Sharing Tantra’s 112 meditation techniques.
This week, a technique for examining the past…
It is a fairly controversial technique.
The technique simply says: “look at the past disidentified.”
How to practice?
This is a good practice to perform before bed.
Start by tuning into the breath and the present moment, and in your mind’s eye, begin to review your day from the present moment, until the morning. You may go back further, days, weeks, years…. This is a technique that Buddha has also shared to remember past lives.
The key to this technique is to review the past without identification.
Meaning, you are a witness. Seeing yourself, your actions, your emotions, and your thoughts from a unidentified position of witnessing.
This technique will help you to see yourself clearly, when practiced regularly.
It will help to untie the personal attachment to story and emotion.
Let’s explore deeper layers…
It is true that most people, most of the time, do not experience reality as it is. They instead view the present through the lens of the past. Instead of seeing life as it is, fresh and unique, they is a subtle lens of expectation, bias, and their vision is blurred by the patterning of memory and emotion. There is an emotional residue and carried concept of self or identity through which experience is filtered through. This technique recognizes the level of consciousness that is associated with the limited self-concept, and it encourages awareness to expand beyond the identification of this self-concept.
You are not simply your self-concept. You are pure awareness. Pure awareness is beyond the personal body and mind complex. To practice this meditation is to come in contact with pure awareness, and to see yourself more clearly. If one is always limited to the position of their self-concept, and they are too much caught up in their emotions and story, they are tied to the limited awareness available. A more expansive awareness is available.
Why is this technique controversial?
There are different thoughts as to what to do with the self-concept or ego.
There are some who think the ego is to be transcended and annihilated, until pure awareness is all that is left.
Then there are those who think that the ego should be transcended, but not abandoned….they would wish it to be integrated…so that one can be simultaneously be their higher self -pure awareness- and their lower self -the limited self-concept-. It is a basic, but fundamental split between dualism and non-dualistic thinking.
The first conception generally would wish to transcend society, to move beyond sex, and marriage, and are most often they become vegetarian guru’s and spiritual leaders, for they are entirely interested in the transcendental spirit, and not the limited forms that spirit inhabits.
The second conception see’s that spirit lives in all things, above and below, and thus there is an openness to live in the world of society, marriage, sex, and to eat meat, etc.
I am not here to put forward a right or wrong way, and in each conception I have witnessed exemplary individuals worthy of recognition, and I have also seen dysfunctional patterns.
For example, in the first conception we find spiritual bypassers, out of touch, world denying, pleasure denying, and judgemental spiritualist.
In the second conception there are greedy, abusive, addictive, and manipulative individuals.
Life is set up with polarities so that we have a choice, and that we must think for ourselves.
—Getting back to the meditation…
This technique can be of benefit for both groups.
For the individual who seeks transcendence, the continual dis-identification of the self-concept can offer a doorway into transcendence.
For the individual who seeks transcendence and integration of the self-concept, this technique is basic psychotherapy. Which is founded on the notion that our psyche is the collection of laid down memories, emotions, and stories…all of which are plastic… meaning they may have been encoding one way, but a re-examination of them from a different perspective can alter the memory, emotion, and meaning of the event.
Thus, if this technique is performed daily before bed, or practiced extensively on someone’s past, they can consciously encode their memories, emotions, and the stories about themselves. No longer trapped in the autonomic and conditioned ways of imprinting memories, an individual can look unto their past with love, and with a seeking for meaning, and purpose. This can decondtion habitual patterns of self-judgement, release blocked emotions of guilt, or shame, and allow an individual to forgive themselves.
Whether you seek to transcend your ego, or to integrate your ego, this technique can offer you much in terms of building a relationship with your ego and its imprints.
When the self-concept has been shifted, the current state, and the projections the self-concept carries can be lightened. It is like dropping a heavy burden one has been unconsciously choosing to carry.
It is a powerful technique.