Taraka Brahma

Anandamurti reintroduced the old tantric concept of “Taraka Brahma.” Taraka means “bridge,” and Brahma is “infinite consciousness” and so Taraka Brahma is the bridge to the infinite entity of Brahma. Taraka Brahma is the point just between the unmanifested infinite ocean of Brahma (Nirguna Brahma) and the manifested creation, or Macrocosm, of Brahma (Saguna Brahma). Essence and creation are both Brahma just as waves are part of the ocean. The essence of Brahma is like an infinite ocean without waves, the pure Consciousness behind the Macrocosm. The universe in which we live is the creation of Brahma, the Macrocosmic manifestation of Brahma. This vast universe full of planets, stars, nebula and galaxies are but waves that vibrate the surface of the infinite ocean of Consciousness and which make them appear as separate from the essential ocean. Taraka Brahma is the tangent between these two aspects of Brahma, the link between the manifested Macrocosm and unmanifested consciousness behind the Macrocosm.

A Farewell To Politics

This writing is a farewell to politics, combining two political writings, The Debate, and The Moral Revolution. Political affairs have always been unintentional for me, situations that I would have never sought out by my own will. Instead, a few political situations were imposed on me, stuck with me for a while, yet I have come to understand that there are other ways to address social issues and responsibilities by means other than the political. The socio-political order is a projection of the human mind and in order to change human psychological projections it is first necessary to penetrate and understand the vehicle creating the projection. This can only effectively be accomplished by stepping out of the mind and observing it from an impartial spiritual space above the mind itself.

Nocturne

An older writing with a new recording of “Nocturne” on the quenacho.

The Banality Of Evil

Very few people in human society are really moral while very few people are very immoral. Most human beings are in the moral middle ground and behave well in good social environments with moral leaders but can behave destructively in negative social environments under immoral leaders. Human beings are mostly like herd animals. Most people are conformist and banal, are sheepishly conventional and simply go with the dominant social flow.

Hannah Arendt used the term, “The Banality of Evil as a subtitle for her book “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” in which she cites the testimony of the Nazi Colonel on trial in Jerusalem. Adolf Eichmann organized the Wansee Conference where the plans for the “Final Solution” were drawn out and later implemented with him being one of the principal administrators. He bore no responsability for his crimes but said he was only following orders and performing his social duties. He even claimed he always followed Kant´s “categorical imperative.” Arendt did not see Eichmann nor the German people as essentially psychopathological criminals, but as normal people under the control of authoritarian leaders. She described how manipulated situations such as the Holocaust can make even the most ordinary of people commit horrendous crimes.

Facades

Being at one with the universe is mostly a great joy but sometimes it is great suffering. I began to experience tremendous bliss in meditation while I was with my mentor Chidghananda when I was in my early twenties. He told me my experiences were rare and that I would probably never have a normal life again. I did not worry about that as the bliss was so intense that I thought I could dissolve into light at any time. Then the Purulia Arms Drop happened and I went to jail. Chidghananda voluntarily went to the police station and said that he was my host and so he should also go to prison. We were released under house arrest a week later. He gave a brilliant press interview and later when the BBC and India Times reporters cornered me I tried to mimic his style of interview. A reporter asked if I was tortured. I said no and then later heard of so many stories of monks and nuns being tortured while in the very same prison during the Indira Gandhi regime. It was then that I realized how great of a risk Chidghananda made by voluntarily going to jail to protect us. Soon after this I began to hear confessions of monks who were tortured. To this day I am still trying to neutralize the painful effects these accounts created in my mind.

The Breaking Point

Personally, I fared very well growing up in the United States. My grandparents were farmers yet they sent all their children to college and they all progressed into the middle class. My mother was the only daughter who, due to my surprise arrival, did not finish college immediately after high school and only later did she finish her education. We passed through all of the socioeconomic spectrum while this single mother finished her education while living in a poor working class environment and gradually ascended into a middle class profession. I grew up close to the other members of my family kind of like an extended Latino family. Also, my grandparents, aunts and uncles helped me financially while I was studying at the university.

Hogan Yoga

I built this meditation room with the idea of the round adobe structures of the Native Americans of the southwest. The Navajo name for this type of structure is “hogan.”

