WAY OF WATER
WAY OF WATER
WHAT IS THE WAY OF WATER?
Way of Water practice combines the components described below into one cohesive path of practice. For example, in the practice of Deity Yoga wherein the practitioner uses elements of Tantrik Ritual, Kriya Yoga, and Guru Yoga, embedded within a matrix of Virtuous Conduct, Devotion, Compassion and cultivation of the Enlightened Bhava of the Deity.
The Main Virtues, Mode of Being & Attainment Cultivated in Way of Water
A Way of Water practitioner is someone who is attracted to developing and expressing the virtues of Love, Devotion, Compassion, Surrender, Humility, Acceptance and Non-Resistance as their main focus. They are Heart-Centered people who wish to practice a path of Beauty. The Way of Water practitioner is not as concerned with “when” they will become enlightened. They are more content to feel the fullness of the practice in each moment without rating their experience. They lack the “edgy” and fiery ambition natural to those practitioners of the Way of Fire and Way of Warrior. Love is its own type of Spiritual-Fire. It quickens realization of the Path and avoids the dangers of over-strenuous effort and pompous spiritual pride. The Way of Water practitioner walks the path of beauty and humility.
In summation, the Way of Water is the Way of Love & Devotion. Life is lived as a Compassionate Intent, and this is its own reward.
THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF WAY OF WATER:
Learning and performing Puja (water based ritual) and Homa or Yajna (fire based ritual) for your deity, and for performing compassionate actions such as giving blessings of long life, removing obstacles to the path or blessing a new home, etc.
Outer, Inner and Secret modes of unification with your Deity’s Essence, thus awakening you to your own enlightened condition.
Working in the subtle energy system of nadis, cakras, and bindus in order to transform all karmic conditioning and limitation of body, speech and mind. This then allows for the possibility to act spontaneously and express your enlightened Personality Display.
Virtuous Conduct and Bhava Cultivation:
Learning to rest in the bhava of Devotion, Compassion & Surrender. This transforms all of one’s actions into virtuous conduct beneficial to all. This is accomplished via Kriya Yoga practice and invoking and abiding in the enlightened mandala of your deity as the central focus of Deity Yoga.
Realizing one’s Nature in the Polished Mirror of the Guru’s Essence. Outer, Inner, and Secret modes of unification with one’s own Nature catalyzed by the Guru’s Awakened State of Being through transmission.
WAY OF WATER HAS THREE LEVELS:
Level I - Tantrik Pūjā (Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced)
Level II - Daśamahavidyā Teachings, abhiśekam, sādhanas + Rudrānanda Kriya Yoga
Level III - Śri Vidya Puja & Maithuna Sadhana. Direct Realization Teachings and Practices.
*By application only after completing Way of Water – Level II.
WAY OF WATER -Level I
What is Pūjā?
In Level One of the Way of Water, you will learn the ancient Tantrik practice of Pūjā. Pūjā is the Sanskrit word for ritual or ceremony, and is also defined as “worship”. However, the English word “worship” may be misleading here because Trika Mahāsiddha Yoga does not have in its View Teachings any “Supreme God or divinity” who is the Creator, or who is superior to our own Essence, that we bow down to, or upon whom we are dependent for our “salvation”/liberation.
How does it work?
Rather, in the performance of esotericized Tantrik Pūjā, the practitioner brings forth the deity from their own continuum of consciousness-energy and into our world of form and desire, thus manifesting their power and wisdom in the various receptacle components of the ritual – the vase of water, the fire, the yantra, the mercury linga, the śrī cakra, the painting, the statue, etc. This gives the practitioner a focal point upon which to concentrate in order to more effectively contact and engage with the formless subtle body of the deity. Through the art and science of Pūjā the unmanifest is made temporarily manifest for our benefit. This is what makes pūjā so effective for awakening our inherent, but dormant capacity for unlimited Compassion, Wisdom and Self-Realization.
Pūjā Invokes the Pure Mandala
As ignorant beings we inhabit a world of mental-emotional pain and suffering. Beings who have become spiritually realized inhabit and generate a mandala (a world) beyond the effects of karma – a mandala or world of what is termed “Pure Vision” in Nondual Dharma. In the practice of pūjā we learn how to invoke the realized mandala of various forms of enlightened beings, how to bring it into our reality so that we can occupy such sublime realms in our moment-to-moment experience. Eventually we gain the realization that the mandala is generated by our own Essence Nature and that there is an indestructible link between ourselves and all of reality which we can now influence through our practice of pūjā. In this way we realize part of our Nature to be a dynamic connector or conduit for the seen and unseen, the temporal and that which is beyond time.
Pūjā is a Form of Dynamic Meditation.
