Sunday, May 11, 2008

White Tantric effects

I notice that I am feeling the effects of the White Tantric Yoga I attended a week ago. It's amazing. It could have a lot to do with the season, of course. Birds are singing more, daylight is more pervasive, and the greens, yellows, reds, and purples of spring are bountiful. However, it's still cold by my standards. Usually it's in the 50s or low 60s each day, and we've had some dreary, rainy days.

Still I'm feeling energized.

White Tantric is a form of meditation we Kundalini yogis like to put ourselves through as a kind of tune-up. It's a daylong (usually) structured event, facilitated by a woman who leads us by describing the posture and/or mudra or mantra that we have to do for each exercise. This woman then holds the space and absorbs much of our good (and bad) energy. The whole thing actually is led (if that's the right word) by someone called the Mahan Tantra, and that was (is) Yogi Bhajan. However, since his physical body is gone, it's his subtle body that we're counting on (the yogis believe the soul and the subtle body go on after we've passed from our physical and other bodies). So there is often a real sense of the presence of Yogi Bhajan in this event, and there also are the videos he made to continue the practise of White Tantric long after he died. So we watch a video, he tells us what to do and gives us a little spiritual message to go with it, and we do the meditation for (usually) 31 or 62 minutes. Some of these can seem excruciatingly long. If you can't do it or you have to leave to go to the bathroom, you raise your hand and a monitor comes along to take your place. You are never supposed to break the lines. Oh yeah, we're sitting in straight lines facing a partner. Men on one side, women on the other. There are never enough men though, so there are often women on both sides. Also, we're all dressed in white, with head coverings to protect the crown chakra at the top of the head.

My experience this last time (I've done it possibly 20 times? Definitely more than 15.) was a little different. The whole thing seemed much more laid back and easier than most. Everyone was commenting on it. But at the very end, I found out I had been hurting my partner with the mudra- gripping her too tightly. Since we had our eyes closed at this point, I didn't know, and she didn't tell me until after it was all done, when she lashed out at me. My spirits sank and I felt that old familiar guilt and shame. I wanted to crawl in a hole, and I should have been jumping for joy.

We talked it out and both apologized, but I still felt bad, going home, that night, a lot of tears, which I realized were tears of grief for other losses in my life. I asked myself what Yogiji or my father would have told me. They both would have said that I didn't know I was hurting her, it wasn't intentional, and there was nothing I could do about it now since it was in the past--so don't feel bad. I took a hot bath at home and began a 40-day meditation on Yogiji's picture. The next day I also began doing the Bound Lotus (an adjusted version) meditation for 40 days. I talked to a few people and felt better.

Today, a week later, I feel fine. I feel energized, and I'm really into these 40-day meditations. I'm not drinking any alcohol for 40 days and I'm exercising more and (hopefully) eating less.

Today doing Bound Lotus I could almost touch my toe. (In Bound Lotus your arms are crossed behind your back and your legs are crossed as your feet sit on your thighs and you are supposed to grab your big toe with each opposite hand. I just do an amended version of this, with a scarf looped around my foot, one side at a time.) I am feeling lighter by a few pounds, and more energetic. White Tantric works, even if you have challenges with your partner (or yourself).

Now if the weather would only improve!

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