Thursday, July 2, 2009


I'm back in Boston after a whirlwind trip to the Philippines, the second in six months after ten years of being away. The meaning of the trip is still steeping and insights are yet to come. On a side note, the trip was a family reunion where all the Lims (including my sister's husband, Jason, and their two children, Skylar (9) and Riley (5)) were present together which was the first time in 30 years when we moved to the U.S.
As I move into the home stretch of my 'samaya deeksha' initial year of study with Paul Muller-Ortega, I'm compelled to write about a concept central to the non-dual form of Kashmir Saivism, a branch of Tantra, in the big tree of the Yoga Tradition. This concept is vikalpa-samaskara or the process of refining and dissolution of those parts of us (or behaviors) that either keep us in contracted states or limit our greatest, most authentic Self.
As a new student to this philosophy, I humbly place my understanding at the surficial level but give myself credit for almost 40 years of life experience where each breath and experience is a refinement of the previous one. Vikalpa-samaskara is not as easy as it seems and blogging about it is a disservice to it since it deserves a direct teaching from Paul Muller-Ortega himself. But, I consider myself a bridge and invite you to research and learn about this concept yourself and see how it fits into the matrix of your practice.
So, vikalpa-samaskara has been in my mind space, well, because my perception of life in the past six months has been quite different than before I started my practice in the ways of meditation, scriptural study, chanting, and contemplation by Paul Muller-Ortega. Again, like my previous post, unless you've had your own direct experience, this concept will remain a theory.
But consider the image of the furnace melting glass as a parallel to our practice of meditation melting away those "hard" parts of us or purifying away things we cannot even see or fully know. Paul has more than once said that 'we have to be able to stand in the fire of our meditation practices.' So, in these dynamic times, we cannot help but to refine ourselves as standing still may a source of suffering. May all our practices be for the benefit of all. Peace. Namaste.
Image credit: Ms. Kathleen, Glass Blower, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO