Past Workshop Topics

The Visual Yogas in Hindu Tantrism (one day workshop)

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The visual mind is the most developed and largest part of the human brain, and making use of it is the fastest means to samadhi. In Hindu Tantra, many of the visual yogas are concealed within external tantric rituals like fire offerings and pujas. But strip away the externals, and the methods of visual yoga are both simple and profound.

This workshop provides an overview and immersion in those methods, with all necessary precautions and step by step methods to achieve pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, using simple objects, and then yantra (geometric representations of mantra) and anthropomorphized symbolism of the various streams of manifestation represented as deities.

This workshop also demonstrates how mantra yoga, the visual yogas, and laya yoga work in synthesis in the Tantric systems.

Three hours

What to bring:
Please bring a yoga mat or blanket, a meditation cushion (or another blanket, folded) to sit on, comfortable clothes, a notebook and pen/pencil. If you wear contact lenses, please bring a lense case and saline solution so that you can take out your lenses during some of the visual exercises requiring an unblinking gaze. you may want to bring re-wetting drops if you tend to have dry eyes.

Asana and Resonance in Tantric Hatha Yoga (one day workshop)
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Asana means “Seat of Meditation,” not “yoga pose.” By placing your body in a particular “meditative seat”, you selectively apply pressure to particular parts of the physical and subtle anatomy, selectively activating parts of the nervous and endocrine system. Each asana in tantric hatha yoga manipulates the prana in the subtle (etheric) anatomy to produce a specific resonance of the body’s microcosm with the broader spectrum of manifested reality.

Through placing the mind’s awareness in the part of the subtle body most amplified by the asana, one can achieve expansion of limited human consciousness through the tool of tantric hatha yoga, exploring all of the various wavelengths of human consciousness as an “inner cosmonaut.”

This 3 hour workshop explores the 3 keys to this ability… Knowledge of the subtle body, tricks for placement of conscious awareness within the subtle channels and centers, and the esoteric significance of many common hatha yoga asanas.

Inner Worship in Laya Yoga (one day workshop)
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One Day Workshop

Antaryaga (Inner Worship) in Laya Yoga, The yoga of absorption and dissolution using various manifest and transcendant mantric and visual resonances…

Avishkara: The Tantric Act of Becoming (one day workshop)
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Avishkara is the tantric act of becoming… becoming the guru, becoming the tutelary diety, becoming the buddha, taking on a particular resonance and action: human, divine, animal, plant, or elemental. It has roots from shamanic, vedic, and tantric practices, and it is the basis for Diety Yoga and Laya Yoga, as well as (in advanced practice) a means of introducing one’s limited consciousness to the revealed self-nature of a realized individual, lineage, or stream of divinity… (which is successful guru yoga)

This short workshop gives explanations of some external and internal tools for avishkara, along with ample practice time and experience to get a basic working “feeling,” with exmaples from hindu tantra, of the practice…

Three hours

Building, Offering, and Dissolving The Tantric Mandala in Solo, Dual, and Group Practice. (one day workshop)
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In tantric external ritual, mandalas representing manifestation in the form of the five elements are offered back to the Absolute from which they came. In tantric yoga, the body itself is the greatest of all mandalas, and through the mental ritual of bhutta shuddhi the five elements are purified, dissolved, and resolved, allowing consciousness to free itself from its sheaths long enough to experience union with the Absolute…

Bija Mantra in Tantra: Liberation through Sound
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In tantra, mantra is used differently than in many other forms of vedic, jain, or buddhist yoga. The tantric practitioner uses individual seed sounds (bija mantras) in simple but profound ways to manipulate her own physiology and therefore consciousness.

Each bija reveals a particular manifestation of Reality, and leads the practitioner (sadhaka) inexoribly towards that manifestation, and from that manifestation, towards the Absolute…

Mindless pronounciation and repetition of a mantra will only occupy your hours, leaving you with little result…

But this three hour workshop delivers the complete tools for unravelling the true meaning and depth of mantric practice, beginning with an introduction to the 4 levels of speech in tantric practice, from gross to subtle, then revealing the nature of mantra and true mantric practice, and showiing step-by-step how to simultaneously expand and focus consciousness using spatial awareness, emotion, and sound awareness, and the resonances and uses of individual bija mantras..

Strategically Erasing Negative Emotions, Thought Patterns, and Stuck Energy using Special Mantra Samputs of the Short Vajrapani Mantra
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Samputs are special additional syllables that are added to specific sanskrit mantras to change their focus or effects, increasing both accuracy and precision, and often decreasing the numbers of repetitions required to give a specific result.

This 3.5 hour mini-retreat will give you initiation into and practice with a number of mantra samputs of the short Vajrapani Mantra. The short Vajrapani Mantra expands the experience of internal space, peace, and silence, while dissolving negative or distorted emotions, thought forms, and experiences, mental noise, and bodily inertia.

At the very beginning of the workshop, initiation is given in the root Vajrapani Mantra: a very short, simple, and powerful mantra, in both its sanskrit and tibetan forms, through chanting first aloud, then whispered, and then internally.

