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Manual of THE NEW YOGA

 

 

 Lesson 2:

 

The New Yoga of Space

 

(Akasha Yoga)

 

…from awareness of space to
a new spatiality of awareness

 

Contents
 

Quotations

From the upanishads and tantras

INTRODUCTION

THE NEW YOGIC PSYCHOLOGY OF SPACE

Awareness Space and ‘Spaces’

THE DIMENSIONS OF AWARENESS SPACE

THE TRIDENT OF LORD SHIVA

THE ANATOMY OF THE AWARENESS BODY

BASIC SPATIAL BODY AWARENESS

‘Khecari Mudra’

PRACTICING KHECARI MUDRA

MICROMEDITATIONS

MACROMEDITATION 1

MACROMEDITATION 2

SIDDHIS OF THE NEW YOGA

LESSON 2 – SUMMARY

LESSON 2 – GLOSSARY OF SANSKRIT TERMS

VIMANAS – ‘CHARIOTS OF THE GODS’

 

 

  

 

         However vast outer space may be, yet with all its sidereal distances it hardly bears comparison with the dimensions, with the depth dimension of our inner being, which does not even need the spaciousness of the universe to be within itself almost unfathomable…To me it seems more and more as though our customary consciousness lives on the tip of a pyramid whose base within us (and in a certain way beneath us) widens out so fully that the farther we find ourselves able to descend into it, the more generally we appear to be merged into those things that, independent of time and space, are given in our earthly, in the widest sense, worldly existence.

 

         Rainer Maria Rilke

 

The truth is that the human being is not by any means confined within his skin…One of the worst forms of Maya is the belief that man remains firmly within his skin. He does not; in reality he is within the things he sees.

 

In reality you extend over the horizon your survey.

 

Rudolf Steiner

 

 

Modern man must first and above all find his way back into the full breadth of the space proper to his essence.

 

When I direct someone towards a windowsill with a gesture of my right hand, my bodily existence as a human being does not end at the tip of my index finger. While perceiving the windowsill….I extend myself bodily far beyond this fingertip to that windowsill. In fact, bodily I reach out even further than this to touch all the phenomena, present or merely visualised, represented ones.

 

When I go toward the door of the lecture hall, I am already there, and I could not go to it at all if I were not such that I am there. I am never here only, as this encapsulated body; rather, I am there, that is, I already pervade the room, and only thus can I go through it.

 

….the human being is spatial in the sense of making room.

 

A space is something that has been made room for, something that is cleared and free, namely within a boundary…A boundary is not that at which something stops, but as the Greeks recognised, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing….Space is in essence that which lets into its bounds.

 

Martin Heidegger

 

 

FROM THE UPANISHADS AND TANTRAS

 

         Verily, what is called brahman – that is the same as what the space outside a person is. Verily, what the space outside a person is, that is the same as what the space within a person is – that is the same as what the space here within the heart is. That is the fullness, the quiescent.

 

          Chandogya Upanishad

 

As the mighty air which pervades everything, ever abides

in space, know that in the same way all beings abide in Me.

 

Bhagavad Gita

 

Meditate on space as omnipresent and free of all limitations.

Think ‘I am not my own body. I exist everywhere’.

Meditate on one’s own body as the universe and as having the nature of awareness.

Meditate on the skin as being like an outer wall with nothing within it.

Meditate on the void in one’s body extending in all directions simultaneously.

Meditate on one’s own self as a vast unlimited expanse.

Meditate on a bottomless well or as standing in a very high place.

Meditate on the void above and the void below.

Meditate on the bodily elements as pervaded with voidness.

Contemplate that the same awareness exists in all bodies.

Whether outside or inside Shiva [pure awareness] is omnipresent.

 

         The yogi should contemplate the entirety of open space (or sky) as the essence of Bhairava (Shiva)…

 

         One should, setting aside identification with one’s own body, contemplate that the same awareness is present in other bodies than one’s own.

 

         He whose awareness together with the other senses is merged in the space of the heart, who has entered into the two bowls of the heart lotus[diaphragm], who has excluded everything else from consciousness, acquires the highest fortune, oh beautiful one.

 

         Vijananabhairavatantra

 

…the power of space (akasha-shakti) is inherent in the soul as true    subjectivity, which is at once empty of objects and which also provides a place in which objects may be known.

 

Abhinavagupta (Tantraloka)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

The way we experience ourselves goes together with the way we experience our bodies. We tend to experience ourselves as bodies ‘in’ space, surrounded by other such bodies ‘in’ space and separated from them ‘by’ that space. Together with this experience of ourselves and of our bodies goes a particular concept and experience of space as such.  We conceive of space as a fundamental feature of the physical universe rather than as the most fundamental dimension of awareness – its ‘field’ dimension. We forget that all we experience, inwardly and outwardly, is something we experience in a field or ‘space’ of awareness. All experiencing occurs within a spatial field of awareness. Conversely, awareness as such is the space or field of experiencing (kshetra) within which we experience all that we experience.

 

If we are identified with ourselves as bodies ‘in’ space however, we no longer experience or identify with the field-spaces or spatial fields of awareness within and around us. We do not identify with the ‘inner space’  within which we experience our own thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations – instead we identify with those thoughts, emotions or sensations. Nor do we identify with the ‘outer space’ in which we experience our own bodies and those of all other objects and people around us – conceiving this only as an empty physical space and not as the very space of our  awareness of the world around us.

 

Whenever our awareness becomes too focused on anything we experience in space it loses its own innate and fundamental spaciousness. We cease to experience our own spatial fields of awareness, outer and inner, and instead simply become focused on things we experience within those fields. Indeed we identify ‘consciousness’ itself with focal awareness (awareness focused on some ‘thing’ that we experience ‘in’ space) rather than with field awareness - the awareness space  (inner and outer) in which we experience things. Generally we take it for granted that as bodies we inhabit a common ‘physical’ or ‘outer’ space with other beings, but that our own ‘inner’ or ‘psychical’ space is something private - bounded by our own physical bodies. This artificial division between outer, physical space and inner psychical space makes us forget that the essence of space as such is field awareness (kshetrajnana).