Tantric Cosmology - Involution and Evolution of Consciousnes

As human desires become more refined and meaning and purpose are established, the self-concept of the Aham is cultivated. It is only due to the natural flow of mental evolution that this limited Aham-ego concept desires to expand into something still greater. When the separate ego begins to wonder with creative imagination as to why some things are good and beautiful and meaningful and seeks to increase these subtle, mental needs, we encounter higher realities. We find greater levels of union with nature and the social world, deeper levels of friendship and intimacy, and greater wonder toward the great universe and everything in it. These higher existential experiences break down our separateness and gradually make us more universal citizens. Mahat, or the pure I-feeling, manifests when the intelligence of the Aham is witnessed by something finer and more internal than the Aham-intellect that is so occupied with the complex social world. Mahat is the pure intuition of “I exist,” pure mindfulness. It is the purest part of the subjective chamber of mind. It sees the intellect of the ego from its quiescence deep within, beyond time. It is the closest approximation to what one would call the “soul.” It is the inner light just behind the first memory in childhood, your pure, inner “I” before it was impressed upon so firmly by the outside world. Experiences in the brain and chitta may affect the ego, but the Mahat, the pure “I”, is never affected. It is the part of you that just is, the finest part of your mental being. It is your personal, dear and sweet feeling of pure existence that seems so special that it belongs to you and no other. This deep feeling of “I” experientially reveals immortality in that it is the key to feeling the Universal “I” that is within all souls. It seems to be everywhere and in all people. A truly intelligent microcosm that has properly cultivated the Aham-ego awareness will always find the ground of their person here in the quiescent “I” of Mahat. Shiva and the deepest part of the subjective chamber, the Mahat, are so close in proximity and similarity it is practical to say they are identical. This finest part of the mind, the Mahat, is a perfect replica of Shiva-Consciousness. But Shiva is the witness even of Mahat, and is the lord of the mind. Even though Mind bound itself in creation and has had to pass through a phase of evolution to re-manifest itself, the fundamental consciousness of Shiva has never changed. He has witnessed the entire universal drama since its inception. The infinite ocean of Consciousness sustains all things always. It is the fundamental identity or “I-Witness” beyond the Mahat.

Pleasures, Habits, Addictions And The 5 “M” of Tantra

A friend writes to me the other day and asks how he can leave behind some worldly habits that prevent him from being able to dedicate himself to meditation. They are common habits that many people enjoy but that serious meditators have left behind. So, if many other people have overcome habits of enjoying alcohol, tobacco, meat, and drugs then it is certainly possible that any other person of similar determination may also transcend these habits. If only we can understand the methods of which these meditators successfully used to leave behind their habits and commit themselves to the practice of meditation then we may detect a pattern that can be taught to others really struggling to break these habits.

Bliss and Terror

“Shock brings success. Shock comes-oh, no! Then laughing words -ha, ha! The shock terrifies for a hundred miles and he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice. The shock that comes from the manifestation of God within the depths of the earth makes us afraid, but this fear of God is good, for joy and merriment can follow upon it. When one has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, one is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: one remains so composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted. This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers- a profound inner seriousness from which all terrors glance off harmlessly.”

  • The I-Ching, hexagram 51 - The Arousing

Personalities

When I was arrested in India, Chidghananda immediately went to the police station where we were detained and said that he was our host and was going with us to wherever they were taking us. When we were finally released under house arrest I spent my time meditating and reading Anandamurti´s books, among some other books on yoga. I was supposed to be the first student in the tantric research project at Ananda Nagar and I was living near Chidghananda.

The Masque Of The Red Wine

I have not entered the local village in a few years. Followers of my blog understand why. We are in the middle of a serious geo-political drama and there just happens to be a lot of paramilitary bases and carnage between the scant mile walk to the village. Many people around the globe are following out little story. My horse escaped the other day. His name is R.J., It is a name that came with him from Texas but I say the name really means Rocinante Junior. I went to the lake to look for him. It was once a beautiful oasis where the goat herders would take their herds and we would go meditate in the shade. We inspired the community to start picking up the litter and it became a beautiful place. Now, however, I do not know anybody in the village who has not come across cadavers there. And then there were the 30 little martyrs from last summer who were found there. However, my horse does not worry about such things.

Psorax

Anybody who has looked into the abyss of his or her consciousness knows that the abyss looks back at you, as Nietzche said. The unconscious mind is a very live and active zoo of escaped animals raging about in pure chaos and savagery. Does their years of pent-up frustration make them even more crazy when they finally escape? And in all of this unintelligible impulse speaks back from the chasm some kind of insidious intelligence. In modern psychology, this hidden intentionality has been called the id, the shadow, or the unconscious.

Inferiority

When the personality lacks the capacity to find a basic sense of emotional security and psychological adjustment within itself and with its environment, the vrtti (mental instinct) of lack of confidence expresses itself. This propensity isn’t mere existential anxiety because inferiority isn’t situational or focused on a certain ability or aspect of the personality. Worry is based on excessive thinking and flighty emotions whereas lack of confidence is a more generalized contraction of the ego and a fundamental lack of faith in one’s own abilities. The psychological base for all of one’s thoughts are self- defeating and keep one confined to staunch limitations. Perhaps this lack of confidence came about because of habitual failures, because of a suppressive, unloving and impersonal environment, or another internal psychological disturbance that inhibits one’s development and expansion. In short, inferiority comes about as a lack of love and attention and so can only be remedied by a true love and attention.

