The value of Tantra

Tantra is the discovery of our limiting personality. Thus, Tantra “opens ourselves up” in such a way as
diluting that which we call “self.”
In my experience, Tantra is the discovery of no-self. How? “self” will open until there isn’t.
Thus, Tantra cannot be for everyone. We need to be ready for it; otherwise, it will be misinterpreted as it has been the case.

Some believe that Tantra embraces debauchery. “Tantra followers get drunk, have all sorts of sex and eat meat as a way of finding enlightenment.”
That is a gross misunderstanding. Whoever “practices” that, does not know what Tantra is.

Tantra as a “spiritual” path will allow us to observe our repressions. For instance, a yogi (one who truly follows the path of yoga) does not drink alcohol. A yogi does not eat meat. A yogi does not have sex. If there is repression while following those “disciplines” (sadhana) when that individual changes to Tantra, it is usually to indulge in his repressions.
As our society is sexually repressed, the attraction of Tantra resides in the sexual aspect. Individuals will find that there is a “spiritual path” agreeing with their desires. Again, that is another gross misinterpretation, for their “real” objective is a license to indulge in their repressions, feeling accepted without the feeling of guilt.

For example, when we observe ourselves and discover that we are afraid of another color of skin, when we discover that we are not open to different genders, or nationalities, when we value a particular political party, ideology or religion and belittle others, when we criticize to support self-righteousness, when we discover that, we are in the path of Tantra.

However, one thing is to discover our hang ups and a different thing is when that grudge or trauma goes away. We can make ourselves believe that we ARE open to those issues but something inside us has resistance, rejection, then; we are being dishonest. It is just the mind accepting a new “program” but not the heart. It is the heart the one in need of “opening up.”

The first step is to discover. Life will give us the tools to change and transform those hang ups when we are ready, when our desire to transform is true just for the sake of it, and not driven by another desire.

In my opinion, many traumas, hang ups and grudges will need to go away BEFORE exploring our sexual aspect. For the heart needs time to open up and the mind needs space to lose its overwhelming grip on us. Then, we may discover what “making love” truly means. That is Tantra.

Without this previous “work,” we only have the “tantra” of techniques, sexual retreats, and massages.
The hang ups are still there, but with a new toy to play, a new label to use, a new source of palliative “self-help.”
In society, every repression or neediness we experience, may be a source of profit for others. Profit seekers may label that opportunity as “helping others.”

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The danger of ideals

There is the ideal of being a saint. Although, it is impossible for all to be saints. There is the ideal of Democracy as the best political system. The ideal of education is to create wholesome individuals despite the reality of being just trained to become employed. The ideal of peace is absence of war. The ideal of love is to attend to the needs of another… and so on.

Those ideals remain in our heads as the “right thing” to DO, to BE, etc.
Those ideals, do not meet the reality of “what is.” Thus, there is constant conflict. The “ought to be” is not “what is.”

IS our way of solving issues with others or ourselves, guided by ideals? Then, there is no care for others or ourselves. To care means to meet someone in what he IS NOW, not in what he should BE according to an ideal. It is not the action in itself, the DOING which shows true care. It is the feeling behind it. We have forgotten that, and believe that DOING is enough. That feeling must be unconditioned to be real. Otherwise, it is fake.
We can give some money to an indigent. Did we give based on the ideal of “being a good Samaritan”? Then, we are fake. Want to make points to go to heaven? That dishonesty will take us to hell instead.

Did we give because something inside moved us without further reasons or ideals, without expectations, without ulterior motives? That may be real, “what is”. Only we know that.
BEING real will not take us anywhere in society. It will not allow us to move ahead in society or the afterlife.
Being real is unexpected, unlearned. It comes from an empty mind and an open heart. That sort of BEING is not understood in society, for it does not make any sense. It is not “reasonable.” It is crazy.

The support of ideals will make us respectable, comfortable, powerful… but fake. Proselytizing those ideals will make us dishonest, for sooner or later we will not be able to honor them.
Living life fully by expressing our authenticity means in a practical way, to be free from ideals.

Hope, achievement and wisdom

In Life, to hope for the best is important to maintain good spirits despite “setbacks.”
That type of hope brings tranquility and will allow us to digest an experience. Those experiences that we label as “negative,” or “bad,” are without a doubt; needed in our Life path. There is no way around them, no way to avoid them, no way to change what is already in our destiny.

