Articles from Ipsalu Tantra Newsletters

We will post on this page articles from recent Ipsalu Tantra newsletters. If you would like to register to receive our newsletter, please do so on the right.
January 2011 - Cobra Breath -
What is the Cobra Breath? And What can it Do for Me?

A key practice of Ipsalu Tantra is the Cobra Breath. This practice has a transformational effect on the body and can open us up to higher spiritual experiences. It is a safe way to awaken Kundalini energy, a very powerful source of energy in the body, centred at the base of the spine. We will discuss Kundalini energy in a future newsletter.

We work with the Cobra Breath through seven different levels. The first four of these levels are taught through initiation. The final three levels are received intuitively through meditation. The first level of the Cobra Breath is designed to do a number of things. First, it opens an energy channel in the spine and allows energy to rise from the base of the spine to the head. In the head, brain cells which have been dormant are activated, increasing our perception, sensitivity and creativity. We can began to experience life more fully and act more powerfully. It also opens the third eye, which can increase our psychic powers and our 'witness consciousness' ... our ability to experience our emotions and observe them at the same time. This will be important as we progress through higher levels of the Cobra Breath. The first level breath is also a very effective way to transmute sexual energy into forms that can be absorbed into the body for good health and spiritual evolution.

 The second level of the Cobra Breath opens a second energy channel in the spine and energy is circulated through this channel and the channel opened in the previous level of the breath. At this point we are balancing these 2 channels, which are considered masculine and feminine respectively. This balancing is key to progressing to the next level. We also open the three lower Charis with the second level. It is in these chakras that unresolved emotional hurts are often stored. So opening these chakras can release these old emotions for healing. This can sometimes be a difficult experience but it is really liberating to finally let go of these old, confining emotions. Witness consciousness, developed with the first level of the breath, helps us to deal effectively with this transformation.

The third level of the breath opens a third channel in the spine and allows the powerful Kindling energy to rise. it also opens the heart and throat chakra and connects all of the first 6 chakras together. Up to this point, we have been working within our own energy bodies.

With the fourth level of the breath, we open the crown chakra and connect to the wider energy of the universe. As I said earlier, the higher three levels beyond this are received individually through meditation.The journey we take through the four levels of the Cobra Breath is very significant. In Ipsalu Tantra, each level of the breath is presented through a class where you will learn and experience a series of practices appropriate to the changes you will move through during your practice of that particular level. And you will take away a CD with a structured practice which will enable you to consolidate what you have learned on the class through regular practice.

The gifter of the Cobra breath is Babaji, who is also the gifter of all Kriya Yoga practices. The Cobra Breath is traditionally taught only through word of mouth by an accredited and initiated teacher to ensure that both teacher and student have been properly prepared. There are different versions of the Cobra Breath which have been handed down from Babaji through the various Kriya Yoga traditions and you will be drawn to a version which is most appropriate for you. We will cover Babaji and the Kriya lineage in a future newsletter.

In future newsletter articles we will discuss Kundalini awakening, Cobra Breath, the value and form of a daily practice ... and various other topics. And if you would like to suggest a topic, please feel free to do so.
April 2011 - Is this Ipsalu Tantra about Sex? And is that all it is About?

Many people who contact us have heard about Tantric Sex and are both drawn to that (most of us would like to improve our sex lives and have better relationships, wouldn't we) and are a little concerned about it too. So let us explain a little. The answers to the questions above are yes and no respectively.

 A key aspect of Ipsalu Tantra is really coming into our bodies and experiencing the joy of really living there. And probably the most important and vital energy in the body is sex energy. It is this energy primarily that gives us our life force and zest for living. So a key aspect of this work is working with sex energy. We learn how to work with it for good health, for spiritual development and, yes, for good sex lives. And you don't need a partner to begin this journey. In fact, it is usually important for most of us, even if we are in a relationship, to learn how to work with sex energy purely within our own bodies. People sometimes say 'Do I need a partner to come on a workshop?'. And the answer, very clearly, is 'no'. Most people come on these workshops as singles and even couples will need to work on the practices we teach on their own to start with. But if you are in a relationship the practices you learn will help you to understand your partner better and build a better relationship. And they will also help you to improve your lovemaking and become a better lover.

