The Neutral Observer
Basic definition: The Neutral Observer (N-O) is the impartial perceiver of reality.
- he N-O is one with the object of perception while completely refraining from judgments, from interference, and from any intent to change to object.
- detached from judgments = the total absence of any evaluation (scoring) system, the N-O is purely registering the existence of the phenomena while thoroughly knowing it’s nature and all it’s inherent qualities without adding any appreciation of depreciation onto the phenomena, total absence of moral conclusions, the N-O is beyond good and bad
- detached from interference = the total absence of self-serving or dualistic willful intent in regard to the object of perception, the total absence of desire to change the object of observation
- detached from agenda = the total absence of idealized ideas of how things should or shouldn’t be, total absence of desire to influence
- the N-O is an open space of awareness
- the N-O perceives WHAT IS: it simply is aware of the nature of what is observes
- the awareness of the N-O is all inclusive: the objects of perception can be facts, physical reality, space, time, psychological reality, thoughts, emotions, artistic reality, philosophical reality, intellectual reality, psychic reality, technical reality, soul reality, scientific reality, spiritual reality, biological reality, cosmic reality, nuclear reality, astronomic reality … in fact it can be each and every perceivable aspect of all that exists
- the N-O is boundless: beyond time yet encompassing all time, beyond space yet encompassing all space
- the N-O is pure transcendent awareness
Practical example of the Neutral Observer
There are numerous ways to develop the N-O. The practice of Integral Presence, with mindfulness at its foundation, is one of them. The following scenario is just one simple example of how to apply practicing the N-O in your daily life.
Imagine you are walking in a shopping street, a local market, or a play garden in the park. As you make your way with the flow of people through the crowd, it’s hard to notice specific details of people, faces, and happenings. Everything is coming at you so fast that you might only be able to catch a few details about the people walking and kids playing around
You walk for a while and then decide to find a quiet bench to sit down at, and take a rest for a bit. You sit down and close your eyes, straighten your spine while relaxing the rest of the body, begin to breath naturally and consciously in and out your nose and letting your mind slowly calm down and let a silence emerge spontaneously from the deeper parts of your consciousness. Through the stilling of the fluctuating states of the mind – “Yogas chitta vrtti nirodah,” described in YS 1.2, a shift gradually starts to occur.
When you open your eyes again, you start seeing people from a new perspective, a new awareness. All of a sudden more and more information can actually reach you than when you were walking through the crowd. Two girl friends window-shopping discussing vividly the fashion they feel attracted to. A mother is pushing forward the buggy with her child almost asleep, one eye already closed and the other eye-lid getting heavier. A group of teenagers armed with a SoundBlaster trying our some perplexing dance moves. A couple having tea with an expression of boredom on their faces, look occasionally for messages on their smartphones.
All these events come and go, they enter and stay momentarily in your awareness and then leave. The information that come to your awareness changes from one moment to another, yet the source of your awareness does not change regardless which object your are observing. Also the objects that are being observed never stop changing: the shopping girls move, talk, make gestures, say different things, and move forward out of sight. Yet the awareness that takes note of that information stays the same, before, during and after the observation.
The Neutral Observer is registering the music coming from the SoundBlaster, the dance moves of the teenagers, the look on their faces, the glances in their eyes and the dynamics of their interactions. On top of that the Neutral Observer may also notice your inner thoughts, emotions and reactions that your own mind is producing while witnessing all these external events passing by. Yet these inner responses are not the Neutral Observer. They are responses (fluctuations) of the mind, and they can be observed which means that the observer is beyond the fluctuations of the inner mind responses.
Yes in the face of all these fluctuations, awareness remains unchanged. It is the neutral witnessing of all of life going by. This is the core of yoga, where your awareness remains unchanged. You stay conscious that there is a constant, ever flowing agent that simply is, that observers or witnesses, while the external events shift ceaselessly and your own inner thought patterns come and go. This conscious agent is the Neutral Observer. In Sanskrit it is called drastuh which is often translated as ‘seer’ or ‘witness’.
