Dogen’s Mountains and Waters Sutra P1-5 Transcript

((Copy of the Sutra taken from 108 Bowls))
[11:00] Chraeloos: Alright, we’ll give people a few more minutes to join us before we get started. If you click the poster behind me you’ll receive a copy of the Sutra, if you’d like
[11:02] Chraeloos: I’m going to warn everyone ahead of time that I am not a professional and am here to learn about this just as much as you do. I truly believe that we cannot possibly know everything about a sutra ever, so this will be a new experience (beginner’s mind!) for all of us. Please feel free to jump in with questions or comments whenever they arise. I will post the sutra in sections so we have an opportunity to read it in detail and with as much time as we need.
[11:02] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): ty for the warning
[11:02] Sky (sky.igeria): ty
[11:03] Chraeloos: I don’t expect that we’ll get through the whole sutra today, as it is dense, but we will take our time. If it goes well I may be able to host this again next weekend to finish, or as long as it takes
[11:04] Chraeloos: Hi Sophie 🙂
[11:04] Sophia (mixedmedia): greetings
[11:04] Chraeloos: we’re just about to get started
[11:04] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): oh, hi everyone. NOt all here today, so forgot to say hi. So ‘hi!’
[11:04] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): lol
[11:05] Chraeloos: hi Jachil 🙂
[11:05] Chraeloos: wb wildblue 🙂
[11:05] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): _/\_
[11:05] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): you look completely here to me 😉 {{{{ Rhia }}}}
[11:05] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): ty, Whisper
[11:05] Chraeloos: Alright, shall we get started?
[11:05] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Yes, I do manifest *completely*
[11:05] Chraeloos: If you click the poster just behind me you can get a copy of the sutra to follow along
[11:05] You decline Wellspring Island from A group member named Starheart Erdhein.
[11:06] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): mountains are w alking
[11:06] Chraeloos smiles
[11:06] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): wonder where atreu is….
[11:06] You decline Wellspring Island from A group member named Starheart Erdhein.
[11:07] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): but thats a neverending story
[11:07] Chraeloos: Should we wait a moment Roel?
[11:07] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): for another time
[11:07] Chraeloos: are you expecting them?
[11:07] Chraeloos: lol
[11:07] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone) wonders where Godot is, whether he’s already been here or maybe he’ll be here tomorrow
[11:07] Chraeloos: Hi Zen 🙂
[11:07] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): tyvm for the invite _/\_
[11:07] ButterflyAire: perhaps he is here in our midst and spirits already
[11:07] Chraeloos: glad you could all be here today, thank you so much for joining me in this Perfect Paradise!
[11:08] Chraeloos: I think so too, Butterfly 🙂
[11:08] Chraeloos: _/\_ Namaste _/\_
[11:08] Zen (zen.arado): Hi all
[11:08] Chraeloos: Hi Remael 🙂
[11:08] Chraeloos: ok, here we go, part 1…ready?
[11:08] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): Remael_/\_
[11:08] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue) waves to everyone just dropping in now 8)
[11:08] Remael: Hi
[11:08] Sky (sky.igeria): yes ready:)
[11:08] Chraeloos takes a deep breath
[11:08] Chraeloos: 1.
Mountains and waters right now are the actualization of the ancient Buddha way. Each, abiding in its phenomenal expression, realizes completeness. Because mountains and waters have been active since before the Empty Eon, they are alive at this moment. Because they have been the self since before form arose they are emancipation realization.
[11:09] Chraeloos: I will clarify here, because I was also unsure, An empty eon is a world cycle in which there is no Buddha.
[11:09] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Roger that
[11:09] Chraeloos: could also be considered as the eon before us…empty of all
[11:09] Chraeloos: what do you think?
[11:09] Zen (zen.arado): or a long time anyway 🙂
[11:09] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Is an empty eon anything like empty calories?
[11:10] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): or maybe an acronime for the next day meaning End Of Night
[11:10] Chraeloos: Rhi, lol could be
[11:10] Chraeloos: Roel, good point
[11:10] Sophia (mixedmedia): you people are funny, and smart 🙂
[11:10] Chraeloos: Sophia, you are too 🙂
[11:10] Sophia (mixedmedia): ty:)
[11:11] Chraeloos: Any other thoughts or should I post number 2?
[11:11] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): geophysically spoken is 100 years a spick on a plate for mountains to move an inch
[11:11] Chraeloos: Oh! I wanted to ask everyone as well, is it okay if I take a copy of this chat and post it to my blog? If anyone says no I won’t.
[11:11] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): so thats why it is figurely spoken to my point of view
[11:12] Chraeloos: Hi King 🙂 Hi Jordan 🙂
[11:12] Chraeloos: we’re just discussing part 1 of the sutra, which you can receive from the poster behind me
[11:12] Zen (zen.arado): Hi King and Jordan
[11:12] Chraeloos: true Roel
[11:12] Chraeloos: Yes, Dogen uses some interesting language in this sutra
[11:13] Chraeloos: I wanted to ask everyone as well, is it okay if I take a copy of this chat and post it to my blog? If anyone says no I won’t.
[11:13] Sky (sky.igeria): The word aeon /ˈiːɒn/, also spelled eon, originally means “life” or “being
[11:13] Sophia (mixedmedia): fine with me Chraeloos
[11:13] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): No objections at all
[11:13] Chraeloos: Interesting Sky
[11:13] Chraeloos: thank you Sophia, Wihspr
[11:13] Chraeloos: Whispr8
[11:13] Sky (sky.igeria): indeed:0
[11:13] Chraeloos: ugh, lol I give up
[11:13] Zen (zen.arado): I don’t hear any objections
[11:13] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): giggle… W works 😉
[11:13] Chraeloos: lol
[11:14] Chraeloos: Thank you Zen
[11:14] K I N G (raju.deed): hello for all
[11:14] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): _/\_
[11:14] K I N G (raju.deed): hello chraeloos:)
[11:14] Chraeloos: if anyone objects to this being posted on my blog please IM me at any point during this chat to be sure I get it. Thank you all
[11:14] jordanstarcheriscool: hello everyone
[11:14] Chraeloos: ok, let’s take a look at part two.
[11:14] Chraeloos: 2.
Because mountains are high and broad, the way of riding the clouds is always reached in the mountains; the inconceivable power of soaring in the wind comes freely from the mountains.
