But what good is a philosophy and path if we can’t apply it to everyday life?
It’s like yoga… There is nothing interesting about being able to do full lotus or to balance on your arms… This kind of technology would not have been handed down in secrecy from teacher to student for millennia if these physical abilities were the only goal.
The reality is that the philosophy and practice of tantra and yoga must be applied to our lives – our everyday, mundane lives – if they are to be of any value at all.
So What does Tantra Offer Us?
The ancient tantrikas preached freedom. They said to throw out the constructs of society and live from your divine place. The rules and expectations that we learn act as invisible prisons keeping us “in check”… Therefore keeping us from acting from our true passions (unless of course they lie within the prison walls.)
When we lack freedom, we become depressed. Our soul is unable to actually do what it was meant to do. We are unable to stretch and grow and experience the world from our very unique and interesting viewpoint. We are asked to “put on someone else’s coat” and pretend that it’s ours.
If we do this long enough, something deep inside of us gives up hope, and the depression turns into despair…. And when this happens, all the joy and gifts that we had to give, never get expressed.
Tantra says, “Be free!! Trust yourself!! Trust your spirit!! Be free!! The only way to live your life is 100% as YOU!!”
Everyone is afraid these days. We are afraid of failure, success, being alone, never being alone, getting fat, cancer, not being good-looking enough, making mistakes, losing our job, never getting out of our job, etc etc etc… And we haven’t even mentioned religious and political fears… AAAggghh!!!
When we are fearful, nothing works in our life because we are in constant reaction mode. There is no time to sit back and be meditative… There is no chance to actually respond to the situation because everything is so incredibly loaded…
But tantra teaches us that we are also divine beings. We are not just these bodies living out these lives. We have divine energy flowing through us that lives on forever. And this energy is connected to everything around us. We are not separate. There is something very interesting going on in the world… even if we don’t understand it.
When we meditate and/or have tantric experiences (sexual or non-sexual), we know that this is true. We EXPERIENCE what is beyond this day-to-day life. We experience something that we can’t explain. And it is so visceral and memorable that we are never quite the same again. We can no longer feel afraid… Because every cell in our bodies KNOWS that there is more going on here… And it is actually quite blissful.
3) Intimate Connections.
Most people feel incredibly alone. Today, we blame computers and the internet.. But the truth is that we have always felt alone.
When we apply tantra to our relationships, we go past the personalities of each other and recognize each others’ souls. We see beauty and wonder in every person. We look at our children and wonder who they will become… We look at our intimate partner with fresh eyes every day seeing the god or goddess within them…
We also look past our own shortcomings and honour our soul inside… This allows us to be more open because we are not afraid of the other’s judgement of what they might discover if they truly get to know us. And when we can open ourselves up wide, others will open easier…
We will feel connected to the whole. We will love and we will feel loved.
4) We Can Heal our Sexuality and Feel Fully Alive
The problem with making sex “bad” or “lower” or “dirty” or “something that we shouldn’t talk about” is that our sex drive is actually our LIFE FORCE! The energy that flows in our lower belly is the same energy that fuels all of our passions, our creativity, our joy and our desire to live and keep exploring this amazing world.
It also feeds our sexual desires.. which aren’t bad.. they are wonderful…
But when we control this energy through ideas of church, state or family, it actually squelches our desire to live. It changes us. We lose our “joie de vivre“. Something inside of us dies… (or becomes twisted and comes out in other less desirable ways.)
Tantra says that this life force is important… that we mustn’t be afraid of it… that we must express it freely.
Of course this often brings up fears of “But people would go crazy doing all kinds of immoral things..” But tantra also teaches to listen inside to our divine callings… And so it is through this divine direction that we embrace this amazing life force energy… So we are free to express it in many, many incredible life-affirming ways…
But above all…
We Become our Greatest Selves.
I recently watched a movie about a man who pretended to be a guru. Aside from the obvious issue around deceiving others, the experience truly changed his life. Why? Because he had to pretend to be wise, kind and spiritual all of the time. He could never waiver or else his cover would be blown.
And the effect on him was even more profound. He had done this experiment because of his cynical nature.. because he was critical of the gurus and yogis and spiritual leaders that he’d observed growing up… and he was very judgmental of those who followed them…
But after simply being kind, prayerful, and wise for a year or so, an incredible transformation took place inside of him. His heart melted. He truly started feeling that wonderful, pure, divine energy flowing through him. He developed compassion. He loved the people who followed him.
He actually became his highest self….
Tantra says “You are divine energy walking around.”
Tantra says, “You have all the wisdom you’ll ever need right inside of you… Just break the bonds that chain you to earthly/societal ideas and be free.”
Tantra says, “Connect… You are eternal… There’s nothing to be afraid of..”
Imagine a world of people living their highest selves…
Sounds wonderful to me.