The word seer does not bind you to a theological or metaphysical description, or a definition of who you are. You can experience what the seer is for yourself. In your IP immersion, yoga, mindfulness or meditation practice, this truth and process is realized over and over again. Over time going ever a bit deeper, gradually becoming more stable. Going level by level to the centre of consciousness that pervades all the levels while transcending them at the same time.
November 30th 2016 – Jan Janssen
The Neutral Observer and Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
In chapter 3 of his book “Nonviolent Communication – a language of Life”, Marshal Rosenberg explains that the very first component of NVC consists of making a separation between observation and evaluation. It is a simple principle, yet it is not necessarily easily done. One reason is that many education systems put their first priority on the passing of a fixed value system and secondarily on the study of facts and an ever-changing reality. This sets up the judgmental (violent) style of assimilating reality. Each perception is automatically placed in the perspective of comparison of the imposed value system. Once we have taken in this education, this mechanism becomes so automatic, habitual and in coherency with other people with the same education, that it passes by unnoticed. Therefore the whole mechanism can stay unconscious for millennia. In this way we are often violent without even knowing it. Through the ignorance of this mechanism we can believe ourselves to be absolutely innocent while unknowingly acting in coherence with a violent mechanism.
It is therefore obvious to me that without having developed the Neutral Observer inside, we have a poor chance, if any chance at all, to pierce through this ignorance and become aware of the mechanism that automatically manipulates our perception of reality into the educated system. When we have a poor capacity of Neutral Observing, we unknowingly conceive reality through judgment rather than through perception. It takes some practice and positive effort to shift from judgment to an unbiased and therefore more truthful perception of reality.
“Nonviolent Communication” p.26:
The first component of NVC entails the separation of observation from evaluation. We need to clearly observe what we are seeing, hearing, or touching that is affecting our sense of well-being, without mixing in any evaluation.
Observations are an important element in NVC, where we wish to clearly and honestly express how we are to another person. When we combine observation with evaluation, we decrease the likelihood that others will hear our intended message. Instead, they are apt to hear criticism and thus resist whatever we are saying.
NVC does not mandate that we remain completely objective and refrain from evaluating. It only requires that we maintain a separation between our observations and our evaluations. NVC is a process language that discourages static generalizations; instead, evaluations are to be based on observations specific to time and context. Semanticist Wendell Johnson pointed out that we create many problems for ourselves by using static language to express or capture a reality that is ever changing: “Our language is an imperfect instrument created by ancient and ignorant men. It is an animistic language that invites us to talk about stability and constants, about similarities and normal and kinds, about magical transformations, quick cures, simple problems and final solutions. Yet the world we try to symbolize with this language is a world of process, change, difference, dimensions, functions, relationships, growths, interactions, developing, learning, coping, complexity. And the mismatch of our ever-changing world and our relatively static language is part of our problem.”
p.28: The Highest Form of Human Intelligence
The Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti once remarked that observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence. When I first read this statement, the thought, “What a nonsense!” shot through my mind before I had realized that I had just made an evaluation. For most of us, it is difficult to make observations, especially of people and their behaviour, that are free of judgment, criticism, or other forms of analysis.
When practicing the Neutral Observer, one gradually starts to see more clearly the automatic judgments and the habitual reactions one often slides into. From the moment we can actually see them we start to have a choice. Thus from that awareness we gain more freedom in our own thinking and acting. As long as the judgments and reactions stay unconscious, they will be automatic. And for that long we stay under the control of seemingly uncontrollable compulsions. But these compulsions are not uncontrollable in the ultimate sense. They can become manageable provided we develop a clear awareness about them.
As soon as we have awareness, we have a choice. As long as we don’t have awareness we don’t have a choice. It is evident that awareness brings freedom and unconsciousness brings slavery (to our own subconscious psyche). The absence of awareness of the mechanism of our unconscious compulsions also creates the experience of being the victim of one’s own psyche, or being the victim of your one’s emotions and moods. The good news is that we don’t have to stay stuck in the experience of feeling a victim of one’s own moods and emotions. The development of the Neutral Observer is a realistic path to shift from victimhood to realizing oneself as the creator of one’s own life experience. This is not meant as motivational talk. This statements points out a workable solution.