Compulsion

In the process of “self-establishment” the personality’s self-concept is most strongly defined by its relation to its social environment. This is true whether we are speaking of the evolution of the entire human species through the Svadhistana or the development of an individual from infancy toward maturity. No being is born liberated, one is rather born to experience liberation. At the Svadhistana level of development, the conscious sense of “I am” is not complete in itself but requires external references in order to qualify itself. When the personality is well-adjusted there exists a secure sense of belonging to a family or social group that gives one a healthy reference to one’s reality. The ego at this stage is so dependent upon its immediate environment of socialization, be it the clan, the family, or nation. Maintaining this strong and definite attachment solidifies the identity in something greater than itself. When these basic conditions of security and belonging don’t exist, the mind must find some way of acquiring them. Compulsion drives the personality to force these basic existential necessities in whatever way necessary. The mind may compulsively attach itself to an external, ready-made social image, or perhaps a rigid an isolated and defensive ego image. Compulsion also attacks sensory habits or pleasures and exploits them with its desperation.

Emptiness And Bliss

In so many years I have not pondered the philosophical or intellectual question of whether there is really an immortal spirit within. It is Self evident everywhere one looks. In the end there is but one Friend, in many colors and in many places, who moves through infinite love behind all our faces.

The Eye of the Infinite

The infinite being is beyond name and form yet bestows name and form to all things. Nothing exists apart from the causal matrix, the fundamental fractal that divides its very own Self so as to create the universe by infinite self division. Creation is the division and fragmentation of the original Self, as reflected in the fractal cross, that has created the “ten-thousand things.” The fundamental cross is a spiritual concept that is clearly reflected in the causal mind of the Vishuddha with its 16 vortexes or “vrttis”(4x4). This primordial fractal, the 4x4, further multiplies itself into the the 4x4x4. Each time the essential cross divides, it is more “causal,” potentialized and capable of controlling more of its created objects in nature. All of the parts exist within the whole, just as miniature crosses exist on the main arms of the fundamental cross. Nothing is essentially separate from its source. When this fundamental fractal divides itself into the 4x4x4 we get the 64 mayan tzolkien and the 64 hexagrams of the I-ching (4x4x4), which is an even deeper causal level than the human, semi-divine expressions at the Vishuddha chakra. The deeper Macrocosmic patterns of the tzolkein and I-ching impose themselves upon the microcosmic 4x4 patterns of the Vishuddha Vortex. For this reason the Vishuddha reflects the hidden laws of the universe, yet in a human and personalized form.

The Debate

6 months before the Purulia Arms Drop I participated in an Ananda Marga debate about whether terrorism could ever be justified. Ananda Marga was a pacific revolutionary organization that denounced both the materialistic philosophies of capitalism as well as communism. The focus of the ideology was primarily on yoga and meditation but there was a lot of emphasis on social justice and activism as well. My friends in Ananda Marga were fans of the libertarian socialist ideas behind the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the Spanish revolution of the 30’s and most especially the Zapatista revolution in Mexico which was still occurring at the time of this debate. Nobody in the debate could really defend terrorism. We evaded the idea of terrorism and focused on the justification of using force against the state by violent revolution. However, the other side said our idea of revolution was not terrorism because it is a declared political and revolutionary military movement which does not target civilians like terrorist attacks. We were ideological rebels, but nobody was aggressive enough to really talk about terrorist attacks. I led our team in the debate and we could argue that the capitalist system is more terrorist than any terrorist organization, but when the opposing team asked me specifically if that gives us justification to use violent force against the system which would include attacking innocent civilians, we could not argue this position. We could not even pretend to and we clearly lost the debate. The leader of the other group was a Vietnam war veteran who was very well spoken and even though it was all a structured formality, his sincere non-violence stance made us somehow feel that we were in the wrong and did not want to be a part of the debate.

Endeavor And Affection

The spiritual heart is the Anahata Vortex. Anahata means “not holding.” It is the intuitive level of mind that begins to understand that there is an infinite vastness and dignity inside itself and can begin to let go of blind attachments caused by an underlying sense of fear and insecurity of a a being separated from the universe. The intuitive mind of Anahata vibrates in tune with the Aerial Factor, a very fine form of matter or prana that manifests its intentions toward form, yet being beyond form itself. When completely purified this prana no longer needs to vibrate with the vrttis or vortexes of the mind. The breath stops completely. One is empty of form, but full of bliss. One hears the inner logos of Shiva, all the sounds that make up Om, and sees how fine vibrations of prana manifest the entire material universe. These rhythmic vibrations or “strings” or pulses of prana stem from the “root” sounds of the Causal Mind, the logos of Shiva. One day the human genius will be able to map and even quantify these fine vibrations that make up the so-called “quantum void.” Then, human beings will begin to understand the secrets of the dimensions between mind and matter.

