The Sacredness in each other

Love The Journey into Love Divine

In the tantra both lovers seek to increase their closeness with one another and to give themselves to the other. Yet before being completely close, one has to step by step get gradually close. The key is to gradually, more and more, get fully into the shared energy of love. This might begin as touch and the rise of sexual energy. Then, as this sexual shakti energy increases, the energy of love will also gradually increase. Yet the more we get into it, with our whole mind, heart and body, the more it increases. And when both persons are moving towards each other – to be closer and to get more into one another – then the love energies increase tremendously. So the way of tantra, which is just a name for spiritual love, is for both lovers to increase closeness and to gradually immerse into the shared experience with the totality of oneself, in mind, heart and body.

This is not an ordinary kind of love making; for in this loving the lovers will immerse themselves totally in the experience – being unreserved, unboundaried, and spontaneous. It is a willingness of the lovers to explore new heights of possible experience and to be taken on a love journey into the mysteries. Only the love courageous shall enter here. Only those who are willing to abandon themselves to the other and to the whole journey will be able to enter into this kind of love. It is not for the usual, nor for the ordinary. It is only for those who will let go of any usualness and any ordinariness, in order to journey freely into the mysteries.

If love-making is a usual kind of experience, or if it’s a kind of routine, or if one is sure of what’s going to happen, then it’s not the highest of tantric love. The tantra is an opening to the unexpected and a discovery of more than ever before. It is being in an attitude of continuous discovery. This is the sacred attitude – the attitude that will make the love ritual sacred. If the attitude is sacred and the intent is sacred, then the experience will be sacred. Also, as we are open more than usual to the experience, or to the journey, and give more than usual to the experience, then we will get more than usual from the experience. Each needs to be willing to give of themselves.

If each person in the love-sex ritual is just in it for their own self pleasure, then this is not spiritual tantra. If there is no sincere caring about the other's enjoyment, then this is not spiritual tantra. In spiritual tantra there can certainly be self enjoyed pleasure and even an assertiveness towards it, and at times one may be in a perspective of self-centerdness whereby one's experience is primarily about 'my enjoyment' and 'what next for me'. That kind of self-focused perspective is alright in tantra, but it needs to be balanced, at least some, by caring also about the other and their enjoyment.

So the spiritual lover wants to give to the other, as well as receive. The spiritual lover wishes that the other enjoys the loving. In addition, the true lover serves the other and their enjoyment. Each lover serves the other lover, serving them by treating them as being Sacred, or as being the Beloved in the highest sense – as being the Divine Beloved, the Divine Goddess or the Divine God. If we can enter into this very special view of the other person, this woman or this man, as being Divine and Sacred, and even moreover as one's Beloved Goddess or God; then we will naturally want to serve them as being the Divine in manifestation.

In Christianity Jesus is regarded as the Divine incarnation, or as God in human form. This is beautiful. And Jesus is beautiful. So Jesus gives a woman an example of the Divine God in human form, and if Jesus is God incarnated or God manifest; then she could love God through her love for Jesus. In the tantra, this is how a woman can spiritually see and treat her lover. She can make love to her lover, like she would make love with Jesus or any incarnation of God. She could treat her man as a Divine Being – loving him, serving him, and perhaps even worshiping him as the Divine. More sensually, she will want to give him all of the enjoyment she can; just like the gopi devotees of Krishna bring Him their delicious fruit.

The devotees of Krishna see his Divinity. The woman gopi devotee sees him as the Divine God incarnated, as Divine Love incarnated. And so she worships him. She absolutely adores him. And she is ever ready to give herself to him, to give her whole body and being to him. She wants to give to him, she wants him to enjoy her, and she wants to enjoy him. She gives her total body and self to him, and also of course enjoys this, for He is the Divine. He is the Divine Body, the Divine embodied. So the gopi is not going to miss her chance at Divine Love tonight! She is going to go for it totally, giving him all of herself and everything she's got, without any restraint or holding anything back.

Thus, for a woman, Krishna is the archetype and prime example of Love incarnated in a human form. Krishna is God incarnated, and this God is a lover! So a woman might see her own lover as like a Krishna or as a Jesus, then love him as her Divine Beloved. Of course, it is not necessary for a woman to see her male lover as any particular divine being. These were just examples. What's important is to consider and treat one's lover as a divine being, a divine incarnation, a divine manifestation, and as a divine body. There are no particular rules to follow in tantra, yet if one considers the lover as divine then a higher quality of loving will naturally unfold.