[11:14] Zen (zen.arado): I think we have to keep in mind that Dogen was living in the thirteenth century and we are only reading a translation from ancient Chinese
[11:15] Zen (zen.arado): so some of the references he makes can be pretty abstruse
[11:15] Chraeloos: yes Zen, good point
[11:15] Zen (zen.arado): we can only guess at their meanings
[11:15] Chraeloos: “Riding the clouds” and “soaring in the wind” represent the state of freedom in meditation.
[11:15] jordanstarcheriscool: yes
[11:15] Chraeloos: yes Zen, that is very true, thank you for pointing that out. This kind of awareness should be practiced with any text.
[11:15] Zen (zen.arado): it’s not good to take him too literally anyway
[11:15] jordanstarcheriscool: i will pray for al of you to have a nice life
[11:15] Chraeloos smiles
[11:15] Zen (zen.arado): and most of his writing seems to be in koans
[11:15] Chraeloos nods at Zen.
[11:16] Zen (zen.arado): he doesn’t go out of his way to be clear as we would nowadays
[11:16] Chraeloos: Thank you Jordan, you as well
[11:16] Chraeloos: yes, this text is intended, I think, to be taken however it works for you now
[11:16] ButterflyAire: the wind can represent that of the breath of Gaia that holds the clouds aloft in order to kiss the mountains and cloak them in mystery
[11:16] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, he’s talking about a reality that can only be grasped metaphorically, anyway
[11:16] Chraeloos: Beautiful Butterfly!
[11:17] jordanstarcheriscool: life is like a butterfly let it fly high
[11:17] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): riding the waves feels for me sometimes like a preasure cooker
[11:17] Chraeloos: Rhia, not necessarily, he gets into a bit of science later on in the text…and remembering that the science he speaks of is a bit outdated.
[11:17] Chraeloos: Roel, lol, I think we have all experienced that
[11:17] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): 🙂
[11:17] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): You need to let go, Roel
[11:17] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): ty for the warning_/\_
[11:17] Pia Sia (2011): interesting brainstorming!
[11:18] ButterflyAire: sometimes the waves are created by our churning the water instead of resting calmly to enjoy the rocking and embracing of them
[11:18] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): Depends on if you have an anchor or are willing to float with the power
[11:18] Chraeloos nods at Butterfly
[11:18] Chraeloos: Whispr, yes, taking the leap of faith!
[11:18] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I’m thinking of the fundeamental truths that he’s trying to express; I’m sure he also describes the physical world and, as you say, in an outdated way
[11:18] Chraeloos nods at Rhia
[11:18] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Whisper, the anchor is the floating
[11:19] Chraeloos: sometimes those truths are quite hard to understand
[11:19] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Sometimes? lol
[11:19] Zen (zen.arado): I thought he was expressing the fact that the mountains are changing as well as everything else
[11:19] Chraeloos: To me it sounds like he’s saying the mountains, or at least the potential for mountains, is everywhere.
[11:19] Zen (zen.arado): it’s just that it happens on such a vast timescale but we think they are solid and immovable
[11:19] Chraeloos: Zen, I agree
[11:19] Pia Sia (2011): potential of mountains is indeed everywhere
[11:20] ButterflyAire: are the mountains metaphors for those self created and imposed borders that we create?
[11:20] Pia Sia (2011): what exactly is you are holding already is capable of and what wind/storm blows
[11:20] Chraeloos: Butterfly, beautiful! Yes, maybe they are! I hadn’t thought of that.
[11:20] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, is there an equivocation there? Mountains, in the sense of something that we think is changeless, isn’t, really, but as a symbol for achieving our peak potential, they would be eveywhere
[11:20] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Butterflye, if there aren’t, they should be.
[11:20] Chraeloos: Pia, nicely said.
[11:20] Zen (zen.arado): so mountains can be thought of as clouds but just on a different time scale
[11:20] Chraeloos: Rhia, good point!
[11:20] Chraeloos smiles at Zen. “Beautiful.”
[11:20] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Yeah, it’s a nice interpretation, Butterflye
[11:21] Chraeloos: yes, clouds are easy to understand in the way that they are always changing, but mountains maybe not so easy
[11:21] Pia Sia (2011): Mountain can be a unchangable/changable part of us – whichever way we look at it
[11:21] Chraeloos nods at Pia
[11:21] Pia Sia (2011): sometimes we see change as a challenge and other times change is alllll we want that moment
[11:21] Sky (sky.igeria): montain=anvient budha when in the now… freedom is reached in the hight and broadness of montains…
[11:21] Chraeloos: haha so true Pia!
[11:21] Sophia (mixedmedia): this is all very fascinating to me
[11:21] Chraeloos: beautiful Sky
[11:21] Zen (zen.arado): Zen teachers have always tried to deconstruct our so solid notions of reality
[11:21] Chraeloos: Sophia, agreed!
[11:22] Chraeloos: Zen, indeed!
[11:22] Sophia (mixedmedia): I have heard that enlightenment is a “de constructing” process
[11:22] Chraeloos: Shall we move onto part 3?
[11:22] Pia Sia (2011): sure
[11:22] Chraeloos: beautiful Sophia
[11:22] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zen, Zen teachers neither try to deconstuct or fail to deconstruct. They just bonk you on the head if you try to analyze.
[11:22] Chraeloos: lol Rhi
[11:22] Sophia (mixedmedia): LOL
[11:22] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:22] Chraeloos: 3.
Priest Daokai of Mt. Furong said to the assembly, “The green mountains are always walking; a stone woman gives birth to a child at night.” Mountains do not lack the qualities of mountains. Therefore they always abide in ease and always walk. You should examine in detail this quality of the mountains walking. Mountains’ walking is just like human walking. Accordingly, do not doubt mountains’ walking even though it does not look the same as human walking. The Buddha ancestors’ words point to walking. This is fundamental understanding. You should penetrate these words.
[11:23] Pia Sia (2011): really? lol
[11:23] Zen (zen.arado): they bonk you on the back of the neck actually
[11:23] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:23] Chraeloos: A few notes…The Chinese character that Dogen used for this text did not distinguish between green and blue – it was the same character. Sometimes this is translated as “blue mountains are always walking”.

