Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Kumbhak

When speaking about mantra with kumbhak, it is important to have some understanding of both outer and inner tantra.   Kumbhak means pot, and in the context of sadhana refers to the retaining of breath whereby the body becomes the pot.  When working with a Vidya, the form of the Devata is the outer tantra, which means that the one doing the sadhana "assumes" that form.   The mantra is the subtle vibration and expression which corresponds to the form.   Mantra is also (or can be) the link/pin between the outer and inner tantra.   This means that mantra can get one's vital elements to resonant in deep accord with the devata.  One may put one's mind in full concentration on a Deity, but if it doesn't "hit home" (i.e. if one's vital experience is completely different), then there will be obstruction.  The inner tantra refers to three main elements which when integrated form the complete expression.  These elements are the vayus, nadis, and bindus.   When the inner and outer tantra is in accord, then there is complete integrity of experience.    There are several ways to bring about this integrity of experience, and each need not be independent of the others.   Deep sincerity is even a path of integration, as one in this state will be very open, this openness in terms of inner tantra, loosens the patterns/holds of the vital elements which allows them to seamlessly integrate.   Just the mantra japa (with outer tantra) may result in inner tantric accord, but one would really needs to have openness and then put the entirety of their Being in line with the mantra/devata.  The more forceful way of developing this integration is performing the mantra with kumbhak.  Before even starting practice with kumbhak, one should have a good amount of experience in the vidya and complete at least one purashcharan.  Mantra when combined with kumbhak gets refined in unique ways, and the vital elements get refined as well.   With the pot breath, the prana is pushed down, while the apana comes up, both meeting/mingling in the navel area.   Ultimately,  the energy should enter the central nadi, but traditions vary on particular processes and kriyas.   The perfection of kumbhak leads to a deeper understanding and interaction with the bindu principle which is the very essence of Being.  Bindu is also the vital principle in conception and forming new life.   Bindu is also great bliss when experienced, and is the gateway to one's enlightened essence and compassion (as essential/vital quality rather than mere sentiment).  While understanding the gross aspects of biology and conception (via seed and egg), bindu is the subtle principle which sparks consciousness and life.   The bindu principle is a whole topic in itself, and is at the heart of several sadhanas which are widely misunderstood (most notably consort sadhanas), but suffice it to say that the mastery of kumbhak is the quickest path in greater understanding of bindu.  One round of mantra on one kumbhak is the beginning level, so one practices to get to this level.  Five rounds on one kumbhak is intermediate level, while ten plus shows some mastery.   While the length of the mantra can differ (and to some extent determine one's immediate capacity), ultimately it is not much of a factor once a deeper understanding is gained.  Proceeding in this more forceful way can be dangerous, so it is advised that one is guided by someone with real experience.   Moreover, when conducting sadhanas which quickly hasten result, one should understand that everything is hastened.  Therefore, latent tendencies, emotions, and even sicknesses may arise.  It is very important that once one starts certain sadhanas that they are seen completely through.  Much of the so-called "testing" that a sadhak may endure before receiving certain works, is about determining one's persistence, as persistence is very important for many practices.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Abhishek

With unitive wisdom, there is great potential to seek and gain inspired company.   This means that once one understands that everything manifests from the primordial ground (i.e. one's own Awareness), the obstruction of doubt is removed which allows one to invoke presence (via presence) without limits.   While settling in Awareness, one needs only to invoke with openness, connect, and then resonate (i.e. find energetic accord with).  This is a great way to receive blessings which further progresses one on the path.   Many, even having been on the path for sometime, still have the subtle feeling that "it" is somehow elsewhere.  The "it" in this case refers to one's own enlightened nature, as well as embodiments of it (either devata, guru, or various saints).   When one overcomes this obstacle of view, then there arises confidence.  To invoke in confidence (and love) holds a power of command and immediacy.  The invocation stemming from perceived weakness or need lacks immediacy and stems from a perceived self (which interferes with openness and connection).  The "beggar" approach seems more humble, but is arrogant, while truly embracing one's nature seems arrogant but is humble.   The understanding of "without limits' means just that, and any element of Awareness that manifests, may do so.  If one wants to understand or seek the company of any Devata then one can do so.  In this case, the principle of openness should be complete, in so far as one does not dictate in any way what that manifestation "should" be like.  Like a double blind experiment, even the views of the "researcher" should effect result.   There does need to arise an intuitive point of connection for the initial invocation (which may require some type of view), but even this should arise in an openness and a willingness to experience (as it is).   Humans have a great legacy of awaken ancestors, and one may connect with various saints (even after they have left this world).   Often times, these adepts who have taken human incarnations are easier to connect with then devatas.  There is even the view  that these beings are greater, since they were willing (or have) experienced this realm.  To have a certain view from a throne is much different than having that same view while in the muck.  From the perspective of non-conceptual Awareness, there is neither time or space, so presence need not be influenced by either.  When one is feeling stuck or stagnant on the path, doing the practice to receive blessings from great beings will remove obstacles and propel one forward.  (In some cases, one may even receive subtle teachings and dikshas.)  If one reads about some deity or saint that inspires, then why be satisfied with just information and words, when one may put their entire being into that presence (i've written about surrender and accord, which is very applicable in these terms as well).   Those beings who have taken as their heart path the intention to see all being liberated are more than happy to receive those of great sincerity.   Like osmosis, if one continually puts their being in line with a Guru or a deity, then without effort, one will begin to take on the same qualities and realizations.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Realized Expression

