Practice notes: glittering
The ancient masters have shown how to suppress it [the mind] through detachment and repeated practice. [Instead], we will teach how to obtain suppression with no effort. (v.12)
This is just like what happens when a rumbling thunder gradually vanishes: once the thunder has completely vanished, the mind too, due to its resting on it, becomes extinguished. (v.14)
The adept should fix his exclusive attention on any pleasant sound coming to his ears, till the moment in which the sound, having disappeared, becomes the cause of the supression [of the mind]. (v.15)
In this practice, the sensorial faculties, which are the instruments of perception, are to be brought to a state of ‘equality’. Equality comes from escaping from attachment, as well as from the extinction of aversion. (v.18)
If one is running without being determinately aware of his own efforts in making steps, and, consequently has his mental activity free from intentions and constructs, the supreme Self shines in him.(v.24)
Whatever longing he may experience for any object, like food and so on, he should satisfy it as far as possible. Thus he will become full and without support.(v.28)
Verses from Svabodhayamañjarī (transl. Raffaele Torella)
Walking back from the dentist’s, mid-morning, I passed over the Thames, and suddenly, my attention was captivated by the shimmer of the sun on the dark-chocolate waves. It seemed that the sun struck the water like raindrops; like sparks dancing from a fire. Light-sparks danced, and as I stood, feeling the wind, the heat of the sun, it seemed that the dance of light filled my awareness; suggesting, but never quite resolving into patterns; it grew outwards, drawing me into that dance, until all that remained was the shimmering, the glittering.
Later. I stood, opening myself to the sky. All seemed quiet, despite the thunder of the traffic, the passers-by, snatches of conversation and the distant rumble of trains. Yet all things glitter.
What I’m attempting to do here is to convey – without really wanting to delve (for the moment) into the technicalities of the underlying philosophy – a sense of what it is like to practice what Ksemaraja calls “the yoga of amazement”. Whilst many people seem to be familiar with approaches to yoga & meditation which are rooted – to varying degrees – in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (and its Samkhya presuppositions – see A closer look at Kleshas and Tattvas in Samkhya for some related discussion); the tantric approaches of the nondual Saivite exegetes such as Abhinavagupta and Ksemaraja – which are hugely influential on Sakta traditions such as Srividya – seem to be less well known.