Feeling Good Was Hidden
Inside Your Body?
by Dhyan Somraj
Many of us have searched for answers about life in many places, some of them rather strange. First it was what I ate. Then it was how I treated others. For a while I believed the answers were locked away in my past lives. Friends tried to convince me that truth was only accessed through eating low on the food chain, discarding everything but my "natural genius," cleansing my body of toxins and parasites, amassing great wealth through residual income, meditating on psychedelic drugs, or by studying the philosopher Plato. (I didn't even begin to believe that last one.) Most recently I learned that what I think causes everything in my life to manifest.
Sure, there's lots of truth in these places, even Plato's. These personal investigations are all very interesting. Maybe, like me, you've spent countless hours studying, debating, and practicing various spiritual methods with few lasting results. Maybe you've even run into some frustrating dead ends.
What do you call success? I used to think that working in a helping profession would be enough for me. Somewhere along the way I decided making more money would be better. So I had a nicer place to see clients, did bigger mailings to invite more people to my seminars, provided better materials, and helped larger audiences. At last I could devote the time to attend better and more-expensive mind-expanding workshops. Plus I got to visit more and more exotic places with a wider circle of friends. But somehow a continuing state of bliss still eluded me.
Instead, I found myself irritated, troubled, frustrated, stressed, and finally burnt out. Like many others trying to raise consciousness, I started asking myself
What's the point of all this striving if I'm not happy at the end?
Is any of the pleasure I create lasting?
Where's the joy that supposed to be bubbling up throughout my being?
Am I gaining any true spiritual satisfaction?
Gradually I got the message. The only question that really mattered was: Is what I'm doing making me feel good? I'd been deferring gratification for future goals, long-range plans, and some nirvana-like retirement. I decided that appreciating the moment was better than the temporary satisfaction from reaching a goal or making sweeping resolutions in weekend workshops that rarely got implemented.
So I finally started asking myself
Where is the key to my spiritual growth if it's not right here and now?
Is anything else better than feeling joy in every moment?
If I was happy in every moment, wouldn't I be that much closer to enlightenment?
So I changed my definition of success to feeling good in every moment. Sure, I'm not there every moment. And I don't use this new priority to shirk my responsibilities. That just fills the future with guilt and the stress of playing catch-up.
Body Vs. Mind
Maybe my most powerful lesson of the past few years was that whatever I do, the consequence is a feeling. Sometimes good, sometimes, bad, sometimes neutral, but always an emotion or physical sensation. I wish I could thank that cute partner in that long-distant workshop who asked: "Don't try to impress me, just tell me how do you feel!"
"How do you feel?" was a nearly impossible question to answer for a recovering intellectual whose feelings had been negated, ground down, and suppressed by a high-tech education. I persevered and finally discovered that after a couple of days of deep introspection, I could conjure up feeble answers to feeling questions. Eventually that lead to another startling obvious discovery: to feel something, you experience it through your body. No wonder it took days for my mind to respond. The answer to feeling questions wasn't there.
I don't think I'm making a big assumption here that needs a powerful sales job. I'm just saying that what you perceive of the world about you comes through your body via your six senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch plus gut feelings. Notice I'm excluding the mind. If you accept the ancient and pervasive view that the body contains seven energy centers or chakras, there's even more evidence that points to using your body as a listening post for spiritual growth.
Energy Is Ecstasy
That's when I learned about energy as an aspect of our life force. I thought I knew about it from college physics and chemistry. But I didn't. As I started tuning in to body sensations, I became aware of the energy in my body. I don't just mean laziness, sleepiness, or fatigue. I mean those flows of pressure, tingling, heaviness, heat, warmth, nervous excitement, vibrations, sensations, and electricity that we all feel when we're happy, sad, pleased, angry, cheerful, depressed, and so on. It's all energy that your body experiences.
I'm saying that our bodies are the barometer of our growth and development. If you sense spiritual bliss through the body, then doesn't it make sense that the more you transform negative energy into ecstatic energy, the closer you'll be to a higher state?
That's what the title of this article means: the key to continual happiness lies inside your body. If success means feeling good, then you must focus on your feelings. To focus on your feelings, you must honor your body as a vital sense organ. If you learn to sense and cultivate positive energies inside your body, then you will feel better. If you could make your body vibrate with an ecstasy that pervaded your mind and spirit, what else would you need to feel spiritually fulfilled?
Let me get to what my partner and I focus on:
What if we showed you how easy it was to feel good?
