The word liminal: Derives from the Latin word Limin, which translates as threshold. A threshold is a boundary that marks a point of transition between one place and another, one state of being and another, or one object and another.…
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.
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.
“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.
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.
The future is not certain, and if we look to the past, we have indications of civilizations that have risen, cultivated science and arts, philosophy and spiritual practice, and even then, they have fallen. They are now only a vague echo in the hallways of our deepest ancestral memory.
According to Alain Danielou1, “We are so accustomed to regarding the evolution of humanity as a constant progression, and the development of knowledge over the course of several centuries or even decades as a continuous forward movement, that we sometimes have difficulty realizing that contrary forces also exist which periodically return people to states of incredible barbarism. Important civilizations pass away, their highly developed knowledge suddenly annihilated.”