One of my favorite tantric practices to date. I was so exhausted today from running around doing work errands and I decided to do a seated practice for a brief 20 minutes—-and then boom! I felt like I slept for 4 hours right after.
Plus I like the idea of the ‘sankalpa’ as a form of manifesting tool aka yogic gnosis for those chaos magick practitioners out there. *wink
I highly recommend this book by Swami Satyananda as it’s probably the most extensively written work on the subject and it’s done in a very pragmatic, down to earth manner.
The book essentially is an introduction to a pragmatized form of the tantric practice of yoga nidra (those heavy hitter tantrics used a lot of mantras and symbolism that might not jive with modern practitioners and modern times). Swami Satyananda was able to distill the essence of the practice without watering it down too much, and explains how it relates to the “ 5 koshas” in yoga . The practice of yoga nidra takes you deep into these 5 koshas or subtle bodies, and allow you to experience these subtle bodies in various stages or levels.
Don’t be threatened by the technichalities, the practice in itself is very simple, and a major part of the book are various guided meditations and techniques to practice yoga nidra. The last part of the book is a narration of the various benefits of yoga nidra, from a medical/scientific perspective.
If you are curious to know more, youtube has various recordings of swami satyananda giving a guided meditation of yoga nidra. I do hope those who are unfamiliar to this practice check it out. The instant benefits are amazing!
You comb the hair of your wary lover.
You comb the ringlets of the world
that are dampened with tears.
You comb through the soul
as if it is all that you’ve ever known.
You comb and comb and show
how this single act of love
can embrace us all.
Every night before you fall asleep, give heartfelt thanks for the wonderful day you just had. Think about the next day, intend that all good is coming to you and everything is going to flow perfectly, etc. Then when you wake in the morning, BEFORE you get out of bed, declare your intentions for the day and give deep thanks as though you have received them all. As you do this, you will begin to create your life deliberately.
‘In the classical psychology of Buddhism, the dawning of insight is said to be a terrifying time. In the place of a relatively secure world view, everything suddenly looks shattered. The catalyst for this is the often sudden realization that the mind’s experience is self-perpetuating. By this I mean that it unfolds all by itself, without anyone behind it. Joseph Goldstein used to repeat the phrase “Empty phenomena rolling on.” to connote this sense of ongoing anonymity. It is a difficult point to get across, until it jumps up and hits you over the head. usually we are so identified with our thoughts, feelings and experiences that it would never occur to us to see things differently. But it is an unmistakable consequence of mindfulness meditation that we start to notice that we are no longer necessary. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, and reactions all arise of their own accord. It is quite possible to notice them without identifying with their content, which is a strange and awesome experience, akin to watching waves pounding against the shore in anticipation of a big storm. They just keep on coming. The original Pali word for a Buddhist monk or renunciant, bhikkhu, means “fear seer,” one who can tolerate his own terror. At the point in meditation where the first glimpse of lack of identity is realized, this terror can become quite pronounced. In Zen Buddhism it is compared to an open-eyed man falling backwards into a well.
One of the things that happens when the powers of perception are sharpened and the mind is quieted is that thoughts can be observed from their inception. Usually we notice ourselves thinking somewhere down the line of a train of associations - we catch ourselves “lost in thought.” But at certain times in meditation we can observe a thought that is just forming, just as it is bursting into consciousness. This is a very strange experience at first, for it immediately begs the question “Who is thinking?” The thoughts appear to come from nowhere, and the tendency to identify oneself as the thinker of those thoughts is loosened. The thoughts just come and go, artifacts of some mysterious process that we ourselves are also a part of.’
- Mark Epstein, Going on Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change.
“On retreat, letting-go can be a practice. It is the slow process of opening like a lens to the radiance at the heart of our real lives, here and now. We are enlightened as we learn to let the light in and let it shine out. This happens as we learn to be with life just as it is, receiving what is always being offered, always waiting to be received.”
Yoni’s bliss| Svadhistana chakra (sacral chakra)
This chakra is associated with love, sexuality, dedication, compassion, intuition, flowing, confidence and family.
Gomukhasana (cow face pose) is a beautiful pose to cultivate this characteristics.
I’m sitting down on the verdant grounds, taking in the sharpness of each blade’s green.
This one is longer than that one, and the differences create shadows that dance as the air moves along the surface of the earth as cooling zephyrs.
The sun is embracing me in its resplendent warmth while the others chat away. Sounds emerge with each movement of their lips, but my eyes are closed, and I’m noticing how the air hits the back of my throat, cooler at each inhale through my nose and warmer at each exhale through my mouth.
My belly expands slowly as I breathe in, and then it contracts as I breathe out. I’m breathing with gusto as I let each and every molecule leave my body to make room for the freshness of the next batch.
My head and back are situated in gravity-defying positions while the rest of my body feel the softness of the dirt as I trace my entire being’s contiguity with the earth and the atmosphere.
My mind focuses on all these aspects of the physical environment while taking note of how present I am.
I have responsibilities and obligations, but my thoughts about them just flow through and pass by. I choose to focus on the here instead.
Each moment is a new opportunity to be mindful of.
Instead of getting detention at
Baltimore’s Robert Coleman
Elementary, you get meditation.
Rather than making a trip to the
principal’s office, students practice
meditation and breathing in the Mindful
Moment Room, a brightly colored ‘oasis
of calm’, and it’s working. Since starting
the program in 2014, the school hasn’t
issued a single suspension. SourceSource 2