Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Rosary For 108 Chakras


One of the most important powers we possess is the ability to put our attention anywhere we please. In particular we can move our attention to any part of the body. A body part attended to is different from a body part ignored. A body part attended to "lights up" in a particular way.

To aid us in performing this mindful illumination of the body, I have been working for many years to increase the number of chakras (special body sites) from the classical seven Hindu chakras to a new and final total of one hundred and eight. Analogous to the particle/antiparticle symmetry of ordinary matter, I have applied a rough dark/light symmetry to my chakras. Each "light" chakra possesses a corresponding "dark" partner. In general (but not always) the dark chakra is located lower in the body than its homologous light partner. I have also tried to devise symbols "as simple as traffic signs" to represent both the classic chakras and my numerous additions.

Nick's new system consists of 108 locations in the body into which you can place your awareness and "see what happens". (Some of these places may already be clamoring for your attention by being painful.) See  Which of Your Body Parts Needs More Amour for more details of this system.

Once having designated these bodily locations, I wanted to invent a systematic way of touring them. There are thousands of possible tours (actually 108! = 108 factorial which my computer informs me is a number with 175 digits.) So the particular body tour I have chosen is certainly not unique but for me it seems to possess a certain logic that makes it easy to remember.

Most of the chakras fit into one of three groups: Limb Chakras, Central Chakras and the Bony Containers

1. The 4 Limb Chakras:

Right Leg:Foot Chakras (12)

Right Arm:Hand Chakras (12) 

Left Leg:Foot Chakras (12)

Left Arm:Hand Chakras (12)

For a total of 4 x 12 = 48 Limb chakras. (The underline indicates that all these chakras are "dark" Compare for instance, the "dark" Foot Chakras with the "light" Hand Chakras.)

2. The 3 Central Chakras:

Hindu Chakras (8)

Spinal Chakras (8)

Portal Chakras (8) (formerly called "Sensual Chakras")

For a total of 3 x 8 = 24 Central Chakras. Each dark Central chakra is paired with a light Central chakra. I am using the convention that upper-case "Chakra" refers to a group of body parts while lower-case "chakra" refers to one specific site. For example, the classic Hindu Chakras are eight in number, including the famous ("light") Heart chakra, whose "dark" partner is the Belly chakra.

3. The 3 Bony Containers

Pelvic Basin Chakras (8)

Rib Cage Chakras (8)

Skull Chakras (18

For a total of 8 + 8 + 18 = 34 Bony Container Chakras.

To these 106 main chakras  must be added a final two: the Whole Body chakra and the No Body chakra. The No Body chakra represents the entire Universe minus a tiny you-shaped piece. This final chakra stands for everything that is not your body, a distinction, which, as Alan Watts reminds us, may not be that easy to make: where exactly does your body end and the external Universe begin?


The simplest 108 chakra rosary would consist of 108 beads, each bead in the form of or depicting one of the chakra symbols shown above. Such a rosary would be large and difficult to produce. (Although the task might be made easier with the use of a 3D printer.) For my own purposes I have designed a smaller rosary consisting of only 32 beads. Nick's 32-bead rosary is more compact than the simplest rosary but explaining how to use it to visit all 108 chakras is more complicated.

Nick's Basic Chakra Rosary is made of 12 Light beads, 12 Dark beads and eight Rainbow beads plus a Light Disk and a Dark Disk which mark the beginning and end of "saying the Chakra Rosary". (In this photo, bad lighting unfortunately makes the Light Disk appear Dark and vice versa.)

As a rough guide to saying Nick's Chakra Rosary, the Light and Dark beads are used to "say" the Limb Chakras which come in groups of sixes, while the Rainbow beads are used to "say" the Central and Bony Container Chakras which come in groups of eight. (The eighteen Skull Chakras are the only exception to this rule.)

Another peculiarity of this system is that except for the Central Chakras, most of the saying of the beads follows an obvious anatomical sequence. In the case of the three Central Chakras, however, the saying of the beads alternates between a Dark chakra and a Light chakra following only a rough anatomical sequence.


