After exploring Part III of our Program for 1 to 3 months, you are ready to move on into Part IV. The techniques you will be incorporating into your daily routine are all designed to generate and intensify energy in specific areas of your body. The principle involved is the same as in the "floating arms phenomena". You will be generating a charge of energy in specific areas of the body by contraction and relaxation of various muscle groups. You will then pull this accumulated energy up the spine and into the head.
We will begin with a series of exercises in the pelvic area. This area of the body is an enormous storehouse of energy. Emotional trauma associated with birth and early development most often has locked this energy up. And as you expand your awareness in this area, you may experience powerful emotions of fear, anger and guilt. Or you may for some reason, feel uncomfortable working directly with this part of your body. All these feelings are perfectly natural, given the negative sexual programming of our culture. The following techniques in our Program are all-powerful tools with which to work through this negative conditioning, and thus liberate a tremendous amount of your creative energy.
The first of these techniques is called Ashvini Mudra. This exercise is accomplished by deliberate and repeated contractions of the anal sphincter muscle. The sphincter muscle surrounds the anal opening, and is contracted to prevent evacuation. With this technique you will contract the anus as if stopping a bowel movement, or as if trying to grasp something with the anus by squeezing the buttocks together. Try this several times to get a sense of this exercise. If you are sitting, you will be slightly elevated by the contracted muscles of the buttocks. Then as you relax these muscles, you will sink back down. The more internal sensation is a little harder to define, but will be felt as an in and up movement of the anus as it contracts.
The direct physical advantages of this exercise are the toning and strengthening of the muscles of the entire pelvic floor. Beyond the physical benefits however, this technique is used to generate and intensify the energy at the base of the spine, at the Muladhara Chakra. This is the purpose of the Ashvini Mudra. By repeated contractions and relaxation a charge of energy accumulates at the Muladhara. Then with the E Pranayama, pull the energy up spine and into the head.
You will begin to incorporate this Mudra into your daily program as part of the E-VAM Pranayama technique. After having completed your regular Asanas and the Kapalabhati breath, you will begin by doing 3 cycles of the E-VAM Pranayama. The eyes of course will be in Shambhavi Mudra.
After completing 3 cycles of the E-VAM, and the breath has been exhaled with the last VAM, quickly contract and relax the anal sphincter muscle for 10-15 repetitions. With the last contraction, relax all the muscles of the area and try to feel the energy there. Now begin the inhalation with the long EE sound. Draw the cool energy up the spine and into the head. Roll the tongue into the Khechari Mudra, creating the internal vacuum high in the throat. Hold for a count of 5.
After a slow count of 5, return the tongue to its normal position and begin the forceful exhalation of the VAM Pranayama, allowing the energy to flow back down the spine and into the pelvic area. With the hum of the M sound, all the muscles in this area should be totally relaxed and flooded with energy.
As the exhalation is completed, again quickly contract and relax the anal sphincter muscle in rapid succession for 10-15 repetitions. Relax, and then pull the energy up with the E as before. Repeat this complete cycle with the Ashvini Mudra 5 times.
When you have finished with the 5 cycles of the Ashvini Mudra, continue on with your usual practice of the E-VAM Pranayama for 20 more cycles. Then finish your routine as you did in Part III with 10-20 minutes of meditation.
Practice the Ashvini Mudra in conjunction with the E-VAM Pranayama for at least one week before moving on to the next technique. This will allow you plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the principle and mechanics of this exercise.
Our next technique is called Vajroli Mudra. It is related to the Ashvini, in that it also works with the PC or Pubo-coccygeus muscles. However, instead of contracting the anal sphincter you will be working with the urethra sphincter muscle. This is the muscle that acts as a valve at the urethral orifice, and is contracted when one is cutting off or preventing the flow of urine. You can get a better sense of this muscle by deliberately stopping and starting the flow in mid stream several times. In this way you will become more conscious of the specific action and sensation of the Vajroli Mudra.
The urethral sphincter muscle is situated at the base of the penis in men, and below the clitoris in women. As you contract this muscle with force, you will notice that the muscles of the lower abdomen are also contracted, pulled in and slightly up.
Women can check the specific action of this Mudra by inserting one or two fingers into the vagina. As you contract the sphincter muscle, you should be able to feel the vagina tighten and clasp the fingers. Contract and relax several times until you become thoroughly acquainted with this action and sensation.
Men can check the action of this Mudra by standing naked in front of a mirror. As you contract the sphincter muscle, the penis should actually move or slightly elevate. Relax and contract several times causing the penis to move.
This exercise was brought to the attention of the modern Western world by Dr. Kegel, who advocated exercising and strengthening the pubo-coccygeus muscle in preparing women for childbirth and overcoming various sexual dysfunctions. These exercises have now become popular under the general heading of "Kegels". They are however, an adaptation of the Vajroli Mudra.
The rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the urethral sphincter will definitely strengthen the entire uro-genital system in both women and men. It will also prevent, and in some cases cure urinary incontinence.
For men, this exercise will stimulate the genitals with increased energy. It will enhance the ability of the penis to stay erect and increase its capacity to feel pleasure. It will also prevent premature ejaculation, and in some cases solve problems with impotency.
This exercise will be particularly beneficial for women, not only in preparation for childbirth as mentioned earlier, but will increase clitoral sensitivity and enhance orgasm. The PC muscle in both sexes naturally and rhythmically contracts during orgasm. By strengthening this muscle, you are consequently increasing your ability to experience more intense and longer orgasms.
