The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat

The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat

Kashmiri Shaivism represents the most advanced teachings and pinnacle of practice within Tantra. This meditation system is perfect and complete, meant as a practical and incredibly efficient system of practice for reaching nothing less than enlightenment. 

The aim of the Kashmiri Shaivims Retreat – while rooted in sublime ancient tantric texts such as the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra, Shiva Sutras, Tantraloka, Pratyabhijñā Śāstra, and others – is to bring the practitioner into the realm of spiritual realization and a special state of pratyabhijñā – recognition of the Supreme Self, the ultimate in spiritual aspirations. 

Despite being mostly unknown in modern times, the tradition of Kashmiri Shaivism is a rare and authentic spiritual gem. This practice is derived from the most powerful of all metaphysical tantric teachings on the planet and provides a true guide for those who seek to climb the ladder of evolution from self-development to eventual spiritual success.

We pay tribute to Somananda’s guru Swami Vivekananda Saraswati who, through spiritual inspiration and blessing, has initiated Somananda into the profound teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism.

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What you will gain from the retreat:

  • Practical application of Kashmiri Shaivism as learned in the workshop
  • Deepening of personal knowledge and experience of the four upayas – powerful methods of spiritual sadhana
  • Insight into your state of awareness and spiritual potential
  • Fully embarking on the tantric path of spiritual evolution
  • Spiritual transmission and initiation from our advanced teachers Somananda or Dharmananda

Techniques taught and practiced

  • Study and practice of various techniques from the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra – the tantric manual for enlightenment
  • Meditation techniques and Yoga practice with the upayas
  • The use of mentalization and emotions for spiritual results (bhavana)
  • The fundamental monistic meditation (“I am”)
  • Periods of deep guided meditative states

Retreat schedule

The retreat schedule noted here is approximate and subject to change according to the retreat location, venue, and other circumstances:

07:00 Meditation and Yoga
90:00 Breakfast
10:00 Meditation and teachings
14:00 Lunch and rest
16:30 Meditation and teachings
19:00 Q&A
20:00 Dinner and rest
22:00 Lights out!

In silent retreats the questions in the Q&A session shall be submitted in writing in order to preserve sacred silence.

This retreat has prerequisites!

You can join our Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat only if you have previously completed The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop with us or with Agama Yoga school. There are no exceptions to this rule. The workshop and retreat are often offered consecutively to each other. Take a look at our upcoming courses for details.

After having completed the The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop at least once, you are welcome to join the Kashmiri Shaivism retreats whenever you have the opportunity, without the need to repeat the workshop.

kashmiri shaivism tantra

How to measure success in meditation?

As defined in Yoga, meditation is the “controlled expansion of the mind”. This seemingly remote idea is actually a skill that not only anyone can acquire, but also one which is improved and perfected with practice.

In fact, while surprising to some, individual proficiency and development in meditation is tangible and can be measured clearly. Some of the preliminary indicators to look for are the following:

  • Emotional disturbances or imbalances are reduced or completely cease to exist
  • The mind becomes silent and peaceful at will
  • The mind expands outside of one’s physical body
  • Faith and a sense of inner happiness grow rapidly
  • The mind becomes aware of higher levels of consciousness
  • An ability to perceive the activation of the higher chakras emerges

Attaining the above mentioned effects usually requires participating in meditation retreats and having an ongoing personal practice. The time required for personal progress is very individual and depends on your effort and diligence, as well as a measure of grace. It is possible for a participant to already reach high levels during his or her very first retreat. However, the development is usually more gradual.

  • This retreat has definitely been the most important effort towards my spiritual evolution that I have ever made.

    Ben (42)
  • Meditating like God – this was the incredible gift I received.

    Jelena (24)
  • I lost all physical feelings and entered a state I had never been in before. It’s difficult to describe even now, hours later….

    Serena (39)
  • Kashmiri Shaivism is a gift to humanity and so is Somananda and his spiritual insight. Thank you so much!

    Michael (35)
  • Everything about this retreat was groundbreaking for me. I feel high from spirituality….

    Paula (58)
kashmiri shaivism tantra

Retreat duration and mauna

The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreats are offered in various formats of 5-21 days’ duration. Depending on the length of a particular retreat the techniques taught and practiced may vary based on the needs of the group. The head teacher may also include additional techniques and practices when needed.

Note that particular retreats include the rule of mauna or sacred silence. This means that a certain part of the retreat is conducted in complete silence (24 hours per day) for participants in order to facilitate a deeper level of self-inquiry and more profound mental effects. Please look at the event page of a particular retreat for details (see list of upcoming retreats below). Each retreat also includes the practice of Hatha Yoga and/or sun salutations.

