Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Mystical Experience: Sakipata
"My own experience of śaktipāta occurred at the age of 16 through meeting a powerful and loving meditation master. It was not the product of wishful thinking, because I didn't even want to be there, at least on the level of the conscious mind. My mother had persuaded me to take a two-day meditation retreat and I had acceded because I wanted the reward she was offering me; I had neither expectation nor hope that anything particularly magical would happen. And indeed, the whole thing was fairly boring, though in the final meditation of the weekend, I did make a grudging effort to be fully present in the warm, dark stillness of the meditation room. It was nice, but nothing special, until I opened my eyes and walked outside. I was astonished to discover that the whole world had apparently changed. Everything was more vivid and real, and almost sparkling. Not only that, I was feeling an incredible energy in my heart, and it was flowing palpably between my heart and the hearts of everyone else I could see. I call it "energy" for lack of a better word; it was a tangible power or force, not a passive feeling, and it had the nature of exquisitely pure love. It was connecting the hearts of all the people around me, coursing freely in a kind of web or grid of power, entirely independent of whether the people liked each other or not. Then I noticed it was really everywhere; the very air around me seemed thick with it; it was undoubtedly the most "real" thing in reality, though not perceptible with any of the five senses! It was astonishing, and I was never the same, now that I knew this power, this love beyond anything I had ever imagined, was a real possibility in human life."
- Christopher D. Wallis, Tantra Illuminated, 2012, p.323
Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition By Christopher D. Wallis, M.A. Illustrations by Ekabhumi Ellik. Woodlands, Texas, Anusara Press, 2012. Index, endnotes, bibliography, three appendices, 506 pages. ISBN: 978-1937104016. VSCL. In 2012, the author was a Ph.D. candidate in Sanskrit at the University of California, Berkeley. This book takes as its exemplar and focal point the lineages of nondual Śaiva Tantra most clearly typified by the Kaula Trika lineage. Written for the educated lay reader. The author shares his personal life, his spiritual life, his practices, his yoga, within this tradition of Tantra.
Tantra: Path of Ecstasy By Georg Feuerstein (1947-2012), Ph.D. Boston, Shambhala, 1998. Index, bibliography, notes, 314 pages. ISBN: 157062304X. VSCL. An excellent introduction to Tantra, and a great starting point for readers. I own, and have read and reread in the last ten years nearly all of the books by Dr. Georg Feuerstein. If my understanding is correct, Dr. Feuerstein personally followed the path of Vajrayana Buddhism, a Tibetan Buddhist tradition, a lineage of Tantric Buddhism.
"Tantra's body-positive approach is the direct outcome of its integrative metaphysics according to which this world is not mere illusion but a manifestation of the supreme Reality. If the world is real, the body must be real as well. If the world is in essence divine, so must be the body. If we must honor the world as a creation or an aspect of the divine Power (shakti), we must likewise honor the body. The body is a piece of the world and, as we shall see, the world is a piece of the body. Or, rather, when we truly understand the body, we discover that it is the world, which in essence is divine."
- Georg Feuerstein, Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy, p. 53
Somaesthetic Practices and Theory
Tantra: Bibliography, Quotations, Links, Resources
Nature and Spirituality