Another benefit of the Vajroli Mudra is that the vagina becomes more toned and is able to grasp and hold the penis. This will improve the erotic pleasure for both partners.
Besides all these benefits, the Vajroli Mudra is primarily done to generate and intensify the charge of energy at the Swadhisthana Chakra. The opening of the pelvic storehouse was begun with the Ashvini Mudra, which concentrated on the anal sphincter and the Muladhara Chakra. Through the rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the urethral sphincter muscle, you will now stimulate and intensify the energy in the sex center, the Swadhisthana Chakra. This is the primary purpose of the Vajroli Mudra.
After one week with the Ashvini Mudra, you are now ready to incorporate the powerful Vajroli Mudra into your daily practice. You will begin this Mudra after completing your usual 5 cycles of Ashvini Mudra. Having forcefully exhaled with the VAM on the last cycle of Ashvini Mudra, you will now contract the urethral sphincter as if stopping or preventing the flow of urine. Relax the muscle, and then quickly contract it again. Do this for 10-15 repetitions. After the last contraction, relax and try to feel the energy accumulating in the area. Then with the E Pranayama draw the energy up the spine and into the head.
As the inhalation is completed, roll the tongue back into Khechari Mudra sucking the energy into the head. The eyes of course are held in Shambhavi Mudra, directing the energy to the Ajna Chakra.
After you have held the breath in for a slow count of 5, relax the tongue and exhale with the VAM Pranayama, allowing the warm current of energy to flow back down the spine into the solar plexus and pelvis.
Once again, quickly contract and relax the urethral sphincter muscle in rapid succession for 10-15 repetitions. Relax, and try to feel the energy there. Then draw the energy up the spine with the E Pranayama. Altogether, perform 5 cycles of the Vajroli Mudra. Then continue with 15 cycles of the usual E-VAM Pranayama, ending with 10-20 minutes of meditation.
Practice the Ashvini and Vajroli combination for one week before moving on. Our next technique is called Agni Sara.
This exercise is essentially rapid contractions of the muscles in the abdomen. This action produces a churning or pulsing of the stomach area. The abdominal muscles are very quickly, with a jerking motion, contracted upward and inward, and then rapidly pushed forward or out. The movements are shallow and very rapid.
This exercise is designed to generate and intensify energy at the solar plexus, in the Manipura Chakra. The accumulated energy is then pulled up the spine with the E Pranayama and directed to the Ajna Chakra. This exercise will also physically massage the liver and stomach, stimulating and revitalizing their functions.
You will begin the Agni Sara after finishing the last cycle of the Vajroli Mudra. You have exhaled with the VAM and the warm energy is accumulating in the solar plexus and lower body. After about a 2-3 second pause, begin to rapidly pull in and push out the stomach in rapid succession. Do this for 15-20 repetitions. On your last repetition, relax the abdomen muscles. Pull the accumulated energy up the spine with the E Pranayama.
When the powerful masculine energy flows back down with the VAM Pranayama, pay special attention now to any sensations in the solar plexus. Try to feel the warm energy gathering in this area. After the exhalation has been completed, pause for 2-3 seconds, then once again begin the Agni Sara for 15-20 repetitions. Do 5 complete cycles of this exercise. Finish with 10 regular E-VAM Pranayams and meditation.
For a quick review, you should now be doing: 3 regular E-VAM cycles; 5 cycles of Ashvini; 5 cycles of Vajroli; and 5 cycles of Agni Sara; and then finish with 10 regular E-VAM and meditation. Continue with this routine for one week before moving on to the next step.
Each of these techniques specifically works with the energy at a particular nerve center in the body, awakening, intensifying and generating energy at each location. There is also a specific and progressive direction to these exercises, moving from the foundation of the pelvis up to the solar plexus.
With our next exercise you'll continue to move up the spine into the heart center, the Anahata Chakra. This technique is called the Anahat Mudra. It's specifically designed to stimulate the energy of this nerve plexus. Energy will accumulate at the Anahata Chakra, and will then be pulled up the spine into the head with the E Pranayama.
When you are ready to incorporate the Anahat Mudra into your daily routine, we are going to shorten the time spent with the other techniques just a little. This is to make the Program more manageable. We need to keep in mind, that even the best of this technology should still remain practical enough to fit into our daily schedules, otherwise it will simply go unused. So from now on, we'll do only 3 cycles of each of these techniques instead of 5.
Now when you have completed 3 cycles of Agni Sara in your routine, you are ready to perform the Anahat Mudra.
This Mudra is actually a combination of 3 different energy locks. The first two are very similar to the Hatha Yoga exercise of the half-spinal twist. Here however, we are specifically concentrating on the upper spine opposite the heart.
To begin this exercise, your breath will have been exhaled with the VAM, you will then reach around your back with your left hand as far to the right side of your body as you comfortably can, and rest it on the floor. Place your right hand on the outside of the left knee and straighten the elbow. This action twists the upper body to the left, and you should now be looking back over your left shoulder.
