Siva Sutras

1. Universal consciousness

1.1 Consciousness is the self.

1.2 (Ordinary) knowledge consists of associations.

1.3 Sets of axioms generate structures.

1.4 The ground of knowledge is matrka.

1.5 The upsurge (of consciousness) is Bhairava.

1.6 By union with the energy centers one withdraws from the universe.

1.7 Even during waking, sleep, and deep sleep one can experience the fourth state (transcending consciousness).

1.8 (Sensory) knowledge is obtained in the waking state.

1.9 Dreaming is free ranging of thoughts.

1.10 Deep sleep is m ay a, the irrational.

1.11 The experiencer of the three states is the lord of the senses.

1.12 The domain of the union is an astonishment.

1.13 The power of the will is the playful uma.

1.14 The observed has a structure.

1.15 By  xing the mind on its core one can comprehend perceivable and emptiness.

1.16 Or by contemplating the pure principle one is free of the power that binds (to associations).

1.17 Right discernment is the knowledge of the self.

1.18 The bliss of the sight is the joy of samadhi.

1.19 The body emerges when the energies unite.

1.20 Elements unite, elements separate, and the universe is gathered.

1.21 Pure knowledge leads to a mastery of the wheel (of energies).

1.22 The great lake (of space-time) is experienced through the power of mantra.

2. The emergence of innate knowledge

2.1 The mind is mantra.

2.2 E ort leads to attainment.

2.3 The secret of mantra is the being of the body of knowledge.

2.4 The emergence of the mind in the womb is the forgetting of common knowledge.

2.5 When the knowledge of one’s self arises one moves in the sky of consciousness|the Shiva’s state.

2.6 The guru is the means.

2.7 The awakening of the wheel of m atr.

k a (the elemental energies).

2.8 The body is the oblation.

2.9 The food is knowledge.

2.10With the extinction of knowledge emerges the vision of emptiness.

The  Siva Sutra 7

3. The transformations of the individual

3.1 The mind is the self.

3.2 (Material) knowledge is bondage (association).

3.3 M ay a is the lack of discernment of the principles of transformation.

3.4 The transformation is stopped in the body.

3.5 The quieting of the vital channels, the mastery of the elements, the withdrawal from the elements, and the separation of the


3.6 Perfection is through the veil of delusion.

3.7 Overcoming delusion and by boundless extension innate knowledge is achieved.

3.8 Waking is the second ray (of consciousness).

3.9 The self is the actor.

3.10 The inner self is the stage.

3.11 The senses are the spectators.

3.12 The pure state is achieved by the power of the intellect.

3.13 Freedom (creativity) is achieved.

3.14 As here so elsewhere.

3.15 Emission (of consciousness) is the way of nature and so what

is not external is seen as external.