Tantrik Pūjā is also a very efficient, beautiful and enjoyable way to attain fusion of the three centers of body, speech and mind, allowing the discursive mind and emotions to stop, so that we can relax into our True Nature. This makes Pūjā a meditation practice focused on the speech/energy & action/body aspects of our human nature, instead of merely using the mind alone as in the usual practice of meditation. In this way it is a unique form of meditation practice akin to Hatha Yoga and Warrior training that emphasizes devotion to Essence, and the union with, and expression of that sublime state through a dynamic practice. Also, because pūjā is a non-strenuous practice and it is so enjoyable, we look forward to our practice with great inspiration, delight and devotion - three key factors for success in sadhanas.
At the end of Beginner Pūjā training the student will be able to masterfully perform the 16 offering pūjā of a deity, an Ātmā Pūjā and chant the liturgy and prayers involved in most Tantrik Pūjās.
*Preliminary: Review Pronunciation of Sanskrit. For this training students will only be responsible for being able to read Sanskrit in Roman letters with diacritical markings. Those students wishing to become either expert in ritual and/or an ācārya-in-training should strive over time to be able to read and write devanagari script.
Review of 16 Upacaras (standard offerings). This step will cover learning how to set up a proper basic 16 (or less) offering ritual and will teach proper offering techniques. mantras, etc.
Preliminaries. Ceremonies have certain preliminaries, which must be observed before the main body of the ritual proceeds.
Purification Ceremony. Purification of the space, the ritual instruments, offerings, the person performing the ritual, etc., must be completed to ensure the ritual will be efficacious.
Dhyana Ślokas: Learning to invoke the deities and gurus through their descriptive contemplation verses. These will include: Forms of Śiva (Bhairava, Mahākala, Śambhunātha, etc.) Guru Paramapara, Bhairavi, Ganeśa, Durga, Sarasvati, Hanuman, Kali, Lakshmi, Camunda…)
Pūjā practice. Putting #'s 1-4 all together now to practice the art of basic pūjā.
Atma Pūjā. Tantrik ritual of invoking the apparent individual self-form, the kshetrajña, as a pure and perfect emanation of the One Essence. An essential practice for Tantrik Yogins along with Agni Hotra taught in the Intermediate Pūjā course.
Abhishekhams & Practice. Practicing the ritual empowerment of a deity. This procedure is crucial to the practice of Deity Yoga, Tantrik Ritual and the Way of Water (Abhishekams of the Gateway Deities include: Ganesha, Sarasvati, Durga, Śambhunatha & Hanuman).
Universal Prayers. A collection of prayers used regularly in the rituals, such as the category of peace prayers, etc.
Stotras & Suktam. These are a category of longer prayers chanted in the rituals.
Agni-Hotra. The daily practice for yogins to attune themselves to the cosmic cycles and open their spiritual Heart-Center. A core practice of the advanced levels of the Way of Fire when combined with Kriya Yoga (learned in Way of Water – Level II).
General Homa. The structure and procedure of a standard fire ceremony.
Navagraha Homa. Fire sacrifices to the 9 Planets to raise your awareness of your limiting karmic patterns. Through making ritual fire offerings combined with mantra and pure motive you can alleviate your karmic load and create lasting character change.
Vastu Homa. An important ceremony for consecration of any building, especially your home and practice place. It removes discursive energies and creates a flow of harmonious prānā throughout. This enhances the creativity, longevity, relationship harmony, safety and security of all inhabitants and guests.
Ayushya Homa. A ceremonial fire sacrifice that confers longevity through balancing the doshas' root causes as Tejas, Ojas and Prānā, and also clearing karmic obstacles to health and longevity. (*Note: we will also learn the standard Full Moon Healing Ritual as practiced monthly in the TMY online community.)
Gaya Śraddha. This is an important ceremony on the Tantrik ritual calendar. Performed every Fall season, offerings are made for all beings in the world who died from some type of tragedy such as fire, drowning, landslide, starvation, suffocation, murder, war, terrorist attacks, etc. In ancient times it was considered crucial to perform these types of rituals regularly to give an opportunity for liberation for those who may be in a state of torment after death. Performed regularly this ceremony is said to reduce the pressure of beings incarnating into the hell realms, which reduces their influence here on earth and in our minds.
Dharma Partner Ritual. Finding a non-biased partner who is on the path, and who is able to reflect our limitations for us to see and correct is like a rare gem. In this ceremony we formalize a “life-long” commitment to each other’s realization “no matter what”. This ceremony is modeled after the Dharma Partnership ceremony enacted by Śrī Rama with Hanuman, his main devotee and friend.
Funeral for a Yogin. When the end comes we need to have our body and spirit handled in a way that is in accord with the way we lived, our View, our Practice and our Path. Performing this Yogin’s Funeral is a tremendous aid to the yogin in the after-death states. It gives strength, guidance, and the confidence to transition without faltering into a new higher rebirth or into total realization.
