29 March 2019

Tantric Yogas - Preparation for Tantra

Tantra, being tantra is, for better or worse, inseparable from reality "as such" and is therefore well beyond the range of what can be communicated by words or other symbolic representations of reality.
I have noticed arguments between people over traditional vs modern methods, southern vs northern and so on. Sometimes these seem to arise over misunderstandings of cultural context and sometimes, someone involved in one area of training gets into opposition with someone in an equally important, but different area. 
I am in favour of an inclusive approach - I have recieved many students who have been well prepared by a large range of useful practices.
Here's my non-exhaustive cheat-sheet on the Tantric Yogas - the trad preparatory work and its modern equivalents (or the things some students manage to get an equivalence out of).
In some of these areas, a teacher in this school may prescribe/suggest some practice to catch up. If a student seems close in some area, and needs mostly a reappraisal of something they have already lived, and perhaps some completion, more direct guidance/coaching may happen.
In general though, these are the archetypal precursors to a student's awakening to the path.
When this preparatory work is done, the more traditionally secret touch-work techniques and methods of completing the journey of eros are appropriate.
... and, if that goes well, Tantra worthy of the name can begin!


(studies providing essential preparation)

Body training to develop:

Uncommon levels of awareness of the physical processes, energies, senses, subtle awareness and capabilities of your own body.

Traditionally: practice with the advanced forms of what the West calls “yoga”.

Alternatively: Strong performance or competition oriented physical disciplines such as atheltic performance, dance, martial arts, massage training, mountain climbing, breath work (rebirthing/Wim Hof) or ‘extreme’ sports.

Mind training to develop:

Uncommon levels of awareness of your mind’s mechanics, habits, tendencies and deeper inclinations.

Traditionally: Meditations, imaginal exercises, deep inquiry and cultivation of insights/satori.
Alternatively: Some years of therapy, personal growth work, assisting on est/landmark/encounter/constellation/ACIM/motivational style trainings, journaling, playing Go, writing ‘beautiful’ code, studying physics, engineering/tech, history, (oriental) strategy, 

Higher Philosophy to develop:

Uncommon levels of awareness of the deepest truths of existence and the willingness to be guided by them.

Traditionally: Advaita Vedanta, Zen, Socratic and similar.

Alternatively: Deep, critical study of philosophy via a good reading list (G. Gurdjieff, A. Crowley, A Watts, maybe a bit of Tolle …) but also through the philosophical methods of discourse, discussion,dialectic and debate.

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