 

The greater the artificial separation between private inner psychical spaces and outer physical and public spaces, the less we understand and experience the essence of space as such. For the moods or emotional ‘spaces’ we find ourselves in are not something contained in a private inner world and inner space. They colour our entire experience of the space and world around us. How is it, for example, that we can feel ourselves inwardly ‘closer’ or more ‘distant’ to others, irrespective of our distance from them ‘in’ physical space? Is this simply because physical and psychical space are two quite separate things? Or is it because our sense of inner psychical closeness or distance to others actually shapes our bodily experience of closeness or distance in physical space – and vice versa? ‘Closeness’ and ‘distance’ in other words, are not essentially features of either ‘psychical’ or ‘physical’ space but of space as such – understood as a space of awareness in which we experience not only ourselves and our own bodies but our relationship to others and to their bodies.

 

What we experience as our own ‘body’ is not itself some physical body-object ‘in’ space, separated from other bodies ‘by’ space. It is essentially a spatial field-boundary of awareness – more or less open or closed – separating all that we experience as ‘self’ from all that we experience as ‘other-than-self’ – as ‘him’ or ‘her’, ‘you’ or ‘it’.   It is also a boundary field of awareness – a field linking and uniting all that we experience as ‘self’ with all that we experience as ‘other’. Our bodies themselves are not water bags of flesh, blood and bones bound by our skins.  They are the way we experience the field-boundary of our own awareness space, and the way we experience the inner and outer fields or spaces of awareness surrounded by and surrounding that boundary.  That boundary and those spaces of awareness have dimensions, directions and qualities all of their own. When we speak of people’s ‘ups and downs’, of feeling ‘high’ or ‘low’, ‘uplifted’ or ‘let down’, ‘held back’ or ‘carried away’, ‘confined’ or ‘exposed’, ‘open’ or ‘closed’, ‘withdrawn’ or ‘spaced out’, ‘on the brink’ or ‘beside themselves’, ‘stretched’ or ‘torn’, ‘edgy’ or ‘irritable’ etc., we are not just using spatial metaphors to describe people’s feelings. We are referring to the way people can feel the bodily boundaries and spatiality of their awareness field. Such spatial ‘metaphors’ are literal descriptions of the way in which people can experience the spatiality and spatial qualities of their true body - their awareness body.

 

Whatever the quality of the ‘spaces’ we feel ourselves to be ‘in’, these are not simply psychical spaces ‘in’ our bodies or physical spaces our bodies are ‘in’. They are bodily shapes and qualities of awareness space itself – shapes and qualities of our awareness body. If “the body is an awareness” (Castaneda) then we can also say that  “awareness is the body”. ‘Space’ is no ‘thing’ and nor is ‘nothing’, an empty void. It is the primary dimension through which we body our awareness, placing ourselves in a particular position in relation to other people and to the world and defining the very field-boundaries of our awareness through which we first distinguish ourselves from other people and the world around us. Our experienced self, like our experienced body, is a specific experience of the spatiality of our awareness at any given time.  The experienced self, like the experienced body, is a specific experience of our body as an awareness - an experience of our awareness body.

 

As the mighty air which pervades everything, ever abides

 in space, know that in the same way all beings abide in Me.

 

Bhagavad Gita

 

The ‘Me’ is the Self, understood as that all-pervading space of divine awareness that is variously named as Brahman or Shiva. Its air is the innate ‘aetheric’ substantiality of awareness itself – prana.  Akasha means both ‘space’ and ‘aether’. If space is the pure ‘aether’ of awareness then the ‘spaces’ we find ourselves in are felt qualities of awareness. The so-called ‘aetheric’ or ‘etheric’ body is our akashic body – our spacious body of awareness.

 

         If in one’s body, one contemplates spatial vacuity in all directions simultaneously without any thought-construct, one experiences vacuity

         all round [and is identified with the vast expanse of consciousness].

 

Vijananabhairavatantra

 

Julius Evola quotes a Tibetan meditation similar to those of the Vijnanabhairava:

 

 Visualise the physical body as being internally vacuous, like the

   inside of an empty sheath, transparent and uncloudedly radiant.

 

Terms such as ‘vacuum’ or ‘void’ however, must not be understood in the Buddhist sense, and certainly not in terms of the modern scientific abstraction of a  ‘quantum’  vacuum or void. Where Shaivist and Buddhist philosophers differed was precisely in their understanding of the void (shunya/nirvana ). The Shaivist philosophers and yogis did not see the spatial void within and around all things as an absolute void - as mere emptiness - but as a void pervaded with the pure, thought-free awareness (nirvikalpa) that is SHIVA. Their argument against the Buddhists was that if the void were indeed an absolute void - devoid of awareness - then no awareness of it would be possible. They pointed out the contradiction of speaking of nirvana  both as  void, that was devoid of awareness and as an ultimately enlightened state of awareness. 

 

In the tradition of Kaula tantra, the tantric understanding of space as awareness is taken further. The word kaula combines the words akula and kula. Akula is the divine awareness field that surrounds and permeates all bodies (kula) in the same way as does space (akasha). Conversely, all bodies (kula) are simply bounded units of awareness emerging within the divine awareness field that is akula. There is no such thing as an unaware or ‘insentient’ body. As a bounded unit of awareness every body is a being and every being a body.  Whilst awareness in the form of space (akula) is a purely bodyless awareness (equivalent to pure Being) it is  at the same time nothing but a pure awareness of bodyhood (of beings). Akula and kula, as the spatial dimensions of Shiva and Shakti, are both distinct and inseparable. For just as we cannot conceive of or experience any bodies except within a surrounding space, nor can we conceive of or experience any space of pure or transcendental awareness (akula) except as a space of awareness around, within and between groups of bodies (kula). As a purely bodyless awareness akula is therefore also a pure awareness of the totality of bodies within it (kula). This is comparable to an awareness of ourselves as the very space surrounding and permeating both our own body and all other bodies. Following the tradition of Kaula tantra, The New Yoga of Space is designed to free us from experiencing ourselves simply as separated bodies ‘in’ space and identify instead with the spaces around and within our bodies. Experiencing those spaces as spaces of awareness, we can come to a new experience of our bodies themselves as spatial shapes or bodies of awareness. For the essence of our bodies does not lie in the physical materiality of our flesh and blood but in the felt spatiality of our awareness.

 

 

THE NEW YOGIC PSYCHOLOGY OF SPACE

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in ‘spaces’ so strange you find it hard to describe them?

