Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mobilizing the Energies of the Subtle Body

I’ve enjoyed reading books by Lama Yeshe on the subject of tantra. He speaks simply, with great wisdom, but with reasonable caution as to the use of tantra to mobilize the energies of the subtle body for healing and regenerative purposes. As he would describe it:

“Any path utilizing the powerful and potentially destructive energies of desire can be dangerous. If followed improperly or with a selfish motivation, tantra can lead the misguided practitioner into realms of greater mental and physical suffering.”
The mental and physical suffering that Lama Yeshe is speaking about here, I assume, are the everyday sufferings we all experience as we get caught up in our own obsessions and illusions.

The purpose, as I understand it, for mobilizing the energies of the subtle body is to erode and dismantle the influences of the ego, to bring us to that state of equanimity where we become less driven by our obsessions and illusions. Can we, through tantra, become more indifferent to the influences of pleasure or pain, loss or gain, praise or blame, fame or shame? Can we become less obsessive in following what we perceive to be attractions or in avoiding at all costs what we perceive to be our aversions? This only happens as we diminish the influences of “ego."

When mobilizing the energies of the subtle body, always in the back of my mind are the questions: “What is my underlining intention for doing so? Is it for the purpose of spiritual growth and of becoming less attached, or is it for the purpose of seeking enhanced pleasure, greater and greater bliss for bliss’s sake? The three tests of the Sutras, for me, provide the means to discern my intentions:
  • Am I better able to renounce the things of the world as the source of my overall happiness and well-being? Do I see these things for what they are?
  • Is my attitude of service and concern for others increasing in its multiplicity of forms?
  • Can I better experience the impermanence of exterior things in order to more fully embrace the “absolute” that lies beyond “self,” but nevertheless remains mysteriously united with “self.”

This “absolute” is a state of being we all have and possess. We are created in the nature of the absolute. The trouble is that it is covered over, obscured by the clouds of illusion of the ego. Just as the clear light of the sky cannot be seen when obscured by clouds, the blissful presence of the “absolute” cannot be experienced when obscured by the deep, penetrating conditioning of the ego.

When I keep my intentions in their proper order, the mobilization of the energies of the subtle body can and do lead to spiritual regeneration and growth. These blissful energies can disable and transcend the ego and its attachments to enable us to experience the fourth dhyana where all sensation ceases and only mindful equanimity remains. This is the realm where both suffering and pleasure are extinguished, where sorrows or worries no longer exist. This is the stage of the beginning of pure mindfulness.

As I mentioned in a previous post, these energies can be mobilized through five types of activities: vibrations generated through:
  • Breath,
  • Physical movement,
  • Visualization,
  • Sound,
  • Touching or stimulation.
In my years of practice in Christian Meditation (pre-kundalini), my focus was primarily on repeating and listening to the sound of a mantra. My focus was on the silence, stillness, and simplicity of meditation. Any attention given to activities other than repeating the mantra were discouraged and minimal. For example, we were told to sit in a comfortable position, back straight, feet flat on the floor, breath normally. In other words, let your attention to everything else go. Just repeat and listen to the mantra. I attribute my kundalini rising to this simple practice over many years.

However, my post-kundalini activities include components of all five of those vibrational activities described above. So I’m not sure what effect these additional activities would have on those who may have not experienced kundalini rising. But they have certainly enhanced my post-kundalini years, and have led to many changes.

For the methods that I use to mobilize the energies of the subtle body, please refer to my post entitled The Four Dhyanas.

I have found that one of the most significant of these activities is sitting in a siddhasana posture. Siddhasana is often described as the perfect posture. It involves crossing the legs, sitting with the perineum firmly on the heel of one foot. This seat provides stimulation of kundalini energy upward through the nervous system, ultimately, creating a constant flow of ecstatic conductivity throughout the meditation practice.

The story of the wood worm illustrates how this takes place. The worm comes into birth through the wood of the tree in which it resides. Yet it is this same wood that it consumes in order to re-generate itself. It destroys that which gave it life in order to generate new life. The subtle body’s blissful vibrational energies, mobilized under the right intentions, although impermanent in themselves, provide the means by which we can de-rail and dissolve the very thing that they are prone to create in order to generate a new level of consciousness where all sensation ceases and only equanimity remains.

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