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The gateways to wonder and delight are flung open wide for all to enter. At once a beautiful love song and an encyclopedia of yogic techniques, the cherished text known as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra shimmers with new effulgence in Lorin Roche's The Radiance Sutras. Lorin brings us his unique perspective on each of 112 Sanskrit teachings, along with his one-of-a-kind guidance in how to meditate with, embody, and practice them—what he describes as "answering the call of the sutras you love."
Here is an invitation to experience directly the ecstatic depths of yoga as revealed by the divine partners Shiva and Shakti, through an intimate exploration of:
Taken as a whole, this teaching is startling in its breadth and the huge range of human experience that it encompasses. This is a book to savor one phrase at a time, over a period of days or years or a lifetime. With The Radiance Sutras, yoga and meditation students everywhere can nurture their own relationship with these living wisdom teachings.
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A LANGUAGE OF LOVEA Tantra is a conversation between the Goddess Who Is the Creative Power of the Universe and the God Who Is the Consciousness that Permeates Everywhere. For short, they call each other Devi and Bhairava, or Shakti and Shiva. They are lovers and inseparable partners, and one of their favorite places of dwelling is in the human heart.The text has the feeling of one richly experienced body speaking with love to another body.Their inquiry is about how to enter into the vibrant essence of the world with the dual balance of passion and detachment. The teaching emerges from their love-play, reminding us that from within our own hearts we are educated in the spirit of love. They lived this teaching. The secret pathways in the body and the flow of delicious energies are revealed in words that one friend or lover would speak to another. The text invites us to be at home in the universe by accepting every intense experience, every sensual delight, every ordinary moment, as a gateway to the divine.The conversation begins with Devi asking, "Beloved, tell me, how do I enter more deeply into the reality of the universe?" In reply, Bhairava describes 112 techniques for becoming enlightened through everyday life experience. Each of these techniques is a way of attending to the rhythms, pulsations, and sensuousness of the divine energy that we are made of and that flows through us always. As we engage with these meditation techniques, we are alerted to the presence of the sacred that permeates our bodies. All of these methods involve savoring the incredible intensity underlying the most common experiences. They work by activating the senses, by ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼extending the range of the senses further into the inner and the outer world. The basic dynamics of life--breathing, falling asleep, waking up, walking, loving--are all used as gateways to alignment and enlightenment.Each meditation is a deep dive into aliveness, into the underlying reality of what life is. Balance is there at every step; the unshakable serenity of the depths is used as a foundation so that we can tolerate the electrifying vastness of the universe. We are invited to cross the threshold, to walk by the guardian of the gate, to face our terrors, and make our way into the immense and timeless mystery that is always calling.Many of these meditation techniques are surprisingly informal: Notice a powerful emotion, sensation, or desire, and enter into that awareness with total abandon, so that you go with it right into the root movement of the universe. When making love, put your aware- ness into the flame of passion pulsating through the body and become that flame. Falling asleep, pay attention to the transition from waking consciousness to unconsciousness, and catch a glimpse of what con- sciousness itself is. Or go outside on a moonless night and simply merge with the darkness and vastness of space.The text also describes what we think of as traditional yoga medita- tions--ways of savoring breath, sound, and internal luminosity. The intimacy with the self implied in these teachings means that tantra is not a set of techniques imposed from outside. Rather, the method emerges naturally from one's relationship with the self and with life. Lose yourself in intense experience, and find your Self. In this text, the word yoga is used in its etymological sense, "the act of joining, linking together." Yoga is connecting--connecting all the elements and levels of your being.The tone of the text is playful and exploratory--jump in and feel everything. Lila is Sanskrit for "play," "amusement," and the sense that the universe has been manifested as an act of play by the divine. Through play, find your way. In play, find freedom, revelation, illumination.From the Back Cover:
Make yourself at home. One of the great gifts of meditation is learning how to be at home in yourself and in the world. As you come in and explore your relationship with these practices, be wel- coming and nonjudgmental toward yourself.Open embrace is the style of attention called for in most of these 112 practices. This is the opposite of concentration. The posture is that of opening your arms wide to the universe and to your inner world. Be playful. The word lila (pronounced leela) is Sanskrit for play and amusement--and the sense that the universe has been manifested as an act of play by the divine. As you engage with these tantric techniques, give yourself permission to be at play, so that you can find your individual path in meditation.Be gradual. Allow yourself to gradually become familiar with a sutra. Notice where in your body you respond to the images and sensations that the text evokes. When you practice, delight in the gentle progression from the outer level of experience to the interior￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ intimate levels. This may take only a few seconds, but it's gradual. The text uses the word sanais, "quietly, softly, gently, gradually."Ride your rhythms. When you practice with these sutras, there will always be flow and fluctuations in the pranashakti, the vibrant energy of your body-mind system. Your experience will change second by second, and many sensations, emotions, mental pictures, remembered conversations, dreamlike thoughts, desires, and energy sensations will come and go. Awareness is usually permeated by waves of thought and feeling. The "waveless" state usually lasts only a second or two. Welcome it all, then return to your focus in an effortless way. Ask questions of life. Practicing tantra does not mean imposing techniques upon yourself. An attitude of wonder and inquiry is one of the greatest skills you can develop. Cherish your questions, and then be alert so that you can see, feel, and listen to life's responses.
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