Next we engage in a series of powerful practices, all enumerated on a take-home handout, using samputs of the mantra that direct its power to dissolve specific negative emotions, or to clear and empower specific parts of the physical and subtle anatomy, and to clear the various ways we relate with the inner and outer world…

You will create an enhanced sense of inner peace within the workshop, and take home a handout that turns this one simple mantra into a veritable Swiss Army knife of spiritual tools…

3.5 hour mantra mini-retreat

Please bring a meditation cushion, chair, or blankets, etc., on which to sit and be comfortable as you chant. There are filtered hot and cold water onsite and restaurants within walking distance.

Pointing-Out Instructions on Maithuna, Sambhoga Yoga and Karma Mudra in Inner Tantric Yoga
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Saturday February 15th, 1:30 to 5:30pm

Perspectives on and practices of sexual yoga in various Tantric, alchemical, and non-dual contemplative traditions.

Tao Semko of presents concise viewpoints and spiritual practices using sexual attraction and romantic love to increase awareness and achieve or deepen realization, from the following traditions:
Shakta Tantra,
Kashmiri Shaivite Mahamudra
Vajrayana Buddhism
Alchemical Taoism
Contemplative Taoism
and contrasts their practices, viewpoints, and results with those of New Age Tantra, Neo Tantra, Modern Tantra, and similar modern syncretic practices.

Pith Instructions on methods of Maithuna, Sambogha, and KarmaMudra in both Kaula and Vajrayana Inner Tantric Yoga Sadhanas are provided.

A discussion and exemplification; there is no nudity or unsolicited sexual contact in the workshop.

Introduction to the Inner Heat Practices: Mastering the Preliminaries and Requirements (one day workshop, Miami)
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Tummo (gtummo), known in sanskrit as candali, is the practice of inner heat that is first and foremost among the Six Yogas of Niguma & Naropa, the completion stage yogas of vajrayana’s highest yoga tantra. It is one of many systems for successfully and completely arousing kundalini, and the one most commonly associated with vajrayana and Tibet.

This short seminar dispells some of the myths about the intent of tummo, and provides clear instructions on the key points that make tummo work as an esoteric purification and arousal of kundalini energy…

The Inner Use of Esoteric Mandala and Yantra
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The Inner Use of Esoteric Mandala and Yantra:<br/ >
This workshop reveals the traditional secrets of integrating breath meditation and sacred art to master Tantric Meditation and Visual Yoga.

We guide you in authentic practices that lead to flawless bility to complete tantric visualization and dissolution practices.

These practices develop your ability to expand your limited personality (ahamkara) into a universal personality through avishkara (achieving union of resonance with the object of meditation)…. Extremely powerful, simple practices that can be done for half an hour a day and bring profound results: focus, tranquility, and greatly expanded awareness of both the mundane world and the hidden worlds!

Introduction to Deity Yoga in Shaktism, Saivism, and Vajrayana
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Deity Yoga (Becoming the Deity) is a primary practice in both hindu tantra and vajrayana (tibetan tantric buddhism). It is a practice using mantra, inner attitude, and visualization/ actualization to internally assume the attributes of particular anthropomorphized principle of consciousness and energy, or compassion and wisdom…

Well known examples are the sadhanas of the mahavidya and nav durga cycles in hindu shaktism, and the generation stage yogas of highest yoga tantra in Tibetan Buddhism

This short workshop explains the reasons for undertaking such sadhana (practices), and the many esoteric, less written about practical elements that create success in such a practice… i.e., meditative samadhi with the particular mantra and visualized form, and ultimately, realization of self-nature or the nature of the mind)

Very simple, practical instructions will be given, which, if combined with any empowerment and dutiful ppractice, should bear fruit… Sometimes it is difficult to get the gist of practical esoteric information from a teacher whose grasp of the native language is still poor. The transmission of the mantra is complete, but the explanation of its practice is not. This workshop will fill in many gaps for those who have empowerments from traveling teachers but haven’t yet realized the fruits of their practice…

Other Workshop Topics:

  • Introduction to the Inner Tantric Yogas: Hatha, Kriya, Laya, Mantra, Yantra, Maithuna, Mahamudra
  • Pranavidya and Qigong
  • Resonance and Absorption: Mantra Laya and Mantra Vidya
  • Resonance and Absorption: the Visual Yogas, Yantra Laya, and Yantra Vidya
  • Resonance and Absorption: Avishkara – kinesthetic, synaesthetic, and proprioceptive Laya
  • Resonance and Absorption: Deity Yoga, including Mahavidya Yoga, Vajrayana Utpatti-Krama, and more..
  • Kundalini: from dormancy to transcendence, and re-integration to non-duality. Initial dormancy; kinetic release, evolution, and integration; and non-dual quiessence and evolution: how, what, and when – an overview of Kundalini Vidya in Hatha, Kriya, and Laya yoga, Maithuna, and Vajrayana’s Sampanna-Krama (completion stage highest yoga tantra)
  • Maithuna, Karmamudra, and coupled Mahamudra and Ati Yoga practices:
    • as transfiguration
    • as Generation and Completion stage yogas to prepare the physical and subtle bodies to release kundalini from dormancy and cultivate kundalini’s evolution and integration, while exploring the personal, transpersonal, transcendant, and integration of the three with bliss and emptiness
    • as union in non-dual contemplation
  • Mahamudra and Ati Yoga: presence & primordial consciousness — dualistic meditation, one-pointed absorption (laya/samadhi), & (non-dual) open contemplation, (including tranquil abiding, shamata, cutting through, and leaping through)

Contact us for more information!:

info1 @ taosemko .com (remove spaces)