 

Have you ever felt yourself to be ‘all over the place’ - ‘here, there and everywhere’?

 

Have you ever felt the space within you so full and crowded with thoughts or overwhelmed with emotions that you have no space for anything or anyone else?

 

Have you ever felt yourself closed off to the space around you, and to everything or everyone in it?

 

Have you ever had experiences so intense that you feel you don’t have sufficient space in yourself to contain and process them?

 

Have you ever felt an intense closeness to someone distant from you or a huge distance to someone close to you?

 

Have you ever been in a situation or relationships where you felt that there was no ‘place’ for you or no ‘space’ for you to be yourself?

 

Have you ever felt yourself ‘bursting’ with an intense emotion such as love or joy, anger or rage?

 

Have you ever felt yourself ‘falling’ into a ‘bottomless pit’ or ‘black hole’?

 

Have you ever felt ‘on the brink’ of feeling, knowing or doing something?

 

Have you ever felt yourself inwardly ‘pierced’ or ‘penetrated’ by a look or remark?

 

Have you ever felt yourself inwardly ‘hemmed in’, ‘trapped’ or ‘confined’?

 

Have you ever felt yourself ‘shrinking’ away from something or someone?

 

Have you ever felt your space ‘intruded’ upon or ‘invaded’?

 

Have you ever ‘shrunk’ or ‘withdrawn’ yourself into a shell? Have you ever felt yourself isolated - ‘lost in space’?

 

Have you ever felt ‘spaced out’ without any ‘boundaries’?

Have you ever felt ‘cut off’ from yourself or others?

Have you every felt ‘carried away’ or ‘uplifted’?

Have you ever felt difficulty ‘taking things in’?

Have you ever felt yourself ‘on the edge’?

Have you ever felt ‘small’ or ‘big’?

 

Modern psychology treats all such spatial descriptions of feelings as mere metaphors. Only if people’s fears or symptoms have to do with physical spaces – fear of closed spaces, of public spaces or of leaving their homes for example – do they take the spatial dimension of human psychology seriously. Even then however, it is the ‘psychology’ of people’s emotional fears and the thoughts associated with them that they concentrate on. There is no recognition that the human psychical awareness has an inherently spatial character – that there is therefore no essential difference whatsoever between a person feeling a fear of confined physical spaces (‘claustrophobia’) or feeling confined in a job or relationship. Similarly there is no essential difference between someone fearing to go outside into empty open spaces and feeling inwardly ‘empty’ or ‘isolated’ within themselves. Modern ‘scientific’ psychology has yet to recognise that there is not a single human emotion, whether isolation or loneliness, anxiety or depression, anger or compassion, joy or sadness, love or fear, that does not have an intrinsically spatial dimension. Why else would we speak of feeling ‘low’ or ‘high’, or of life’s ‘ups’ and ‘downs’? In contrast to modern psychology, ancient yogic philosophy has always recognised that the essential quality of subjective awareness is its spatiality, and that the awareness of each individual ‘soul’ or ‘psyche’ has its own unique spatial dimensions, shapes and qualities.

 

The philosophy of the ‘old’ yoga was at the same time a profoundly spiritual and profoundly scientific psychology of space, of space-time and of time-space. Its aim was to liberate the individual soul’s awareness from its apparent bodily boundaries - to transcend the experience of awareness as something confined by our own skins. Only in this way could the individual once again experience their own bounded awareness or ‘soul’ as one expression of a transcendental or divine awareness that was the immanent soul of the universe and everything in it. The very word ‘yoga’ meant any and every comprehension or form of meditation that helped the individual soul or psyche to once again join or ‘yoke’ itself to the divine soul. Therefore there could have been no such thing as an ancient yogic ‘psychology’ separate from yogic ‘philosophy’, ‘theology’ or ‘cosmology’. For all those mental or emotional problems that we see today as something purely ‘psychological’ were understood in a completely different way - not as individual problems but as different individual experiences of the same basic spatial separation – between the individual soul dwelling ‘in’ a space-time universe (jiva) and the divine soul of that universe (Shiva).  

 

We think that vision is about seeing things ‘in’ space and becoming aware of them. But what is the space in which we see things except the very space or field of our awareness? What is the space in which we feel or dream things except the spatial field of our feeling or dreaming awareness? There are many more types of space than visual space alone – not just aural, tactile and other sensory spaces but the spaces between and around our thoughts and emotions, dream spaces and imaginative, kinaesthetic and proprioceptive spaces, actual spaces and spaces of potential action, speech and movement. Not all these spaces are ‘extensional’ or ‘physical’ spaces. An intent takes up no extensional space yet it is a channel leading us through a different sort of space - time-space. Dreams take up no measurable physical space, nor are they visible within it. Yet they open up and expand an apparent three-dimensional space within our awareness. If so, from within what sort of space does dream space itself open up, whether in two or three dimensions? When Jesus said that ‘The Kingdom’ is both within us and around us he was speaking literally but his words were taken metaphorically – as a parable. The ‘Kingdom’ he was referring to is nothing but the unified spatial field of our awareness, inner and outer. This is a field which unites all manner of spaces, all of which are as distinct as the sort of thing we experience within – being the different fields of awareness within which we experience things.

 

Like the ancient yogic philosophy of space The New Yogic Psychology of Space recognises the essential spatiality of awareness. It also recognises the differential character of the ‘spaces’ people find themselves in, and individual differences in their felt relation to those spaces. In common with the ancient yogic philosophy of space however, it recognises that ‘psychological’ problems of all sorts are indeed rooted in our relation to as seemingly simple a thing as ‘space’. Unlike the old yogic psychology of space however, its aim is not simply to achieve a state of ‘pure’ awareness transcending all dimensions of everyday experience but to deepen our everyday experience of awareness in all its qualitatively different spatial dimensions. Only in this way can people come to experience the different ‘spaces’ they find themselves in as spaces and learn to relate to them as such - instead of simply experiencing and relating to these spaces as psychological ‘states’. Only in this way too, can people learn to expand the spatiality of their awareness in all its dimensions. Only in this way can we make our awareness space big enough to make space for and embrace greater breadths and depths of experiencing.

