Donkey on the Edge

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[Image source: scanned from When the body becomes all eyes, Phillip Zarrilli]

I was reading a book last year about a South Indian martial art called – now let me see if I can get this right – Kalarippayattu.

There’s this idea in Kalarippayattu that you reach with your body an optimal state of awareness and readiness [p19], where you’re instinctively and intuitively ready for anything, and it’s as if, and I quote, “the body becomes all eyes.”

It’s a beautiful ability if you think about it, because being touched is such an intimate and potentially transgressive act, and the idea that you could, instead of being touched, anticipate it with you eyes here, and here and here, that’s cool.

Anyway there’s also a reverse power, which is anything you see you can touch. It’s like the eyes become the hand. So a yogi attaining holy perfection can have this supernatural power of being able to simply point at you, and you can’t move. Or you get knocked down.

In the book I read there’s a wonderful list of the supernatural powers [p193], the superpowers, a yogic master might have, and I want to show you them here because I think you’ll enjoy them…

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