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MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note:My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
BACK TO DO-IT-YOURSELF TANTRA TRANSCENDENCE
Update 09 02 07
Note: My maya-gaia website, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Links to Tantra, Dao, Kundalini Sexual Yoga and Neo Tantra
No metaphysical topic has a more complex and ambiguous epistemolgy, ontology or practice than that of Hindu and Buddhist Tantra and Chinese Daoist sexual mysticism as it evolved through its historic origins in the East to its translation, extrapolation and transformation into New Age paradigms in the West. For a perspective on how exquisitely convoluted a practice can become- see The Quest for Spiritual Orgasm- Daoist and Tantric Sexual Cultivation in the West by Michael Winn. A penetrating excursion into the explosive alchemey created as mystical/sexual concepts from the East were freely adapted to fuel the spiritual/hedonist passion of a generation of young Americans. Winn describes his first-hand experience to "test" practices and discern differences in Tantric and Daoist schools- emphasizing Fire or Water and Fire respectively- in travels to India and China and reveals intimate details about his subtle-body evolution and close relationship after the late '70s with the Neo Dao and Neo Tantric guru community in America.
I am convinced that Kundalini is essentially a highly convoluted praxis to induce a shaman-like, self-hypnotic state (why siddhis are prominent) and that whatever self-mediated altered state is incidentally attained has at least a psychic commonality with states elicited from other introvertive meditative practices. Further- that supreme samadhi is not a resultant of any introvertive method such as raja or jnana yoga but (perhaps in correspondence with desirelessness manifesting as may occur in bhakti yoga) is transcendentally graced. more
The Tantric Tradition by Agehananda Bharati- Fictitious Tibet: The Origin and Persistence of Rampaism by Agehananda Bharati; Tibet Society Bulletin; A perspective on the Orientilist distortion by western popularization of Tantra. "Let me first of all stake my claim and explain some terms in the title: an apparently unexterminable tradition of sheer fiction taken as holy fact originated in Europe and America slightly before the turn of the century - the brainchild of some fertile writers and orators, a number of core tales about inaccessible Tibetan and Himalayan mystics took shape in contrivedly esoteric writings which gained steady momentum until its culmination in Lama Lobsang Rampa's, alias Mr. Hoskins', fantastically fraudulent output beginning with The Third Eye and its sequels. I call this whole phony tradition "Rampaism" after its phony consummator, Rampa-Hoskins, and his all-too-numerous followers in North America and Europe."
Shiva Shakti Mandalam- The inner wisdom of the hindu tantrik tradition:
On this large Web site you will find yantra, mantra, tantra and other material relating to some of the different traditions; texts on the siddhas, gurus and yogis of the Natha sampradaya including Gorakhnath, Matsyendranath and Dattatreya; much about kundalini, nadis, chakras; images of tantric kula devas (gods) and devis (goddesses) including Kali, Tripura, Shiva, Ganesha, Cchinnamasta, Durga and Tara; pujas and practices; meditations and dharanas; the inner meaning of kaulachara, vamachara and svecchacharya; an extensive bibliography, and original English translations as well as links to other sites.
Tantric Yab-yum icon portraying Shiva/Shakti union.
A encyclopedic resource for Hinduism, Vedanta, Tantra: Maya, according to Tantra, veils Reality and polarises it into what is conscious and what is unconscious, what is existent and what is non-existent, what is pleasant and what is unpleasant. Through polarisation, the infinite becomes finite, the undifferentiated differentiated, the immeasurable measured. For the same reason, non-dual reality becomes evolved- and this becoming is real and not merely apparent as in Vedanta- into a multiplicity of correlated ‘centres’ or entities of diverse nature, acting and reacting upon one another in various ways.
Sex and Spirituality -WIE magazine on What Is the Relationship? Is sex an essential part of the spiritual path or is it an empty promise that distracts us from realizing our full human potential? Interviews with Margot Anand, Barry Long, Miranda Shaw, Father Thomas Keating, Bhante Henepola Gunaratana and Swami Chidananda.
WIE Sex and Enlightenment Bill and Susan Eilers interview with Swami Chidananda-The Divine Life Society, on the relationship of celibacy (brahmacharya) and spirituality and his view on attaining non-dual consciousness through Tantra's left-hand path of sexual union.
"They say this is a possibility when it is done to its perfection. The two cease to be and there is only one, nondual experience, Absolute, brahmic-consciousness. So they say that the human body is an instrument that, if properly made use of, can bring about a rising above body consciousness. For one in a million it may click."
He then recounts a remarkable episode in the life of a celibate guru who attained Simadhi via a vicariously experienced sexual ecstasy of a couple practicing maithuna in a Tantric panchamakara ritual.
"There is an episode in the life of the great Sri Ramakrishna, the guru of Swami Vivekananda. He practiced all the yogic paths as well as Christianity, Islam and others, and he discovered that they all led to the same ultimate God-experience. And during one period of his spiritual life he practiced tantra also. A woman tantric approached him and said, "I have been sent here by God to initiate you into the tantric way of attaining God." Day after day she expounded the tantric way. But when it came to the final stage, Sri Ramakrishna, who swore by brahmacharya, replied that through this body it is impossible. So she said, "Then I'll have the whole thing enacted before you." So she got a tantric male and a tantric female to enact the ultimate consummation of the practice before him. As he was observing it stage by stage she went on describing it to him: "Observe carefully. Now you see how they are in ecstasy; they are ecstatic. They are losing their own consciousness." And at that stage, suddenly Ramakrishna lost all consciousness. He went into deep samadhi [a blissful state of nondual consciousness]. So he vicariously proved to himself that ultimate sexual experience can lift one up into that state beyond all duality."
