Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

Various Kinds of Yoga

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The Various Kinds of Yoga

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When someone says the word “yoga”, we invariably think of vigorous stretching postures or asanas that yoga has come to represent in the West.  This physical form of yoga is known as Hatha Yoga.  Often athletic and challenging, this form of yoga has devolved into many sub-strains, each with their enthusiastic proponents. There are now many schools that will certify new teachers in these forms, often with only one or two hundred hours of experience. There are even yoga competitions to see who can perform the “best” asanas.

Mastery or spiritual detour?

Any spiritual path that migrates to another culture will inevitably be acculturated, transformed by the culture it travels to. Ideally the light of Spirit will shine through the cultural trappings of the new social order, but not always. Our culture, perhaps the most robust and powerful in the world (as evidenced by the Americanization of other countries’ cultures), has brought the timeless art of the subcontinent firmly in the purview of the lower 3 chakras. “Yoga” has come to be mainly physical, often exhausting, and somewhat competitive. We’re talking to a large extent the first and third chakras here. Not that the energy in some individuals can’t slip up into the heart or third eye, but usually, not so much.  For the most part, Hatha Yoga, along with certain forms of Taoist practice, have been co-opted by the Western material world.

Hatha Yoga was never meant to be a path to Awakening in and of itself.  The Buddha himself has said that these physical asanas and austerities cannot take one to Enlightenment. Hatha yoga was meant to be a process of stretching the body and calming the mind to a degree so that the student can advance to the process of Self Mastery.  After the student was able to attain a certain level of mental, emotional, and physical quiet, the Master would then start them practicing higher forms of Yoga, for the most part, non-physical in nature. Much of this has been lost in this country, where Yoga, yoga competitions, hot yoga, etc., have become almost purely physical. Might as well just go to the gym. In fact, many sport and health clubs now have yoga classes, a most unlikely place to find Awakening.  Not that this is impossible, just unlikely in an environment not conducive to spirit.

The word “yoga” means “to yoke”, to join together. We have disparate, often conflicted aspects of our self; our various personalities, emotions, mental and physical bodies that are somewhat fragmented, disconnected, and disjointed. True yoga in its highest form is the yoking of our different aspects into a unified, conscious whole.  Ultimately, yoga is meant to be a path which seeks union of the individual with the Divine. Some of the various Hindu and Tibetan yogas are:

Hatha – physical asanas

Jnana – path of the intellect

Raja – a philosophical / psycho spiritual yoga (who am I?)

Kriya – action and energy

Bhakti – devotion

Sabda – meditating on the cosmic sound current

Mantra – chanting

Tantra – weaving together the heavenly and earthly aspects of ourselves

If you have been paying attention so far, you will realize that in our curriculum we draw from some of these traditions, including Taoist and Tibetan practices, in a manner tweaked for the modern Western mind-set.© 2010 Keith E. Hall and Inner-Tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

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Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

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Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one of the oldest extant mantras in Hinduism, is considered to be a Mukti (liberation) Mantra. It can be translated as “Om, Reverence to the Lord Vasudeva” This mantra is sometimes represented as a chant or stotra to Krishna or Vishnu. Vasudeva is an alternate name for Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu the Preserver. In Hindu theology, Brahma is the creative force, Shiva the destroyer or agent of change, and Vishnu is the deity of balance, salvation, and preservation.om namo bhagavate vasudevaya,vishnu, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, t'ai chi chuan, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation,  60 second relaxation, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County

Some aspirants feel that the mantra can also be translated as something like “Homage to the Enlightened One Within” aka, your inner Divine Self. Swami Kripalu has been purported to have said that Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya could be taken to mean simply “Thy Will Be Done.” This translation would indicate the complete surrender of the individual to the Divine.

On both physical and psychic levels this mantra is used to bring balance to oneself – Yin and Yang, active and receptive, and one’s male and female polarities. It can be used in conjunction with Solar / Lunar practices and Level 2 Cobra Breath, bringing balance to the major spinal nadis. These nadis must be balanced before true Kundalini can be activated safely and without drama.

Those of you familiar with the Sanskrit “Tantric vowels” or Bijas, can map out which of your chakra energies are activated using this mantra. In a sense, this is a good mantra to balance your chakras, spinal channels, and inner and outer divinity. (c) 2012 Keith E. Hall / Inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

It’s a good idea to get a recording of this mantra if you would like to learn it.  I have reviewed hundreds of recordings of this mantra and present my preferences below.

Top Contenders, and the nominees are:

Multi-Colored Chant ~ Chaula Hopefisher

This is perhaps my favorite rendition of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, the primary reason being that it is eminently sing-able by non-professional singers and tone deaf devotees like me. Ms. Hopefisher does a lovely job of creating a simple tune that anyone can follow in a call and response format. Highly recommended but difficult to find.  Check it out on Amazon:

Multi-colored chant

Mantras for Precarious Times – Deva Premal This is a somewhat fast rendition of the mantra, with a simple tune that most people will be able to sing along with. Very nice.

