healing

New Moon in Libra | Vedic Astrology Forecast for November 11th, 2015

New MoonIn the last half of the lunar cycle as the Moon moves from Full back to New Moon, the emotional energy decreases. There is a natural feeling of “lose” that comes about in that second half. As the Moon has been getting closer to the New Moon, I know I have noticed a decrease in energy. Have you been feeling it?  Wanting to rest, withdraw a little?  Or maybe even just a little tired or fatigued and don’t know why?

The Sun is still at its weakest point in Libra, where the awkwardness of the Individual self trying to explore connection to other through relationship can itself feel taxing. And now the emotional energy, shown by the Moon, is decreasing. On November 11th, the exact New Moon will occur in Sidereal Libra around 12:45pm EST. And about 10 hours later, the Moon will make its way into Scorpio, where is experiences its weakest energy. So, within the New Moon Window, both the Sun and Moon will be at their weakest points in the Zodiac.

Maintaining strength of the Individual Self (via the Sun) and remaining emotionally stable (via the Moon) will both be challenged at the same time. So the seed point of this New Moon really sets off the inner dynamics of how our relationships with others set the stage for our own individual growth and transformation. And well, quite frankly, that usually doesn’t feel so good.

The Sun doesn’t function well in Libra, because the Sun represents our Individual Soul’s Power and Libra is the domain of “other”. The Sun is challenged to retain a powerful individual nature when immersed in the energy of “Other”. And the Moon doesn’t function well in Scorpio, because the Moon is our Mind and Emotional nature and Scorpio represents the emotional ups and downs that occur as life brings us challenges and changes. In Scorpio, we are asked to face our insecurities and fears.

When we have the strength and tools to face our fears and insecurities, then we have the opportunity to heal and transform. When we are unable to use that opportunity in a positive way, then our emotions just feel like a roller coaster ride of discomfort and turmoil.

And, as is always the case, the progression of the Zodiac shows beautifully how we evolve through relationship. In Libra, we meet other and begin to form a deeper connection of mutual respect, love and intimacy. As we connect more deeply in this way, our vulnerability begins to open and our latent fears and insecurities begin to come to the surface. “If this other person knew that I had… this belief? This experience? This Desire? This from my past?…. would they still love me?” And even “Can I trust this person? Will they harm me? Will they break my heart?”  And of course “S/he isn’t treating me fairly.  My needs aren’t being met.  S/he is doing _____ to me, and I don’t like it!”

Relationship with other is one of the greatest unknowns, because what we are “not” is the least understood. “Other” is the furthest away from “Self”, and thus the greatest of unknowns. The Unknowns of relationship bring out our fears and insecurities. Most arguments, disagreements, resentments and feelings of disrespect arise because we are unwilling to be honest and real about the insecurities and fears that we need to face in order to evolve.

With low emotional energy from the New Moon itself and this energy being activated as part of the New Moon Window, this next lunar cycle will be highlighting this vulnerability of fears and insecurities that arise in relationship to other. The invitation is to understand the energetic place we are in collectively (low energy and feeling vulnerable), and allow yourself space to take care of yourself. Stay out of “harms way” the best you can, and also have the correct insight to realize that any emotional challenges, fears, or insecurities that arise during this Lunar Cycle are an invitation to transform you lower emotional reactions.

Mercury has moved into Libra also, and Venus and Mars moved into Virgo. Mercury with the Sun in Libra will bring extra intelligence to speech and communication with others, should these insecurities arise. And Mercury is in exchange with Venus, which will strengthen their understanding of each other, bringing greater speech and communication in connection with compromise, happiness and diplomacy (via Venus).

At the same time, Venus is in its weakest position in Virgo. So be mindful of not becoming overly picky and detail oriented about how you define your happiness. For instance, if someone offers you a pot of gold, don’t complain that the rainbow isn’t big enough. 😉

Additionally, Mars with Rahu in Virgo can amplify feelings of agitation, irritability and anger.  So, be cautious about being to reactive and hotheaded when defending yourself.

In the wisdom of these types of cycles, the Vedic traditions acknowledge that when energy is low and not conducive for being productive in outer context, that it is actually wise to “Turn within”. Don’t be afraid to give yourself some retreat to reflect upon the energies, the thoughts and the experiences that are arising in your life and in your thoughts and feelings. If turmoil arises in your relationships, understand that most people will be increasingly sensitive right now and try to withdraw and reflect, rather than allowing conflict to escalate. Withdraw and get some perspective, and re-engage when you are clearer, rested and refreshed.

The collective energy may have some heaviness to it for a while here. Try to stay calm and focused. Stay aware of the feelings and impulses that are arising. Observe how it is affecting others around you. And try to feed your need for deeper peace, joy and happiness through inner practices such as meditation and affirmations so that you continue to cultivate the qualities within yourself that are needed to peacefully navigate these potential turbulent waters. And know when “retreat” is the best medicine in the moment, and honor the impulse to do so if it arises.

This is also a wonderful time to use tools such as getting a Vedic Astrology Reading to gain deeper insight to the sources of your fears, insecurities and the way you engage relationship and happiness.  It’s also a great time to have Ecstatic Union® Energy Healing Sessions to help dive deep into the energetic causes of your insecurities and receive assistance in healing and transforming them.

If you maintain the correct understanding and the right perspective through this time, it is an wonderful opportunity to grow and evolve.

How has this energy been affecting you?

The above is a general Vedic Astrology Forecast. It discusses the shifts that are happening at the level of the Collective experience, as well as how you can use that Collective energy for your own growth and evolution.

For a detailed reading of how the Planetary cycles will impact you personally, you should schedule a private Vedic Astrology Reading.

Click here for more information on Vedic Astrology Services.

Click here to book a Vedic Astrology reading now.

Tantra: Self-Mastery of Life Force Energy and the Forces of Creation

Tantra is MysteriousEnerting the Mystery of Tantra Yoga

Tantra is steeped in deep mystery. The things that are known or heard about it in day to day life are often spoken of out of context, with little understanding of what the practice or philosophy is really designed to do.

Over hundreds and likely even thousands of years, Tantra has become associated with Black magic, sexual deviance, group sex, sensual indulgence, ecstasy, orgasmic bliss among other things. People speak of Kundalini, magical powers, chakras, spells being cast, and many other concepts and acts as being part of Tantra.

There are debates as to whether it is about sexuality or spirituality along with talk of White Tantra, Red Tantra, Pink Tantra, Left-handed Tantra, and Right-Handed Tantra. And the unfortunate modern confusion where some people think it is only for better orgasms, which creates further confusion for people who imagine that they “must have a sexual partner” to learn and benefit from Tantra. (Not true.)

Why Is Tantra So Controversial?

Tantra is one of the most controversial of Yogic practices, and much of that controversy comes purely from lack of understanding. The controversy and confusion is fueled by false imaginings, anecdotal stories and modern packaging designed to entice the “sex sells” culture that we live in. Additionally, there are modern Tantric teachers using sexually indulgent teachings for their own desires, celebrities talking about 7 hour “tantric” orgasms and even students of Tantra misunderstanding the process and speaking about it out of context.

Certainly, Tantric practitioners or those associated with Tantra have been involved in a variety of activities. Everything listed above has, I am sure, been experienced or practiced in the name of “Tantra”. And I am sure there has been a wide range of motivations for how to use Tantra. But for a moment let’s step outside of these “behaviors” and “reported experiences”, and take a broader perspective of what the Tantric Practitioner is really learning in order for these other things to happen.

