My dear friend and climbing buddy Steve passed away recently and I’m thinking of the adventures we shared. I miss our conversations honoring our dogged persistence. I feel he made it to a summit first, where we, his friends, will join him soon and we’ll celebrate the climb. Time will surely yield to Now.
The closer we are to god, the more pleasurable our experience is. When the body is toned and tuned it vibrates waves of wellbeing. Just as pain is the body’s means of letting us know something is wrong, joyous physicality signals when things are as they should be. When we are balanced and healthy, being is a sensual experience.
The practice of yoga awakens the sensual being that is in each of us. Being able to love one’s self is necessary in order to love others. Loving others is necessary to be able to love one’s self. Each of us can work with what we have—the power to change our self—and every life that touches ours will be affected by our love.
I had the good fortune to have come of age in the early 1960’s. The joke is “if you remember the 60’s, you weren’t there.” It was a wonderfully wild time to be alive and young. I have to chuckle recalling Timothy Leary’s admonition; “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” We were the children taught to get under our desks and cover our heads if there was a nuclear attack; is it any wonder we grew up questioning the accepted reality? One, not living during that accelerated ‘Enlightenment’, can’t begin to imagine the period. As one song yelled “Kick out the Jams… Mother-Fucker!” It amazes me how conservative culture has become—in part a reaction to our concentrated, undisciplined and naive wildness.
“Turn on, Tune in… and Drop-out!” My rebirth had accelerated beyond a place where college related to my experience. A strange brew of experimentation and idealism fueled a lifestyle for many of my generation. Consciousness expanded by grass and psychedelics. A foolish war in Southeast Asia fought against on the home-front. Demanding civil liberty and human rights for racial minorities, sexual diversity, equal status for women — we were the warriors fighting for a New Age, and we found comfort during our struggles in each others arms. A sexual revolution unparalleled raged in a time period when sexually transmitted disease was easily controlled with antibiotics and Aids didn’t exist. Effective birth control was just invented. “Free Love” was our slogan and such a glorious period of random coupling!
You could safely hitchhike, probably picked up by other rebels and offered a joint. Many of us floated around on journeys of discovery. A good friend and kindred spirit, Scott Rund, returned from an extended adventure in Mexico. He had sent me magic mushrooms in a jar of honey he’d been given by a shaman in Wahaca, and on his return showed me two long cylindrical jars full of raw opals The beautiful gemstones were in water and still had bits of the rock they had been imbeded-in attached.
“I’ve decided, every time I sleep with a girl — I’ll give her one of these opals.” I remember thinking what a great idea, a sharing, after a sharing. Little did I realize how many mornings I’d wake after a night of blissful copulation and look over onto the bed stand or dresser of my impromptu perfect lover — and see one of those distinctive beautiful raw opals.
Telling this tale causes me to reflect on some lessons I might share as we are just starting this New Age where once again we’ll be using our bodies in a dance of liberation. This new dawn of Tantra. How easy it is when you have many varied partners to see them merge in your awareness, to be all one woman — each woman, all femininity. Yourself — represent all masculinity. How easy — especially then, on psychedelics — now, the heightened conscious gained through yoga making the drug no longer necessary — to merge with your partner in your embrace. A yin/yang with the dividing boundary dissolved, flowing into each other — Being One. Realizing that One is Divine. That One is All. That One is Us. We are Love!
So, while Tantra is associated with sexuality, it is essentially a merging with oneness, using the physical plane as a launch pad. We create our own reality says Tantra, and this reality can be in the here and now–in the body through Tantric orgasm. While it is possible to study Tantra for years, learning technique, meditations, and nuances, of the Tantric lifestyle, the very essence of Tantra assumes you already have all the knowledge to become enlightened immediately. DO IT NOW! Life wasn’t meant to be a struggle.