We publish here the first account of the saying of the Basic Rosary beads. Holding the rosary as shown above, with the Light beads on the left and the Rainbow beads oriented with the single Light bead at the top, the sequence begins on the Light Disk. As your fingers move down the six white beads, this is the time to form your Intention for saying the Rosary, You might speak a six-syllable phrase:. "Now This is My Body." or "Touching Flesh With Spirit.", for example. Or anything else, as you say these first six beads, that takes you out of the ordinary world and into the particular exercise space of giving focused attention to your various body parts using a string of glass beads as a visual/tactile aid.

After the six-bead introduction, the Basic Rosary proper begins on the first lower Dark bead which represents the WHOLE RIGHT LEG. The sequence continues up the first six Dark beads to count the six Right Leg Chakras:

Whole Right Leg, Hip Joint, Thigh,
Knee, Calf, Ankle.
Continuing up the next six Dark beads to count the six Right Foot Chakras:
Five, Four, Three Toe,
Two, One Toe, Whole Right Foot

where here "One Toe" means the big toe. While saying each bead, direct your attention to the appropriate body part, physically touching it if you like, especially in the case of the toes, to isolate it from its nearby companions. Linger as long as seems appropriate on each chakra. Saying the Basic Rosary is not a race but a way of directing the gift of your attention to various otherwise neglected body parts.

After counting the 12 Right Leg:Foot Chakras, we move down the Rainbow beads to count the 8 classic Hindu Chakras, ordering them in Dark-Light pairs:

Ground, Crown,
Root, Brow,
Sex, Throat,
Belly, Heart.

where here I have located the four Dark Hindu chakras in the lower half of the body. Entire books have been written on Hindu chakra meditation so one can spend a lot of time if one is so inclined traversing just these eight Rainbow beads. In Nick's Basic Rosary the Rainbow beads are traversed from top to bottom without regard to their color. But in the Hindu chakra literature, the chakra colors are important and arranged in spectral sequence.

Now at the bottom of the Basic Rosary, we begin at the lower Light bead which represents the WHOLE RIGHT ARM. The sequence continues up the first six Light beads to count the six Right Arm Chakras:

Whole Right Arm, Shoulder Joint, Upper Arm,
Elbow, Forearm, Wrist.

Continuing up the next six Light beads to count the six Right Hand Chakras:

Five, Four, Three Finger,
Two, One Finger, Whole Right Hand.

where here "One Finger" means the thumb.

Saying the 12 Right Leg:Foot Chakras, the 8 Hindu Chakas, the 12 Right Arm:Hand Chakras demonstrates the principle of how to say the Basic Rosary and brings our chakra count to 32.

We see here how the 8 Hindu Chakras are "framed" by the 24 Right Limb Chakras. And our fingers are located now at the top of the rosary where Light, Dark and Rainbow come together.

We next go down the Rainbow path, counting the 8 Spinal chakras:

Will, Auto,
Neck, Tail,
Thorax, Pelvis,
Lumbar, Perineum.

where "Will" and "Auto" represent the voluntary and involuntary nervous systems located largely in nervous plexuses in the spine. The Will chakra you can actually engage with your mind; the dark Auto chakra is by definition unconscious but you can take this opportunity to appreciate and thank these loyal plexuses for their underground services. The Lumbar and Perineum are paired here because they are both saddle-shaped.

Next we count the 8 Portal Chakras, framing them like the Hindu Chakras with the 24 Left Limb Chakras:
Whole Left Leg, Hip Joint, Thigh
Knee, Calf, Ankle,
Five, Four, Three Toe,
Two, One Toe, Whole Left Foot.

Eyes, Ears,
Nose, Skin,
Mouth, Tongue,
Lungs, Bowels.

The Portal Chakras represent 8 ways the body connects to the outside world. The two-dot symbol representing the Nose/Skin chakra light/dark pair is meant to symbolize the Nose chakra by two nostrils and the Skin chakra by two armpits.
Whole Left Arm, Shoulder Joint, Upper Arm,
Elbow, Forearm, Wrist,
Five, Four, Three Finger,
Two, One Finger, Whole Left Hand.

This completes the counting of the 24 Central Chakras framed by the 48 Limb Chakras for a total of 72 chakras played out on the Basic 32-bead Chakra Rosary. What remains is only to count the chakras contained inside the 3 Bony Containers, then finish up with the Whole Body and No Body chakras.

