The Most Powerful Technique in Tantra – Transfiguration

Dear Reader,

Think of the last time you let yourself get really steamed about something insignificant…

Maybe your spouse left the toilet seat up again. Maybe in her zeal to clean, your roommate threw out a newspaper or magazine you wanted…

and that one little thing just stuck in your craw for the rest of the day.

And it didn’t just sit, did it? It festered. And it grew. And soon your bad feelings brought up the bad feelings from every previous time your loved one left the seat up, or threw something out. And your resentment, ill feelings, and anger grew. And then you started remembering other things he/she did “wrong” in the past…

In other words, here was a simple, small event. You took the feelings you associate with that simple, small event.

And you repeated them (the memory of the experience and the feelings), over and over in your mind,

adding more emotional content as you went,

and adding in more images (previous occurrences, or things that might have happened but didn’t:

“what if he had thrown out something that really mattered?” “what if I fell in and got stuck?”), and added more emotions

until this one amplified event, and all of its emotional baggage, was your sole focus for the rest of the day.

And then what? Maybe you sulked. Maybe your picked a fight. Maybe you did something to “take a stand” or get even. And the event faded into the background, until the next time, and the pattern will start all over again, this time even more intense.

Now – if you allowed yourself to re-experience those feelings just now, having done this exercise with me here, you may have noticed the incredible power of your own mind to control your mood, activity, and relationships with others.

Especially when your mind combines memory, focused visualization, sensory input, and emotional content, and repeats and amplifies them all, over and over.

That is, after all, what you just did. And you probably realize that this “technique” has the power not only to change your perception of reality, but to actually change your reality itself.

If you chose not to dwell on the event, your day would’ve been fairly clear, and quite possibly fairly enjoyable.

But if you obsess, dwell on it, and amplify… your day went completely differently. You drove to work angry, or took it out on your kids, or picked a fight with the “guilty” party, or withheld affection, or withheld sex, etc…

And if you keep repeating the pattern, you may break up, or divorce. Now your little mental-and-emotional focus-amplify-and-repeat “technique” has radically altered the course of your day, week, or even life.

You may already do this mental technique out of habit, but it affects your mood, attitude, performance, and relationships with everyone in your life!

If this email is hitting close to home, then you have been doing the *reverse* of the most important technique in Tantra.

Tantra is known as the “transformation path”. the most important technique in Tantra is called “transfiguration”.

What does transfiguration mean?

According to the dictionary,

Transfigure (vt) : to change so as to glorify or exalt.

Reverse transfiguration, then, would be the process of changing so as to profane, disparage, or belittle. That’s what we do when we obsess about the little, negative things that really don’t matter – our pet peeves.

You’ve just seen the power of reverse transfiguration to destroy your mood, your day, and your relationships. Yeeech! Who wants that?

So, what then does the exceptional practitioner of tantra do differently? How can you completely change your mood, your day, and your life, using the technique you already do, out of habit?

And if you do the technique out of habit, then that means that the technique is something you’re already good at, right?!! We just need to tweak it so it helps you.

Here’s the little twist you’ll put on it:

The exceptional practitioner transfigures a person or situation so as to glorify or exalt it’s highest aspect, an aspect that already exists.
And that higher aspect is always there – no matter how subtle or difficult to find…

So here’s how you are going to make transfiguration your friend, instead of your undoing:

Find something wonderful (but real) that exists within a loved one, or, if you want to transfigure yourself, a trait that exists within you. Smile. The something can be subtle, or obvious. You can start with a feeling.

Be aware of that special something, however subtle it may be. Smile.
Stay with the feeling. Circulate the feeling throughout your whole
body. Smile.

Now amplify the feelings, and if other feelings like love, compassion, or awe, devotion, etc., appear, join them with the original feeling.

Continue to amplify, and gently send the good feelings back towards your loved one, and towards your own self-image.

Repeat, smile, amplify, give back, and enjoy, again and again. This is the simple version of transfiguration, but, like its reverse, it is extremely powerful.

Start with a feeling. Then expand it and give it back.

Do this positive transfiguration for at least a few minutes a day, everyday. This is real tantra. Transfigure your lover, your self, your “enemies”, your friends. Transfigure politicians, or criminals.
Transfigure your own concept of divinity, whatever that might be.
Start with some small aspect, and expand from there!

Transfigure your lover before, during, and after you make love together. Without expectations!
Transfigure the food you eat at mealtimes.
Transfigure the act of sleeping.

An important point: Transfiguration is *not* fabrication and amplification of a false, fantasy version of the person or situation.
This is what Freud calls “crystallization.” Crystallization is not tantra! Transfiguration should not be an excuse to turn a blind eye to obstacles.

The point of transfiguration is to take something wonderful, however small it might be, something that is *already there* in the person or situation, to amplify that something, and to give it back, continuously. To live your life practically, aware of everything, while amplifying the exalted.

Your relationships will improve, your moods will improve, and your everyday life will effortlessly become a spiritual practice.
Transfiguration can be done anywhere, anytime…

However, use some sense and don’t do visualizations while operating
heavy machinery!

We cover much more of the powerful, practical techniques of transfiguration in the Intermediate Year of our distance learning course (The Online College of Tantric Yogas).

Smile, breathe right, and keep your tongue up!

Your Friend,

Tao Semko

  • November 30, 2012