See another example of vicarious sex psychically communicated between two marine mollusks.
Yab-Yum Buddhist Tantra Icon.
Tantra This is the Epilogue to the book Tantra - The Path of Ecstasy by Georg Feuerstein; Shambhala 1998 - Tantra has produced thousands of adepts and many more thousands of scriptures in various languages. Our knowledge of the literature of Tantra is quite fragmentary, not to mention tantric practice and experience. What little understanding we have acquired, however, thanks to the labors of a small number of dedicated scholars, is sufficient to appreciate the enormous significance of the Tantric heritage within the world’s spiritual traditions.
The Myths, Challenges, and Rewards of Tantra Forum: by Lion's Roar staff - A forum on Tantra with Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Anne Carolyn Klein, and Larry Mermelstein, with an introduction by Reggie Ray. (A reprint from Buddhadharma, Fall, 2010) When tantra touched down in America half a century ago, Westerners tended to view it as an exotic brand of Buddhism built on impenetrable esoteric doctrines. Western writing still often portrays the tradition inaccurately, perpetuating myths and misunderstandings. Buddhist tantra, or Vajrayana (“the indestructible vehicle”), is one of the three major forms of Buddhism, along with the Theravada and the Mahayana, to have developed in India. While the Theravada spread south through much of Southeast Asia, the Mahayana and Vajrayana traveled north to Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan. As a result of the Tibetan diaspora and lamas’ open-handedness in teaching, there are now many Western Tibetan Buddhists who practice Vajrayana.
New Tantra WIE interview of Margot Anand by Susan Bridle. Her books, The Art of Sexual Ecstasy and The Art of Sexual Magic, which together have sold over 200,000 copies, present one of the clearest, most methodical approaches to contemporary tantra in print today. She has developed a unique system of sexual practices that she calls "SkyDancing Tantra," which combines elements from Tibetan Buddhist, Taoist and Hindu tantric teachings with humanistic and transpersonal psychology.
In My Own Way by Alan Watts. With this new edition of his acclaimed autobiography, this excerpt is a great, often hilarious, example of many anecdotes where the laid-back Watts gently tweaks enlightenment pretensions of some celebrity gurus. This account involves Swami Prabhavananda (a proponent of asceticism and sexual abstenence) who had emerged from the Hindu diaspora in the 1950s and was installed as the main guru of the California Vedanta Society. The exchange can be traced back to a passing remark Watts had made in the course of a lecture, that there was some analogy between the ecstasy of Samadhi, or mystical experience, and sexual orgasm.
Tantra Kundalini In human beings, Shakti, the feminine aspect is called Kundalini. This potential energy is said to rest at the base of the spinal cord. The object of the Tantric practice of Kundalini-yoga is to awaken this cosmic energy and make it ascend through the psychic centres, the chakras, that lie along the axis of the spine as consciousness potentials. She will then unite above the crown of the head with Shiva the pure consciousness. (Nice dynamic pictorial of kundalini path through chakras). Kundalini Caution!
Marijuana and Sex: A Classic Combination by Terry Necco (01 Sept, 1998) An in-depth look on why ancient tantrists and modern researchers agree: pot and sex are two great things that go together. Marijuana has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years, yet ironically it has also been used to decrease sexual desire. Ancient sacred texts reveal how to use marijuana to increase sexual pleasure, but modern research teaches an equally important lesson: marijuana's effects are determined by the personality, physiology, intention, ennvironment, and culture of the user.
Psychoactive Plants in Tantric Buddhism R.C.Parker, 2008. A comprehensive discussion of references to the use of entheogens in Indo-Tibetan esoteric buddhism texts. See also by the same author Entheogens in the Vajrayana Tradition.
Love Versus Fear- The Uniqueness of the Orthodox Message By Avgerinos: "The last three issues of The Censer carried an article of unusual brilliance and perception. Father Jonah Mourtos, who is in charge of St. John's parish in Taiwan, shared with us his experiences and views on Chinese and Eastern society and religion after spending about two years in Taiwan. His article "Aspects of Fear in an Asian Context" (the Feeling of Fear in Chinese Society)- some relevant observations about Buddhist Tantra, demons, etc.
Cannabis and Religion in India- A comprehensive bibliography of scholarly works which can be Goggled for online reference.
Published in Oslo, Norway but citations in English.
Is Vamachara Tantra Dharmic? A presentation of comments excerpted from an extensive thread on the topic in the Hindu Dharma Forum. The major participants of this forum- both pro and exponents- appear to have a rare, scholarly grasp of Vedic and arcane tradition of Vamacara, Kaula-mata and Lakshmi Tantra so I've simply compiled excerpts from the extensive thread that highlight intricate aspects of the discussion which also provides an intimate insight to the mindsets of contemporary native, Hindu religious attitudes.
Evocation of Kali during Vamacara Tantra yoga.
Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas by Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch, and Surendra Bahadur Shahi; translated by Annabel Lee. Inner Traditions, 2002. An in-depth examination of the role of psychoactive plants in the religious and shamanic practices of the region. A review by Timothy White: "Many readers initially may not notice the undercurrent of iconoclastic criticism that flows through many parts of the book, but the adversarial views of the authors are stated explicitly in the preface. There, in rapid succession, the authors chastise political authorities who persecute users of psychoactives, they denigrate the superficiality of journalists who sensationalize shamanism, they ridicule misguided Westerners who have subverted the meaning of tantra, and they challenge academics who indulge in excessive theoretical analysis."
Kaula Tantra This is Sir John Woodroffe's (Arthur Avalon) introduction to a Sanskrit edition of the Kaulavalinirnaya in Sanskrit - it covers many topics relating to the Kaula tradition of tantra... As has been said elsewhere Tantra Shastra seeks to lead the man to Liberation (Moksha) whilst on the path of Enjoyment (Pravritti). The names of the early Gurus of the Kaula school are given here. It speaks of the necessity of the Sadhaka of having the assistance of his wife or Shakti; for the Sadhaka is Hara and his Shakti is Mahadevi. At verses 110 and 111, it is said, that either wine or Vijaya, that is hemp, should be used in this worship, but these should be purified.
Kaula An excellent overview from Absolute Astronomy. Kaula practices are based on tantra- one of any several esotericism traditions rooted in the religions of India....closely related to shaktism. Kaula sects are noted for their extreme exponents who recommend the flouting of taboos and social mores as a means of liberation. Such practices were often later toned down to appeal to ordinary householders, as in Kashmiri Saivism.
Shakti Tantra For perspective- this site offers a forum for a worldwide participation by those practicing Shaktism- a broader discipline in honoring Devi which does not incorporate many of the "suspect" aspects of Vamachara. One of the primary purposes of this Group is to counterbalance the distorted perception by providing accurate, detailed and truthful information about Shaktism. In Shaktism also, the basic concept is merger with the absolute even while living in the world, without renunciation. In fact it is said this is the ONLY path that offers both Bhukti (worldly happiness) and Mukti (spiritual liberation). Forum is a frank discourse between people who truly love Devi, and have chosen to approach the Ultimate Divine through Her myriad
forms- revealing intimate perspectives on the practice.
Vamachara or Vamacara Tantra is part of a broad evolutionary process in consciousness, which is moving toward an integration with the Natural World, the physical body and the many sexual expressions of human behavior. All of Nature is then perceived as a sacred manifestation of the Divine, where there is no separation between Spirit and Nature, Mind and Body. So consequently there isn't any great effort to go beyond or transcend Nature. Rather, the effort is to put one's self in accord with Nature and the physical body, and to express one's own creative potential more fully.
Kashmir Tantrism by Justice Shiva Nath Katju -
Here I shortly deal with the significance of the Tantra Shastra which is of course also misunderstood, being generally spoken of as a jumble of "black magic," and "erotic mysticism," cemented together by a ritual which is "meaningless mummery". Further this last is only known through the abuses to which its dangerous practices, as carried out by inferior persons have given rise. It is stated in the Shastra itself in which they are prescribed that the path is full of difficulty and peril and he who fails upon it goes to hell. It is the use of the five makars Panchamakara or 5 Ms by the shakta sadhaks which has been subjected to criticism since long as has been mentioned by Sir John Woodroffe. "0 Consort of Shiva ! in this strong Kaliyuga which has an enervating effect, for the remaining fifth tatwa viz 'maithuna', only the lawfully wedded wife should be made the participant as she alone is free from all blemishes." [ Mahanirvana Tantra Chap. VI- 14 ] "But Shakti worship with another woman who is not the wife - a parkiya -is [sic] Fraucht with great dangers which may unhinge the practioner's mind or may even prove fatal. Sex union with his shakti assumes the shape of cosmic union that takes place when the Kundalini rising from her seat in the base of the spine, the four petalled Muladhar Chakra, goes up piercing the upper Chakras viz Swadhishthan Manipur, Anahat, Visshudba, and Agya and meets her Lord in the uppermost thousand-petalled chakra, the Sahsrar. The union of the two symbolises the setting into motion the creative process in the universe. The shastra is full of praise for Kaulas...such exalted sadhaks are few."
Indecent Practices and Erotic Trance- Making sense of Tantra by John Ryan. A descent into the occult depths of Tantra kundalini with perspectives drawn from the mystic Evola, the muslim Rumi, Carl Jung, alchemy, etc. with revelations regarding transgressive aspects and practices. Haule is a Jungian analyst, writer and lecturer.
Tantra and Kundalini Origins, Evolution and Neo-Tantra Derivatives
Here Presented as a Hermeneutic Cloud of Dharma
Update 01 20 10:
I maintain my skepticism that Kundalini employs a contrived scenario that through its self hypnotic praxis may yet attain a shaman-like state of consciousness. Here, as with both introvertive or extrovertive states emanating from other forms of yoga and dhyana, the experiencer may - arrive at a state of desirelessness that- by grace- may rupture out into supreme samadhi. As with all forms, the method will be attributed the cause for the effect.