The Song Of Hope

The function of the developed human mind is to find a balance between the inner identity and its outer world, or the spiritual and material worlds. The lower mind with its craving, fear and blind attachment, attempts to will desires into being. With the qualities of the Anahata, or spiritual heart, there are spiritual tendencies that help bring an inner desire into being in a more discerning and less impulsive manner. Hope is the inner belief that what one truly and deeply needs will manifest itself into being. With the purest hope there is no manipulation by the will to bring the event about, but the self rather relies on the power of belief and faith to bring wish into reality. So the medium of the activity of this psychic instinct (as well as others in the Anahata) is neither through the sensory and motor organs nor the imposition of will, but through the eminence of intuitive thought.

A Frameless Photo

To see the world as a frameless photo and wander through the night, or submit to sweet affections for earthly form caressed in the light of the known.

A Marriage of Sense To Soul

This evening my soul poured out and into all things, leaving this empty, lonely vessel, and was filled with an infinite, ever-flowing stream. My soul poured out, reeling and roaring into everything. Ceased of breath, I am; empty of form in a diaphanous blue immensity, in the gentle frolic of the evening wind, in the warm smile of the setting sun, condensed into flowing rivers and streams, settled into earth and stone.

The Phantom Mother

Doña Panchita always took excellent care of her homestead, cooking, cleaning, and caring for the animals while her husband, Don Cesario, spends his time herding goats in the mountains. They have had this life together for more than 6 decades. It is rare nowadays to find people so simple and pure. They lived so far away from the world and its problems just until the last few years when the urban sprawl began to encroach on their tranquil valley. I had hoped that this expansion would take longer and that these noble people would be able to live out their days in their accustomed peace and harmony. Noble people who live close to nature have a certain blessing, as if they have some deep secrets about life that the city dwellers could never discover. People from the city seem so hollow compared to these authentic beings. Capitalist education, too many extraneous desires, and shallow materialistic values only degrade the human race and make us unfit to continue evolving. It is rare to see traces of strong character and spiritual vitality in the dwellers of the Matrix. They seem like little children when compared to people who have learned the secrets of the mountain.

Form And Formless

Nothing in this universe is an accident, all is incident. The closer our meditation moves toward the First Cause of OM, the more we see the universe as the dream of the Supreme Consciousness instead of a series of disconnected accidents in alienated minds. What seemed like accidents were but misconceptions of reality from minds too caught up in the mundane to notice the subtle movements of meaning trying to break through our layers of obliquity. Reality is more meaningful and circumstances in life have more of a symbolic and moral meaning than our intellect and our mundane desires can conceive of. Creation is always trying to guide us closer to the Atman by showing us the way through life by creating interesting dramas and synchronizations. “Time is a moving image of eternity,” wrote Plato. Sometimes the signs that appear to guide us appear from beyond time. The responses sometimes manifest before all of the questions and conflicts manifest in our awareness. Perhaps a dream foretells something important or some great synchronicity continues to repeat itself cyclically in our lives. Somehow, one was prepared for what was yet to come and this synchronicity inspires one with awe. The greater “I” within shows one from beyond time what one needs to know to let go of time’s little tricks and live in the eternal now.

Earthquakes

I dreamed that our ranch was surrounded by a protective gel and that we were moving about inside of this gel, gently swishing around. The next day, everybody else said they fell out of bed during the night and were stumbling around without being able to stand upright. I thought it was all just a dream, but 4 others woke up at night. If that really would have happened, then why was there no structural damage? Come to think of it, so many of the strange phenomenon that happen at rancho el misterio happen while I am sleeping. Let me try and explain……

Discernment And Depression

In the phase of involution, Shiva, the infinite consciousness, has been transformed by his immortal consort Shakti, the divine creative energy, into all that is in this universe. Shiva is the material cause of the universe, Shakti is the efficient cause. Shiva is pure light. Shakti is gravity that apparently bends trajectories and attempts to mold this pure light into her created forms and molds. It is Shiva itself that has willingly become “star stuff,” the Thing from which all finite things are made of. Shiva and Shakti as the Supreme Consciousness have projected this universe from their essential purity. Life is a creation made on the return journey, where star- light and matter are yearning to evolve beyond physicality, into pure energy, into mind, and finally back again into Consciousness. Therefore, the soul trapped within life and evolution, or “microcosm,” is fundamentally dominated by the centripetal, return, or evolutionary force. “Ha” is the sound of this primordial centripetal energy of mind. It is the first vrtti, or vortex of the mind, which is pure subjective awareness. “Ha” pertains to the Ajina Vortex, the essential and purest level of mind. Here the mind mysteriously fathoms the unfathomable Atman who is entirely beyond the mind itself. The mind “conceives” this inconceivable truth in understanding that “I am That”; “I am Consciousness itself, and not this mind.” It is an entity subtler than mind who sees the mind. “Ha,” the center-seeking, centripetal force of the mind is the only mental vrtti that goes entirely into transcendence, into the pure subjectivity of Shiva. Even the noble Vishuddha tendencies relate to the external world in a spirit of service and chivalry, but “Ha” is a force of mind, of Shakti, that surrenders itself only to Shiva. Its comforting to know that it is the only force that can entirely dominate the mind and unify it in the infinite abode of Shiva. The universe conspires against our external desires. It is only here that all desires find their fulfillment. All of the other 49 major vrttis go outward. “Ha” is the only tendency that delusion can’t touch. The very existence of the parasite who feeds on unconsciousness depends on your not going back to the One, of your inability to transmute your little “I”, the ego, into the great “I-Witness.” Therefore, only surrendering to the infinite Atman will bring an end to ignorance’s dominion. Only the entity who stands beyond good and evil can liberate one from good and evil.