How can someone “cast a spell” (for good or evil?), for instance. Or create high states of orgasmic bliss? Or awaken magical powers? Because quite frankly, these are not “ordinary” parts of most people’s lives. And many might even dismiss them as being superstition or fantasy… How would these things even be possible?

The Goal of Tantra and the Tantric Approach

First, let’s understand something clearly: The system of Tantra in it’s deepest understanding is a path towards Wholeness and a return to Divinity that teaches that the experience of Life is Sacred and SO ARE YOU. We could call the culmination of sustained Tantric Wholeness as “Enlightenment”, “Self-Realization”, or “Moksha”. THIS is what the FINAL goal of Tantra really is. (See The Tantric Path: A Simple Perspective that Every Tantric Student and Practitioner Needs to Know for more information)

And Tantra also knows that we must start right here in the world, right where we are with the life we are currently living. To support our life in the world, Tantra teaches us a spiritual path that allows us to use our daily life and responsiblities in the world as PART of the path itself. Thus, Tantric practices can cover any and every part of our experience, including sex, money, career, body, mind, spirit, health, etc. In Tantra, every moment is an opportunity to find greater peace and open to the Love that is all around us, and most especially, the Love that IS our True Nature.

But how do they do it? Forget casting spells, orgasmic bliss, and magical powers, etc for a moment. That is not ultimately what a sincere Tantric Practitioner is really learning, even though any of those abilities or experiences are possible and might well be a part of the Tantric path. Much like the “Feed a man vs. teaching him how to fish” concept, the real learning isn’t in just being able to cast a “spell” for healing, or to have the orgasmic bliss. No. The real lesson is in understanding how it would be possible to do this at all.

What the Tantric Practitioner is REALLY learning

So what is the common THREAD among all these things? What is the ONE THING being learned that allows all of these things to be experienced and created? What a Tantric practitioner is REALLY learning is how to connect with, harness and direct the Life Force energy and the forces of Creation that exist within his or her own body and Consciousness, as well as the external world.

Self-Mastery of the Forces of Creation in Tantra YogaIf you learn how to cast a spell, well, you can cast a spell. But if you learn how to harness the Forces of Creation and the Life Force Energy, and to bridge that through your own body and consciousness… Well, now you have a whole toolbox to work with. You can do many things, including completely Transforming your entire experience of Self and Life towards greater joy, vibrancy and peace in order to reach Enlightenment.

But, for the wise Tantric Practitioner, each new ability or practice learned is an “Experiment” which creates an experience that leads towards a deeper understanding of what is possible and what the True Nature of Self really is. Learning how to master this Life Force Energy leads to understanding how it is possible to begin with. Which leads to “Who I AM” to be able to “Master it” at all.

Do Not Confuse Authentic Tantric Practice with Outer Appearances

Most of the stories that have popularize Tantra come about from experiences or practices of Practitioners who are “on the path” towards their goal. They are describing a place in their practice BEFORE reaching the Final Goal. Or perhaps they have lost sight of the most meaningful goal, and fallen into using the powers for selfish ends. Either way, when we take their behavior and their experiences and mistake them for “Tantra”, then we just wind up confused.

It would be a bit like hearing that doctors in training dissect human cadavers and drawing the conclusion that “Doctors cut up dead people” without any context for that statement. And then the rumor spreads “Oh no! Did you hear about the people called doctors? They CUT UP DEAD BODIES, MAN! That’s so wrong! (or so cool. I want to be a doctor too!!)”. Doctors in training dissect bodies to learn how the body functions so that can understand how to work with it for healing the sick. But the final goal of medicine is not just to “cut up dead bodies”. (Or live ones either)

In the same way, in Tantra the outer appearance of various practices do not really convey the Deeper motivation or lesson of the practice itself. To say that a Tantric practitioner practices magic, or engages in sex, or sits on dead bodies in the burial ground does NOT convey the purpose of their behavior. And without that understanding, society will place its own judgments upon it and fail to see what is really being learned or accomplished.

Tantric practitioners engage the Forces of Creation and the Life Force energy within Consciousness through a variety of “experiments” that we call “practices” so they can learn how these energies function. And this “training” is just a step along the way to ultimately bring about the greatest possible healing of Self through what is learned by direct experience: The Return to Wholeness.

Tantra as Self-Mastery of Life Force Energy and the Forces of Creation

There are Tantric practioners who have practiced black magic, I am sure. But Tantra is not about black magic. There are Tantric Practitioners who have investigated or even obsessed about the sexual energy in some pretty “outlandish” ways. But Tantra is not about sex. There are Tantric practitioners who have awakened magical ability and psychic powers. But Tantra is not about magical abilities and psychic powers.

At the core, Tantra is about learning to interface with the Powers of The Universe as a function of Pure Consciousness in order to Understand the Nature of Reality and Self. And in this process, we cultivate the Qualities of the True Self, which are Ecstatic Love, Joy, and Peace. To make it even simpler, Tantra is a path to re-discover who and what you really are.

Through Tantric practices, you harmonize and balance your life as a necessary part of the path. This can mean more loving relationships, greater self-acceptance, and freedom from shame. It can mean increased clarity around your soul’s purpose and greater passion operating in the world. It can mean greater connection to your own Intuition, inner Wisdom, and even perhaps psychic powers. And, yes, it can even mean more satisfaction and meaning in your sex life.

Perhaps you will even become motivated to use what you learn to assist in the healing of others, and not only yourself. All of these things are possible and most are likely. They are “gifts” along the path for doing the work towards wholeness. They are manifestations of the awakening Wholeness itself. And they are still not the “goal” of Tantra, but they are an interesting and enjoyable part of the journey. They are experiences that deepen your understanding of life force and Creation, and what is possible, and your relationship to The Universe. And it is all made possible by harnessing and directing the Forces of Creation and the Life Force energy within the practitioner.

How to Properly Learn Tantra Yoga

So what needs to happen to walk this Tantric Path? How can YOU begin to explore this for yourself and engage these fascinating practices? That’s where a Tantric Teacher comes in.

In addition to learning HOW to harness and direct the Forces of Creation and the Life Force energies within the body and consciousness, there needs to be guidance from a Tantric Teacher. There needs to be ethical training for how to use this wisdom and Power for your own maximum benefit while avoiding trouble for Self and others. There needs to be someone who can help you create the practices and experiences that will reveal what is possible and what the Nature of Reality really is.

There needs to be someone to help you navigate the challenges, frustrations and confusions that will arise on the path. Someone to assist you in destroying any obstacles that have limited your Wholeness in the past or that are causing resistance now. And there needs to be someone to remind you of the Truth and the Final Goal when you may get lost. These are just some of the ways that the Tantric Teacher offers support and enables you to accelerate your growth and practice. In the end, the Teacher’s primary role is to empower you to connect to your own Inner Wisdom and discover the Truth and Power of your own Self.

After over 25 years on my own Path, I have integrated all of my studies and practices along with the needed guidance and support into a comprehensive approach to Tantric Practice that I call Ecstatic Union®. It brings everything needed together in one system and one path. And it addresses every stage of practice from beginner to advanced.

But like all journeys, it begins with the First Step: Look for Ecstatic Union® Foundational Training announcements beginning in January 2015!

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Is “One Powerful Healing technique” enough to be an Effective Energy Healer?

 

Is “One Powerful Healing technique” enough to be an Effective Energy Healer?

