does a double life give you more freedom and power? if all the world is a stage, and we are just actors playing the roles, then getting to wear the different masks can allow for more expression and experience. it can bring the realization, i am not limited to this or that. i am not the mask, i am the energy behind the mask. and the energy behind wants to play all the roles. if i am a wife who has an affair, than i also play the roles of a lover and a whore.
the first time i practiced tantra with my male teacher in secret, i went home to my husband and said nothing. we made love that night. i chanted the mantras i had learned while he hovered above me, while i held him in my mouth. afterwards he said it was as if something strange had happened, he could not explain it. he said it was one of the strongest sexual experiences he ever had. the next day we went to the movies together, i rode on the back of his motorcycle. i felt the crisp wind cutting into my face as we speed through traffic, i held tightly to his back. we cut through the traffic, weaving in and out of the lanes where the cars were stopped waiting for the red lights to change to green. shouldn't i be dead? i broke all the rules. but i was not dead. i felt more alive than i ever had. i felt immortal. it was difficult to reconcile this feeling of personal freedom with my morality, ethics and the rest of the world around me. my guru in india said tantra is the path of freedom and bondage. i would not keep a secret like this again, but i will not deny that it made some important change in me either.
i am reading a book about the psychotherapist, carl jung. he talks about a point in his childhood where he began to feel his personality split. when he began going to school, he realized that he behaved differently around the other children than he did when he was home with his family or by himself. to fit in, he acted like a different person. he said at this time, he took a ruler from his school box and carved a figure out of it. a man with a top hat. he fashioned a jacket for his "doll". he took this image and found a box to place it inside. he hide the box in the attic of his house. he made a secret image of himself that no one else could see. somehow this secret knowledge made him feel his essence was still intact, had not been compromised. It helped him to feel that he was still whole and had not lost himself to the herd mentality.
in the left-handed tantra practices, there is a purposeful engagement of taboo, used to break the practitioner from societal norms. this term of "left-hand" or vama marga, originated in india. in that culture, the left hand is used to wipe the ass, and is considered "unclean". the right hand is used for cooking and eating and greeting. to touch someone with the left-hand is a terrible insult, a taboo originated for practical reasons. most taboos have been created for practical reason that make sense for survival. but what if we want more than survival, more than fight or flight? more than reactions to fear of dying? after all, we will eventually die someday, no matter how careful we are. and if we realize that we return to the source of everything when we die, we would not be so afraid of death. we might begin to act fearlessly and take more risks. society respects risk-takers. the heroes of movies take risks to go beyond the everyday roles of their village, community and culture. that is why we are interested in their stories. because by breaking the mold, they have a new story to tell, they bring back new information to the tribe. if they fail, they will be scorned and their efforts will be regarded as vain and useless. if they succeed they will be the heroes, shamans and healers.
my first tantra teacher was married and i was married. we practiced in secret. his wife was not interested in learning tantra, and neither was my husband. these practices were only for the initiated. the desire to learn how to work with energy and power of sex had to come from your own soul. now that i am a tantra teacher, people ask me if i teach tantra for couples. i do not specifically teach tantra this way. i teach it as a form of self-inquiry, to reach an understanding of yourself. in self-inquiry, all goals are questioned, there are no sacred cows. nobody likes to speak about it plainly and openly, but people who begin seeking, through western therapy or mystical eastern practices often have their proverbial houses burn down. they get divorced, they lose their home, jobs, cars and pets. sometimes they lose their minds too.
when i began sexual practices outside my marriage, i knew it might cost me my marriage. i was afraid of this, of hurting him, of being a bad person, of being judged and i was afraid i would not be able to support myself without my husband. but the desire to understand my own nature, which was so clearly rooted in sex, outweighed all other external realities. compared to the burning of my soul, my marriage felt like an external reality. it was only one part of me and i was desperate to touch on the white-hot center of me. the nexxus of the tornado, from which everything else was spinning around. creating and being devoured by itself to create again. so i dove into the white hot center and saw that the whole world was spinning.
when i studied with my sufi teacher in istanbul, we would turn in circles to the music. the turning becomes spinning and i realized that everything in the whole universe was spinning along with me. they say the dizziness makes you drunk. this drunkeness makes you taste the wine of your heart and become intoxicated. they say your soul lives inside your heart and your mind is the servant who guards the door to the throne room. but for most of us the mind has become a tyrant and keeps the door of the heart locked, the soul becomes a prisoner inside.
why does the mind do this? because the mind is afraid. the soul is not afraid. the soul just wants to experience through the miracle of the body, of the senses. that's why the soul waits in beginningless time to be clothed in another body, to have the experience of tasting, tongue to tongue, the warmth of a french kiss again. the soul waited for the marvel of tasting an ice cream cone, for the delight of smelling roses and manure, for the sting of a punch or kick in a good fight. and especially, the soul waited to be clothed in a body for the dance of sex. what more divine joy is reserved for mortals than the holy prayer of union?
two bodies slick with sweat running along the shore of each others bodies, driven by a deep instinct like the silver bodies of grunyon fish gasping and running for the beach. the oxygen burns their lungs, because they are underwater sea-breathers. they are running unknowingly towards their own annihilation. an orgasm is an annihilation. in one fraction of a second, you forget your individual self and return to the womb of beginningless time. through the weaving of the flesh bodies, the soul tastes it's immortality again in a flash of light. the soul came to live. the soul knows it never dies.