If you are sitting in a chair you might try grasping with your left hand the back of the chair where it meets the seat on the right side. This will give you some added leverage. If you are sitting on the floor, inch your hand a little further to the right. Both these actions are designed to create a distinct tension in the muscles along the left side of the spinal column opposite the heart. Hold this position for a count of 10. *Illutrations*
Feel the energy intensify and accumulate in the upper back. You may even feel a warm sensation begin to develop there. Now come around so that you are once again facing forward. The muscles in your back are relaxed and releasing all their accumulated energy. Pull the energy from this area up the spine and into the head with the powerful E Pranayama. Visualize the inhaling breath entering your body at the point between the shoulder blades, and then draw it up the spine and into the head. Hold for a count of 5, focusing the energy at the Third Eye with Shambhavi and Khechari Mudras. After a count of 5, bring the energy back down your spine to the area opposite the heart with the VAM Pranayama. Mentally visualize the warm current of energy flowing back down your spine and accumulating at the point between the shoulder blades. Notice any sensations as the stream of energy comes flooding into this area.
You are now ready to twist your upper body toward the right. It is exactly like what you just did; only done in the opposite direction. Reach around your back with your right hand as far to the left side of your body as you comfortably can, and rest it on the floor, or the seat of the chair.
Place your left hand on the outside of the right knee. Try to keep your elbow straight. This action twists the upper body to the right, and you should now be looking back over your right shoulder. If you are sitting in a chair grasp the back of the chair where it joins the seat on the left side for added leverage. If your are sitting on the floor, inch your hand further to the left, to create a noticeable tension in the muscles along the right side of the spine in the area of the shoulder blade. Hold this position for a count of 10; feel the energy intensify in the upper back.
After the count of 10 come around so that you are once again facing forward. The muscles in your back are relaxed and releasing the accumulated energy. Pull the energy up the spine and into the head with the E. Visualize the inhaling breath entering your body between the shoulder blades, and then being pulled up the spine into the head. Focus the energy at the Third Eye with the Shambhavi and Khechari Mudras. Hold for a count of 5, and then bring the energy down to the middle of your back with the VAM. Mentally follow the warm energy flowing down your spine, allowing it to accumulate at the Anahat Chakra.
For the third and final part of the Anahat Mudra, you will remain facing forward. Pull both shoulder blades together creating a noticeable tension in the middle of your back. Hold this position for a count of 10; feel the energy intensify and accumulate in this area.
After the count of 10, relax the muscles in your back. Now pull the energy up the spine with the E. Visualize the breath entering the body at the heart and flowing up the spine and into your head. Focus the energy at the Ajna Chakra with the Shambhavi and Khechari Mudras. Hold for a count of 5, and then bring the energy back down to your heart center with the VAM.
This completes the three distinct parts of the Anahat Mudra. Do each of these parts only once, and then finish your routine with 13 cycles of the regular E-VAM Pranayama, and 10-20 minutes of meditation. Remain with this routine for one week, before moving onto the next step.
Our next exercise is called Vishud Mudra. It is specifically designed to stimulate the Vishuddha Chakra located at the base of the throat. The Pharyngeal nerve plexus is situated here, as well as the thyroid gland that plays a major part in the regulation of metabolism. You will be stimulating and revitalizing this entire area through the Vishud Mudra.
To perform this exercise you should be sitting very straight, chin parallel with the floor. Having just completed the last part of the Anahat Mudra in your routine, and exhaled with the VAM Pranayama, gently, but quickly tilt your head to the left shoulder. Pause for a brief moment. You should feel a slight tension or pulling on the muscles of the right side of the neck. This position is stimulating the flow of energy to this area.
Next, tilt the head back as if looking at the ceiling. Pause for a just a moment here. Then quickly, but gently tilt the head to the right. Pause briefly and feel a slight tension on the muscles of the left side of the neck. Now drop the head forward, not so far down as in the chin lock, but just enough so that you feel a slight tension at the back of the neck.
This constitutes one full rotation of the Vishud Mudra. As you incorporate this exercise into your daily program you will do 3-6 of these complete rotations. The energy generated in the throat and neck will then be pulled up into the head with the E breath. It will take some time and practice to judge how long you can comfortably pause at each location and still be able to complete 3-6 rotations before inhaling.
When you finish with the 3-6 head rotations, bring the head up so that the chin is once again parallel with the floor, and begin the inhalation with E Pranayama. Visualize the cool air flowing in at the front of the throat, up the back of the neck and into the head. When the inhalation is completed, roll the tongue back into Khechari Mudra, pulling the energy up from the throat. Elevate the eyes in Shambhavi Mudra directing the energy into the Ajna Chakra. Hold this position for a slow count of 5, and then begin a forceful exhalation with the VAM Pranayama. Feel the warmth of the exhaled breath enter the point between the eyes in the forehead. Feel it then move back through the head and down the neck exiting from the front of the throat. When all the breath has been exhaled, once again begin 3-6 head rotations only this time in the opposite direction. Instead of tilting the head to the left, you will begin this round of rotations by tilting your head to the right shoulder. Pause briefly. Feel the slight tension on the muscles of the left side of the neck.
Next, tilt the head back as if looking at the ceiling. Pause for just a moment here. Then quickly, but gently tilt the head to the left. Pause and feel a slight tension on the muscles of the right side of the neck. Now drop the head forward so that you feel a tension at the back of the neck. Do 3-6 of these rotations. When finished, bring the head up so the chin is once again parallel with the floor and pull the accumulated energy up into the head with the E.
After bringing the energy back down into the throat with the VAM, do another complete cycle of 3-6 head rotations beginning now with the left shoulder. When this cycle is completed, you will finish with yet another cycle of 3-6 rotations to the right.
In all, you will do 4 complete cycles of this Mudra. Each cycle is made up of 3-6 circular rotations of the head, alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise movements.
