Monday 21 March 2011


Last night was the Spring Equinox, the equal balance of day and night. We did a short fire ritual at sunset as the very full moon rose with the havan kund, the inverted copper pyramid with a fire of cow dung, ghee and small sticks.
We chanted 108 times the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra; Om, Tryambhakam Yajamahe, Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva  Bandhanan  Mrityor  Mukshiya  Maamritat, Swaha! and with each "Swaha"  offered some rice to the flames. A precise translation is;  Om. The three-eyed one / we worship. The fragrant / sustainer of this world. Like a cucumber / from its stem. From death / liberate / not from immortality.

In this mantra, Shiva is addressed as the three-eyed one. The deeper meaning of the term “Shiva”, that which is auspicious and benevolent. Shiva is not merely a specific deity among other deities, but is Absolute Consciousness or Godhead. The third eye is the eye of wisdom, which stands for spiritual vision and knowledge beyond the duality of past and future, knower and knowledge, subject and object. The third eye is not only associated with spiritual realization and meditative vision, but also stands for Shiva’s power to destroy evil. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is known to destroy evil with a mere glance from this third eye, especially when his righteous anger is aroused.

We didn't do another chant to Shakti as if to balance things up. Western tantra seems to have made Shiva and Shakti into a modern egalitarian couple (traditionally it was more likely to be Shiva and Parvarti). There is no easy equal symmetry here. At the deepest level Shiva and Shakti are One - like the wave and the ocean or water and wetness. Above that Shiva is absolute consciousness and therefore the base on which the whole world is created through Shakti. Enjoy Spring and the blossoming of all that is created, grown, and reborn.

Sunday 6 March 2011

What it is All About!

There is only emptiness – vast spaciousness like the infinite blue sky or like the deepest silence beyond all sound.

There is no “me” – all I perceive is not me; thoughts, feelings, sensations, images which are apparently inside me; and  phenomena, things, apparently in a place called the world which "I" observe. In reality, on my shoulders is just a blazing empty space; not separate from the vast spaciousness of all.

There is no "I" or "me" to be healed,  improved, or become enlightened. Enlightenment is not an experience – it is the demolition of all concepts; all that we think we are.  There is no path to truth – it just is; here and now.

Resting easily in the natural state, emptiness arises readily and is luminously clear. There is no perceiver of this emptiness. Not being separate from this empty, loose and natural space allows the experience of the inseparability of emptiness and the phenomena that arise in the emptiness; thoughts, feelings, insights, perceptions, experiences. All experiences and phenomena are empty and are not different to, or separate from emptiness they are like two sides of a coin. This emptiness is not an absence but a fullness, a spaciousness that contains all. The world is not an illusion; it is the viewer who is the illusion.

The tantric formulation of this is that everything is Shiva; universal consciousness. If we don’t have this as the root realisation then we either embark on a futile game of self-improvement;  trying to  become more spiritual or more whole; or we chase phenomena such as more powerful experiences, bigger orgasms, greater realisations.  All experiences and phenomena are empty and the experiencer, being not distinct from this spacious emptiness is also empty. Phenomena of all sorts are the manifestation of Shakti - the dynamic, creative power of the universe. Therefore if we only see and worship Shakti then we are tying ourselves into the manifest world. If we are rooted in the realisation that everything is consciousness (“I am Shiva”) then we can experience Oneness; the inseparability of form and emptiness, energy and consciousness Shakti and Shiva beyond all dualities. This is true advaita tantra. 

Deeply realising this either as a gradual dawning or as a sudden awakening puts much of what happens in tantra workshops into a different perspective.