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Tantra of the Heart: Five Real Measures

“Tantra loves, and loves unconditionally. It never says no to anything whatsoever, because everything is part of the whole, and everything has its own place in the whole, and the whole cannot exist with anything missing from it.” ~Osho

“Faith is where you hold your heart.” This is what one of the master teachers shared when he was translating the ancient practices of Tantra yoga into a modern life. Tantra means to stretch beyond your limits. The multiple layers of practice that Tantra embodies have a singular goal of preparing you as a vessel that can contain the divine. One of the ancient texts says that our birth, our very life, is a gift so that the divine can know itself through you. And according to the texts there are many powers bestowed on those that actively pursue this faith, which as heady as all this sounds, translates seamlessly into the stuff of making love work on a daily basis. The beauty of focusing on these capacities is that they are at once prescriptive and rewarding, which is to say that they offer a clear measure of how you are holding your heart and whether there is any room for the magic of the divine to settle within you.  The following elements of Tantra can be used and defined in the contexts below.

Clarity: Consider the moments when you fully understand what is happening inside you so clearly that it makes everything around you crystallize. You are not fooled by appearances or lost in your own projections. Instead, you are fully present and attentive to reality as it is, the small voice inside you, and the intuitive knowing we all carry as a seed can blossom and guide you.

Friendship: The gift of real and lasting friendships is one of the easiest ways to measure how much room there is for the divine to grow in you. There is little wealth that compares to the blessing of friends who stand by you through the ups and downs of life, and that will bear witness to your truth and reflect it back to you in both your strengths and weaknesses.

Service: Having the capacity and motivation to give of yourself freely pays you back in dividends of health and happiness as many volunteer studies have recently demonstrated.   Deeper still, is the peace and satisfaction that emanates from you when you don’t need anything back, when you are so full of your own divinity that you have enough to give selflessly.

Freedom: A heart that has room for the divine is protected from the suffering inflicted by other people, from old karma and even from disasters. The story goes that one master yogi was so full of god, that he was able to stop an avalanche on his path. While most of us might not ever achieve that level of power, certainly as our heart becomes more and more open to the divine, the petty disturbances of living in the world start to fall away. Aspiring towards freedom creates its own circular loop that frees you from all that does not really belong in your heart.

Forgiveness: Cultivating our own humility, realizing that the goodness we manifest comes through us, but not of us is where the capacity for forgiveness begins. This is how the divine embodies us in its most sacred form. Palpable light and warmth fills our chest, our breathing is deeper and our emotional burdens lift as we let go of our ideas that reality should be different than it is.

In light of this list, multiple lifetimes make sense.  The evolution of our hearts requires eternity.