These alternating cycles are extremely powerful, and each time you pull the energy into your head you will experience this energy in a tangible way.
When you have completed 4 cycles of the Vishud Mudra continue on with your regular E-VAM pranayama for 10 more cycles. Then finish with 10-20 minutes of meditation. Work with this routine for one week before moving on to the next technique.
As you are well aware by now, we have methodically been working our way up the spine, using the various Mudras and Bandhas to generate and intensify energy in the body. We now have arrived at the top of the mountain as it were, where the Earth meets the Sky.
With our next exercise you will be intensifying the energy in the brain, specifically the frontal lobe and the Ajna Chakra. This technique is called the Yoni Mudra. The word Yoni means "sacred space". And used in this context, takes us back many thousands of years to the ritual pilgrimage up the holy mountain of Ida. At the top of the mountain there was a cave where the Sacred Marriage was performed. This cave was mythologically associated with the vulva and womb of the Mother Goddess, the sacred space of Her power and creativity.
So now, in our internal pilgrimage, we have also arrived at the top of the mountain. We are now ready to enter the secret cave, the Yoni, the dark void in which the feminine energy of Ida will unite with the masculine energy of Pingala. And through this Yoga, all the internal polarities will temporarily fall back into their primal union and participate in the Creative Flow of the Universe. The anima unites with the animus. The right hemisphere of the brain synchronizes with the left. The intuitive faculties of the mind merge with the intellect. And the physical and spiritual dimensions of Life begin to be recognized as manifestations of the same Reality.
During our waking moments, energy is continually flowing outward through our eyes, ears, nose and mouth. In the performance of the Yoni Mudra you will position your hands so as to close these "doorways" with your fingers, and reverse the flow of energy back into the brain, specifically into the Third Eye. There is a tremendous amount of energy continually flowing through your hands and fingers as well. And this energy will also be directed into the Ajna through this technique.
After you've finished the 4 cycles of the Vishud Mudra, and have exhaled completely with the VAM Pranayama, place your thumbs lightly over the small flaps in front of the opening of each ear. These two flaps will serve as doors, which you'll close by pushing them back into the opening of the ears. Right now however, just place your thumbs in a position where they are resting on these two doors.
Lightly place the index finger of each hand over the outer corners of your eyelids. The eyes should be closed and in Shambhavi Mudra.
Place the middle finger of each hand at the side of the nostrils of the nose.
At the corners of the mouth, rest the fourth fingers above the mouth and the little fingers below.
With the fingers of both hands now standing guard at all the "doorways" of the head, inhale with the E Pranayama pulling the cool energy up the spine and into the head. As the inhalation is completed roll the tongue back into Khechari Mudra. At the same time knit the eyebrows and close all the doorways with your fingers. The thumbs should push the earflaps into the openings of the ears. The index finger of each hand should be exerting a gentle pressure at the outer corner of each eye. The middle fingers should push the nostrils closed. The fourth and little finger of each hand should clamp the lips closed between them. *Illutration*
The energy of the body has been drawn up the spine and into the head, and all the exits have been sealed. The brain is literally flooded in a sea of energy. You are now in the "sacred space" of Yoni, peering into the darkness of the Unknown, listening in the Womb of Silence. As long as you can comfortably hold your breath, remain in the Yoni Mudra.
When you are ready to exhale, release the pressure of the fingers and open all the "doorways" of the head. Keep your fingers in their appropriate positions. (If your arms grow tired, drop them down for a few moments, but be sure they are back into position when you start the E breath.) Now begin the exhalation with the VAM, allowing the warm current to flow up into the forehead and the brain. Keep your attention locked in the Ajna Chakra during the exhalation, pouring the powerful solar current of Pingala into the Third Eye.
When you have completed the exhalation, pause briefly for just a moment, and then begin the inhalation once again with the E, pulling the energy up from the base of the spine into the head. (The fingers of both hands should be stationed at their appropriate "doorways".)
As you complete the inhalation, continue to draw the energy into the brain with the Khechari Mudra. Knit the eyebrows and close all the doorways of the head with your fingers. Hold your breath as long as you comfortably can.
When you are ready to exhale, release the pressure of the fingers and open all the "doorways" of the head. Exhale with the Vam Pranayama, allowing the warm current to flow into the forehead and brain. Keep your attention at the Ajna Chakra.
In your daily practice perform the Yoni Mudra 3 times. After the third time, simply relax in your "sacred space" for 10-20 minutes of meditation. As usual, the eyes are held in Shambhavi and the tongue is in Khechari Mudra. These few moments are the most auspicious time of your entire practice. You have worked hard to get here, you are inside "The Holy of the Holies", "The Bridal Chamber", "The Cauldron of Making", "The Fields of Delight". Take some time to explore the magic of your Being.
When you are ready to return to your external reality, proceed with 2 or 3 regular cycles of E-VAM pranayama. Each time you exhale with the solar VAM, send a strong current of warm energy into and through the solar plexus. This will balance out the tremendous charge of energy that has been accumulated in the brain, and help integrate it back into the rest of the body. When you have completed the last cycle of E-VAM, then open your eyes and sit quietly for a minute or two before getting up.
You have now completed Part IV of our Program. If you find that sometimes you are pressed for time and can't do the complete routine, rather than doing nothing at all, you may want to do the following shortened routine.
Skip the Cobra, Locust and Bow Asanas, and begin your practice with 50 repetitions of Kapalabhati pranayama. Then move in the E-VAM pranayama with the various Mudras and Bandhas. Instead of 3 cycles of each however, as in the full practice, do only 1 or 2 cycles of each exercise. Then sit in meditation for as long as you have time for.