If you are going to do something, such as seek a method for A Healer in the Inner Realms of Power, Accessing the most effective healing methodspersonal healing, transformation and spiritual awakening, then you would want the best, most effective method, right?  And, the most effective method would be even more important if you were to step into the role of an Energy Healer or Healing practitioner of any kind, don’t you think?
 
After all, don’t you want the best and most effective ways to solve your own challenges and live a more Authentic and Joyful life?  And if you want to learn to be an energy healer, you want the best for your clients also!
 
During the past 24 years, I have explored every healing method I could come across.  If I haven’t already learned it, then I have probably learned something like it by a different name! Having been through all those many years of study, professional training, personal healing and transformation, trust me when I say that it can be confusing out there! And during my over 17 years of working professionally with clients as a healer and spiritual teacher, I have also been there to witness what works and what doesn’t when working with others.
 
Looking back from where I am now, there are such a wide range of techniques, that I can easily see that it would be hard to make sense of them all.  I know a big part of my journey was discovering them, working with them and directly experiencing the transformation, healing and awakening that they created within me.  But being on the other side of that phase of my journey, I also can see some things about the “experiences” that I wasn’t able to see while I was in them.

An Obstacle on the Path of Healing? 

The journey itself was fueled by a desire to learn to be a better Energy Healer, but also to overcome my own challenges and better understand my Self through what I was learning and practicing.  I ran across a bit of a “trap” that I didn’t see at the time, but now clearly appreciate.
 
The “trap” was this:  Each time I was introduced to a new healing methods, I would most often have a pretty powerful experience of it.  It would impact me in a very obvious and noticeable way that would give rise to the feeling that “I have finally found what I was seeking!!” I would then become a “big fan” of that method, and use it over and over on myself, getting benefit after benefit.  
 
And then something strange would begin to happen: After a period of time (sometimes long, sometimes short) it would stop feeling powerful.  It would start to feel as if almost nothing was happening from it and that I was just spinning my wheels.  At that point, I would seek out a new healing method to learn and explore, and the process would begin again.
 
Each time I discovered a new healing method that seemed effective, I would think “This is it!  This is what I have been looking for the whole time!”.  And then eventually, “the honeymoon” would end, and I would wonder what happened.  And I would move on to something else. (Rinse and Repeat)
 
What I couldn’t see at the time was this:  Each healing method I learned was very powerful for a specific type and level of healing.  In other words, it was an appropriate and effective tool for a specific area of healing, but it was not, as I falsely imagined, a “magic bullet” for all that ailed me.

The Healing Obstacle Leads to Insight and Wisdom

What I understand now was that each time I found a new “powerful” healing method, I was actually entering a new phase of my healing and development.  It wasn’t that the previous method had “stopped being effective”.  It was that I no longer needed it as a primary healing method.  It had done its job, and the next stage of my growth needed to be nurtured with a different method.
 
I came to understand after looking back that the process of healing is a journey.  It isn’t a “single event”.  I have had many powerful experiences of healing, for sure, that created new levels of wholeness and wisdom for me.  Those moments were life changing.  But from another perspective, they can also be seen as “another step” towards wholeness.
 
An important principles in “energy healing” and “Tantra” and “Yoga” and “alternative healing” is the understanding that we are “multidimensional” beings.  Our experience of life and Self is being created through the interaction between the energetic layers of Body, Emotions, Mind and Spirit.  And an effective Healing process must be able to honor, understand and evaluate each layer to see how it is contributing to either health or disease.  And of course, it should also provide a targeted healing method to address the source of the imbalance directly within the layer where it exists.
 
What was happening along my journey was that different steps, I was finding a powerful tool that addressed one Level of these experiential layers of Self.  For instance, I would find a powerful tool that was super powerful for creating Emotional healing.  Then another for Physical healing.  Then another for Mental Healing.  Then another for Spiritual Awakening. Then another for Life Force Energy activation, etc. My journey was giving me direct experience as both a “human” and a “seeker” to discover the importance of each of those layers, and also to show me the most affective methods for addressing healing at each of the layers.
 
And when the needed work was completed for a specific phase of my healing, then the focus on that particular healing method was done.

The Fruits of Deeper Awareness and Insight

I have come to understand the process of Healing and Spiritual awakening to be like that of building a house.  There must be a strong foundation.  Then a structure.  Then plumbing and electrical.  Then the walls are put in place.  Then the Roof.  The floor.  Then the finishing touches, etc.
 
And at each of those phases of “building the house” a different set of tools is needed.  You would not, for instance, make the mistake of trying to cut boards with a screw driver or installing sheet rock on the walls with a sledge hammer. Each tool serves a specific function and addresses a specific phase of the project.
 
It is like this with healing and spiritual awakening also.  Different healing methods and approaches serve specific levels of healing.  Different philosophies and practices are also needed at different steps along the journey.  And also, like in a house, once the primary structure is built, the various tools are sometimes needed for maintenance, such as needing to make an electrical repair or replace the roof.  But even then, they are only pulled out once in a while.  And some tools you may never need again.
 
Once I saw and understood this clearly, then the beauty of my own personal journey become obvious: I was moving through different stages towards Wholeness and Self-Realization, while also being given a variety of experiences and healing tools to allow me to assist others at various different stages of healing and awakening.
 

7 Things a Healer or Spiritual Teacher Must Have to Be Truly Effective

I also learned that someone needs more than just “techniques” if they truly want to learn to the best and most effective energy healer possible.  
 
To be a truly effective healer or spiritual teacher, one needs, at minimum, the following:
  1. Direct experience of the healing methods they are using with their clients
  2. Effective methods to dialog with and coach the clients they are serving
  3. Effective methods for assessing the different layers in need of healing for any given session with a client
  4. The ability to know and implement the best method for addressing the healing at the assessed level
  5. A deep, experiential understanding of the True Source of healing, and where the process of healing is actually leading
  6. Intuitive tools to access the deeper wisdom of the energy moving within Self, Client and the healing process. 
  7. The confidence and trust to allow the healing to unfold in a way that is natural and for the highest good of the client being served

The Culmination of the Journey Leads to the Ecstatic Union® Healing System

After 24 years of study, professional training and walking my own path of personal transformation and spiritual awakening, I have developed the Ecstatic Union® Healing System.  It takes the best healing methods available, and brings them together into a cohesive, integral system that addresses each level of body, emotions, mind and spirit while also keeping a clear single goal of awakening Wholeness and Direct Experience of the Deeper Nature of the Self.

 In future posts, I will discuss in depth the components of the Ecstatic Union® Healing System, as well as the benefits for someone seeking personal healing, transformation and spiritual awakening.
 
I will also more fully address the benefits it has for someone who is called to be a professional healer or spiritual teacher of any kind.  That with include a detailed look at the 7 Things a Healer or Spiritual Teacher Must Have to Be Truly Effective that are mentioned above.
 
Need to take your personal healing journey deeper?  Need Mentoring as a Healing Professional? 
Appointments available by phone, Internet chat and in person.  Click here to schedule today!

The Sun in Vedic Astrology and Yoga: Attachment, Ego Purification and Enlightenment

In Vedic Astrology, the Sun, or Surya, is the source of our Inner Light. The Soul Essence Sun Planetseeking to shine through into the world. It is the power which illumines our experiences and the source from which we survive, thrive and grow.

The Sun is the Great “I am”, the “One Without a Second”, and as this great force of Divine Power, it is also where our personal sense of Self Identity is formed. The question is, where do we Identify? Does our “sense of Self” come from the outer story of our lives, such as our profession and other roles in life such as parent, spouse, child? Does the sense of Self arise from various labels that we have accepted as true, such as “The one who is good at details”, “the Black Sheep” or “The class clown”?

