Last Friday I attended Dawn Cartwright's Friday night Tantra Experience class. It was delicious and wonderful and yet, within all of my experiences of the evening was an underlying feeling... As I came more and more into experiencing myself in my body, I felt the pain and the horror of being alive.
This is not the first time I have felt this.
It has showed itself to me many times in the course of my self-exploration.
In a recent Yoga class (I love discovering my body through yoga...there is really nowhere to hide) I was happily experiencing an orgasmic state while doing repetitive squats with a partner. My teacher came over to me and pressed her hand firmly into my body just below my belly button, "move from here, Charu" she commanded. As she pressed her hands into me I immediately was brought back into my body.
It was a rude awakening. I let out a earth-shattering scream as I felt in an instant the agony I had been avoiding in my body by floating off into an 'out of body orgasmic experience'. I was then encouraged to continue to squats while staying in my body and feeling everything, rather than using my usual escape route...fuck! No wonder I have spent my life floating out of my body and chasing extreme spiritual states...sometimes the reality of being alive is almost unbearable.
And yet, it is so right, so true, so real, so whole. Ultimately, although it was my desire for more out-of-body delight that brought me to a 'spiritual' practice, it is my deepest longing to truly live as a human being in this life. To feel all of what is available in this skin, the pleasure and the pain.
After my Friday night reminder of why I avoid being a human, I had a Saturday that was thick with self-hate, shame, indulgence, inadequacy, etc, etc, etc. Much of this had a familiar ring...like I had taken on traits that were common within my family.
In a casual conversation, peppered with comedy to skim the surface of the cutting pain I was feeling, I joked, "maybe all of this time I have truly been a depressed person, keeping myself from experiencing that by living 'out of my body' and eating loads of sugar...".
In the moment, I laughed. Yet, my joke felt sadly true. I have been living at a safe distance from anything real.
Days of depression followed and I have been eager to find fault with anything and anyone around me in order to avoid feeling...or maybe to provoke the feelings so longing to be felt that I have ignored while I danced in my 'orgasmic' state slightly out of body.
I know there is more. I know that my freedom will come from allowing myself to be human, allowing myself to feel and embrace whatever is alive for me in every moment. Luckily, I have Tantra and I have created a life where I am surrounded by beloved friends who love me enough to infuriate me by calling me on the indulgences that keep me from the simple truth.
I know that I share Tantra because it is what I most long to learn. To truly be embodied in this life, to allow life to touch me in every way. To say 'yes' to what is.
...and so the journey continues.