Immortality

My father loved the joys of the material world. He just had to obtain the fastest motorcycle ever produced at the time, a 1984 Kawasaki 900 Ninja. I think my father enjoyed it until it scared him and then he gave it to me. It wasn’t necessarily my style, but what American boy could have said no to such an adventure? Afterall, this was the same motorcycle that Tom Cruise drove in Top Gun. Furthermore, my father had already initiated me into motocross racing at 11 and so I knew what the thrill of danger was. I was a totally crazy and somehow survived the most terrible accidents; flying off of my motorcycle while my little skinny body soared 12 feet over the ground at 60 mph while the other motorcycles were flying over me and landing almost on top of me. I recalled those thrills and decided I could re-live this again with the Ninja. Everybody wanted to ride on it and some friends even wanted to drive it. My best friend had one arm that did not have a fore arm. He just had a little “stub” after the elbow, like a tiny little finger about half an inch long. He insisted that he drive it. I couldn’t say anything, agree or disagree. He just looked at me and said, “Are you prejudiced against me because of my handicap? I have a little stub on my elbow that can grab the clutch.” “Well, you do play the guitar very well with your stub”, I said. That was the only time being on the motorcycle ever scarred me, especially when he got comfortable driving it and tried to bring the front wheel off of the ground at 50 mph. He knew he could get away with anything and he started to take it without my permission and give rides to the rest of my friends. He even taught other people how to drive it.

Collective Evolution

“The harmful internal consequences of over-industrialization not only affect the personal, social and national health of the people, they also precipitate gradual individual and collective psychic degeneration. A type of psychic epidemic may arise which can poison almost all expressions of life and destroy them. This may not happen today, but it will surely happen in the very near future.” - Anandamurti

The Divine Cactus

A friend of mine, Vijaksarananda, had a brilliant mind. He was an I-Ching master who knew the great text inside and out, yet only used it one time for his own personal inquiry. He was also an expert in the experimental study of microvita. He had an idea that homeopathic medicines could be made from peyote. It was an interesting position for him to take because he was a very strict yogi that would not consider the personal use of “power plants.”

Contention And Compunction

The next to last vrtti of the Anahata Vortex is contention. In general, contention is a way for the ego to defend itself against uncertainty by summoning up reasons and arguments to convince others or oneself of being right. We convince others through verbal argument, we convince ourselves through mental argument, through our inner thought conflicts. So often, when one argues with another in an effort to convince, one is really only unconsciously trying to preserve the projections of the mind from falling into doubt and uncertainty. The separate ego always needs to think that its position as center of its universe is secure.

Self And Selfishness

With the seventh vrtti of the spiritual heart, we move into the right, solar side of the Anahata Vortex. Here the centrifugal force is stronger than the centripetal force and the tendencies on this side move more outward than inward. The seventh vrtti is the need for self-definition or “Aham vrtti”. Aham is ego or “doer-I”. Aham really doesn’t denote egotism or selfishness, which is in fact the eigth vrtti. I call Aham “self-definition” because it is simply the need to understand yourself in the relative plane of existence; who you are, who you have been and who you want to do in this life. It cannot be a negative tendency because the human mind propelled by this vrtti always desires clarity, expansion and betterment of its existential position. In fact, this tendency can take one so deep into the question of “who am I?” that the very separateness of the ego-dominated “I” disappears into the eternal “I-Witness”. To follow this introspective tendency to its origin takes one back to the headwaters of the godhead where it pours itself out into every microcosmic soul. The Aham is the active, doer-I; but just behind it is the I-witness that is perfectly still, eternal, and simple. Where does one begin and the other end? It is just like trying to find the edge of a shadow in that there is no real, defined limit. The ego in its most noble expression is but a relative vehicle for the super-personal Consciousness to express itself as a person, as a Self-realized human being. And it becomes so, or will become so in every microcosm. When one truly trusts oneself, then the person is sustained by the I-Witness itself. To simply remember and ideate on the Witnessing Entity behind your person will always put the mind into balance and all problems are placed in a clearer perspective. The person is but an ornamentation, an unintentional flash whose image is illuminated from an image-less act from deep within one’s inner Subjectivity. This expression is controlled by the vibrant and buoyant acoustic root of “ja.” The degeneration of this manifestation of the Macrocosm in the microcosm is egotism or selfishness. It is controlled by the sound “jha.” Here is where a temple to the separate, fearful and vain ego is built and worshiped by the vrttis below the Anahata Vortex. The egocentric and vain desires coupled by the unconscious emotional complexes take refuge in an embellished image of oneself. Where selfishness reigns, death is not far away. The underlying reason for our crisis of consciousness, culture and self-definition is not just the natural limitations of evolving beings but the enforcement of this vrtti by our society and its institutions. Instead of fostering a sense of inter-being and cooperation, most of us have learned individual separateness, competition and domination. Within a capitalist and individualist society there is space for just a few “winners” while so many suffer from a lack of personal fulfillment and social alienation that leaves them spiritually estranged and neurotic. I was born in probably one of the most neurotic and mentally ill societies on the planet, at least for the so-called developed world. Now, in the north of Mexico, I see that most people want to have a typical American life-style and that these materialistic, individualistic values only further corrupt what is already quite a troubled culture.