Or do we follow the wisdom of the Vedic teachings and turn within to explore our Self as the Radiance light of the Sun?

The Sun is not just the “Soul”, but is also the Inner Fire of Truth which burns away and purifies the False Sense of Self. It burns away the attachments we have formed through various lifetimes, and the Vedic Astrology Birth Chart reveals the Karmic patterning that is being purified in this lifetime. But, it helps if we participate in the process. To do so, we must understand both what our True Nature is, as well as what forms and creates the Limited, False Sense of Self.

Karmic Attachments are the primary source of False Sense of Self. Those Karmic attachments form what is referred to as “The Ahamkara”, or “The Ego”. Is is the False sense of Separate Self.

 

How can we notice our Attachments?

The most obvious identity attachments are the ones we cling to for our happiness and our sense of Self. Sometimes it is easier for others to see our attachments that it is for us. It is the labels we hold dear, the ones that we wish to be seen as and take great pride in. To be “the intellectual”, or “the sexy one”, for instance. To be “rich” or “well traveled” or “very spiritual”. It is whatever we want others to think about us and that would cause us to feel “less than” if we did not appear that way.

I would also like for you to expand your understanding of “attachment”. Sometimes, people think attachments are only what we DESIRE and WANT. If there is something we don’t want, then we might think “I am not attached to that, I don’t want it”. And you might interpret, for your self, that NOT wanting it means you are “not attached”.

It is possible that you are not attached, but you must look at it honestly. In many cases “not wanting it” is actually proof that you ARE attached. You are attached to a Self Identity that is NOT that label or thing. You are attached to some different definition of personality or Identity that you want others to see you as instead.. You are attached to the idea that being and expressing and being seen as “what you don’t want” is not compatible with who you imagine or wish yourself to be.

RESISTANT TO is just another form of attachment. It is attachment to what you think “should be” instead.

The True test of “Attachment” is whether or not there is an emotional charge around it. If someone were to suggest that you had the qualities or expression of “that which you don’t want” and it made you angry or was perceived as an insult: Well, then you are attached.

And if you are wanting to be seen as something, and there is a threat that someone doesn’t see you as that, or that you may lose that status of identity, and you get upset, angry, defensive, etc. Well, then you are attached.

 

The Sun illuminates attachments and Purifies them through Fire

It is the POWER of the SUN which illumines these attachments. The Great Light of our Inner Awareness which allows us to see into the dark corners of our own minds and finally see what is True. It is our striving after a sense of Self and our resistance to another one that shows where and how the Sun is Purifying our False Sense of Self. The emotional charge, the defensiveness, the feeling of defeat, the lack of confidence, the intense striving to “prove its true”, the resistance, and the chasing after are all signs that Purification is taking place. In short, if you are experiencing craving, discomfort or even the most subtle taste of “suffering”, then Purification is taking place.

The SUN creates PURIFICATION as it tries to reveal to you the TRUE Source of Power Within. This process can be uncomfortable. What makes it most “unfun” is resisting. We suffer when we struggle against what is. If we are able to understand, grasp and embrace it, then the Sun’s purification creates growth that we can surrender to, that expands our sense of Self and dissolves the limited sense that we are either attached to or resistant to. As limitation are removed, we begin to taste more clearly our True Self (Sun) as beyond any limited expression. If we resist, we potentially stifle growth and stay stuck and/or the growth happens anyway, but it is filled with “growing pains”.

ATTACHMENT to a sense of identity is being purified by the placement of the Sun in the chart, and we may discover at some point that we are struggling against the process (which is pretty normal). The Karma is there for you to express a certain set of traits and to be seen that way. These are the Karmic energies at play in your life. And part of the “Purification” process is to find a way to make peace with them. That could look any number of ways. Acceptance. Surrendering to these expressions, but letting go of the Identification with them.

These are all things related to the Sun. And as the evolutionary process happens within each of us, if we are able to more fully connect to the Sun in a health way, then the purification process brings about the changes needed to step into the Full POWER of our inner Soul and align with Atman. Resistance melts. Attachments are burned away, and we begin to Radiate the energy of our Soul.

This process is usually at least a little uncomfortable, but it is designed to bring into awareness the attachments and resistances that you must purify in order to become Free and awaken to your Inner Sun/Power.

 

The Process of Ego Purification and the Evolution of the Sun

So, now let’s look a little more closely at The Sun in relationship to the Ego and the purification process:

EGO is known as Ahamkara in the Samkhya Chart of the Tattvas. It is another layer of “Mind”, technically. Ahamkara translates to “Little I-maker”. It is a function that happens within creation that causes the larger True Self (Sun) to identify itself as a limited separate being, or the Jiva. Ego/Ahamkara forms the outer personality of the individual expression and is composed of Karma.

The Sun is the Self, and its true Sattvic essence is a Universal Consciousness/Oneness. When the Sun identifies itself with the Ego instead, a limited experience of identity is created and the natural true Power of the Sun is falsely thought to be come from the Ahamkara/ego instead. This false identification of the Source of Power can then lead to various issues around power, confidence, etc (either lack of, overly, or chasing after, etc)

The Purification process is the Authentic Power of the Sun to burn away the false attachments and false identities with the Ego/Ahamkara, and to connect Self with Authentic Power based upon Universal Oneness and dissolve the illusion of separation and competition.

If the individual is disconnected from the Sun, then he may feel even the Ego has no power, and would remain uninspired and feel he lacks direction in life. Here, the purification of the Sun will cause suffering until the individual is finally motivated to change his circumstances, and Karmic circumstances bring about the experience of connecting with some sense of Personal Power.

For those who do have a sense of Personal Power that is identified primarily with the Ego, they will be attached to their own sense of individual power and may appear as overly prideful, egotistical, domineering. Their power is primarily directed towards selfish gains and self gratification. Here, the Purification process of the Sun will eventually reveal to them that their individual sense of Power is limited. It may happen in a way where the tide will turn and they will suffer when all they have been attached to is taken from them. Or, they may be shown by direct experience that serving only the Ego isn’t fulfilling, and thus they become inspired to use their power for the benefit of others.

As the Purification of the Sun continues, the experience of the Universal Self begins to expand. This brings about a feeling of inspiration and a willingness to sacrifice for the good of others. The Purification process here helps to remove the final attachments. It can at times be still be uncomfortable, yes, but there is usually an understanding of the process which makes it clear that the discomfort serves a positive purpose, and thus there is less resistance to the process.

Spiritual practices over a long time are concerned in various ways with refining the ego so that it becomes a servant to the Universal Power of Self (Sun), instead of thinking it is an independent force that operates in the world for its own limited, personal gain. As part of our spiritual sadhana, we also are connecting to the Deeper Universal Self and releasing attachment to the Ego as “self”.

 

The Ego is not “Bad”

Let’s also be clear about this point: the Ego is not “bad”. It serves a function to allow the appearance of a “personality” here in this world. But suffering arises when we believe it is our source of Power, and that its needs must be served, rather than serving the Universal Self instead.

Even Saints or Enlightened Beings have a thin veil of an ego in order to operate in this world. The difference is that they have no identification with it, and it has been purified to operate for and as Universal Self (Atman, Sun). It operates out of knowledge of Oneness, and not separation.

