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numinous

suggesting the presence of a god; spiritually elevated

mystical

a spiritual sense beyond human understanding

ecstatic

intensely and overpoweringly happy

out of body

adj / relating to a sensation of seeing one's self from an external perception

possession

the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior

sun dance

A dance where the Plains Indian sought a vision to guide them for the rest of their lives

ghost dance

A ritual the Sioux performed to bring back the buffalo and return the Native American tribes to their land.

wovoka

The Prophet of the Great Basin whose vision of the Ghost Dance transformed many people., Paiute religious leader who founded the Ghost Dance movement. The movement faded when a number of its followers, thought to have supernatural protection, were massacred at Wounded Knee

mahayana

one of two great schools of Buddhist doctrine emphasizing a common search for universal salvation especially through faith alone

zen

school of Mahayana Buddhism asserting that enlightenment can come through meditation and intuition rather than faith

rinzai

School of sudden awakening

soto

One of the two major sects of Zen (along with Rinzai), the school of "gradual awakening," which believes enlightenment is gained gradually meditating throughout your life.

koan

In Chan and Zen Buddhism, a question that cannot be answered logically; a technique used to test consciousness and bring awakening.

zazen

The basic method of Zen meditation, traditionally practiced while seated in the lotus position in the meditation hall.

satori

In Zen, the enlightened awareness

shinto

the ancient indigenous religion of Japan lacking formal dogma

kami

one the Shinto deities (including mythological beings, spirits of distinguished men, forces of nature)

sufi

a muslim who seeks to achieve direct contact with god through mystical means

fana

"Extinction"; the sense of loss of self in mystical experience.

dhikr

A devotional remembrance of Allah through the recitation of his ninety-nine names and other devotional practices

baraka

"Blessing power" which comes from God into creation for the benefit of human beings.

shaykh

A teacher and master in Islam, such as the leader of an order in Sufism.

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