Thursday, 13 February 2014

An Introduction to Goddess Tantra!

The Dance of Shakti: 
An Introduction to Goddess Tantra 
by Christopher Tompkins, M.T.S., M.A. 

According to the core Tantric philosophy of Spanda, the ‘Vibration’ of Divine 
Consciousness manifests as the whole universe, including the physical and 
subtle bodies of every human being. Tantra teaches us that there is a unifying 
continuity between our physical bodies, the activities of our mind and emotions, 
and all forms of interior awareness. All of these are manifestations of the one 
source; thus, we are all microcosmic pulsations of the whole, expressions in 
bodily form, within the illusory dimension of time and space, of Universal 
Consciousness (Parama Shiva). 

According to (12th century) Yogini Hridayam (“Heart of the YoginÄ«”) from which 
the Shri Cakra image (above) derives, the Goddess (below) takes form as all of 
the duplicitous forms of the universe, represented as the pairs of triangles in the 
Shri Cakra (“Auspicious Circle”). She continually re-enfolds the manifest totality 
of all that exists back into the supreme light of her own awareness.. Called 
‘Lalita-DevÄ«’’ (“The Playful Goddess”) She is the very power (Shakti) of 
consciousness, flowing into condensed expressions of Herself, into waves of 
contraction (nimesha) that we recognize as the constituents of the world around 
us, including bodies, feelings, and thoughts. When Lalita seeks to again expand 
(unmesha) into Her infinite potential, to identify with more expansive levels of 
awareness of itself through our own intention, we practice yoga. Yoga then is 
represented as the movement back into the center of the Shri Cakra, into Unity 

The Goddess’s movement is often called sphuratta, the ‘scintillating pulse’ of the 
Supreme Light which continuously trembles within its own incandescence. This 
very vibration makes up the totality of all beings. Thus the Play of the Goddess is 
one of blissful vibration, as she becomes all aspects of one-Self. Even ‘negative’ 
feelings and thoughts are part of Her; when She contracts (nimesha) into the form 
of negative thoughts and feelings, these are used as a spring-board to move into 
an expanded (unmesha) state, thus completing the dance of life. But this very 
doctrine teachers that contraction-expansion is the pulsation of the divine. We 
can only discover our true Being as one with the Universal source when we have 
balanced action between these two states. Then the ‘arising’ (udyama) of 
consciousness comes, in the still point (bindu) at the center of the Shri Cakra 
when our breath, heart, and mind become one pulsation. 

Lead inwards, the yogi discovers that the most delicate and powerful tendrils of 
individuality merge with the infinitely vast vibration (Spanda) of Divine 
Consciousness. Mantra recitation (especially ‘om hrim namah shivaya’) and 
meditation serve as the inner beacon to light the path through the subtler 
vibrations of inner awareness, leading to the experience of parispanda, which the 
tradition calls the ‘blissful pulsation of enlightenment.’ It is called the ecstatic 
throb that stirs the stillness of the Absolute. To attend consciously to this inner 
pulse is to unfold deeper and deeper experiences of meditative absorption 
(samavesha) until the experience of limitation of any kind is forever broken. 

In this state, we have become spiritually awake to the illuminating light of 
consciousness (prakasha) that dawns as the source of our beings. It is experienced 
as totally free, ever-expanding, completely new waves of bliss that continually 
impact the consciousness of the awakened yogin. The ‘recognition’ of Supreme 
Spanda within the Self, as the Self, uncovers the well-spring of the nectarean consciousness which streams forth in waves of energy. These ‘waves’ (the
triangles ofthe Shri Cakra) are merely the energies that cause the pulsation of
consciousness. They are the dynamism, the vimarsha, the ‘self-consciousness’ of 
inner light divine. This light is the light of all beings. We are all deeply connected 
as sacred vibrations of one Eternal, blissful, and Absolute Consciousness (Shiva). 

In Tantric Yoga, we do not seek, therefore, to ‘change’ ourselves; rather, through 
practice we gradually begin to recognize that everything we have sought outside 
of ourselves--peace, love, contentment, security, etc., vibrates as the heart energy 
(hridayam) of the universe within our own hearts. Yoga simply unveils this reality 
as your true nature at the moment that the Shakti (Divine Energy-Consciousness) 
begins to expand outward once again in the form of your own awakening. It 
cannot be otherwise. Our awakening is merely this: we recognize our own heart 
to be one with the central point of Supreme Consciousness, the point from which 
all things ebb and flow in the bliss-dance of the Universe. 

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