Tantra is sometimes known as the path of awakening through desire. Unlike many paths which seek to suppress or avoid desire in order to awaken, Tantra gives methods to awaken through desire.
Note: Tantra gives methods. It is not enough simply to dive headstrong into your desires and call it “tantra”. This is hedonism. Different path.
Desire is the fuel of life. We were all born of desire (if our parents hadn’t desired one another…just think about it!). We pop out in this world and seek the breast milk we desire. Then eventually the baby food we desire. In fact we continue on in life following one desire after another. Desire is natural.
But what is natural is not necessarily spiritual…will not necessarily awaken you. To be like an animal following basic desires is not a path of awakening and evolution in and of itself. As humans we have this unique gift: the possibility of spiritual awakening. To go through desire in order to move beyond it…this is evolution.
Many Tantric and Taoist methods aim to bring consciousness to basic desires, to liberate the energy we invest in those desires, and to use that energy for creating expanded states and releasing attachments to old patterns. It is a tricky path however, and the major pitfall is to get lost in your desires instead of liberated. Addiction instead of awakening.
How can you tell if you are waking up or getting lost? Are you entering divine desire or simply landsliding into hedonism?
Here are some clues:
Tao Tantric Methods for Desire
Remember the Tantric way is not to judge the desires but to channel them. Judging tends to repress them further. Acting them out gets us caught in a behavioural loop. Channeling them helps us transform.
A common Tao Tantric method is to drop attention away from the object of our desire and bring awareness to the sensations behind the desire. So you may be desiring that chocolate cake, but for a moment you stop and bring awareness to all the feelings in your body. This awareness is the alchemical force that transforms desire
Here is a simple Tao Tantric meditation to help you handle strong desires, and take back your power. It is all about taking back the energy into our core. The core builds a strong inner presence. In desire it is easy to lose ourselves, but when we build a strong core (a huge focus in Taoism) then we no longer get lost in life…we meet it with loving presence.
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