“Spanda, the Divine Pulsation/Rhythm”
Written by: Jayendra Hanley
Spanda is one of our favourite qualities of Supreme Consciousness because every aspect of sadhana is found within the concept of Spanda.
It all begins with Shiva-Shakti or Shakti-Shiva, the One that has two main aspects:
- First, it is the source and essence of everything. We call that Shiva consciousness.
- Second, the One steps itself down in vibration to become everything. This is the creative power known as Shakti.
- Our sadhana then is to recognize, we are that Supreme Consciousness!
Most of the time, our awareness moves out into the world, into activity and engagement with life, and that is a natural thing. When we do yoga, we can experience the Light of Consciousness within us, that is us, and then, very naturally, that Light of Consciousness starts to appear in everyday life. The experience of the Light within is known as Chit Shakti, the power of Consciousness, and the experience of how that Light enhances all of life is the power of Ananda Shakti, the overflowing bliss of Consciousness.
The great and mysterious Tantric text, the Vijñānabhairava Tantra, explains all of this. The text opens with the Shakti in the form of Bhairavi asking Shiva, in the form of Bhairava, “How can we know you? How can we have the experience of yoga?” Bhairava answers in this way, “You, oh Shakti, are the gateway to the experience of the One.” In other words, if Shakti becomes everything, then every experience, every moment, is an opportunity to experience that Light of Consciousness.
Bhairava gives 112 ways to experience the One. One example is verse 101, which says:
“If one makes one’s mind stable in the various emotions of anger, greed, desire, arrogance, or envy, then that True Reality alone will remain.”Nondual Tantra does not say to deny heavy emotions or challenging situations. It says, now that you have been doing yoga for a while, become aware when those strong emotions are arising, and in that moment:
Become steady in the inner space, the deeper realm of the mind. In other words, we can stand steady with the energy of what is flowing through us.How do we do that? We can be aware of our breath for 2 or 3 breaths like we do during our asana practice. A wonderful practice is mantra japa, the outer repetition of a mantra that brings the quality of that True Reality to the surface. For example, you can say the Anusara Invocation one time to invoke that presence.
- Become steady in the inner space, the deeper realm of the mind. In other words, we can stand steady with the energy of what is flowing through us.
- How do we do that? We can be aware of our breath for 2 or 3 breaths like we do during our asana practice. A wonderful practice is mantra japa, the outer repetition of a mantra that brings the quality of that True Reality to the surface. For example, you can say the Anusara Invocation one time to invoke that presence.
Any emotional state is a form of that underlying energy or Shakti. It is the same energy of Consciousness. Knowing that we can deal with whatever happens at the surface of life.
Here is a practice that we can do at any time.
- Take a comfortable seat.
- Scan your awareness field and see if some contractive state has taken over your being. Some unwanted state or feeling may have been there for some time. Be aware if anything has taken over your inner space.
- Then, take two or three deep breaths in and out to the centre and invite the release of that contractive quality.
- Now, chant or recite the Anusara Invocation 1 to 3 times, or if you practice another japa mantra, do it for a minute or so aloud. When you are around others, you can just whisper it to yourself.
- Breathe, and invite those great qualities of the Heart that we always talk about in our classes to come to the surface and transform our experience in this moment.
- Then take two or three full breaths in and out again.
- Finally, scan your inner awareness field and notice if anything has shifted for you.
Enjoy this practice at any moment during daily life.
Jayendra’s Upcoming Events
“The Therapeutic Applications of Anusara Yoga” with Ellen Saltonstall and Jayendra Hanley
24-Hour Elective Module – Begins Feb 24th, 2024.
“Nondual Shaiva-Shakta Tantra for Anusara Yogis” with Jayendra Hanley
24-Hour Module that satisfies the Philosophy requirement – Begins January 20th, 2024
Online 100-Hour Anusara Immersion: Begins May 11-12, 2024, with newly Certified Anusara Yoga teachers assisting.
Regular Online Classes on Mondays and Fridays, and I also send a video link to students each week.