Vanity

The order of the vortexes or vrttis of the microcosmic mind moves from the subtle to the gross, or internal toward the external. The order of the Sanskrit alphabet moves from the deeper vowels in the throat toward sounds gradually made more forward in the mouth; from the guttural toward the labial sounds. The alphabet, like the order of vrttis, starts with the vowel sounds that are eternal and beyond time, and continuing with the succession of consonants that move within time. “A” for example, can sound constantly, without pulsation or pauses by the tounge. Vowels are eternal. Consonants like “ga” or “ca” requires pauses and repetitions of the tongue. Pulsation is the mark of time, the “mental measurement of the motivity of action.” This is a very interesting example of how the internal, intuitive macrocosmic order is mimicked and repeated in the physical body of the microcosm.

Hope And Worry

The vrttis or vortexes of the microcosmic mind are subtle sounds that result from the tension of internal and external mental movements. They are evolutionary efforts to guide and direct the microcosm in its march towards union with the macrocosm through yoga. These sounds are subtle in that they are vibrations created from tensions in the psychic, non- material realm. They are heard through deep concentration. According to tantra, are the 50 fundamental mental vibrations of the human mind that when spoken audibly form the Sanskrit alphabet. Vowel sounds are causal and unmanifested ideas in the Macrocosmic Mind. They are beyond time and space. Consonant sounds are effects of the causal mind that control the manifestation of more tangible tendencies of the microcosmic mind. This is the reason that in tantric meditation much importance is given to the use of mantras which are intelligently organized from these fundamental sounds.

Stories Of Quetzal

I came to learn of the Tantra Maya practices in a very curious manner. One summer I passed through very deep and intense meditations. It was during the most intense and horrific times of the so-called “narco war” in Mexico. The terror only pushed our community further into our meditations to try to survive and mentally and spiritually process the absurdity of war. Taking the stance of warriors, we decided not to let anything affect our determination to continue with our spiritual lives. One day, while in deep, still silence, I started to see all kinds of images arise in my mind. They intruded and interrupted the silence, formless and breathless. Awakening back into my discerning mind, I immediately recognized these thought forms as Mayan symbols. While these symbols appeared I felt like there was some guide or professor explaining the deep significance of each of them- the pyramid, the ceiba tree, as well as many peculiar sounds and meditation mantras. There were few images, but the explanations were so vast. Perhaps these ideas only lasted a few moments but they were packed full of deep, meditative ideas. I continued enjoying these inner sessions thinking that I was simply tapping into the store of collective memories, or akashik records. Thinking that I had discovered some secret Mayan yoga, I told my friend about them. She laughed and said they were all practices that she had learned when she was 7 years old from her Mayan teacher, Quetzal. Around that same time we got word that Quetzal had just passed away at over 110 years of age.

A Return to Acteal

On our first visit to Acteal I met a man who lost his whole family in the massacre of 1997. I had read about this incident years ago and had the opportunity to ask this community leader a few questions about what happened. He confirmed that they were Zapatista supporters. However, there had been peace accords since ‘94. They believe that the federal army supports local paramilitary forces that commited the massacre and continue to terrorize the people of Acteal. How else can these people have high power weapons and go about freely terrorizing people with nearby military bases that could potentially control these criminals? It is obvious they do the dirty work of the military and continue unimpeded in their terror and tyranny. All of the victims were unarmed and included mostly women and children, even unborn children. There still occur smaller massacres in the area and regular ambushes against them.

