Chris Thompkins is a scholar of Religion and Sanskrit who specializes in the yoga of Tantrik Shaivism. His research focuses in particular on the ritualized practices of 'Hatha' Yoga as originally presented in the earliest surviving (un-translated) Tantras which pre-date the later 'Hatha Yoga' manuals by centuries. He holds advanced degrees in Religion and Sanskrit from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley, and presents internationally on the history, practice, and philosophy of Yoga.
Kālottara: The Psychology of ‘Timeless' Awareness in Tantrik Yoga
The technical term Yoga, often mistakenly rendered as a verb, is a noun that source texts use to signify an immersion into the awakened state, one that is universally qualified by the absence or attenuation of anxious thoughts. One of the most common synonyms for the word Yoga in the revealed scriptures of Tantrik Shaivism is kālottara, the state of psychological ‘timelessness.' To achieve this, the Tantras present a radically innovative Yoga practice that focuses on generating the resonance of particular phonemes (mantra), choreographed with subtle body visualizations (dhyāna) and specific breath lengthening exercises (prāṇāyāma), in order to generate a profound meditative absorption (samādhi) meant to trigger the awakening experience by loosening the grip of the thinking mind (citta) on source Awareness (cit) until the liberated state of Yoga is realized.
CE credit (MFT, LCSW, RN) offered for the session