Divine Melody – Anand Richa

This young artist from India has created a lovely, heart-centered, devotional version of the mantra. Very sweet and pretty easy to sing along with. Some interesting Indian musical accompaniment . Very touching. You can download her album here.

Hidden in the Name – Wah!

You can sing along fairly well with this cover of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya and it has some interesting electric guitar giving it an unusual electronic jazzy kind of sound. And, a little wah wah pedal, just like the group’s name! Call and response format.

The following are also excellent:

Breath Of The Heart - Krishna Das

Renown on the kirtan circuit, Krishna Das presents an accomplished, masculine version of this mantra.

Pros: Starts out as a traditional sounding devotional stotra. Slow and soulful.

Cons: Some notes are held a long time. About 2 ½ minutes into the mantra the speed picks up and he does a sort of Hindu scat kind of chanting. He adds other mantras and warbles into the mix making it difficult to sing along with. A little over 6 minutes into the chant he adds piano and a fast rendition of the chant. Good for listening, not so good for singing along unless you cut out the middle, and just go with the first 2 ½ minutes and the last 3 ½ minutes. Still, very good for getting you into a wild, free, communal kirtan spirit.

Embrace – Deva Premal

A truly masterful and heartfelt rendition. The only caveat: She sings so well that she may be difficult for some non-singers to follow. Still, great for listening and following along as well as you can.

Sing, Dance, Enjoy! – Henry Marshall and the Playshop Family

A wonderfully lyrical and upbeat version. The CD and MP3 album also contain some other beautiful and powerful chants.

Kirtana – Robert Gass

Beautiful, lyrical call and response format.

The Sound of Om – Thomas Barquee

Pros: Starts with a lovely quiet melody, some nice sitar

Cons: Almost 4 minutes into this the pace picks up and the melody changes making it hard to follow. Probably more music than chanting. Better for listening than trying to chant along with.

MP3 Downloads of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

(c) 2012 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

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Khechari Mudra

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Khechari Mudra (aka Kecharimudra, Kechari Mudra, Khecarī Mudrā) is a yoga practice which is carried out by placing the tongue on the roof of the mouth. There are three distinct positions, which have different effects. We have been using the “forward” position with the first level Cobra Breath. This tongue position helps send energy and attention to the third eye to support its awakening and creates a more powerful experience of Level 1 Cobra Breath.

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Through the performance of Kechari Mudra…(the) divine life-current draws the prana from the senses into the spine and draws it up through the chakras to Vaishvanara (Universal Spirit), uniting the consciousness with spirit.*

*Mejda: The Family and the Early Life of Paramahansa Yogananda by Sananda Lal Ghosh, pp. 279.

In other words, the constant performance of this Mudra speeds the attainment of deep states of spiritual consciousness bordering on an experience of Unity with the Divine.

In Level 1 Cobra Breath, we are uniting our lower animal self with the Higher Self as expressed through Ajna and our spiritual vision or guidance. We need this vision and guidance to help lead us safely out of the limited patterns of behavior, perception, and Being mandated by the first three chakras (fear – pain – anger, money – sex – power). Both Khechari Mudra and Cobra Breath Level 1 will also serve to increase one’s attentiveness or attention span.

Cobra Breath cannot easily be practiced publicly or continuously throughout the day.  Khechari Mudra (in the forward position) can be practiced, if not continuously, at least for several hours a day.  The forward position of Khechari Mudra is not nearly as physically difficult as the rear position, although silence is required. Unless you have two tongues. The trick here is to stay mindful of performing the Mudra and not be distracted by the external social world.

Here are some tips to help you remember to perform Khechari Mudra:

1.  Tie a purple string around your middle finger or wrist

2.  Hold the Fire Finger Mudra

3.  Keep objective silence, avoid unnecessary chatter  © 2011 Keith E. Hall. www.Inner-Tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

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.Chakra Balancing

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Cobra Breath Methods

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Methods of Practicing Cobra Breath

There are four main classes of technique for practicing Cobra Breath. Two require partners; two can be done by oneself. Two are sexual, two are non-sexual.

Solo Practice

Version 1: Probably the most popular, or at least the most practiced, form of Cobra Breath sadhana is to practice Cobra Breath as a meditation technique by oneself. No particular materials are required; one just practices the Cobra Breath as a meditation and internal energy technique for awakening the higher chakric centers, particularly the third eye and the Mouth of God. Fourteen repetitions daily of this breath are recommended, though more can be done as you like.

The indications, in addition to being initiated into Cobra Breath, are that one have a quiet space to practice, be able to sit without excessive movement, know the forward position of Khechari Mudra, and keep the spine very straight. Keeping the spine straight will ease the flow of energy and prevent the re-grooving of karmic patterns.

 

Version 2: It is possible to do the Cobra Breath sexually by oneself. This can add a bit more energy to the practice, and perhaps accelerate the development of cleansing Kundalini energies. To do this, one self-pleasures to near the edge of orgasm, and then performs the Cobra Breath with a very tight root lock. Generally, one to three repetitions of Cobra Breath are enough to transmute the sexual energy to the higher chakras and prevent ejaculation.

 

Partner Practice

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Yab Yum Pose

Version 1: To practice non-sexually with a partner, one needs to be deep in their energy field. There is a certain level of energy intimacy involved here. A mild form of this practice would be to sit back to back and perform the Cobra Breath with both of the partners synchronizing the breath. Having the spinal nadis in alignment and touching each other tends to create an energetic balance which can deepen one’s experience of this practice. Alternatively, two partners can perform Cobra Breath in the Yab Yum position. An advantage of this position is that partners often can get the first and second chakras physically closer, which can add a bit more energy. When the energy of Cobra Breath reaches the third eye, this position allows to the partners to perform the Tantric Kiss, which further stimulates the energy of Ajna.

 

Version 2: This is the version of Babaji’s Cobra Breath that gets all the press. Using Cobra Breath sexually with a partner holds the potential for the highest level of energy generation and transmutation. Yab Yum is the position usually recommended, although any position that allows the spine to be straight and also allows for the performance of the Tantric Kiss will work just fine. Yab Yum has a certain advantage in that the orientation of the position allows for the lower chakras to be aligned with the polarity of the Earth, and the head chakras are aligned with the heavens. This puts the entire spinal system and nadis in a straight line, resulting in an ease of energy flow between the Earthly and Heavenly chakra energies. The electromagnetic fields of Earth and Sky strengthen and cleanse one’s own bio-magnetic field. This practice is best done with a partner of similar spiritual vibration, or at least the ability of both partners to raise and synchronize their vibratory fields. To state this in another way, care should be taken that your partner is at a similar stage of evolution as you are, or surrendered enough to follow the vibratory energies to be in harmony. The same general indications of the other three versions apply here. © 2011 Keith E. Hall. www.inner-tranquility.com All rights reserved.

Who is BabajiBabaji’s Cobra Breath

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If you find this site helpful, bookmark us & share!  Tools for Empowerment  T’ai Chi Instruction

Learn more about our audio programs for meditation, stress management, and personal growth.

See the CBS WUSA TV 9  interview with Keith Hall, Andrea Roane, and Jeff Besougloff about T’ai Chi for stress reduction and self-mastery here.

What Is qigong?

Attain Liberation! Tantric Qigong Karma Burning: Chakra Issues

ProductsTantric Qigong™: Healthy in 10 Minutes.

The Presencing Process

Tantric Qigong

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Learning Self Mastery.

.Chakra Balancing

Learn Tantric Qigong™ for Self Mastery:

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Instruction available in the Baltimore / Washington, DC area, contact us if you would like to bring a workshop to your area.

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Presencing™: Growth, Meditation, Manifestation

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Presencing™: Growth, Meditation, Manifestation

Presencing is a method of self-inquiry that scans the body, mind, and emotions for what is Present at that time. What is present is often the tip of the iceberg, a barely recognizable “feeler” put out by your higher self to try and get your attention. Your higher self tries to get you to notice something, some resistance, some karmic / emotional / physical pattern that requires release before your evolution / understanding / manifestation can proceed smoothly.

What appears as something minor, can often be a significant guide to your healing and mental / emotional / spiritual progress. The small self tends to defend against this knowledge and self-responsibility, repressing self-knowledge and projecting responsibility externally. Until we are fully self-aware and claim responsibility for, and mastery of our thoughts and emotions, our progress will be slowed. Allowing the unimpeded flow of what needs to shift, heal, and be recognized within ourselves creates a profound and simple process of self-knowledge and emotional freedom. The energy trapped in subconscious repression and external projection is then freed to create empowerment, joy, and creativity.

Meditation
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Therapy / Communication Skills
As a therapeutic modality, Presencing presents a palette of mind – body tools to create a more holistic approach to healing. One of the difficulties with verbal therapy is that, well, we lie! Even when we think we are telling the truth, we tend to edit, rationalize, and project i.e., we have defense mechanisms. Talk therapy can be like Talk Radio: we all want to be a righteous Rush Limbaugh, defending our paradigm from too much scrutiny. Not that this is entirely a conscious decision. We have “sleeper cells” deep within us that press our subconscious agenda.

