If you feel inspired, please check out my latest article in the 35th edition of More to Life Magazine, which is entitled “Foundations of Empowerment”. To give you a taster, it starts as follows:
“The art of living an empowered life is a bit like walking on a razor edge between: having faith that our life circumstances are serving a purpose (surrender) – unmet needs are also learning opportunities; and acknowledging the areas in our lives where we’d like to see improvements and, thereafter, making changes, no matter how small, so that we get the feeling of co-creating the reality we wish to manifest (direct action).“
It’s probable that from puberty until the very last day of our lives on the physical plane, our sexuality will hang around with us like a constant companion. On average, this bottles down to 55-60 years of sexual energy, during which time, potentially each day – depending on the degree of our sex drive – we’ll be either looking for an outlet for our sexuality or trying to repress it. So, do our sex organs really only equate to reproductive organs? This would translate as decades of sex drive to produce a mean of 1.5–2 children per family (average statistic for Western cultures). Doesn’t that seem strange and imbalanced?
In relation to men, Mantak Chia provides another interesting statistic and comes to the same final conclusion: “… an estimated 25% to 40% of our chi energy taken in through food, air, and sunlight just to manufacture this sperm energy and maintain sexual readiness. Why does the body spend so much of its valuable resources to produce billions of sperm cells and regulate them with an accompanying hormonal system? Simply to produce a few children over the course of a lifetime? Nature is not that extravagant.”Continue reading →
We all take on differing roles according to which area of our lives is in question. For example, in the work place, we act and speak using language and mannerisms that are in line with our job and the position we hold in the organisational hierarchy; at home, we act and speak differently (e.g. our tone of voice changes) depending on if we’re in the role of parent or husband/wife/lover; in our social circles, we adopt yet another way of interacting with people, dependent on whether they are acquaintances or closer friends. Our apparent success in playing these various roles is measured according to socially constructed rules of good/appropriate conduct. However, whilst holding in mind the way we “should” act, we can also decide to play with those socially imposed expectations and make a conscious choice to act differently i.e. we can enjoy the power we have in any given moment to choose our attitude and actions. Naturally, playing doesn’t imply being dishonest or cunning; quite the opposite, in fact. Any play goes hand-in-hand with respect and love for others, careful not to hurt anybody’s feelings, although we might surprise them with what we say and do. Playing can release you from the shackles and weight of unwritten social rules and mind-made morality. It can be very empowering to intermittently step beyond life’s routines and invent a new you – even if you decide to play the new role just once, in one particular situation.
As human beings, we have biological needs for nutrition (food, water), elimination (faeces/urination/perspiration) and to express our sexuality. Meeting our nutritional needs is totally acceptable in a social context, which means we can eat and drink in public, either alone or with others. In fact, eating and drinking socially has become something that gives many people a huge amount of pleasure and fulfilment. With regards elimination (going to the toilet or perspiring), although not a taboo in Western societies, we’re certainly expected to do it discreetly and almost apologetically. And as far as fulfilling our sexual needs is concerned, this is only socially acceptable if it’s done in private and, on the whole, within the frame of the social construct of marriage. Furthermore, sex is bound up in a whole array of moral judgements and expectations.
Why this distinction between what are, in the end, equally important and necessary biological needs? I guess this question might shock some readers. I realise that if we don’t eat, drink or defecate, we’ll die, which isn’t the case if we don’t have sex. And I’m not proposing we all start to have sex in public. Nevertheless, I feel we’ve created a tremendous social block towards an in-built mechanism that’s an inherently beautiful and necessary part of our human constitution. Continue reading →
Tantra suggests that we don’t take life, or ourselves, too seriously, and that we engage in all our activities and relationships with a level of playfulness. This in no way implies giving up our sense of personal responsibility or empathy. Rather, the aim is to transcend the rational mind’s tendency to make everything appear arduous, hard work and a means to an end.“Gracious one, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.” (Vigyan Bhairav Tantra , Sutra 110).
The tantric approach is to adopt an attitude of lightness, laughter and fun – ideally “with a smile always on the face” as an Indian friend of mine likes to say. Moreover, playing implies being fully in the moment – Tantra places a strong focus on mindfulness – countering the rational mind’s ceaseless darting from future to past to future to past. Continue reading →
In order to be true to yourself, find worth from your own inner moral compass and performance barometer i.e. self-validate. Don’t subject yourself to the ever-moving ground on which you’ll stand if you base your sense of self and worth on the opinions, words, actions and responses of others. Beware also the unnecessary pain you may inflict on yourself if you judge yourself against the prevailing social constructs. Remember, what is right in one culture or religion is oftentimes considered wrong in another. Social constructs are mind-made (often man-made) concepts. Although society will try to convince us that we are subject to these concepts irrevocably, we are – in point of fact – free to adhere to them or not. It’s important to find your own authentic, inner spiritual source – your intuition – from which you can validate your worth and judge your actions from your individually constructed perspective. Continue reading →