There are so many beautiful truths in Tantric philosophy. Tantra reminds us that all things are energy, and that our primary work is energy work. "Our thoughts, emotions, sex and spirit all exist in our body as different frequencies of energy. In Tantric practice we work consciously with these different energies, opening and clearing their flow pathways." - Ozantra One of the great reliefs in the practice of tantra is appreciating that the goal of tantra is not total equanimity. Tantra is meant to enrichen life, not take one out of it into neutrality.
Recently, I came to explore the difference between ego and emotion. They are used interchangeably by people. But what I came to understand is that we are talking about energy and energy blockages. Emotional patterns become types of ego-locks. It is the activity of tantra to observe these, accept them, open them, and ultimately to move identification away from the story that created these patterns. "Recognizing and naming emotional patterns enables us to dis-identify, so our sense of self can be freed from the tyranny of their power. This rescues consciousness and the ego from drowning in the power of the unconscious. At the heart of these emotional patterns lie fundamental wounded ego beliefs from which emerge all the other emotional reactions that cluster around them. When we are taken over by an emotional pattern, we become identified with its core belief. We may suddenly feel hopeless, unlovable, or impotent, and have no separation from this view. As we learn to dis-identify, we are able to begin to separate awareness from identification with our wounded beliefs that are the root of suffering. A stable functioning ego identity needs an awareness that is not continually overwhelmed by unconscious emotional forces". - The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra
It is so common to judge emotional experience, and to label it as good or bad. It becomes even trickier when we start to add to the story of the emotion that in some way the emotion is a sign that we have not achieved our tantric goal of consciousness. "A distinctive feature of Vajrayana Buddhism is the view that emotions — all emotions, not just pleasant ones — are intelligent expressions of energy that can open unique doors in our development and eventually lead us to the awakened state itself." - Dharma Ocean
When an emotion is explored, allowed to be expressed without being identified with, it is possible to release it. In that release comes an opening, a moment of returning to that place of consciousness. There is a sense of relief, peace, an OK-ness from which something new can evolve.
So many practices, spiritual modalities, religious principles, elements of psychology suggest to us that we are broken. It becomes overwhelming to try to piece all these broken views together into a sense of wholeness. The beautiful irony and truth of tantra is that we are already whole. We are pure consciousness, and these energies are experiences. Insights. Paint on a canvas that can shift and change as we move from identifying with The Story to Conscious Awareness. It is that call of returning to wholeness that soothes and releases and removes us from fear. What a beautiful truth.Gail Matheson PhD is a life long student and teacher of metaphysics, transpersonal psychology, and awakening. She is currently studying non dualistic shaivist tantra and kundalini yoga.