Nyasa (Psychic Protection)
Learning to confer psychic protection on yourself and your lover is an integral part of Tantric training. Psychic protection prevents energy leakage from the "inside" and the intrusion of polluting influences from the "outside." You can do it for yourself, but ideally it should be done by lovers for each other as a preliminary to love-making. Psychic protection plays a major role in all ritual acts and endows the person with a feeling of self-confidence and invulnerability. Energy can be lost through the nine body orifices: the mouth, nose, two eyes, two ears, the top of the head, the anus, and the sexual organ. Energy may also be dissipated through the pores of the skin, the fingertips, toes, the navel region, and especially through the Subtle Body. Tantric Yogis developed simple techniques for preventing such energy losses. The main principle is the concentration or focusing of consciousness on the various parts of the physical and Subtle Body, "seeing" the body and imagining the Subtle Body as a field of force, with energy vortexes at the psychic centers. By an act of Will, linked to the touching of parts of the body lightly with the fingertips, all openings can be "sealed." This ritual of touching the various body parts is known as Nyasa, which means "placing," and should be accompanied by visualization of the "openings" being sealed. The rites of psychic protection provide an ordered awakening of consciousness throughout the body. The parts identified in the ritual correspond to the erogenous zones. The effect is twofold: first, energy loss or "psychic pollution" is guarded against; and second, there is an overall excitation that generates an increase in erotic energy. Various traditions differ in the order of the parts of the body to be touched. Some advise starting at the feet and moving up to the head; others, beginning at the head and touching parts of the body until reaching the feet. Still other traditions suggest beginning at the right foot and advancing up the right side of the body until the top of the head is reached, and then reversing the procedure until the left toe is reached. The following typical but rather complex ordering is found in the Mahanirvana Tantra, a late Hindu work: top of head, forehead, eyes, ears, earlobes, nostrils, cheeks, lips, teeth, chin, neck, fingertips, palms, wrists, lower and upper arms, shoulders, chest, heart region, navel, thighs, ankles, insteps, toes, and finally, the sexual organ. A simplified version— top of head, throat, hands, navel, feet, and sexual organ—is equally effective, provided the mind is correctly focused. It is, above all else, the mental attitude that creates a potent protective field. The establishment of a field of psychic protection should be part of every love-act, and is ideally suited to foreplay. Many couples experience sudden and unaccountable feelings of fear or loss during particularly passionate love-making. Simple psychic protection will prevent this. A positive aura or golden cosmic egg should be visualized surrounding you both, protecting you against the entry of polluting or disturbing forces from the outside, and at the same time conserving your inner vitality. This mystic "circle" or "sphere of protection" is taught in all magical traditions. It should be visualized by both partners and made more real by moving the hands in such a way that its limits are clearly defined in the mind's eye. This can take place in the mind or can be externalized through ritual, using sweeping gestures of arms and hands to create a protective field around you both. Touching of various parts of the body should be incorporated into this rite for the stimulation and release of erotic energy. One of the simplest methods of selfprotection is to move your arms in circular sweeps from the navel outward while visualizing the flow of energy and imagining that it is protecting the whole psycho-organism. This type of protective "dance of the hands" can also be performed on your partner's body. Given a positive mental attitude, you'll both experience an immediate feeling of invulnerability and energization. When touching any part of the body, do so with the consciousness focused and the attention directed. Dance can be a form of psychic protection, and many cultures use dance in this way, as a prelude to rites of initiation. The kiss, the scratch, and the embrace are all aspects of psychic protection. The Kama Sutra lists the forehead, eyes, cheeks, throat, breasts, lips, mouth, thighs, arms, and navel as places particularly suited to kissing. Kissing with the intention of conferring psychic protection is an effective measure and help distribute the energies of love in a balanced and harmonious way. Couples often find themselves unconsciously wishing "psychic protection" on each other during foreplay or before separation. Try to incorporate psychic protection into your relationship, without self-consciousness or exaggeration. It's a wonderful means of increasing intimacy and ensuring that the energies of love are not dissipated. Psychic protection effectively guards against negative influences and increases the potency of love-making.