Joining meditation retreats repeatedly

Kashmiri Shaivism or other meditation retreats offered by Somananda Tantra School are personal experiences. Every retreat will take you deeper into your Self and into the hidden potentials of your mind.

Proficiency and skill in meditation are built up by participating in retreats regularly; we recommend participating at least three or four times a year. Steady personal practice outside of the retreat period is equally important. Each retreat provides extra support and additional guidance from our teachers, which propel you further up the ladder of your spiritual development.

FAQ

Does joining this retreat have any prerequisites?

Yes. You can join our Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat only if you have previously completed The Highest Tantra: Kashmiri Shaivism Workshop with us or with Agama Yoga school. There are no exceptions to this rule. The workshop and retreat are often offered consecutively to each other. Take a look at our upcoming courses for details.

I am a beginner in meditation. Is this retreat right for me?

You can join this retreat if you have previously completed our Kashmiri Shaivism: The Higher Tantra Workshop. Meditation retreats are primarily internal, experiential events and you will gain experiential knowledge in potent meditation techniques. However, the emphasis of the retreat is foremost on your personal practice and inner experience, which applies to any level of proficiency. Beginners and more advanced meditators will therefore easily practice together during the same retreat.

I have practiced meditation for many years. Is there anything new for me to gain from this retreat?

In Yoga and Tantra, meditation is a lifelong practice; it is a way of being. You definitely have something to gain if you have not yet reached the highest spiritual goals of a human being.

I have already participated in a Kashmiri Shaivism Retreat – why should I join again?

Control of the mind and becoming a good meditator take practice, time, and commitment. Until you have reached the highest spiritual goals, joining any retreat for a second or third time will provide a focused and supported environment for meditation and the continuation of your development. Students usually join several retreats per year as each retreat will provide a different valuable experience.

I would like to join the retreat but I need to be able to check up on work and/or family every day. Is this acceptable?

This is generally not acceptable in our Kashmiri Shaivism Retreats. Personal exceptions by the retreat leader may be made only in cases of emergency. We will provide you with an emergency contact for your family or business associates which may be used in such cases, thereby allowing you to relax fully into the retreat experience knowing that retreat administration will alert you if necessary to any issue needing your urgent attention.

We are a couple and would like to stay in the same room during a residential retreat. Is this possible?

In order to ensure deeper and more profound meditation, a focus on the individual’s inner experience, and an enhanced ability to focus, couples are normally placed in separate rooms, women with women and men with men.

I have never been in a silent retreat, so I feel it could be very challenging for me. Can I still join?

Absolutely – you are very welcome to join. Usually it is only during the first days that keeping mauna seems challenging. As the retreat progresses, silence becomes a natural part of it. We definitely recommend joining without fear – your experience will be very transformative.

What happens if I feel I cannot maintain silence during the retreat?

The retreat staff will be on hand to support you if you feel you cannot resolve your inner tension. However, we would encourage you to challenge yourself to a new level of accomplishment. The temporary breaking of mauna is acceptable only in cases of emergency.

Retreat rules of conduct

The retreat is held in complete silence or mauna.

Exceptions include, of course, the days of arrival and departure. Silence also here encompasses interpersonal communications such as gestures, silently mouthing words, writing notes, etc. Notes will be allowed only for daily Q&A and administrative emergencies. The retreat leader will announce the beginning and end of mauna.

Nonresidential retreats may not require full mauna. Please see the details for each particular retreat.

No electronic devices of any kind may be used during residential retreats.

This includes tablets, phones, laptops, mp3 players, etc. Exceptions may be made upon personal request and such exceptions need to be requested personally from the retreat leader before the beginning of mauna.

Although there may be a temptation to keep your phone with you for emergencies, we will provide a contact number which may be called by your family or business associates in such cases, thereby allowing you to relax fully into the retreat experience knowing that retreat administration will alert you if necessary to any issue needing your urgent attention.

We ask you to keep full celibacy during the retreat.

Couples joining a residential retreat together will be placed in separate rooms for a more internalized and deeper retreat experience. During nonresidential retreats, we ask you to not engage in any sexual activity during the retreat period.

Please do not resort to any distractions for the mind during the retreat.

In addition to the use of electronic devices, this includes books, magazines, and the like. To support your retreat experience, we will offer to collect any of these belongings and hold them in a bag for you during the retreat. However, it would be best to leave them at home if possible. Let this be an opportunity to completely unplug yourself and turn your focus inward.

Please hide any device that tells the time, including watches.

In a residential retreat you will be awakened by a gong and every new session of the day will be signaled by the gong. The gong will be struck repeatedly to make sure everyone has heard it.

Complete ban on toxic substances of any kind.

No smoking, consumption of alcohol, or use of recreational drugs is allowed during the retreat.

Join us!

This course is coming up in the following locations:

Lentas, Crete Island, Greece

4 April – 15 April 2018

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