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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Omphaloskepsis (or navel-gazing) is contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation.

The word comes from Greek omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination). Similar words are omphaloskeptic (one who engages in the practice) and omphaloskeptical (related to contemplation of one's navel).

Actual use of the practice as an aid to contemplation of basic principles of the cosmos and human nature is found in the practice of yoga of Hinduism and sometimes in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

However, phrases such as "contemplating one's navel" or "navel-gazing" are frequently used, usually in jocular fashion, to refer to self-absorbed pursuits.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Omphaloskepsis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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