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Tāntric Awareness Meditation Part I – By Daka Karuna

Tāntric Awareness Meditation

Tāntric Awareness Meditation - (Image Credit: Shutterstock); Author picture - (Image Credit: Author)

Summary

This is Part I of a two-part discussion of awareness [mindfulness] meditation as practiced in my homoerotic yogic Tantra (तन्त्र) system.

The meaning and purpose of mindfulness or awareness meditation is the opening the senses, body sensing, developing a focus on the body as a single field of vibrant energic sensation, sensing the entire body externally and internally, and focusing on a sensation or feeling present in your body.

The meditator may experience emotions while practicing tāntric awareness meditation; emotions are merely sensations and should be acknowledged and then released. The five products of the sensual mind should be objectified.[1]

The sensations in the physical body are products of the sensual mind and should be objectified. By objectifying experiences and removal of subjectivity, the practitioner avoids the defilement from the external.[2]

One does not meditate; one is meditative, and being meditative is an everyday practice and a lifestyle. DKT

The Awareness Meditation Practice

Before I begin, I do want to make clear that I feel most of what seekers find as so-called ‘guided meditation’ is a general waste of time. Meditation is all about focus and concentration, inner focus and concentration.

The meditator cannot meditate if someone else is reciting steps and instructions during the session. If that is being done, the meditator is focusing outward, on the recitals of the guide; if he’s not doing that, he’s anticipating what the guide is going to say next.

In other words, I feel that most guided meditation is guided distraction.

Throughout this essay, I will be using some Sanskrit terms and give the Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) script for the term.

This is for the benefit of my more advanced followers, and should not distract the beginner or intermediate level śiṣya (शिष्य)[3], who, while not urged to concentrate on the Sanskrit, should make some effort to appreciate the beauty of the language and the precision of use.

In this Part I, I provide a very basic introduction to awareness meditation as practiced in Homoerotic Tantra:Mascul-IN-Touch℠.

I make no attempt to describe the myriad meditation practices that you may encounter on your journey nor do I want to critique any particular practice.

Any meditation practice is highly individualistic, although the framework may be systematized. Always keep an open mind and when you are challenged, be meditative.

Now, let’s get started.

1. Meaning and Purpose

Meditator learns
As we progress through each week, the meditator learns to acknowledge and welcome his own passionate meaning and purpose.

Do these begin to take shape when the practitioner asks himself specific questions like What motivates me to get out of bed in the morning? What is it that I would most like to accomplish [today] [this week] [in life]? Bringing to mind this passionate meaning and purpose at the beginning of meditation is one way of recalling your purpose in this spiritual practice or sādhana (साधन), and what it is that you want to achieve.

Regardless of your present stage of transformation each time you practice this, each time you meditate and recall that passionate meaning and purpose, you anticipate gazing deep within yourself to your sacred inner space.

This will nurture your meaning or purpose, and allow it to mature and assume a shape or rūpa (रूप).

A man may seek out homoerotic yogic Tantra if he is confronting a challenge in his life. The challenge can take any form such as an interpersonal or relationship challenge, a career situation, a physical or emotional problem, or the quest for the Self.

Generally, the quest for genuine meaning and purpose is a healing process, a way to have a healthy lifestyle, or engage deep self-acceptance or peace, or an overarching sense of well-being.

He might also envision his meaning and purpose to be in service, what we call śevā (सेवा)to others in a community.

Whatever the holy grail, he must receive the call in his entire being; he must employ his faculty of imagination to envision it as being real in this meditative moment, that he has achieved his genuine meaning and purpose.

He must then experience what it feels like. Finally and this is the real test of his sincerity, he must be willing to let it go and trust that, if it is dharmic, true, and right, it will return at the end of the practice.

This means simply that if it is truly his authentic meaning and purpose, it has always been there, he has only had to become aware of its presence.

2. Setting the Intention

Setting the Intention
Before each session, it will be necessary to set an intention, a saṅkalpa (सङ्कल्प), or a resolution for the meditative session.

Perhaps, after the last session and after journaling the experience, and intention surfaced, and becomes the present intention.

Regardless of how the intention reveals itself, the meditator will now bring it to mind and reflect on how he would like to feel during and at the conclusion of the present meditation.

He may, for example, set his intention for today to fully experience each part of the awareness practice, or he may resolve to remain alert and focused on a single meditative object.

The intention of the meditation may be to achieve relief from suffering, or it may be a tool for coping with an undesirable habit or an addiction.

