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Searching for Yantras......

and yearning for Tantra......

sunny 30 °C

Its been hot hot hot here... Electricity has been a little erratic so I've got into the habit of carrying a torch around and having Cooks matches and candles on every surface of the flat. I've got used to it actually, I plucked my eyebrows, gave myself a facial and read all about the goddess Matangi (one of Kali's aspects) by the power of a one battery torch this week.... Last night was the first time in about a fortnight the power was constant all night so I slept well under the fan. Its been a really good few days. My energy levels have picked up a lot- it takes a little while to properly acclimatize- and so I've been going for long walks and seeing Mysore properly again. I want to go round the Jagamohan Art Gallery again soon, its really worth a look, and last night there was a party at the Mysore Mandala, to celebrate its anniversary, and I met a guy there who works in the Art Gallery and sources all kinds of Indian prints.

I've been searching for an image of Kali or a yantra referring to her, for a friend. I've found out that statues of Kali are a bit of a no-go. Its not that they're not around, its more that statues are considered to be more powerful by far, than pictures. Because with statues, you feed them, make offerings to them, pour your energy into them- its as if they have their own kind of auric field, given the correct care and attention. And Kali the Destroyer is considered something of a liability. In fact the first person I spoke to told me he had nothing whatsoever referring to Kali. But after a little chat, he took me into the back room (!) and showed me the Kali paintings. Very, very powerful images. He kept saying 'Its the eyes that matter Madam, look into the eyes...' and some of the images are monstrous.. Its as if all the basest instincts we have are dragged out and personified. I had the strongest feeling that if you started to worship Kali, that you would perceive yourself as she would perceive you. And it would be mighty uncomfortable and take a lot of guts to stick with it, as your safe little niche, your place in the world and your ego, all came crashing around your ears. We were talking until it was dark outside, about Tantra, and teachers. Sanjay recommended the Tara-Devi Temple which is in the region of Assam, for a visit. I'm not sure that Assam is somewhere I'd want to go alone, theres been quite a lot of problems in the region. But there are a few other places I'm considering visiting, to find out more. Even thinking about a trip to Kolkata, as its her city. I just want to find out more about Tantra, and the practical application of it. Because when you google it in the UK all you find are these 'couples' workshops and it kind of makes me cringe, its all terribly 70's cheesecloth cheesiness. And I think that if you have a serious meditation practice it would eradicate any sexual problems you might have anyway, creating that distance for yourself, without having to be patronized by some overpaid Dolphin Bothering tie dyed New Ager...

Eilis and her girls have left Mysore now, it was sad to see them go, they've been such lovely friends to me. We had a last night round at theirs, eating sweets and watching 'Some Like it Hot', I'd forgotten just how hilarious it was. I was toying with the idea of moving in their massive marble floored house but I'm quite settled where I am and Claires great to be next door to. All the students here in Laksmipuram are such cool people, its really nice, it seems like whenever I go out I get to know new people. I had my first day letting myself go into a silk shop this week- I wanted a new turquoise silk scarf as I gave my favourite one away at a festival this summer- and I found a stunner of one. It makes me feel like a mermaid, like wearing the sea around my shoulders... Its so heavy, it looks like a pashmina, just beautiful. And I found an amazing book called 'Bitten by the Black Snake- the wisdom of Ashtavakra. It was written by a Master of the Vedas in the 4th or 5th century BC and it is very much about constant observation of yourself, your processes and patterning, in quite a simple way in order to obtain liberation... What I love about it though is the poetry of it. It is so beautiful to read. Lyrical and straightforward.

Practice at Sthalam 8 has gone pretty well this week. Baddha Konasana gets looser- something definitely released last week, you hold a lot in your hips. I notice I often feel angry afterwards, and not just because of the physical discomfort (cue Ajay "Full Burning must be felt.") I had to skip backbending yesterday as I had a really painfully stiff neck from swimming so I had a neck massage from Lekhan instead. He gives the best massages, he's unbelievably strong. We all went out for his birthday last week to this club called 'Planet X'. It was so much fun!! A mix of West and Eastern music, dry ice machines, mojito cocktails and its got an Egyptian theme with Egyptian named cocktails- Cleopatras Revenge etc.... A little incongruous, oh and if you get bored dancing, they have a go-kart track outside! It had a weirdly Vegas kind of vibe about it. It was good kicking back, dancing, getting a little drunk and spotting all the closet smokers (!)...
All too soon it was time to go home. Claire and I stumbled over to Lekhans motorbike as he gave us a life back, just like Tom Cruise with two Kelly McGillis's smiling drunkenly behind him as we floated through the dark roads of Mysore.....

On the way out I spotted something in the car park. A dark figure, covered in flower offerings. "Who is that?" I wondered aloud. "Oh, thats Kali" someone said. Holding court in the car park of Planet X.
Well I never.

Posted by victoria8 04:17 Archived in India Tagged women

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