Tantra: a religious philosophy according to which Shakti is usually the main deity worshipped, and the universe is regarded as the divine play of Shakti and Shiva. The word Tantra also applies to any of the scriptures (called "Tantras") commonly identified with the worship of Shakti. Rather than a single coherent system, Tantra is an accumulation of practices and ideas which is characterized by the use of ritual, by the use of the mundane to access the supra-mundane, and by the identification of the microcosm with the macrocosm. The Tantric tradition may be considered as either parallel to, or intertwined with, the Vedic tradition. The primary sources of written Tantric lore are the agama, which generally consist of four parts, delineating metaphysical knowledge (jnana), contemplative procedures (yoga), ritual regulations (kriya), and ethical and religious injunctions (charya). Schools and lineages affiliate themselves with specific agamic traditions. Andra Padoux notes that in India, tantrism is marked by a rejection of orthodox Vedic tenets. In fact, Tantra affirms that both the world-process itself, and the individual jiva, are themselves Real. In this respect, Tantra distinguishes itself both from pure dualism and from the qualified non-dualism of Vedanta. more
Introduction Kundalini Upanishads - The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is the eighty-sixth among the 108 Upanishads. It forms part of the Krishna Yajurveda. It deals with an exposition of Hatha and Lambika Yogas. It concludes with an account of the non-qualified Brahman. The Non-dual Brahman is the quest of all seekers. Kundalini Yoga actually belongs to Tantrik Sadhana, which gives a detailed description about this serpent-power and the Chakras, as mentioned above. Mother Divine, the active aspect of the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, resides in the body of men and women in the form of Kundalini, and the entire Tantrik Sadhana aims at awakening Her, and making Her to unite with the Lord, Sadasiva, in the Sahasrara, as described in the beginning in detail. Methods adopted to achieve this end in Tantrik Sadhana are Japa of the name of the Mother, prayer and various rituals. more
Kundalini Yoga by Sri Swami Sivananda - A Divine Life Society Publication
Hatha Yoga also builds up its philosophy around this Kundalini and the methods adopted in it are different from Tantrik Sadhana. Hatha Yoga seeks to awaken this Kundalini through the discipline of the physical body, purification of Nadis and controlling the Prana. more
According to the Nalanda Tradition of India-Tibet-China, there are fifteen major Tantric Sandhanas in Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet and East Asia: more
Unlike Theravada Buddhism in which the practitioner is expected to take many lifetimes before reaching nirvana, VajrayÄna and Mahayana Buddhism teach that one can attain full Buddhahood much quicker -- sometimes in a single lifetime.
Vajrayanists feel that the best way to achieve the goal of overcoming desire, and to work towards enlightenment, may be to experience desire "... fully and thereby drain it of every mystery." One technique involves Tantric sex. This includes sexual intercourse with the goal of spiritual growth rather than sexual pleasure. more
Vajrayana metaphysics is, like Indian Tantra, a hybrid affair: a coming together of Indian Tantrism, Mahayana Buddhism, and the original aboriginal shamanism - the Bon tradition - of Tibet itself. Like the Nathas, Shaktas, and Shaivites, the Vajrayanists postulated a subtle or iconographic body, made up of chakras, nadis, and subtle winds (vayu). And like their Indian counterparts they worked on manipulating the forces of this subtle body through yoga in order to attain spiritual enlightenment. But Vajrayana tantra diverged very early from Indian tantra. Instead of the later seven-chakra model, they retain an earlier four chak-ra schema of navel, heart, throat, and head centres. Starting from this four-chakra foundation, the Vajrayanists - like the Indian tantics - built up a very elaborate system of correspondences.
There are a number of other important differences to Indian (Shakta) Tantra as well. In Indian tantra one starts form the base chakra and progresses up. In Tibetan tantra one starts from the head, which is the "lowest" level of consciousness (body, waking consciousness, wrathful deities), and progresses down to the heart, which is the highest level of consciousness. With Indian Tantra the kundalini is awakened through specific breathing practices and yoga-postures. The prana or vital-force of the subtle body is thus manipulated through the breath and the physical body; through an extension of Hatha yoga which, the reader will recall, was associated from the beginning with Indian Tantra. In contrast, Vajrayana practice involves manipulating the vital force through the mind and concentration. Through intense visualisation of deities and so on, one activates the inner "winds" (= prana = ch'i) and "drops". more
Kundalini, therefore, is the energy that when accumulated and directed can become tummo. The two are essentially similar in nature but applied in somewhat different ways in the Hindu Kundalini Yoga practice and the Vajrayana Buddhist tummo practices, such as the Six Yogas of Naropa. more
Bön; Lhasa dialect IPA: is the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet. Often described as the shamanistic and animistic tradition of the Himalayas prior to Buddhism's rise to prominence in the 7th century. more
Kundalini yoga in the Natha Sampradaya and Vajrayana in Tibetan Buddhism both take their origin from the Mahasiddhas who were active in India from the 8th century to the 12th century. Kundalini yoga practices formed the core of the teachings of a number of these Mahasiddhas and are strongly represented in both Tibetan Buddhist practices and contemporary kundalini yoga practices. Kundalini yoga was spoken of as ``Candali yoga'' by these Mahasiddhas and became known as gTummo rnal 'byor in Tibet. Kundalini Yogas FAQ. more