3.16 Attention to the seed.

3.17 Seated one sinks e ortlessly into the lake (of consciousness).

3.18 The measure of consciousness fashions the world.

3.19 As (limited) knowledge is transcended, birth is transcended.

3.20 Maheshvari and other mothers (sources) of beings reside in the sound elements.

3.21 The fourth (state of consciousness) should be used to oil the (other) three (states of consciousness).

3.22 Absorbed (in his nature), one must penetrate (the phonemes) with one’s mind.

3.23 The lower plane arises in the center (of the phoneme).

3.24 A balanced breathing leads to a balanced vision.

3.25 What was destroyed rises again by the joining of perceptions with the objects of experience.

3.26 He becomes like Shiva.

3.27 The activity of the body is the vow.

3.28 The recitation of the mantras is the discourse.

3.29 Self-knowledge is the boon.

3.30 He who is established is the means and knowledge.

3.31 The universe is teh aggregate of his powers.

3.32 Persistence and absorption.

3.33 Even when this (maintenance and dissolution) there is no break (in awareness) due to the perceiving subjectivity.

3.34 The feeling of pleasure and pain is external.

3.35 The one who is free of that is alone (with consciousness).

3.36 A mass of delusion the mind is subject to activity.

3.37 When separateness is gone, action can lead to creation.

3.38 The power to create is based on one’s own experience.

3.39 That which precedes the three (states of consciousness) vitalizes them.

3.40 The same stability of mind (should permeate) the body, senses and external world.

3.41 Craving leads to the extroversion of the inner process.

3.42 When established in pure awareness, (the craving) is destroyed and the (empirical) individual ceases to exist.

3.43 Although cloaked in the elements one is not free, but, like the lord, one is supreme.

3.44 The link with the vital breath is natural.

3.45 Concentrating on the center within the nose, what use are the left and the right channels or susumna?

3.46 May (the individual) merge (in the lord) once again.

About Sunday morning

Sunday Morning Contemplation is informed by Eastern and Western contemplative traditions. The first, lectio divina has its origins in 6th century Europe. It unfolds in four steps or stages: reading (lectio), reflecting (meditatio), responding (oratio), and silent abiding (contemplatio). Our Eastern inspiration come from the Indian Upanishads (800-200 BCE), where contemplative practice consists of three steps or stages: listening (śravana), reflecting (manana), and meditating (nididhyāsana or dhyāna). Our contemplative practice on Sundays embraces both approaches, and each contemplation will be based on a reading from either tradition.

The texts and teachers I have chosen played a significant role in my life and I believe have much to offer. I will read presellected texts, slowly, with pauses between verses or quotes. The readings will be accompanied by soothing background music. To lessen distraction, I suggest participants close their eyes and listen. However, the screen will display the text so that people can choose to read along or mute the sound and read on their own. If there is time remaining after the contemplative period, participants can choose to either leave or stay for a short discussion.

As a preface to the reading, I will provide a 10-15 minute introduction to the text. When relevant, I’ll review facts about the author/teacher’s life. I will also present a brief explanation of the terms and language encountered in the reading.

Finally, when the contemplation is over, all texts read will be available online to read and/or download at any time on the website.

What I mean by
The Symbolic Life

This website makes liberal use of classical Indian visual art and refers mostly to traditional Indian texts (for example, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras) in the courses, seminars, and discussions on offer. However, I am not presenting lessons in Hinduism; in fact, teaching mainstream Hinduism is neither my area of interest nor expertise. Rather, my interest in Yoga and Tantra is grounded in the concrete situation in which we find ourselves, in the places where we arrive and from which we depart. Beginning in the here and now, we will explore the underlying meaning of the symbols, stories, images, philosophies, and techniques found in Indian philosophical texts and practice, in light of our world and our current circumstance. We will excavate the meaning of the aphorisms and teaching stories; the symbolic figures of gods, people, and nature; and the sometimes terse, sometimes poetic, philosophy of the texts. Thus, in referring to the Symbolic Life of Yoga and Tantra, I mean not just the symbols themselves, but the rich explication of life that the symbols represent.

Our lived, concrete situation is wonderfully captured in the Sanskrit word loka, whose ancient meaning is “the world.”  The root meaning of both the Sanskrit loka and the English locate (and local, locale, and location) is identical. In the ancient Indian mind, the world is where we are located, in our current circumstance. Thus, the meaning of the symbols of Yoga and Tantra can occur only in the now, in the places where we find ourselves, and not in any imagined ancient and/or foreign world.

To emphasize our place of origin and return, I use the terms “archetypal” and “symbolic” quite frequently. Archetypal meaning is associated with the universal and collective aspects of human experience—what we intimately share with all others regardless of culture or era or epoch—while symbolic language forms a bridge between the realms of the universal with the culturally specific and local. Symbols are the scaffolding upon which human beings build a world and imbue it with meaning.

Think for a moment of pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, hatred and love, and greed and generosity—universal experiences that ancient Indian thinkers called the dvandva-s. This Sanskrit term is a combination of two words, or rather, one word spoken twice: the word dva (meaning the same as the English “two”) duplicated. Dvandva is commonly translated as “the pair of opposites” or literally “the two-twos” (dvadva). The ancients who coined this compact symbol gave voice to an archetypal human experience that can be further unpacked to reveal deep insights into the human condition. Once we gain an understanding of the various symbols of Yoga and Tantra, we can further excavate their meaning and the archetypes they convey, and thus gain access to, in a practical and meaningful way, the vision of life experienced by the sages. These insights are available to us and are still relevant today, as are the resilient and adaptable techniques and forms of practice that can help us lead richer and more fulfilling lives