Whatever his intention, the key is to allow it to fully occupy his awareness and consciousness; he must surrender to one-pointedness or ēkagaṭa (एकगट).[4]

It must take possession of his entire body and mind. When this is achieved, he’ll notice how it supports him during his practice.

He now allows his inherent inner resources to emerge. These inner resources are subtle energies that fuel groundedness, security, and a necessary sense of tranquility, that put him in control of his owned experiences.

The inner resources reside in his internal sacred place, the inner sanctum, the abode (āvāsa (आवास)) of the Self. These energies reveal themselves as images or reflections (Bimba (बिम्ब)), which may be of a situation, Nature, a memory, a real or an imaginary place; a real, imaginary, or mythical person, etc.

While the resource may take practically any form, it is important that when the inner resource is brought into the sensual mind, the meditator feels secure, calm, and peaceful. The meditator can then take ownership of the inner resource. Once owned, he can realize the resource using all of his senses.

The meditator must have the knowledge that he can return to the inner resource at any time that he needs to feel safe, secure, grounded, peaceful.

Once the intention or saṅkalpa (सङ्कल्प) is set, we begin with a specific māntra (मन्त्र), such as the Pavamānamantra (पवमानमंत्र), the mantra of purification.

The tilaka (तिलक) is applied to the ājñā (आज्ञा) and we proceed with some form of Nyasa (न्यास), appropriate to the nature of the meditative session. These are dramatic ritualistic features that remind us of what we are doing.

3. The Meditative Posture or Āsana (आसन)

Meditative posture
“The yogic āsana (आसन) opens the heart-mind, and helps the practitioner to become aware in a healthy way.” (DKT)

We now begin the practice by finding a comfortable seated, lying or standing position (āsana (आसन)).

Aim for the feeling that you are fully supported by the surface, on which your body is resting. It doesn’t really matter whether you close the eyes or keep them open; generally, when you are relaxed and ready, your eyelids will drop to a relaxed semi-open position, which is perfect.[5]

Just take the time to settle into a position that feels just right but not too ‘right’ that you fall asleep. Since we are each practicing in our own space you will not disturb anyone if you need to change your position. You may get up or change your position to make yourself more comfortable.

If you are meditating with your mentor, just follow his tack, allowing his voice to become your voice. He’ll know what amount of instruction, if any, you’ll need to complete the session.

4. Opening the Senses

Opening the Senses
We’re going to begin by opening our senses. In homoerotic yogic Tantra (तन्त्र), we have six senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and mentation.

The indriyagrāma (इन्द्रियग्राम) is the assemblage or collection of organs, the five organs of sense taken collectively, plus the sensual mind, mānasa (मानस).

The jñānendriya (ज्ञानेन्द्रिय) are the sense organs of perception; (there are five: the skin (tvac, त्वच्), tongue (raśanā, रशना), eye (cakṣus, चक्षुस्), ear (karṇa, कर्ण) and nose (ghrāṇa, घ्राण)) that receive inputs from the phenomenological world.

We also include the sensual mind, mānasa (मानस), as a sense organ, a total of six senses. The six senses are mediated by the organs of action, the karmendriya (कर्मेन्द्रिय): the hand, the foot, the larynx or organ of the voice, the organ of generation, etc. The brain is the organ of mentation or mentalization.

While touch and visualization (seeing with the inner eye) play an important role in almost every aspect of awareness/mindfulness meditation, we will start our exercise with the sense of taste.

We will then turn our awareness to the sense of smell, which is intimately linked with taste. Then the meditator will become aware of the sounds around him that he perceives through the ears, his sense of hearing.

He will then open his sense of touch by feeling the surface, upon which his body is resting. Perhaps even feeling the areas where it touches his skin. By being mindful, the meditator is allowing his senses to be open and alive.[6]

Vision or sight is the most complex of the senses and the supreme sense. We integrate the sense of sight, vision throughout the practice, including both physical sight and mental visualization or imaging behind the eyelids.

5. Focus and Concentration

Focus and Concentration
In the Homoerotic Tantra ℠ system of awareness meditation, we practice focus and concentration as preludes to meditation, whether the meditation is done in a meditative session or in navigating living daily life.

We variously refer to trāṭaka (त्राटक), a method of fixing the eye on one object, or to pratyāhara (प्रत्याहार), in which the meditator draws his focus away from the external world, and directs his focus inward.

