Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Question/Comment on Sri Vidya Post

I got this question/comment in by email about a week or more ago and have had to sit with it before commenting. I find it great that so many of you are coming up with very deep responses to some of my posts. Comments and questions are always welcome and can be made to vasistha@hotmail.com.

"One of the things I find so attractive about Tantra is the absolute freedom it offers, or more accurately, I think, the absolute freedom it points to, the absolute freedom that we are born with. 
 
It’s the freedom that comes with being made up of the same substance that the rest of the universe is made up of - divinity, consciousness, god, goddess, love, whatever we call it.  To me, Tantra is the belief or world-view, the knowing, that God is in our very cells.  Goddess is in all that we see, all that we touch, all that we eat, all that is…    And therefore, the essence of it isn't contradictory with any other beliefs I've had, and that is, to me, more evidence of how beautiful and true it is.  For me, it doesn't even conflict with Catholicism.
 
I remember being taught that we are all part of the body of God.  In Catholic school this meant being shown a poster of Jesus' face that, when one got up close to it, saw that it was made up of thousands of faces.  I understood this as a child to mean that the holy spirit dwells within each individual, that Jesus is within and without.  To me, the essence of Tantra is the same.  The actual practices, and probably the results of Tantra, might be quite different, but I think one could be a practicing Catholic and a Tantric believer. 
 
This is where my questions lie.  I enjoy some  of the Tantric practices I've been introduced to a lot, and I'm so interested in learning more.  I enjoyed the incense of the Catholic church too… and communion, and scripture, and singing…  To me, there is perfect freedom in whatever one chooses as her sadhana.  To say, that we must be fully-in, we must commit 100%  to anything, goes against my very basic concept of what Tantra is.  If it is the acceptance that God is us, we are god, all is sacred, even the completely mundane, then doesn't that make us free to take or leave whatever feels right to us from any tradition?  Because no matter how we choose to engage, we are engaging with her.   
Once we have had the good fortune to come across such wisdom, such powerful tradition, it is it "wrong" to not dive-in fully? And what does dive-in fully really look like? Is that different for each individual? If we accept God to be in every atom of every universe, then does that make every moment of our life sadhana?  Is Tantra actually a path or is it a way of seeing the world?  If it is a path, where is it going?  How can we be going anywhere if we are already living God on earth, within our bodies, if she is who we are?  Where are we going?  If we are always connected, always divine, why do we spend so much time trying to connect with the divine?  How do we define success when it comes to sadhana?
I know that somewhere in all my questions, my answers lie.  I feel incredibly blessed to have met Sri Amritananda, and to have been taken under his wing during my stay in India.  He and I understood each other on some levels.  He understood how foreign all of this is to me.  He also understood what it is about the tradition that compels me, and he always assured me that worthiness is my birthright.  He taught me that I must embrace the Goddess within me, and that to do otherwise, is foolish.  He taught me that merely by being completely natural, I am okay, I am divine.   He also seemed to be saying that having fun is of utmost importance because he never missed an opportunity to giggle.
Thanks for making my wheels turn with your writing.  Sometimes the technicalities of it all make me feel a little dumb, or a little slow, or a little lazy, but then I remember who I am."
 
Thanks for your questions which make me think even more deeply about matters. Just now getting back to your question. In some ways I already answered something similar to another question on my blog but your question is also a bit different.

"If it is a path, where is it going?  How can we be going anywhere if we are already living God on earth, within our bodies, if she is who we are?  Where are we going?"

These are good questions. In some ways I suppose our "path" is very dreamlike. I don't ultimately have the answers to these questions beyond what drives us (or at least me) inside. I know for me that I just feel driven a lot of the time, with insatiable curiosity. This world is so big, so vast that I feel compelled to understand it on some, on any level. There are many answers but so many of them fail to comprehend to truly understand our magnitude.

When I speak of faith in my blog it is the deep faith that fuels one's self forward. Not so much as in a right or wrong faith but the personal faith that carries one foot in front of the other. I find personally that without it, I fall prey to conflicting ideas or passing movements and then end up muddled or confused. So in other words, I was mainly speaking in the previous article (on Sri Vidya) about how to inspire movement, how to "supercharge" it, in a way that overcomes the inertia of conditioned and collective consensus reality. Consensus reality can become so deeply ingrained that it acts as a limit to our true nature. I believe faith, personal deep faith that gives rise to conviction, can help to overcome the walls of this inertia. Even if this inertia itself is the play of the Goddess, I still feel that to lie down and let go with it is not in our nature either. Our nature is to move forward, to evolve, even if this evolution is all a dream in the grand scheme of things.
 
With deep conviction that comes out of that personal faith I find myself propelled into new arenas, new areas of life and exploration. Life is ever moving. Sometimes I feel that it is the God/dess herself expanding and evolving. And perhaps it is all coming from a place much bigger than myself. And hopefully I will continue to have "fun" in the process!