Most of the Ch’an monasteries of the time were located in mountainous regions of China.

In the realm of nonduality, mountains and human beings are not separate.
[11:23] ButterflyAire: when you think of all the elements of life, they are there where the sky caresses the mountains, and the mountains are in constant movement because of the wind’s breath, and the tears of the sky water the sullen rocks and rushes to the green earth below to evenually melt into the seas that calm the volcanic fires of the core that is ever in a state of creation
[11:23] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zen, I stand corrected
[11:23] Zen (zen.arado): reaches for his stick
[11:24] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:24] Chraeloos: Butterfly, beautifully put.
[11:24] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, walking is clearly a metaphor for changing. Except maybe on Easter Island, mountains don’t literally walk, and if they did walk, it wouldn’t be like humans at all. So it has to be changing, moving, that sort of thing
[11:25] Chraeloos: Rhia, I think that Dogen is challenging here our sense of time. Is it linear? If mountains walking is just like humans walking, are we only limited by our perception of time? Because mountains to move, literally, as they crumble and shift and that’s how they got here in the first place, right?
[11:25] Chraeloos: I agree that it is mostly a metaphor for change, but it is also an example of change in reality
[11:25] Chraeloos: in something that we see as the most solid
[11:26] Chraeloos: “a stone woman gives birth to a child at night”…physical mountains moving…earthquaks and landslides…
[11:26] Chraeloos: I don’t know
[11:26] Chraeloos: lol
[11:26] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Well, I see what you’re saying, Chrae, but this is a challenge to adapt to change and to not hang on, even to the “Earth and Sky.”
[11:26] Chraeloos nods
[11:27] ButterflyAire: the universe is within all things and all of us and we are flying through space so we are all in constant change movement and evolution
[11:27] Chraeloos: and a notion of nonduality, with saying that mountains walking and humans walking are not so different.
[11:27] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): (reference to Kansas’ ‘Dust in the Wind.’)
[11:27] Chraeloos: Butterfly, love it.
[11:27] Chraeloos smiles at Rhi
[11:27] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Butterfly, you should write sutras.
[11:27] Chraeloos: lol! She should
[11:28] ButterflyAire: blushes
[11:28] Zen (zen.arado): yes but isn’t he pointing to the fact that humans and mountains share properties of existence
[11:28] Sophia (mixedmedia): yes Butterfly you are so eloquent
[11:28] Chraeloos: Zen, I think so.
[11:28] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Really, and get them published; they would be a nicely modern interpretation of some of these ancient ideas
[11:28] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): As beautiful with words, as with inner beauty 8)
[11:28] Chraeloos: we have the potential for mountains in us, and they have the potential for humans, no?
[11:29] Zen (zen.arado): and I agree with butterfly yes who put it more poetically
[11:29] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:29] Chraeloos: ok, number 4?
[11:30] Zen (zen.arado): or that we are mountains and mountains are us?
[11:30] Zen (zen.arado): mountains R’us 🙂
[11:30] Chraeloos: Zen, yes, true, “we are all stardust”
[11:30] Chraeloos: lol!
[11:30] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I think all poetry, if any good, hits at fundamental truths.
[11:30] Zen (zen.arado): yes
[11:30] Sophia (mixedmedia): so true Rhia
[11:30] Chraeloos nods at Rhi
[11:30] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Zen, I’m still trying to grasp the implications of “Toys R Us.” Please don’t confuse me more
[11:30] Zen (zen.arado): because it can express deeper truths
[11:30] Chraeloos: Hi Helpful 🙂
[11:30] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:30] Chraeloos: lol Rhi
[11:31] Helpful.Meister (helpfulmeister): hello there chraeloos
[11:31] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden…”
[11:31] Zen (zen.arado): Hi Helpful
[11:31] Chraeloos: we are just about to get onto part four of the sutra, if you’d like a copy you can touch the poster behind me
[11:31] Helpful.Meister (helpfulmeister) waves at zen
[11:31] Chraeloos: Rhi, nice
[11:31] Pia Sia (2011): lol thats not quite true… so mountains maybe
[11:31] Chraeloos: Pia, 🙂
[11:31] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Yet if we take a Zen view, that’s saying the same thing as Carl Sagan’s “we are starstuff.”
[11:32] Chraeloos: In a sense, yes, Rhi, I think so
[11:32] Chraeloos: ok, part 4, here we go
[11:32] Chraeloos: 4.
Because green mountains walk, they are permanent. Although they walk more swiftly than the wind, someone in the mountains does not realize or understand it. “In the mountains” means the blossoming of the entire world. People outside the mountains do not realize or understand the mountains walking. Those without eyes to see mountains cannot realize, understand, see, or hear this as it is. If you doubt mountains’ walking, you do not know your own walking; it is not that you do not walk, but that you do not know or understand your own walking. Since you do not know your walking, you should fully know the green mountains’ walking. Green mountains are neither sentient nor insentient. You are neither sentient nor insentient. At this moment, you cannot doubt the green mountains’ walking.
[11:33] Zen (zen.arado): the bit that stands out for me is ‘V’
[11:33] Pia Sia (2011): wonderful…
[11:33] Zen (zen.arado): which didn’t copy 🙂
[11:33] Zen (zen.arado): Green mountains are neither sentient nor insentient. You are neither sentient nor insentient.
[11:33] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): nodding, if we don’t know our own minds & hearts, how can we understand others
[11:33] Chraeloos: Zen, something didn’t copy?
[11:34] ButterflyAire: could the green mountains be referring to the chakra of the heart so thus the heart is ever beating and keeping us alive just as the flowing waves of grass upon a mountain move and sway in the wind and rain fed from the mountain tops … therefore always growing and reaching skyward to the warmth of the sun in hopes to find the missing parts of self
[11:34] Pia Sia (2011): yes which is also a key to find where we stand often
[11:34] Chraeloos: Beautiful Whispr
[11:35] Chraeloos: Butterfly, spectacular. I’m not sure how much influence the Chakra system had on the Zen Buddhists of the time, but that’s a really nice idea.
[11:35] Chraeloos: wb Rhi!
[11:35] Chraeloos: Pia, “where we stand” I like that
[11:35] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): i think they can move mountains with it
[11:35] Zen (zen.arado): the whole way that we classify reality into objects that are sentiet or insentient is suspect
[11:35] Chraeloos: Roel, with what?
[11:35] Pia Sia (2011): Yes, can you proceed whithout knowing where your mountain stands?
[11:36] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): chakra’s
[11:36] Chraeloos nods at Zen, agreed.
[11:36] Chraeloos: Roel, nice!
[11:36] Chraeloos: Pia, lovely
[11:36] Chraeloos: Pia, a kind of checking in, embodiment even
[11:36] Chraeloos: meditation
[11:36] Sky (sky.igeria): green/ fruit unriped… child..walking….learning?…
[11:36] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Pia, seeing as your mountain is walking, you have to proceed without knowing where it stands, because as soon as you know where it stands, it has moved.
[11:37] Pia Sia (2011): true
[11:37] Chraeloos: Sky, love it
[11:37] Chraeloos: Rhia, nicely put
[11:37] Chraeloos: where’s your stick?
[11:37] Chraeloos: lol
[11:37] Pia Sia (2011): its bound to move… which is rightful walking or not you can f ind out
[11:37] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): and the mountaing beneath you will always be your solid ground, your foundation
[11:37] Zen (zen.arado): but we know that in a relative way they don’t really move very much
[11:37] Pia Sia (2011): true whisper
[11:37] Zen (zen.arado): but it’s good to remember that everything is changing and not to believe our frozen concepts too much
[11:37] Chraeloos: Whispr, in a sense, do you mean the mountain as ultimate reality?
[11:37] Zen (zen.arado): I think
[11:37] Chraeloos: Zen, relative, true
[11:38] Pia Sia (2011): we often relate to our mountain we may not be our mountain
