There’s been ten weeks of near continual sunshine and heat in Ireland, breaking the usual pattern of being a rain drenched island on the edge of the Atlantic. It’s often noted how the presence of the sun changes everyone’s attitudes and mood. Of course it can always be recognised as how beautiful it is here, but perhaps on a sunny day we see it in a new light, the sunshine and heat ensures we are both outside more and slowed down enough to actually take our surroundings in.
The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a classic treatise on Saivite Tantra, provides 112 practices for recognizing ourselves as the continual presence of consciousness and form. Many of these practices are contemplations on the world around us, where the individual considers for example a range of mountains, or a clear sky, doing this brings them into the expansive, unlimited state of being. Being this body, it’s surroundings, all life, consciousness, all at once, in perfect harmony.
This is something which is both simple and natural for us, everyone has experiences of being absorbed by the sight of a landscape, a sunset, an animal, another person and in that moment directly experiencing the magnificence of being, of being limitless life itself, and completely at peace and fulfiled in that moment.
This is central in the view of tantra, that life is the continual interaction of consciousness and form, the constant dance of Shiva and Shakti, each complimenting the other perfectly, perpetually creating life itself.
Perhaps the next time that your looking at the sunset, a sky full of stars, or a wide vista, feel in yourself how that is all you, the limitless expansive of your being.
Tat tvam asi – you are that.