This ego of a Realized being is said in yogic texts to be like an “ashen rope”, which describes the Purification process of the Sun’s Fire. A rope when it is burned will keep the shape and appearance of the original rope, but it is delicate and fragile with no true substance. A touch or a breeze will collapse the ashen rope, revealing it as hollow and empty. Yet it appears as a rope even after it has been burned up.

The same is for the Purified Ego of a Saint. It appears in the world as “personality” but it is light (sattvic) and empty. The Ego really no longer exists, even though it appears to operate in the world. Instead, the Self-Realized or Enlightened Being experiences the Oneness (Sun) of all creation and beings.

 

Understanding the Power of the Sun through Jyotish leads to Yoga and Enlightenment

The Vedic Traditions of Yoga reveal to use this deeper Potential of Self and the deeper Reality with which we are connected. And Jyotish or Vedic Astrology teaches us about the Nature of Self through the operations and the Nature of the Sun. When we look look at a birth chart, we can not only see how the Sun may show aspects of the personality and its expression in the world, but it also shows us the Karma which is being expressed and Purified in this lifetime for the native. The area of life being most strongly purified is also revealed through the House which is ruled by the Sun, or where Leo is.

Even though these placements in the chart show highly Karmic themes, also note that the Transit of the Sun through the full Zodiac each year shows the spiraling nature of the Sun to steadily burn attachments within each area of our life in a cyclical nature. And various Dasha cycles will also show times of greater intensity for the purification process as well. There is no part of our life that the Sun will not eventually touch.

This Purification Process is the core of Tantra Yoga and the Kundalini Yoga Traditions. Activating the Inner Fires of Awareness to purify the Ego. Vedic Astrology helps us to more clearly understand this process, as well as more clearly understand the way the Sun operates in the world. By following the Dasha cycles and transits we are given much insight into the perfection and beauty of this evolutionary process which is designed to evolve the Jiva into the Supreme Self.

What has your experience of Purification been?
What attachments in the Sun revealing to you right now in your life?
How can you better participate in this process?

CLICK HERE to learn more about Jeff’s Vedic Astrology Consultations

Jeff Craft (Kali Das) is a certified Vedic astrologer through the American Academy of Vedic Arts and Sciences (AAVAS), and was selected by Sam Geppi to be an Assistant Teacher for his Astrology Certification Courses. Outside of his work with Sam, Jeff is the Founder and Director of the Atlanta School of Tantra Yoga.

His 23+ years of study and personal practice include multiple certification in the fields of Advanced Yogic methods, Vedic Astrology, Ayurveda, Energy Healing and bodywork. Through his many years of personal and professional experience with healing and spiritual transformation, he has developed the Ecstatic Union® Vibrational Healing system. He offers Vedic Astrology Consultations as an integral part of the Ecstatic Union® approach to healing.

 

Awaken the True Self and Opening to the True Source (Video)

Discover the interactions between Shiva and Shakti as they Create the Unfolding Universe, and how that understanding allows us to free our Self through Tantric practice.
 
Learn why attachments, fears and self judgments keep us limited, and the primary mindset needed to progress towards Self-Realization.
 
This is Part 5 of a 6 part video series on Tantra as a Spiritual Path.
 
 

 

 

The Yoga of Community (Sangha)

The definition of “Yoga” is “Union”. In a traditional sense, it is the seeking of the “re-unification of the individual self with the One Universal Supreme Self”. Yoga is a path of Self-Discovery and self-improvement. There are a wide variety of practices that can benefit us in most any area of our lives when we know what they are and how to apply them.

In another sense, Yoga is really an exploration of our relationship to Self, to others, and to the world. We can come to see our limitations and strengths. We can use it to experience the fruits and rewards of self-discipline. We can observe and celebrate our own progress and growth.

The concept of “Union” also implies that something is being joined together, or “re-joined”. While the ultimate “Union” of Yoga is thought to be the final “union of the individual self with the Supreme Self”, the process of Yoga proceeds along a path of many smaller “union” points along the way.

In Tantra we talk about the re-unification of “Shiva” and “Shakti”. The Masculine and Feminine aspects of the unfolding universe. They are said to live within our own Self also. This isn’t really about gender, so much as it is about a set of principles. Like “yin and yang” from the Chinese philosophy, it points to a set of principles that can seem in opposition to eachother that must be understood, reconciled and re-integrated into an experience of wholeness.

While the final philosophical intention relates to the workings of the Self as “Consciousness”, this principle of Shiva and Shakti, or apparent opposites shows up everywhere in our life. We can understand it to be a metaphor for the Dualistic nature of life with all of its many sets of opposites: hot/cold, light/dark, good/bad, etc.

There is also a set of opposites that becomes quite important in our search. That is the notion of “self and other”. According to Yoga, all of our conflicts, challenges and suffering arise out of this dualistic experience, and especially that of “self and other”. It is our relationships with other aspects of life and other people that create the greatest sources of frustration, heart ache and conflict for most people. Yoga is an invitation to resolve those conflicts within our own Self.

From a young age, our interactions with others begin to teach us by conditioning and habit from our own experience what is “safe” within relationship to others. We may learn that discussing certain topics within our family or community is not acceptable, and thus we learn to avoid those topics, even if they are dear to our hearts. We may learn that it is not safe to express our emotions. We may try to tell someone about our hopes and dreams only to have them mocked, and so we decide they are not worthy of pursuing.

Over time, without even realizing it, we create an internal “monitoring system” that hides parts of us away from being seen by others. Hidden because past experience has shown these parts could be rejected, mocked, or misunderstood. And along with this “locking away” often comes an unconscious feeling that these parts of ourselves are not “good enough” or worthy of being honored. If they were rejected by others, then they must be “bad”.

Clearly everyone’s story is different, but life experience will show that even the most successful and confident people in the world will usually, at least at some point in their lives have some inner places that have been rejected based upon how they imagine others will react.

Because of these common life experiences, many people guard themselves in relationships. Sometimes we become so guarded that even in our closest relationships we can feel that sharing our feelings, hopes, dreams, desires, fantasies, etc is not safe in some or many areas of our inner world. For instance, we may tell others what we think they want to hear instead of being honest about our own thoughts and feelings. We may fail to share some dream we have because we assume it won’t be supported.

Certainly, the guarding makes sense. It was learned at a time when it was truly not safe. It was a proper defense mechanism then. And certainly there are still situations today that it would not be wise to share certain aspects of ourselves with specific people or groups or in specific situations. But sometimes we still feel that we can’t safely be ourselves in any situation. The result is that we aren’t even able to be truly comfortable with our own Self.

Because of this, some people never really know what a truly intimate supportive friendship or relationship can feel like. We become so used to living with things “unsaid”, that we can’t imagine what the freedom of a different type of relationship could offer. When we can find a safe, supportive friend or community, and we can begin to slowly and consciously share our hopes, dreams, fears, self-judgment, past experiences, etc with others and have them be seen, heard, supported and embraced as a part of who we are, a dramatic healing can take place. A renewed sense of self acceptance, confidence and joy can arise.

There is a notion in Yoga called “Sangha”. It originally was a term in Buddhism that referred to a community of Monks or spiritual seekers. A more modern interpretation, however, is a community of people who share any common vision and goal. That goal may simply be “to allow each person to discover and express their deepest Self, and to support and honor each person’s individual desires and needs for happiness and wholeness.”

