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In the beginning she rested as Shakti, the formless unmanifest, floating like a golden egg on the ocean of the silent, still and eternal Void. Endless and awesome power spontaneously flickered within her as she as both latent and undifferentiated continued to rest, containing within herself the power seeds of all universes and all time. Spontaneously she explodes into manifestation as she flowers into the evolved cosmos of separate vibrant dancing parts, then slowly reaching the completion of full blossoming withdraws herself back into her centre in the process of dissolution or pralaya. Throughout all of eternity, like cosmic day and night the multiverses alternately expand into energy and matter and resolve back into herself as primal energy, the hiryanagharba. Within her great heart rest her glorious forms of Maha Lakshmi, Ma Kali and Ma Saraswati. These radiant energies seen and worshipped as goddess also represent the flow and stages of energetic transformation. Maha Lakshmi the great goddess of abundance and life’s flow represents matter, form and the energy of inertia (tamas); Ma Kali the dark destroyer represents movement and absolute transformation, this dynamism is also called rajas; The serene grace, creativity and absolute knowledge of Ma Saraswati represents the subtle and refined energy of sattva, all three weaving in a balance of harmony that is life, with the Sattvic energy of Ma Saraswati being the closest to the awesome energy of the divine Shakti that life can manifest as. In manifestation Shakti’s three forms both create, sustain and destroy as they permeate the whole cosmos, woven through the heart of all energy, all matter and all of life. This universe as we know it rests in, unfolds from, is and returns to her awesome heart. From the Sabdabrahman or soundless sound reflected in the human heart chakra as anahata, the un-struck sound, arises the causal sound or Nada as the vibration of undifferentiated wisdom and intelligence that sparks into evolution this cosmic unfolding.
From this vibration of OM arises a deep primal shudder running through the resting equanimity of Shakti and rajas magnificently arises and the process of manifestation begins. Out of this cosmic vibration and consequent movement Shakti splits into two fields of force that are ‘being’. These two fields of force are Nada and Bindu. Bindu is the male pole and is represented by Shiva, the God of Love, Transformation, Death, Lord of the animals and Lord of Yogis. This centrifugal ground of being as pure consciousness is the centre from which Nada operates. Nada is feminine, Prana Shakti, and as vibration expands outward in centripetal flow, in her feminity she is nature, flowing and changing, unfolding the manifest million forms of this universe, all dancing their dances of life and death. This polar duality within unity provides the forces of magnetism, gravity and levity that holds together the phenomenal worlds in their states of vibrating molecules. Cosmic evolution flowing from the Super-conscious, un-moving, beyond knowing and un-manifest, into the unconsciousness and consciousness of the moving, knowable, sensorial and manifest universe that we call reality. The journey of the individual in Tantra Yoga is a stepping into greater awareness and through this greater consciousness. From greater consciousness moving into the subtlety of Sattva where one can begin to sense, perceive and begin to know the beyond the beyond, touching into the truth of our own existence as original super-consciousness. This deep inward journey, this inward mountain to climb is always a return from perceived separation to that source which is in our hearts, reflected as a balance of Shiva and Shakti with the upward and downward triangles in Anahata (heart) chakra of the six pointed star. In Tantra Yoga, since all is a facet of the divine there can be no real impurity. Impurity is only relative to the perceiver, what is impurity for one is food to another, all is originated in super-consciousness, all is super-consciousness, all returns to super-consciousness. Since impurity is relative, we use this relativity to explore our attitudes and tendencies to split the universe into good and bad, right and wrong. Whilst resting in this exploration we also move into greater awareness and resting in the subtle energies of Sattvas.
This apparent paradox is a journey that involves the horizontal expansion and inclusion of everything as divine, such that every event, every experience can then become grist to the mill, an opportunity for greater and endless awakening into eternal superconsciousness. At the same time moving into greater refinement of energy we rise, rising is then both transcending and including. Inner vertical lift does not distance us from the earth, from nature, from life in all its manifestations, it allows us to continue our horizontal expansion of inclusion, our expansion into resolution of our pathological splitting of the world until we more deeply experience everything as divinity, until we more deeply accept our historical dualistic distortions and rise, through expansion and inclusion into the freedom of our true nature as super-consciousness. The meanings of the word Tantra include weaving, liberation through expansion and technique. The weaving is that of recognising and knowing the strands of tamas, rajas and sattva and choosing to be the weaver and the woven not merely the woven. Liberation through expansion is the expansion and inclusion and transcendence that is said to be so dangerous. Dangerous because engaging in the processes of the world, of the market place, of sexuality can easily lead us astray into mere hedonism and greed if not balanced with refinement and Sattva. This is often likened to licking honey off a razors edge. The techniques are those that create parameters within which we can then experience greater subtlety, greater energetic experience, greater expansion and ultimately a greater experience of both unconditional love and divine wisdom. All Tantric Yoga ultimately enhances and expands our experience of Love. The first practices of Tantra Yoga include Yoga asana practice as initiated by the Lord of Yogis Shiva (consciousness) and re-initiated through his re-incarnation as the great Tantric master Adinath. Adinath taught Matsyendranath who taught Gorakshanath. These famous Tantric masters of the Nath lineage formulated many practices and techniques to assist the knower to step into greater wisdom and love. Yoga asana and breath development are the first of these.