Focus and concentration are necessary preparation for deeper meditation, in order to experience objects clearly, and without distraction, distortion, or defilement.

6. Recall and Review

When you have reached the conclusion of this session of awareness meditation, it is time to recall your intention for this session, and perhaps based on your experiences acquired during this session notice an intention for your next session. Then recall and review your passionate meaning and purpose, and the sensations in your body. Forget nothing.

Now, imagine going about your activities of daily life and living. Your meditative practice will make it possible for you to be aware of and own all of the sensations, emotions, experiences, and thoughts that are changing throughout the day.

And yet, while everything around you is in a constant flux you are now capable of feeling yourself grounded, secure, and peaceful in an unchanging spacious awareness, within which everything is simply being.

When your present meditation session is done, and If you don’t have to be somewhere or change āsana (आसन), just remain where you are physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you need to return to the world, and transition to an alert, wide-awake state, proceed gradually and gently.

Before you even open your eyes, sense the space around you, and sense your body in relation to the occupants of the space. Sense your body, and initiate graceful, gentle movement. Start with the fingers and toes and move up. Orient yourself to where you are, and where you need to be.

7. Gratitude and Acceptance

Before you embark on the journey back into the world, take a moment to find gratitude to yourself for taking this time to become aware.

Be self-compassionate and welcoming of yourself, and compassion and gentle receptiveness will radiate from you to others.

You will experience yourself as open and spacious; enjoying well-being that is perfect just as it is. You will be aware of yourself as whole and healthy, and complete just as you are.

You are then experiencing yourself as unchanging awareness, in which the universe is unfolding.

You are on the way to an understanding that you always know the perfect response to each moment acceptance and gratitude. As you take the opportunity to explore your own deepest inherent wisdom through the meditative practice of awareness.

Now perform the pūjā (पूजा) of compassion with the appropriate mudrā (मुद्र) and the compassion māntra (मन्त्र) of Avalokiteśvara (अवलोकितेश्वर).

In Part II, I shall discuss an example of a specific awareness meditation focusing on the meditator and his bodies.[7]

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Oṃ śānti, śānti, śāntiḥ ||
Peace to you in body, mind, and spirit.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this article, please contact me at d.karuna.t@gmail.com

D. Karuṇā T.
दाक करुणा तान्त्रिक

Homoerotic Tantra for Gay Men
https://homoerotictantra4gaymen.home.blog

108 Days Reflection & Meditation
https://108daysmeditation.wordpress.com

1] These five products are the five mental phenomena: thoughts, feelings, perceptions/sensations, will/desire, and memory.
2] The goal of right mindfulness or objective awareness meditation in Homoerotic Tantra ℠ is to have bare (objective) centeredness of the flow of mental events without any break in continuity or interference by the products of the mind; it is skillfully remaining aware of the experience of the present moment. There are four objects of tāntric right meditation: the body, the feelings, the states of mind, and the mental contents of the practitioner.
3] Śiṣya (शिष्य) is the homoerotic tāntric term for a disciple or follower.
4] I’m adopting a Buddhist term taken from the Pali language, Sanskritized as ēkagaṭa (एकगट), meaning tranquillity of mind, one-pointedness, concentrated focus.
5] Most men will give too much attention to consciously keeping their eyes closed or, if open, will tend to share the focus with what’s going on around them. Just relax and let your eyelids decide.
6] In the beginning Homoerotic Tantra ℠ sādhana (साधन) or spiritual practice sessions, each of the senses will be enhanced by appropriate stimuli until the sādhaka (साधक) attains the capacity to actually produce the sensations in meditation in the absence of physical stimuli.
7] This is not a typo; I intentionally wrote “bodies,” because the practitioner throughout homoerotic yogic tāntric meditation is making the connection between his physical or gross body and his subtle. In yogic science there are actually three ‘bodies,’ rather a single triune body consisting of the gross or physical body, the sthūlaśarīra (स्थूलशरीर); the subtle body, sūkṣmaśarīra (सूक्ष्मशरीर), also called the liṅgaśarīra (लिङ्गशरीर), which is invested by the physical shell; the causal body and, the kāraṇaśarīra (कारणशरीर), seat of the soul. In Homoerotic Tantra ℠ we focus principally on the first two śārīra-s, the causal body is reserved for advanced study.
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Daka Karuna T.

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Dāka Karuṇā T. (दाक करुणा तान्त्रिक) is a psychospiritual care provider...

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