[11:38] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): while allowing your head to be in the clouds, let you soar to heights that you never dreamed possible, wherever the wind carries you
[11:38] Chraeloos: is truth ever not relative?
[11:38] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): maybe more core values
[11:38] Chraeloos: Pia, can we ever “be” anything or anyone?
[11:38] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): i refer in mountains often to the elements in general
[11:38] Chraeloos: Whispr, beautiful
[11:38] Zen (zen.arado): that is a big question in philosophy Chrae
[11:38] Chraeloos: wb jordan
[11:38] Pia Sia (2011): we are mountain to many or few
[11:38] Sky (sky.igeria): the truththatcan be expressed with words ormind is nontruth
[11:38] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): clouds can rain down on them and let them crumble from within
[11:39] Sky (sky.igeria): sorry broken keyboard
[11:39] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): its a delicate play of recycling
[11:39] Chraeloos: Sky, agreed, beautiful
[11:39] Chraeloos: it’s ok haha we all speak typonese by now I’m sure
[11:39] Sky (sky.igeria): ㋡
[11:39] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): There are constants, in physics & in morality, so truth isn’t relative. Besides, if truth were relative and some people disagree with that, then the relative becomes the absolute
[11:39] Chraeloos: Roel, nice
[11:39] Chraeloos: Rhi, constants are never exactly the same, just close enough
[11:40] ButterflyAire: but the fire with can either create more mountains or an home where we can find paradise
[11:40] Pia Sia (2011): they can walk on us, put a trampolene on us… we are what we are…. unless we move .. add subtract . LEt rain n water make changes
[11:40] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Close enough that to say they are different is a distinction without a difference
[11:40] Zen (zen.arado): I’m not so sure of that Rhia but that’s a big debate
[11:40] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): so were on an ever changing path beneath our feet
[11:40] Zen (zen.arado): morality especially
[11:40] Chraeloos nods at Butterfly
[11:40] Chraeloos: Pia, nice
[11:40] Sky (sky.igeria): weonly see the light we can perceive
[11:40] Chraeloos nods at Zen and Rhi, “I’ve heard more about the debate than the truth”
[11:40] Sky (sky.igeria): so yes forever changing
[11:41] Chraeloos: nice
[11:41] Chraeloos: ok, shall we reach 5?
[11:41] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): nature is teaching us to be that way (moving constantly)
[11:41] Chraeloos: 5.
You should study the green mountains, using numerous worlds as your standard. You should clearly examine the green mountains’ walking and your own walking. You should also examine walking backward and backward walking and investigate the fact that walking forward and backward has never stopped since the very moment before form arose, since the time of the King of the Empty Eon.
[11:41] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I crash everytime you go to another section, but I’m game
[11:41] Chraeloos: Roel, yet again it is, we started with nature, and now we are trying to come back to it
[11:42] Chraeloos: Rhi, sorry
[11:42] Sky (sky.igeria): The word aeon /ˈiːɒn/, also spelled eon, originally means “life” or “being
[11:42] Sky (sky.igeria): lol
[11:42] Zen (zen.arado): I wonder why he says “green” mountains
[11:42] Sky (sky.igeria): just in case…^^
[11:42] Chraeloos: Sky, I like that. Coming into being
[11:42] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): What can I say? I have a gateway; not up to handling fundamental truths
[11:42] Zen (zen.arado): was that in the note earlier on?
[11:42] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): seasonal trick ill guess zen
[11:43] Pia Sia (2011): green symbolizes progress
[11:43] Chraeloos: Zen, there is a podcast by Center of Gravity in Toronto, where Michael Stone examines that, from last december I think
[11:43] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): or a reference to young and still being influenced
[11:43] Sky (sky.igeria): yes Pia
[11:43] Chraeloos: lol Rhi
[11:43] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I’m guessing that green refers to vegetation, and thus to life or living or the life force
[11:43] ButterflyAire: perhaps the forward backward upward downward sideways are meant to teadh us to forever move onward
[11:43] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): still being flexible
[11:43] Chraeloos: Zen, no, just that the character he used in the original means both blue and green, they didn’t make a distinction at the time
[11:43] Whispr εжз (whispr.xue): forward & backwards
[11:43] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): the new cycle of that life
[11:43] Chraeloos: He uses “green/blue mountains” and “eastern mountains”
[11:44] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): No distinction between blue and green? How primitive. Now, if you had said purple and blue–I get them mixed up *all* the time.
[11:44] Chraeloos: Rhi, lol
[11:44] Chraeloos: Whispr, young, maybe, a play on time
[11:44] Zen (zen.arado): Dogen uses a lot of metaphors about time
[11:44] ButterflyAire: do those movements create a balance within us so that we can learn to accept movements in always … but what about the inward movement where we find all the answers asked and unknown?
[11:44] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Seriously, though, we need to look at a study of what colors meant at the time
[11:44] Chraeloos: Butterfly, like that
[11:44] Chraeloos: Zen, yes, he does
[11:44] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Like today ‘red’ means anger–either that or communism.
[11:44] Chraeloos: some notes on this I took were:
[11:44] Chraeloos: Walking forwards is our perception of the linear progression of time, walking backwards is the wandering of our minds outside of that linear perception. Everything exists in this moment now, and it will all exist in this next moment, and it all existed in the moment before. Everything that ever did exist or ever will exist exists now. Our perception is delayed by a few moments from the actual event. By the time we interpret an object or an experience it has already changed.
[11:44] Sky (sky.igeria): it’smetaphores
[11:45] Zen (zen.arado): like when he talks about Spring doesn’t become summer et cetera in the Genjokoan
[11:45] Chraeloos: Rhia, lol, that would be interesting
[11:45] Chraeloos: Zen, I haven’t read that one, but that sounds interesting.
[11:45] Zen (zen.arado): oh the Genjokoan is the most popular one for study
[11:45] Chraeloos chuckles
[11:46] Chraeloos: I guess I go my own route, Zen. haha
[11:46] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:46] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Chrae, like Siddharta in Hesse’s eponymous book
[11:46] Zen (zen.arado): most people never get past it when they buy a copy of the Shobogenzo
[11:46] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:46] Zen (zen.arado): like me
[11:46] Chraeloos: Rhi, read that one
[11:46] Zen (zen.arado): 🙂
[11:46] Chraeloos: lol
[11:46] Chraeloos: Zen, lol I bet
[11:47] Chraeloos: Shall we fit in one more to this hour? Six is long
[11:47] Professorette Bunni Ninetails (ataraxia.azemus) is Online
[11:47] wildblueviolet Sunset: it sounds like what were saying numerous world being viewpoints different individual the world from
[11:47] Chraeloos: Wildblue, good point
[11:47] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): I discovered Hesse when a friend of mine told me that the group Steppenwolf was based on Hesse; i thought he was making a joke.
[11:47] wildblueviolet Sunset: idivuals see
[11:47] Chraeloos: lol Rhi
[11:47] Sky (sky.igeria): maybe we could squeeze a silent meditation after all that
[11:48] Chraeloos: Sky, I’d like that
[11:48] Roel (roelenstein.vuckovic): that gets the lid of my cooker indeed ty
[11:48] Chraeloos: Glad Roel
[11:48] Chraeloos: It’s a decent start on the sutra
[11:49] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): Chrae, this group got more out of the sutra that I had thought possible.
[11:49] Rhiannon of the Birds (rhiannon.dragoone): When I first read it I thought, ‘Walking mountains; yeah, right.”
[11:49] Zen (zen.arado): section 6 is rather long
[11:49] Chraeloos: ok, I know there are some events at noon, so lets take a meditation for about five minutes, then we’ll open the floor into more conversation.
[11:49] Chraeloos: lol Rhi
[11:49] Chraeloos: yes, we’ll stop here Zen


