Articles by Lorin
Over at Svarasa.com is a collection of articles from LA Yoga
Meditation 24-7 has notes on the Senses and Instincts
Spanda has notes on The Return
Bhairavatantra.com focuses on The Radiance Sutras and has some notes.
vijnanabhairavatantra.com is a new site and I am putting up some VBT-related notes
Shrutam.com is redundant, a practice site.
Instinctivemeditation.com is mostly just a mirror site to lorinroche.com
The Soul of Mantra - New LA Yoga article based on verse 145 of the vijnana bhairava tantra:
Initiation through hearing Sanskrit in song seems to be powerful and lasting. The Beatles included the phrase Jai guru deva OM in their song “Across the Universe,”released in 1969. The Beatles were one of the most successful acts in the history of popular music, and the song was broadcast all over the world on radio stations from 1969 onward. For many, it was the first time they had ever heard a word of Sanskrit. Beatles fans listened to their records over and over with rapt attention, relishing every word and chord change, and so apparently, millions of people received a kind of Shaktipat, a transmission of spiritual energy, through the song. I started teaching meditation around this time, and many people came for instruction because of having heard “Across the Universe.” It was clear they had already meditated, deeply, many times, while listening to the song. It was an honor to sit in their presence, and it was as if they had been initiated by the song and I was just giving them some coaching on how to meditate. Since then, all over the world, I’ve met many people who started meditating because of “Across the Universe” and are still at it. What amazing impact that song created.
The Beatles learned to meditate in 1967 and went to India for a retreat, so they were writing from intimate experience with the practice. The backstory for the song was that Lennon was lying in bed with his wife, who was “going on and on” about something that really irritated him. He got up and went downstairs, and the words she had been saying kept resonating in his head, like lyrics, and over time “it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song.” Lennon said that the four words of Sanskrit, Jai guru deva OM, just dropped into his mind as the bridge to the chorus, and he felt that “Across the Universe” contained perhaps the best lyrics he had ever written. The sound of the human voice, even a complaining human voice, merged in John’s awareness into the eternal song of OM. This is one of the secrets of mantra and meditation – the gift of peace and delight right here in the midst of it all. If you dive deeply into any sound, external or within, it will take you into the hum of the universe. more . . .
Can’t Get No Satisfaction
A meditation on satisfaction and dissatisfaction inspired by The Radiance Sutras, a new translation of the vijnana bhairava tantra
Tripti-yoga – “satisfaction” – (Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p 454)
Keith Richards said something the other day on the radio that really struck a chord in my heart. He was talking about growing up in a bleak London suburb, in soul-destroying concrete housing. When he heard the music of Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Elvis that was just starting to pulse through England, his world turned from dull grey to Technicolor. It is still that way for him, he said, the music still thrills him. He is still that hungry teenager craving redemption through rock ‘n roll.
Think of the wild joy we feel when we rock out to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” It feels like total rebellion, and at the same time it speaks to something primal in the human heart, beyond the song itself into the realm of spiritual teachings. It’s one of the all-time great rock songs. Simultaneously it is something Buddha could have said: Suffering exists; Suffering arises from craving for existence.
(The song came to Keith in the middle of the night and woke him up. He recorded the guitar riff and a few words, then went back to sleep. The tape, he says, had two minutes of the song and forty minutes of him snoring.)
For me, the experience of the world turning to Technicolor came through listening to mantras. On the surface, you may think this is a different path, but maybe not. Maybe I’m sitting cross-legged on the floor listening to the rock ‘n roll of the universe in the Song of God. Surely, I am as desperate and as broken as Keith – it is just that I received intense deep training, in that Tantra Yoga way, in how to slip into the vibrant silence at the basis of a mantra and find a stunning amount of healing. If I hadn’t had that as a teenager, I am sure I would have found heroin. In Yoga, I learned to ride the waves of dissatisfaction into the realm beyond, satisfaction itself. Every mantra is a statement of the possibility of satisfaction: “Dissolve into me and I will take you there.” More . . .
Come To Your Senses
Aristotle did some harm to the world of philosophy by proposing only five senses: vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell. How could he leave out balance?
Consider that it is still sort of daring to propose a sixth sense. Wu-hu, a sixth sense! Wake up, sleepwalkers, and check out twenty senses, more or less.
As with so many things, it's astounding to realize that in thousands of years, so little actual empirical research has been done that finds its way into the common language. How about balance? Balance is a wonderful sense, ecstatic in its own way, with its own elaborate sensory structures in the inner ear, and its own pathways in the brain. Tilt your head to one side, and move it very slowly in some direction, and savor that sensation. Balance lets you walk with ease, and adds richness to every movement.
There is also a joint position sense. We know, without looking, the angle of our joints. In class, i sometimes turn out the lights and ask people to move around slowly with their eyes closed. Then after a minute, I'll say, "Notice the position of your skeleton in space." Most people click into an inner knowing, an almost but not quite visual sense of how the limbs and joints are arrayed. Read More …
Pain as Portal
Ouch. Ooooooowwwwwwwwwwwch. The mantra of pain.
Hurt happens. In sports, we can get blistered, sprained, sunburned, and bruised. When we are cooking, we can get cut, burned, shocked, stung, pepper in the nose, onion in the eyes. Love is a workout too, with its own injuries – heartaches that come as sharp pangs and stabs of pain, the sensation of being broken, loneliness that feels like a hole in your soul, the tearing when something in a relationship rips. Whatever your run, if you really go for it in life there will be some hurts along the path. We need to be able to make use of the pain, heal quickly, and be back on our way.
There is a yoga practice for injury, and it is simple and cruel: enter the pain. Use it as a doorway. Let it wake you up. More …