The purpose of this blog is to provide a holding, attuned, and provocative space for the mysteries of your heart to unfold. All of you is welcome here, in all of your glory - the painful, the joyous, the heartbroken, and the weary. The invitation is to see your entire life as an expression of high-voltage, creative guidance, and for you to offer yourself to the endless and infinite dimension of love that is emerging within and around you right now.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Tantric Consort: Awakening Through Relationship… with Reggie Ray
I want to let everyone know about a four-part
online video course that we created with Reggie Ray which explores intimacy as one of
the most radical vehicles of spiritual transformation. The Vajrayana, or tantric
tradition of Buddhism, teaches ways of being in relationship that serve as unique
gateways to spiritual awakening. These teachings on the consort represent some
of the most advanced teachings in Buddhism, and have been guarded and kept
secret for the most part over the last 1000 years. What Reggie has discovered
is that contemporary practitioners are uniquely situated to undertake some of
their deepest spiritual work in the context of intimate relationship, however
lack the perspective and practices needed to do so.
The tantric tradition asserts that spirituality in its fullest sense cannot be
an isolated, solitary, purely self-involved enterprise. Rather, we make the
deepest journey of transformation and ultimate fulfillment only in
relationship—with our deepest nature, with our unique karmic situations, with
the people in our lives, and with the living universe around us. Through being
in connection with these others, we are inspired, we love, and we open. We
learn at the deepest levels that we are never one alone but always two-by-two,
always in connection, always in the love relationship with all that is; and
therein lies our life and our realization.
The tantric consort is the ultimate other. In fact, in the tantric tradition, it is
said that moment by moment, he or she represents to us the entire phenomenal
world. In other words, in the consort, we most deeply and completely meet the
sacred universe in its entirety—a perhaps outrageous claim, but one that
experience proves. Through the practice of taking the consort as representing
the sacred totality, we learn to love more deeply than we ever imagined
possible: first the consort, then everything that is. We see where we
habitually hold back and hide out; we practice ways to release our masks,
blockages, and obstacles; and ultimately we find union, where releasing our
narcissistic fixation on ourselves and discovering our profound and eternal
oneness with the consort—and through him or her the world—are the same thing.
Ultimately, our ability to journey on the path of the tantric consort comes down
to our own willingness, bravery, and devotion in cultivating an open heart and
in learning to love the beloved openly and without limit.
By sharing ancient Vajrayana teachings on the view of the consort relationship as well as guiding us through specific, powerful meditations, Reggie leads us to both an understanding and an experience of the tantric consort as the gateway to our own awakening. He emphasizes learning practices that can be carried forward into our lives, including several heart-based meditations to be practices on our own or with a partner.
Many believe that the goal of spiritual practice is enlightenment or liberation, but the human being actually longs for much, much more. Instinctually, we yearn for what we know is possible: fulfillment, joy and union with all creation. Opening to our longing to connect with the tantric consort is the gateway and learning to relate with him or her openheartedly is the path.
Session 1: Relating with the Other
The Vajrayana View of Consort
is relationality the essence of Vajrayana spirituality? What special role does
the consort play within the Vajrayana? Where do these teachings come from and
how can the ancient practices of working with a consort be applied to our
modern lives? What differentiates the consort relationship from conventional
relationships? How does the consort appear in our life?
guided meditation we will learn in Session One is The Thousand-Petaled Lotus
Practice: Beginning to Open the Heart. Just as we establish the view on a
conceptual level in order to engage in consort practice, we must also establish
the ground of an open heart on a visceral level. The Thousand-Petaled Lotus
Practice will become a gateway to all further consort practice for us.
Session 2: Genuine Presence
The Practice of Being a Consort
Session Two we will discuss the qualities of a consort relationship—as well as
each partner’s individual practice—that create a powerful container for
spiritual transformation. Themes will include: staying close to your
inspiration, becoming vulnerable, the nature of commitment in the consort
relationship, courageous honesty, and relaxing the judgmental mind.
commitment of tantric consorts to work with one another’s fullness—the
brilliant array of light and dark, wisdom and neurosis, empowerment and injury
that we each possess—becomes an invitation for consorts to explore their own
vastness and become who they truly are.
will also learn a meditation called Dissolving Blockages and Uncovering the
Heart’s Unconditional Openness. Through our persistent, gentle practice we
begin to wear away the armor that surrounds our hearts, revealing a luminous
love that naturally opens to and receives our partner.
Session 3: Obstacles and Antidotes
Practices and Techniques for When
the Going Gets Rough
the consort relationship we are bound to encounter even more emotional and
psychological “triggers” than in a conventional relationship, because we have
explicitly committed to spiritual awakening, which requires that we go to and
through the uncomfortable places; that we surf the endless waves of our own
those unavoidable experiences arise, how can we learn to welcome them with open
arms, rather than to cower and escape into habitual behavior patterns? Session
Three’s discussion will be on cultivating our bravery as spiritual warriors so
we can engage these encounters differently than we have in the past.
this session Dr. Ray will lead us through a meditation that applies especially
well to moments of upheaval in relationship: Learning to Behold Our Intimate
Partner with Our Heart.
Session 4: Meditation in Action
Healing Core Traumas with the
is said in the tradition that the consort “unbinds the fetters of the heart,”
meaning that he or she frees us at the deepest levels of our being to love and
to open that love to the world. Through consort practices, over time, the most
hidden, unconscious blockages are called into consciousness so that we can see
them, work with them, and resolve them. Often the emotional twists and distortions
that underlie our current conscious ego prison go back to preverbal levels.
Yet, as modern psychology shows us, these unconscious patterns control and
limit what we can feel and see and experience, and ultimately block our ability
to love fully.
This session will discuss the path of consort practice in its
ability to heal and resolve our deepest wounds. Facing these traumas with the
support of our tantric consort is a slow but liberating process that opens up
our own capacity to experience life’s joy and fulfillment.
session’s final guided meditation is a powerful one that can be practiced on
one’s own or with a partner: A Consort Meditation for Dissolving Core Traumas
and Obscurations. Dr. Ray will lead us through this meditation technique that
can be applied again and again, either when core traumas arise naturally, or
when we sit down with the intention of specifically engaging certain aspects of
ourselves or our partner that we know need healing.