The same principles are also relevant to a man in relation to his lover woman. She is a goddess. She is one of the goddesses. But as well, she is the Goddess Supreme; for she is the Goddess incarnated as this particular person and this particular body. She is divine. Her heart is divine. Her love is divine. Her body is divine and sacred.

This is what the man needs to realize. It is not something made up. This is not some kind of imagination. Imagination can be used to loosen up the usual kind of logic mind in order to see subtler energies and spiritual presence; but a woman's divinity and sacredness is not an imagination. It is real and needs to be remembered and respected.

Moreover, the true man lover will go way beyond mere respect. He will open his heart and mind to realize the woman's divinity and actually experience her body and her loving as the Divine Body and the Divine Lover. She is the Divine loving him. So he actually experiences being loved by the Divine – loved by the Divine Goddess, loved by the Goddess of Love. So he gives his love to her as he would to the Divine Goddess Herself. He gives his love to the Divine Goddess by giving his love to his lover woman. And what she feels from his love, the Divine Goddess also feels. For the Divine Goddess is actually present in the loving. She is present through the woman, and She experiences being loved through the woman. Therefore, whatever the man does, and however he treats the woman, is experienced by the Divine Goddess Herself.

Knowing this, the man loves his woman with all so much passion and worship, because she is the Goddess incarnated, and the Goddess is experiencing love through her. Thus, the man gives totally to the woman. For she is his Divine Beloved. He gives totally to her pleasure, and he gives all of himself to Her. He gives all that he has to the Divine, and he receives all the love and pleasure that the Divine gives. He receives love and pleasure from the Divine Goddess, the Divine Feminine, the Divine Lover, the Divine Beloved. And he receives this with both reverence and thirst. He drinks indulgently from her love, and fills himself completely with her love. He even immerses fully into her love and soaks himself in her love. So the man receives totally and enjoys totally; which is exactly what the Goddess wants. She wants the man to receive all of her Goddess Love and to rapturously enjoy Her. She wants the man to take all of Her love into him; just as She also wants to take him into Her. This absolute giving and absolute receiving is the very meaning of worship.

The art of loving is to completely go for it, completely get into it. You don’t hold back anything of yourself. Being completely in it is the goal, but this goal is approached in stages and degrees. Being totally in it and flowing with it is a very deep state of mutually shared experience, but it will take some time to reach. So in order to get totally into the experience, one has to gradually get more totally into the experience. This can also be understood as getting more into the flow of it all and into a shared experience in it all.

The two important keys for this are – to give of one's full self to the experience and to keep surrendering oneself into the totality of the shared flow. One needs to let oneself go into it all, get into it all, and even to lose one's little self into the larger shared love energy and its experience. One needs to just go for it, get totally into it, and finally even to get lost in it all. The goal is to be totally in the love, to experience totally and love totally. To give totally is how we reach this. As we give more and more totally, we get more and more close, and we get more and more into the whole experience. In this way, the energies gradually build. The goal is a special way of being in the experience, and this way is to maximize our being in it.

The key is for each lover to give of themselves fully to the love experience. Give of one's whole self. Give of one's whole body. Give fully to the shared energies and the shared enjoyment. The key to raising the whole vibration and experience of the love ritual is this self-givingness, whereby each is in the shared experience rather than just in one's own experience.

This distinction between being in one's own self-experience and being in the shared experience is important. For to be in the shared experience is the key to being totally in it. And this higher state of loving will probably take some time to get into. In ordinary sex this higher state {or flow} is rarely reached, because the partners are too involved in just their own self-experiences. Again, self-experience is not to be looked down upon, for this too is part of it all, but if we want to add in a higher dimension to the love experience, then we need to enter into the shared experience in which the self has dissolved and surrendered into. In this way, the lovers will then enter into a flow of being totally in it.

In some teachings, the way to reach this shared flow is by 'self-sacrifice', but the way does not need to be phrased in these words; instead we can understand the key to be self-givingness. For as we give of ourselves completely and totally, {giving of our heart, mind, and total body}, then we lose ourselves into the shared experience and we become totally in it all. One aspect of this self-givingness is giving of our self to the other person, and in the highest spiritual tantra each lover gives of their heart-mind-body to the Divine Beloved – who one sees as being the other. Then, even more profoundly, the lovers give of themselves to the shared experience – which is the total whole experience of the Divine Love Dynamic.