There is true power in shared experience within a supportive Community, whether it is sharing the practices on the Yoga Mat, sharing discussions of how yoga benefits your life, or sharing of the deepest parts of our once hidden Self. For a practical purpose, it is also the ability to share with other like-minded people a set of philosophies, practices and goals that other circles of friends and relationships may not fully understand. However it shows up, “Sangha” is the sharing of a journey together within community which both honors and celebrates each individual’s unique expressions and personal goals, while also supporting a greater vision of consciously seeking and supporting the growth and wholeness of the community itself, however that may look for each person.

The “Sangha” by definition is usually a Conscious community where the rules and experience within it often run counter to common culture. It supports the undoing of our fears and allows each person to bring themselves into the light of self-accepting awareness. It allows a supportive environment to practice and explore the principles of more conscious living, healing and personal growth. It allows each person to have others who can celebrate their successes and growth with them. It allows a safe place to have our inner thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams heard and honored. It allows a conscious community support of learning how to be in healthy, supportive intimate relationships. It gives us the safe space to work through the fears of revealing ourselves more fully. We learn about true intimacy with Self and others, and how to set safe boundaries both within the acceptance of the Community and in the world outside that community.

We learn that our voice does matter. And that there are safe places to be ourselves. That when we share what is going on in us, that others are given a chance to respond in a way that can support us or bring clarification for our confusion. Without your voice being heard others don’t have the information to know what you need or simply to celebrate it with you. We learn that our opinion can matter. We learn that others often can relate to the experiences, thoughts and feelings that we are most afraid to share. We learn we are not alone. We learn that while there are unique things about us, that in many ways we are more similar to others than we realized. And when that happens, everyone can set aside the old game, and just celebrate the unfolding journey together.

Tantra is really much more about creating loving, honoring relationships with Self, others and the world than about “sex”. When we learn to experience the freedom of self-love, and self-acceptance, and have that reflected back to us my a lover, a friend or a community, then the protected places hidden within are given the freedom to come to the surface. When they are finally seen and acknowledged, the fear and the self-judgment can melt away, giving this part of ourselves freedom to open, to move and to express itself. This new movement is then reflected within the energy that we are seeking to cultivate and understand through the Tantric Kundalini practices.

I know for myself, finally having the chance to explore this kind of Conscious community support, where I could literally share anything I was thinking, feeling or had done, where I could safely ask any question that I thought would help me know myself better, and where many of the “superficial” ways of interacting could be set aside allowing for a deeper knowing of others, was an incredibly powerful part of my own healing journey. I learned that more often that not, what I was afraid to share, or the question I was afraid to ask was really about my own self-judgement. To reveal it and see that it was accepted, to feel that I was still honored gave me a reflected experience of the Love I deserved and should be giving my own Self. It was cleansing. And now that I understand the power of Conscious Community, my life is richer for it.

Like much of Yoga, the introduction to being in Conscious community can feel at first like a “practice”. We have to learn by doing it how to open into and navigate within it. But the more we practice, the more natural it becomes. The more it simply becomes reflected as an inner support of Self-Love and Self-acceptance that goes with you everywhere. You know that you are worthy of love, and that who you are is beautiful and should be seen by the world.

It is true that when we first begin to share in this way, that in can feel unsafe. But within a Conscious Community, there is an invitation to begin to push past the fear and, however slowly you need to go, intentionally share your “unedited” Self within the community. It is a healing experience for all involved.

Sometimes when we don’t have a reference for something by our own experience it can be hard to see or understand the value of the benefits, or the “risk to reward” ratio. Instead we just think “I don’t need that”, or “it doesn’t feel safe” or “it’s not for me.” I speak from direct experience to say “It is worth it.”

There is a quote I ran across that I think is true to my experience as well. “Anything I’ve ever done that ultimately was worthwhile… initially scared me to death.” – Betty Bender

I found that quote while trying to remember another quote that came to my mind, but I couldn’t remember the exact phrasing. I will leave you with the original quote that came to mind:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Suppression of the Feminine and Tantric Healing of… Men? (and Woman)

I suspect today’s blog post may be controversial, but perhaps the collective consciousness will welcome it. It has all the great qualities of any good drama. We have the antagonist of Patriarchy, and the protagonist of the Feminine Essence. We have battles of power, suppression, and the counter attack. We also have some metaphysical twists thrown in, such as Karma, reincarnation, and the power of Spirit to create miraculous healing, bringing a bright hope for the future.

In my own personal healing journey as a man, I somehow found myself in spiritual and healing groups of women. In most cases, I was the only man in the group. And sometimes, maybe one of two. In many of those groups, there were discussions of the re-emergence of the Feminine Essence. Historical recounts of witch burnings and the uprising of a male dominated religion, with “The Church” casting out women, silencing them, even killing them to ensure that their deep Wisdom and connection to spirit would never be heard. In this way “The Church” could dominate the culture, indoctrinate its message into the masses, and separate the masses from their true Spiritual Essence.

What did the Feminine essence have that frightened “The Church” so much? The Feminine knew that it could connect directly to God by turning within and that it could experience the Divine through Nature and every pulsating atom within Creation. The Church was perhaps frightened by this awareness and power, not understanding it, and assuming it to be some sort of demonic possession. Perhaps they were threatened because they simply realized that the Feminine’s experience was much more powerful than what they could offer, and thus they wanted to “silence the competition”. It just wasn’t good for business, if you will. If people learn they can connect directly to the Divine within their own Being, then there would be no need for the Church and its priests as go betweens to bring the masses to God. The Church needed you one step away from God in order for you to need their “services”. And if they were not “in demand”, then they could not get your financial offerings. So they silenced the woman, and created a teaching that required their services in order to get into “Heaven”, otherwise, eternal damnation would be your punishment. (Now, that’s pretty scary stuff! People these days are willing to pay to avoid allergies and headaches, so you know avoiding eternal damnation was a good marketing tool! Especially when you are the only game in town offering a solution.)

Now, I will leave it to you to decide if the above version of the story is fair or not, but I can report that these types of ideas were commonly offered within the spiritual woman’s groups I found myself in. And there are historical threads that can and do support these types of activities, even if the motivations may be a little different (or not).

Being often the only male in the room in many ways gave me a “fly on the wall” type experience. I learned about these theories, and was quite honestly a little shocked at first. Once these things were pointed out to me, quite frankly it seemed hard to ignore that there is likely at least some, if not a lot of truth to it.

Within these groups, I also was invited to explore a spirituality that encouraged me to open to “Feminine wisdom.” To find my spiritual connection within, to experience it through nature, to awaken and own the Power that dwelled within me and could be experienced all around me. In this way, I learned to become my own bridge to Spirit, or a “Priest” in my own rite. Worlds cannot convey what a powerful impact these experiences had on my healing journey and spiritual transformation. It forever changed how I looked at the healing process, the world, my own Self, and God. And, also the Power of the Feminine Essence.

One of the things I did begin to notice among many of the woman, was that their “re-claiming the Feminine essence” sometimes came with anger and outrage at the Masculine Patriarchy who has suppressed them and in some ways is even doing so in the modern age. But I did realize that the pain that it caused was legitimate, and they were honoring their healing path to allow the pain, the anger and the rage to come up to be cleared and healed. The energetic “imprints” or the Karma that surrounded it needed to be released in order to step beyond the previous limitations.

At the same time, this stage of healing can also lead us into a place of feeling like a “victim”. A feeling that another had “done something to you”, and that you have no power in the situation. An often unconscious assumption that you are somehow completely innocent. The healing journey requires us to move past this as well. To acknowledge the pain, remove the source of the pain, accept any responsibility that may be yours and reclaim your own wholeness and power in the situation. Remaining a victim keeps you in a position of weakness and allows the power over the situation to remain in the hands of the other party.

