Sacred Geometry: Using Sri Yantras for Meditation
The Sri Yantra is an ancient sacred symbol used for meditation to help achieve higher states of consciousness. Mediating on it is thought to enable the activation of the pineal gland (Third Eye) and aid manifestation. The visual patterns are said to also be able to connect the right-hand lobe of brain with the left-hand , thus helping balance and improving mental performance. The Vedas explain the Shree Yantra as a scientific, cosmic and planetary energy zone.
From the perspective of yogic metaphysics, all visible things have travelled from unmanifested states of existence to manifested ones. Babies, buildings, and creative ideas arise from the unseen and become embodied. Even consciousness itself arises from the unseen, and the result of its manifestation is that each of us possesses a sense of individual awareness.
The yoga scriptures describe individual consciousness by saying that it is like a wave arising out of an ocean of pure consciousness. The two are naturally and eternally linked. And in a Sri Yantra, this link between finite and infinite reality, between individual awareness and pure consciousness, is symbolized by a point.
Sages remind us that it is through this central point that we travel in our meditative journey from individual consciousness back to pure consciousness. The theme is found in the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali’s classic manual on yoga, where he describes meditation as a process in which we learn to rest our awareness on a single point. As meditation deepens, this focal point acts as a pivot to turn the flow of attention inward.
How to Meditate with a Sri Yantra
- Start by gazing into the yantra, taking in all the different shapes and patterns while holding your eyes loosely in focus.
- Then gaze at the center of the yantra, at the Bindu point which represents the unity that underlies all the diversity of the physical world. (where Shakti and Shiva, female and male aspects are united). Recognize that this represent the Oneness of all, the divinity point.
- Without moving your eyes, gradually expand your vision to include the surrounding triangles. The five superimposed downward pointing triangles represent Shakti ; the feminine creative power, the womb of creation and four upright triangles, representing Shiva ; the male energy, movement, and transformation. Acknowledge the feminine creative power and male energy these represent. These nine interlocking triangles form forty three small triangles that surround the Bindu point in 4 layers, each triangle represent a deity associated with a particular aspect of existence.
- Allow your vision to expand to include the circles outside of the triangles. They represent the cycles of cosmic rhythms. The image of the circle embodies the notion that time has no beginning and no end. The farthest region of space and the innermost nucleus of an atom both pulsate with the same rhythmic energy of creation. That rhythm is within you and without you.
- Bring your awareness to lotus petals outside the circles. The lotus also represents the heart, the seat of the Self, you are the divinity point seated in the center. The leaves open outwards, illustrating our hearts opening, and as this happens so does the unfolding of our understanding. When the heart opens, understanding comes.
- The square at the outside of the yantra represents the material world and is called the “earth citadel”.
- You have just let your mind travel from the divine point, to the aspects that start to create, and represent the material world, to the material world formed by the illusion of separateness that our earthly senses show us. These patterns of creativity represented by these primordial shapes express the fundamental forces of nature.
- Further out, on the edges of the square are four T-shaped portals, or gateways. Notice that they point toward the interior of the yantra, the inner spaces of life. Let them guide you back from the external and material back to the internal and sacred. The expanding outwards, is the creation, reconstruction of the 3rd dimensional world from the divine .
- Slowly re-focus back to the center of the yantra, mediation on the dissolution 3rd dimensional world, back to the divine Bindu point. Shift your awareness inward and close your eyes. Now watch the yantra imprinted in your mind’s eye and allow it to gradually guide you within.
- Do nothing, and just participate in the pure consciousness without the mind defining it.
- Whenever you are ready, take a few deep breaths, open your eyes and become aware of your surroundings once again.