MEDITATION IN THE TANTRA YOGA TRADITION – PART 3
The Transformation of Consciousness
In my previous article (Tone Oct. 2008) I explained the fundamental principles of this meditation tradition.
- The natural rhythm of the breath is used as a primary focus point to develop mindfulness and body/mind harmony.
- The intuitive capacity of the mind is used to create a link between individual consciousness and cosmic consciousness.
- The subtle propensities of the chakras are energized through the use of concentration points and sanskrit mantras which are vibrationally linked to harmonic frequencies within the chakras.
There are several other aspects of the tradition which are worthy of discussion.
The Body: Outer Layer of the Mind
The practice of the Hatha Yoga Asanas (yoga postures) is an integral part of this spiritual tradition because the body is understood to be the outer layer of the mind. Yoga asanas are practiced for a number of reasons:
- To promote physical flexibility and the capacity to sit comfortably in meditation for longer periods of time.
- To promote all-round physical health through proper function of the organs of digestion, elimination, circulation and the nervous system.
- To promote emotional balance and mental ease through balancing of the endocrine system.
- To release blocks in the subtle energy body related to the chakras and allow the flow of subtle kundalini energy through the spiritual energy channels that interconnect the chakras.
Together these effects permit the meditator to experience subtle states of consciousness during meditation. They also help ground and integrate the meditation experience. People sometimes have problems due to spontaneous kundalini arousal (without practicing meditation) and yoga practices can often prevent this type of occurrence.
Union with Cosmic Consciousness
The subtle energy body of the human being consists of chakras (energy vortices) located along the subtle energy channels or kundalini.
When the upper chakras ( Ajina; third eye, Sahasara; thousand petal lotus, or crown chakra) are fully activated the individual mind becomes completely merged into cosmic consciousness . Different religious and spiritual traditions have different words for this state of being but the fundamental experience is common to people of all paths and traditions.
On a day to day basis the sadhaka (meditator or spiritual aspirant) awakens the function of intuition in their lives and they start to receive guidance from their higher self; cosmic consciousness. They become the co-creator of their life and realize that life unfolding around them emerges from their own mental states. Through this connection to higher consciousness they can move into alignment with their higher spiritual purpose. They realize that all of creation is a manifestation of one unitary consciousness; that there is no us versus them, no God versus sinner, but pure beingness under the transitory illusion of separateness.
Role of Diiksa in the Dissemination of Practices
The teaching of these meditation practices is carried out by an ordained teacher or Acharya (literally, one who teaches by example) within the lineage. The particular focus points and mantras are given based on the student’s own unique entitative rhythm.
Most important, however, is that the student receives Diiksa or transmission of (subtle spiritual energy) from Marga Guru Deva (the guiding spiritual entity of the lineage) through the medium of the Acharya. This ensures that the mantra embodies the subtle awakening energy from its originator within the lineage. It also provides a transmission of spiritual energy that activates the latent spiritual potential residing within the root chakra of the individual.
Sometimes this energy transmission is felt immediately and sometimes it unfolds over a period of time. The Acharya is able to impart a series of meditation practices, as the student becomes ready for them. These all assist in the awakening of the kundalini energy and the realization of their higher self.