If we look at the way Karma works, there are really “no victims”. Karma is 100% fair. It simply brings back the energy that you created from a past action. So, as a general analogy, we could say that a woman who is heavily suppressed in this lifetime may have been a male suppressor in a past life, and the Karmic energy is just being recycled to experience the energy that was created. (Although it may often be more complex than this.)

It is said that we are all interconnected, and all One, and that literally what we do to another, we are doing to own own Self. This is where to Golden Rule comes in. The actions that you take will energetically affect you in some way. Part of the Tantric healing cycle is to understand this energetic potential, and find ways to resolve the Karma so you are freed from its effects.

So we have “no victims”. But I can remember in all of this, that the stories focused on the suppression of the Feminine. And while it was important to bring the energy up to be cleared, there was a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, anger towards the “masculine” or the “patriarchy”. While I cannot speak for the woman of the group, the repeated hearing of the story began to make me think of the woman as “victims”. “Oh how awful it must be to be treated in that way, powerless, defenseless. Why, we the men are the most awful of human beings!”

I began to feel that I owed all women everywhere a huge apology. That I needed to grovel at their feet and beg for forgiveness for all that I had done to wrong them…

(Who is the victim now?)

There was an energetic reason for the Masculine to acknowledge and apologize for the pain it had caused, but there are always multiple sides to every story, and there are a few angles we are leaving out.

What would someone do who was being suppressed or controlled? Especially if they were afraid to reveal their true essence for fear of being killed? Might they resent the oppressor? Darn skippy! And don’t you think they might, in their feeling of powerlessness seek some way to have power, or to get revenge? Well, of course, and it wouldn’t be a good drama story without it!

As my exploration of this dynamic continued, it came to light that the response that “the Feminine” had to this situation was really not any more respectful than the original suppression by the Masculine. While many may have suffered a disconnect from their Feminine power, it karmically set up retaliation. And in many cases, this came in the form of subtle manipulation, resentment, passive aggressive behavior, etc. In other cases, it has been more blatant and long lasting: entraping men by getting pregnant, manipulating the court system for greater financial gain during divorce, etc.

(For the record, what I just shared is not my projection, but actually the uncovered “truth” from some of these woman during their own healing process. A realization by some of them, that they actually owed the Masculine an apology too. If you are brave, and willing to explore this deeper, please click on and read the Manifesto for the Conscious Woman, which was the inspiration for sharing this part of my own healing journey through this blog post. I am not suggesting I agree with everything written in it. There is a lot that, to me, is quite harsh and distorted, or at least “not true” more often than true, but I offer it more as a “makes you think” piece. It will likely enlighten you about some things, offend you and perhaps piss you off. But that is often true of things which bring to awareness that which we have not wanted to see or that we find unfathomable.  Save it for the end, or at least make sure you come back and finish this post.)

During one of the Healing circles I was a part of, this issue came up. I felt moved to apologize to the Feminine in a Sacred healing space, which was deeply moving for not only myself, but many of the Women in the room. And to my great surprise, one of the women felt the need to stand up, and apologize for the ways the Feminine had hurt, manipulated and dishonored the Masculine. Some deep part of my soul so needed to hear that, and intense emotion, self-forgiveness and relief flooded through every part of my Being. A weight was lifted. “It was NOT just me! I am (Men are) not the only one’s in the wrong!” It has been a mutual dance. And forgiveness can happen.

I have heard some people speaking about the “suppression of the Feminine”, in such a way where one can almost imagine or get the impression that there was this time in the past when women were pure, and enlightened, deeply connected to Spirit, loving nature and dancing in the forest with a radiance of inner light around them (and I imagine this was actually true for at least a few of them), and then suddenly, with no known cause or reason, the Patriarchy rose up like an unexpected black cloud and lightening came from the sky silencing them and forcing them to disown their greatest Secrets and Divine Powers… If you have been paying attention, you will immediately recognize this version of the story as coming from a place of “victim”.

The greater reality is that there has been conflict between people, and between genders probably since the dawn of time. And while there could easily be Truth in the Patriarchy and the Church simply making a “power move”, that does not discount that the woman from that time and before may have likely been seeking power in their own way. No matter what the truth is of the unfolding story, there is a Karmic thread that started long before the suppression of Feminine energy. The Patriarchy and “The church” did not arise out of a vacuum, but instead it was a result of Karma from previous times. No victims.

There is also another layer to this story that needs to be brought into the light. According to Tantra and many other wisdom traditions, each individual, whether male or female, is a unique balance of both Masculine and Feminine essences. By suppressing the Feminine Essence, the males also suppressed the Feminine Essence within their own Selves. They literally forced a part of their own Being and awareness into submission. They lost the chance to find their own wholeness, because they could not honor the Feminine. So, a deeper layer of truth, at least from the perspective of Wholeness and Spiritual evolution, is that the men also suffered under their own regime, although likely without realizing the harm they had done.

There was an increase in the polarization of opposites. We can still see this today through our cultural notions of gender roles: Men don’t cry (express feminine quality of emotions). An aggressive male in business is “good at his job” and a woman who runs the same level of aggression is usually given a more derogatory label. A friend of mine recently told me of a couple from Little Rock, AK who are in the antique business. They were traveling in Atlanta, looking to purchase things they could take back and sell in Little Rock. My friend showed them several stone bookends, all of which they liked except for one. When he asked what was wrong with that one, the woman replied: “It would never sell because it’s pink. We don’t even use the word pink in Little Rock. If something is pink, we have to call it ‘beige’.” The local sense of “manliness” will not allow for the feminine quality of pink.

So even today, this struggle between masculine and feminine carries on. The reality is that we don’t know when or how all this started. To isolate a point in history as “its cause” is to ignore the Karmic thread from which it sprung and potentially cry “victim”. And while the stories of the Patriarchy can be helpful to help us understand what has happened and how it may be effecting us now so we can heal the Karma, there is a point where it is no longer beneficial to reference the past. We must learn to look at our current situation. We are creating power struggles right now, not in the past. What can we do NOW that will change this and restore balance?

If two countries are at war, our common assumption is that one country must “win” and that the battle will continue until someone is declared the winner. There is, however, another option that is almost never taken. It is so easy that no one seems to acknowledge it, but no one ever uses it because they believe it is important to “win”. The simplest way to end a war is simply for both sides to set down their weapons, say “Sorry about that” and honor both their commonalities and their uniquenesses.

This is the same for the conflict between “Masculine and Feminine”, lovers of any gender, family members, friends, co-workers, etc. We must set down the weapons, and call a truce. When we push to be a winner in these situations, no one can ever win. History has already shown us that. Attempting to “win” and fighting the fight is ultimately a rejection of a part of our own Self. We all need both the Feminine and the Masculine to be out of conflict and in perfect balance in order to find true peace.

Continuing to “battle” is simply the Karma recycling itself over and over again. Left as is, it will go on and on, like a perpetual motion machine. Stopping the battle ends the cycles of Karma. The explanation is simple: “just stop”. The reality is more complex, because the Karma keeps driving us. But Tantric Healing and the Tantric Path encourages us to find ways to end these Karmically conditioned cycles of harming our own Self and others. To honor all parts of our own Self, both Masculine and Feminine. To honor both aspects of others as well. We will likely need to “stop the battle” one area at a time, but eventually we can become free.