History And Schools of Tantra, in Hinduism and Buddhism - While Hinduism is typically viewed as being Vedic, the Tantras are not considered part of the orthodox Hindu/Vedic scriptures. They are said to run alongside each other, The Vedas of orthodox Hinduism on one side and the Agamas of Tantra on the other. However, the practices, mantras and ideas of the Atharva Veda are markedly different from those of the prior three and show signs of powerful non-Aryan influence. Indeed, the Atharva Veda is cited by many Tantra texts as a source of great knowledge. it is notable that throughout the Tantras, such as the Mahanirvana Tantra, they align themselves as being natural progressions of the Vedas. Tantra exists for spiritual seekers in the age of Kaliyuga, when Vedic practices no longer apply to the current state of morality and Tantra is the most direct means to realization. Thus, aside from Vajrayana Buddhism, much of Tantric thought is Hindu Tantra, most notably those that council worship of Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother, Kali. A tantra typically takes the form of a dialogue between the Hindu gods Shiva and Shakti/Parvati. Shiva is known in Hinduism as 'Yogiraj' or 'Yogeshwara,' 'The King of Yoga' or 'God of Yoga' while his consort is considered his perfect feminine equal. Each explains to the other a particular group of techniques or philosophies for attaining moksha (liberation/ enlightenment), or for attaining a certain practical result. (Agamas are Shiva to Shakti dialog, and Nigamas are Shakti to Shiva.) more
The Origins of Yoga and Tantra Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century Geoffrey Samuel Cardiff University
Explores the origins of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, yoga and tantra: 1. Introduction; 2. Stories and sources; Part I. Meditation and Yoga: 3. The second urbanisation of South Asia; 4. Two worlds and their interactions; 5. Religion in the early states; 6. The origins of the Buddhist and Jain orders; 7. The Brahmanical alternative; 8. Interlude: asceticism and celibacy in Indic religions; Part II. Tantra: 9. The classical synthesis; 10. Tantra and the wild goddesses; 11. Subtle bodies, longevity and internal alchemy; 12. Tantra and the state; 13. The later history of yoga and tantra; 14. Postlude.
The Sanskrit word nÄthÃ is the proper name of a siddha sampradaya (initiatory tradition) and the word itself literally means "lord, protector, refuge". The related Sanskrit term Adi Natha means first or original Lord, and is therefore a synonym for Shiva, Mahadeva, or Maheshvara, and beyond these supramental concepts, the Supreme Absolute Reality as the basis supporting all aspects and manifestations of consciousness. The Nath tradition is a heterodox siddha tradition containing many sub-sects. It was founded by Matsyendranath and further developed by Gorakshanath. These two individuals are also revered in Tibetan Buddhism as Mahasiddhas (great adepts) and are credited with great powers and perfected spiritual attainment. Siddhu are adepts in Nath praxis. more
Nath Order: Living Teacher - The Occult World of a Tantrik Guru 1,2. The Tantrik Initiation Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
Tantra in practice By David Gordon White, 2001 (Chap. 35) Jain Tantra: Divinatory and Meditative Practices in the Twelfth-Century Yogasastra of Hemacandra Olle Qvarnstrom. The study of Jain medieval Sanskrit texts reveals a Tantric influence on the two main traditions of Jainism- Digambara and Svetambara- both in the sense of ideas and practices and in the sense of a literary class.
Sakti and Sakta John Woodroffe ebook on Tantra, 1918, (ebook 2009) more
The Truth about Tantra by By Todd Jones
Promising physical and spiritual ecstasy, Tantra workshops lure couples who want more from their relationships. But what really goes on? Georg Feuerstein posts a CORRECTION: The above quotes from a Yoga Journal article authored by me misrepresent my current opinion about Neo-Tantra. That article was written many years ago when Neo-Tantra was still fairly young and perhaps less noxious and obnoxious, though in retrospect I doubt even this. In particular, I must distance myself from the quoted statement that Neo-Tantra "provides meaning and hope." I no longer entertain such a generous opinion. Neo-Tantra has very little to do with Tantra except for the name. Don't be misled. I'd say, don't even bother to waste your time on "traditional" left-hand Tantra. If you are preoccupied with sex, consult a reputable psychologist. If you are suffering from sexual repression, also consult a reputable psychologist. If you are genuinely interested in spirituality, look at teachings and teachers very carefully. Don't pay hard cash for amateur advice from Neo-Tantrics. Authentic Tantra is taught, for instance, in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but it correctly focuses on renunciation, wisdom, and compassion. Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. Author of The Yoga Tradition, etc. more
The Greatness and Culpability of Tantra by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
Traditional Tantra and Contemporary Neo-Nantrism by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
God Agni as Kundalini by Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D.
(mg commentary: Although I share some of Fuerstein's disdain for most Neo Tantra mills I am also skeptical of the credibility of the praxis of "orthodox" Tantra that he indulges. My view is that the only principle that has validity in all yogas, dhyana, Tantra and Neo Tantra is to attain a state of conscious desirelessness- at which point Nirvikalpa Samadhi may be bestowed by grace. Most practices devise introvertive regimens to burn desire away. Some Kaula, Shakti and Vamachara Tantra incorporate a strategy for satisfying (sexual) desire within their sect's "trangressive" spiritual framework. Neo Tantriks focus more directly on satisfaction of desire within whatever "adaptive" form of Tantra they choose. Who can judge whether one or another approach offers the greater chance that moksha will be attained?
Ioana Miller's derivative paintings and collages portend her frenetic compulsion to incorporate the totality of esoteric theory into her Ioanasphere philosophy but manages to present an interesting perspective on the dynamics of emotion-consciousness during a tantric episode.