 

Awareness Space and ‘Spaces’

 

Every way of experiencing ourselves goes together with a particular way of experiencing the world - and vice versa. A mood is not a feeling ‘inside’ us but a tonality of awareness which tones or colours our experience, not only of ourselves and our ‘inner’ world, but of the outer world around us. In this sense it is also a distinct and all-encompassing personal ‘space’. Hence we speak of ‘having’ a feeling but finding ourselves ‘in’ a mood – a qualitatively distinct ‘space’ of awareness. The singular space that is awareness as such is itself made up of countless qualitatively distinct spaces of awareness. What we call ‘dreaming’ is the most tangible way in which we experience ourselves journeying through such spaces of awareness - each with a fundamental mood or feeling tone that finds expression in the events we experience within a dream space. Any such feeling tone has its own felt qualities of lightness or darkness, lightness or heaviness, diffuseness or density, brightness or dullness. Above all it has its own particular spatial qualities. Yet all distinct ‘spaces’ with their fundamental mood or feeling tone can be seen as the result of an interplay between three basic motions or movements or mudra of awareness space as such.

 

1.      Outward Expansion of awareness towards a circumference.

2.      Inward Contraction or concentration from a circumference towards a centre.

3.      Inward Expansion or ‘inspansion’ of awareness within a circumference.

 

An ‘extroverted’ outward expansion of awareness may be experienced as an up-lifting expansiveness, brightness, lightness or ‘levity’ of mood. In contrast an ‘introverted’ contraction of awareness may be felt as ‘that sinking feeling’ - a ‘depressing’ or downward-pulling, dulling or darkening of mood that goes along with a sense of fatigue, heaviness or gravity. In our culture, ‘extroversion’ is opposed to ‘introversion’, goodness and light to darkness and ‘evil’, lightness and levity of spirit to heaviness of soul - to gravity and gravitas. Language itself lacks any words to express the experience of a meditative inward expansion of awareness that is beyond ‘good’ and ‘evil’, ‘extroversion’ and ‘introversion’, and that transcends the alternation of manic social-economic activity or ‘busyness’ on the one hand and depressive lethargy and economic ‘depressions’ on the other.

 

 

THE DIMENSIONS OF AWARENESS SPACE

 

The opening out and expansion of a dream within dreamless sleep is one example of the inward expansion of awareness. Awareness space has the character of both an extensional field of spatial awareness and a ‘singularity’. The singularity is comparable to a ‘wormhole’ linking different qualitative spaces within that field – like the periods of dreamless sleep through which our awareness passes from one dream space to another. The three basic movements of awareness correspond to three distinct dimensions of awareness space.

 

1.      Extensional Space (‘space’)

2.      Temporal Space (‘hyperspace’)

3.      Intensional Space (‘subspace’)

 

Temporal space or ‘time-space’ is the dimension of awareness space that embraces not just the space of our present experience but the space of our past and future experiencing too. It is the dimension of awareness in which things are not simply present in our field of awareness but constantly coming to presence themselves within it. What we think of as ‘past’ and ‘future’ experiences are all constantly coming to presence within the larger field of temporal space. Extensional space is space as such – a field of awareness in which we experience things as co-present. What we call ‘the present’ is simply that region of temporal space our awareness occupies in the moment and all that we experience as co-present within it. Intensional space, on the other hand, is the very essence of ‘time’ as such – the movement of awareness between different regions of temporal space or ‘time-space’. This movement does not occur ‘in’ space or ‘in’ time as we know it. For time itself is movement in intensional space – a space made up of pure intensities of awareness. These intensities are intensities of feeling tone. What we experience as events receding into ‘the past’ are the expression of declining tonal intensities of awareness – like sounds receding into silence. What we experience as oncoming future events are the expression of increasing intensities of awareness, like sounds arising out of silence. What moves us through intensional space is intentionality as such – intent. Intent is that movement of awareness through pure time - intensional space – that finds expression both as movements in extensional space (space-time) and in temporal space (time-space).

 

THE TRIDENT OF LORD SHIVA

 

 

The trident of Shiva, like the triangular yantra of Shakti, is one of the key symbols of the religious philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism known Trika (Threefold). The three points of the trident represent:

 

1.      ICCHA (desire, will, intent)

 

The awareness of a boundless non-extensional intensional space of potentiality  - of pure intensities of awareness - and the infinite concentration of that awareness into a ‘zero-point’ (bindu) through which it expresses itself as the pure power of will or intent

 

2.      JNANA (knowledge, experience)

 

The expansion of a boundless space of awareness through which awareness comes to know itself and its potentialities through the infinite varieties of experiencing.

 

3.      KRIYA (creation, action, actualisation)

 

The eternal creative activity (Shakti) of awareness (Shiva), constantly actualising its potentialities in the form of countless ever-changing psychical patterns or gestalts in time-space and manifesting as bodies in space-time.

 

 

   ICCHA  KRIYA JNANA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ANATOMY OF THE AWARENESS BODY

 

Human beings in our era are entranced by the idea of space travel and spacecraft achieved through advanced technologies - not knowing that soul or awareness is the very aether filling space, not knowing that the inner awareness space of our own bodies contains a ‘singularity’ that can link us inwardly to the furthest reaches of space and time, and not knowing too, that their own divine awareness body is a more sophisticated vehicle of space and time travel (vimana) than anything that technological science can conceive or conjure – except in the form of ‘science-fiction’. The awareness body is a field body made up of three inseparable fields of awareness, each of which constitutes one of the three fundamental dimensions of awareness space. The diagram below is the basic yantra of the awareness body, showing its three basic field-dimensions of awareness:

 

1.      The white area of the diagram represents the field-dimension of ‘aroundness’ - that which we take as the shared three-dimensional space around us – an ‘extensional’ space in which things appears as simply ‘there’, co-present within our field of awareness. Any body, including our own, can be represented as both an ‘invagination’ (yoni) of this three-dimensional awareness space and/or as a phallic protrusion into it (lingam) from a second field-dimension of awareness - represented by the amber field of the diagram.

 

2.      The amber area of the diagram represents the field-dimension of ‘withinness’ – the awareness space of our inwardly felt bodies. As the diagram shows however, this both leads down into and forms part of a larger field-dimension of awareness that, paradoxically, surrounds the field of ‘aroundness’ that we normally take as the shared physical space of the universe. What this indicates is how in reality we each dwell in our own three-dimensional awareness space, which opens within this second field-dimension of awareness space. This is a time-space of awareness in which things are not simply actual and co-present but constantly coming to presence or actualizing themselves as they do in our dreams - yet not just in the present moment but at every point in time and in all dimensions of reality. 