Tantra: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Ch 1

Good morning, I wanted to share with you folks today a podcast that I feel is a very good overview of the four noble truths and the other teachings of the Buddha. And! It’s under an hour long. It’s a Zencast episode, talk given by Andrea Fella.

Also, I believe I did not yet upload the notes from Tuesday’s chat. We’ve started going over Patanajali’s Yoga Sutra. We made it part way through the first chapter, but I’ll give you the notes I have for the whole chapter. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments! If you’d like to join us next week you can, just click here for the SLURL. We meet every Tuesday at 7pmSLT.

I will be hosting a special event this Saturday at 11amSLT on Dogen’s Mountains and Waters Sutra. If you’d like to read it ahead of time, which I do suggest as it’s a pretty heavy text, you can click here. Many other translations are available on the web as well. Join my group “Creativity; Karma” or my Google+ Community to keep up to date on events.

Tantra: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Welcome to Perfect Paradise! I’m so honoured to have you all here with me today.

I’ve decided to host this as we do yoga postures because I’ve found it helpful on my journey. If you would prefer to sit please feel free to let me know and I can rezz some pillows for you. If you are chosing to do yoga with me you can feel the poses as they manifest in your RL body while we discuss. Allow the energy of the water and the full sky above us to fill you up, and give back to the earth below what you don’t need.

Let us open with a brief mindfulness exercise…please take a moment to make yourself comfortable, drink some water, and stop any and all distractions you are able to.

Once you’re comfortable, preferably sitting, with your head, neck and truck straight, eyes open or closed, whatever is more comfortable, become aware of your body where it comes in contact with the earth…

Notice how the earth is providing continual support…

Notice what it feels like to be supported…

Now become aware of the sensation of weight…

Notice what it feels like to be an object of gravity…

Feel the sensation of weight in different parts of your body – from your head, to your shoulders, to your chest, trunk, hips, legs and feet…

Avoid using thoughts, rely instead on physical sensation, and really examine what weight and gravity feel like.

Please find yourself coming back into the discussion with ease, take a drink of water or tea if you feel the need, and we can get started in just a moment. If you’d care to share, please tell us how was your experience?

1.1 Now is when yoga begins.

Some translations take sutra 1.1 to be an explanation of the text. In my experience, however, the first sutra of any text is the most important description of the meaning of the entire text. This, to me shows that yoga practice is accessible in every moment, in every “now”. Some other translations are: “Now, instruction in Union.” and, “thus, with certainty, we delve into the definitive explication of yoga.” So, thus we go.

We won’t be able to go through the entire Yoga Sutra, since there are 196 sutra’s in four chapters, but we will have a brief overview today. You can find many translations online free of charge. A concise overview (and fairly accessible translation) can be found here: for further reading.

I got the photo’s on the board behind me from this outstanding website:

1.2 Yoga is the control of the (moral) character of thought; the re-channeling of the impressions and habits of the mind and the control of the fluctuations of consciousness.

In other words, yoga aims to reflect the true nature of the person. Persons, in Patanjali’s view, are intrinsically pure, benign moral beings. You may be familiar with the moral code, more frequently known as the eight limbs of yoga. We will explore this a little later, but they first appeared in these Yoga Sutra’s as well.

Patanjali holds a dualistic view that distinguishes persons from the natural world, but this view should be distinguished from the dualisms prominent in the western world where the mind (soul) is regarded as the essential feature of persons. For Indian dualists such as Patanjali the mind is typically seen as a feature of the natural world, dependent on the conditions of the elements.

1.3 Then, the seer can abide in its essence; dwell in their own nature.

Upon realizing union, the seer can be free of the creations of the mind; free of the misconceptions that lead us to wrong-doing and immoral action. We can find our original state.

1.5 There are five characters of thought, or mental habits – some afflicted, degrading, others not afflicted, uplifting.

Sutras 1.6-1.11 deal directly with describing these epistemic states.

1.6 These five states are: knowledge, illusion, verbal delusion, sleep and memory. In other words,

be aware of what is actually in front of you,
mistake what is in front of you,
imagine or fantasize something,
be unconscious, or
remember something.

1.7 We attain knowledge through (empirical) perception, inference (logic) and the scriptural traditions (ie. a reliable source).

1.8 Illusion is the improper comprehension (of real objects) not based on their true forms.

In other words, you are trusting your senses, which could be (and probably are) flawed. Perceptual error always contains a grain of truth in it, because Patanjali sees illusion not just on pure imagination but but a misperception of real objects.

1.9 Verbal delusion arises when words do not track (real) objects.

All of language is a metaphor. You can say with certainty, “That is a couch.” But, it could be used as a bed, or a table if you were sitting on the floor, and if you take it apart all of the things that make it up are not couches in and of themselves, they are bolts and screws, planks, wood, material, padding, etc. And even that doesn’t give you the true essence of what those things are. Any time we use language we are put our own perceptions and understanding behind it, and the person we are communicating with may not have the same perception or understanding, therefore making the communication delusional.

1.10 Deep sleep is the morally evaluatable character of mentality conditioned by the relationship between the awareness of nothing and nothingness; it is the mental habit characterized by the absence of form.

Sleep is a positive state of experience, note, this is not necessarily referring to dreams. In the practice of yoga nidra, for example, we give our minds something to focus on, such as embodiment or following a sound or guided imagery in order to maintain the mind. These objects of focus are not real object as they exist only in our minds, and therefore are nothing, empty, and inconsequential and meaningless to existence. This suggests that the mind can’t function without being “turned off” regularly.

1.11 Memory is the prevention of loss of experienced content; sensory experiences.

Samskaras, or the imprints left on the mind from past experiences make up our karma, and are barely distinguishable from memories, except that they exist unconsciously most often, where we may not remember them. It is said that we actively hold on to these by participating in the continuous cyclic existence of suffering. Through yoga, we can relinquish these impressions. This implies that, by putting effort into defining ourselves through past experiences, we can also let go of these experiences and redefine ourselves. This can be accomplished over time with many different practices, namely nonattachment.


1.16 Greater than detachment from the material world is to lose all interest in the very fabric of our reality. This comes from experiencing the nature of Consciousness (soul).

Here we are transcending the qualities of nature and directly perceiving the soul. This practice takes a very long time to achieve. Essentially this is achieving bliss.

Sutras 1.23-1.29 deal with attaining union, or success in yoga, through meditation on the Lord. It mention chanting Om, the primordial seed syllable. In doing this you can reach the knowledge of consciousness, intelligence and volition, and also nullify the impediments to that knowledge.

1.30 Illness, apathy, doubt, negligence, sloth, non restraint, delusion, perspectivism, failing to be grounded (flightiness/hyperactivity), and inconsistency, scatter the mind and constitute an impediment to yoga; act as barriers to stillness.

These are the obstacles to practicing yoga.

1.31 Accompanying these distractions are discomfort, depression, trembling of the body, and disturbed inhalation and exhalation.

