by Yale Bowman, Staff Writer
What is Tantra?
It is hard to truly say what Tantra is;  it encompasses everything, and nothing(ness).  It is ultimately a mindset, and a way of life. We could even say that it involves simultaneously knowing “god” or the universe within yourself, while knowing yourself within the universe, or “god”.

In the West we tend to think of it as relating mostly to sex, but this isn’t true. Many of these influences come from what is referred to as “the left hand path” in Tantra. In other schools of Tantra, heavy emphasis is placed on things such as breath-work, yoga, one’s guru being (a) Buddha, and embodying or receiving the gods and goddesses through meditative vision.  It can encompass many practices involving the mind, body, and spirit.

From the expressive and unrestricted paths of Tantric sex gurus and Magicians, to the strict and more rigid structure of Tantric practice in monastery life, *no* area of life has been unexplored, unaffected, or untouched by its influence.  Both the “crazy master”, and pious monk are practitioners in their own right.

The main goal in Tantra is fairly clear, however, and any perceived discrepancies are found more in its techniques and applications than anywhere else.

Since this main focus is on enlightenment, liberation, and piercing the veil of dualistic illusion, the wide and collective scope of Tantric practice has made a few things clear:

– We are not the mind. Consciousness does not consist of the mind alone.

– We are not purely the body, and the body (as well as its senses) provides a gateway to something higher.

– There are many ways to the top of the mountain, and at the summit is unaltered bliss (enlightenment).

– All roads (or all paths in Tantra) have the potential to lead us up the mountain.

– There is no mountain, we create the mountain through the same illusion we attempt to sever.

– The faster and more expressively you climb, the easier it is to fall.  (The more radical the path, the more potential there can be for success, but also for error through the pitfalls of the ego.)

– Transcending the limitations of mind, and sharpening its awareness, is the only way to “reach” this summit.

Tantra conveys to us that our Buddha-Nature is latent, and abundant, like sand on the Beach. You can arguably, “be Buddha now”.

But, like sand on the beach, this latent nature (and the moments in which we capture it) tend to slip through our fingers.

In Tantra, we allow ourselves to go beyond the mind and its comprehension. We can also enter higher dimensions by transcending and understanding the mind and body, by transforming human nature through understanding it deeply.  We can enrich our lives, and the lives of others, by enriching our connection with the divine and interconnected universe through blissfulness.

In other words, Tantra teaches us to continually grasp and foster a space for the ungraspable, luminous nature of clear-conscious-being that is reborn in each moment.

I want to make it very clear that I am a normal guy who has learned a lot about myself through studying Tantra informally, not a Tantric Master.

Each of these “Tantric Cures”, to create a term, is meant so shine a light on ways to enrich and empower each sign through new ways of thinking, living, and experiencing.

Each “cure” is not restricted to one sign and their “ailments” alone.  That being said, I have written and paired these “cures” respectively, with a focus on knowing oneself, and transcending what I consider to be the often broken and backward aspects of a modern, materialistic, western culture in which we live.

In the spirit of Tantra, and in the spirit of fun, I want to share them with you.

Also, in the spirit of Tantra, I’ll advise you not to read them with just your mind; instead, read them slowly with the wholeness of your being.

Tantric Cures for the Signs

Leo – Bear witness to yourself. Shine regardless, shine when no one is watching.  You don’t need a reason to shine.

Aquarius – Get out of your head, and live through your heart.

Pisces – When you are both the fish and the ocean, you cannot evade yourself.  So live fully, act fully, embody completion.

Virgo – Repurpose your seriousness; life is meant to be playful.

Taurus – Fight from the heart, live from the heart; not for the sake of fighting, or rightness.

Gemini – Passion is a guiding force; it cannot be forced through newness, nor can it be avoided through sameness.

Cancer – Live and communicate from your depths.  Let the thoughts and dreams of your inner world construct the outer.

Scorpio –  We only gain by letting go.

Aries – There is no end goal.  Each fleeting moment is the end goal.

Libra – Balance is not created, it is achieved through trust in a natural, authentic state of being and living.

Sagittarius – Go your own way, for your own sake, not for the sake of going your own way.

Capricorn – Knowledge is nothing, understanding is everything. What the mind cannot fathom, the heart will concieve.

For further reading on the adjacent perspectives in Tantric practice, here are some resources:

http://arobuddhism.org/community/tantra.html

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/yoga-meditation/demystifying-yoga/the-truth-about-tantra/

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between [Padma Sambhava, Robert Thurman, The Dalai Lama, Karma Lingpa *(this is a physical book, or can be read as an e-book)*

For more by me, or to contact me regarding your life and/or spiritual journey, you can visit me at: www.relevantreadings.com