 

3.      The black area of the diagram represents a field-dimension of ‘unbounded inwardness’ – not an extensional space at all, but rather a non-extensional or intensional space made up purely of qualitative intensities of awareness. It contains nothing actual or present at all but is the source field of potentiality from which all things are actualized – ‘dreamt’ into three-dimensional manifestation (field 1) through the time-space of our ‘field of dreams’ (field 2).

 

 The red border in the diagram is the field-boundary that defines our awareness body as a whole – both demarcating and uniting the dimensions and spaces of awareness around and within us. Its inner surface represents both the field-boundary of any being ‘in’ three-dimensional awareness space (lingam) and the entire circumference or ‘womb’ of this extensional space – of its own unique three-dimensional universe. 

 

The outer surface of the red line is the awareness body as a whole as it moves and is perceived within the soul world or ‘inner universe’ - that temporal space of awareness in which all realities, past, present and future, continuously and simultaneously come to presence. This ‘astral’ body is also the awareness body as vimana - a divine vehicle that can quite literally travel to the stars and move freely between those different planes of awareness that manifest as ‘planets’ in the space-time cosmos.

 

The ‘black hole’ at the centre of the diagram represents the ‘singularity’ (vindu/bindu) at the heart of every ‘body’. The line beneath represents the way in which, as a centre of intent, this singularity links the aware inwardness of every body and every being to the intensional space of unbounded inwardness that is their source. It is through the singularity of our intent that we can learn to steer our awareness body as vimana through all the different dimensions, sphere or planes of awareness space, and all the countless experiential worlds or realities, physical and non-physical that open up within them.

 

The Spatial Anatomy of the Awareness Body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

BASIC SPATIAL BODY AWARENESS

 

 

The most fundamental discipline of The New Yoga is the practice of sustaining continuous ‘whole-body awareness’ throughout the day. The foundation of this whole-body awareness is awareness of one’s felt body surface as a whole. For without awareness of our surface we can feel neither the inner awareness space it bounds and surrounds nor the outer awareness space surrounding it – these being the two distinct but inseparable aspects of our own ‘awareness space’  that make up our ‘awareness body’ or ‘soul body’. Surface awareness is thus the key to experiencing ‘whole-body’ awareness as ‘soul-body’ awareness. Sustaining this whole-body/soul-body awareness through spatial body awareness (Khecari mudra) can only be achieved through constant mindfulness and regular recall of the following twelve questions – all of which have to do with and affect how much space one feels one has - both for oneself and for others.

 

1.      How much of my body surface am I feeling right now?

2.      How much inner awareness space can I feel within this felt surface boundary?

3.      Where do I feel my awareness concentrated in this inner awareness space?

4.      Where do I feel my awareness centred in this inner-bodily awareness space?

5.      How far down does my inner awareness space extend from the inner space of my head through that of my chest to my lower abdomen?

 

6.      How expansive or contracted, crowded or empty, muddied or clear, do I feel the inner awareness space of my head, chest and abdomen?

 

7.      To what extent do I feel the inner awareness space of head, chest and abdomen as a singular inner space of awareness?

 

8.      To what extent can I lower my centre of awareness from a point in my head space to points in the inner region of my heart, diaphragm, belly and lower abdomen?

 

9.      To what extent can I sense the entire space around my body surface?

 

10. How far can I feel my awareness extending into this space in all directions?

 

11. To what extent can I feel the entire space around me as an awareness space

     -  enveloping and embracing both my own body and every other body in it?

 

12.  How permeable or impermeable do I feel the surface boundary between my inner and outer awareness spaces -  to what extent can I feel my surface boundary as either a porous breathing membrane or as a sealed self-containing boundary?

 

 

 

 ‘Khecari Mudra’

 

In The New Yoga a mudra is understood as any way of actively embodying a meditative inner stance or ‘bearing’ of soul. It is a way of relating to or ‘comporting’ oneself in relation to both outer and inner space – whether through one’s bodily posture or stance as a whole, through a look on one’s face or in one’s eyes, or through a gesture of one's arms, hands and fingers.

 

The verbal root of the word mudra is ‘to rejoice’. The Khecari mudra referred to in the tantras - alternately termed the Sahasa or Vira-Bhairava mudra - is a most basic and primordial of meditative inner stances or mudras – a rejoicing in the experience of empty space (akasha ) as a field of pure awareness. Khecari means ‘moving in the void’ – the infinite field of pure awareness that we ordinarily perceive only as ‘empty’ physical or cosmic space.

 

The starting point of Khecari mudra is identification with space itself – both the outer space around our bodies and the sensed inner spaces of our bodies - rather than with anything that we experience within those spaces. This leads to a new experience of space as something identical with pure awareness itself. Practicing Khecari mudra allows us to identify with the space of awareness surrounding all that we experience both within and around us – whether thoughts, feelings and physical sensations, our own bodies, or the bodies of objects and people around us.

 

This in turn frees us from being or becoming identified with our inner and outer experiencing, with the way we currently experiences ourselves, other people and the world.  As identification with the apparent emptiness of space, Khecari mudra leads us to a state of total equanimity in which, like the sky itself (vyoman) we can rise above all mundane, earthly experiencing – actually becoming the space that surrounds all bodies, and permeating them like a subtle air, wind or breath (prana).  

 

 

 

PRACTICING KHECARI MUDRA

 

 

 

1.      Bring your awareness to the sensed outer surface of your skin. From that surface sense the empty spaces in front of, above, behind and to either side of your body.

 

2.      Attend entirely to your awareness of regions of empty space - those above and around your body, and those above, around and between other bodily objects or people.

 

3.      Be aware of the sky above and of the unlimited expanse of cosmic space, and of all empty regions of space in your immediate vicinity or scope of vision.

 

4.      Sense all regions of ‘empty’ space as part of an unlimited space of pure awareness – a space totally untainted by any psychical qualities, by the psychical ‘atmosphere’ of places, or by the emanation or psychical ‘aura’ of people and the qualitative ‘spaces’ they are in. 