Sex, Spirit, and Psychedelics vol. XII no.1, 2002 The theme of this special issue of the MAPS Bulletin, is the second in a series edited by Jon Hanna and Sylvia Thyssen, the first being the "Psychedelics and Creativity" issue. This article is a departure from most MAPS Bulletins, which primarily include articles related to MAPS’ core mission to develop the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana. It is a revealingly intimate discussion about the risks and benefits of a wide range of drugs as they relate to spirituality, sexuality and celebration.
The Shadow of the Dalai Lama by Victor & Victoria Trimondi. Online book- An exacting dissection and negative critique of the theistic and political anatomy of Vajrayana Tantric Buddhism.
A positive postscript: Creative polarity beyond tantrism The authors suggest an enlightened integration of Tantric yab yum metaphysical principle and selected insights and images from the mysteries of Tantric Buddhism ought to be most useful in the development of a universal paradigm featuring the harmony and love between man and woman (god and goddess) that could become a bridge of peace between the various cultures.
Shaiva Yoga Ashram Journal Article by Samaresh Bose- The Most Sacred Rite of the esoteric Tantric practice is the Chakra Sadhana whereby the Yogis and Yoginis unite with each other in order to attain the experience of Divine bliss. This is an account based on the Tantric ritual as witnessed in the Kamakhya Mountains in the state of Assam, North Eastern India, in about the 1970's by Samaresh Bose. Tantrikas Bhagavan Shri Shanmukha, Anantha Natha and Shri Ma Kristina Baird
What is Self Transcendence? A discussion of what self transcendence is. Ideas from different thinkers on this topic- Keith Ward, Karen Armstong, Sri Chinmoy, Leland R. Kaiser.
Sinistroversus by Shri Gurudev Mahendranath (The Anti-Dexter, Vama, Turn-About Way of Life For the Star People of a New Magickal World) In Tantrika, sex and sexual enjoyment is given the highest place and became itself a form of worship and offering. They maintained that those who were with God or Goddess shared their enjoyment with the Divine. Then beyond this it was that the real ecstasy experienced in a full and proper orgasm was the nearest experience which a human could obtain to that of the Divine attainment of union with the Deity.
Tantra Realization Osho: In yoga one has to fight; it is the path of the warrior. On the path of tantra one does not have to fight at all. Rather, on the contrary, one has to indulge -- but with awareness. Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness. Tantra says be aware of the desire; do not create any fight. Move into desire with full consciousness, and when you [do], you transcend it.
Esoteric Tantric Buddhism The fourth symposium of the Center for South Asian Studies - Focus on the 10th-11th century Tibetan Renaissance: Historical, Methodological and Philosophical Perspectives on the Great Perfection (rDzogs Chen)- "We will consider why Tibetans would seek out specific ideologies developed in the past from an Indian context for use in the revival of their own religious culture and, in particular, will examine the implications of the importation of new texts and traditions that occurs at this time. He will also suggest various meanings that key conceptual fields and practices concerning gnosis had for the intellectual and religious elite of the period."
Tantric couple sculpted on the exterior temple wall at Khajuraho
Origin of Esoteric Tantra
Taklamakan- The Land of No Return by John Schettler; A scholar's perspectives on the historic religions of China and Tibet. Hinayana Buddhism was prevalent in India and China by the middle 8th century, and it held that enlightenment could only be attained after the refinement of many lifetimes. Padma introduced the belief that one could attain the nirvana of enlightenment within a single lifetime, and he introduced a host of new esoteric teachings or Tantras around this doctrine.
International Journal of Tantric Studies This Journal was primarily established to publish on Tantras (or Agamas or Samhitas in Sanskrit) scholarly topics concerning one or more parts of them. This includes the philosophy of language, of knowledge, aesthetics, rhetorics, etc. (e.g. Abhinavagupta's commentary on the DhvanyAloka of Anandavardhana). It also includes e.g. architectural Tantric-based items, stotras, papers on Tantric authors, medicine, chemistry, astronomy/astrology, history of Tantrism, etc. Among info, we might publish a gossip note on public news regarding Tantric-based events and regarding Tantrikas!
An Interview With Dr. Jonn Mumford 2002- In this exclusive interview, The Llewellyn Journal discusses the subject with the author of books such as A Chakra & Kundalini Workbook and Ecstasy Through Tantra. He is a genuine Tantric initiate and has been writing and teaching for four decades. Here, he reveals some of the common misconceptions about Tantra and the Neotantra movement.
Relationship of Buddhism and Vedism Traditionally, Buddhism is understood as representing the other side of the coin of Vedism, especially Shaivism. It is only in the last few centuries, with the advent of Orientology (Buddhology and Indology), that the world has come to believe that Buddhism and Vedism are non-congruent sciences.
Neotantra (My last edition in Wikipedia before it was taken over by the Hindu/Buddhist fundamentalist projects- ef.) The core principle for the extrapolation of Tantra into Neotantra is the dictum in yoga practice that one attains awakening by arriving at a state of absolute desirelessness by burning desire away through meditation. Centuries ago, Kaula Tantra acknowledged the principle in regards to desirelessness as the key to awakening but said- why struggle to burn away desire- satisfy it!. Neotantra embraces this core concept and in an open-source process is exploring the extent to which integral spirituality may modify the religious constructs and rigors of Tantra and facilitate access to the ineffable.