The practice of Integral Presence and mindfulness promote the emancipation of our inner Neutral Observer, who is always there, yet often covered by automatic reflexes and habitual patterns. Through repetitive practice one can pierce through the veils of mechanistic judgments, layer by layer, and gradually reach the clear, shining, fresh, present moment awareness of the Neutral Observer. The Integral Presence Immersion is a fast track towards the awakening of the Neutral Observer.
Nov 10th 2016, Jan Janssen
The Neutral Observer and Patanjali
What does Patanjali say about the Neutral Observer in the Yoga Sutras (YS)?
The aphorisms 2, 3 and 4 from chapter one of the YS describe:
- the goal of yoga (I.2.) as the cultivation of the mind to become absolutely still,
- the result of yoga (I.3.) as leading to our Self-realization: the mind recognizing it’s own nature as the Neutral Observer (N-O), and
- the absence of yoga (I.4.) resulting in confusion, misconceptions and distorted understanding of reality with all its consequent suffering.
I.2. yoga – cittavrittinirodhah
Yoga is achieved when we realize and abide as our essential nature—stillness—that is without movement, whether the mind, as the movement of thought, is in movement or is not in movement.
I.3. tada – drashtuh – svarupe – avasthanam
Then, when Yoga is achieved, our essential nature (N-O) rests knowingly in and as itself. There is no longer confusion or identification with the movements that arise within the mind. Essential nature is realized as always present, whether the mind is in movement or is still.
I.4. vrittisarupyam – itaratra
At other times, when yoga is not achieved, the mind is busily occupied with its own movements. Because of this there arises confusion, misperception, and identification by the mind with its own movements, which gives rise to distorted understanding of reality. A movement of thought is mistakenly identified as a seer and the real seer, essential nature, remains hidden behind a veil of misperception and mistaken identity.
How to recognize the Neutral Observer?
With the mind chatter subdued you are then able to use restraint in thought, action, and purpose. This is when the Neutral Observer starts to stand out in our awareness, and apart from our many false identities.
II.20. drashta drishi matrah suddhah api pratyaya anupashyah
Translation: That which perceives is not subject to any variations. This something “that which perceives” is the Neutral Observer and it “is not subject to any variations.” This qualifies the N-O as unchanging, ever-present, and invariable.
From personal experience I observe additional qualities like spaciousness, calm, peace, lucidity and clarity when my mind falls into stillness and becomes one with the N-O.
Who is Patanjali?
The veils of antiquity cover the true identity of Patanjali, which leaves an open space for myths to abound as to who he really was. Patanjali is deemed to have been an incarnation of the serpent God, Ananta (Sanskrit for ‘Infinite’). His origination is illustrated in statuary as possessing a body that is half human and half serpent. Statues often portray him as sitting absorbed in meditation, with hands folded in Anjali Mudra (prayer position). He confers his blessing on all who approach him seeking enlightenment through the teachings and practice of Yoga.
What are the Yoga Sutras?
While Patanjali’s actual identity is lost to antiquity, the Yoga Sutras that he composed are extraordinary scriptures that spell out the nature of human psychology and spiritual self-inquiry. It promotes the realization of freedom and embodiment of our highest potential as human beings. It is a source of inspiration that goes to the bottom of core themes upon which all spiritual traditions, East and West, have built their various elucidations.
The Yoga Sutras are comprised of 4 chapters, together assembling 196 aphorisms. They pronounce the description, means, path, and realization of the consciousness nature of our Core Being. Based in the dualistic philosophy of Samkhya, the 196 sutras display to us a convincing approach for realizing the essential nature of our consciousness. The quintessence of this method is differentiating what changes (prakriti – material reality) from what does not change (purusha – Essence). Thus we develop a conscious discernment between the impermanent, ever changing and mortal parts of our self, and the indestructible, ever-pure and immortal presence of our Core Being.
