Book Review: Karmamudra, The Yoga of Bliss

Review by Dr. William C. Bushell

There are few books that deserve the term revolutionary, but Karmamudra: The Yoga of Bliss attempts to be one of them. It explores an important subject that is controversial and complex, one that is often uncomfortable to discuss and contradicts many popular assumptions. It is about positive, proactive sexuality and its relationship to the spiritual life. It is about Indo-Tibetan Tantric sexual yoga practice, also known as Karmamudra or “the path of skillful means.” It explores a sometimes taboo topic and acknowledges unpleasant truths, in that vein it is dedicated to victims of sexual abuse around the world, especially the women and girls who make up the vast majority of those victimized, globally and throughout history.

The Science of Gratitude

 ISHAR is proud to present a new interactive map, courtesy of Kumu, to navigate the research into gratitude, a topic that encompasses many different disciplines. Scientifically, gratitude arises from not only receiving help from others but also the habitual appreciation of the positive aspects of life. Research into gratitude and well-being has linked gratitude and psychopathology, personality, relationships, health, subjective and eudemonic well-being, and better functioning. Gratitude is strongly connected to well-being, in every definition, and this connection may well go both ways.


Now you can explore the articles, publications, and connections of gratitude research yourself. The small blue points are publications, the larger points articles, and every article point contains the information of the related research in the viewing pane on the left. You can also customize the connections and filter the results, with tens of thousands of datapoints buried into this map for you to discover via the settings button on the right. See below:



Waking Up to an Invisible Epidemic

Originally published in the Huffington Post

By Deepak Chopra, MD, William C Bushell, PhD, Ryan Castle, David Vago, PhD, Peder S. Olofsson, MD, PhD, Mark Lambert

Until very recently, it was fairly unthinkable that our own bodies pose a greater threat to health than any outside disease. Most people have never heard of one of the greatest plagues of the 21st century, because it is caused by one of the most subtle, complex reactions in the body. This plague is inflammation, which in medical terms is is the ultimate two-edged sword.

Featured Topic: Homeopathy


Functional Summary



Materia Medica

Diluted substances that cause the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.




“Potentiated” substances enhance the body’s normal healing and self-regulatory processes.




Created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann


Topic Summary

ISHAR Profile: William Bushell, PhD


William C. Bushell, PhD, the Director of Research at ISHAR, has been researching mind-body phenomena for over three decades, focusing on the field of consciousness studies around the world as a biological, medical, and psychological anthropologist affiliated with Columbia, Harvard, and MIT.

“Mind-body” and “consciousness-universe” terms are used below to refer to the fields of mind-body healing; optimal health and optimal functioning; human capacities for regeneration, retardation and reversal of the effects of aging; the potential achievement of longevity through extension of the life span and health span; and the achievement of enhanced sensory-perceptual capacities; all of which are fields that Bushell has played a leading role in within academia. He has linked his training in these anthropological subfields to high level research in medicine, human biology, neuroscience, physics, cosmology, and mathematics. His work in these subjects has been published in leading journals, books, and reference volumes, as well as being presented at major scientific and scholarly venues around the world.


New Uploads: Full-text Tibetan Buddhism Books

As part of its mission to provide open access to all scholarly aspects of the mind-body subject, ISHAR regularly makes full-text historical books available to our users.  We've uploaded another three books to our Tibetan books page, along with brief summaries of the texts and Tibetan literature in general, compiled by Dr. William Bushell.

Bardo Thodol or Tibetan Book of the Dead


The Bardo Thodol (Tibetan: བར་དོ་ཐོས་གྲོལ, Wylie: bar do thos grol), Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State, is a text from a larger corpus of teachings, the Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones, revealed by Karma Lingpa (1326–1386). It is the best-known work of Nyingma literature, and is known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the DeadThe Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death and rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place.

Illumination of the Path to Freedom


Illumination of the Path to Freedom by His Holiness the First Dalai Lama Gyalwa Gendun Drup (1391-1474), is a commentary to a much older Tibetan classic:  The Treasure House of Knowledge, written by the Master Vasubandhu (350 AD). Dalai Lama starts out with an entertaining discussion about Tibetan versus Sanskrit – Tibet versus India:

“If a commentary comes from India people will take the time to study and teach it. It’s just like the local merchants. If they hear some barley has come from the lowlands, right away they want to trade for it, because the source is a good one. A commentary may be excellent, but if you don’t put some Sanskrit in it nobody wants to work with it. They think it’s just Tibetan.”


Praises to the Twenty One Taras


Tara (Sanskrit: तारा, tārā; Tib. སྒྲོལ་མ, Dölma) or Ārya Tārā, also known as Jetsun Dölma (Tibetan language:rje btsun sgrol ma) in Tibetan Buddhism, is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the "mother of liberation", and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. She is known as Tara Bosatsu (多羅菩薩) in Japan, and occasionally as Duōluó Púsà (多羅菩薩) in Chinese Buddhism. Tara is a tantric meditation deity whose practice is used by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and understand outer, inner and secret teachings about compassion and emptiness. Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Buddhas or bodhisattvas of similar aspect. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphors for Buddhist virtues.

Tenderness Knowledge Grid


The Tenderness Knowledge Grid is a collaborative project exploring the relationship between positive human behavior, spirituality, and health.


NEW FEATURE: Interdisciplinary Scholar's Hub

   ISHAR is proud to launch the Integrative Scholar's Hub, an open-access platform for both researchers, practitioners, and volunteers to collaborate on projects across the spectrum of human knowledge.  In cooperation with numerous institutions who will be listing their projects within ISHAR, the Scholar's Hub offers users the ability to:

  • Create a profile that showcases their own projects
  • Add dozens of unique tags to your project description
  • Search an index of other scholars' work from multiple disciplines
  • Find out who else is working on a type of project
  • Collaborate, avoid duplication of work, work interdisciplinarily
  • Share full documents and messages
  • List yourself as a volunteer to assist research


Send this user a private message
Sistrum Spirit
Profile Type: 
Research Topic: 
Oral Histories of Holy Women
Interested in Recruiting: 

We are a nonprofit group focused on the spiritual practices of women and feminine expressions of divinity. We are seeking to interview and record the life stories of women involved in these practices. We're looking to preserve the beliefs and life stories of curanderas, Voudoun priestesses, wise women, mystics, prophets, and nuns, to name a few.
Please contact us to set up an oral history interview. You will retain full access to the final interview and we do not charge anything for this work.

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