What if we could show you how to easily find your bliss and amplify it?
What if we showed you that reaching a state of physical ecstasy wasn't all that difficult?
You'd be interested in finding out more, wouldn't you?
Resistance Or Divine Creation?
At this point you might be running into some ingrained resistance, I know I did. So many spiritual disciplines deny the body as a lesser thing. Higher consciousness is not of this earth, they say. You need to purge yourself of earthly desire to ascend. We have commandments from religions and governments creating untold categories of sin. I'm not denying that actions which hurt others reflect on your karma. It's just that we're taught that many things which don't affect others are bad. Should society make you repress what you naturally desire if it creates joyful internal energy attracts and doesn't hurt anyone else?
Here's a totally different look. If you believe that some higher power or God/Goddess created man and woman in its likeness, then you have to accept that we are divine. Your body and all its parts are divine. Your body is the earthly temple of your spirit. Your body is a holy vehicle you can use to reach a higher state of grace by cultivating good feelings.
We all desire things that give us physical pleasure if we allow ourselves to indulge: leisure, food, exercise, sex, drink, etc.
What if denying these pleasures limited the energy that fuels your spiritual growth?
What if you were slowing your progress toward your higher self by denying the very physical energy that could propel you there?
What if the more energy you generated and directed to the right spots, the faster you would grow spiritually?
What a revolutionary idea!
Tantra In A Nutshell
In a nutshell, that's what Tantra is all about. Tantra emerged thousands of years ago in India as a rebellion against the strict limitations and class discrimination of Hinduism and Buddhism. Tantra isn't really a religion or philosophy. It's more a set of practices that can help anyone generate the kind of internal energy that heals, empowers, and frees.
Think about it
Where do you expend your energy?
Do you focus your life force fully on creating, growing, loving, and enjoying?
Or do you invest lots of energy in resisting, worrying, arguing, grieving, and judging?
Tantra teaches us to allow, accept, and enjoy.
Oh, you've got a sore leg. What are your choices: ignore it? get mad at your leg? get depressed that you're not as young as you once were? Or do realize your leg is telling you it needs attention and will keep hurting until you respond?
Too bad, your boss or your lover is upset with you. Should you get mad in return and make it a fair fight? Should you swallow it and suppress your true feelings? Or should you acknowledge the unpleasant reality and do your best to work through your partner's emotion while keeping true to yourself?
Tantra is a practice of honoring feelings and maximizing the natural forces at work on us. Instead of denying these powerful energies, Tantra teaches us to amplify what feels good, channel the positive to transform the negative, and never deny whatever's impacting our lives. In Tantra, there's no right and wrong, just right.
What if you could find those places in your body where emotions are bottled up, where resistances to life's ups and downs reside, where you yourself are suppressing your own natural forces?
What if we could point out the exact spots that generate the kind of energy you want to be flowing?
Would you be interested if we showed you the bliss trigger points in your body that were the key to reaching higher consciousness?
You've probably noticed that the life energy we most bottle up in the modern West is sex. For that reason, many people equate Tantra with learning more ecstatic sexual techniques. We can't deny that Tantrikas (those who practice Tantra) do become great lovers.
Without the earlier discussion, they miss the point that most of us are bottling up huge forces in our sex center. From an early age we've been taught that sex outside the strict limits of parents, church, and the Moral Majority is bad, dirty, and immoral. Most of us carry so much pain, shame, guilt, and regret around sexuality that we can't free up the natural forces that could cleanse and enlighten us. Our teacher, Margot Anand, shows clearly in her new book, The Art Of Everyday Ecstasy, that we live in an anti-ecstatic society that's killing many of us slowly.
Tantric practice unleashes these pent-up forces and moves them upward to heal the body, relax the power center, and enliven the heart. Tantrikas use sexual energy to find their truth, increase their wisdom and intuition, and connect with the divine. That's why many call Tantra spiritual sexuality.
Since responsible Tantrikas always respect others' boundaries, you won't see much in the way of public nudity or overt sexuality when attending most Tantra workshops. You will see exercises to move your body in new ways, things that resemble Yoga, dance, and moving meditation. Of course you'll see some talking.
And you'll receive some pretty exciting homework instructions. Actually, we call it homeplay. That's the great thing about learning Tantra, practicing feels so good. What a pity if you don't get an exercise the first time. You've got to try again and again.
If you want to enliven your relationship, find a partner, break through some personal resistance, become a better lover, and have a lot of fun, you'd really enjoy learning about Tantra.
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