 

5.      Feel your body surface again, this time sensing a hollow space of pure awareness within it – a space equally untainted by any thoughts, feelings or sensations you experience within it.

 

6.      Identify with the spaces of awareness around all that you experience both outside and inside you – the spaces around your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, the space around your own body and other bodies, whether objects or people.

 

7.      Feel your body surface as a porous, breathing skin uniting the ‘empty’ space of pure awareness within you with the ‘empty’ space of pure awareness around your own body and other bodies.

 

 

MICROMEDITATIONS

 

 

·        Sense your body surface as a whole.

·        One-by-one, feel the hollow inner spaces of your head, chest and abdomen.

·        Sense these inner spaces as one singular awareness space.

 

·        Feel yourself entirely within the hollow awareness space of your head.

·        Feel yourself entirely within the hollow awareness space of your chest.

·        Feel yourself entirely within the hollow awareness space of your abdomen.

 

·        Feel awareness filling your head space and bounded by its surface.

·        Feel awareness filling your chest space and bounded by its surface.

·        Feel awareness filling your belly and bounded by your abdomen. 

 

·        Keeping your eyes open, let your gaze turn fully inwards, imagining that your eyeballs have rotated down to peer into the inner space of your body.

·        Feel yourself looking down into a dark, warm, womb-like space of awareness within your abdomen.

·        Let your awareness sink down completely into this dark womb-like space.

 

·        Sense a centre of awareness in your head space at a point behind and between your eyes (your ‘third eye’).

·        Sense a centre of awareness in your chest space at the mid-point of your diaphragm between the solar plexus and spine (your ‘heart’ centre or hrdaya).

·        Sense a centre of awareness in your abdomen a couple of inches below and behind the navel.

 

·        Feel your awareness centred in your head.

·        Now feel it centred in your chest.

·        Now feel it centred in your abdomen.

 

·        Sense the exact point where your awareness is located on the vertical line or axis linking your head, chest and abdominal centres, and touch that point with your finger.

·        Shift your locus of awareness a few inches at a time downwards towards your abdominal centre.

·        Move your locus of awareness a few inches at a time upwards towards the head centre.

        

·        Sense head and heart centres simultaneously.

·        Sense your heart and abdominal centres simultaneously.

·        Sense your head and abdominal centres simultaneously.

 

·        Be aware of your current bodily centre or locus of awareness.

·        Focus your awareness at any other point in inner or outer awareness space.

·        Feel that focus of awareness as a new centre or locus of awareness.

 

 

·        Feel the solidity of your head, chest and entire upper body above the waist.

·        Now attend to the ground beneath your feet and feel your entire lower body below the waist.

·        Having grounded yourself in lower-body awareness, centre your awareness in your abdomen.

 

·        Stand up and then sit down again.

·        Stand up again.

·        Prepare to sit down again, but when you do so find a posture in which you can come to rest, not just in the chair but in yourself, letting your awareness sink down into your lower body and seating it in your abdominal centre.

 

·        Feel the entire surface of your body, front and back.

·        Bring your awareness entirely to your body surface as a whole.

·        From your body surface sense the space around you on all sides.

 

·        Be aware of the entire space around you.

·        Sense it as the larger space or field of your awareness.

·        Identify with this outer awareness space and, like space itself, feel your awareness surrounding the bodies of objects and people around you.

 

·        Feel the ‘positive’ spatiality of your body – the three-dimensional volume of space it occupies and fills.

·        Feel the ‘counter-space’ or ‘negative space’ of your body – the entire space around your body.

·        Alternate between attending to your awareness of the space and counter-space of your body, your body’s positive and negative spatiality.

 

·        Sense the light around you in the space of this room.

·        Sense that light as the very light of your awareness.

·        Sense the light of your awareness illuminating all the objects and people around you in space.

 

·        Be aware of the space and light around you.

·        Feel your awareness being drawn out to an infinitely distant cosmic circumference.

·        Feel your ‘heart’ or diaphragm centre (hrdaya) as the centre of an infinite sphere of light-filled awareness, radiating the light of awareness in all directions.

 

·        Be aware of the surfaces of the walls behind and in front you, the ceiling above and the floor below you.

·        Feel the entire containing surface or circumference of the physical space you are in.

·        Feel this physical surface as the larger surface or circumference of your awareness space – as your own larger body.

 

·        Sense the overall quality of the psychical ‘space’ you feel yourself to be in right now.

·        Sense where your awareness is concentrated or centred in that space.

·        Sense how expanded or contracted your space is, and how tight or loose, bounded or diffuse its surface boundary is.

 

·        Sense the quality of the ‘space’ you feel another person to be in.

·        Feel where their awareness is concentrated or centred in that space.

·        Feel how expanded or contracted their space is, and how closed or open, tight or loose, bounded or diffuse, its surface boundary is.

 

·        Leave the room and come in again.

·        Leave the room and come in again, fully aware of your  body as a whole, above and below the waist.

·        Now bring your awareness to your body surface and open yourself to sensing the entire space around you.

 

·        Feel your body’s surface boundary as solid, sealed and impermeable.

·        Now feel it as translucent, open, porous and permeable.

·        Now feel it as sealed and impermeable again.

 

·        Bring your awareness to your felt body surface, ‘space out’ and identify entirely with the outer awareness space around you.

·        Bring your awareness to your felt body surface, ‘space in’ and identify entirely with the inner awareness space within you.

·        Bring your awareness to your felt body surface and identify entirely with that surface, feeling it as either open or closed, sealed or porous, impermeable or permeable.

 

·        Sense how much room or space you have within yourself - space in which to take in other people and the world around you.

·        Sense how much room you have for yourself in the space around you – how much you can feel the space around you as your space.

·        Make more room for yourself – feeling your awareness space expanding within and around you.

 

·        Think of a pressing concern or source of stress in your current life.

·        Focus on it and allow it to totally preoccupy the space of your mind.

·        Now become aware of your head, body surface and the space around you, feeling as you do so that the space of your awareness is expanding and freeing itself from this preoccupation.

 

·        Feel how much of your inner or outer awareness space is being taken up by particular thoughts, emotions or sensations, by particular people or events in your life, particular worries or concerns, hopes and fears, activities or tasks.