Coca Cola Consciousness

I recently saw a very wealthy Mexican with connections to one of the most sinister multinational corporations. He has always been nice as a person to me, however I was always curious how a man can be good to a few people but be a villain to the rest of human society and mother nature. I suppose my curiosity kept me from feeling duplicitous that I could have such a friend. “Maybe he is different? Maybe if we could just convince some of the elite to be more humane?, He does practice yoga, maybe he can wake up?,” were my inner thoughts. On our last meeting our group of friends was openly discussing how the wealthy and powerful are actually exterminating humanity in a highly organized manner. The over-concentration of wealth, overpopulation, environmental crisis, and rampant degeneration of the exploited masses has left no other alternative for the elite than to start planning wars and making enemies all over the globe. Nobody denied it was happening. Most expressed how appalled they were with such a world as ours. My rich friend remained quiet. I personally confessed my horror stories while recently living in northern Mexico surrounded by narco extermination camps where they steal immigrants from the trains and buses and are never seen again. I knew that the system was responsible for these highly organized activities. Anybody who reported these activities to the military or police simply disappeared. I started to write about this on the decentralized social network of Diaspora as I was always getting hacked on Facebook.

The Evolution of Tantra Maya

“Brahma alone is the guru.” This saying from the Upanishads represents a very universal conception of the deity. Brahma literally means that which is great and makes others great. In other words, Brahma is the Consciousness of the Macrocosm, of the entire universe. The guru is none other than the Supreme Consciousness and cannot be tainted by partiality nor prejudices nor any relative projection of a messiah or human guru. What is, simply is. If the Supreme Consciousness can create this entire universe, then surely there is an unmediated, direct way to communicate with me, a little microcosm in this Macrocosm. “Am I a secluded figure, in the vast, a little ameagre? No no no no I am not alone, the great is with me.”

Yama And Niyama, Universal Ethics

How we see the physical world is determined by what level of mind we use to see it. Only in the lower levels of mind is cognitive activity dominated by the senses and cerebral activity. If we purify the Svadhistana, or conceptual level of mind and liberate it from narrow, egoistic thinking, then it is possible to see the world as a projection of thought.  To know this is to change our thoughts and thus change our world. Here is where we realize something very deep about our essence and its connection with a higher, cosmic order that works through our evolving Self awareness, if we allow it to. With the six vrttis of the Svadhistana mind in balance, one can liberate oneself from self-exile and learn to trust that you have a place in the cosmic moral order. 

The Svadhistana, Conceptual Mind is capable of abstract thought and therefore the idea of a self naturally arises. It is so important that this “self-establishing” mind be based on love, security, and rationality. Yama and Niyama are simple, yet profound guides for human conduct that foster spiritual awareness and union at all levels awareness and for human, “mind-preponderant,” “self-establishing” beings. The Svadhistana level of mind corresponds to the “liquid factor” of unified energy. This “liquid” energy is a unified field of waves that collapse and crystallize into the material world, the solid factor.  The liquid factor is more a world of “waves” than a world of “particles.”  Conceptual awareness is greater and we can comprehend our relationship with the natural and social worlds.  This subtle, moral awareness is encompassed within these 10 universal principles. They help keep our external mental projections from reacting, from clashing and bouncing back against the real, living, conscious universe, which is the Macrocosmic Mind of Brahma. To go against the Tao, the cosmic order, will always cause reactions or deformations in the unified field of the liquid factor. The universe always re-adjusts itself from its deformations and we therefore are always experiencing our reactions. “As you think, so you become,”

Tantric yogis realized that in order for a human being to properly develop personally and socially to the degree where they are capable of practicing sadhana (meditation), it is necessary to have a moral code of conduct as a friendly guide.  All societies teach norms and customs that ideally should help orient its members toward proper conduct so that there is harmony in that society.  In contemporary society there is less and less wisdom that parents teach their children.  The values people often learn through the media and in society in general teach superficiality, domination, selfishness, and materialism.  Very few people have the notion that they live in a live universe where there really exist certain moral laws of harmony and balance.  So often, those that speak of morality use it as a fearful force to control the behavior of others instead of using moral wisdom to free the mind from distorted ideas.  Religious and ethical systems often give one a “rationale,” a pattern of how to behave.  What they often lack is how to create the conditions to help one realize moral discernment.  Yama and Niyama isn’t about being a good sheep that follows all of the rules like a cog in the system.  This world is relative and there are no hard and fast, inviolable laws that apply to every person in every situation.  The universality of Yama and Niyama consists in the openness of these concepts that the spirit of the idea pervades all possible situations.  For example, ahimsa, the first and most important ethical principle of yama, is not absolute non-violence where the moral law says you can’t kill a mosquito or accidentally step on a bug.  Instead, ahimsa  is the spirit of not having violent intentions toward any entity.  Ahimsa is an attitude that one carries into every situation, remembering that the Supreme Consciousness is behind all life.  Perhaps this principle doesn’t give you the exact manner to respond to every given situation, but does suggest the spirit of interaction.  If it did tell you exactly what to do, then what would be the value of discernment?    What is important is that one understands violence in all aspects and sincerely tries to never inflict this unconscious destruction upon others.  The basic idea of Yama and Niyama is that all beings are sentient and have an existential  purpose.  All beings need intelligent culture and compassionate nurture.  All of the principles of Yama and Niyama lead to universal love.  All beings are ultimately Shiva, but need a little care and nourishment to realize this.  Yama and Niyama helps inspire this universal sentiment.