Interestingly, these are all signs of poor health. It also mentions breathing, or pranayama. If you’ve been to my other discussions you’ll be familiar with a few pranayama practices.

1.33 Consciousness settles as one radiates friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity toward all things, whether pleasant or painful, good or bad.

In order to overcome these disturbances one can practice compassion and equanimity…beautiful words of wisdom. In Buddhism these four practices are called brahmavihara, or the “divine state”. Rather than the yogi transcending right and wrong, they are to view them with equanimity. In other words, you can’t look down at someone who is unsuccessful in yoga, but great them with compassion. Every situation, good or bad, that we are in is an opportunity to practice yoga, and we should be thankful for this.

In order to do this successfully we need to rid ourselves of negative reactions and worrying over problems. Patanajali lists the ways of doing this as practicing pranayama, meditation (“binding the mind into stillness to observe the contents of the mind as they arise”), non attachment, awareness, embodiment, insights culled from sleep and dreaming, and oneness.

That is all I have for tonight. Thank you all so much for coming and sharing your energy with us today! It truly was a pleasure. Namaste, hugs! I now open the floor to casual conversation.

Thanksgiving 2013 and Patanjali

It is Canadian thanksgiving this weekend. It’s the time of year when families get together and eat too much food, and drink too much drink. I’m one of the lucky ones who has a family that can be in the same room together without a major blowout (usually).

I think something we’ve forgotten in Western society is the idea of actually giving thanks. If thanking God(s) is your practice, then you probably do it on a regular basis. But here I mean, truly being thankful for what we have. I was walking home the other day, and was reminded of the municipal election coming up by all the signs posted on front lawns with people’s names. “Hey,” I thought, “It’s pretty amazing that I live in a place where we can so publicly voice our opinion without fear. I’m really thankful for that.” Then I started thinking, what else do I take for granted? I’m thankful for the fact that I can go to a studio and practice hundreds of different lineages of yoga, Buddhism, or whatever other religion or path I chose. I’m thankful that I can have friends and coworkers that can invite me to their Sikh temple, and let me know that I’m welcome any time, regardless of my skin color, family name, or background. I’m thankful that I can choose the person I love, and life our lives together regardless of race, religion, sex, or caste. I’m thankful that I can choose what kind of food I want to eat: organic, raw, vegan, vegetarian, junk food, fast food, etc. because I live in a country that is wealthy enough to have those options. I’m thankful that I can wear the clothes I want regardless of time of day, what street I’m on, or what my sex is. I’m thankful that I can chose what radio and TV stations to watch, and that I have internet that allows me to connect with anyone in the world. I’m thankful that there are government programs in place if I lose my job that will give me money to feed and shelter my family until I find a new one. I’m thankful that, as a woman, I’m allowed to go to any school I choose for any degree I choose, and I can do it without consent. I’m thankful that I can vote and protest to any peaceful extent I’d like, and for whatever topic I’d like. I’m thankful for a lot of things. A lot of them I couldn’t fit on this page. These are just the things that come off the top of my head. I’m thankful that I have the ability to change the world, because each and every one of us has that power within us. I’m thankful to be alive.

The holidays are some combination of the niyana’s and the yamah’s from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

The niyama’s are composed of:

  • Sauca – purity, cleanliness
  • Santosa – contentment, acceptance
  • Tapah – austerity, penance, heat, discipline
  • Svadhyaya – self study, study, study of scripture
  • Isvara pranidhianani – to reflect or consider, surrender, surrender the Lord (God)

The yamah’s are composed of:

  • Ahimsa – not harming, compassion for all life
  • Satya – truthfulness in thoughts, words, and actions
  • asteya – not stealing, overconsumption
  • brahmacarya – sexual restraint, conserving creative energy

As you can see, the holidays are the *perfect* yoga practice. You can make sure you aren’t eating or drinking too much, saving some for others. You can try your best to not lie, gossip, or make commitments that even one cell in your body can’t keep. You may even go so far as to have a vegan thanksgiving to not harm any animals. You can help with the dishes, make sure you discipline yourself enough to not be rude and lend a helping hand. You can even try to love your family despite their differences and even sometimes, annoyances. You may even be able to remind yourself of a scripture or text you read recently talking about letting go of old habits and emotions. If it is in your practice, you can thank God or Gods, or Energy or Life Force, or whatever it is you thank. If that doesn’t jive for you just practice surrendering to the now. Rather than escaping into the past or future, or into a book or phone game, sit in peace and accept, or even be thankful, for the fact that you get to be in a warm house with people that love you (even if it doesn’t really seem like it) and let the time play out as the universe allows, since you can’t change it anyhow. And the easiest one of all to practice will be brahmacarya, or sexual restraint/conserving creative energy, because you’ll be too exhausted by the end of it all to even bother.

In essence, what I’m trying to say, is the holidays can be a time of joy, and they can be a time of suffering. Patanjali shows us that yoga isn’t just about your practice on the mat, that in fact it has purpose and opportunity in every moment. Who knows, maybe your positivity will be infectious.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and I do hope you have a peaceful and safe holiday. Namaste.

Tantra: The Subtle Realities

Tantra: Subtle Realities October 8 2013

Welcome to Perfect Paradise! I’m so honored to have you all here with me today.

I’ve decided to host this as we do yoga postures because I’ve found it helpful on my journey. If you would prefer to sit please feel free to let me know and I can rezz some pillows for you. If you are choosing to do yoga with me you can feel the poses as they manifest in your RL body while we discuss. Allow the energy of the water and the full sky above us to fill you up, and give back to the earth below what you don’t need.

Before we get started I invite you to take a few deep breaths with me. Let go of the day, join me in the present moment. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let it out with a sigh. Repeat this until you are feeling relaxed…I’ll give you a few moments…Let me know when you are ready and we will start.


Tantra: The Subtle Realities

“Because every embodied individual is composed of a body, a mind and a spirit, the ancient Rishis of India who developed the Science of Life organized their wisdom into three bodies of knowledge: Ayurveda, which deals mainly with the physical body; Yoga, which deals mainly with spirit; and Tantra, which is mainly concerned with the mind. The philosophy of all three is identical; their manifestations differ because of their differing emphases.” Robert Svoboda Motilal Banarsidass

The human experience is more than just the physical body. Between the material universe and the ultimate Reality are the multiple layers of subtle (sukshumna) existence.

These other realms of existence are considered in the Vedas to be the home of deities, ancestral spirits, and other entities, including various kinds of demonic beings (elementals).

All beings participate in these other realms, although we are rarely aware of it. In fact, our existence is active in these realms simultaneously as it is in the physical realm. In this sense, these realms are called sheaths, or kosha. These kosha’s are said in some schools to conceal the ultimate Reality, although in hatha yoga they experience them as a natural extension of the human body.

