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Shiva Sutras

Contemplation from the Siva Sutra’s
The Siva Sutra was revealed to and written down by Vasugupta around 875-925 CE. Vasugupta was not a guru. He was an ordinary man who, through deep devotion and practice, was gifted this divine revelation.

There are 77  sutras and the text, which acts both as pointing out instructions and as view teachings, describes our true nature beyond mind- our Sva Svarupa. The sutrasinspire us to work with the mind and open up its boundaries.

Here is the first verse from the Siva Sutra for you to contemplate!“Caitanyam atma”Caitanyam means: consciousness, intelligence, pure awareness
Atma means: self, self-experience, principle of life, nature, essence, sensation, character

My teacher describes the self  as not being a soul or spirit, an attribute or a thing! The self, he says, is best described as being a capacity or a function of the ultimate that comes through as energy and is not a discrete object. This means, that the individual exists as an emanation of essence (see translation of caitanyam above).

In non-dual Tantra, one of the powers of consciousness is its power for reflective self-awareness.  As an emanation of essence/consciousness, this reflective self-awareness means that we have a knowing in us that something is happening. This self-knowing is extremely important, and is not an action initiated by an individual object towards a subject. Rather, this self-knowing is inherent in the subject and is an integral aspect of it. Given that the atman is not an attribute, then this is what makes our atman not a discrete object. And, my teacher goes on to explain that this verse is what destroys any sense of an ego!….phew…..this takes a lot of contemplation and some basic understanding of the view of non-dual Tantra to really understand. So I encourage you to sit with this verse and use it to contemplate in your meditation practice!

“Consciousness is my self” “
Consciousness is my essence”
“Consciousness is the principle of life”
“All we have and are is awareness”

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Purifying the 5 elements

Have you ever done an elemental purification practice in yoga, but have never fully understood them? From a non-dual Tantrik perspective, the five elemenst of earth, water, fire, wind and space elements aren’t just aspects experienced in nature. They are considered phasic energies of pure light that press into this world to have visual appearance of reality arise,. And all of this happens within the space of he mind.
What the hell does all this mean????

One of the most pragmatic ways to understand the five elements is to think about the qualities of each and how they are expressing through our emotions and ways of being in the world. When we engage in elemental purification practices, we want to purposefully invoke the karmas of each element so that we can resolve them and transform.
Consider each element in the following way:

EARTH qualities: associated with the continuity of experience and the continuity of awareness, immobility, grounded
Purified earth: stability, persevering, security, confidence in your own psychology
Unpurified earth: subborness, inflexible, holding on to emotions, attachment, close mindedness.

WATER qualities, it is moist and binds things together, it gives cohesiveness.
Purified water: Generosity, compassion, sensuality, nourishment
Unpurified: not strong in conviction, neediness (way too much cohesion), greed and craving

FIRE qualities: Luminous, clarity, dynamism
Purified fire: optimisim, inspiration, enthusiasm, warmth in life, courageous
Unpurified: over ambitious, destructive, always angry, too abrasive, over joyous

WIND qualities: movement, strength, the mover of all elements
Purified wind: Powerful, animate, reciprocal, fast, being able to sense things
Unpurified: anxiety, paranoia, weakness, too much thinking

SPACE qualities: it holds and hosts everything that can arise within it, expansive, undisturbed
Purified space: equonimous, expansive, unconditional
Unpurified: lonely, dissociative, disorientation, confusion