Swami Chetanananda’s teachings arise from the understanding of the true purpose of our life on earth: that we are in this world to grow. We are here to grow spiritually, to reach a higher and finer state, to express the unimaginable possibility that exists in each of us.
We grow through doing our spiritual work, which is releasing tension and allowing the creative energy of life, our kundalini, to flow. We use our meditation practice to help us learn to circulate energy through our system of chakras and channels, releasing tensions in us and changing our state to one of expanded awareness.
Swamiji summarizes the whole of spiritual practice in the concepts of contact, alignment and flow. These principles apply on every level: physical, mental/emotional, and energetic.
First, we make contact with our breath and our body, and through linking our breath and awareness, we are able to focus on the circulation of our creative energy or kundalini. We bring our awareness to each of the main chakras in turn, creating a natural alignment between them. We align our mind and emotions with our creative energy using our wish to grow as a focus. When the chakras are open and aligned, energy can flow through them and from them into the field of our life. We absorb the feedback and continue to cycle the energy through energetic mechanism. This process transforms our life completely.
To have a taste of this experience, try this guided meditation:
Receiving the love and teachings of Swamiji awakened me to a greater creative potential within myself. I am endlessly grateful for Swamiji and the community of extraordinary individuals the have been impacted by his life and work. His voice and teaching illuminates my path and guides me as I step into creative possibilities and a deeper connection to the world.
The Four Pillars of Spiritual Practice:
Swamiji teaches that there are four main components to our spiritual endeavor:
1. The wish to grow: The wish to grow, to realize our highest potential, is the foundation of our spiritual practice. It expresses our intention, our purpose and our guiding principle. When it is sincerely and deeply felt, it provides a way to navigate through anything life presents us.
2. The presence of a teacher: Although the idea that teachers aren’t necessary is becoming more popular these days, having a teacher or mentor is an integral part of the tantric tradition. The teacher functions as an energy source, a source of wisdom and counsel, and a support to help us overcome obstacles, tensions and confusion.
3. The circulation of creative energy: The essence of the practice is to keep our energy in a state of flow. Over time, we develop the capacity to keep our energy expanding and rising. We reach higher and higher states of awareness, until we understand that we are one with the creative energy of Life Itself.
4. Service: The result of our practice is the desire and capacity to give back in service. The natural response to what we have received is the expression of gratitude.
“Sadhana is about training ourselves to hold the awareness of our body and our breath and the energy of Life itself purely and completely in a moment, to dissolve ourselves in bliss over and over and over again until we’re liberated from every delusion about life on Earth. This brings us complete happiness, unfathomable abundance and unimaginable possibility to bring benefit into the lives of others.”
Śrī Vidyā Tradition and the Śrī Chakra Practice
For the last 40 years, Swami Chetanananda has practiced the Śrī Chakra puja, a sadhana in which the goddess Tripurasundarī is worshipped with mudras, mantra and offerings. Swamiji has distilled the practice, which is traditionally rather elaborate, into its essential components so that is simple to perform, while preserving its potency. His extensive teachings, complete instructions for performing the puja, and comprehensive resources are available in an online course, The Goddess and the Śrī Chakra Practice.
To Learn More:
To discover more of Swami Chetanananda’s teachings:
- Explore books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs and streaming videos by Swamiji available from Rudra Press;
- Take an online course through the e-TMC Academy;
- Watch videos of talks on Swamiji’s YouTube channel;
- Attend programs at The Movement Center in Portland;
- Follow Swamiji’s teaching posts on Facebook;
- Read articles and interview transcripts
“Over many years, I have witnessed personally the relentless love and compassion which Swamiji has offered to so many, across many philosophical traditions and lineages. Through the many trials and tribulations of life, Swamiji has remained consistent and steady, always looking for the best way to move the consciousness needle forward. He is an absolute warrior, blazing a path to full Self Realization for all that want to walk with him.”
–Marc Ketchel (Swami Sivananda)