Thoughts on White Tantric Yoga
Dr. ShamRang Singh Khalsa
First, just a few of the things I like about White Tantric:
Things you can do to make Tantric a blast:
Try staying really still. Don’t let the body move even a quiver. Use only the muscles needed to follow the instructions, and that’s it. Go really quiet inside. Tell all the other muscles that aren’t needed to hold the posture to deeply relax. Let God hold your arms up. If you stay really still and exactly in the posture with a quiet mind, then, out of the blue, pop! And all the pain goes away like magic. Until you move again, and the pain returns. Again, stay really still, hold it for a few minutes until it pops again into freedom from all pain and suffering.
If you have to move, if you have to do something to take care of yourself, then do it with the greatest sense of self-caring that you can muster. Move that leg with great love and deep gratitude.
If it’s a non-chanting exercise, try aligning the timing of the breath to the beat of the mantra or music. Stretch to a maximum breath capacity that you can sustain over time, adjusting as tolerated and needed.
If it’s a chanting exercise, play with the sound. Notice how you can make the sound vibrate in different parts of the body, or project it to different parts of the room. Chant from your heart with great passion. Listen to the harmonics in your voice, the frequencies higher than the main tone that you are singing, and see if you can change their volume. Feel the energy of chanting loudly, then try turning down your volume and keeping the same projection.
If something is distracting you and competing for your attention, check it out. Investigate it with curiosity and depth. Without judgment, experience the feelings you are having in relation to the distraction. Remember that all things come from and are part of God, including this annoyance. Feel the hook, the part that’s snagging your attention. Your “normal” reaction would be just to notice, to stay in a place of peace and compassion, so what’s going on inside you to snag you here? Don’t get lost in the other, in the object, but come back home into the you in relation to the object of distraction. Try being mindful of what’s going on inside you (not the story so much as the physical and emotional sensations), perhaps label the sensation, then bring heartfulness of loving acceptance of your state.
If something hurts, then it’s your chance to heal it. Without judgment, feel the sensations of the painful area, noticing the qualities of sensation. Is the pain hot or cold, sharp or dull, heavy or light, localized or diffuse, wet or dry, fixed or mobile, and so on. Notice the stories that your mind wants to add to the experience of the pain, but come back to the true sensations of the moment. Drop the explanations from the past for this pain, the worries about the future related to this pain, and come back to what it actually feels like. Notice how much of your attention is diverting to this one experience, when there are a gazillion other things happening in and around you at the same time. Maintain your awareness of the sensations of this pain, but put them into this larger perspective. Be aware of the pain and all the other things going on, with each piece of the bigger picture receiving equal weight.
Every physical pain can be seen as a storage site for painful emotion. If you are willing to experience the pain emotionally, you can transfer the energy from physical to emotional. Emotional energy is more malleable than physical, so it is easier to let it move and transform into more useable energy. If you’re not catching the emotional feeling related to a physical pain, then step back for a moment and notice how that makes you feel: frustrated that you can’t get it, afraid that you won’t be able to handle the emotion when it comes out, ashamed that you aren’t a good enough yogi to sit still and do the meditation? Also, the qualities of the pain can give you clues: If the sensation is hot, look for a fiery emotion; if the sensation feels stuck and unmovable, look for an emotion that feels heavy and stuck.
The Mahan Tantric is circulating the energy in and around us in Tantric. Visualize sending the pain right up into the Tantric energy and letting the Universe take it away. Visualize his face or an image of Guru Ram Das, perhaps in your partner’s face or in the space above you in the room.
All physical pain has a parallel emotional plane. All emotional pain has a parallel spiritual plane. If you meditate into the physical, it pops into emotional. If you meditate into the emotional, it pops into the spiritual.
Whatever emotional pain you find, authentically feel it, noticing its qualities and sensations, and any other locations in the body where it might be located. Feel into the emotion, including other times in your life when you have had the same feelings. Don’t get caught in the story of the pain, but feel the experience of the pain. Ham it up, make some faces, use the voice, all to access a deeper feeling exploration of the emotion. Use the mantra to penetrate deeply into the experience. Breathe into it. Stay with it until it pops. Appreciate the “Aha!” moment.
If you really want to fly as high as a kite, connect your feeling of emotional pain to that of everyone else in the room or on the planet. Feel it for everybody, heal it for everybody. Let yourself be God’s tool of healing. Feel it and heal it back past generations of your family, past incarnations of your being. Feel it and heal it in your children, in all the generations to follow, so that they won’t have to. Penetrate into the experience with the mantra and the breath, focus deeply into it with your mind, let there be no limit to the experience.
And if you’re bored in a meditation, then ham it up and feel really bored. This is the most boring thing you’ve ever done! Feel what boredom feels like, noticing the other things in your life that feel boring. Connect to all that boring stuff, make it bigger and more palpable. If you’re frustrated about being bored, then deeply feel the frustration. If you want to get up and run, then visualize getting up and running and screaming and anything you want to do. But don’t. Just stay still and feel it.
Or, raise your hand and go to the bathroom.