People also sometimes have a question, spoken or in their minds, if they will be asked to have sexual intercourse with someone on the workshop. In Ipsalu Tantra there is no explicit sexual activity on our level 1 and level 2 classes. There is a sacred Maithuna ritual on an advanced class where there is an opportunity to come into sexual union with a committed or chosen partner, but even here the union can be an energetic union rather than a physical union and this is an optional part of even the advanced class. The practices are all very respectful and nurturing.

And in answer to the second question in the heading above, yes there is very much more to Ipsalu Tantra than sexual practices. Tantra means 'liberation through expansion' and the implication here is that we achieve liberation by expanding our consciousness. We live in a very small reality, where we define ourselves in terms of our limitations. These limitations are imposed by our society and accepted during conditioning in childhood and through life. As we learn to identify with a larger truth, we begin to live more freely. In an expanded state, you will find your true Self.


July - 2011 - Meditation Practice

We continue here a series of articles on different aspects of the Ipsalu Tantra work. Here we describe a very specific meditation practice taught in Ipsalu Tantra. The articles published here can also be found consolidated on our website,

Along with the Cobra Breath, another key aspect of this work is the meditation practice we recommend which incorporates the Cobra Breath. This is an active form of meditation with the following steps:

First: Activate energies in the body

Second: Still the mind

Third: Arouse sexual energy

Fourth: Transmute passion

Fifth: Enjoy the blissful state.

Activate energies in the body: We teach a number of practices designed to activate body energy and to draw energy into the body. These are simple but powerful yoga techniques, such as the Rishi Isometrics. These are described in the recommended books and taught on the level 1 weekend class. However, if you have your own favourite practices for activating the body, this can also be used instead.

Still the mind: With the body activated, we focus on stilling the mind. A still mind allows the ego to step aside and cosmic energy/ consciousness to enter the body. Doing this practice with the body active, allows us to go into a deep meditative state without leaving our body. Practices such as watching the breath work here and we teach more specific breath exercises on our various classes.

Arouse sex energy: Within this infinite stillness, the rhythm of the earth is called forth. In this context the juicy creative force takes on an extraordinary quality. You feel the primal energy which manifested the physical universe. We teach a series of practices including specific yogic practices and more fun, playful practices.

Transmute passion: In this step we lift and refine that creative force and blend it with heavenly consciousness. The first level of the Cobra Breath does this and the reference books contain other, simpler ways to do this.

Enjoy: the blissful state we have created. This might include some grounding exercises such as singing, dancing and drumming … or just moving into our day in this state.

Further details of this practice can be found in the book 'The Ipsalu Formula – A Method for TantraBliss by Bodhi Avinasha.


October 2011

 Filaments of Light

I want to begin by thanking Bodhi, Sunyata, Ravi Sing Khalsa, Hunbats Men, Dr Wang, Siddhanath, Namkhai Norbu, head priest at Ekambareswarar temple in Tamil Nadu, Gopi Krishna, Dr. Jayadeva at the Yoga Institute in SantaCruz, Mumbai (conducting research in yoga and science since 1954), Geshe Kyelsang Gyatso, Abdul Mati Klarwein, Peter from Kashmir, the wise women of Lepenski Vir, and too many others. Thank you all, you helped me so much in accepting the experiences described below. It all could have been an overheated imagination, madness, or as Scrooge would have it, an underdone potato.

Bodhi recently called me about the pathways of key nadis and their relationship to the physical body. If you have read only a small portion of the work available on chakras and symbols or energy systems as described in a number of cultures it begins to seem boggling.

In the plethora of spiritual experts there is a pattern. First there is the person who has the experience. Then that person or someone nearby tries to intellectually describe the experience and inevitably uses a language of symbols
couched in meaning. An example is the seer Socrates and the explainer Plato. Socrates would be unknown to us were it not for Plato and Plato would be unknown were it not for Socrates. However, the bulk of the voices in the Platonic tradition have not had the experience nor know anyone who has. Yet their writing is prolific.

