"Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitute wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there." Meister Eckhart (12th Century mystic)
Pradosham, an especially auspicious evening time associated with Shaivite observances. April 3, the day this blog was created, was "Soma (crescent moon) Pradosham."
Pradosham often involves fasting to raise the bar on spiritual practice, and I explain why and how in the tutorial. Using the esteemed Panchakshara (five-syllabled) mantra (Om) Namah Shivaya is of equal importance, so I give you some tips on how to enhance its effect. It's all in the tutorial right here:
Fasting is used on pradosham to enhance our spiritual practice because the word "doṣa" is a defect, specifically something that can cause us harm. Pradosham is our monthly cycle to cleanse our karmas and purify, which is why the esteemed Panchakshara (five-syllabled) mantra (Om) Namah Shivaya is used to invoke blessing.
The word "Shiva " in Sanskrit means "auspicious," a word that is not in common parlance today, meaning "favorable," a presence that blesses us and ensures successful outcomes.
Among many epithets, Shiva is Yogeshwara, the Lord of Yoga. Here's a way to connect our Yoga practice to the Shiva principle and the ancient lineage of Shavite spirituality known as the Agama.
On pilgrimage this year, Yoga became an important component because Yoga is essential to spiritual realization and practice in Indian spirituality. It is also at the top of the pyramid structure we developed for our training in India and as we advance into this year upon our return. Last but not least, most of our pilgrims this year were yoga teachers.
Upon my return yesterday, I put together a practice late at night, one that ties into the theme of the Sacred Masculine, particularly in the wake of Shiva Ratri recently, but also because it is an essential theme in our tri-part approach in Yogic Mystery School, the others being the Divine Feminine, and the Holy Divanihum, which you will hear more about in the near future.
Here is how I put my practice together the day of my return to the...
Are you ready to TAP the POWER of Maha Shiva Ratri on Feb 18? Then, prepare for this momentous event by understanding how to engage your spiritual practice on this auspicious night.
The word “rātri” means night, so this is the night of Shiva. Technically, it occurs once a month on the day before the new moon, so there are twelve such nights each year. Maha means great! The Great Night Of Shiva, which often occurs in February or March, is exceptional. In a nod to Tolkien, it is a night to rule them all.
The night and the moon have a special place in spiritual practices associated with Lord Shiva. For those who have a solid connection to feminist spiritual traditions, like Wicca or Paganism, it would be refreshing that a male deity is associated so strongly with the full moon, usually with goddess worship.
Shiva has a strong feminine side to him. He is also ardhanari, the half-lord, who is half-woman, featured with one breast and posturing an...
Each time we circumambulate around the central shrine of a Shiva temple, we encounter a row of 63 mysterious stone statues clothed and venerated with sacred markings. As Nada Yogis, practitioners of sacred sound, these esteemed spiritual personages are of profound significance to us. And here's why:
Between the 6th and 8th centuries, a wave of devotion across India developed into the Bhakti movement of the middle ages. Interestingly, the movement's origins coincided with the Muslim invasions, whose strong beliefs about graven images destroyed many Hindu temples and statues. This detail is relevant solely to the context of the extraordinary calling of these hounds of Shiva, who helped inspire devotion under extenuating circumstances.
These musician saints and poets of the Bhakti period inspired a wave of devotion in India's early medieval period while helping to preserve the stories and the philosophies of Hinduism. Furthermore, they ingeniously expressed in the vernacular (local...
I'm sure there is much about Shiva that you know. However, here are three things about "Shiva" that, even if you did know, are expanded upon with new information, or at the very least, some new associations.
Each year, we make a pilgrimage to India, where we visit many Shiva temples. We are there now with our students exploring our spiritual practice together in community. The mystery of Shiva is also one of the essential tracks in our Yogic Mystery School called "Sacred Masculine."
Shiva, the God, is part of a vast pantheon of Gods and Goddesses within the Hindu spiritual framework. But there's also a very different sense of Shiva's deictic nature. Shiva, within Shaivism, one of Hinduism's principal traditions, is also the absolute supreme being, which means Shiva is more than a God: He is the creator of this universe, a bit like the Biblical Yahweh.
And it is not just the power of creation that he wields, but that of...
For the Tantric practitioner, every night is Shiva Ratri. Each night, as we go to sleep, we can consciously surrender our minds and bodies to sacredness. Shiva is a way into pure consciousness.
Once a year, in the holy month of Phalguna, occurring between late winter and the advent of summer, at this very time of year, we celebrate "Maha Shiva Ratri," the Great Night Of Shiva.
There are many stories about the symbolic significance of this festival, chief among them being Shiva's celestial dance, also known as the Tandava. This dance embraces creation, sustenance, and destruction.
It is awful that this Maha Shiva Ratri, the people of Ukraine, are undergoing a devasting experience of death and destruction. Shiva, however, does not mean "destruction" but blessing.
The dance of life includes birth and death. Amid this process is the soul's liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Therefore, we can pray for the people of...