Sometimes translated as “life purpose”, but actually that phrase doesn’t quite do it. Because life purpose always sounds like what we think of when we are asked: “and what do you want to do when you grow up?”
Dharma is not about your personality’s choice or your ego’s choice, but your soul’s purpose, or the divine will as it manifests through you. It is about giving yourself in service to the higher purpose. It is a total surrender.
It is the same as “The Tao” in Taoism. The Way.
We are in total bliss and peace when we are in that flow, and we are filled with something beyond satisfaction…there is a total fulfillment in following our life’s purpose. It is deeply rewarding because we are doing what we came here to do…what could bring more meaning to life than that?
So what stops us from fulfilling our dharma? Well actually it’s that naughty cousin, “karma”. Those patterns that we came here to heal, but if we do not heal them they distort our behaviour and our choices. Karma is sometimes thought of as chains that bind us. It includes all the conditioned responses we learned growing up, as well as patterns we brought with us into this incarnation.
In all of my years in Tantra I have come to realize that tantric practice is constantly working with our karma and our dharma.
In Taoism they say our sexual energy carries the “ancestral chi”, i.e. the energy patterns from our ancestors. (This of course is parallel to the concept of DNA, but Taoist theory is more ancient than modern science.) Taoists saw that certain energy patterns pass down from generation to generation unless someone makes a conscious effort to transform them.
The method of transformation? Raising the sexual energy from the sex center to the higher centers such as the heart, mind and spirit. It can be seen like oil refinery…the heavy dense sexual energy carries sticky karmic patterns, but it can rise up the spine and become more refined and purified. As it raises upwards, old patterns can fall away. Our energy becomes lighter, purer and we experience freedom. This is why full body orgasm is so liberating. When we dedicate our orgasm and sexual union to healing, the effect is much much stronger.
If you feel dense, heavy and stuck in your ways, then full body orgasmic practices can be used to uplift yourself and shake off old limitations. This isn’t just about tantric sex, which is quite advanced and takes time for most to attain, but practices such as shaking. At Ratu Bagus’s shaking ashram in Bali, we shake our prayers three times a day (two hours per session!) to shift heavy karmic patterns.
So one path is to clear and heal karma, and naturally you move more into your dharma or true path. The other method is to find the highest vibration available and resonate with it…i.e. to come into alignment with your dharma. This includes meditation on your light body, your energy body, your core channel and so on. And also the tantric practice of transfiguration, in which a couple sit eye gazing and looking at the God/Goddess within their partner.
I have found that both methods used concurrently work the best. If you choose only to heal karma, you can be trudging along the healing path forever! If you choose only to resonate with your Dharma, you may leave heavy patterns unresolved, and thus still acting out. But doing some practices for each is a fantastic way to evolve and transform.
Sex and relationships are intricately wrapped up in all of this. If we are purely led by unresolved karma, we will be attracted to partners with whom there is lots of pain, processing and healing required. But imagine finding your dharmic partner: the one with who your life purpose is in harmony and together you co-create. Much more fun than constant processing!
Tantric sex is actually designed to lift you out of karma and into dharma. As I mentioned before, it has the alchemical power to transform heavy sexual energy and release patterns and addictions that do not serve us. And tantric sex can also become a divine dance, in which there is no longer any “doer”, but simply the divine being manifested into form through your love making. This is like the musicians of sacred music, who tune into the divine vibration and then play that into their songs.
So Tantra is far from being simply a method of pleasure, and actually offers us a fast track method of transformation. In fact some tantrics even doubt that full spiritual evolution is even possible without using Tantric methods, because without working with the sexual chi some old karmic patterns may remain even when the practitioner attains states of realization. I used to sit in a lot of satsang groups with enlightened masters, and indeed it was obvious that even though many of their students recognized their true nature, they were not living it or embodying it…their karma was still ruling their actions. In the end I moved from Satsang to Tantra as I wanted to live enlightened relationships…and I am still happy on this incredible path, and still learning.
May the Dharma be with you!
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