Bettina Sharada Bӓumer – “Madhya : Finding the Centre”
September 19 - September 26Free
A Retreat with selected texts of Kashmir Śaivism
The world in which we live is all out to alienate us from our true centre, being full of distractions and attractions, materially and energetically, with apparently unlimited possibilities of information and communication through the internet, social media etc. The spiritual seeker has to make a conscious effort to resist this onslaught and to turn within, from a centrifugal to a centripetal movement, from noise to silence, from distraction to interiorization. Finding the centre is a matter of spiritual survival, for each one and for the human community as a whole.
Spiritual traditions with their centuries old experience can guide us on this path of return to our source.
In this retreat we will dive deep in the “ocean of Śiva knowledge” as the Āgamas or scriptures of non-dualist Kashmir Śaivism are called (Śivajñānārṇava). This tradition has paid particular attention to Madhya, the core of our consciousness and to the ways to experience it, which comprise forms of Yoga and jñāna (gnosis, awareness). In this context Madhya is the Heart centre as well as the central channel in the yogic body, called Suṣumnā or Madhyanāḍi.
We are going to study the following texts which will guide us in our meditation, leading to this centre:
Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra
A selection from these basic texts of Kashmir Śaivism will be made available to the participants, in Sanskrit and English translation. They will lead us into meditation as well as practice in daily life, in ordinary and extra ordinary experiences.
This retreat is open to followers of any spiritual tradition.
Dr. Bettina Sharada Bäumer is a scholar and practitioner of Kashmir Shaivism and disciple of its last great Master, Swami Lakshman Joo of Kashmir (1907-1991). She has been giving retreat seminars on texts of Kashmir Shaivism for the last 25 years (10 years in Deer Park Institute). She has been Professor of Religious Studies and Indology in various Universities in Europe and India, and is based for the last 50 years in Varanasi where she is director of the “Abhinavagupta Research Library”.
She has translated a number of texts from Sanskrit into English and German, such as the Vijnana Bhairava. Her latest publication: “The Yoga of Netra Tantra: Third Eye and Overcoming Death” (IIAS, Shimla and D.K. Printworld, New Delhi) is relevant for the teaching of this retreat.