Welcome to Tantra Colorado.
We offer classes and workshop in and around the Colorado state including the areas of Denver, Cherry Creek, Wash Park, Capitol Hill, and the Highlands. Our specialization is in tantric philosophies and techniques derived from the ancient traditions of Shiva and Shakti devotion which have been practiced in India for thousands of years.
Tantra is a holistic system of spirituality born from the mystic traditions India. What makes the Tantric tradition so unique is the emphasis on observing all of creation as an extension of the divine. This unique perspective does not include a concept of right and wrong but rather a conscious orientation towards the elements within life that bring about unity and harmony.
The main goal of Tantra is the elevation of the mind, body, and spirit. Tantrics believe that they are able to advance their spiritual connection through mindful-based practices such as meditation, pranayama, kriyas, tantric-asanas, and other sacred rituals only know to the initiated devotees. BREAK We teach a form of Tantra that can be practiced by anyone and everyone with the main intention of creating an inner awakening of the divine element of life. We never ask you to give up any aspect of your life. This is not the Tantric way! Instead, we teach you how to discover the divine within every dimension of your life: your work is divine; your friends are divine; your enemies are divine; your body is divine…all is divine!
Because this is Tantra, we do have to take a moment to talk about the sexual aspect too. When most people think of Tantra in the west they automatically think sex and the Kama Sutras. Though this thought is not wrong, it is an incomplete understanding of the relationship between Tantra and sex. Tantra can teach us how to maximize our relationships with others so that any form of intercourse becomes a divine union between two spirits. Sex, in Tantra, elevates the experience of sex from an animalistic experience in which two bodies clash into a divine experience where two souls join as one. This is real Tantric sex, and the real purpose behind this aspect of Tantra.
We devote our classes and workshops to the elevation and evolution of the mind, body, and spirit. Tantra is powerful because it resonates with the core of our being. Unfortunately most people don't understand the true value of Tantra. Even in India Tantra has been taboo since the turn of the common era. Tantra is controversial because it is powerful. With Tantra, we're not taking baby steps towards spiritual growth; instead we're taking quantum leaps into new paradigms of reality! Om Shakti, Om Namo Shivaya! BREAK
The sages of India, founders of the ancient tantric tradition, proclaimed Aham Brahasi “I Am That”. Their declaration was a statement about their experience and perception, one where the origins of the universe could be explored from within. To them, there was no difference between the inside world and the outside world; the two co-existed in an interdependent and holographic universe where everything could be both observed and experienced from within the cradle of consciousness.
These sages asked themselves a simple question: What am I? Am I my body, my thoughts, my feelings, my sensations, my knowledge, and/or my awareness? Are these things separate parts of a divided world, or are they somehow connected to one another? If they are connected, what connects them? The tantric sages started with the foundation of all understand, that ‘I’ exist, and from there turned inwards. They looked inwards to find the source of themselves, the Self that stands behind and illuminates all things that are seen through the eye of awareness.
Tantric practitioners of antiquity surveyed reality and their existence within it through their minds. By using the mind, they began to peel back the layers of reality like an onion, starting from the outer most layer and working their ways inwards towards the center. As they moved inwards they created connections between the layers of reality they perceived. When they crossed a new threshold of understanding they integrated their new experience into their perception of reality. Along each step they created unity within the mind, molding and melding their awareness so that a larger picture of the universe could be perceived and experienced.
The deeper the tantric sages moved inwards the brighter the light of pure consciousness became. As the mind generated a deeper understanding of reality and self-existence, an underlying cosmic order became clear. The sages saw that through essential cosmic forces all things in the universe are interconnected. Time, space, and individuality are all perceived through the human mind as separate, but when the filters of the mind are removed, the connection between all things can be realized.
Through the awakening of subtle layers of the mind, the Tantric seers recognized three primarily forces within the material universe that shaped all of reality. Through their interplay, the tree gunas of sattwa, tamas, and rajas shape the nature order, behavior, and character of all things within the universe. For the tantrics, sattwa was the divine element within creation, the universal force that brought about connection, balance, harmony, and bliss. When the divine essence of sattwa is active in life a person becomes aware, compassionate, and attuned to Truth.
Tamas, in many ways, is the counterpart of sattwa, what the tantrics sometimes labeled as the demonic property of reality. Tamas is the axis of regression and inertia, and if tamas was to exist alone without sattwa and rajas it would cause the universe to reach a state of absolute zero, or total stagnation. As tamas interacts with rajas and sattwa it draws energy towards a standstill, hence in human beings it creates ignorance, depression, melancholy, and weakness.
Both concept of divine and demonic are of course anthropomorphic, meaning they are conceptually given human attributes so that we can more easily understand them. They are, however, forces in and of themselves that exist independent of human beings which makes them neutral on a cosmic order of good and evil.
