My partner and I were not tourists, we were not passively experiencing the world, we were participating to find ourselves and renew who we were. We fully entered the places we went to and the people we spent time with. We also fully experienced each other in a way that informed who we were. Three different points will illustrate what we went through.
Fiji was hot, the humidity was stifling. We stood outside, waiting to get in to the Meditation Hall, but nothing was happening. We heard that the air conditioning was not acceptable and that until it was working we would not get in. We talked and danced in the open air and wondered what was going to happen and when.
The next day we entered the completed hall with its fresh smell of varnish and polish. We wandered around looking for the best seats. There was a man and woman onstage singing in a lilting, gentle way, lulling us into a spiritual trance. Everyone was happy and ready for the magic. We looked around and made connections, we just enjoyed the energy and the atmosphere.
During the next few days we joined the collective consciousness, we let separation go. We sang, we prayed, we sat in silence, we danced and we let the sensations flow over us. We sat in meditation waiting for our turn to hug the Oneness Being, waiting for our turn to feel the electric energy. Waiting to experience the direct connection. We queued and did not care how long it took or how little happened. We were in direct connection with the Universe and we knew that we were in the right place.
To achieve Oneness was to let go of oneness. Oneness is the connection with everything, with everyone. Oneness is where we are no longer just ourselves. Oneness is where we let the oneness of our individuality dissolve into the atmosphere. Oneness is where we enter the energy of the consciousness.
The moment of blessing was the culmination of all the time doing nothing. It was the exchange, it was the arc of flame that burnt its way through to our souls, it was all we wanted and all we needed.
We learned that our purpose in life came from from three sources. Once we found the right balance of the three there was nothing left to do.
Intention is the core concept, the central power behind everything we do or want to do. This is that starting point for all that happens. Nothing we do in life is accidental or created for us. Nothing happens outside of what we create in the world. Intention is the beginning, intention come from our soul, from our desire, from our deepest needs.
Effort is where we take the intention, effort is what we do with it. Effort is where the depth of our wanting frames our focus. Through effort we work through our fears and create the result we seek. Effort is not expecting it to come to us but accepting that the intention is only fulfilled when we journey towards it with action.
Divine Grace is where the Universe fulfils our desires. Divine Grace is where the secret of manifestation works its magic. Magic is where we increase our effort to create our intention. We cannot achieve through our own efforts alone. We cannot achieve without the backing of the Universe. We cannot achieve unless we accept Divine Grace into our life and we give it its freedom.
Oneness was an experience that remains in my heart and remains in my memory.
I attended a workshop at an Ashram in Pune, India, with my partner. We worked together to explore the dark energy that is deep inside us and between us. We wanted to find and unleash its power and see where this took us. It was scary stuff for us, but it was something we wanted to explore and come to terms with. To become completely free in our relationship we had to be sure of what might happen if either of us lost control.
We started exploring our dark energy by working on our interactions. We sat opposite each other, provoking each other with words and gentle pushing. We were playful at first but as we went deeper we pushed harder and started to lose our inhibitions. At one point the workshop leader came over to us to check we were alright, she was afraid we might be hurting each other. We were fine and we were having the most amazing time of our lives: we were flowing.
In this flow we learned about presence and grounding as well as trust and surrender. The balance between the two sets of qualities took us deep into our relationship. It strengthened us in the emotions between us and in how we understood each other.
My partner, being the weaker one, grew in her pushing and testing of me. I, being the stronger one, took everything she threw at me and gave more back. She then went further: she let go and gave me all she had. I took this and gave it back to her with a little bit more. I gave her the freedom to go as far as she wanted but I never relinquished control of myself. I could take it, and give it back. I remained grounded and present, nothing threw me off.
Her trust grew and she let go completely, relinquishing control of herself. She was no longer afraid of where she might go, she could trust me to take it and not to lose control of myself. I could give it back, tempered with the knowledge of my own strength and the potential hurt I could inflict. I could hurt her, but I didn’t.
We had discovered each other’s boundaries. We now knew how far we were willing to go. We developed an emotional language of consent, of trust. We now understood each each other so much better.
The power of the dark energy has remained in our relationship and made it strong.
Tantra is difficult to write about because you need to experience it to understand it. People who have not experienced it often see it as a form of sexual yoga. It sounds enticing to them while they do not understand it. My experience is of White Tantra, which is a form of energy work, rather than Red Tantra, which is more sexual in its emphasis.
When I first took part in a Tantra weekend, in the Netherlands, I was nervous and confused. The time consisted of meditations based on the ideas of Osho. Each meditation could last up to two hours. They were intense exercises in energy discovery and management. Two partners, a man and a woman, meditated together. Who you were with was a random choice made for each meditation. We paired up according to the energy we felt. That in itself was an interesting exercise.
There were two meditations, in particular, that I remember. The first was The Snake Charm and the second was The Kali Meditation. They gave me a compelling feeling of what it is to be a man.
The Snake Charm was a simple yet moving exercise. She sat in my lap and we held on to each other. To the background of meditation music we rotated our bodies, in time to the music, much like the music charming a snake. The intention was to encourage our Kundalini Energy to rise from our base chakras up to our crown chakras. We did this by connecting each of our chakras together in turn and experiencing the energy flow between them. As the music rose, so did our energy. It transformed my experience of exchanging energy with another person.
The Kali Meditation allowed a man and a woman to experience their own energy in relation to the opposite sex. The Kali relationship, the Shiva-Shakti, goes to the core of male and female energy. It teaches a man to be strong and powerful and to remain detached from what is happening in a woman.
Kali is the Hindu goddess of eternal energy and is the consort of the god Shiva. After slaying a demon in battle, Kali runs amuck, destroying everything and everyone in her sight. To restrain her, Shiva takes the form of a corpse and blocks her path. She wonders if she has killed her own husband. She places a foot on Shiva’s chest and brings him back to life.
As a couple we reproduce this event in the meditation by the woman sitting on the man's chest. She flails and tries to bring the man back to life. The man lies lifeless, allowing the woman the send her energy into him to bring him to life.
It is extraordinary as a man to feel your strength in a position of a woman dominating you.
In order to understand why one chooses to be a Tantric practitioner, there has to be an understanding of cause and effect, cyclic existence, the awareness that the reality that we think we are seeing is not reality as it really truly is. So enlightenment is seeing reality with bare awareness, non-conceptual reality.
We embarked on a journey that was spread over years, and to some extent is still going on. We are now married and have a house in Spain, where we live, but our souls are still moving. Over that last ten years my live has transformed into one of peace and power.
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—Photo Credit: Flickr/Wonderlane