The Taittiriya-Upanishad names them as follows:

1. Anna-maya-kosha, or “sheath composed of food,” is our familiar physical body, by which we navigate in the material world.
2. Prana-maya-kosha, or “sheath composed of life force,” is the energy field associated with and sustaining the physical body. It is the connecting link between the physical body and the mind.
3. Mano-maya-kosha, or “sheath composed of the mind,” refers to the mind in its lower function as a processor of sensory input. Manas (thinking-mind) is driven by doubt and volition (or desire) and vacillates between externalizing our consciousness and with-drawing it into the realm of imagination. This aspect of the mind is governed mainly by the factors of inertia (tamas) and dynamism (rajas).
4. Vijnana-maya-kosha, or “sheath composed of intelligence,” refers to the mind in its higher function as an organ of discernment between what is real and unreal, that is, as the seat of wisdom. Where the lower mind causes doubt and uncertainty, the higher mind (often called buddhi) also brings certainty and faith, as well as a sense of stillness, because the lucidity factor (sattva-guna) is predominant in it.
5. Ananda-maya-kosha, or “sheath composed of bliss,” is equated in the Taittiriya-Upanishad with the transcendental Self (atman) itself, though subsequent Vedanta schools consider it to be the final veil surrounding the ultimate Reality, or Self. In any case, ananda (bliss) must not be mistaken for an emotional state, which is hierarchically higher than intellection or intelligence (vijnana). Emotions belong to the anna-maya- and prana-maya-koshas.


Within the subtle bodies is a subtle network of energy, which flows through the nadi’s (ie. meridians in TCM, or energy channels much like blood vessels but on an energetic level).

“This energy, called Prana in Sanskrit (Qi in Chinese), exists in many forms from the extremely gross to the infinitely subtle and life is an interplay of these energies. Metaphorically a cosmic dance of Shiva and Shakti, Yin and Yang, the Sun and the Moon. Within the human body these energies flow along a network of channels or lines (nadis or meridians).

Health in eastern philosophies is regarded as a state of balance between these energies, where all the systems of the body, including mind and spirit, function in harmony with each other. And disease (dis-ease) is seen as imbalance or disharmony in this flow of energies. But beyond feeling good physically an enlightened definition of health encompasses feelings of vitality, strength, inner peace and joy.” -

nadis, the vast network of energy channels that makes each individual an integrated, conscious, and vital whole. The Sanskrit word nadi derives from the root nad, which means “flow,” “motion,” or “vibration.” Very similar to the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the sen lines of Thai Massage.

The nadis are our energetic irrigation system; in essence, they keep us alive. According to many Tantric texts, the human body contains 72,000 nadis that channel prana (energy) to every cell, each nadi having a specific function and energy that it deals with (although other sources vary, some in the millions!). When this system flows freely, we are vital and healthy; when it becomes weak or congested, we struggle with poor mental and physical health.

Three nadis are of particular interest to yogis. The sushumna (most gracious) nadi is the body’s great river, running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, passing through each of the seven chakras in its course. It is the channel through which kundalini shakti (the latent serpent power) —and the higher spiritual consciousness it can fuel—rises up from its origin at the muladhara (root) chakra to its true home at the sahasrara (thousandfold/crown) chakra at the crown of the head. In subtle body terms, the sushumna nadi is the path to enlightenment.

The ida (comfort) and pingala (tawny) nadis spiral around the sushumna nadi like the double helix of our DNA, crossing each other at every chakra. If you visualize the caduceus, the symbol of modern medicine, you’ll get a rough idea of the relationships among the ida, pingala, and sushumna nadis. Eventually, all three meet at the ajna (third eye) chakra, midway between the eyebrows.

The ida nadi begins and ends on the left side of sushumna. Ida is regarded as the lunar nadi, cool and nurturing by nature, and is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality. The color white is used to represent the subtle vibrational quality of ida.

Pingala, the solar nadi, begins and ends to the right of sushumna. It is warm and stimulating by nature, controls all vital somatic processes, and oversees the more masculine aspects of our personality. The vibrational quality of pingala is represented by the color red.

The interaction between ida and pingala corresponds to the internal dance between intuition and rationality, consciousness and vital power, and the right and left brain hemispheres. In everyday life, one of these nadis is always dominant. Although this dominance alternates throughout the day, one nadi tends to be ascendant more often and for longer periods than the other. This results in personality, behavior, and health tendencies that can be called ida-like or pingala-like.

Bringing ida and pingala into equilibrium is a major focus of hatha yoga (tantra)—so important, in fact, that the term hatha symbolizes this balance. Although the word hatha literally means “forceful” in Sanskrit, it is composed of ha and tha, two esoteric bija (seed) mantras that have arcane meaning and power. Ha represents the solar qualities, the vital force, of pingala; tha represents the mind and the lunar qualities of ida.

All the Nadis spring from the Kanda, the junction where the Sushumna Nadi is connected with the Muladhara Chakra. This Kanda is thought to be about 12 inches above the anus. Out of the innumerable Nadis, 14 are said to be most important. They are Sushumna, Ida, Pingala, Gandhari, Hastajihva, Kuhu, Saraswati, Pusha, Sankhini, Payasvini, Varuni, Alambusha, vishvodhara, and Yasasvini.


At the main points where nadi’s intersect are chakras.

In many styles of yoga and many practices of Ayurveda, the Chakra’s have great importance. There are said to be seven Chakra’s in the human body. They form a line up the spine, some say in the center of the body, others think these centers are “attached” to the spine. A chakra is a center of energy, the literal translation being “wheel” or, less commonly, “vortex.” The English terms for the chakras, starting from the bottom, are: root chakra (Muladhara), sacral chakra (Svadishthana), solar plexus chakra (Manipura), heart chakra (Anahata), throat chakra (Visuddha), third eye chakra (Ajna), and crown chakra (Sahasrara). As in most Eastern medicine systems, the goal is to have the energies in the chakra’s balanced in order to have the best possible mind/body relationship and health.


Pema Chodron says, “May we all learn that pain is not the end of the journey, and neither is delight. We can hold them both – indeed hold it all – at the same time…” What I take from this quote is that, among other things, within these layers of existence we can live outside of the boundaries of physical existence, therefore overcoming suffering. In the physical and mental bodies we live in this kind of see-saw with depression on one side and elation on the other. In the centre, when it is balanced, is calmness, or bliss. By taping into these other subtle realities, we can see the situation for what it really is, therefore not becoming depressed or elated by it.

By becoming aware of all five subtle bodies, we are able to undo the vehicle of karma, which lives in the causal body. It is said that this body enables continuity not only from life to life but even from one cosmic creation to another. The subtle bodies do not fall away when death occurs, but continue on to the next life, until full liberation when the individual drops all bodies and is present purely as the transcendental Reality.

When we experience life only from the senses of the physical body we see ourselves as separate from others. But when we can learn to experience life with awareness from all subtle bodies we can continuously see the connection between ourselves and all other beings, thereby making compassion more accessible.

It is shown in modern science that all beings are made of the same things – particles. When we test for properties of a particle, we see a particle, but when we test for properties of a wave, we see a wave. We can hardly say we understand the nature of things, but what we can grasp from this is that our bodies, despite us experiencing them as solid entities with definable boundaries, are always changing. If particles also behave as waves then we can safely say that our bodies are not defined by a finite boundary, but in fact must extend out past the physical “edge”. We also know that our bodies function off electricity and also emit it in waves. They also say that it can now be monitored that our heart beats and thought patterns coincide with those we are physically close to if we are positively relating.

