Deity Yoga

"When we see the formless Divine as our consort, we court that which is eternal . . .

When we experience pain we recognize it as the truest longing that comes from our separation from this source of love, and we use this pain again and again to call this beloved back into our heart. When we experience pleasure we recognize the reunion of the beloved spirit in the vessel of our flesh. Both pain & pleasure become our dance of love with divinity." - Halo Seronko

The foundation of liberation and transformation for a Tantrika is Sadhana, or sustained committed practice to a particular deity, also know as Deity Yoga.To understand this with the Western mind we must dive deeper into the esoteric structure of deity. A deity is literally speaking a God or Goddess. However the Tantric orientation to deity is anything but dogmatic. We view deities as personified containers of particular frequency or consciousness within the whole. The wisdom in personifying the deity is to create the environment where we can have an intimate relationship with the deity, which is much more difficult with an abstract concept.

This intimacy allows us to grow close to the deity and the particular liberations that deity has to offer. Through the sustained practice of deity yoga the energies of that deity begin to awaken within us and we begin to embody those qualities.

In this exploration of Deity Yoga we will dive more deeply into the concept of deity and the intimate relationship the Tantrika has with them. We will look at some of the prominent Tantric deities and their roles in the path of awakening, as well as the particulars of practice within the Sadhanas of Deity Yoga. - This workshop will be led by Halo Seronko.

Halo believes that "Temple" is a vessel for God/Goddess, be it an ancient architectural structure, or our very bodies, breath and consciousness. It is a way of life that acknowledges the Sacred in all that is, and offers reverence and awe in the form of beauty, and the cultivation of embodied awareness.

In the yogic traditions, the Goddess is considered the embodiment of power and of energy—the energy "Adi Shakti" that enlivens the world, and our own bodies and minds. Whether we encounter the Goddess spontaneously or explore her deliberately, as a practice, the energy can open us to our own inner source of empowerment. Deity meditation can assist to unsnarl psychological knots by calling forth specific transformative forces within the mind and heart. It puts us in touch with the protective power within us, and can change the way we see the world.

Ancient texts mention about "Dasha(10) Mahavidya", who are worshipped to seek all sorts of powers. Mahavidya worship is known as Sadhana in which the worshipper concentrates on a single Goddess to please and to seek her blessings. In any Sadhana, Yantra and Mantra are considered very effective mediums through which worshippers can reach their target and fulfill the motive to perform it.

Dasha Mahavidya - 10 Forms of Goddess Shakti: Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari,  Bhuvanesvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi,  Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, Kamala. The highest spiritual truth is that reality is One. That reality, when personified as the Divine Mother, expresses itself in countless ways. The ten Mahavidyas, or Wisdom Goddesses, represent distinct aspects of divinity intent on guiding the spiritual seeker toward liberation. For the devotionally minded seeker these forms can be approached in a spirit of reverence, love, and increasing intimacy. For a knowledge-oriented seeker, these same forms can represent various states of inner awakening along the path to enlightenment.

There is a deep quintessential need in the human psyche for a mother. It is said; the Goddess was humankind’s earliest conception of divinity. Among the Shaktas who worship Mother Goddess, the source of all existence is female. God is woman. She is the principle representation of Divinity. She is that power which resides in all life as consciousness, mind, matter, energy, silence, joy as also disturbance and violence. She is the vibrant energy that makes everything alive, fascinating and wonderful. She is inherent in everything and at the same time transcends everything. Her true nature is beyond mind and matter; she is not bound by any limitation. She is Arupa(formless). When she is represented in a form, her intense representation is a Bindu the dimensionless point about to expand immensely. The Bindu symbolizes her most subtle micro form as the universal Mother, womb, yoni, creator, retainer and also the receiver of the universe.