Here is a chart summarizing where we have been and where we are going:
The Three Bony Containers consist of the Pelvic Basin, the Rib Cage and the Skull. The pelvic bones and the rib bones can be seen as mirror images of one another, so I make the pelvic bones "Dark" and the rib bones "Light".

The 8 Pelvic and 8 Rib Chakras are counted on the Rainbow beads starting at the top and counting down for the Pelvic Chakras, then reversing direction and counting up the Rainbow path for the Rib Chakras:
Whole Pelvic Basin, Sacrum,
Right Sitz Bone, Left Sitz Bone,
Right Pubic Bone, Left Pubic Bone,
Right Pelvic Bone, Left Pelvic Bone.
Right (lower) Rib, Left (lower) Rib,
Right Clavicle, Left Clavicle,
Right Scapula, Left Scapula,
Sternum, Whole Rib Cage.

(Note the nice homology between the pubic bones and the clavicles.) With these two Bony Containers we've added 16 more chakras to the rosary count. We now turn to our final Bony Container, the Skull.

For the eighteen Cranial Chakras we start at the top of the rosary and go down the Light path, formerly reserved for the Limb Chakras. Our count begins with the Temporomandibular Joints directly in front of the ears:

Right TM Joint, Left TM Joint,
Right Temporal Bone, Left Temporal Bone,
Right Occipital Bone, Left Occipital Bone,
Right Parietal Bone, Left Parietal Bone,
Right Frontal Bone, Left Frontal Bone,
Right Cheek Bone, Left Cheek Bone.
Counting these 12 chakra down the 12 Light beads takes us to the bottom of the rosary where we continue the count upwards along the Dark bead path

Chin Bone, Mandible,
Maxilla, Inion,
Foramen, Whole Skull.
Where the Inion is the prominent bump on the back of the skull and the Foramen is the hole in the bottom of the skull though which the spinal cord enters the brain.
Completing the Skull count with these last 6 chakras locates us in the middle of the Dark path, directly adjacent to the Dark Disk

Moving your fingers to the Dark Disk represents the Whole Body chakra. Hold the whole Basic Rosary dangling from this Dark Disk to bring your attention to the Whole Body signified by the dangling rosary.  Contemplate for a moment your whole body.

Then make the rosary disappear by dropping it into and closing your other hand. This gesture symbolizes the No Body chakra  -- the entire Universe minus that part you call your body. See how long and in what manner you can mentally inhabit this chakra -- everything in the world that is not you.

Experiencing the No Body chakra concludes the 108 chakra rosary.

Take from this exercise what you can. I hope you found it informative, amusing and not too complex.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Death of a Moor

Peter Lamborn Wilson (1945-2022)

Peter Lamborn Wilson is dead.

Peter Lamborn Wilson was a prolific, controversial writer and researcher into the lives and beliefs of mavericks, misfits, hobos, punks and heretics. He is best-known for his coinage of the term Temporary Autonomous Zone or TAZ which can be applied to any spontaneous association of free people from Burning Man to improv dancing, especially those gatherings which maximize what Wilson liked to call "ontological anarchy".

As an Ontological Anarchist, Peter necessarily acquired an unusual resume'. Educated at Columbia, Wilson left New York in 1968 for a spiritual "Journey to the East" across the Islamic world from Morocco to Katmandu, seeking wisdom and teachers in tea houses, palaces and opium dens and settling finally in Tehran, where his presence coincided with Empress Farah Pahlavi's desire to spread Iranian culture into the West. At the Iranian Academy of Philosophy, Wilson was put in charge of English publication where he was able to translate the works of famous Islamic philosophers and poets, for instance (my favorite) The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry with Nasrollah Pourjavady.

Wilson's academic tenure in Tehran was cut short in 1979 by the Iranian Revolution in which the Shah and his wife were replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini (a minor poet himself in the tradition of Khayyam and Hafiz).

Back in New York, Wilson aligned himself with various fringe organizations among which was the Moorish Orthodox Church of America which Wikipedia describes as "a syncretic, non-exclusive, and religious anarchist movement originally founded in New York City in 1965 and part of the burgeoning psychedelic church movement of the mid to late 1960’s in the United States." MOCA traces its lineage back to a black Chicago religious leader from the 1920's, Noble Drew Ali, whom the Black Muslims also claim as their founder. More detailed information concerning this "religious anarchist movement" can be found on the web at the Moorish Orthodox Information Kiosk or in Wilson's own Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam published by City Lights in San Francisco.