So it is with Tantra. It is in this light that I will do my best to reply to the question of what the nadis are and where they are located.

My spiritual journey, like many of you, began with extraordinary and unexplainable experiences and a quest to find the nature of these experiences. While this began in childhood, I will start with a kundalini accident that happened in my 20's. The event was terrifying and absolutely overwhelming. I thought I was going crazy and avoided all spiritually stimulating activities and switched to martial arts for nearly ten years. I had read about nadis and chakras but none of that mapped to what I experienced.

Then I read Kundalini by Gopi Krishna and found an experience like mine. He spent twelve years going from guru to pandit searching for an answer and came up empty handed. With his guidance I reentered yoga. After trying a few other yoga systems I found this system with the graduated Cobra breath series. This addressed what I thought was my key problem, I had raised the fire aspect of kundalini before the earth and water aspects. With great enthusiasm I did the practices and when I discovered that there would be a teacher training in 1991 I signed up.

Under Bodhi and Sunyata's coaching the internal events I was experiencing dramatically increased. They also diverged into areas that had no nearby answers. So I took refuge in the oldest Tibetan school, Nyingma, and began
studying with Dr Wang, a 9th generation chi doctor. My reading increased, looking to find answers to the internal evolution. Patterns of similarity began to form between Celtic tree practices and Chinese tree breathing, English stone circles, Egyptian solar breathing to find earth energy lines, techniques to locate sites for temples in southern India, and Mayan techniques to site pyramids. Many more experiences began to cross reference as well.
Having said all this, the following descriptions are from experience. I don't know what they mean but they are woven into all the communications with the guides and teachers along the way.

Lets start with the spinal cord and work our way out.

The filaments of light in the spinal cord, like the rest of the body are from three to about seven millimeters in diameter. In cross section, the core is void and it is continually coming into being. As it comes into being there is a rainbow corona formed that condenses at the outer edge (picture the walls of a tube). In addition there is a corona that fades in intensity to about six to ten mm outside the wall of the nadi, depending on the energy work you are
doing. These filaments of light are more alive than the physical body and more active. They are constantly moving and changing. The filaments of light, or nadis if you prefer, permeate the body and extend beyond the surface of the body. Alex Grey has paintings that show this.

Around the spinal cord these filaments are like viewing a city at night where all the streets are moving and changing. Unlike the city this is in three or more dimensions. At points along the spine there are areas of increased density. Probably chakras, again I don't know what this means I am just describing it. At the center of these concentrations there is a void that seems to spin without spinning when you look at it. The filaments enter and exit this
void from all possible directions. There is also a hint that many are coming into and going out of being. From other dimensions? I don't know.

Picture yourself as a yogi trying to explain this vast universe within. How would you do it? By simplifying. It is becoming more and more clear that the many if not all of the authors of the tantras are sincerely trying to describe
and explain the expanded nature they perceive.

The simplified instruction becomes a series of signposts. But a signpost is much simpler than the city it indicates. Lets consider the signposts Ida, Pingala, Sushumna, and Citrini. We instruct people to do exercises with the
mental constructs so that the perception that the body already knows will be easily discovered. We begin with a workable set of hints as to color, shape, direction, and meaning then use the practice to show us what the intellect is unable to picture. Now some will see, some will hear, some will feel the body knowledge, like the blind men and the elephant. Those who see will see with the third eye, those who hear will hear the unstruck sound, and those who feel will feel beyond the limit of the skin. Who has the best description?

We all do. As long as our focus is on seeing for ourselves and helping others to do so. The description that works best for one will not work best for all. When we get a description we use it until we have the perception. As a teacher, be ready to use a range of descriptions that all point the same way. Always be ready to set the description aside and let the perception happen. Then, if you want, find a way to confirm it. Be ready to know that nature is more than we can ever describe.