·        If you feel something taking up too much of your awareness, feel the free spaces of awareness, inner or outer, around it.

·        Sense the expanse of your awareness space more fully and extensively so as to lighten, clear and free it from pre-occupation.

·        Feel as if your time was restricted, or feel how constricted it actually is by demands pressing on you.

·        Feel how this restriction of time is experienced as a restriction of awareness space, causing you to overly constrict your awareness to a narrow space or focus.

·        Feel how the restriction of your time is experienced as a restriction of awareness space - causing you to feel tight or tense or ‘stressed’.

 

·        Think of a person you know and attend to your bodily sense of that person.

·        Sense how that person’s awareness space is currently taken up or ‘occupied’.

·        Sense how much room this person has left within them - how much free awareness space they have for themselves and for others.

 

·        Be aware of the space between your body and that of another person.

·        Sense how much you are inhabiting your own ‘space’ or a sealed bubble of awareness, and feel the quality of the space you are in.

·        Open yourself to feeling the space the other person is in, and its qualities.

 

·        Attend to your own body surface and sense its inner awareness space. 

·        Attend to another person’s body surface and sense their inner awareness space.

·        Feel a direct inner connection between the inner awareness space of another person’s body and that of your own.

 

·        Sense the specific qualities of another person’s head space with and within the awareness space of your own head.

·        Sense the specific qualities of another person’s chest space with and within the awareness space of your own chest.

·        Sense the specific qualities of another person’s abdominal space with and within the awareness space of your own abdomen.

 

·        Feel a quality of light-filled clarity and expansiveness within the awareness space of your own head.

·        Express these qualities outwardly in the outer surface of your head – in your face and eyes.

·        Attending to the surface of another person’s head, seek to impart its inner awareness space with these qualities.

 

·        Choose to imbue the inner awareness space of your head, chest and abdomen with particular qualities.

·        Attending to the surface of another person’s head, chest or abdomen, sense the qualities of the inner awareness spaces within them.

·        Intend to impart the qualities you feel in the inner awareness space of your head, chest or abdomen to the corresponding awareness space in the body of the other.

 

 

 

 

MACROMEDITATION 1

  

Any or all of the Stages of this meditation can be practiced either sitting or standing. If all three stages are to be practiced in a continuous sequence, then this should be done standing up.

 

Stage 1

 

1.      Feel your head, chest and upper body as a whole, and identify completely with your upper body awareness.

 

2.      Now feel the contact of your feet with the ground, your legs, and your entire lower body below the waist.

 

3.      Identify completely with your lower body awareness.

 

4.      Now centre both your awareness and your breathing in your abdomen.

 

5.      Now become aware again of your upper body, head and chest whilst keeping your awareness solidly grounded in your lower body and your breathing centred in your abdomen.

 

Stage 2

 

6.      Now bring your awareness to your body surface as a whole, upper and lower, front and back.

 

7.      From your body surface begin to sense the space around you – in front and behind you, to either side of your, above your head and below the ground.

 

8.      Becoming aware of the walls of the room you are in, feel the entire space within it as awareness space - a space or field of awareness.

 

9.      Focusing on a particular object in the room, feel your awareness gently and tangibly surrounding the object in space like the air in the room.

 

10.  Focusing on a particular person in the room, feel your awareness space gently and tangibly surrounding their entire body like the air in the room.

 

11.  Feeling your chest surface as an open, porous and breathing surface,  look around and sense yourself literally breathing in your spatial and sensory awareness of objects and people.

 

Stage 3

 

12.   Opening your eyes wide, move to greet a person in the room, whilst at the same time fully receiving them through both your eyes and your body –breathing in every sensory feature of their eyes, face and body as a whole.

 

 

MACROMEDITATION 2

 

Sense your jaw, lips and brow.

 

Sense the whole surface of your face.

 

Sense the top, sides and back of your head.

 

Sense the front and back surface of your chest.

 

Sense the outer surface of your trunk as a whole.

 

Sense the space all around your outer body surface.

 

Sense yourself becoming the space all around your body.

 

Sense your awareness expanding in all directions around your body.

 

Sense the entire space around your body surface as a space of awareness.

 

Sense your awareness surrounding the bodies of objects and people in that space.

 

Sense your awareness illuminating and bringing out the inner light of those bodies.

 

Sense your body surface again, this time feeling your entire trunk as a hollow vessel.

 

Sense the hollows of your head, chest and abdomen in turn as spaces of awareness.

 

Sense your awareness descending from your inner head space to that of your chest.

 

Sense your awareness descending from your chest space to that of your abdomen.

 

Sense your body as a hollow vessel containing a singular inner awareness space.

 

Sense a dark invisible space of awareness under the ground beneath your feet.

 

Sense your awareness sinking deep down into this dark underground space.

 

Sense your awareness rising back up from this space into your body space.

 

Sense your awareness sinking down into the underground space again.

 

Sense it rising again to surround the very walls around you.

 

Sense the underground space as a source of pure power.

 

Sense a material object in the space around you.

 

Sense points of  pure power in all its atoms.

 

 

SIDDHIS OF THE NEW YOGA

 

 

Practicing The New Yoga of Space is vital for the development and cultivatation of a whole range of innate psychical powers or siddhis. 

 

·        The ability to embrace the body of a thing or person in one’s outer awareness space.   

·        The ability to see into the inner awareness spaces of things or people and feel their inner soul qualities.   

·        The ability to let one’s awareness feel and flow into the inner awareness space of another person’s body – to feel our soul within their body. 

·        The ability to let the awareness of another person flow into the inner awareness space of our body – to feel their soul within our own body. 

·        The ability to sense the qualities of another person’s awareness - their soul - with and within one’s own body and theirs. 

·        The ability to imbue another person’s awareness – their soul - with qualities of awareness felt with one’s own body.  

·        The ability to experience sensory qualities such as shapes, colours and sounds, as the expression of inner soul qualities - qualities of awareness. 

·        The ability to experience the sensory qualities of things and people as the expression of their inner soul qualities - qualities of their awareness or soul.  

·        The ability to perceive the inner soul shapes and qualities of objects and people as sensory qualities (shapes, colours and tones).  

·        The ability to feel the specific soul qualities of another person’s head, chest or abdominal space with and within one’s own head, chest and abdomen. 

