'I have always been looking for that goal, success or relationship that would tell me that I had won.' ~ Maya

When I first got this assignment [to write about ‘What is Tantra’], I thought for sure I was in trouble. We were told to give an answer not based on research or books. Well, I know where I got my current answer---it’s based on the interview I did for Charu! I couldn’t imagine how I was going to find an answer authentic to me with her words ringing in my head. I’ve used them so often to talk to people who wonder why I’m always flying out to LA for another retreat!

Then, on the way from somewhere or the other yesterday, one of my favorite songs came up on a playlist I call “Life Soundtrack”:

"Incomplete" by Alanis Morissette

One day I'll find relief
I'll be arrived And I'll be friend
to my friends who know how to be friends
One day I'll be at peace
I'll be enlightened and I'll be married with children and maybe adopt
One day I will be healed
I will gather my wounds, forge the end of tragic comedy

 

I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line

And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete
 

One day my mind will retreat
And I'll know God

And I'll be constantly one with her night dusk and day
One day I'll be secure
Like the women I see on their thirtieth anniversaries
I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line

And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete

Ever unfolding
Ever expanding
Ever adventurous

And tortuous

And never done
One day I will speak freely
I'll be less afraid
And measured outside of my poems and lyrics and art
One day I will be faith-filled
I'll be trusting and spacious, authentic and grounded and whole

The reason that song is on my life soundtrack is that I have always identified so closely with it. I, too, have always been “running so sweaty my whole life”, looking for that goal, success or relationship that would tell me that I had won. But this time, as I listened to the many different wishes for “One day”, many of which I relate to very differently than the first time I heard the song, it was as if I was hearing another layer. First, the woman I am today is much more interested in the journey than in the finish line. My Tantra practice has much to do with that. But I also felt as if I were hearing the play between the wishes and the experience of being present and “in the moment”. I could feel them waltzing together instead of fighting each other.

It was as if, through the lyrics, I could hear the “human” side that wants things, strives for goals, desires to feel pleasure; and the “divine” part of us that knows that there is nothing to want, or strive for, that it is all here with us in this minute. While I was listening, the song became about the harmony between those two sides. More than harmony. Unity. It became about the fact that they are not separate from each other. Not even “two sides of the same coin”---they are the coin.

The human part of us and the divine part of us are both holy, both miraculous, both with value and incredible beauty. This is what Tantra is to me, to move toward a space where the transcendent moment when I feel like I can touch my divine nature----is sacred. And the desire, the striving, the pleasure, the heartbreak----is sacred. Where I realize that there truly is no separation between the two, but connection, oneness and grace. Where I realize that the true nature of our physical existence is both more transcendent and more material than I can ever know. And to somehow, with my practice, move toward a deeper experience of it all.

 

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Posted on July 1, 2015 .