Neotantra says: "Satisfy your desires."
God as Mother- Durgamadhab Dash: God, the Supreme Being, is as much worshiped as the Divine Mother, Devi Mata, as he is worshipped as the Divine Father. The Divine Mother is synonomous with Shakti, the Divine Power that manifests, sustains and transforms the universe as the unifying force of existence. The Divine Mother exists in all beings as intelligence, mercy and beauty. She is the embodiment of the all-existential power. So Devi worship is the worship of God's glory; His greatness and supremacy over the universe.
Kulachudamani (Kaula) Tantra- is a nigama, meaning that instead of Devi asking questions answered by Lord Shiva (agama), he asks questions answered by Devi, the goddess. In this tantra the cult goddess is Mahishamardini, a Devi with some similarities to Durga. In seven short chapters, Devi expounds the essence of her worship, sometimes in beautiful and nearly always in colourful language. But the uncanny side of Kaula and Kali worship is dwelt on in great detail, with references to siddhi, including a mysterious process where the tantrik adept leaves his body at night, apparently so he can engage in sexual intercourse with Shaktis.
What is Shri Vidya- and what relationship does it have to the goddess Lalita and to her yantra, the Shri Yantra? Vidya means knowledge, specifically female knowledge, or the goddess. Lalita means She Who Plays. All creation, manifestation and dissolution is considered to be a play of Devi or the goddess and in this context relates to her aspect called Shri, Lalita or Tripurasundari whose magical diagram is called the Shri Yantra. She is a red flower, so her diagram is a flower too. Behind the sometimes colourful symbolism is deep wisdom coupled with practical methods for realising oneself.
Kundalini : the evolutionary energy in man- by Gopi Krishna, 1971. Reviewed by Prof: Dr. Jay Kim, Phenomenology of Religion, U. of Tennessee-Knoxville 1979 (with Alan Gullette) "After 18 years of meditation and an otherwise ordinary existence as family man and clerk, Krishna experiences, during meditation, in December of 1937, what he comes to understand as the awakening of the Kundalini "fire". This leaves him exhausted. The next day, the experience is repeated, with somewhat less intensity, with greater resulting exhaustion and the beginning of a depression that, on the third day, develops into a "prolonged nightmare" which continues for over two months."
Tantra Links from Mike Magee's Religious Worlds.
Tantric Hinduism Brahmanical Hinduism is very restrictive and negative to the world of the senses in general and to sexual realities in particular. You have to get rid of the sense-contact with the world and its phenomena in order to reach real knowledge and real liberation. Tantric Hinduism seems to follow the same line of thought. Tantrics are normally quite orthodox in their appearance, but their understanding is different. They in fact use life against life, use first of all sexual pleasures as the fuel to start the flight out of the phenomenological world. Sexuality which is the strongest bond in life can also be used as the strongest weapon against life. Sexuality in tantrism has developed into a sexual mysticism or sexual occultism, whereby the male semen is taken to be the life-force in nuce. The way to handle this semen is at the centre of tantra. This life-force is to be used as the motor of meditation and as the raw material for the transformation from humanity to divinity, from morality to immortality, from both rebirth and re-death to the great liberation, Nirvikalpa Samadhi, Moksha, Nirvana or what is called "the final solution" whereby both life and death reaches an end.
Tantra Practice A flash presentation of a scholarly review of the foundations for Tantra practice and philosophy- Woodroffe, Eliade, Padoux, Jung among others. Presents contemporary writers who have elevated discussions of sexual practices and the subtle body- Nik Douglas, Margret Anand, Meryl White cited as having been particularly influential.
A spawning between two marine mollusk (gastropod) snails- separated by a
waterspace of ten inches- through which they exhibited the reciprocal
interplay of tactile copulation.
My girlfriend had established a small, well-maintained, 30-gallon, marine aquaria which at the time was relatively under populated with just a few reef fishes and invertebrates. Among the later were two herbivorous snails whose drab spherical shells measured perhaps an inch across and who normally would show no signs of awareness of one another. Early one evening I was passing the tank and noticed they had each assumed positions on the tops of two rock formations separated by a distance of about 10 inches and seemed to be signaling one another with a display of their expanded mantels. They not only waved at one another but appeared to have a mystical sensory connection as one would seem to instantly respond in coordination with a pulse of the other's mantel with a shudder that I could only compare to an expression of reciprocal passion. Clearly these snails were involved in a coordinated sexual relationship- transmitting their passion through a waterspace of some 10 body lengths. I have no idea how long this had been going on but in the few minutes I was watching it was obvious the intensity of their lovemaking was growing to a climax with a steady increase in the rate and level of spasmodic shuddering of their mantels and suddenly the snail on the right in what seemed a peak inflation of 'her' mantel burst forth a small cloud of pale brown eggs which 'she' seemed to waft away towards her distant partner. An instant later, before any of her cloud could have transported even half the distance separating them, 'He' seemed to go through a similar climax and ejected a milky white cloud of spermatazoa. I had watched about a five-minute session- after which both snails quickly withdrew their mantels and assumed their normal unremarkable snail personas in the marine community. My conclusion based on what appeared to be the instantaneous responses of the couple to one another's erotic interplay could only be explained by a psychic connection. There was simply no way for water molecules to transport taste or smell information with such synchronicity. Since herbivorous marine snails have such poor vision, the other possibility is sound but I have not heard of any evidence that mollusks have any capacity to generate or receive sound impulses. I was dimly aware that the sexual encounters of closely related critters like slugs manifest behavior that can only be described as demonstrably intense (or here) but have never heard of a species mating in such a vicarious manner. Seems no coincidence that mollusk have evolved the invertebrate species with the highest intelligence- the octopses, which might correlate to psychic abilities.