My own healing journey to explore the Feminine Essence was a part of my preparation for Tantra, which I did not encounter formally until a few years after beginning my work with a more Feminine Essence based spiritual approach. Through my progression of the Tantric Path, each piece that I learned through that initial exploration has been re-affirmed, and woven even deeper into a tapestry of spiritual awakening and understanding.

Tantra is sometimes referred to as “The Cult of the Feminine” or “Goddess Worship”. This is because it works with the Feminine Essence of the Divine. In most Tantric paths, the Feminine aspect of the Divine is approached and worked with and is thought to be the “Power” of the Divine. There are many practices that involve honoring the Feminine’s Sacredness, including a practice which involves worship of the genitals (the yoni) of a human female consort. I have occasionally heard someone make a comment that seems to imply that their understanding is that the Feminine is actually superior to the Masculine. And from that, that women are superior to men.

There is a beauty and power in restoring the balance to honoring the Feminine through ritual. There is a beauty to giving woman the respect that they are due. But honoring the Feminine does not need to be done at the expense of less honor for the Masculine. We must remember that Tantric practices teach us to restore the balance between Masculine and Feminine within our own Self, not to assume Feminine superiority. It teaches us to learn to honor all aspects of creation, and discover the Sacredness within our own Being. It teach us that we can also experience our own deeper Self though conscious connection to another and how we can balance our relationship with others and end conflict. It gives us tools to clear out Karma, and end the cycles of pain and suffering. It teaches us to release the past, and live in the here and now.

The final goal is to re-unify the Masculine and the Feminine. In fact, it says they were never separated, but our own mistaken polarization and Karmic war has prevented us from seeing the deeper Truth. Once the Masculine and Feminine put down their weapons, end the war and begin to peacefully relate to each other, they will recognize their own essence within the other and merge into the non-dual state of Consciousness.

In the mean time, whether you practice Tantra or not, what can you do to put your weapons down? (One at a time is fine.) How can you begin to consciously end the current power struggles which exist. even if they are very subtle? Where might you do best to simply say “I am sorry.”? Where might you find that you can substitute a more honoring and supportive action or kind word? The war may not end all at once, but one by one we can learn to recall the “inner troupes” and restore peace and balance. We are not victims. We must discover how we contribute to this cycle, and consciously choose a different way.

At different stages of healing, we have different persectives.  My intention in sharing this story was to share MY VERSION of my own healing experience and spiritual path, and the way it has woven into Tantric Wisdom for me, with the hopes that it will provide some source of healing or insight for you. I have also learned that everyone’s path to wholeness is unique, and must also be honored. 

What have your experiences been around healing Masculine and Feminine balance?  Or around reclaiming your own Feminine Power or Masculine Power?

And in conclusion, this topic reminds me of a poem I love:

From “The Subject Tonight Is Love” by Hafiz:

It Happens All The Time In Heaven

It happens all the time in heaven,
And some day
It will begin to happen
Again on earth-
That men and women who are married,
And men and men who are
Lovers,
And women and women
Who give each other
Light,
Often will get down on their knees
And while so tenderly
Holding their lover’s hand,
With tears in their eyes,
Will sincerely speak, saying,
“My dear,
How can I be more loving to you;
How can I be more
Kind?”

Modern Tantra and moving beyond Sexual Energy (Video)

Discusses Neo-Tantra, Sacred Sexuality or Western Tantra as a modern tool for erotic/sexual healing and relationship enhancement in context with the fuller Tradition of Tantra Yoga as a Spiritual Path.  Discover a deeper understanding of Sexual energy in the path of Tantra Yoga.

This is Part 2 of a 6 part video series on Tantra as a Spiritual Path.

Tantric Healing: Clearing Clutter from Heart and Mind

                There is a laundry room and storage area in the basement of my home which has become overly filled with useless things.  It is not a large room to begin with, but the free wall space and shelf space has become full to the point where additional items are spilling out, slowly overtaking any practical floor space.  There is just barely enough room to get in and do laundry and get out.  Occasionally I will trip over some random item en route.

                The open floor space has also become the storage area for the vacuum.  In recent months, another member of my household has decided that “the vacuum is in the way, and must be put somewhere else.”  Whether fair or not, I find this concept amusing.  To my mind, the vacuum is one of only a handful of things in the room which is actually useful, worth keeping and stored in a convenient location.

                It amuses me to think that even the very best canister vacuums to use, the very essence of a clean floor, is the “enemy” when all around the room are stacks of ceramic tiles which will never be used, an abundance of scrap wood which will likely serve no future purpose, close to 20 cans of half used paint from previous projects, and an empty, barely clean birdcage from a pet that died three years ago.  The list goes on to include power tools which have not been properly stored (because you can’t get to the shelf space where they should go), endless random construction items like doorknobs, screws, nails, and of course a studio sized four-burner gas stove and oven that was purchased over 8 years ago for a specific project, and have never been used because the project needs were altered.

                The majority of items will practically never be used, and the items which are worth keeping are not stored in a manner which is an efficient use of space or convenient to get to.  Yet somehow, because the vacuum is in the walk-able floor area, IT is “in the way”.  I laugh to myself as I see all the useless items disappear, and the vacuum cleaner sitting quietly and peacefully alone, snuggled up next to the now inaccessible wall, completely out of the walk path in a now open room.

                This situation, however stimulated in me the following questions.  “How often do we fail to see the real ‘problem’ or ’cause’ of the ‘obstacles’ we see in our lives?  How often do we define the ‘Vacuum’  or the discomfort in the moment as the problem, when the deeper issue is the piles of useless junk which clutter our hearts and minds?”  It is so much easier to look at and respond to the resulting crisis than it is to look at all of the influences, choices and actions which led up to it.  The “vacuum” is not the problem.  The junk that prevents it from having a proper home is.

                An important part of the path of personal growth and transformation is the ability to open self-awareness and observe the role we play in the experiences we have in life.  To stop blaming the Vacuum when what we really need to do is acknowledge and deal with the “mess” that brought about the situation.  Taking personal responsibility for what we have done and what we have not done, and then consciously addressing those areas of our lives, rather than simply reacting to the outcome and acting surprised or as if it has been “done to us” by some outside cruel force of the universe.

                In some cases, the “mess” was created long ago through our conditioning in childhood, or past lives.  As part of the Tantric healing process, we learn to clean up and clear out the past conditioning so we can be free and fresh in the moment.  In this way, we remove the clutter from our hearts and mind, and keep the energy of our life flowing freely, and the enjoyable and useful experiences have room in our lives and our hearts.  When our hearts and minds are cluttered, there is no room for what is joyful and peaceful, because all of life revolves around “finding a place for the vacuum”. 

                Joy, Love and Happiness all should be a part of your life as they are a part of your True Nature. If you are struggling to create a place for them in your life, then stop and look at the ways you can clear up the mental clutter and energetic conditioning from the past to open space for them in your heart.  Simple meditation practices can help calm the mind, giving your greater peace, focus and self-awareness.  Tantric Energy Clearing practices can be learned from a Tantric teacher or practitioner.   Through a combination of healing sessions and self-healing at home, you can use these techniques to clear the inner landscape of your Heart and Awareness, and create space for Joy and Love to arise.

                The next time an “obstacle” arises in your life, stop and ask yourself “How did this experience get created?  Is there some practical way I could have prevented it?  Can I correct the situation to prevent it from happening again?”  And then take the practical steps to clean up “the mess” whether that means cleaning out the laundry room to make room for the vacuum, or seeking assistance to energetically clear our your mind and heart so you can re-harmonize your life.