The Alchemy of Tantra: Sarita’s Blog

When I arrived from India to the UK in 1998, there was not much Tantra happening. The notion many people carried about it was limited to a general belief that it is something to do with free sex, orgies, candles, incense and a few feathers thrown in.

I was faced with the choice, should I change the name of what I am offering, because the name has been warped almost beyond recognition, or should I take on the momentous task of transforming the public’s belief of what Tantra is all about? I decided to go for the second option.

And why go to all that trouble just for a name? The reason is, because the name is so rich and so beautiful. In that one word, there is a tremendous spiritual transmission. Therefore, I feel impelled to support the renaissance of Tantra by unveiling the true beauty and richness of what is being offered through this word and through this life approach.

Tantra is a Sanskrit word, which has several meanings:
1) Transformation
2) To weave
3) Transformation of Poison into Nectar
4) Methods for transformation.

Weaving together opposites

The meaning connected to weaving is profound. As you weave, two opposites are being brought together to create one cloth. It is a universal law of life, that when you consciously bring any two opposites together, in that place of meeting, Godliness is experienced. Therefore, Tantra methods are continuously playing with bringing together all opposite polarities in a conscious creation dance.

Transformation has a lot to do with alchemy. We take a base substance and through the fire of our awareness, it is transmuted into its divine aspect. In this sense, the transformation of poison into nectar, has to do with using Tantra methods to transmute those areas of human life which are normally considered to be pitfalls, such as animalistic sexuality, emotions, ego-mind, power trips, etc.

In the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, a scripture which was first written down from the earlier oral tradition five thousand years ago, Lord Shiva is answering questions on life, love and spirituality from his consort Parvati. Each of his 112 answers opens a portal into spiritual awakening through a method of meditation. The 112 methods cover each and every aspect of human life. The major religious traditions of our world have their roots in one or more of these methods.

When reading the sutras from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra listed below, it is good to keep in mind that these are just 10, (out of 112.) So this list is just to offer a taste of the wide scope of the Tantra experience and how this can be applied to daily life.

Eat the food and drink and be filled!

Food: “When eating or drinking, become the taste of food or drink, and be filled.”
Hearing: “When listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound, thus omnipresence.”
Attachment and detachment: “The appreciation of objects and subjects is the same for an enlightened as for an unenlightened person. The former has one greatness; he remains in the subjective mood, not lost in things.”
Sexuality: “When in such embrace your senses are shaken as leaves, enter this shaking.”
Death: “Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.”
Transcending fear: “In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.”
Cosmic joke: “This so-called universe appears as a juggling, a picture show. To be happy, look upon it so.”
Awe: “See as if for the first time a beauteous person or an ordinary object.”
Meditation in the marketplace: “When in worldly activity, keep attention between two breaths, and so practising, in a few days be born anew.”
Awareness in extreme life experiences: “At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware.”

Sarita at the Meditation Retreat

It is my great joy to offer people a deeply lived experience of these methods in the Tantra Meditation Retreat, which is held each November  in Dharamsala, India. We cover one third of the methods one year, one-third the next year, and the rest on the third year. People can do the groups in any order they like. Each group is 9 days, and then, you have a year to digest and integrate the practice of the methods before the next group.

For people who would like to be introduced to these meditations in their own home, I have an online course, which covers 40 meditations from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. We complement the videos with once monthly live interactive meetings, where people can ask questions and share about their experiences.

In this way, and also with my other Tantra groups and trainings, I hope to enable many people to enjoy the sublime nectar of Tantra in their daily lives.

Here’s some feedback from people who have practised Vigyan Bhairav Tantra meditations many times, about their experience with these beautiful methods:

“These meditations are a doorway into rapture. Sarita’s silent meditation retreats foster my intuition and enhances my creativity. I love many of these sublime sutras but the breast meditation is one I have practised most and is delicious. The retreat is an invitation into no-mind – a truly exquisite experience. The Vigyan Bhairav Tantra meditations awaken our sensitivity using each and every one of our senses.” Tara, Bristol

“I’ve done two meditation retreats, one at Croydon Hall and one in India, and both were incredibly rich, life-changing experiences. Some of the meditations were very deep and they’ve really stayed with me. I did one meditation about sending intentions through time and space. It was incredibly powerful and I still use it.

When I’ve wanted to feel more attractive as a woman, I’ve practised the breast meditation, which I’ve done twice for 21 days. It transformed the way I felt about my breasts, which previously I’d felt were too big.

Having done the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra meditations and being in that space, I have experienced the divine and its given me a whole new dimension to my life. It gave me that sense that life is a play.

I love many of the meditations, but one of my early favourites was the caressing meditation – ‘While being caressed, Sweet Princess,
enter the caress as everlasting life’. It gave me a taste of eternity and the realistion that I’m always in that space at some level.

The meditations can be very gentle and you can go as deep as you need to go, you go to your own level with them. I would say to anyone doing them for the first time to go with a very open mind.

I’ve never met anyone who can hold a space like Sarita. I’ve never felt so safe in a personal development group as I did with her.” Lilamayi, Bristol

Love Sarita x

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