The episode suggests the psychic issues involved in the account of Sri Ramakrishna attaining Samadhi by vicariously experiencing the transformation of a Tantrika couple performing a Vamachara Tantra sexual union.
Marine Gastropod Spawning Behavior-
Trochus niloticus: The sexes of the trochus snail are separate, and gametes of both sexes are released into the water column. Spawning behaviour is preceded by movement of the trochus to a high point in the tank, either to the water line, or to the top of other trochus in the tank. [sic] Males always initiate spawning. Females begin to spawn from 10 minutes to an hour after commencement of spawning by males. Spawning takes place at night, and usually a few days before and after the new moon and full moon. See also Snail Spawning in Marine Aquaria and Snails- see question 63- "How Well do Snails See? Some operculates (one set of tentacles with eyes at base) can distinguish "effects" at distances up to 30 cm. (12 inches)- herbivorous marine snails have poorer eyesight than carnivorous snails.
It would seem the scale and scope of mysteries associated with the whole topic of mating and spawning- the manner in which genetic circadian rhythm programs enumerable species, from whales, pololo worms and monarch butterflies, to gather at precise times and localities and the enigma of how spawners like Pacific salmon are motivated to satisfy a complex and fatal reproductive code without any physical contact between sexes- legitimately leads to the conclusion that sex in every species (including our own) is fundamentally a psychic imperative. This would suggest that the basic Shiva-Shakti metaphysics of Tantra is reality-based in recognizing sex as the most accessible pathway to the ultimate psychic continuum of samadhi and liberation.
Khandro Net- Tantra Defines distinction between Buddhist and Hindu Tantra. Welcome to a premier site unique in situating Tibetan Buddhism within a wider context. With over 365 pages, it explains topics ranging from Acts of the Buddha to Symbolism of Deities including The Dakini, as well as that of various Animals and Objects. Practitioners will also find Prayers, Practices, Announcements & Teachings.
The Collected Works of Chogyam Trungpa
Journey without Goal; The Lion's Roar; The Dawn of Tantra; An Interview with Chogyam Trungpa - Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian. From some points of view, Trungpa Rinpoche's approach was altogether tantric, or grounded in vajrayana, especially in the teachings that he gave after coming to North America. Even when presenting the most overtly tantric material, Trungpa Rinpoche guarded the integrity of the vajrayana teachings, being very careful not to introduce material prematurely to his students and not to cater to public fascination with tantra.
Kundalini Yoga and Tantra
Within a western frame of understanding Kundalini is often associated with the practice of contemplative or religious practices that might induce an altered state of consciousness, either brought about spontaneously, through a type of yoga, through psychedelic drugs, or through a near-death experience. Kundalini Caution!
Kundalini Shakti In human beings, Shakti, the feminine aspect is called Kundalini. This potential energy is said to rest at the base of the spinal cord. The object of the Tantric practice of Kundalini-yoga is to awaken this cosmic energy and make it ascend through the psychic centres, the chakras. In Tantrism the state of ultimate bliss is a transcendence of dualities male-female, energy-consciousness, Shiva-Shakti. Kundalini Warning!
Branded by the Spirit El Collie's book on kundalini awakening- a cautionary chronicle of her journeys and commentaries by others suffering similar dysfunction. "But from all the first hand kundalini accounts I have heard, with and without the external assistance of a guru or healer, it seems that to the contrary, it is the completely trouble-free and painless transformation that is atypical. Our Kundalini difficulties often lead us on a wild goose chase through the ranks of medical, psychological, spiritual, metaphysical and alternative practitioners whose appraisals of our condition (and recommendations for treatment) miss the mark by miles."
Kundalini Yoga- Written by Samael Aun Weor.
In certain Tantric schools of Sahaja Maithuna (Sexual Magic) the kundalini ritual is performed once in a lifetime under the direction of a guru after the shadhaka and shakti pass through intensive training in Hatha Yoga, Mudras, Bandhas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharanna, Dhyana, etc. In this act, according to the instructions they have received, they apply the Khechari and Vajroli Mudras. See also Tantrism- Written by Samael Aun Weor
Kundalini, Tantra and Sexuality by Samael Aun Weor; An example of a highly moralistic and sectarian interpretation of Tantric Kundalini practice. "It is necessary to attain the most absolute Sanctity and the most terrific Chastity to acquire the development, progress and Evolution of the Kundalini. - from Kundalini Yoga: The Mysteries of the Fire by Samael Aun Weor. Devi Kundalini is not something mechanical as many suppose; the Igneous Serpent is only awakened with genuine Love between husband and wife, and it will never rise up along the medullar canal of adulterers."- The Mystery of the Golden Blossom."
Google Topic Directory for Tantra
Tantraworks- Bibliography of Important Hindu and Buddhist Tantras and other Tantric Texts, some available in English.
CANNABIS IN TANTRA
DO-IT-YOURSELF TANTRA TRANSCENDENCE
MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP