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Heart of Tantra

heart opening

The Vijnanabhairava Tantra is an ancient text that presents the sadhak/practitioner with 112 different techniques to transcend the mundane and enter into a state of transcendence. These techniques enable the practitioner to bring back the transcendental consciousness to the world. Coming back with such intuitive knowledge touches us in a way that is much different from how most people experience the material world. In fact, we can delve into the heart of consciousness, where we do not deny any reality - whether dual or non-dual - but instead rest in the Heart of Shiva.

This understanding of the Heart of Shiva is not unique only to the Vijnanabhairava Tantra, but is a current of symbolic thought in all of the Kashmiri Shaivist texts. Shiva, as Bhairav, embodies both ultimate awareness and consciousness, as well as the mundane; he represents both Shiva and Shakti. When attempting to define the essence of Shiva, we are essentially referring to the central teaching of the union of Shiva and Shakti, which represents the complete balance and harmony in the universe.

As a matter of practicality, when we refer to the heart of consciousness, we are not focusing on the consciousness of our senses, feelings, or any other phenomenal occurrence. Rather, we are referring to the essence of consciousness itself. The silent and still eye of the storm is where the phenomenal world spins around it. This may sound difficult, but in reality, every one of us can access this space, even if only for a moment. We can achieve this through rigorous meditation, by focusing on a single point repeatedly, or by bringing ourselves into the present moment. Another way is to ask ourselves the question, "Who am I?" The practices in India are numerous, and according to tradition, it doesn't matter which means you use to seek Truth, as long as you find it.

This is the Tantric Heart.


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