We cannot make our own destiny, otherwise; how could we learn from Life? When the extent of our DOING is only conditioned by our previous experiences and idiosyncrasies, we are not living Life. We are merely surviving it.
To live means to allow for newness. “Newness” in Life means to accept the unexpected.

We could have high hopes that our path in Life will unveil, and teach us what we came here to learn. If we do not find those lessons which Life is tirelessly teaching us at every step of our journey; we will live a meaningless Life, despite “achieving what I want.” In society, “success” means to achieve. In Life, success is to become fully aware of the lesson.

We don’t learn through “achievements.” We learn through setbacks. That is how wisdom is made. A wise person has had countless setbacks. Thus, are those truly setbacks? The label is deceiving.
In society, setbacks means failure. In Life, setbacks bring the opportunity for wisdom.

Wisdom is earned in Life. It is not learned.

The path of righteousness

Life is not interested in our moral standards. Conditioning dictates what is moral and what is not.
Morality has utility in our society and that is the extent of it. To follow our laws and commandments is not a sign of sainthood. It is merely a convenience, to be able to live with others in society.
To be “holier than thou” is only a belief to enhance a petty ego.

What is “right”?
It is what you feel. Sounds easy, but it is often misinterpreted.
What “I” feel is not necessarily what is convenient for me. It is not what my mind tells me. It is not what my conditioning tells me is the “right thing to do.”
It is very hard to explain something where the mind is not. As we have lost touch with the reality of Life, we can only understand the reality of our society, that is the overuse of the mind.
I recall the tale of 3 monks crossing a river. A prostitute was there at the same time and had serious trouble. The commandments of “holy men” forbid monks to engage with women, even more so ; if women are “impure.” Two monks decided to follow their commandment. They were DOING “good” accordingly. One monk however; decided to help the woman. This monk was chastised by his peers for not following the code.

We are conditioned to ask: “Who did the “right” thing? Who was “wrong”?”
The 2 monks following their moral codes, did right. The one following his heart, did right as well. How is this so? The monks obeyed their conditioning. What else could these monks do? The other monk, went with his feeling defying his conditioning. To go beyond our conditioning is “good.”
What action was done for the common good?
We may need to ask the woman. She was appreciative with the unexpected help of the monk.

In society, these 2 “firm” monks may get medals, recognition, etc. In Life, these 2 monks will get more chances to realize their rejection until they become rejected by others.
The unusual “rebel” monk will get rejected by his society for “wrong doing,” but in Life; he is earning the rare opportunity to be one with Life.
We may choose to behave like the “rebel” monk because we may believe that the return given by Life is “better” and “holier” than the one offered by society, but in THINKING in that way, we are only building up our own ego. Our own greed comes to the surface, although we may disguise it with pretty, honorable words to explain our actions.

Again, What is right is what I feel. What I feel may not be what “I like.” There may be uncomfortable consequences but yet, I will be at peace.
Peace goes together with inner honesty. Inner honesty resides in fully acknowledging our feelings.

We can only DO what we ARE. We ARE what we FEEL. That is the foundation of the “right” action. It is not to follow a commandment or a code of conduct, for in Life circumstances change. A commandment does not care about circumstances; the “reality” of Life. It only cares about its blind imposition. That is the violent side of a “good thing”; the unrighteous side of what is deemed “right.”

Until January 2019. Have a happy new year! 🙂

The address of this site will change next year to : explore7.wordpress.com

The sin of “spiritual” progress

I am this. Tomorrow I will be better. That is not real in Life.
What is “real” is I am this. Period. End of report.
Tomorrow, I will not BE. Someone else will BE.

Truly, every time we go to bed to sleep, someone else awakens. We are unable to sense the changes for those are minimal, but they are happening until we realize one day, that we are not “kids” anymore. That usually happens when others use labels to put us into a different box (the grown up sticker), then we become aware of the changes.