Exorcism Rituals. Ritual Exorcism can be understood as a form of spiritual hygiene. They are highly effective in re-establishing an unobstructed experience in the practitioner's life. Dharma Bodhi has used them in his practice as a health care practitioner and for students that have experienced temporary influence or partial possession through mistakes in conduct, etc.
Narayana Bali. This ceremony is important in a number of applications. For students of the Dharma it is used to rectify prānā disturbances in our life, mind and body caused by being born with all of the planets on one side of the astrological birth chart/earth.
Elaborate Rahu Appeasement Ritual. Yogins pay more attention to the placement of Rahu in their astrological birth chart than to most of the other malefic planets, because Rahu represents those karmas that we cannot see (think "Treasury of Worms"). In fact, when we are expressing Rahu’s negative karmic patterns of influence in our lives, we most often think that we are actually doing well, going in the right direction. Such is the deluding power of Rahu. This ceremony is a powerful way to raise our awareness of these hidden patterns and release or transform them.
WAY OF WATER -Level II
*NOTE – Way of Water - Level II may be attended without having attended Level I.
Way of Water – Level II shifts attention to the entry points of mind and energy as expressed in the practices of Kriya Yoga, Deity Yoga (specifically the Daśamahāvidyās or Ten Wisdom Dakinīs), and the Heart of Devotion.
Devotion is an essential component of human realization and the path of practice itself. Cultivating the Heart of Devotion quickens all spiritual processes through accelerating the bhava of “surrender”, wherein we release the attachment to our “self-story”. Through Level II practices we discover our capacity as the inner energy (sambhogakāya) of the channels, cakras, bindus, lights, sounds and rays. We come to realize that we are fundamentally the same enlightened energies as the deities, dakinīs and Light-Body Mahāsiddhas.
The Daśamahāvidyā Retreat
Entering the Sacred Mandala of Blessings from the 10 Wisdom Dakinīs
The Daśamahāvidyas are a collection of Ten Wisdom Goddesses or Dakinīs of the more recent Indian Tantrik tradition. They are a grouping of powerful female transformational energies of awakened consciousness. Each dakinī is a fully enlightened deity and therefore able to guide the practitioner beyond the mire of their karmic mind, energy and body into the sublime experience of liberation while living.
All ten are different enlightened “flavors” of the One Essence Nature, having different mantras and practices. If you learned about the Mahāvidyās before coming to retreat you may have found yourself instinctively drawn to one or more Mahāvidyas. However, to ensure that the Mahāvidya “chooses us” and is the most efficient path to realization for us, so that we don’t make the mistake of choosing from our own presently impure state of karmic ignorance, Dharma Bodhi and Sahajadakinī will perform an ancient ceremony during which we will enter the Pure and Sacred Mandala of the Ten Wisdom Dakinīs. Once the mandala has been brought into our experience the student will be chosen by the appropriate dakinī through a special oracular procedure.
The first days of retreat will be spent learning about celestial beings of pure non-karmic form in general and the Ten Wisdom Dakinīs in specific, and how working with them is one of the most enjoyable and efficient means of liberation. We will explore the bhava of surrender and opening of the Heart that occurs when performing devotional practice with the Ten Wisdom Dakinīs. Once our Heart-Mind has been ripened we will perform the “ceremony of choosing”, and each student will formalize their relationship with their specific dakinī.
You will receive formal initiation into the practice and mantra (the dakinī’s energy body) of your dakinī, along with continuing the general classes related to them as a group.
*Note: For those students who have completed The Way of Water – Level I, you may opt to bring your travel pūjā kit with you to begin performing personal puja with your newly acquired dakinī immediately after the dakinī chooses you.
Kriyā Yoga Intensive
Rudi’s Kriya Yoga: Esoteric Science of Mastering our Subtle Energies
Kriya Yoga puts you into direct engagement with your subtle body’s channels, cakras, bindus, winds, elements, etc. In the practice of Tantrik Yoga nowadays it is more common to learn deity yoga practices without being taught the practices of kriya yoga that are part of the total deity yoga method. The kriya yoga component is like the engine that drives the empowerment of the visualizations and mantras of the deity and manifests their experience in your time/space continuum. Deity Yoga practiced without the Kriya Yoga component relies on sheer willpower and devotion to obtain the desired result. This is an overly strenuous approach that dampens your enthusiasm, joy and pleasure found in the practice of deity yoga, thus resulting in little or no attainment.
Kriya Yoga is also practiced as a stand-alone spiritual technology of liberation. In this mode, the Rudrānanda Kriya Yoga System is an excellent core practice of inner alchemy able to transform all limiting karmas when combined with Pure Motive and the Heart of Devotion to Path and Teacher.