Part One, Level 1 – Intro. & Practice
I went with no expectations and had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I didn’t know anything about Tibetan Tantra and was very curious to know the difference between Tibetan Tantra and Indian Tantra.
Two completely different worlds came together – Monks (who spent most of their lives in the monastery) and Westerners from all over the world.
On day four I was ready to run out of there and never come back, I visualized it many times throughout the day, since visualization was a big part of this practice.
We meditated 8-hours a day, and chanted (I hate sitting for long periods, and I don’t like chanting) my body was in pain and I was miserable.
My mind was full of questions and complaints:
- Why am I here?
- Why am I doing this?
- I have so much work to do, why am I am sitting here in pain?
- This sucks, today is my last day and I am not coming back, I am done.
My friend, who was also the organizer of this event, saw my misery and came over to speak to me. She said, ‘you look like you are ready to kill someone.’
I smiled and said, ‘no one from this group, but yes, my body is in so much pain from all the sitting.’
While she was trying to calm me down she asked me a question I never asked myself:
What’s Beyond Pleasure?
My whole life I’ve been seeking and pursuing pleasure and everything I do revolves around pleasure, my life motto is “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” ~ William Cowper
And pleasure for me comes in many forms:
- Walks in nature
- Exquisite lovemaking
- Indulging in delicious food
- Being around people I love and care about
- And so much more…..
I’ve never asked myself what’s beyond pleasure?
The answer came quickly – peace.
Beyond pleasure is peace and I have felt this peace before when I came out of a deep meditation in India 8 years ago.
This feeling of peace was very nurturing and light. I was in the ultimate flow of life and yet I felt that I had lost my excitement for life. I became very boring and disinterested in many things life offered. It was hard to spend time with anyone who wasn’t eccentric.
I wouldn’t get excited or mad about anything. I was too ‘ZEN’ and neutral about everything.
Luckily, that feeling fizzled out after 4 months because I stopped doing the mediation practices.
Throughout these 10- days I realized how much peace I get from pleasure, and pleasure for me is connecting to my life force energy.
I don’t plan on stopping the pursuit of pleasure since I am still a human dancing my way through life enjoying the highs and experiencing the lows.
But how do I cultivate peace when pleasure is missing from my life at any given moment?
Right now I have no answer.
Part Two – Q/A With The Teacher
Throughout these 10-days we had a great group – we laughed a lot, which made the practice much easier.
I try to approach all teachings and life with humor since it eases tension and we get to make fun of rules, rigidness and ourselves.
I asked our teacher a few important questions
- Why Are There No Gurus With a six-pack?
Him: We’re not to self-conscious, we are shapeless.
Me: Belly is a shape – what’s shapeless? You can’t be shapeless as long as you are human.
- Why Are There No Female Teachers?
I didn’t get a clear answer on this, I got the feeling he may not know the answer.
- What’s The Difference Between Tibetan Tantra and Indian Tantra?
Different practices – probably has same origin from the Vedas. Indian Tantra is more shiva tradition, more mystical and focuses on magic and power. Tibetan Tantra focuses more on enlightenment.
- What Do The Teachings Say About Same Sex and Anal sex?
In our tradition they are both considered un- natural.
A lot of our conversations didn’t include too many details or explanations since there was a language barrier. The teacher is from Bhutan and has spent most of his life in a monastery in India.
They also believe that transmission of knowledge doesn’t always happen through language and speaking.
- Doubt and hope cause the most suffering.
- Expectations are the biggest cause of conflict in relationships.
- There is no difference in sexual practices for men and women.
- Disappointment is like a virus that eats into your emotions and energy.
- There are only two types of orgasm – inward and outward. For Men, the inward orgasm is used to rebirth and re-energize him.
- The lotus flower symbolizes a vagina – all ascended masters are sitting on a lotus flower.
With these type of teachings there is always rites of passage and the teacher decides when the student is ready to go to the next level.
Tibetan Tantra has nothing to do with being a better lover or sex. The practices are for self awakening and self – realization. The purpose is to realize a sacred union with ourselves.
So far every ancient dogma I’ve come across has contradictions in their teachings.
The world is a paradox, every universal truth has an equally opposite truth. Example: Knowledge is power – ignorance is bliss.
With these type of mediations we gain deeper insights to our own truths while turning off the world.
While there is beautiful wisdom in all teachings, I truly believe the next phase of human evolution has to integrate ancient teachings and practices with modern tech and science to apply to the human of today.
An example of this is integrated medicine.
We simply can’t deny the speed at which things are evolving, the role technology plays in our lives, nor can we actively sit for 8 hours a day practicing mediation in the modern world to reach self – realization or be at peace.