For this world of light extends beyond the body to all living things through a rainbow bridge of hearts from the mountains to the sea. And this living envelope of life that permeates the world is also connected to all the stones,
the ley lines, the nadis of the earth. And the nadis of the earth reach to the stars and planets and all their life. All this is a pretty big topic. Too much for now but you can try to find someone who knows tree breathing or breathing the sun and the moon. Or you can connect the third level Cobra with the North Star. Enough for now.

It connects all of us together. We have been lost for a very long time yet our generation is finding the way home. Through our breath, maithuna, jyotish, offerings of gratitude, and friendly conversations with the person at the cash

Let's do what it takes to awaken this rainbow bridge of hearts.

- Kirby Jacobson

PS: and even with all this I still have to pay my bills and sometimes wake up
cranky with a sore back.

December 2011

Heart Magic

This short piece is taken from the book 'Tantra Bliss' by Bodhi Avinasha. See if you resonate with it ...

When you are in your heart, your desires are not for personal gratification. You want what is best for all, realising that you are one with all. You make yourself available as an instrument by which changes can be wrought, in service to the greatest good. True satisfaction comes only when Ego subordinates its agenda to Soul.

When ego is in a state of surrender, when your heart is attuned to the Infinite, you automatically find yourself in a magical place. On many occasions your thoughts manifest, almost instantly. You think of someone and they call you, or you encounter them in an unlikely place. You become aware of the need for some item, and someone offers it to you. Small miracles happen so frequesntly, you begin to take them for granted. The 'magic' happens not because you are efforting to impose your will on existence, but rather because you make yourself at one with Existence and it totally supports you.

Surrender requires enormous trust, a surety that Existence will always give you what is in your best interests, even if it isn't what you thought you needed.

March 2012

Dealing with Old Stuck Emotions

I have studied with and worked with Tantra for around 20 years now. I have experienced many Tantra teachers and seen many Tantra students.  And one of the things that strikes me most powerfully is the need in Tantra to deal with old emotional hurts and the almost equally powerful resistance that people have to do this.

The appeal of coming fully into our bodies and really feeling fully alive and filled with ecstatic energy is undeniable. Who would not want such an experience? But our bodies, and particularly our lower chakras, is the place where many old emotional hurts are stored. And if we don't make the effort to deal with these, we can become uncontrollable demons!!! I have had more arguments and disputes with people in Tantra than in any other aspect of my life. It is not a pleasant expereince and it is sometimes quite shocking to see very experienced teachers and very experienced practitioners behave in very patterned ways, totally unaware that they are running on old stored emotions from many years back which do not serve them any longer. And if they are not aware of this, they cannot do anything about it. We talk about opening the lower chakras in the level 2 Cobra Breath and associated practices. Opening these chakras does not prevent us from triggering old hurts. But if our chakras are fully open, we should be aware that we have triggered such a hurt and recognise where it came from .... 'oh, it's that old one again'. We will still feel emotion and may feel an inclination to act from that emotion but we are, hopefully, more able to act rationally. Before I came to Tantra, I spent more than 10 years working with emotional release techniques. I am very glad that I did. I once met a woman who told me 'My next partner has to be a man who has been through therapy'. We had a laugh about this. She didn't mean that she wanted a man who was very disturbed but she did mean that she wanted a man with the awareness of someone who has dealt with old emotional issues.

There are many ways of dealing with emotional hurts. And you may have your own preferred methods. That is great. Keep using those tools. But we do introduce you to 3 tools for dealing with old emotions on the level 1 workshop. Two of these rely on movement of energy and one is a dialogue method. The two energetic methods are the Osho Dynamic Meditation and the Firebreath Emotional Flow. My favourite between these is the Firebreath Emotional Flow. I find that it works very quickly to clear emotional energy blockages. It works on the principle of generating energy at the base of the spine and then using breath and body movement to flow the energy though our bodies. When the energy encounters blockages, it pushes through the blockage, creating an emotional release. The key to this technique is sometimes to spend a little time to get the technique right.