(From an email)

Question: While nurturing the seeds of realized expression, how does one destroy the seeds of ignorance?


Answer: 
Adesh!

In many ways, to nurture the seeds of realized expression is to destroy the seeds of ignorance.  In the context of the tantric vidya, what it is at heart is the path of accord and resonance.  That accord and resonance is called Guru, Devata, and Mantra, and each is seen in the other or more boldly stated each IS the other.  So when ones own Being is placed into accord, then there is a resonance. In keeping with a musical nature, let us view accord as chord and resonance as vibration.  So within that analogy, if Guru, Devata, and Mantra is a Jazz song, and one completely surrenders into and becomes that Jazz song, then anything which is out of chord (or vibrational resonance) is clearly seen as such.  This is an organic wisdom, and wisdom is the antidote of ignorance.  In Tantra , the wisdom arrises organically precisely because it is a path of energetic accord.  Therefore, there isn't a discrepancy between awareness (wisdom) and energy (resonance).  In most paths, one is asked to perceive or have the perspective to "hear" the jazz song, even though what is constantly playing is a  hard rock song of ignorance.  However, let me turn the diamond is another way, because the path of accord and resonance is so very easy that many find it difficult (or it is so simple that people need a bit of complexity).  The seeds of ignorance all spring from one source, so instead of striking at every branch and leave which arises, is better to see the root.  The root of all ignorance is the notion of "I" or "ahamkara", so to perceive the utter transparency of the "I" is to destroy the seeds of ignorance.  And there is no "how" about it or anything to be done, as awareness can only perceive the arising and the transparency.   But to understand this, while also creating resonance of expression is what i describe as holding the sword of wisdom which both kills and gives life.  Make no mistake though, to understand the easy path of accord and resonance is also to hold that sword, it is the highest art.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Shishya

True discipleship is a rare quality, almost rarer than manifestations of real Guru.  If one wants to see even the largest of spiritual giants melt and become like a child, then ask them about being a shishya.  A true shishya is always a shishya.  Many believe that merely taking diksha makes one a disciple of the path, but this is not so.  Even being a regular student doesn't measure up to the path of discipleship.  A Guru or a path, no matter how widespread or how many people come around, is lucky if there are 1 or 2 real shishyas.  Nowadays, people dismiss the path of the shishya before even truly entering it.   With clever spiritual jargon, they often use their own lack as some kind of merited relativistic defense.  They use the wisdom expressed and born from empowerment of a real shishya to justify their lack of being one.   A shishya is devoted only to Reality and perfectly realizing it.  They have no agenda other than that.  One cannot become a shishya to improve their life or to learn some spiritual skills to later use.   There is no certificates for a shishya, the universe will tremble and devatas will shower you with petals, but nobody else will give a shit (and a shishya doesn't care).  There are many qualities listed in the Tantras for a shishya, but sincerity and persistence are the most reliable.   People often make the mistake of thinking that a persons spiritual experiences, subtle perception and sharpness, knowledge, and even openness make for a great shishya.  While these qualities can be useful, people of a certain acumen that lack more grounded principles tend to be toe dippers who are clever enough to avoid really putting self in jeopardy while creating a narrative (with spiritual concepts) that they are (and that they are special).  A shishya isn't interested in defending a stance of wisdom, but rather constantly humble "their wisdom" by putting it into the fires (and discipleship is a raging fire).   Students of the path have answers for their "spiritual" friends, while a shishya answers to Dharmaraj.   Students can get bored and restless, and look for other spiritual entertainment, while for a shishya everything is the path, it is unescapable.  The moment one truly becomes a Shishya, their fate is sealed, it is only a matter of time.  True discipleship is the path of Ashirwad, Kripa, and Ananda, and it is the path of mingling and merging.  A shishya will always merge, and their last prayer is the sweetest prayer.  Their last prayer has been their constant prayer.   No one who knows it can say it without crying.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Integration