The 10 principles of Yama and Niyama are just and very universal spiritual values that are really applicable to all societies in that they are practical values based on dharma, based on our essential nature.  The principles of Yama and Niyama would be the simple, natural goodness of a realized being, a Bodhisattva  They give us a working model of morality, of how a sadhaka, or practitioner of sadhana should behave so as to protect their spirit.  Their understanding helps the individual not just to adapt to society, but to help one understand the deep truth and purpose of morality.  Yama and Niyama aren’t so much divine commandments as they are practical guides to conduct.  For the Svadhistana mind to develop properly in a secure social environment and with self confidence, Yama and Niyama are indispensable.  They keep the mind free of complexes generated by ignorant and selfish impulses that make sadhana impossible.  What enforces and inspires morality isn’t the threat of punishment so much as the understanding of action and reaction.  Good moral education cultivates the discerning intellect so that the physical desires aren’t just repressed but properly understood.   When one sees that suffering and alienation are the result of selfish, unconscious actions, then one truly wants to find a path of activity that purifies and liberates instead of enslaving one to unwholesome desires.  The 5 principles of Yama teach balance in social behavior, while the 5 principles of Niyama orient one toward basic spiritual discipline.  They are as follows:

Why Is This Evil Upon Us?

Why do such terrible things happen in this relative world while our deeper understanding knows that dharma protects all? Dharma is the moral order of the universe. It is the hidden force that works to make us whole and give us what we need to expand in this existence so as to find the eternal beatitude. “Those who protect dharma are protected by dharma,” said Anandamurti. Is the reverse true as well, that those who don’t protect dharma aren’t protected by dharma? A reckless life with no discernment only breeds chaos. Actions based on unbridled desires will certainly not have very tame reactions. I would say that even the ignorant that go against dharma are protected too, although they may have to undergo reactions from their ignorant actions to put the universe and themselves back into balance once again. Essentially, dharma holds all beings together within a supreme being.  When we go against this natural order there are reactions and imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit.

An Eternal And Infinite Circle

Metaphysics and psychology are unified in Tantra.  Ultimately, the deepest studies of our inner nature merge with absolute reality beyond our relative mental, psychological projections about reality.  The still, quiet, and introspective mind can be focused and tuned in to the greater universe.  One learns to live in harmony with an inner peace and wisdom that connects the personal, microcosmic being with an inward, hidden order in the universe.  The Tantric theories about creation, involution, and evolution are very deep and complex.  I refer the serious metaphysical reader to Idea and Ideology of Anandamurti or the works of Sir John Woodruff for a more complete description of Tantric cosmology and metaphysics.  This book is more focused on psychology and phenomenology than metaphysics.  

Central to Tantric cosmology are the concepts of Shiva and Shakti.  Shiva is infinite consciousness and Shakti is divine, creative energy. Shiva is the transcendent First Father of our Consciousness and Shakti is the Great Mother Creator.  They are inseparable in essence, like fire and its capacity to burn.  Together they are Brahma, the Supreme Consciousness, or godhead, to use a concept from Western mysticism. Shiva and Shakti have separate names so that we can conceive of the distinction between essential being and the activity that results from this being.  Shiva is infinite being, an infinite ocean of consciousness.  Shakti, the creative energy, is the force that creates waves on the ocean.  Shiva is absolute being, consciousness, and bliss, while Shakti is the energy behind change, creation, and becoming.  Unified in Shiva, Shakti is tranquil and there is no expression, like a placid ocean.  This is the godhead, or Brahma, where there is no change or becoming, no universe, planets, life, nor Big-Bang.  All is one, eternal and infinite.  When Shakti awakens her creative activity, she begins to create waves on this infinite ocean of Shiva.  She only appears to be separate because of the multiplicity of the apparently separate waves she creates. Finer waves are finer aspects of creation, while grosser waves are condensed, material levels of creation.  All is Brahma, all comes from the Shiva-Shakti godhead, whether manifest nor non-manifested in creative expression.  There exists no other entity than Brahma.

The Elite Pseudoculture

My mother once told me of an incident when she was with her mother in a grocery store in Alabama in the early sixties. They arrived at the end of the check-out line. The people waiting in front of them were all black ladies who were waiting for their turn to pay at the register. As convention would have it, the ladies left their position and tried to get behind my grandmother at the end of the line. My grandmother wouldn’t let them. She said that they were there first and that they should go ahead of her. The other white people were offended by this. What is another white person coming in here for and breaking the rules of our established order?, they said. This happened in the early sixties before the Civil Rights Movement.

Full Moon Fast

Recently, I followed the ancient yogic practice of “dry fasting” on this full moon, as I try to do on all full moons. Yogis teach that the best day for fasting is 3 days before the new and full moons, which is the same as the 11th day after the full and new moons. This day is called ekadashi in India, which means “11th day.”