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Mantras as the Language of the Gods

Mantras are said to be the language of the gods. What does this mean and how do mantras work?

  • Do mantra simply calm the mind or are they magical words of power that can unlock the secrets in the deep unconscious parts of you?
  • Why is it said that mantras can both liberate and protect you?
  • Why is initiation so important? Why is it said that mantras can only unlock the secrets within you if you have had an initiation from a guru or experienced teacher?

These and other questions will be answered in the upcoming Yoga Tantra Study Group Masterclass, which is focusing on the higher aspects of chakras, mantras and yantras.

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Desires and the Chakras on the Yoga Tantra Path

Desire is a fundamental concern that has occupied spiritual traditions and societies for centuries. What are we to do with these raw energies that have the potential to take us to divine heights and to plunge us into the underworld of darkness?

Attempts to deal with desire range from the uninhibited revelry of Greco-Roman cults, the ‘desire is good’ approach, to the strict asceticism of old-world traditions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, the ‘desire is bad’ approach. 

These two approaches still exist today.

For example, The Law of Attraction encourages the pursuit of desires and teaches that whatever you want, believe, and focus on will manifest. On this path, be careful what you wish for. If your desires are not dharmic (aligned with your nature), they may either fail to manifest or fail to bring the satisfaction you imagined.

The ascetic approach aims for a desireless, egoless, and selfless existence. Asceticism views the body and its appetites as separate and inferior to the spirit and prescribes transcendence of the body. To succeed in the ascetic life, the seeker needs a particular temperament, the right environment, conditions, and training. Who of us can truly give up desire? Even the intention to surrender desire is a desire. When desires arise, the ascetic may feel they have failed at spiritual life. 

There is a third approach that balances the extremes. More suited to the contemporary seeker, the yoga tantra approach regards both desire and desirelessness as equally important. Yoga tantra forges a conscious connection between dharma, desire, and transcendence. This enables seekers to fulfill their desires in a balanced way while striving for spiritual growth.

We teach the yoga tantra path at Big Shakti.

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Find Your Dharma Heart

Find Your Life Purpose

It’s easy to get snagged in the chaos and gloom of these troubled times. The world’s shadow is creating mass-polarization, and it’s also easy to get sucked into one polarity and lose your center, your Self.

Knowing who you are, and having a clear intention, a Sankalpa for your life is essential. Without this self-orientation, you will feel like a leaf in the wind, or a cork floating on a stormy ocean. Your life path will be based on external circumstances, and you need a lot of luck on your side.

To become self-oriented, you need to become aware of your true nature, your innate self—your dharma. This is not achieved by thinking alone, or by emotion alone.

To become aware of your purpose requires much more of you than your thinking mind and your emotional attachments. Thinking and emotion are very important, but not your whole story.

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The Nine Nights Of The Goddess – Navarātri

Yoga and tantra provide maps and paths through the maze of complex existence. They aim to transform the body-mind from raw, mundane states of existence to refined, exalted states of experience and realization.

Within many yogic and tantric traditions, certain seasons, months, and times of the day are given special importance.

They are ‘auspicious’ times when cosmic energies are heightened and, as such, support psycho-spiritual practice. These auspicious moments in time assist us in achieving positive results. For example, dawn and dusk are said to be ideal times for yoga and meditation.

The festival of Navarātri or Nine Nights (‘nav’ is nine and ‘rātri’ is nights) is one of the great ceremonies in the lives of Hindus in India. The exact time of this celebration varies according to the lunar calendar. It begins on a dark moon in the Indian autumn (in the month of Ashwin, usually in October) and ends ten days after. In 2020 Navaratri starts on the 17th of October (depending on which part of the world and time zone you live in).

This period of The Nine Nights is devoted to invoking The Great Mother Goddess, The Divine Creative Power, or Shakti, the creator and supporter of the universe. She is most closely identified with Durga, an exquisitely beautiful goddess who rides a lion, and who wields in her many hands’ awesome weapons, including the ‘shul’ (pike), ‘chakra’ (wheel), ‘parashu’ (ax), and ‘talvar’ (sword).

Durga is said to be the manifestation of the power of all the goddesses that, long ago, faced a terrible and irresistible demon called Mahishasura.

Mahishāsura is a mythic representation of the human ego in its demonic form

Many yogis do not see Navaratri as a religious process, but rather as a psycho-spiritual one, and a unique opportunity for yogic practice. 

They adopt certain practices and rituals to understand their psychological shadow and to confront their egos.

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Embodied Enlightenment

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

Carl Jung

True enlightenment requires grounding and stability. Without these, we lose touch with our bodies, the material world, and the elements that make us successful humans.

The spiritual seeker often tries to detach from problems and people. He or she may resent the need to attend to practicalities and prefer to retire from the chaos of an ever-changing, ever-challenging world.

When obsession for enlightenment controls the personality, imbalance occurs.

The ego goes autonomous. The seeker loses touch with reality, which threatens their ability to survive, let alone create a good life.

What follows is a crisis – the sharp descent back to material existence, the thing the seeker most hoped to escape.

Now they must face the realities of life and the gorges of their abandoned darkness. The seeker needs to recognize that he or she cannot just live in the light all the time. They need to manage their darkness in order to find the light again. It is a hard road, but not an impossible one.

Eventually, there is the realization that authentic enlightenment comes from excavating the darkness.

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Why Mindfulness Is Not Enough

Mindfulness Is Not Enough
Many people come to us for therapy believing they cannot meditate. 

They have tried a few simple mindfulness and breath awareness techniques; however, they tell us they couldn’t meditate because they couldn’t stop thinking. They either feel bored looking at their thoughts, which they had hoped would stop, or they become nervous because they could not stop the anxious feelings, emotions, and memories that accompany these thoughts. 

It is a common misconception that you have to stop thinking to meditate. Rather the opposite is true. When you start off in meditation, the mind will be full of thoughts. This is a sign of success. The attainment of the thoughtless state, the state of Inner Silence, comes later on down the path.

The tragedy is, that because of this initial experience with pure mindfulness techniques, many people close the door on meditation and say that it is not for them. The real problem is that they have experienced only one technique, have not had access to theory, and are unaware that there are many other techniques that can give them a peaceful experience of meditation, even if they are thinking.

Mindfulness is one of the most popular forms of meditation. However, mindfulness, which is really the simple act of paying attention to the present moment and not being lost in thinking and rumination, is only a small part of meditation. It has gained popularity because it has been integrated into mental health programs where it is part of a larger approach to mental health. Mindfulness is not a standalone technique. It supports the clinical psychologists’ treatment of mental illness. 

For most people, and especially in a clinical setting, mindfulness needs to be combined with other techniques that enable you to reduce negative feelings attached to thoughts. You need to combine mindfulness with techniques that enable you to cultivate positive feelings so that you develop a positive sense of self-control. 

Much more is possible if you understand the theory behind meditation. This includes learning about the structure of the mind, and how to apply meditation to the thinking, feeling, and knowing aspects of the mind. 

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