REVIEW OF PART IV
4. Kapalabhati pranayama 100x
5. Jalamdhara Bandha
6. Mula Bandha
7. Shambhavi Mudra
8. Khechari Mudra
9. E-VAM Pranayama - 3x
10. Ashvini Mudra - 3x of 10-15 repetitions
11. Vajroli Mudra - 3x of 10-15 repetitions
12. Agni Sara - 3x of 10-20 repetitions
13. Anahat Mudra - 3 parts 1x
14. Vishud Mudra - 4x of 3-6 head rotations
15. Yoni Mudra - 3x
16. Meditation - 10 to 20 minutes
17. E-VAM Pranayama - 2-3x.
I have deliberately avoided mentioning any sensational phenomena one may encounter while performing these powerful techniques. One reason is that I don't want in any way to predetermine your own subjective experience. I've given you the necessary information to perform each technique properly. What you will experience as a result of these techniques is entirely your own. And like any other experience in Life, what you get out of it will to a large extent, be determined by what you bring into it.
One of the biggest traps that I find many people caught up in, is the belief that unless they have this or that particular experience they are not spiritually advancing. All the various types of phenomena connected with this technology are only secondary side effects. They are not goals to be achieved, or yardsticks with which to measure your progress or worth.
As I have indicated earlier, the Left Hand Path of Vamacara Tantra is about dropping this whole mindset. Vamacara is a journey to be lived, not some destination to be reached. The journey here is not achieving some glorious goal, but rather a process whereby we become more fully connected with our own creative power, and be willing to follow wherever it may lead us. Vamacara is a process in which we increasingly incorporate into our lives the four principles of Artha (abundance), Kama (enjoyment), Dharma (harmony), and Moksha (freedom).
In this particular framework then, the journey is the goal itself. It is a process of ever increasing levels of inclusion, integration, and the synthesis of apparent opposites. There is no omega point somewhere in the future. The process includes letting go of this linear left brain program, and falling into the present moment.
Just how the Creative Energies of the Universe will manifest through you, no one can really say. You are exploring the realms of your own Being which essentially escapes all definitions and descriptions, and lie far beyond any ready-made map. But one thing you can count on. The closer you get to the Great Mystery that lives at the heart of your own Being, the more wonderful and mysterious your life will become. As you continue your practice, you will remain open, watching, feeling, listening, not seeking to experience any specific phenomena simply because I, or anyone else says you should, but experiencing directly what your own heart needs and desires.
I suggest you continue with your daily practice of Part IV for at least one month before moving on to Part V. I realize there will be a great temptation to jump ahead, but I strongly urge you to be patient. As I have stated earlier, each step in the Program works synergistically with every other step. In this unique system of exercises each step is essential to the success of the entire Program. Each technique builds upon and enhances all the others. The more time you spend with this technology, the more you will grow to appreciate this fact.
All the techniques that you've explored so far are designed to produce the extremely valuable skill of drawing energy up the spine and into your brain. This skill however, like any other skill, will take time and practice to develop. And the more proficient you become, the more powerful and effective the following techniques of the Program will be.
With our next technique then, you will be exploring your sexuality and working directly with the power of orgasmic energy. The most difficult part of this practice will be to overcome your deep-seated programming, which habitually dictates that you release your sexual energy through a conventional orgasm. The more skillful you've become with the use of the E-VAM pranayama and the various Mudras and Bandhas, the easier it will be for you to override this programming and pull your orgasmic energy up into the brain.
As you bring an ever-increasing awareness into your sexuality, you may very well uncover many subconscious programs that have kept you locked into habitual patterns and addictions. You will begin to move into your shadow side in a depth never experienced before. And there you will discover feelings about yourself, and about your body that have long been hidden or denied. You may even discover a tremendous resistance to this next level of our Program. This is perfectly understandable, given our negative conditioning concerning self-pleasure.
The fact remains however, that basic to all forms of sexual expression, one's ability to relate pleasurably to one's own body is a primary and necessary ingredient. It is the first experience of our sexuality as infants, and represents a natural and spontaneous bonding to the primal joy of our physical being. All other forms of sexual expression rest on this foundation. Any flaws or problems that arose in this early stage of development can leave our future relationships established in the context of insecurity and unfulfillment, and our sexual energy destined to remain locked in patterns of obsessive compulsive behavior.
For most people then, it is very important to consciously move back into this primal bonding process. Through the application of the following methods, one can initiate just such a process. It is literally reclaiming of our own spiritual/sexual power.
Any "spiritual path" that doesn't truly incorporate our sexuality is incomplete at best, and at worst damaging. On the other hand, sexuality that is divorced from a spiritual context, most of the time is unfulfilling at the deepest level of our Being. When your sexuality and spirituality begin to become more integrated, you will experience for yourself the underlying connection between healing, wholeness and holiness. There will be a bodily-felt process of unification that will begin to heal the wounds inflicted by years of negative programming, and any deep seated sexual trauma experienced in your life.
With our next set of exercises then, you will consciously move back into the depths of your Being, and rekindle there the bonding process with your body and the Natural World. You will gradually learn to trust your bodily existence in a way you've never felt before, and embrace your embodiment as something of intrinsic value and worth.
