I got introduced to Tantra 24 years ago when I’d just met my husband Chris. Honestly said, I don’t have a very detailed memory of what exactly we did in that workshop. I very well remember looking into his deep-blue eyes and enjoying that a lot. As it was a different ‘looking’…
Meeting Godfrey (Devereux) annually as I have been studying Dynamic yoga (training & teaching method) since 2003 reminded me of that ‘looking’ when Godfrey offered a glimpse of what he is teaching nowadays as Tantra yoga some years ago. The refinement of the Dynamic yoga practice over the years made that the practice now has an ever-evolving soft character and brings practitioners in contact with deeper layers of their physical existence, awareness and entire being. It certainly led me to a better understanding of why I practice and teach yoga this way as it serves my physical, mental and spiritual growth and needs. One of Godfrey’s answers to this refinement and its results are his teachings of Tantra yoga.
The first Tantra exercise when being reintroduced to it by Godfrey reminded me of the good memory of looking into Chris’ eyes. It was the same context; except for that the person opposite me was not the person I shared my life with. I remember feeling definitely challenged at that time. Sitting with our eyes closed and opposite each other in Sukhasana (ease pose), we were invited to open our eyes and look into each other’s eyes. It just happens so that you then switch from the right to the left eye and back to the right etc. We were invited to either manage to have both eyes in view, or choose one eye and focus on it. I remember being quite uncomfortable looking into someone’s eyes. Even though I’d been comfortable with all people present at the retreat center I realized how much of a stranger that person was to me. Godfrey then encouraged us to ‘look deeper’, to look beyond the personality that our mind connects with their physical appearance.
It is said that ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul”. Can looking into someone’s eyes bring you into contact with their soul? (Google the quote and add ‘etymology’ to your search, you will get information about the origin of the quote.)
Being intimate with someone can be on a physical, mental and / or spiritual level. How do you define the spiritual level? Isn’t that the level that we all are seeking for? This deep, innate wish to be understood by the people who surround us. This deep, innate wish to understand the people who surround us.
Godfrey be back at Yogashala to teach Tantra yoga this upcoming weekend. The workshop has a lot to offer, one example being that you will be handed the tools to learn how to spiritually connect with yourself and others by exploring on a physical level, spiced up by a good understanding of it. One of the practices will be meditation in stillness to LOOK, FEEL, LOOK AGAIN, FEEL DEEPER, LOOK AGAIN, FEEL EVEN DEEPER than before. Coming into a comfortable state of intimacy with yourself (intimacy does not refer to sex in this context!) will prepare you for the adventure of exploring intimacy with somebody else, (someone you think you) known or unknown.
I remember clearly that moment when I had the realization that, while looking into the eyes of the person opposite me, my focus had shifted from recognizing the physical body to recognizing more subtle things until eventually my mind quietened and finally stopped interpreting the situation. There was only stillness. It is too often that the contact we have with others is i.e. superficial, dominated by pre-assumptions, judgement, expectations, fear of loss or gain. Meeting at a level where all these traits are not present, even though it is for a moment only, makes us grow and bring us peace, satisfaction and delight.