Wilson obituaries have appeared in such wide-ranging venues as The Global Ganja Report and the New York Times (!) so I will not repeat here what others have written but instead publish a brief account of how this ontological anarchist affected my own life.

In the early 80's computers were just beginning to enter our lives. Instead the photocopier gave rise to a web-like phenomenon called "zines", short for "magazines" in which anyone with a few dollars for stamps and access to a Xerox machine could become their own publisher. The quality of zines ranged from semi-professional to unreadable but what they all had in common was quirky originality and instant access to off-beat topics. I cannot locate in my records the zine in which I first encountered the writings of Peter Lamborn Wilson but it might have been Popular Reality which one archivist described as "distinguishing itself as an open forum for the most unpopular of opinions."

Connecting via one of the zines of that era Peter and I began a letter exchange concerning the Moorish Orthodox Church and he invited me to come visit him in New York should opportunity arise. So in the spring of 1986 on some errand involving physics and publishing I met the man himself in his third floor apartment on West 107th St just a few blocks from the Nicholas Roerich Museum.

Wilson lived in a rat's warren of books, papers and unusual objects from his Islamic travels, the centerpiece of which was an old mechanical Remington typewriter on which he composed his voluminous works, He seemed to have a dislike for computers and never quite moved into the digital age. Over a few tokes of crumbly hashish he regaled me with tales from his travels and invited me to become a member of the Moorish Church. It is customary to take an Islamic name and I knew nothing of that faith. Wilson's own Moorish name was "Hakim Bey" and several of his books, articles and performances appear under that name. "Well, you could do worse, Nick, than "Jabir", the 9th Century Islamic alchemist."

So Jabir it was. To which I later added "'abd al-Khaliq", designating myself as servant of one of the 99 names of God. A few weeks later I received from Hakim Bey a photocopied diploma certifying my new rank as "Adept of the Seventh Heaven."

My first substantial adventure with the Moorish Orthodox Chuch was the Antarctic Astral Projection Project. On the night separating August from September 1987, various individuals would attempt by any means at their command to astrally project themselves to a location on the Antarctic continent aptly named "Cape Longing". We would dutifully record our impressions which would then be collected and published in the zinosphere as part of the Akashic Records, one more fanciful account of the spiritual strivings of the human race. Doctor Jabir decided to go there as Mandrake the Magician and fancied the trip as a conclave of other fictional magician/scientists observing and producing new physical, mental and spiritual phenomena in the exotic low-temperature environment not far from the Earth's South magnetic pole. As I recall music and dancing girls were involved as well as a spectacular display of the best Southern Lights that my human imagination could produce.

Another Moorish adventure as Doctor Jabir, this time in real space, was the Temporary Autonomous Zone San Francisco performance in 1993 organized and produced by the legendary Joseph Matheny. The site of TAZ SF was Komotion International, an art and performance space in San Francisco's Mission district. This event featured a dozen or so performers, both male and female, some of whom mingled with the audience. Hakim Bey himself was one of the stars and calmly lectured on some obscure feature of Ontological Anarchy. Most of us were attempting to be as outrageous as possible but Bey trumped us all by affecting an utterly conventional academic normality in an ocean of freaks. Jabir read some of his newest quantum tantric poetry, Robert Anton Wilson shared some of his latest provocative prose. Circus acts and dances followed and there was some sort of bondage scene going on that I had helped to prepare back stage. 

MOCA produced at odd intervals the Moorish Science Monitor to which I sometimes contributed. And once I was a guest along with Robert Anton Wilson on the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, an after midnight series hosted by Hakim Bey on New York's independent radio station WBAI.

Back in Boulder Creek I often enjoyed co-hosting our long running series of poetry readings with fellow Moor Omar abu Khan (aka Ed Cramer).  But all in all, Doctor Jabir achieved the height of his Moorish identity in the call for Tantric Jihad which he has performed in venues as various as house warmings and Esalen Institute,

My sheik is dead.
Hail and farewell
O noble teacher of the Way
Hakim Bey has crossed the Black Sands. 

Jabir 'abd al-Khaliq declares Tantric Jihad