The mind and the mouth can lie, but this is not so with the body. The body is always broadcasting our truth. Therapies based on the work of Reich, Lowen, et al recognize this and turn to the body for greater truth. Presencing is a simple and more gentle path to the same end. No stress, strain, or catharsis is required. Truth and freedom from past trauma can be achieved through attention, recognition and validation of both mental / emotional and somatic content.

Manifestation

One reason we often find it difficult to create what we want is that we are always praying for what we don’t. Affirmations often are inefficient in manifesting because we tend to broadcast affirmations mainly with the conscious mind. Our subconscious mind / emotions may be broadcasting antithetical requests sequentially or simultaneously. We are both asking for what we want and what we don’t. No wonder Universal Mind is confused! Perhaps we have delivered to us a mix of both. What we ask for can be partially negated by subconscious thought processes / emotions. One example: we want to manifest something, but fear that we cannot. Which desire is stronger? If equal, they tend to cancel each other.

The Law of Attraction states that you attract what is similar to yourself. This is not a new concept in metaphysics or religion. Thousands of years ago the Old Testament gave us a heads-up: “As ye sow, so shall ye reap”; (T-5.VI.6:1; Galatians 6:7, 2 Corin 9:6). So, to effectively attract what we want, we must clear ourselves of the subconscious resistances and counter messages we are broadcasting. Simply put: the Presencing Process(sm) helps us sow the right seed. © 2009 Keith E. Hall and Inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

Rev. Keith Hall has synthesized the seminal aspects of Breathwork, Bioenergetics, Neo-Reichian, Tantric, Taoist, and Buddhist practices to create the Presencing Process(sm). Presencing(sm) facilitates deep healing, joy, empowerment, and freedom from past limitations so we can manifest clearly what we desire in life.  Presencing(sm) is a simple, yet profoundly powerful process for creating our lives the way we wish to.

The Art of Being Present – release old patterns, create joy & fulfillment – Now!

Presencing Info & Registration Eligible for CEUs October 2, Gaithersburg, MD

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The Art of Being Present

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

The Art of Being Present

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. –Buddha

What moment do we have other than this?

The past is an illusion long gone. The future is not yet made manifest.

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Each moment of our lives lands as a dew drop upon the lotus. Delicate, unique, irreplaceable. To look upon it with full attention and unfettered gaze reveals its precious and inimitable perfection. This magic moment, a crack between past and future, is an Infinity of existence; never seen before, and never to be seen again.

Can we not Be as the lotus enveloping the drop?
Does the lotus analyze and compare?
Is the lotus anticipating the dew drops yet to be?
Or does it embrace this diamond – liquid, delicate, and evanescent, and open its petals to experience the All?

Can you recall in your life a sudden revelation of beauty, deep serenity, a spontaneous awakening to Unity, excitement, joy, and vibrancy that stilled your mind and opened your heart? Ever ponder how you were able to perceive this flash of Shangri-La secreted between your history and your expectations? What is the Secret to reentering this often all too brief state of acceptance and Bliss?

Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free.Chuang Tzu

The key is to both embrace and let go of each moment simultaneously. To participate and witness at the same time. In doing this, it is perfectly possible to create a Zen-like process of attentiveness to, and reverence for, your everyday experience. Being Present to the experience of our life, moment by moment, can help awaken our capacity for extraordinary joy, freedom, compassion, and creativity.

All authentic spiritual traditions have as part of their process a centering of consciousness on the power of Now. The practices of Yoga, Taoism, Buddhism, and Tantra all involve meditation, attention, and conscious breathing. Just like the dance of breath, of both inhaling and exhaling without vacillation, we must balance will and surrender, yin and yang, Intention and letting go.

There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows
.  –Rumi
This process of freeing ourselves from our patterns, habits, compulsions, and unconscious drives is often referred to as “burning karma.”  Our karma is the result of our actions, experiences, thoughts, emotions, and expectations. Our personal history is comprised of habits and subconscious drives which shape and maintain the prison of the small self in which we reside. We are at once the architects, wardens, and inmates of this institution. Unless we pardon ourselves for the crimes of complacency and inattention to our Higher Self, we will impose a life sentence upon ourselves.

Deliverance from the prison of our karmic patterning is an essential process for achieving the mastery of true emotional freedom and self-realization. In freeing ourselves from these self-imposed strictures, we develop the skills to create anew, rather than re-create over and over again what no longer serves the growth of our spirit. This freedom from karmic patterning results in self-knowledge, wisdom, and being Present with the Sublime.

We get to choose each moment and how we want to live in it. How do you want it? Realize that every moment is IT…It all comes down to Presence. Being present in the moment…And Love. -Bhagavan Das

Find an object – a burning candle, a flower, a dew bespeckled spider’s web. Still your mind and observe. What do you perceive? Use all your senses. Maybe write down your observations. Give yourself lots of time, don’t rush about with mental questing. Open yourself to the experience and to your observations. What do you notice? Take a deep, conscious breath and observe again. Pay attention with your mind. Assimilate with your body. What do you feel?

Through this process of stilling the mind, calming the emotions, and opening the doors of perception, you may become able, as Blake said, “To see a world in a grain of sand…heaven in a wild flower, (and) hold Infinity in the palm of your hand…” © 2009 Keith E. Hall and www.Inner-tranquility.com . All rights reserved.

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How does Tantric Qigong™ work?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

How does Tantric Qigong™ work?

It can be said that Tantric Qigong works by uniting heavenly and earthly energies. While Western science does not yet have a full explanation of how Qigong does this, it most likely that it works by amplifying your personal Chi (Qi, life force, vitality, Ki) by drawing in earthly and Raise and Lower Each Hand Alternately, tantric qigong, 8 treasures, eight section brocade, ba duan jin, 8 pieces of silk, 8 twists of silk, 8 brocades, qigong, self mastery, qigong for self mastery, qigong for enlightenment, enlightenment, self actualization, self realization, spiritual awakening, kriyas, kriya yoga, kundalini, kundalini yoga, kundalini awakening, kundalini activation, kundalini rising, meditation, kundalini meditation, wu wei, t'ai chi, taiji, t'ai chi chuan, t'ai chi chuan yang style, long form, qigong meditation, Vipassana, Zen, inner tranquility, inner peace, Emotional-Spiritual Intelligence, bioenergetics, neo-reichian, Reich, orgone, qi, chi, ki, vitality, life force, chakras, tumo, dumo, dantien. tan tien, hara, bagua, Taoism, taoist, taoist tantra, tantra, tantra yoga, dakini, daka, goddess, tantrika, tantrik, stress, stress management, 10 minutes, 10 minute exercise, 10 minute stress, 1 minute stress management, 1 minute meditation, 60 second relaxation, 60 second stress manager, personal growth, spiritual growth, yoga, Sifu, classes, instruction, workshops, seminars, Intention, Manifestation, The secret, Yoga Nidra, Higher Consciousness, The Law of Attraction, What the bleep, Buddha, Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Aspen Hill, silver spring, Brookeville, sandy spring, Laytonsville, Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery County, Frederick, Germantown, Maryland, District of Columbia, Washington DC, guided meditation, visualization, Theta brainwave entrainment, guided relaxation, online programs, meditations CDs, meditation downloads, meditation mp3, ambient nature sounds, ocean surf, pheromones, self healing, qigong yoga, energy yoga, chakra yoga, chakra qigong, chakra chi kung, Chakra meditation, Howard County, Columbia, Frederick, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Prince Georges County, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming atmospheric / solar ionic energy to supplement your existing vitality. This is attained through gentle movement, breath control, mental focus, Intention, and the most efficient grounding technology yet known.

Although it may appear that many systems of meditation and yoga aspire to similar effects, in practice and effect they are quite different.

Hatha Yoga has a general objective that is comparable to that of Qigong and achieves its ends through breathing, concentration, and stretching.  Yoga tends to lower somatic resistance, which allows energy to be freed up and diffused in a general way throughout the physical and emotional bodies.

Meditation attempts to unify these polar energies through mental control and creating inner peace. Most forms of meditation reduce mental disorder; thus indirectly allowing the body to relax its resistance to a certain degree. The effects are felt most strongly in the mental and emotional bodies. Both meditation and Hatha Yoga can create some of the same effects as Qigong, but may take longer to achieve it.

Forms of Kundalini Yoga, Kriya, and Pranayama quickly push energy into the body and chakras through aggressive breathing techniques and movement. The relative bioenergetic charge thus created can vary quite a bit depending on that tradition and teacher. These systems generally lack a comprehensive and efficient grounding component, which can make their practice somewhat tricky for those persons wishing to remain in the world. Forms of Kundalini practice can create dramatic physical, emotional, and mental side effects and should not be undertaken without a teacher. Preferably in an ashram, under supervision 24/7.

I have met many students and teachers of these arts that have applied them in an extremely yang fashion and none of them have seemed grounded and balanced to me. Although they do experience a lot of energy, the energy meets the resistance of their body, mind, and karmic history. This creates a lot of unnecessary drama and significant side effects. This seems to be a result of too much energy meeting too much resistance and with too little grounding. Gurus who achieve spiritual power in this manner are very much a mixed blessing.

With Qigong, both the practice and the effects are quite different. Unlike the yogic paradigm, which asserts that the first chakra is the perineal / coccygeal area, Qigong knows that the first chakra is located in the bottoms of the feet. This is the way that nature intended earthly life force (kundalini, chi) to be conducted into the body. There are built in safeguards and processes of energetic transformation that makes this raw power easier to deal with and to apply to the body, mind, and emotions in a purely positive way.