One's whole life should be their spirituality.  The various props, be they atmosphere, semantics, or inner rumination should be meaningless.  Often, when people talk about integration of spirituality with life, they do so by suggesting that one bring props into their activities (i.e. say your deity name/mantra while working,  keep your attention inward etc. ).  However, these instructions can and often do work against integration, because they reinforce a reflective quality.   This reflective quality always contains a dualism and results in a person being self conscious.  When reflectiveness and self consciousness are present, then subtle arrogance and pretentiousness creeps in.   Regardless of if we are talking pure awareness or a Devata, there needs to come a point of deep trust and letting go.   By all means, one should do their sadhana, but then after, just move naturally.  If something truly IS then it need not be affirmed, and if it's not, then no amount of grasping will make it so.  Trust is also about trusting one's motives, if one's motives are pure, then one need not continuously "check" oneself.   Moreover, when motives are pure, then there is a humility that one trusts will inform when something does requires reflection.  To move in true integration with awareness or a devata means that one doesn't even know they are doing it.  The moment its known it looses its innocence and spontaneity.   One can never own it, one can never be integrated and special.   To give up the need to know or possess allows one to be effortless.  When we give all of ourselves in our sadhana, then it is easy to move naturally in life, with joy and humor.  When truly placing one's heart into the uncompromising stream of Reality (and letting it be what it is, not what I want it to be or think it should be), then there is an almost cathartic effect to life after, whereby it is all just play.  Then if aspects of our sadhana do arise in our life, they are no longer props, but mudras or powerful lightening like snapshots in the landscape of time/space.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Aghora Ethics

The stories of Aghora masters are ripe with tales of unconventional,wild and fickle behavior.  Indeed, even the means of puja or blessings given by these masters deviate from the norms.  Many a time, even a swift beating was the delivery system of grace.  However, people of wisdom know that there are different elements in how the world is perceived; namely, how things are and how things appear to be.  Most people not only fall into the latter category of perception, but are not even that well equipped doing that.  Therefore, it is important to understand that the descriptions of various master Aghoris comes from on-lookers, and that these masters did not define themselves into any role.  In fact, these masters were simply in the natural state, which is wholly uncontrived lacking even the stain of piety.  Without the burden of conventional sentimentality born of attachment and identification, these masters were free to strike at the heart of matters (which to an outsider may look crude or aggressive).  Because the natural state in these masters is non-reflective, and because they've attained integrity with their Ishta (usually a fierce manifestation), their behavior may also be a spontaneous expression of that.  Those that simply act the role of a wild eccentric (or have any self consciousness towards appearance) are not true aghora masters.  However, for those not firmly in the natural state of uncontrived awareness, there are still valuable lessons and sadhanas that can be applied from regarding these master's path.  For many, and especially for many in spirituality, there is a tendency to show the "good" and to hide what they consider "dark".  The level of phoniness and pretentiousness reach all time highs where spirituality is concerned.   To take as part of one's path, the reversal of presentation is a profound sadhana especially in a time when people can only see appearances and not substance.  This means that one hides their spiritual attributes while still acting upon them (thereby not getting any "credit" or affirming means of identifying with them).  In terms of external behavior, the sadhana is not a license to act in ways that harm others (as one's ultimate energy of behavior is informed by the inner quality), but rather is unconcerned with how it appears.  If one normally cusses , farts, and jokes, then this behavior isn't modified in "spiritual company" (excepting one's Guru) or as a means to view oneself as more spiritual.  If one naturally is just a glazed eye sort who speak in low spiritual voice all the time, then sabotage yourself.  To move in the noblest intentions while consistently sabotaging oneself is a pure art form.  To move people spiritually while not even in a spiritual context is pure spirituality.