TANTRA

29628_10151307975358648_1736567933_nThe word Tantra has many definitions, and perhaps its real meaning has been lost to antiquity. Some scholars claim it comes from the Sanskrit or Hindu word for fabric or tapestry, meaning that it is woven into one’s life. Others say that it comes from two Sanskrit words tanoti and trayati. Tanoti means to expand consciousness, and trayati means to liberate consciousness. One might then say that Tantra expands and liberates consciousness, making it the fabric of existence.

The highest possible synthesis between love and meditation, Tantra is also the connection between the third dimension and other planes of existence beyond mere materiality. While not a religious philosophy, Tantra embraces a deep spiritual understanding of life, and an ancient art of living in harmony with existence. It is a poetic science of super sexuality that dates back thousands of years, not only to India and Tibet, but to the Far East, Polynesia, and indigenous cultures of all parts of the world! The North America’s native Cherokee culture even practice a form of Tantra called Quadoshka. It was used as a vehicle to achieve cosmic consciousness and union with Divinity.

Tantra treats sexual energy as a loving friend, rather than something to be suppressed or talked about secretly in low tones. It does not deny sex, or consider sex a hindrance to enlightenment or Heavenly Grace. To the contrary, Tantra is the only spiritual path that says that sex is sacred, and not a sin, or something against God, whether in a marriage or not. Tantrikas are God loving, rather than God-fearing.

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

A Stairway to Heaven

There is a pathway inside you to the highest realms of Consciousness.

Everything is Consciousness.

It is your Destiny to walk this Path.

Destiny has brought you here now to begin this interior journey.

Over the next few days, the Path will be explained and we will begin our Ascension.

May I Be Your Guide

May I Be Your Guide

A Reflection on Alaskan Winter Nights

130126Living in Alaska, the days get very short in winter. Where I had my home, Cordova, we would get down to about four hours of light in the dead of winter. To spend time outside, you would be out a lot in the dark. Both in the long days of summer and the short days of winter, the dimension of time can seem strange. Because it makes no difference during your near hibernation, I would find myself wandering around at three in the morning. Often when it is the coldest, it is also clear. There is very little ambient light, so the stars appear numerous and bright. The air is very still and the cold makes an almost inaudible whining sound.  When it is that cold, the moisture is drawn up out of the snow, and minute crystals frost the snow’s surface. Like tiny prisms, they glaze everything, breaking-up and refracting the starlight.

In the near complete silence, you crunch along through the snow. It is so reflective, if the moon is out, it is almost bright like daylight. To make the magic even more complete, often there will be an Aurora or Northern Lights. Sun particles cast into space by solar flares get trapped in the earths gravitation and are drawn to the magnetic poles to fall through the atmosphere in beautiful ever changing wave-like patterns of  neon-pastels. These colors and their undulating waves dance across the snowscape. Oh the beauty — Alaskan Winter Nights.602872_480094362025713_1849830905_n

KALI-YUGA (Kali Age)

Kali-Yuga, the present dark age of spiritual decline. It is traditionally said to have started with the “death of Krishna in 3002 B.C.E. This idea is fundamental to Tantra, which purports to be a new gospel for the dark age. The word ‘kali,’ often loosely translated as “dark,” derives from the losing throw of the dice, dice playing being a favorite activity of the ancient Indians. — Georg Feuerstein, The Encyclopedia of Yoga and Tantra (1997)182162_467715173241114_1263210934_n

We have reached the apex of this era and the pendulum has just begun to shift into a new extended period of increasing “light.”  Astrologers date the aphelion and beginning of this shift, December 21, 2012.

UNDERSTANDING BEYOND OUR RANGE OF PERCEPTION

Fractal — Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

Fractal — Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

…yoga tradition believes the universe is mirrored in each of us. Nature has a working set of solutions that is used on ever greater or lesser scales for everything, as our recent appreciation of fractals demonstrates. To understand something on a scale within our perceptual range allows us to imagine solutions to questions above or below that range.

Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus        page 8

BLACK ELK’S GREAT VISION (from Black Elk Speaks —by John G. Neihart)

MEDICINE, Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

MEDICINE, Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round beneath me was the hoop of the world.

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw;

for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit,                                                                                                                   and the shape of all shapes as they must live together as one being.

And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops                                                                                                                           that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all of the children of one mother and one father.