·        The ability to merge or ‘meld’ one’s soul - the inner awareness space of one’s head, chest and abdomen  - with that of another. 

·        The ability to sense and transform the tones and the psychological ‘spaces’ we find ourselves or others ‘in’.

·        The ability to expand one’s awareness as radiant light from a singularity of awareness – the experience of  ‘ecstatic’ spatiality and awareness-bliss. 

·        The ability to contract one’s awareness to a point and feel the soul inwardness of the smallest particles of matter.   

·        The ability to ‘shape-shift’ one's awareness body – to alter both its inner  soul shape or configuration and the outer sensory form.    

·        The ability to withdraw one’s awareness into the innermost depths of one’s own inner soul - the experience of ‘enstatic’ spatiality and awareness-bliss. 

·        The ability to let one’s awareness flow down into a fathomless underground space of awareness – the soul womb of the great mother goddess or Mahadevi

·        The ability to let awareness rise up as power from that space and into the body of the other – as ‘Kundalini’.

 

 

 

LESSON 2 – SUMMARY

 

 

Guiding Words:

 

 

…from awareness of space to a new spatiality of awareness.

 

 

Questions to ask oneself:

 

 

How much of my body surface am I feeling right now?

How much inner awareness space can I feel within this felt surface boundary?

Where is my awareness concentrated and centred in this inner awareness space?

To what extent can I let my awareness expand into the space around my body?

How much of what I experience within and around me

can I take into and embrace in awareness space?

 

 

Summary of Principles:

 

Awareness is space and space is awareness

 - the open field within which all experiencing occurs.

 

The less we identify with awareness space the more identified we become

with whatever it is that we are experiencing within that space.

 

Summary of Practices:

 

Identifying with the surrounding space around your own body and other bodies.

 

Identifying with the spaces of awareness around your own

inwardly experienced thoughts, emotions and sensations.

 

 

Mantra:

 

Not “I am this body surrounded by space”

 but “I am the very space around me.”

  

Not  “I experience things in space”

but  “Space is the awareness field in which I experience things.”

 

 

LESSON 2 – GLOSSARY OF SANSKRIT TERMS

 

 

AKASHA – the infinite ‘space’ or ‘aether’ of awareness.

 

HRDAYA –  the ‘heart’ experienced as a centre of ecstatic awareness in the region of the diaphragm.

 

JIVA – the individual soul experienced as a bound soul - a body ‘in’ space whose consciousness is bounded by its own skin.

 

KHA –   root syllable with the inner meaning of any cavity or surface circumference which opens up a space within its bounds. Echoed in many Sanskrit words with the sound KA  such as kapalika – (skull), karnika (womb), kanda (bulb), kalasha (bowl).

 

KHECARI – ‘moving in the void’, the free movement of one’s locus of awareness in awareness space.

 

KHECARI MUDRA – identification with space as awareness and with awareness as space. The experience of bodyhood as  a singular space of awareness.

 

KSHETRA – ‘field’. The spatial or field character of awareness itself.

 

KSHETRAJNANA – ‘field awareness’ or ‘field knowing’ as opposed to focal awareness concentrated on some object within a field or space of awareness.

 

PRAKASHA – the innate light of awareness.

 

PRANA – the innate ‘etheric’ substantiality of awareness – its subtle ‘breath’ or ‘air’.

 

MUDRA – any way of experiencing and expressing a meditative inner bearing or comportment in a bodily way.

 

SIDDHIS – psychical powers cultivated through yogic practices.

 

(SHIVA-)VYOMAN – the divine or heavenly ‘sky’ of awareness.

 

SHIVA – awareness in its basic character of unbounded spatiality (AKASHA) and light (PRAKASHA).

 

 

 

VIMANAS – ‘CHARIOTS OF THE GODS’

 

In ancient Sanskrit writings we find countless explicit descriptions of flying aerial craft and ‘spacecraft’, these being the celestial awareness bodies, ‘astral bodies’ or ‘chariots of the gods’ known as vimanas - sometimes described even as celestial ‘mansions’ or ‘cities’.

 

While Dhruva Maharaja was passing through space, he saw, in succession, all the planets of the solar system, and on the path he saw all the demigods in their vimanas showering flowers upon him like rain. Bhagavata Purana

 

He travelled in that way through the various planets, as the air passes freely in every direction. Coursing through the air in that grand and splendid vimana, which could fly at will, he surpassed even the Devas. Bhagavata Purana

 

The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer . . . it swept by like a comet . . . It was as if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heavens brightened. Mahabharata

 

And on this sunlike, divine, wonderful chariot the wise disciple of Kuru flew joyously upward. When becoming invisible to the mortals who walk the earth, he saw wondrous airborne chariots by the thousands. Mahabharata

 

And he also gave [unto Arjuna] a car furnished with celestial weapons whose banner bore a large ape . . . And its splendour, like that of the Sun, was so great that no one could gaze at it. It was the very car riding upon which the lord Soma had vanquished the Danavas. Resplendent with beauty, it looked like an evening cloud reflecting the effulgence of the setting Sun. Mahabharata

 

Causing the heaven and the earth to be filled by a loud sound, then Indra came to Yudhishthira on a chariot and asked him to ascend it. Mahabharata

 

Indra answered, "You shall behold your brothers in the celestial region. They have reached it before you. Indeed, you shall see all of them there, with Krishna. Do not give way to grief, O chief of the Bharatas! Having renounced their human bodies they have gone there, O chief of the Bharata race! As for you, it is ordained that you shall go there in this very body of yours." Mahabharata

 

King Yudhishthira, riding on his chariot, ascended quickly, causing the entire sky to blaze with his effulgence.

Ashtaka then said - "Whose are those five golden chariots that we see? Do men that repair to regions of everlasting bliss ride on them?"
Yayati answered - "Those five golden cars displayed in glory and blazing as fire, would, indeed, carry you to regions of bliss."
Ashtaka said - "O king, ride those cars thyself, and repair to heaven. We can wait. We will follow thee in time."
Yayati said - "We can now go altogether. Indeed all of us have conquered heaven. Behold the glorious path to heaven becomes visible."
Mahabharata

 

 

The body is a spacesuit of the soul.  The soul – awareness - is the space in

which the body moves. The soul forms the body. The space forms the suit.

 

Peter Wilberg