On an even deeper level of integration, you will begin to reconnect with the evolutionary wisdom of a billion years, as you "turn on and tune in" to the genetic program of your own cells. They know how to live in cooperation and harmony with all Life on the Earth. Your cells are the biological medium for your future unfoldment. Listen to their voices. Feel the impulses of their desires and needs, and you'll gradually break down the culturally erected barriers between the Sacred and the Profane, the Spiritual and the Natural World.
In this bio-spiritual context then, our next meditation practice can be seen as an act of intercourse with the Divine. You will be using your sexual energy as a vehicle of communion with a creative power and intelligence greater than what you can imagine.
This relationship, however, requires a certain amount of psychological and emotional maturity. To a certain degree, you must leave your childish self images behind, and begin to reclaim your self-esteem and personal power to the point where you can enter into a relationship with the Divine as a Lover.
In this personal romance with the Divine, you will find much to your surprise, a reciprocation that goes far beyond anything that could be attributed to your own subjective projection. Indeed, this relationship represents a threshold to a Whole New Reality.
It takes great courage to step through this doorway, and that is why it's been called "The Path of the Hero". Our spiritual culture for the past 5 thousand years has been telling us we must fight against Nature, fight against our body and our sexual desires. Vamacara's message however, is exactly the opposite. It's about ending the war, and about healing the split. As you celebrate your physical reality through the pleasure of your sexual energy, you are reconnecting with your own power and creativity and the great Mystery of Nature. It is from this context then, that we'll approach the next level of our Program.
After at least one month of daily practice of Part IV, you're ready to incorporate this next exercise into your routine. You'll carry on with you daily practice of Part IV as you've been doing. Only now, once or twice a week you'll replace your usual practice with the following exercise. Some individuals may want to use this technique more frequently, and that is perfectly all right. Each person will have to judge for himself or herself what works best.
I suggest you invest some time to adjust your physical environment to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Maybe have some flowers in the room, light a candle, burn some incense, or whatever may inspire an erotic mood. You're preparing the room for Love. You are sending out an invitation to your Divine Lover.
Some of you may want to find a beautiful and secluded spot outdoors that is also very good. In more ways than one, you'll be connecting and strengthening your bond with the Natural World.
Wherever you choose, adopt a comfortable position for meditation, at least for the first part of this technique. Later on if you want, you can assume some other position. For now, you will primarily want your spine to be relatively straight so that the energy can flow freely.
While you are in the meditation posture, begin to arouse your sexual energy by stimulating yourself. Your attitude here, should be one of playful exploration. Use pictures or erotic literature to further stimulate your sexual desire if you want. Use your powers of visualization to play out sexual fantasies. These are all appropriate methods to increase the intensity of your energy.
Give your hands permission to do absolutely anything they want. Turn your hands over to your Divine Lover. Imagine that your hands are instruments of His or Her pleasurable and healing energy. Let your Divine Lover slowly bring you to a point of intense arousal and passion.
Stay completely absorbed in the present moment by being increasingly aware of all the various pleasurable sensations your body is experiencing. Move deeper into your pleasure; listen to the music of the senses, the symphony of the body. You have nowhere to go - nothing else to do - no preconceived goals toward which you are progressing. Let yourself be carried along by the stream of sensations, emotions and energies that are coming up.
This stream is part of the great river of Life Energy that flows through all beings and all things. It is a manifestation of the spontaneous Creative Energy of the Universe. Give yourself permission to let go of your reservations and critical judgements, and simply "float downstream".
You must remain aware however, of your building level of excitement so that you don't "go over the falls" as it were, and become moved into the release of orgasm. Just before your energy reaches that point, stop everything. Strongly contract the PC (pubo-coccygeus) muscles of the anus and genitals as you have been doing in the Ashvini and Vajroli Mudras. Inhale deeply with the E Pranayama, pulling the energy up the spine and into the head. Roll the tongue back into the Khechari Mudra and the eyes upward into Shambhavi. Hold the breath in as long as you comfortably can.
When you're ready, forcefully exhale with the VAM Pranayama, relaxing all the muscles of your body and allowing the energy to flow back down into the pelvis. If your sexual energy is still sufficiently intense, continue to draw it up the spine with one or two more cycles of E-VAM pranayama.
As the sexual energy in your genitals fades to the point where you are losing your arousal, then once again allow your Divine Lover to slowly bring you back to the place of intense desire. Just before your sexual energy reaches the point of orgasm, contract the PC muscles and pull the energy into the brain with the E. Hold the breath as long as you can. Then send it back down with the powerful VAM. Repeat this whole cycle 5 or 6 times.
Try to lengthen the time of your arousal before bringing the energy charge up the spine. This will not only increase the energy available, but this prolonged arousal will flood every cell in your body with increasing levels of the sexual hormones testosterone and estrogen.
According to the latest neuro-endocrinological studies, prolonged periods of elevated levels of sex hormones in the blood actually incite the pineal gland to produce a powerful cerebral stimulant known as methoxyharmalan. This chemical has been found to be pharmacologically related to the psychedelic drug psilocybin naturally found in some mushrooms. Achieving altered states of consciousness through prolonged sexual activity is no longer just some "far out" theory, but has a basis in fact. I find it particularly interesting, that this phenomenon is related to the mysterious pineal gland, the very target of the E-VAM pranayama as the energy is continually circulated through the Ajna Chakra.
By prolonging the periods of your sexual arousal, you'll also find that your threshold levels of pleasure will actually rise, so that you can enjoy increasing levels of pleasure before finding it necessary to pull the energy up the spine.
