More on the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra

A further exploration of practices from this classic text, presented by Swami Nishchalananda to the Sheffield School of Yoga

Swamiji starts out by addressing the apparent obstacle that all of us, who have ever tried to meditate, come up against; the noise of our own thoughts. The dharanas in this text give us something practical which can allow us to sidestep those circular thoughts perhaps……

These practices are so good, they put us in a position where even if we are still thinking, they will give us that perspective, that spaciousness, where we can get a handle, we can tune in to something which is not dependent on thoughts or concepts.

All of you…. as Yoga practitioners… there comes a point where there’s a shift, and you will be in a certain space which has not been ‘orchestrated’ by your thinking.

Swami Nishchalananda

The Practice session starts with Dharana (focussed practice) no. 48

‘Meditate on the delight which arises
on meeting a friend or relative after a long time.
Be absorbed in the energy which is so created’.

After exploring that Dharana, there is a review of the technique of experiencing the ‘Dwadashanta’, which corresponds to the PranaMaya Kosha in the paridigm of the Koshas or sheaths/layers of an embodied being. Awareness of this field is necessary in quite a few of the dharanas of the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. Swamiji simply says of this:
‘This is a practice which can be done almost at any time, to bring about a change in awareness’.

These practices are a way of opening up to this mysterious world, this mysterious universe in which we find ourselves. And for that we have to let go of our concepts.

Dharana no. 5 is then explored (one of Swamiji’s favourites) being the energising practice of feeling energy rising with the breath from the base of the body and cascading down through the dwadashanta on the outbreath.

There is an extensive question and answer session in the second half of the program, some of which are included in this edited video.

Let’s finally return to that issue of thinking and meditation techniques. Swamiji explains:

‘I am not against thinking.
It’s what makes us Human Beings.
But we have other faculties which get drowned by thinking
… intuitive faculties….. perceptive faculties….’

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