So, next time you’re holding a loved one or having a conversation with a friend bring your awareness into your subtle bodies and see if you can feel their energy mingling with yours. You can also work with this experience in meditation by starting with embodiment – asking yourself “where is my body right now?” and feeling the floor beneath your feet, the air on your skin, your blood pulsing throughout your veins. Once you can feel that – be patient, it may take some practice – you can start to send your awareness out a bit, feeling the air around you, listening to any sounds and seeing how far away you can still notice things. Eventually you may be able to release the idea of having a solid body. In my own experience I’ve been able, through meditation, to stop feeling as though there was a boundary to my body and start feeling the whole world as one continuous experience. You may have a completely different experience. Play with your awareness as much as you are comfortable. You never know what other experiences are out there until you open yourself to them. Only do what is comfortable for you.

Let’s do a tantric practice to align the nadi’s, branching from kundalini yoga.

To practice Nadi Shodhana, the main practice of balancing the nadis, sit in a comfortable meditative position. Make a fist with your right hand, then partially re-extend your ring and little fingers. Lightly place the pad of the thumb on your nose just to the right and below the bridge; lightly place the pads of your ring and little fingers on the corresponding flesh on the left side of your nose. Gently pressing with the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril, exhale fully through the right. Then inhale fully through the right, close it with the thumb, release the left nostril, and exhale through it. Inhale through the left nostril, close it with the fingers, release the right nostril, and exhale through it. This completes one round of Nadi Shodhana.

I’ll leave you with a quote…

“…each one of us is a union of all universal energy. Everything that we need in order to be complete is within us right at this very moment. It is simply a matter of being able to recognize it. This is the tantric approach.” Lama Thubten Yeshe

Thank you all so much for coming and sharing your energy with us today! It truly was a pleasure. Namaste, hugs!

Introduction to Tantra Notes

Below are the notes I shared at the introduction to tantra discussion on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Intro to Tantra October 1, 2013

Welcome to Perfect Paradise! I’m so honoured to have you all here with me today.

I’ve decided to host this as we do yoga postures because I’ve found it helpful on my journey. If you would prefer to sit please feel free to let me know and I can rezz some pillows for you. If you are chosing to do yoga with me you can feel the poses as they manifest in your RL body while we discuss. Allow the energy of the water and the full sky above us to fill you up, and give back to the earth below what you don’t need.

Before we get started I invite you to take a few deep breaths with me. Let go of the day, join me in the present moment. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let it out with a sigh. Repeat this until you are feeling relaxed…I’ll give you a few moments…Let me know when you are ready and we will start.

Let’s start with asking – what does “tantra” mean to you?

Tantric yoga is a path of union – yoking – between the one and the many. It is the path to liberation of the “self” – the entity that the ego insists is individual, but is merely a piece of the macrocosmic world. The term “tantra” means liberation through expansion. We can understand through this definition that the practice explores all energies and their application associated with human existence and human environment.

Everything that exists in the macrocosmic universe also exists within us, and vice versa. We are reflections of the ultimate Reality according to Tantric thought.

Tantra worships the divine dance of Shiva and Shakti, which we can safely relate to yin and yang in Chinese medicine. It must be noted that these are not two separate beings, but two poles of One Being (you may know this being as Brahma – the infinite Supreme Conscious Being). The breakdown works a bit differently, though, with Parama-shiva as the umbrella of ultimate reality. This is characterized by sac-cit-ananda, or Being (sat), Consciousness (cit), and Bliss (ananda).

David Bohm described reality as movement that occurs as “a series of interpenetrating and intermingling elements in different degrees of enfoldment all present together.” This accurately describes the tantric world-view, which only adds that this dynamic Being is conscious.

Tantric practitioners believe that all of us have this Consciousness within us. They believe it is located within the heart, the heart meaning here: “that which I truly am.” “[The heart] is not the body or the mind,” says Georg Feuerstein, “but pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss.” Remember here, that these terms don’t mean what they mean in ordinary western context, as in the ultimate being there is no differentiation between subject and object.

Shiva, is the aspect of the ultimate reality that is consciousness. It is pure subject rather than object; the notion of “I,” without a sense of “I am.” You may be familiar with the mantra for this aspect, located in the heart, “aham.” This sound means “I.” Shiva is often interpreted as the masculine aspect.

Shakti, is the second aspect of the ultimate Reality which is creativity or energy. Shakti coexists with Shiva to create the universe. Shakti is considered to be the Bliss aspect of the ultimate Reality. Shakti is often interpreted as the feminine aspect.

We can view the union of Shiva and Shakti much like we do yin and yang: as a seemless continuity of Consciousness and Power within one and the same Reality. One cannot exist without the other, one exists within the other, and one manifests the other. This union is often viewed in the west as a sexual union between a couple, but we must keep in mind that this union is transcendental and therefore also asexual.

Shakti plays the active role, whereas Shiva plays the passive role. He manifests the absolute stillness of consciousness, and she expresses the unlimited potency of Power or Energy. “Together they symbolize the play of life and death, creation and annihilation, emptiness and form, dynamism and stasis. This interplay is found on all levels of cosmic existence because … it preexists the ultimate Reality itself.”

Shiva and Shakti are in a constant dance, which you will see in many forms of art depicting the two. In reality this is depicting the motion of the universe – the constant interplay of matter of spirit. This interplay is what we know as the bliss of creation.

Where us westerners get confused is in the idea of love – the act of loving – is one way of allowing us to experience a fraction of this universal bliss. The goal of Tantric practitioners is to unite Shiva and Shakti within us in order to live in bliss. Neotantra is the tantra that has come to the west and it has changed significantly since the traditional lineages. In Neotrantra sex is thought to be a ritual and should be recognized as a sacred act capable of elevating its participants to a higher spiritual plane. Authentic or traditional Tantra sexualised ritual, so rather than the ritual being only sex, sex was merely a small part of the ritual. Neither of these are necessarily right or wrong, but are merely different paths of the same tradition.

Many practices that you are likely familiar with also come from tantric origin – chakras, koshas or spiritual realms, hatha yoga, chanting, Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, amongst many more.

In Tantric beliefs, it is thought that the power of all Gods and Goddesses exists within each of us. By awakening our awareness, through such practices as mentioned above, we can stir the Kundalini energy of the serpent, therefore uniting the two aspects of stillness (Shiva) and manifestation (Shakti). This is also known as enlightenment – realizing that there is no difference between zero, one, and many.

The basic idea of tantra is to have awareness in everything you do – a kind of union between subject and object. This can be viewed as simple embodiment, ie. can you feel the keys beneath your fingers? Can you feel the seat you are sitting on? Can you feel the floor beneath your feet? What does the air feel like on your skin? Literally, feeling each breath. In this same way, through every action we can access tantra (union).

Thank you for your participation today! I open the floor…Namaste!