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Monday, September 12th, 2005

So what is Tantra for, anyway?

Tantra is for one thing: Self-realization. Not for salvation. And not for transcending the world.

Tantra prepares you for death and for the completion of the human experience. But this completion only occurs when the human experience has been fulfilled.

What does it mean to complete the human experience? Well, it means relaxing so deeply that your karmic entanglements no longer bind you to this form of existence. You are free to go, or to stay. Those who choose to stay and assist us stragglers are called “Mahasiddhas.”

The path of completion is different for everyone. You might hang out meditating in a cave, run a multi-national corporation, raise a family, or just sit on your porch strumming a guitar. There is no one, authentic Tantrik “look.”

Just in case you don’t complete the human experience in this lifetime (smile), Tantra is still very, very good for you. Tantra teaches us how to regulate our eating, sleeping, and relationships with others, conserve energy, increase adaptability, and generally get in tune with Nature.

And even if you choose not to be on a hardcore Tantrik path, learning and implementing the fundamentals of Tantrik lifeways will bring you much balance and fulfillment.

Tantra is not a religion. Sentiments such as “belief,” “faith,” and “hope,” the mainstays of religious systems, are impediments to Tantrik practitioners.

In Tantra, belief, faith, and hope are replaced by experimentation and direct understanding. You receive instructions. You do the practices with sincerity. You receive the fruit of the practices: a direct apprehension of Nature, of Reality just as it is. You gain confidence in the world process, in yourself, and the teachings. That’s it: practice, experimentation, direct understanding, confidence.

Most of us have extremely limited concepts of Self-realization. At the same time, most of us have some experience of greater freedom. This is not freedom to…, or freedom for…. It is freedom from compulsion and freedom of expression. The freedom of the cosmos to express is our self-same freedom. This freedom flickers, sometimes feebly, sometimes powerfully, between the cracks or gaps in our compulsions. A teacher’s job is to get you to relax in the gaps, where freedom is shining.

OM Shanti, Shambhavi

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