Simply available as a path to experience full enlightenment, Tantra does’t ask you to believe in anything. In fact, it says let go of all belief systems. Seek out a teacher that can guide you through the essential experience. In the experience itself you will discover your oneness with the universe.
courtesy: givinggallery, 2008
Tantra, the art of spiritualising your sexuality, offers practical tools to transmute fear and attachment into love and universal power. Jealousy, possessiveness, guilt and other negative emotions that drain your life-force energy, drop away.
While most fundamentalist religions—even Eastern, Moslem and Christian philosophies focus on the elimination of sensual pleasures, Tantra welcomes the full expression of body pleasure, recognizing that in the body is hidden the “bodiless,” or the spiritual. The body is only layers of invisible energy in form, and it can all be awakened if we let go of the sexual energy.
The art of Tantra should not be mistaken for material hedonism. Perhaps it could be called “spiritual hedonism,” which says, eat, drink and be merry, but with full awareness.” Remain awake as you enter into sex before the old habits come and take over. Just remain conscious of the energy. Tantra says Yes! to sex, Yes! to love, and Yes! Yes! Yes! to unconditional love.
If you can learn to be conscious of the body and the breath, you can become conscious of the Universe. What Buddha said can be said of Tantra, “The truth of the Universe can only be realized within the framework of the physical body.”
The basic difference between unenlightened sex and Tantra, is that Tantra declares “the kingdom of God is within your heart.” In Sanskrit it is called Pinde So Brahamande, “the physical body is the temple of God, and the body is the replica or representation of the entire Cosmos.”
Contemporary society considers neurosis and deviant behavior normal, no more a problem than the common cold. Our present social and cultural structure supports separation and has created division among individuals and nations, manifesting in violence, war and in general a world without beauty and love. Western (and now even Eastern) culture uses sex for manipulation—sexy models being used to sell cars, soap and other products—while the same time suppressing sexual expression. With sex being such a powerful force, we have created the perfect environment for neurosis, and sexual violence.
Tantra says we can celebrate life when the idea of separation, or otherness, disappears from the body and mind, allowing people to meet on all levels of consciousness—physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual. In fact, Tantric partners often consider themselves “soul partners.”
On the Tantric path, we learn to use sexual energy in an extended way, not denying the physical (though nothing is really physical), but going further…deeper…higher. We dance with the electromagnetic force field of our partner, and that dance leads to cosmic oneness. When energy is matched and balanced correctly through a loving surrender with a partner, the sparks fly. In that moment of sexual embrace and energy exchange, a couple may achieve a cosmic orgasm, with their essential selves exiting the body. Those who claim to read auras can often tell if people are Tantrikas. In Tantra we learn to open ourselves to others, not only on the physical but on all levels. “Yes” becomes more prominent in our vocabulary…
In Tantra, sexual energy is used as the ignition for firing the Kundalini force, the body’s biological life-energy system, merging it/you with universal energy. Mystics and metaphysicians call this reaching or achieving Godhead, Nirvana, Samadhi, Mooksha or union with Divinity.
However, unlike Taoism (which stemmed from ancient Tantra) that says bring your energy inside for longevity, Tantra says let it go…let it all go! There is no reason to hang on to anything if eternity exists.
In Tantra, sex is used as the cosmic union of opposites to create the polarity charge, or potential, that connects with the primordial energy from which everything in the universe arises—the totality of ALL.
The body is only layers of invisible energy in form, and can be awakened if we let go of the sexual energy. This is the way of Tantra. It affirms the life energy within you in totality, so that those on this path find themselves whole and self-confident, with a positive panoramic view of everything.
Tantra changes one’s view of relationships as well. Tantrikas are less co-dependent, jealous or neurotic. They tend to be harmonious, fun and energy filled. In the way of Tantra, you also discover that the relationship you seek outside is already within you. You simply need to learn about it and cultivate the Tantric vision, a vital, bliss-filled approach to sex, love and life in general.
Today, many people have been exposed to the use of energy for healing, as with Chinese medicine, Reiki, Touch for Health, etc. Yet, few people, except the Taoists, use the body’s most powerful energy center—the sex center—for the achievement of divinity, immortality and enlightenment.