Higher Tantra: The Trika Meditation Retreats

Higher Tantra: The Trika Meditation Retreats

Whereas meditation is known as a potent practice – and even today recognized by business giants like Google and Apple for its usefulness in enhancing productivity – it is not merely “neural self-hacking,” “managing one’s energy,” or stopping thoughts. None of these approaches come close to accessing the vast potential of the mind, its subtle structure, and its unlimited power to take us all the way to the heights of mental and spiritual accomplishment. Trika Meditation is the comprehensive system for those who seek structured and measurable mental self-development that leads directly to self-realization.

What is Trika Meditation®?

Trika Meditation is an advanced form of tantric meditation which originated in 9th century Kashmir, India. Known broadly as Kashmiri Shaivism, the Trika (or “Triad”) School represents the pinnacle of teachings and practice within this most advanced lineage of Tantra. This meditation system is perfect and complete, meant as a practical, incredibly efficient system of practice for reaching nothing less than enlightenment. 

The aim of Trika Meditation – 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, combined with additional knowledge from Raja Yoga, our 7 to 10 days Trika Meditation Retreats provide a true guide for those who seek to climb the ladder of evolution from self-development to eventual spiritual success.

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Trika Meditation Achievement Levels

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 one which is also improved and perfected with practice. In fact, while surprising to some, individual proficiency and development in meditation is tangible and can be measured clearly.

Head teacher, Somananda, has created a system of seven Trika Meditation Achievement Levels to help practitioners understand their development and path to the highest goal.

Reaching any of these levels usually requires participating in Trika Retreats and having an ongoing personal practice. The time which is required for progress in the levels is very individual. It is possible for a participant to reach high levels already in their very first retreat, however, usually the development is more gradual. Unquantifiable factors such as your effort, diligence, and grace play an important role here.

In every retreat each participant’s abilities will be personally assessed by Somananda, and – if the skills of successive levels have been achieved – that participant will receive recognition and a certificate of their level of development in Trika meditation. The Achievement Levels are not only meant as a system of markers to help verify progress, but also as a great support to practitioners who appreciate feedback and personalized instruction.

Progress in the Trika Meditation system is gauged by the following phases of verifiable success:

LEVEL 1
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 1
  • The mind grows in meditation to extend outside the body up to 15 centimeters in all directions
  • The mind becomes silent and peaceful at will
  • Emotional disturbances or imbalances are reduced to between three and five unwanted thought occurrences per day
  • Inner faith grows rapidly and a sense of inner happiness is obtained
LEVEL 2
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 2
  • The mind grows in meditation to extend outside the body in a subtle spherical shape up to 1-2 meters in all directions
  • The perception of the mind becomes more solid and tangible, with a clear state of mental awareness becoming permanent
  • Emotions become pliable and elastic, and the practitioner can now generate desired emotions on command
  • The perception of other people’s (and animals’) emotions is now achieved, in glimpses and bursts as empathic abilities become available
LEVEL 3
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 3
  • The mind can now grow and expand in meditation to extend outside the body in a subtle spherical shape up to about 5 meters in all directions
  • The mind’s quality changes perceptibly into a tangible form, with mental expansion becoming a distinct process that can now be directed toward any object or subject with enhanced accuracy and efficiency
  • Mental abilities are augmented and memory improved, in development that can be clearly assessed on a daily basis
  • A state of emotional detachment is achieved (an awareness of one’s emotional state at all times and ability to clearly choose at will whether to react from, reside in, or functionally use the emotions)
  • Level 1 Telepathy is achieved – gaining the obvious perception of other people’s (and animals’) emotions, basic thoughts, and mental tendencies. At this level the perception of thoughts is still somewhat random and at times vague.
  • The mind becomes aware of a higher level of consciousness
LEVEL 4
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 4
  • At this level the mind has the ability to grow and expand in meditation to extend outside the body in a subtle spherical shape up to 20-30 meters in all directions
  • The mind attains pure insight into people and animals who are within this sphere of mental expansion
  • The mind’s quality, chitta, has become as clear and tangible as a muscle, with the result that mental exercises can be done with efficiency and techniques for major mental prowess are now taught and used
  • Emotional control is now absolute, with detachment sustained at a high level
  • Level 2 Telepathy has been reached; reading, understanding, and perceiving other people’s thoughts, mental tendencies, and interests is achieved effortlessly. Mental triggers and controls are taught.
  • Progress is achieved with regard to controlling your newly acquired telepathic abilities, including respect for people’s privacy and avoidance of karmic impediments
  • The mind is now able to switch its substance on and off, thus allowing an opening to higher levels of consciousness
LEVEL 5
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 5
  • At this level the mind has the ability to grow and expand in meditation to extend outside the body in a subtle spherical shape up to 100 meters in all directions
  • Deepened insights are acquired into people and animals within this sphere of mental expansion
  • The mind is able to predict short-term future events and a high level of intuition is accessed
  • The ability to create mental structures is gained, alongside access to storage of various types of internal cosmic knowledge and the ability to apply it coherently and successfully
  • Level 3 Telepathy: A high degree of restraint and control is achieved while mental influence on behalf of any individual for spiritual inspiration and support is obtained. This is done in conjunction with the yogic yamas and niyamas (morals and ethics) as well as divine guidance.
  • A vision of the clear light is achieved with a higher level of consciousness
LEVEL 6
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 6
  • At this level the mind has the ability to grow and expand in meditation to extend outside the body in a subtle spherical shape with no limits
  • All prior meditation achievements are brought to a deeper, more powerful level
  • A list of untold mental abilities are now accessible (these are detailed and specific training is provided)
  • A clear perception of the crown chakra activation and a state of “no thought” are achieved
  • An ability to deconstruct reality is realized and the practitioner obtains the sure vision of maya, or illusion (“The Matrix”)
LEVEL 7
Trika Meditation Achievement Level 7
  • Nirvikalpa samadhi
  • Pratyabhijñā state achieved
  • Shaktipata – the experience of Divine Grace