2016-11-06 – Jan Janssen
The Neutral Observer and Sri Aurobindo
In chapter 7 of his book “The Integral Yoga” (p. 179), Sri Aurobindo describes the Neutral Observer from his own experience and he places it in the perspective of integral yoga. He calls the Neutral Observer the “Witness Consciousness”.
The Witness Consciousness
It is not possible to distinguish the psychic being at first. What has to be done is to grow conscious of an inner being, which is separate from the external personality and nature – a consciousness or Purusha* calm and detached from the outer actions of the Prakriti.*
There is a stage in the sadhana* in which the inner being begins to awake. Often the first result is the condition made up of the following elements:
- A sort of witness attitude in which the inner consciousness looks at all that happens as a spectator or observer, observing things but taking no active interest or pleasure in them.
- A state of neutral equanimity in which there is neither joy nor sorrow, only quietude.
- A sense of being something separate, from all that happens, observing it but not part of it.
- An absence of attachment to things, people or events.
The condition in which all movements become superficial and empty with no connection with the soul is a stage in the withdrawal from the surface consciousness to the inner consciousness. When one goes into the inner consciousness, it is felt as a calm, pure existence without any movement, but eternally tranquil, unmoved and separate from the outer nature. This comes as a result of detaching oneself from the movements, standing back from them and is a very important movement of the sadhana. The first result of it is an entire quietude but afterwards that quietude begins (without the quietude ceasing) to fill with the psychic and other inner movements, which create a true inner and spiritual life behind the outer life and nature. It is then easier to govern and change the latter.
The consciousness we speak of would be described in the Gita as the witness Purusha. The Purusha or basic consciousness is the true being or at least, in whatever plane it manifests, represents the true being. But in the ordinary nature of man it is covered up by the ego and the ignorant play of the Prakriti and remains veiled behind as the unseen Witness supporting the play of the Ignorance. When it emerges, you feel it as a consciousness behind, calm, central, unidentified with the play, which depends upon it. It may be covered over, but it is always there. The emergence of the Purusha is the beginning of liberation. But it can also become slowly the Master – slowly because the whole habit of the ego and the play of the lower forces is against that. Still it can dictate what higher play is to replace the lower movement and then there is the process of that replacement, the higher coming, the lower struggling to remain and push away the higher movement. You can rightly say that the offering to the Divine shortens the whole thing and is more effective, but usually it cannot be done completely at once owing to the past habit and the two methods continue together until the complete surrender is possible.
The witness attitude is not meant as a convenient means for disowning responsibility of one’s defect and thereby refusing to mend them. It is meant for the self-knowledge and, in our yoga, as a convenient station (detached and uninvolved, therefore not subject to Prakriti) from which one can act on the wrong movements by refusal of assent and by substituting for them the action of the true consciousness from within or above.
*Sadhana means literally “a means of accomplishing something”, and is usually considered as an ego-transcending spiritual practice.
*Purusha is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishad times. Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic man or Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle. Sri Aurobindo uses it more in the sense of Universal Consciousness.
*Prakriti means “nature”. It is a key concept in ancient Indian philosophy formulated by its Samkhya school, and refers to the primal matter with three different innate qualities whose equilibrium is the basis of all observed empirical reality. Prakriti, in this school, contrasts with Purusha which is pure awareness and metaphysical consciousness.
The Neutral Observer and Tantric Bouddhism
The Neutral Observer is the transcendent consciousness of an awakened man or woman.
What is TRANSCENDENT CONSCIOUSNESS?
The goal of mindfulness is to move towards full enlightenment. The full awakening is the actualization of ‘the nature of Buddha’ which is the deep nature of our mind. To realize oneself as a Buddha means to recognize that our own mind is pure consciousness and to let our life emerge from this pure consciousness. To translate this concept into our language of Integral Presence®, the pure consciousness (the ‘Buddha-nature’ in us) corresponds to the aspect of the Neutral Observer which is the pure consciousness aspect of our Being. One could also call ‘the nature of Buddha’ in us, the consciousness or the gaze of our Higher Self – which makes it possible to make the link between the Buddhist concepts, the Integral Presence® concepts and the concepts of the path of transformation.
