yogas working with the subtle channels, subtle winds, and chakras in Vajrayana

The Subtle Body

Subtle Body

Self, self, and Non-Self

Atman (Hindu) Transcendent Self
Atman (Buddhist)
Anatta/ Non-Self
Ahamkara Ego-Personality
Sunyata / Emptiness / Voidness
Sat Chit Ananda (“Beingness-Consciousness-Bliss”)

Other useful online glossaries and encyclopedias: