Between all the curriculum, I have found it hard to find time & inspiration to write. But today I felt the inspiration to share what it is exactly I am doing here.
For some the word 'ashram' may have all sorts of connotations; but essentially the word means 'community'. That is exactly what this place is all about. Community; sharing, love, knowledge, humanity.
The ashram is a space for seekers to realise & embody their true nature, their bliss, beyond the confusions of the mind. Traditional Tantric philosophy is the underlying principles & influence we are all culturing & integrating into all aspects of our mind, body and spirit.
Traditional Tantra, is nothing like what I have experienced in the western depictions of Tantra. This school is a Traditional Tantra system, which is rooted in Kashmiri Shaivaism; and is an integrated system, that looks at the whole of existence; not just one aspect of life which is being portrayed in much of contemporary Tantra; that being around sexuality mainly. Of course sexuality is a part of Tantra, but it is not the only aspect. Tantra encompasses life; everything - so of course sexuality comes under that umbrella; but due to modern day interpretations and influences of popular influences in psychology, namely Freud & Jung; the literal depiction of Tantra has been portrayed mainly through Sexuality; by drawing on the Masculine/Feminine aspects & bringing that into physical level... through relationship and sex.
The Tantric Philosophy
Here at Shri Kali, we study the ancient Tantric philosophies - through the Guru's interpretations of the Vedas - the most ancient Yogic & Tantric texts which is essentially offers the blueprint of the universe. It offers the knowledge & concepts of us being apart of oneness consciousness (the absolute). Beyond duality, separation, fears; essentially true humanity & love. All major world religions, are essentially drawn upon from the Vedas; however most are taken literally & indoctrinated into the followers. By studying these ancient texts we understand on a higher consciousness level the nature of our true authentic selves, as pure love & connected to everything & everyone. Oneness consciousness.
The Tantric Yoga
We practice & embody such knowledge every day through our daily Yoga practice. This yoga is exactly what I have been yearning to teach for many years; yet never realised it was based in a traditional system. In my opinion iIt is a self empowerment practice. A practice that allows you to go deep into your self; draw upon your own intuitive wisdom; and realise the true nature of who you are. It is more a moving meditation practice than a physical workout. It works primarily upon the Prana system (subtle energy body). From this free flowing prana the entire bodily systems balance. Unlike most Yoga systems these days; which are mainly focusing on the body aspect; and almost a competition like environment - how flexible you are, how advanced you are in the series etc; this practice focuses more on self love and self acceptance; zero competition; and level of skill is irrelevant, even focus on the alignment is irrelevant as we believe your body knows where it needs to go in each asana. The teacher sits at the back of the class and the majority of the sequence your eyes are closed; to allow you to go deep internally; not measuring against any other student; or watching the teacher for guidance. You are guided into a posture & your innate bodily wisdom; your intuition leads you there. The more we practice this; the more this flows into our every day life, decision making; and empowerment. The 3 hour practice allows you to enter a semi conscious state which is acting deeply on your sub conscious mind; letting go of all the limitations, confusions, fears that are not you. You get to really experience yourself as Divine and apart of the this infinite reality. Some of the experiences I have had in these classes have been close to what people explain they have on Ayuascha, Acid Trips, and Marijuana highs. Completely entering the void; no mind; and feeling expansion beyond the physical reality.
We also practice Bhandas to cultivate our subtle energy systems & practice Pranayama (breathing practices) to culture our internal energy systems & balancing of Yin/Yang principles within; through subtle support of awakening the Kundalini; through purifying and balancing the ida/pingala Pranic channels; so Kundalini can awaken subtly & gracefully.
Through embodiment practices and preparing our bodies energetically; through Yoga practices; Asana, Pranayama, Bhanda we are better prepared for Kundalini to awakening & to enter into higher states of consciousness through this phenomenon.
Every day we give and receive Massage before we practice Asana. This specific massage is a walking massage; working on the Nadis and the Pranic system to prepare the body for deeper openings in Asanas and expansion of energetic body; and balancing of all internal systems.
Tantric Puja (Ritual/Consecration)
Once a week we engage in Tantric Puja. Puja means consecration or ceremony/celebration. This is the ultimate embodiment and experience of Shakti (energy) and Shiva (consciousness) dissolving and merging into oneness; just as two spokes of one wheel move & dance together. It is essentially what Tantric Sexuality is based upon. Here at Shri Kali we start with this introduction Puja; and then further Kundalini sexual practices are performed; depending on where you are at, (note: we don't officially explore them here at this school). During this Puja, man embodies Shiva, woman embodies Shakti or the Goddess; and we offer gifts of the 5 elements; representing earth, air, fire, water, ether. It is a sacred ritual and mantras are spoken throughout to cultivate this energy; to connect in with the higher vibration of the absolute consciousness. Man and woman sit opposite each other and look into each others eyes & completely see the divine in one another. We go beyond the personal self, and enter the transpersonal self (higher self, or true self; beyond the ego, the story etc). It is such a beautiful embodiment of all that is Tantra, of all the philosophy and a celebration of love & life.
Here at Shri Kali we live a Tantric life. How I interpret this is; living our true nature; and seeing the Divine in everything and everyone. Also knowing that everything is a sacred act, a consecration; from eating, drinking, yoga, breathing, socializing, every aspect of what makes us human is sacred. When we realise I mean truly realise we are infinite beings apart of something much greater than our selves, that the entire universe is within us; we are a micro aspect of something so macro, so large. We cannot harm ourselves, harm others or think we are anything but divine and absolute beauty and love. This is true Tantra, this is love, this is humanity. We go beyond seeing one another through the filters of, race, religion, gender, all dualities dissolve; all forms of separation dissolve and we realise, really realise we are one. This is the embodiment & teachings here. This is why Tantra is the fibre of the cosmos; and a way of life.
I am excited to share these teachings upon returning to Australia/Bali. A few offerings are brewing including Tantra Yoga classes, Retreats, Online learnings etc.
For more information about Shri Kali Traditional Tantra Ashram, please visit their website here.