Once you have completed 5 or 6 cycles of drawing the orgasmic energy up your spine and into the brain, you then can release your energy through a conventional orgasm. As your energy is released, try keeping your attention fixed at the Ajna Chakra with your eyes in Shambhavi Mudra. Remain in this position for as long as 5-10 minutes, enjoying the tremendous power and depth of this meditation.
There is a variation to this step of our Program, which you might want to explore. It involves stimulating your sexual energy until it begins to reach the point of orgasm. Contract the pubo-coccygeus muscles as before, but instead of pulling the energy all the way up the spine; simply pull it up into the solar plexus. Do this at least twice. Each time bringing your sexual energy into the solar plexus. Then do the same technique as before, only now pull the orgasmic energy up into the heart area. After several cycles involving the heart, finally move up to the head. Pull the orgasmic energy into your head several times before releasing it through a conventional orgasm. Try keeping your attention at the Third Eye as your orgasmic energy is released. Remain in this profound state of meditation for at least 10 minutes.
A slight variation you might also explore is to concentrate on just the solar plexus or the heart center, and bring the orgasmic energy there for all 5-6 cycles.
Before we move on to the last part of our Program, I would like to add that if while exploring these techniques you feel no need to release your sexual energy with a conventional orgasm, it is certainly not required. Please feel free to retain this energy if you want. However, I must also point out that under no circumstances is this to be somehow considered a goal of this Program. Part of the process you are involved in here, is to grow out of that context in which such narrow parameters are set up. It is not a question of should I, or shouldn't I? But rather it is a process of exploring your options and determining where you want to go, or what you want to experience. It is a process of learning to trust yourself and continually coming to recognize there are no mistakes. One day you may feel moved in one direction, the next day you may feel moved in another. Simply remain true to the flow of your own Nature.
I recommend that you continue exploring these techniques without a partner, until you can consistently bring your orgasmic energy up the spine. Each of us is different and will proceed at our own pace. However, I feel it's best if you can spend at least several weeks working with these techniques before exploring their application with a partner. I realize for some people, there will be a strong temptation to begin using these exercises immediately with a partner. I urge you to resist this temptation, and proceed slowly.
Please do not interpret this to mean that one should give up, or somehow not participate in a sexual relationship with your partner. This Program is done in addition to that relationship.
As we move into the last part of our Program you will use the very same techniques you have been using, only now you'll be involved with a partner. However, this is not absolutely necessary for the practice of Tantra Yoga. A common trap some people fall into when studying Tantra is thinking they can't achieve some exalted state of consciousness unless they have a partner. Many times they miss the very gifts that life has brought to them in the present moment. For some people, a solitary life might very well be their chosen life path, or a significant stage of development in a lifetime that is otherwise committed to relationships. This should be recognized and honored.
Another trap I wish to point out, is the idea that unless one practices these techniques with a member of the opposite sex, their effectiveness will be somehow less. This is simply not true. For at its very roots, Vamacara Tantra holds that each individual possesses psychological characteristics of both sexes.
One day this principle of polarity was dramatically reinforced for me. I was introduced to a woman who literally had me sitting in front of her in total fascination. In her natural persona, she was more masculine than I was. I never met a woman who expressed masculinity as powerfully as she did. We became friends. And over time, I noticed that whenever I came into her presence my polarity began to shift.
From our childhood, we've all been operating out of closed systems of belief that assumed separation as our reality: that human beings were separate from the Divine, separate from Nature, and separate from one another. We've all been raised with this Gospel of Separation, which has become our core reality. And so, we've all been negatively conditioned regarding closeness, intimacy, touching, giving and receiving affection and love. Defensiveness and fear have become associated with issues of relationship. We have learned to erect barriers to keep our separation alive, even though we might be dying for relationship.
Vamacara Tantra is a way in which we can move beyond our cultural trance of separation, and explore the complex and wonderful frontier of human relationships. It is an open system of beliefs whereby relationship becomes our core reality, not separation. First and foremost, Vamacara recognizes our relationship to the Divine as Immanent: residing as Nature and within all living beings and forms. This fact alone changes one's entire perspective of Life. Everything begins to become alive and conscious and sacred. And we begin to recognize ourselves as part of a Living Cosmos.
Vamacara however doesn't offer this core belief as just another metaphysical speculation, but provides the method and the means to realize this basic truth as an increasingly perceptible reality in one's life. At the very heart of this process is the realization that our sexual energy is a manifestation of the Sacred Life Force that flows through all beings and all things. Recognized as such, your body becomes your temple, and your sexual expression becomes a sacred ritual whereby you enter into a deeper communion with all Life.
Through the sacred ritual of your sexuality, the Life Force in you unites with the Life Force in another. And it is through this Yoga that both of you may be moved into the realm of the Archetypes: the meeting of the Sky and Earth, the Sun and the Moon; the God and the Goddess.
Vamacara Tantra then, is quite literally multi-dimensional. Its beneficial consequences are felt not only in the ones participating in the ritual itself, but ripples outward like a stone dropped into a pool to influence the entire web of Life.
One thing I'd like to point out here is that there is no one best position for the ritual of sexual union. Every person is unique, with individual desires and needs. And this is especially true when it comes to sexual expression. These differences should be respected and honored. Each couple should explore various positions, and feel free to adopt any posture they feel comfortable with.