Bringing our ordinary mind to full awakening is a huge project. It consists of :
- transforming all our negative emotions into universal love (in all its aspects)
- healing all our wounds
- clarifying our senses
- removing all our illusions and erroneous beliefs and replace them with …
- … the direct perception of the truth and to
- live your life in harmony with this awakening.
The transcendent consciousness is in fact the wisdom of our Higher Self working in us to make us evolve on the path to enlightenment.
The 5 Buddha Families
Among the many methods that make it possible to understand and work with energies (which are the fabric of our manifest existence), one of the deepest is that of the “five Buddha families”, an ancient Buddhist system of understanding the awakened mind and its different aspects. The structure of the five Buddha families is a defining element of Tantric Buddhism, which is actually a method of transmuting the energy of the mind. It transforms an ordinary mind into an awakened mind. By remaining in tune with my Buddhist masters, I infuse this method in my trainings and in the teachings of Integral Presence.
The Buddha families are traditionally presented as the mandala of the five Tathagatas or Buddhas (see illustration here below). The mandala (from Sanskrit: circle) helps the meditator to understand how the different aspects of existence collaborate in an integrated whole. Each of the mandala Buddhas personifies one of five different aspects of enlightenment. However, these do not only manifest themselves as awakened energies, but also as neurotic states of mind. The families of Buddhas therefore offer a complete spectrum of both the sacred world of the awakened mind and the neurotic world of egocentric existence. We thus see that they are one and the same thing: it is the path of enlightenment that makes the difference.
Traditionally, Vairocana, lord of the Buddha family, is at the center of the mandala. He is white and represents the “wisdom-of-all-encompassing space”, as well as its opposite, the fundamental ignorance that is the source of cyclical existence (samsara / cycles of suffering). The dullness of ignorance is transmuted into a vast space that contains all things.
To the east of the mandala, there is Akshobya, lord of the vajra family. He is blue and represents “mirror-like-wisdom” and its opposite, aggression. The overwhelming and direct character of aggression is transmuted as a mirror, clearly reflecting all phenomena. Vajra is associated with the water element, winter, sharpness and textures.
South of the mandala stands Ratnasambhava, Buddha of the Ratna family. He is yellow and represents the wisdom of unity and its opposite, pride. The excessive character of pride is transmuted into the ability to integrate all phenomena as elements in the rich spectrum of life. Ratna is associated with the element earth, autumn, fertility and depth.
To the west of the mandala is Amitabha, Buddha of the Padma family. He is red and represents the wisdom of the consciousness of discernment and its opposite: passion or attachment-grasping. The intense desire of passion is transmuted into attention to the subtle qualities of every detail. Padma is associated with fire, spring, facade and color.
North of the mandala is Amogasiddhi, Buddha of the karma family. He is green and represents “all-knowing wisdom” and its opposite, jealousy or paranoia. The piercing quality as the arrow of the jealousy is transmuted into effective action. Karma is associated with the element of wind, summer, growth and achievement.
According to different traditions and spiritual practices, the Buddha’s position in the mandala is interchangeable. In the mandala below, for example, it is Akshobya Buddha who is in the middle.
The Neutral Observer, Tantric concepts and Integral Presence
The wisdoms of the 5 Buddhas correspond with several aspects of the pure consciousness of our Higher Self. In the practice of Integral Presence, this pure consciousness is conceived as the Neutral Observer (N-O).
Vairocana, “wisdom-of-all-encompassing space”, corresponds to existential consciousness. Descartes said: “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am), but the existential consciousness of the N-O is an even more direct perception of our existential reality.The N-O would rather say: “Ego sum, ego sum quae conscientiam “(I am and I am aware that I am). The attitude of mindfulness that leads us to this existential consciousness is the open-mindedness and the curiosity of the beginner’s mind. In order to explore the depths of this existential consciousness, it is often necessary to go beyond the existential fears that rise to the surface just before our consciousness makes a quantum leap in the realization of emptiness. An antidote to dissolve these fears is to meditate regularly and to practice Integral Presence. Another antidote is to study and apply Pathwork lecture n° 224 of Eva Pierrakos: “The Creative Emptiness“.
