Ma Ananda Sarita: Living a Tantric Lifestyle
At the end of a Tantra group, people often ask; “how can I bring this amazing discovery into my daily life?” I remind them that they have practised many wonderful techniques of meditation, they have met many beautiful loving people, they have challenged themselves to open to into new and hitherto unknown aspects of themselves, and they have had a lot of fun in the process. The short answer is; continue practising the methods; get together with other people who are into it and enjoy the Tantra spirit together. This keeps the river of Tantra alive.
And what of those people who have not been to a Tantra group, but would like to experience it? Or people who need a bit more detailed explanation? Or those who believe Tantra is only about sex and never realized it can be applied to all aspects of daily life? This article is for you!
The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
There is a Tantra scripture, which is at least 5000 years old called the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, (meaning methods for raising consciousness) which describes 112 meditations. These are offered in the form of a conversation between Lord Shiva and his consort, Paravati. She asks:
“Oh Shiva, What is your reality? What is this wonder-filled Universe? What constitutes seed? Who centres the universal wheel? What is this life beyond form pervading forms? How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions? Let my doubts be cleared!”
Shiva answers in the form of sutras, which are short, condensed spiritual teachings, covering each and every facet of human experience. When we immerse ourselves in these sutras by practising them as meditations, we learn that each aspect of the human being can become a door into expanded consciousness.When reading the sutras listed below, it is good to keep in mind that these are just 10, (out of 112.) So this list is to offer a taste of the wide scope of the Tantra experience and how this can be applied to daily life.
FOOD: “When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or drink, and be filled.”
HEARING: “When listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound, thus omnipresence.”
ATTACHMENT and DETACHMENT: “The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness; he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.”
SEXUALITY: “When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking.”
DEATH: “Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.”
TRANSCENDING FEAR: “In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.”
COSMIC JOKE: “This so-called universe appears as a juggling, a picture show. To be happy, look upon it so.”
AWE: “See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object.”
MEDITATION IN THE MARKETPLACE: “When in worldly activity, keep attention between two breaths, and so practicing, in a few days be born anew.”
AWARENESS IN EXTREME LIFE EXPERIENCES: “At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.”
We learn, that in fact, mystical states of consciousness are no further away than our own nose. It is not what you do, but how you are when you are doing it that makes all the difference.
Cleaning as a Meditation
For example, when I was living in the community of my spiritual master, Osho, I was given the job of cleaning his house. Each morning, I began work at 5:30am and would complete the day’s work in the evening. This work became my meditation. I wanted to learn, how to become pure presence without any trace of ego, how to enter in a room and for that room to feel clean just by my presence. As I cleaned, I focused on the act of cleaning as a way to clear my inner being of any dirt, to become a sky with no clouds, to become pure crystalline awareness merged with a heart full of devotion and love. I continued this work for eight years and to this day, I am full of gratitude for this experience. The transformation, which happened to me by doing cleaning as a meditation practice, could fill a whole book. Suffice it to say, the art of cleaning has given me the gift of being able to offer holistic healing, psychic opening, Tantra and meditation to countless people from all walks of life. The gifts I received through this work, form the foundation of all that do.
Love in Action
This same principle can be applied to any type of work, and likewise to any emotional state, to any sensory experience, and to any mental or psychological aspect of who we are.
In a nutshell, the master key of Tantra is; bring a loving awareness to any life experience and it will be revealed in it’s refined aspect. The refined aspect of each life experience is divine.
The Meditating Thief
There is a beautiful story of a thief, which highlights this. The thief came to a Zen master and said he wanted to learn Zen, but he wanted to make it clear that he did not want to give up his profession. The master said, “No problem. You can continue practising your profession as before, but with only one condition; you need to remain in full meditative awareness while doing so.”
The thief was initiated into the practice of meditation and once he became proficient, he began applying it to his working life. The first time he tried to steal in the state of awareness, he became very perplexed. He was aware not only of his mastery as a thief, but also of the people he was stealing from. He started feeling their pain, their shock, and their difficulty stemming from his act of stealing. He found he was not able to go through with the job.
The thief went back to the Zen Master, very upset, and said, “you tricked me! Now my whole profession is destroyed! How will I support my family now? I want to give back this awareness, because in the light of awareness, stealing is not possible!” The Zen master laughed, and said, “there is no going back. Once awareness has entered your life, change is bound to happen. Morality is needed only for unconscious people. When there is consciousness, morality is no longer needed.”
The Microcosm Mirrors the Macrocosm
It is perhaps for this reason, that Tantra adepts have no moral code of ethics, no judgements about higher and lower, no concept of sin or purity. The microcosm is considered to be a mirror of the macrocosm. Therefore, everything is divine. If we are not able to experience this divinity, it is simply because we have dust in our eyes, or are hard of hearing, or have lost our sense of feeling. As we learn to become more aware and more sensitive, simultaneously our luminous and divine nature is revealed.
Making love, in this sense, has as much value as being transfixed by a radiant sunrise, or singing hymns in praise of the creator. In fact, making love as a meditation, is to discover that we are co-creators with existence, in the same way the birds, bees and butterflies are. It is a most holy act, deserving of our deepest reverence.
Eternity Lives in Present Moment Awareness
When we do anything with totality, it brings us into the present moment. To be in the present moment is to be in eternity. Time is always in association with the past and future. When we are in the present, time ceases to exist. We touch heaven on earth. The meditations from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra offer us the possibility to dive into present moment awareness. I call this, ‘tasting the nectar of the meditation’. It may be necessary to practice a certain meditation several times or even for months, in order to discover the nectar hidden within it. Once this has happened, you will remain open to this particular life principle. By practising these methods, people open up and transform their life very rapidly.
Tantra, a Living Transmission
Tantra has traditionally been taught as a direct transmission from teacher to student or from master to disciple. The one who is a living embodiment of the Tantra experience is able to create an atmosphere where a student will best be able to absorb the nectar of a particular method. By diving in and having an experience or multiple experiences of a meditation method, the divine consciousness of the student is awakened.
I have been living the Tantra experience for the past 38 years. It brings me great joy to pass it on to others. I am spreading the good news that following your bliss and breathing in tune with the whole creation is your birthright, and not only that, it is easy to reconnect with this true essence of who you are. And for this to happen, all it takes is to allow yourself to begin the practice of Tantra methods, the merging of love and witnessing being the key to unlock each and every method.
Why Do We Need Methods?
Tantra meditations have been developed over thousands of years by very compassionate and wise masters, to support us in living our bliss. They have studied humanity with a laser sharp awareness, and have found what makes us click, where our weaknesses are, and how to overcome these weaknesses. Each Tantra method, will unlock one or more aspects of who we are, giving us a window to see and experience our divine origin. Through the practice of the methods, we can at last, throw open all the doors and windows of our being, thus discovering wholeness.
Ma Ananda Sarita: www.tantra-essence.com