Observe a “spiritual individual.” He is applying the “concepts” he learned in society into “spiritual things.” He wants to be “better.” He wants to progress “spiritually.” He wants to feel “happy.” He wants to be “self-realized.” He wants to know “God.” He wants to be “special.” So many respectable wants! He couldn’t reach similar greedy goals in society, so he is turning his vision of “progress” in the afterlife, because it is “better” for him. He is not “worldly anymore, he is spiritual, more evolved, better.”

How can we learn to enjoy Life if we are in continuous pressure to achieve? How can we enjoy Life if progress is the aim?
The mind fantasizes in the future and the past. Through “progress,” we are continually feeding that illusion. “I want to be” something “better”; thus, I need to fix things. Let us start with “myself.”

“Fixing” happens in society not in self-help. “Fixing” in self-help is to be AWARE but before, we may need to acknowledge who we ARE. The type of “fixing” taught by society only cares about ideals to “work on.” Thus, we are taught to criticize others and ourselves for not being according to an ideal, “the ideal.”
That type of “fixing” does not bring progress. It brings rejection of who we ARE.

When we reject ourselves, we cannot love ourselves. Without that, we cannot love others. Thus, “fixing” things in us, becomes rejection. When we acknowledge and become aware of who we ARE, there is “fixing” without trying to fix anything. That is true “fixing,” progress. When we try to “fix” by DOING things to fit an ideal, we reject what IS. That is not progress.

We hear that to live in the “now” is good. However, the mind cannot live in the “now.” Have we become AWARE of that? Living in the “now” is in no-mind.
In no-mind, there is “fixing,” there is “progress” for awareness resides there. However, when the mind is involved through thinking, analysis and comparison; any type of perceived “progress” is only self-rejection, a sin against the self.
AWARENESS is in no-mind, for if the mind interferes pretending to be a presence witnessing Life, then the mind is playing the game of pretending to be what it cannot be. Are we aware of that?
If we are not aware of the workings on the mind, how is it possible to “progress” spiritually?

Not possible, but yet new ideals to reach, to “work on” will come to the rescue. New ideas, new “tips” and methods to follow will be invented. We do not realize that all of those things are meant for the mind and whenever there is mind, there cannot be awareness nor “progress.”

By becoming AWARE of the workings of the mind, we make a significant step forward. “Spiritual progress” is there without looking for it, thus; true progress, for otherwise; it is only another empty goal of the mind, the “I.”

The value of physical exercise in “spirituality.”

What does physical exercise has to do with “spirituality”?
This is not some training with nonsensical “3 sets of 10” without any “reason.”
We have a body. Bodies are designed to move and require “maintenance” to enjoy Life to the fullest. That is an obvious “reason.”
What is not so obvious is that part of the teaching that any seeker will need to go through, is called “conscious movement.”
That means that our movement will need to be slow enough so we can be AWARE of it. That is, our mind will need to be empty of thoughts (BE in the now) so we can be conscious of what we are DOING.

If we walk “consciously,” we will notice the swing of the arms and the position of our body as well as any sensation of stress, anxiety or pressure. Only if we NOTICE, if we are AWARE, we could correct this; otherwise, it will go on hurting ourselves. Once we make something into a “bad” habit, correction happens through awareness while in the moment, the now. It is instantaneous.

Although the mind would like for us to BE unchanged; reality is that the body ages, the body will not need the same amount of exercise as before, nor the same amount of food to eat. If the mind takes over, then that person will try to keep up with the past. The idea of “performance” will take over and eventually, the disappointment of knowing that “ I am not the same.”
That is a great “spiritual” realization. We are never the same. Is the body deteriorating? Only in the perspective of continuity; but truly we ARE different at every moment. Choose your perspective.

For our society, we will do great in Life, if our changes in time are very close to that “younger” photograph of the past. That is a hurtful fiction.

When I observe people exercising, typically their movements are automatic. They do not FEEL the movement of an exercise, but merely go through the motions. They want to “get something” rather than enjoy the experience of movement, the little rush of endorphins running through and the overall feeling of wellness. “No pain no gain” is their motto. No wonder, that is the same way most look at Life. It is a painful “gain” of unaccomplished illusions for them.