Akshobya, “mirror-like wisdom,” corresponds to the reflecting power of the N-O. The ability to generate reflection in the mind of all phenomena and perceived realities. This also corresponds to the NEUTRALITY aspect of the N-O. He is perfectly objective in his reflection, 100% faithful to perceived reality, without adding any interpretation or judgment nor reaction and without modifying the perceived reality. This aspect of pure awareness is judiciously appreciated by Jiddu Krishnamurti with these words: “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” The attitude of mindfulness that leads us to pure wisdom “mirror-like” is equanimity: direct perception devoid of partiality.
Ratnasambhava, “the wisdom of unity”, corresponds to the penetrating vision of the N-O which perceives the unity behind the various manifestations of reality. It is a deep intuition, clear and imperturbable. This intuition is the direct perception of the Being that we are essentially. So it is the Being who perceives Himself/Herself and who recognizes himself/herself as inseparably bound to the Universal Being – or the First Cosmic Source. The penetrating vision of the N-O is a direct recognition of the Cosmic Being which is the primary cause of all existence, so it identifies the unity behind all the phenomena that present themselves in reality. The attitudes of mindfulness, which help us move towards “the wisdom of unity”, are benevolence and right effort. Another support for developing the direct perception of Being is found in Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutras”, separated into 4 books. The first book “Samādhi pāda” describes “samadhi”, the state of mind of full enlightenment. The second book “Sādhana pāda” proposes a number of practices that support the spiritual development leading to samadhi. You can recognize several elements of Integral Presence in the spiritual practice of Patanjali. The third book “Vibhūti pāda” describes a number of psychic powers that could occur as side effects of the spiritual journey. For instance the power to give energy healing is an example of a psychic power that is not particularly described in the book. of Patanjali (this power is brilliantly described by Barbara Brennan in the books “Hands of Light” and “Light Emerging”). The fourth book of Patanjali, the “Kaivalya pāda”, describes the process of liberation and the reality of the transcendental being (Higher Self). This fourth book also supports the message that psychic powers can be as much an accelerator on the path to enlightenment, as they can be a huge obstacle on this path. The trap is this: the power and intensity of psychic powers induce a risk of identification with these powers-which is an amplification of the ego, instead of being a transcendence of the ego. Fortunately, the advice in the “Kaivalya Pâda” allows us to skillfully dispense with this trap. Having been a teacher in two of Barbara Brennan’s schools and having accompanied hundreds of spiritual healers in their learning, I can testify that this risk also exists with the ‘gift’ of healing power. Also here the teachings of Eva Pierrakos prove to b a reliable antidote to elude this error intelligently.
Amitabha, “the wisdom of awareness of discernment”, corresponds to the faculty of the N-O to clearly discern the objects and realities of his perception. This begins, of course, with a purification of the senses of perception. But behind the senses that clearly distinguishes the realities, it also requires a lucid and pure consciousness that faithfully receives the perceptions in their entirety and in their details. The attitudes of mindfulness that promote the wisdom of discernment are empathy, compassion, gratitude and detachment. Another support for purifying, clarifying and sharpening the senses is the practice of ‘Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra’. This text is a chapter of Rudrayamala Tantra. Devi, the goddess asks Shiva to reveal the essence of the path to the realization of the highest reality. In his response, Shiva describes 112 ways to enter the state of universal and transcendent consciousness. The intellectual, even poetic, study of this work ensures no spiritual result, on the contrary. It can even confuse the senses or haze the clearness of mind. Better to take just one of the 112 ways and rigorously meditate on it. Some techniques involve breathing and imagination. Other techniques involve the senses. Purify, clarify and sharpen the senses, is an approach that I propose in the accompaniments ‘tantric awakening’ in Aquatic Healing. It is the art of stimulating the senses with the rise of the Kundalini without engaging in the gratification of the senses, but using the ecstatic elevation of the experience as a springboard to propel the ordinary consciousness into the awakened consciousness.