What You Will Gain from the Retreats

  • Verifiable improved control over your state of awareness
  • Enhanced ability to concentrate
  • Development of various mental powers and an introduction to siddhis (“paranormal abilities”)
  • The tools to create a state of absolute centeredness and inner focus at will anytime
  • Techniques for surpassing the mind and its limits to reach states of higher consciousness
  • A perception of the higher, true self – Atman
  • Methods for controlled expansion of the mind
  • Access to the state of pratyabhijñā, recognition and self-realization
  • Empowered support for you to reach the highest spiritual goal, namely the full state of samadhi or union with the Divine
meditation india

Teachings and Practices During the Retreats

  • Study and practice of the four paths of Kashmiri Shaivism – the Upayas
  • Various meditation techniques from the Trika system
  • Study and practice of the Raja Yoga techniques of mind deconstruction, concentration, expansion, and samyama (yogic identification)
  • Meditations for opening and augmenting the third eye, ajna chakra
  • Pratyabhijñā techniques of meditation and sudden self-realization
  • Study and practice of various techniques from the Vijñāna Bhairava Tantra, the tantric manual for enlightenment
  • I experienced a state of being “out of my mind”. This sounds crazy, but it is the most amazing state I have ever encountered.

    Christoph (36)
  • All my life I have suffered from emotional imbalances and mental issues. Trika Retreats have made a huge difference for me. I am again in charge of my own life.

    Karina (28)
  • Incredible meditations! Wow… No words to describe it. I am a Trika meditation addict :).

    Leo (56)
  • This tradition is so authentic, so deep and so incredible. Keeping the silence was surprisingly easy. In fact, I want to be more silent in my daily life as well.

    Arina (32)
  • My mind is so much more powerful than I ever could have known. Somananda is a true master – a guru that can take you all the way.

    Norah (41)
  • I was new to meditation. I am so grateful for landing to the exact right retreat and the exact right tantric teachings. Thank you!

    Sergio-Ken (22)
  • Inner peace and clarity are beyond measure. I have never before experiences such mental control!

    Thomas (48)

Joining Trika Retreats Repeatedly

Trika Retreats are experiential and personal experiences. Every retreat will be different taking you each time more deeply into your Self and into the hidden potentials of your mind. Proficiency and skill in Trika Meditation are built up by participating in these retreats regularly – we recommend at least a 3-4 times a year, if possible – as well as by combining the retreats with regular personal practice. Each retreat provides extra support and further guidance from Somananda and other teachers, which propel you up the ladder of Trika Meditation Achievement Levels.

During the retreats we also share additional teachings and lectures, but their exact content varies from one retreat to another. When it comes to teachings like these, the possibility of hearing them a second time or receiving an initiation twice are considered indeed great blessings in Yoga. 70% of the retreat is, however, dedicated to mediation practice itself.

meditation retreat rishikesh

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.
  • No electronic devices of any kind (including tablets, phones, laptops, mp3 players, etc.) may be used during the retreat. Exceptions may be made upon personal request and such exceptions need to be asked for 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 you with an emergency contact for your family or business which may be called 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.
  • Please do not resort to any distractions for the mind during the retreat, including – in addition to the use of electronic devices – 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. Best, however, would be 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. You will be awakened by a gong and every new session of the day will be signaled by the gong. The gong signal will be done repeatedly to make sure everyone has heard it.
  • No smoking, consumption of alcohol, or use of recreational drugs is allowed during the retreat.
  • Vegetarian meals are served during the retreat. If you have personal dietary restrictions (such as vegan or gluten-free) please let our team know at least two weeks before the retreat begins.

FAQ

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

Yes it is. Trika Meditation Retreats are primarily internal, experiential events. You will learn about meditation and the mind, and gain rare 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 in one retreat.

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

Meditation is a life-long practice in Yoga; it is a way of being. You definitely have something to gain if you have not yet reached our Meditation Achievement Level 7, the highest (see the levels above).

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

Control of the mind and becoming a good meditator take practice, time, and commitment. Until you have not reached the Achievement Level 7, your path has not reached the ultimate goal yet and joining the retreat again will provide a focused and supported environment for meditation and continuation of your development. Students usually join several Trika Retreats per year as each retreat will give you 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 Trika 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 which may be called 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. 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 silence so long and 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 with a short appointment (5 minutes) during the first 15 minutes of the lunch break daily, if you feel you cannot resolve your inner tension in this regard. However, again we would encourage you to challenge yourself to a new level of accomplishment, a state of serenity that provides the fertile ground for remarkable insights.

Retreat Schedule

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

  •  6.00 Meditation and Yoga
  •  8.00 Breakfast
  •  8.45 Meditations and teachings
  • 10.30 Walking meditation
  • 11.00 Meditations and teachings
  • 12.30 Lunch and rest
  • 15.30 Meditations and teachings
  • 19.00 Dinner
  • 20.00 Q&A (questions shall be submitted in writing in order to preserve sacred silence)
  • 22.00 Lights out!

Join us!

This course is coming up in the following locations:

Rishikesh, India

17 September – 27 September 2017

Rishikesh, India

16 September – 26 September 2018