The final guna, rajas, is the human element. As the tantrics gazed inwards, they saw that between the pull of an evil and divine inclination was an element of choice, decision, action, and value. Rajas, they perceived, bridged the two world of evil and divine with an ability to create or destroy, harmonize or divide, awaken or nullify. Rajas, to the tantrics, was the mercurial individual nature that made each human being unique through conscious choice and action. As it interacted on a cosmic level, rajas was an energy which could be used towards expansion and evolution or destruction and chaos depending upon the dominating elements.
Because there are three gunas, each interacting with one another within every iota of existence, dynamically changing and shifting in primacy, the possible manifestations of the gunas are infinite. Hence the universe, in all of its complexities, and the human being, each in their own unique form and behavior, are varying expressions of the three gunas.
Awareness and Consciousness
The gunas, as discovered by the spiritual sages, give shape to the different manifestations of creation. All things within the universe are various expressions of the relationship between the three gunas. But, as the tantric seers found, the gunas themselves are not the only element present within the universe. The sages understood this by looking within themselves. They saw that behind the movements of the mind, body, and emotions was a witness that perceived all things in motion. This was the indwelling self.
The indwelling self is a part of consciousness that is present within each and every human being. It includes an element of self-awareness which is shaped by the changes in the gunas as they act upon the mind. All of our thoughts, feels, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are expressions of a mind in constant fluctuation, moving and evolving around the changes in energy flow. Self-awareness watches these movements of the mind, adjusting perceptions to accommodate a sense of self.
Awareness, the tantrics found, can work in one of two ways. It can unify or it can divide. This aham or sense of self asserts “I am”. “I am” is the essence of our human existence, the self-conscious awareness of the fact that the ‘I’ exists. Through experimentation and understanding, the tantrics found that this “I am” can exist as a statement about ‘I’ as an individual or ‘I’ as the universal self. The individual ‘I’ works within the parameters of the normal human self consciousness, creating definitions, division, and distinctions to classify and categorizing all things occur and appear within the experience of life. Good/bad, up/down, cat/dog, me/you are all examples of self-awareness active within a sense of individuality.
The other possibility of ‘I’ness, the tantrics perceived, was a universal one. This “I am” was a voice of creation that echoed within each and every part of the universe. They saw that “I am” was connected to an eternal self that was within themselves. When awareness shifts to align with this universal ‘I’, all elements of life, including the mind, body, and awareness, begin to unify and expand into the universal self. Tantra was created by the sages to help spiritual practitioners move from the individual “I am” into the cosmic “I am”.
Like the color filters that can be used over a camera lens to change the tone and contrast of an image, the “I am” of cosmic consciousness is filtered according to the nature of perception. Our ability to perceive reality is based upon the quality of our awareness. The less filters we have over the cosmic consciousness the nearer we are to the True reality.
Tantrics discovered that between the universal consciousness and human awareness were four major filters that altered to quality of our perception of Truth. They were named buddhi, chitta, manas, and ahamkara. Buddhi is the higher order of intellect active within the human mind. Like a bottomless well, buddhi is the source of true insight and wisdom. Tantric believed that everything that has been known, is known, and will be known is already stored within the universal consciousness. Creativity and innovation come from the wellspring of buddhi. Buddhi also connects us to higher wisdom and allows for us to experience the transcendental element of the universe.
Another major filter in human consciousness is chitta. Chitta is the storehouse of all our past memories and experiences. Like a warehouse, chitta reserves our past and keeps a stock of memories ready for our mind to process, compare, and remember. Chitta is highly influential in our perception of reality because it is from the past that we judge the present. Though the memories stored in chitta as samskaras can help us function in this material world, they can also prevent us from growing if those memories are based upon misperceptions or illusions about the Truth. Memories stored in chitta can weigh us down a block our efforts towards awakening to the cosmic Self. With this filter in place, universal consciousness becomes compartmentalized and ordered to fit a set structure of rules and guidelines that allow for the human mind to function with a sense of independence.
Manas is the third filter which the tantrics recognized. They saw manas as the lower mind operating within human awareness. Unlike knowledge from buddhi which is usually perceived directly through intuition or epiphany, the knowledge generated by manas requires effort and rumination. Manas is further removed from the expansiveness of cosmic consciousness because a great deal of struggle and strain must be applied in order to achieve relatively basic understandings of reality. Only through the exchange between sankalpa and vikalpa or thought and counter thought can manas generate an idea or concept.
If there are three distinct features of the mind that filter universal consciousness within a human being why is it that we perceive ourselves as a single entity? With this question the tantric resolved that behind the different filters of consciousness is a sense of self which they called ahamkara. Ahamkara is the ego or self-identity that is conditioned according to the nature and presence of buddhi, chitta, and manas. What makes a human being unique is not the parts that are within. No! Human beings are unique because each filters their perception of reality according to their unique experience of life. The tantrics found that when we remove the filters of consciousness we find that we all originate from the same infinite source.