Remembering Tantra can mean weaving and technique, the deeper experiences of being body-mind as life, and both understanding experientially the weaving of muscle and bone; breath, emotion and mind; sinew and sensation give us an opportunity for awakening through literal and metaphorical expansion as we work in our asana and breath practices. Tantra as liberation or awakening through expansion is different to the ascetic practices of denial of body and body function, abstention from bodily function and denigrating these functions through belief in purity and impurity. Tantra as technique, is the way teachers outline parameters within which the students as ‘knowers’ then engage with and explore, experiences in their own mind and body as both the process and products of their exploration. Tantra also uses Mantra as a prime tool. Mantra meaning both mind-expansion and mind-protection is a means of both sonic and vibratory practice that can assist us to focus, concentrate upon and free ourselves from our own limited neurological patterns, patterns that are our conditioning. The expansion is into greater recognition of miraculous unified reality and possibility. The protection is from our own mundane small mindedness, our capacity to split our awareness and project our difficulty onto others, our refusal to take personal responsibility and our denial of the total awesomeness of life. Mantra is the use of very specific vibratory patterns to free the limited small-mind into the greater and more expansive awareness of Big-Mind. Traditionally a teacher will empower a mantra and then initiate the student into its use, this personal transmission being considered as highly important in terms of enabling the effectiveness of the vibratory pattern in its appropriateness for that individual. Tantra also uses Yantra as its tool. Yantras are geometric, often colourful, diagrams that represent the sacred geometric movement from the source through the bindu or seed into manifestation. This representation through symmetrical centred patterns using circles, triangles and squares is a map of the movement of Shakti in creation flowing from one-point (bindu) into the first possible enclosure of space the triangle and from there into the wide circles of possibility before manifestation in the square of the earth element.
Different Yantras represent different feminine and masculine energies, many of the various forms of the Yantra are actualisations of very specific energies and are used as powerful tools with which to affect the environmental space of the practitioner. Yantra used as a tool for concentration also deeply affects the inner space of the practitioner as those energies within are engaged by this symbolism, explored and liberated. Tantra Yoga also uses visualisation practices as a means to cultivate awareness and concentration. Visualisations focused on development are therapeutic tools to free the practitioner int greater potential. Visualisations such as some of those of Martsyendranath are highly erotic and serve to initiate the practitioner into awareness and experience of their energetic experience helping to embody and actualise this experience. Of course ultimately all these techniques serve to remind us of our existence as divinity, as super-consciousness playing itself as us, as a means to more deeply experience the unconditional love and awesome wisdom of our true nature . Tantra Yoga uses the focus of one pointed concentrated mind (dharana) to deepen the capacity to pay attention and from here to step beyond limiting conceptual frames into greater freedom of awareness. Tantra Yoga uses massage as a means of connecting to our energetic experience and that of others, as a means of exploring loving relationship, listening, sharing and the giving and receiving of love and pleasure and . Tantra Yoga recognises the eternal dance of all of life, of form and emptiness and uses the practices of spontaneous movement, dance or asana to deeply know this and play in this experience of being and becoming. The dance is also the counterpoint of the linear Yoga asana practice and unfolds the tensions of perceived or felt separation into greater spaciousness, greater expansion and greater love and acceptance. It also allows us to deeply trust the innate wisdom manifesting as body-mind as it unfolds itself in the dance. Experiencing oneself as spaciousness and possibility, knowing one self as empty of mental concept, as empty of separate inherent
existence, the whole of life becomes the play of practice and presence with no outcome and no goal. Sitting in sacred silence, one just sits, there is nothing to be attained that is not already here, sitting merely rests us more and more deeply in this spacious presence. Awakening or enlightenment cannot have a beginning, if it did it would not exist as such, it would be a temporary state like sadness or conditioned joy. Also it cannot have form, it is no-thing so it does not exist as anything with intrinsic nature, it just is. Since ti just is, it is also the ground of nature, the ground of who we are. Awakening or enlightenment is who we are; it is always present. Sometimes experienced through dualistic distortion we know it as suffering and dissatisfaction, as struggling with change, sometimes we know it as boundless joy, love, wisdom and ease. As we practice we experience more and more fully the boundless joy, love, wisdom and ease as we unfold into who we already and always were. Sacred sexuality may also be used as a playfulness and tool to rest in deeper presence, yet like licking honey off the razors edge, such practices can easily drop beings into greater egoic belief in their own power, their own magic, their own strength. It can lead to greater form addiction and bliss addiction rather than recognising from as emptiness and emptiness as form and recognising bliss and struggle as the same illusion. In truth, from a place of ‘realised emptiness’, power, strength and magic are all possible manifestations of love and wisdom and merely flow as functions of the all pervading divinity. They rest exclusively in no-one and belong exclusively to no-one. So as noone we may freely play with licking honey off the razors edge. Tantra Yoga is a means to bring into everyday presence, into the marketplace, into the home, into the whole world the superconscious.
Christopher teaches the various aspects of Tantra Yoga on his retreats, the foundations are asana, breath, free dance, massage and silent sitting.
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