As we grow older, the value for conscious movement increases. We could maintain a “good shape” by moving consciously, that is by slowly feeling the muscles involved in a particular exercise. There is no need to count (mind game) the number of sets and repetitions, there is only a need to be AWARE when the muscle fatigues.
Exercises for flexibility (stretching) and with your own body weight are helpful to be physically fit. Walking or swimming are great cardio complements of a healthy routine. The emphasis is not on going “fast,” but in becoming fully aware of the movement.

This little “practice” will prepare us to become acquainted with our own feelings in the “now,” and to perceive how these influence our bodies. That will allow us to recognize emotions as they appear in our lives. As we become AWARE of them they could lose power, as we could become witnesses of our own existence. Then, when we observe our role in Life, we are not identified with it. Then, we could take things calmly, take our time and enjoy Life!

Now, that is “spiritual.”

The numerous escapes from suffering

“I” don’t like suffering, but there is suffering. The mind asks: Why is there suffering? Then gurus, priests and authorities, “experts,” will come up with an “answer.”
Sometimes it is “god” looking out for you and saving you from further suffering. “He” has a plan for your life. Yes, “he” has a plan for millions of people and there is a happy end for all, just like a cheese movie. Have faith. Believe. Join the religion of “chosen ones.”

Other times “Life is suffering.” It does not matter that this phrase was ill translated. As long as the Buddha “said it,” we should feel good. After all, if the Buddha felt that, then we are along his path, we are in the same wavelength, in route for self-realization…

Other times, it could be another story and we will be ready to believe in it as long as “I” get something out of it. Heaven at the end sounds good. Salvation is always desirable. A life of everlasting bliss in the company of “God,” (the main boss out of all the little ones) will surely get us many “upgrades” from our current “normal” story.

But if someone says: There is suffering because there is happiness. That is duality 101. Then, that does not get any believers. It is too simple buy yet cloudy. There has to be much more in the story, we want some mystery followed by drama and then a happy end where “I” will be the main character, where “I” will rise victorious among all the evil doers …

Life brings happiness and because of that suffering. In the world of duality, that is expected. We don’t want suffering? Then happiness will not be there either. That world is something that we cannot understand. We haven’t experienced it.
Did I offer any “solutions” for your suffering? Any tips? Any ways to handle it? Any ideas on how to get rid of it? There are plenty of books on that. Plenty of fairy stories to make us feel “good,” for at the end “spirituality” is about handing us some tissue paper to dry up our tears, something to make us feel good, just like when Mama used to hand us a glass of milk after we fell down from roller skating. Right?  We are truly looking for something to make us feel good, even if a “white lie” as we cannot handle what IS.

OBSERVE your suffering. Become fully AWARE of it. OBSERVE all the movements of the mind to try to get out of it, OBSERVE all the explanations and the ways to save face that will appear.
Physical suffering will not leave a trauma. It happens and we learn to be careful and avoid the same. However, psychological suffering will leave all sorts of trauma, all stories of the “poor I,” and how much “I” had to suffer and put up with stuff. Don’t we like stories!
There is the story of salvation, redemption, the origin of the Universe, Godly creation, etc.

Eventually a psychological trauma will need to be left behind. Otherwise, we are stuck in Life; unable to move on by continually regurgitating sad stories and increasing bitterness in our mind. That type of exercise, is definitely “bad” for our health.

Events in Life are to be experienced in the moment. It is like eating a cake. If we don’t experience its taste while we are eating it, then how can we enjoy it? Our mind wants to take the experience with us, we could take a picture, talk about how wonderful the cake is, without realizing that we are eating!
Smell it, taste it, look at it. That is the now, the moment to taste and be fully AWARE of it.

Alright, it could be a rotten cake. However, haven’t you experienced a new flavor? Isn’t that a unique flavor? That is it. Move on.
But no… we want to enhance the story. We make the trauma. How is it possible for me to eat that “garbage”? Don’t we feel insulted? Cheated?
To spice things up; every time we eat a cake, let us bring that story up. Better yet, every time we go to a restaurant. The trauma is building up, it is in crescendo…

Our capacity for suffering is the same as our capacity for happiness. Life will give us the experience that we can handle either side. Any duality is complementary of each other. The full range of one side of a duality means the experience of the full range of the other side.
In the world of duality, nothing lasts forever for there is continuity, movement. Life is change. Every moment is unique and deserves our full AWARENESS.
Isn’t that a wonderful thing?