If, from behind the backdrop of our awareness, a cosmic consciousness glows, illuminating our perception, how can we connect to this source? Tantric teaches that through the evolution of the filters of consciousness we can awaken to our higher spiritual connection. According to the tantrics, the entire universe is created from energy. This energy is all pervasive. Through cosmic filters, also in the form of the gunas, this omnipresent energy is broken down into the individual elements that make up the materials of our universe.
Every human being is a bundle of energy. Even from a purely scientific standpoint all of the matter which makes up our bodies is formed energy. The tantrics called the eternal cosmic energy mahashakti¸ or ‘the great force.” For the tantrics, mahashakti is the link between the body, mind, heart, consciousness, and universe. It allows for everything to exist in an interconnected way. If mahashaktidid not exist, and there was no interconnecting feature of existence, then the mind and body would not be able to communicate with one another. Consciousness can interact with the body because consciousness has a channel to flow into matter which is mahashakti.
Consciousness, the tantrics discovered, within the confines of the human experience could be transformed over time through various practices and refinement of awareness. The tantrics observed the many possibilities of the human mind. They saw that the same mind used as tool for destruction and pain could also be used for divine love and compassion. How the two could co-exist revealed to the tantrics that the filters of consciousness could be purified and reformed.
Tantra, therefore, became a practice for elevating consciousness from a primitive form to a divine one. Unlike many world religions, tantra does not believe that divine cosmic consciousness can descend into the humanly realm. In other words, we cannot maintain our old ways of thinking and perception and expect the divine and eternal element of the universe to enter our lives. Instead, we must learn to elevate ourselves to this level of awareness. For the tantrics, only in the avatar form can the divine descend into the lower human realm. Tantrics recognize sages like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and Moses as avatars. For the rest of us, ascent is the only way towards realization.
Tantra teaches that the ascent of consciousness starts from the complete unconscious state of the material world and extends into the divine omnipotent consciousness. Within human beings exists the full range of consciousness. For most people conscious awareness, the type that sees thoughts and experiences life events, sits at a board line state between animal instinct and truly human consciousness of kindness, morality, and self-awareness. Some people slip below this line, acting purely on instinct and causing a great deal of harm to the world and others. Other people live well above the line, and these are what we would could the saints of our world, the true people of the divine who live in compassion, light, and love.
Meditation and Concentration
Of the many techniques and practices used by the tantrics, meditation and concentration are supreme. Concentration, or dharana, is employed to focus the mental energy towards a spiritual focus. The mind, in its infinite complexity and capacity, it one of the most power tools at the disposal of a human being. Through the mind we can explore any dimension of the universe. We can also look deep within ourselves to observe the hidden layers of our being. With concentration the capacities of the mind are harnessed, maximizing the efficiency of the mind for a spiritual focus.
Meditation, or dhyana, is also central to the practice of tantra. Meditation is really a refined state of dharana where concentration evolves to a new level of awareness, one that is spontaneously connected to the sattvic principle of the universe. Dhyana prepares the practitioner for experiencing higher level of awareness and truth.
The tantric believe that one of the reasons why human consciousness is limited in its general form is because life itself would cease to exist if we were to experience divine consciousness directly. Only by gradually fine tuning the mind and refining our perception of life can we elevate our human consciousness to a divine level. Concentration and meditation strengthen and enhance the mental capacities, training them for levels of experience that extend far beyond the boundaries of the ordinary human life. Through mental refinement, the energy within the human mind and body are focused upon spiritual intentions. With this focus new energy is created that can be used towards spiritual advancement.
Like an electrical system, the energy output and consumption of the spiritual practitioner must match one another. If the output is too high, the components of the system will overheat. If, however, the energy output is too low, the system will short circuit. Meditation and concentration generate additional energy for spiritual practices, but unless this energy is used towards spiritual growth there is a good chance that the effort will go to waste. Likewise, if one does not practice concentration and meditation but wishes to achieve spiritual growth, they will find themselves at a loss of focus and training. If, however, one meditates consistently and maintains a spiritual focus in life the inner growth becomes transformational.
Dharana and dhyana stimulate mental refinement. As the various dimensions of the mind are purified, awareness is awakened to more profound truths about life and the universe. With this awakening come more advanced capacities of the mind that allow for deeper reflection and inner attunement. Reality and life as we know it begins to be remolded by a new understanding of ourselves and our relationship to the universe. This is truly the ultimate task of tantra; to refine the spiritual practitioners mind, body, and spirit and align them with a higher reality.