As couples continue to explore their relationship, they will discover some aspects of their sexuality that no "expert", or "program" could ever anticipate. Rather than suggesting my own preferences in this regard, I suggest that you trust your own creativity, and proceed in the sense of exploration and freedom.
What is of primary importance however, is that you proceed slowly and at a low level of excitement. It's a fine balance between the art of spontaneous intimacy and the discipline of control.
In a famous study done by Alfred Kinsey, it was discovered that for as many as "three quarters of all males, orgasm is reached within two minutes" after the initiation of sexual union. This study was done in the late 40's, and I hope the situation has certainly improved. But even if these few minutes were quadrupled, from a Tantric point of view this type of behavior would still be considered as dysfunctional.
In Vamacara Tantra, you move slowly and consciously into an ever-increasing depth of intimacy with your partner. It is this prolonged sexual intimacy that is the magic of this meditation. The energy of attraction between you and the beloved is not the result of your conscious intention, will power or the result of some technique. It simply escapes the constructs of the rational, linear mind. And it is for this very reason that poets, singers and other artists are drawn so strongly to this theme. In their own individual ways, they are all pointing to the deeper, invisible Mystery that lies behind the obvious.
Your erotic attraction is that Mysterious force that draws you beyond your limitations and definitions. It expands you beyond the confines of your narrow, self-identity and allows you to embrace the "other". It leads you into ecstasy, which literally means to "stand outside of one's self". This energy of attraction is your bio-spiritual path to an ever-increasing integration with not only your beloved, but with the Great Mystery that lies within the heart of all Existence.
This process however, is not a matter of the sophisticated application of some technology. It is not a simple matter of finding the perfect sexual position, or even performing various synchronized exercises. All these things are definitely good to explore at one time or another, but the fact remains, just as you didn't "create" the energy of attraction between you and your beloved, you don't have to do anything special to "create" a process of physical, psychological, or spiritual integration. The energy between you is already involved in just such a process. What you will do however, is to become more consciously aware of this energy, and facilitate its natural motion toward a deeper, more complete union or Yoga.
To become consciously aware of this energy, you will proceed very slowly at first, almost as if you were moving in slow motion. You are deliberately holding the energy in check, creating resistance, increasing the tension, letting it build through its own inertia. As the energy builds, it becomes tangible as it were, something that you can directly experience through your senses.
As you take more time to increase your sensitivity to the stream of erotic energy flowing between you and your lover, your consciousness will begin to shift out of its habitual patterns. Your brain, specifically the pineal gland will begin to produce its mind-altering chemicals. The secret is simply spending more time playing in the current of this erotic energy. Instead of a flash flood, that mostly remains on the surface and is unable to nourish the deeper level of your Being, you will now begin to experience this energy as a slow, deep moving river originating in the very depths of your soul.
At various times, stop all physical motion and simply relax into its power. Notice how the current carries you along, producing a kaleidoscope of sensations and feelings. Take several slow deep breaths, and relax even deeper into your pleasure. Remain at this plateau for awhile. If you're a male, use just enough stimulation to maintain an erection inside your beloved. Simply let the energy build of itself.
When you feel so moved, resume a more active role in increasing the intensity of the energy. Again, proceed slowly. Gradually increase your activity and stimulation. As the energy builds and is beginning to move toward orgasm, stop everything. Contract the PC muscles in the Ashvini and Vajroli Mudras, and then pull the energy up the spine with the E - Pranayama. Elevate your eyes in the Shambhavi Mudra and roll your tongue back into the Khechari Mudra. Hold your breath as long as you comfortably can.
When you are ready, relax the PC muscles and quietly exhale with the VAM Pranayama, allowing the energy to flow back down into your pelvis and sexual organs. If there remains a fairly high level of energy and excitement in this area, pick the energy up again with a few more cycles of E-VAM.
I would like to mention that in some cases it might be best if you performed the E-VAM pranayama very quietly or with no sound at all. One reason for this is out of consideration for your partner. This is especially true, if your partner doesn't know what you're up to.
In order for this practice to be effective, it's not necessary for both partners to be consciously engaged in the process. It is of course better if both are participating, but it's not necessary. The non-participating partner however, will automatically experience some of the benefits from the process, and very well might come away with one of the most powerful and satisfying experiences of their entire sexual life.
After you've completed several cycles of the E-VAM pranayama and your level of sexual excitement has dropped considerably, slowly start to increase your stimulation once again. Build the energy level until it begins to move in the direction of orgasmic release. Then strongly contract the PC muscles and bring the orgasmic energy up the spine with the E breath. You can repeat this orgasmic cycle as many times as you want.
If and when you're finally moved to release your energy in a conventional orgasm, completely surrender to the Creative Life Force. Allow yourself to be overwhelmed with the feeling that the process has completely taken over, and you're simply being carried along. You'll no longer feel that you're involved in "making it happen", but that "it is happening to you". Let it take you over the falls, and plunge you deep into the Great Mystery of Being, the place where you and your beloved are one, and the distinctions between "inside" and "outside" will melt and disappear. Remain there for as long as you like, floating in the sea of communion and love.
Just as you possess the creative power to bring another human being into this physical world, you posses the power to birth those creative gifts that will make this world a better place to live. Through the Yoga of Vamacara you will awaken all those unique creative energies seeking expression through you.
Each one of us is like a cell in the great body of our living planet. And as you expand your horizons and begin to express more of your creative potential, you will immediately and automatically help all others to do the same. You don't need to wait any longer for your life or the world to change. Once you decided to get up and open the doors, the process begins immediately.
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