And I saw that it was holy.”

Black Elk    1931

DREAM CATCHER, Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

DREAM CATCHER, Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus

EVERYTHING IS CONSCIOUSNESS

MANUAL OF TRANSFORMATION

MANUAL OF TRANSFORMATION

 

Compassion… inspired this book. Anyone can use yoga as a path for personal transformation. As it is now practiced in the West, yoga is mainly a system of physical exercise. While yoga postures are an important element, they are only a small part of the whole science of well being that yoga offers. Even a person paralyzed with spinal cord injuries can experience the physical, mental, and spiritual metamorphosis that is a result of a sincere, complete yoga practice.

Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus   page 1

A YOGA ADVENTURE — What Goes Around, Comes Around

During the summer of 2010, I went on a tour of Northeastern India. The tour was presented by Know India Travel and was titled “Great Indian Religions and Cultures”.  Organized by Kelly McHenry who works as a librarian at Seattle Central College – in love with the country – she had led nine tours previously, mainly so she could share in the enjoyment of the experience.

The itinerary was planned so we explored mosques and temples of all the major religions and visited the Taj Mahal the final day. One thing that added so much depth to the experience was our guide, Dr. Arvind Singh. An expert on Indian religions, history, and culture; when we saw something exotic he could tell us what we were observing.

We flew into New Delhi and visited the beautiful Muslim Red Fort. On we traveled overnight by train to Amritsar, to the heart of Sikhism, the amazing Golden Temple. Then we took a long bus ride into the foothills of the Himalayas, to Dharamsala. This is the residence of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile.

To get there, we bused over winding narrow roads with spectacular views looking over cliffs deep into mountain valleys with the headwaters of the Ganges winding through. At one point we met another bus coming the other way, where some of the road had partly washed out. Our driver backed to the outside edge of the road to let the other bus pass by. Looking out a back window, I could see the very rear of the bus hanging over the precipice with the back tire only a foot from the red clay drop-off, down what looked like miles, into the valley below. The other bus passed and we continued up the mountain, business as usual.

We arrived in Dharamsala just before dusk, and our hotel was right where the road entered town. We had another fabulous meal and went to bed. I’m in the habit of waking at 4:00 in the morning getting up and doing some yoga and meditating. I wake exactly at 4:00 without an alarm. I was surprised, when we arrived in New Delhi near midnight two days before, that next morning – after a 17hour flight and half a world away, I still woke exactly at 4:00 India time.

After my yoga that morning in Dharamsala, being from Seattle, I started to look for a cup of coffee.  I walked out of the hotel and into the dusky predawn morning. I’d only gone a few doors when an old man left one of the houses ahead, waving over his shoulder to an elderly woman in the doorway whom I took to be his wife. Walking a few yards ahead of me, I was intrigued by his wholesome grandfatherly appearance.

Ahead and behind us, as if on cue, persons were leaving other residences and all walking the same direction with us. I soon noticed each person had a string of beads in their hand. After only five blocks, we started to leave town on a well-tended path into the woods. The spirit of the occasion caught me up and I continued along following the old man, who somehow seemed my guide. The dirt path wound through woods that had much the same appearance of mountain terrain in the Pacific Northwest. At intervals, at the side of the path, were rows of prayer wheels that each passerby would give a spin. To our left, between the evergreens, we looked out over deep valleys filled with fog. Some of the walkers were monks and by their dress, what I took to be the female equivalent. Most appeared householders. The trail wasn’t crowded with ten to twenty feet between walkers, but I noticed all seemed to be softy repeating “ Om…Mani, Padme…Hum”.

courtesy Fabi Castro-McLernon

Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama’s Temple Complex

After a long time, I began to wonder if this was a holiday and we were a procession to another village and made a silent plan to find a taxi on our arrival to get back to Dharamsala. After a good hour, we passed below the walls of what appeared a large temple complex, walked around the temple and into a town. I was taking in the strange narrow streets with seemingly crooked multi-story buildings clinging to the steep hillside as I wandered three blocks into town. Ahead I saw two persons who were members of my tour and for the first time realized we’d made a big circle and I was back where I’d started. Later I learned this walking meditation, this circumnavigation, is a ritual many of the local residents perform every day. The temple was Suglag Khang, the place of worship of His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama — Tenzin Gyatso.