Amogasiddhi, “all-accomplishing-wisdom”, corresponds to the capacity of our consciousness to understand the mechanisms or laws of causality. Some phenomena lead to other phenomena and a set of conditions leads to a certain result. Scientists apply this consciousness to dissect and decipher the material world; psychologists do the same for psychological reality, mystics for the spiritual world, philosophers for intellectual reality, and so on. In its transcendent capacity, our N-O can perceive the cosmic mechanisms directly beyond the limits of space-time. From the point of view of our human capacity, the N-O provides our mind with curiosity and perseverance to elucidate the interdependence between all phenomena that we grasp in our reality. The attitudes of mindfulness that support “all-accomplishing-wisdom” are curiosity, perseverance, and patience.
From a general perspective, in the end all the attitudes of mindfulness support the whole development of the 5 wisdoms. Click here for a quick reminder of the 8 attitudes that promote mindfulness.
THE 5 BUDDHAS AND THE CHAKRAS
I wish to summarize in a few sentences on the relationship between the 5 Buddhas and the chakras. There are many chakra systems and each is valid within its own paradigm and context. Even if, when compared superficially, some information from one system may contradict the conceptualization of another system. For example, in Buddhist Tantric practices, a 5-chakra system is often used, whereas Barbara Brennan designs a system with 7 major chakras and 21 minor chakras, and the Hindu tantras apply a system of 7 chakras. Each of the systems has its specificities in the work of transformation and its nuances in the cosmology of human and spiritual reality.
In the Brennan School, we taught about chakras to train and strengthen excellent energy caregivers. Often, me myself have fallen into the trap of psychic identification (mentioned above in the paragraph “Ratnasambhava”), and I have seen many students make the same mistake. As soon as a thought appears as “I healed this wound” or “I balanced the chakras of my patient”, you have to be careful. As soon as we give credit to this type of thinking, we fall into the trap of identification with psychic power. The more correct perspective would be to say, “I have placed myself at the disposal of the divine to channel its beneficial energies and I am the happy witness that my patient has benefited from this grace that comes from a place beyond me “.
Technically, this consists in conceiving the “pearl of the chakra” within the practice of the Integral Presence. This skill corresponds to the technique of the syllables germs (Sanskrit: bîja) in Tantric Buddhism. The germ syllables are monosyllabic phonemes with a specific pronunciation at the base of the construction of most mantras of Hinduism, Buddhism and Tantrism. They are considered as “vibrations” of the primordial creative consciousness. Om̐ is the best-known bîja. It is the “Pranava” or “the one that contains all the other bîja”. The bîja, unlike certain mantras, has no special meaning. It is the “creative verb” with a healing power. The bîja is also perceived as the sound vibration of a divinity containing in germ all its powers.
At the energetic level, I perceive the seed syllable, or the “pearl of the chakra”, as the driving force of consciousness, and the chakra, as the fountain of consciousness. Through the meditation on the “pearl of the chakra”, spiritual lucidity is developed to an extremely subtle level.We can gain a direct and insightful perception of the pure consciousness that is projected in our individualized mind, our psyche, our soul, our functional ego and our vital channels We can sharpen our consciousness by deepening our awareness to a profound vision of the genesis of our consciousness coming from the Universal Spirit and the creative void.
- Amoghasiddhi, seed syllable AH
- Amitabh, seed syllable HRI
- Ratnasambhava, seed syllable TRAM
- Akshobhya, seed syllable: HOUNG
- Vairocana seed syllable: OM (or BAM in another system).
The mere visualization of germ syllables is not enough to access deep realizations. Supported by diligent spiritual practice and a Tantric master, our visualization can become a gateway to cosmic realities, allowing our consciousness to be elevated to its next stage of growth.
I want to assure people who observe my trainings that a personal practice of more than 15,000 hours of meditation, mindfulness and ‘vajrayana’ precedes my teachings in this matter, and that an experience of over 15,000 hours of coaching sessions, psychotherapy, energy healing, spiritual counseling, preludes my current accompaniments for awakening.
Jan Janssen, 05/02/2018.