The movements of Qigong are very gentle (virtually no energy is consumed by strenuous work) and coordinated with deep breathing, supreme mental focus, and proper bioenergetic alignment of the body. The effect is to amplify one’s vitality while simultaneously reducing internal somatic, emotional, and mental resistance, all in a grounded and balanced fashion. This Taoist approach generates a lot of Chi safely and quickly, often within a few seconds. Mastery may take somewhat longer.

It has been said that Qigong supercharges the body with a balance of earthly and atmospheric ionic energy. This energy suffuses the body, mind, and spirit. The Chi that is birthed in this fashion can be used to invigorate tissues, blood, lymph, bone, and the central nervous system; purifying, soothing, and healing along the way.

Tantric Qigong™ is to regular Qigong as a Lexus on the Autobahn is to an oxcart in a muddy field. They will both get you to your destination, but differ quite a bit in speed, efficacy, and comfort. While Qigong is supreme at creating the benefits mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, the traditional Taoist process of creating personal freedom and spiritual liberation through burning karma is less well defined. The Taoist approach to chakra activation and transmuting negative emotional patterns is convoluted and obscure at best. In contrast, with Tantric Qigong™ we avail ourselves of esoteric Taoist, Tantric Kriya, Kundalini Yoga, and Tibetan techniques not yet generally known in the west to simplify and enhance our process of self mastery and liberation.

There are seven basic levels of Tantric Qigong™ training that begin with elementary Qigong and culminate in powerful and efficacious practices rarely taught publicly. We employ principles of Bioenergetics, Chakra, Kriya, and Kundalini yoga, Emotional Freedom, Karma burning, Tibetan Tantra, and Tumo in a safe, balanced structure that requires only a few minutes each day to perform. © 2009 Keith E. Hall Inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.

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A Taste of Tantra

Friday, July 24th, 2009

A  Taste  of  Tantra
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An evening of Tantric Bliss, joy, & rediscovering our essential selves.

Tantra” means weaving together the Earthly and the Divine. By expanding our
consciousness, we stretch the boundaries of our self-definition & so discover our higher nature.

Jade Garden Tantra is a complete and systematic course in Taoist Tantric Kriya Yoga and an accelerated path toward mastery of emotional, physical, mental & spiritual energies. Experience a small taste of this powerful, joyful practice! Unite your sensual and spiritual selves!

This is both an introduction for beginners and sadhana for initiates.

.

- Learn how you can Play your Way to Enlightenment!
- Learn techniques for generating & transmuting energy.
- Unfold the Divine in yourself & transform your relationships into Divine Communion.
- Open your heart to Infinite Love.
- Be introduced to powerful techniques for EvolutionEmpowerment and Spiritual Bliss.
- Experience serenity, & the joy of connecting your heart & soul with others.
- Use your primal energy to improve your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being

This workshop is for singles and couples and you will learn techniques that you can do at home. Non sexual.

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A Woman’s Response Re: Ejaculation Control, part 4: Peng Zu

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

A Woman’s Response Re: Peng Zu

This is a continuation of the discussion in Ejaculation & Mental, Spiritual, & Physical Health Part 4: Peng Zu

Q. Julie: Your article was saying how we become healthier and more balanced WITH a partner and without we are also targets for demons…what (can) a person without a partner…do to protect themselves and to also be more in balance and healthier. I can’t just pick some random guy to balance myself with…lol… so what can I do? Thanks for the information.

A. I believe the quotation from Peng Zu (Peng Tsu, Peng Zu) that your are referring to is:

“To be solitary and long for intercourse shortens a man’s life and allows a hundred ailments.
Ghosts and Demons will take advantage of such a man to copulate with him”

First, you have to be aware that the proto-Taoist traditions of some 4-6,000 years ago contained both practical spiritual wisdom and also some superstition. Over the millennia, it has become more apparent which is which.

What Peng Zu refers to are nocturnal emissions. Obviously, he is talking about men, so I don’t think this going to be much of a problem for you unless, of course, your boyfriend has them every night! A woman’s “demons” are usually more emotional than ejaculatory in nature. Unless you are a woman with a high degree of female ejaculation skill. And prone to narcolepsy.

It is possible that some highly eroticised women endowed with some degree of Tantric skill might have such vivid sexual dreams that a genital orgasm could occur, but this is much more likely to be a more diffuse sexual charge than strictly genitocentric. Men however, produce semen continuously, and as will be discussed further in this series of articles, it is not entirely healthy to never ejaculate. If too long a time elapses between ejaculation, the body may tend to take control with the cooperation of the subconscious, hence the nocturnal emissions that gave the ancient Taoists such concern.

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Forbidden Planet, Karmic Monsters from your Id

Doc Ostrow: …”the Krell forgot one thing.”
Commander Adams: “Yes, what?”
Doc Ostrow: “Monsters, John. Monsters from the Id.”
–Forbidden Planet

Awakening with the obvious evidence of some nocturnal sexual process could be confusing to a simple Taoist living at the dawn of recorded history. Add to that the great length that Taoists go to avoid loss of semen through ejaculation control, and one can see how a superstition of demonic erotic possession aka “Monsters from the Id” could, well, “arise”.

In the Catholic Christian lineage, this loss of control over sexual fantasies and the resultant nocturnal emissions experienced by celibate monks is externalized as a succubus; a demon in the form of a seductive woman who visits a monk in a dream state. These demons were thought to arouse the sexual energy ( Jing, Shakti) of the celibate, then feed off the life force, much like a vampire. According to the Malleus Maleficarum, published in 1487 by the Inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, a succubus would collect semen from men they had sex with and impregnate women with it for evil metaphysical purposes.

I, however, prefer my succubi to be incarnate in flesh rather than being ephemeral dream demons.
Just a personal preference.

The quote from Shang-ku-san-tai,

“Man and woman mutually complete each other, just like Heaven and Earth gave birth to each other. Tao nourishes the vital force (chi) in order that man may not lose his harmony.”

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The Tantric Dakini Goddess Mae West

relates to the great energizing and balancing of life force that can occur through High Tantric Sex, and especially with lovers who are willing to sexually and emotionally surrender to each other on a significantly deep level. So, on the one hand, “some random guy” might not serve this process, however you might also consider reading some of what the great Dakini and early feminist Mae West had to say on this subject. Here was a woman truly empowered by her sexuality at a time when this was not supported at all by our “polite” society at the turn of the century (her play entitled “Sex” resulted in a morals charge and imprisonment in 1927.)

Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation – the other eight are unimportant.
Henry Miller

Energetic balance ( polarity) can occur with or without a partner, you don’t need to wait for the perfect partner to get started. In fact, you are much more likely to attract a higher quality partner if you are willing to begin to use Tantric and Taoist forms to clarify your energy and burn your karma.  Often Like attracts Like, so, to paraphrase Gandhi: “Be the lover you want to attract in the world…”

I am also reminded of the time that Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives fame appeared on the Jay Leno show with a Tantric Revelation: She was talking about catalog shopping and mentions that she bought 5 (that’s right, five!) Kegel Exercisers.

Jay Leno: So, um, can you lift more than you used to…or….?

Teri Hatcher: I now have a very strong kitty cat.

Jay Leno: (!!!!!!)

Teri Hatcher: All the other ‘desperate housewives’ are married and stuff, but, like, when I get a boyfriend, he’s gonna hit the jackpot!

You gotta admire Ms. Hatcher’s commitment to personal growth. Like Mae West, she seems gratified by taking charge of her own sexuality.

Of course, in ancient pre-battery operated times, The Taoists and Tantriks developed a high sexual and spiritual technology. The Tantric Qigong (sm) exercises “Wag the Tail” and “Raise on the Toes” open the pelvis and stimulate the kidney meridian.

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Wag the Tail (c) 1997 Keith E. Hall

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Raise on the Toes

Tantric Qigong (sm) , T’ai Chi, and some forms of Yoga are the best all around exercises for increasing, balancing, and applying one’s life force for karma burning and other spiritual purposes, with or without a partner.
.
The yogic asanas known as The Goddess pose and The Butterfly pose also burn pelvic karma and resistance to your own Goddess Power while indirectly stimulating the kidney energy.

.

Here is an exercise from our 10 Minutes to a Healthier You! (sm) and our Tantric Transformation (sm) courses that you can do on your own:

The Energy Pump

1. Contract and pump the anal sphincter and the muscles of the vaginal wall, pulling upwards. If possible, make this a relatively fast contraction and release (2-3 contractions per second.)

2. After you get the hang of this, begin a pattern of deep breathing through the mouth where you are exhaling while you contract the muscles, and inhaling as you relax the muscles.

3. Imagine that the fast, deep breathing and contractions are like a bellows fanning the fire of your life force. This can also be done with pelvic rocking or thrusting.

Doing a few minutes or more of this each day will increase your life force (Chi, Qi, Ki), sexual power (Shakti, Jing), and ability to receive pleasure while also toning the PC muscle (pubococcygeal muscle) and vaginal muscles.

There is a variation of this that is known to increase one’s sexual magnetism to an almost hypnotic level. I have seen men sweat and begin to lose control of their power to focus in the presence of a woman adept at this. Some pheromones don’t hurt either….

In summary:
–You don’t need to worry about demons or nocturnal emissions.
There are exercises you can do on your own to increase your life force and sexual magnetism.
– You are The Goddess. © 2008 Keith E. Hall Inner-Tranquility.com .  All rights reserved.

