Phew. A lot has happened since the last time I posted. Two weekends ago, I went to a Tantra retreat. When I say Tantra to people, a lot of times I can feel them get weird, like they assume that there is some sort of crazy, wild orgy thing going on. Tantra is not about sex, although it does not exclude sex. It is not focused on it, and does not treat it lightly. If anything, my experience with Tantra is teaching me to have much more respect and awe for sexual energy, and to honor its power.
But really, Tantra is about opening to life. It is about fully embracing this human experience as a spiritual path.
This weekend, there were about 20 people in a house in Malibu on retreat. What happens on a Tantra retreat? There were many levels to the practice. There was energy work–chakra breathing, chanting, both alone and with a partner. There were fun, playful, simple practices like: do something nourishing with your partner. What seems simple can turn into something deeply meaningful, food for the soul. There were group practices with the women and men apart. There was dancing And, very importantly, there was the circling practice, where we all sit around and talk about whatever–big, small, mundane, profound–we are going through in a safe space. You can say anything and it is okay.
All of this work happens in an energetic and physical container–a place outside of our normal patterns, with the strength and safety to allow us to explore and grow. As we did all this work inside this container, slowly but surely, we all came out of our shells. We left behind that thick cocoon of ego/fear/habit/striving/craving/posturing/politeness that normally hides us from each other and from life, and stepped naked and vulnerable out into the space of the group.
And in that naked vulnerable space, we were more available to give and receive love than I have. ever. felt. We cheered for each other. We cried for each other. We told each other when we scared each other, or when we made each other mad. We listened to whatever the other had to say. We were silly and playful with each other. And finally, we celebrated each other.
There was so much energy and love going around that I just yelled at the sky, skipped down the road, cried and laughed at the same time. I feel a very soft and vulnerable side of myself emerge. It felt safe to be beautiful, and tender, and sweet. It felt safe, and right, to tell people I loved them. It felt safe, and right, to be loved. Everyone just seemed to fragile and sweet, and strong at the same time. Myself included.
I wish I could pull every person in my life that I care about into that space, so I could directly interact with their heart free of all of the crap that usually keeps us apart. I feel a deep longing for that sort of deep and authentic connection on a regular basis. I want to touch the sweet part of everyone that longs for the same thing. Not to solve or fix anything, but just to see each other as we really are.