The third method is the 'What's present Now' dialogue. In this we work with a partner, though we could do it alone, to explore what emotions are present in our body, where they are stored and what message they have for us.

If you have been on the level 1 class, I encourage you to experiment with these techniques .... and if you have not, I encourage you to come and experience them!

June 2012

Witness Consciousness

The only remedy for darkness is turning on the light. The only cure for memories recorded without the benefit of consciousness is to invite those images and feelings into awareness while you are fully conscious and present. Consciousness always has the choice of running away until the storm is over or staying present and observing the process as a Silent Witness. If you run away you miss the opportunity to learn an important lesson. Then Existence has to create another similar situation to give you yet another opportunity. If you stay present, you begin the healing process. There simply is no other way. Every master has taught the principle of Witness Consciousness.

From the position of witness, you see the limited mind for what it is.You observe it in action and learn its patterns and agendas. Remember why you chose to experience this particular illusion. Let your compulsion to control give way to a deep surrender to Existence, trusting that everyrhing is in Divine Order.

When emotions come to the surface, experience them to the depths, with your Higher Self fully present. When you can be totally subjective and totally objective at the same time, you are operating as a unified being. - A Method for Tantra Bliss p.53.

This is a simple teaching, present in different forms in nearly all paths and teachings. And it is one that I am trying hard to apply to myself and this work in the face of some very trying times - see below!!

September 2012

The Ipsalu Tantra Paradigm

This paradigm represents the core of the ipsalu Tantra work:

Self-realisation – honouring the divine in yourself and others and understanding that separation is an illusion. Remaining connected to your essence (soul) and distinguishing between the demands of the ego and the soul’s purpose. All is in divine order.

Self –responsibility – view life from the perspective that all your experiences are self created. Change happens when you resolve your own issues and make shifts within. View others as cooperative partners who are helping you to learn the lessons that your soul has chosen. Note the difference from a focus on the ego’s ideals and desires.

Be the Witness – disengage from self defeating patterns and limiting beliefs. Maintain a non- judgmental consciousness of your actions and process, accepting both light and shadow.

Fulfilment/Empowerment- understand that the desires of the ego are attempts to compensate for deep feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. Creative power comes through surrender of the ego to the soul. Provide yourself with the love that has been missing. When you live in the cosmic flow, your life becomes a magical series of synchronicities.

Earth/body centred- celebrate life on the earthly plane and embrace all aspects of your humanity. Care for your body temple and honour the senses. Learn to create heaven on earth. Live with presence to each moment.

Balancing Polarities – bring Shiva and Shakti into balance and harmony. Shakti, the feminine polarity is creative, dynamic life force (orgasmic energy). Shiva, the masculine polarity is clarity and stillness consciousness). Balancing these energies prepares the body for Kundalini activation.

Kundalini Awakening – is an expanded consciousness marked by continuing Bliss, integrity, access to deep, profound wisdom and genius. This higher vibration requires preparation of mind and body through spiritual practice. The Ipsalu Formula/Cobra Breath is designed for this.

Health/Longevity – changes in life style and practice lead to greater amounts of life sustaining subtle energies cleansing the body and reorganising the DNA.

Service/Universal Love – anything that is not love can come up to be healed. The greatest service is to love unconditionally and make a difference to the lives of others.

Relationship – relationships are the vehicles through which we come to understand the dance between duality and oneness. Reconnecting love and sex in Tantric partnership brings deeper intimacy and more satisfying sexual experience. Choices in alternate styles of relating (mono vs. poly or hetero vs. homo) are personal preferences and not a part of this paradigm.

Spiritual/sexual energy – learn that sexual energy can be transmuted to accelerate spiritual growth. Heal the splits between sex and spirit through Tantric sharing of energies with a lover.

Ipsalu Formula – activate the body, still the mind, arouse sexual energy, transmute, enjoy! The frequent experience of Bliss is essential to the health of human beings.

Summarised from The Ipsalu Formula: A method for TantraBliss by Bodhi Avinasha