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My Introduction to Kashmir Shaivism

In today's fast-paced world, wouldn't it be great to be able to step into timelessness? Into the eternal present? Into the Here and Now?

Today there is so much information. So many Facebook posts, so many tweets, so much news, so many things to deal with during the day. As a result, the most important thing often gets covered up - the Here and Now. But the truth is that the Here and Now is available to us at any moment. All we have to do is turn towards it.

To tell you a bit about how I learned to access the Here and #Now, I'd like to take you into my past. It was in the mid 1990's that I discovered a philosophy called Kashmir Shaivism, a tantric Indian philosophy. In the year 2000, I undertook a Masters on Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. I specialised in Kashmir Shaivism because I wanted to learn about it in depth. Now, I know a lot of people get turned off by the word "philosophy" because it seems so complicated and obscure. But the great thing about Kashmir Shaivism is that it is a philosophy of realisation, of enlightenment. And it is a philosophy that above all must be lived. It must come off the page if it is to become alive in you. And this is the thing that I most love about Kashmir Shaivism: It can be applied to day to day life right here and now, there is no need to retreat to a monastery, a cave, or a mountain top. Of course, the monastery and the mountaintop have their place; they can offer a concentrated environment for spiritual practice. But who has time to do this in today's world?

Through my studies of #Shaivism, I have come to understand that the wisdom of Kashmir Shaivism is available wherever we may be. This is because it is primarily about #Consciousness. Kashmir Shaivism states that this entire universe, including you and me, is nothing but Consciousness, and if we truly understand our identity as this Consciousness, we will be realised, enlightened.

How to do this? Kashmir Shaivism recommends both theory and practice: Scriptural study and the practice of meditation. Shaivite scripture is in a sense a map. It's a technology. It gives us the tools to recognise and understand our true nature and become established in it. Kashmir Shaivism is firmly rooted in the world while transcending it. It encompasses all aspects of our daily life. In the next post, I will explore an absolutely essential thing we need for our day to day life: The body....


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