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Taoism, Kundalini Yoga, and Tantra

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Taoism, Kundalini Yoga, and Tantra

Q. Athalsteinn writes: How do you resolve the conflicting practices and problem of circulating Prana in Kundalini Yoga while also being a practitioner of Taoist arts where Chi is circulated through the microcosmic orbit instead of stored in the head chakras?

A. Thank you for your excellent question. Yoga and Taoist practices share many similar techniques and paradigms while also having both subtle and dramatic differences. Each is a master system for human evolution abundant with complex subtleties that have developed over millennia. To try to concisely compare these practices is difficult because of the immense diversity and history of both the Hindu and Taoist theology, sociology, and methodology.

There have been many academics, e.g. Joseph Campbell, who have written a tonnage on the subject, though ultimately an analysis of that which is beyond the rational is fraught with difficulty, if not doomed to failure. However, I will endeavor to succinctly contrast these two cosmologies below.

By “Energy Yoga” I mean those yogic systems that deal with the mastery of life force, consciousness, and subtle energies, e.g. Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga, etc. The “Taoism” I refer to is not just the philosophical precepts (I Ching, Tao Te Ching, etc.) but the concrete and pragmatic applications, e.g. Qigong, Nei Kung, T’ai Chi, Tantric Chi Kung, etc.

Comparison of Intention and Technique of Energy Yoga and Taoist practices

Intention
Energy Yoga: Return to Godhead.

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…Kundalini & Tantra Intention & Technique: Ascension

Energy Yoga seeks Mystical union with God and this agenda informs yoga technology and practice. All religions have this desire in some form, more or less. Health and longevity are seen as necessary for a long enough life to accrue the needed mastery of technique and wisdom to apply it in an ethical and karmically beneficial manner.

Taoism: Creation of harmony, empowerment, longevity / immortality
Taoism is more concerned with achieving inner and outer harmony, personal power, optimization of health, and achieving longevity or immortality; though there are esoteric sects that have a Buddhist or other religious and / or spiritual nature. Study of Qigong, T’ai Chi, the I Ching, and Tao Te Ching are spiritual pathways to attaining health, harmony, and spiritual power.

Attainment of great mystical power (siddhis) is a phenomenon shared by both Yoga and Taoism, and those practitioners without true Masters are inevitably lured by this detour on the path of pure intent.

Spiritual Technique

Energy Yoga: Ascension
Energy Yoga’s desire to achieve Divine Unity is expressed in orthodox schools through techniques that increase consciousness and raise life force through the body in various ways. In it’s most zealous forms, ascetic yogis seek to “park” the body so that the consciousness of the aspirant may leave its confines to seek unity with God. More unorthodox schools (left hand path), e.g., Tantra Yoga, may raise, lower, and circulate energies ( chi, Qi, Ki, Prana, Kundalini) for numerous rationales, one of which is the axiom that “The Kingdom of Heaven is within.” i.e., The Divine meets the human within the temple of the body. (See the discussion of Red and White Tantra)

Taoism: Circulation

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Taoist Tantric Intention & Technique: Circulation….

What is considered a “left hand” path in Yoga is more orthodox in Taoist practice. Much practice is invested in a multitude of techniques for generating and circulating life force (Chi, Qi, Ki), personal power, healing the body, creating personal and social balance (harmony). Mystical experiences that are not centered in the body are less interesting to many Taoists.

The Middle Path
Surveys show that 80% of Americans feel that religion plays an important part in their lives. Yet we remain a highly materialistic, competitive, violent culture. Certainly our approach to institutional religion is highly dogmatic and sometimes extraordinarily judgmental. America is not alone in this. Throughout history, cultures have been shaped, and wars instigated, by religious zealots. Is this spiritual hubris a cause or consequence of personal and social arrogance and righteousness, or is it both?

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Tantric Taoist Tree: Heaven & Earth, Yin & Yang.

Of course, both Chinese culture and that of the Indian subcontinent have aspects of this also. Due to caste doctrine, Brahmins could only practice Tantra in secret. The great wisdom of the Tao was often utilized for pugilism (there are actually T’ai Chi and Qi Gong competitions!) It is just that it is more difficult to see and extract oneself from the psychosocial-religious ideology that one was born into and imprinted by.

Ideally, a middle approach includes a balance of earthly and spiritual intents restorative to mind, body, and spirit. A congruence of strength and compassion, expression and tolerance, freedom and temperance, ascension and embodiment, physical pleasure and transcendental bliss. Tantric Qigong is such a method. Its Taoist and Yogic elements promote health, harmony, empowerment, composure, personal freedom and, if one desires, a foundation for spiritual evolution, ethos and enlightenment.  10 Minutes to A Healthier You!(sm) is a highly efficient system of Tantric Qigong adjusted to the lifestyle and mindset of contemporary Westerners. © 2002 Keith E. Hall. Inner-Tranquility.com All rights reserved.

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