This is very profound to understand. The other, one's lover, is seen as the Divine Beloved, and thus one gives of oneself totally to Her or to Him. And this is very beautiful, this self-givingness, this givingness of one's totality of body-being to the Divine Beloved as manifested through one's lover. This is the first great key. Yet then, along with this, there is one further step to take, one further step into the totality of love or of being totally in it, which is to give of oneself totally to the whole, undivided, seamless flow of shared experience – which is the Whole Divine Flow and Dance of Love – which is the One Whole Love Divine Being.

This is the Shared Experience of Shiva and Shakti in Love, in their Love Dance, which is one whole flowing energy dynamic and is really One Experience, or a shared experience. Or, if preferred, this can be understood as Krishna and Radha in their most intense love ritual experience, their beautiful god and goddess bodies merging together in a sensuous, sexual love flow ecstasy, while each loses their own self into the other and into the whole totality of shared experience, this shared divine love energy experience.

Love Perceiving the Divine in each other

One of the more important teachings in the tantra is about perceiving and experiencing the Divine in one another. This could be at any time, but there is a special opportunity for being able to do so when in the love ritual. For here in the intertwining energies of sexual energy and love, our normal ordinary consciousness is already altered, and we are certainly now close enough with one another, more than ever, to perceive the Divine. So if it is ever going to be possible, then here is the chance. Ordinary thinking will not believe this is possible, but it is part of the tantric way.

Yet what does perceiving the Divine actually mean? A perception of someone is how we experience them. It's how we see the other. But our perception of someone is not necessarily 'visual', for it could be a sensing or a feeling kind of experience. This is important to remember in regards to 'perceiving the Divine', or of perceiving spiritual qualities or powers in a person, because this spiritual perception is much more subtle and ethereal than our ordinary perception of just the physical appearance of a person. So the meaning of perception here is quite general. Some people more easily perceive in a visual way, while others feel what is present or sense the energies present in a person.

Now a perception could be quite ordinary or regular, meaning that it's our usual kind of perception, our usual experience of the other, which could also be called our perceptual habit, since the same perception tends to repeat itself over and over. Now someone might argue that their perception of their love partner is usually or continually the same, simply because that other person is 'always' the same. But is this really true? Are you sure? For perhaps the 'sameness' is not so much in that other person as it is in the perceiving. So this is something each person needs to consider – how their own perception, or even their way of perceiving, can become habitual and routine, which then makes the other person seem as though she or he is 'just the same as usual'. The usualness may not be in them at all, but rather in us.

Thus, one of the first principles to consider is developing an ability to perceive with freshness, to see the other person in moments of fresh perception – new perception, which requires the perceiving mind and heart to be open to a fresh new experience of the other, which is to be open to some surprise of what might be newly revealed in the other. This is the best perceiving attitude to have, without any preconceived expectation.

It's sort of like a man being really awake and watchful of what the woman will suddenly reveal of herself. Being awake and watchful for what layers will suddenly slip away to reveal a part of her not before seen. Being awake and watchful for what veils might suddenly drop, to reveal what was previously covered up (not really by her so much, but more so by the man's own perceptual veil).

In esoteric tantra, which is all based on symbolism and analogy, this unveiling of the other could be translated as the 'delightful strip', the stripping away of veils which hide her secret and delightful beauty. It's not really a striptease, though, because she is probably not trying to tease, but rather her beauty can only gradually be revealed. A woman could be hiding or protecting her inner spiritual treasures, but the major cause of the veiling is the man's veils in his own perception – his own inability to really see or perhaps his careless habit of not even looking. So the man needs to gradually uncover the woman, gradually strip her veils away, to see and delight in more of her hidden beauty. But the veils to strip away are actually the man's own veils of perception. This will be a gradual stripping away of one veil at a time, a stripping of one 'layer of seeing' at a time, such that one's love partner is more and more revealed {with less and less veils of the usual}.

In this way, her spiritual beauty and love, and many other special qualities of her, are gradually revealed. More of her spiritual light is revealed and recognized by the man, and this light carries in it all of her beautiful inner qualities – though one quality at a time is revealed, just as one color is seen at a time from light, even though a vast spectrum of color is always potentially present in that light, yet not always seen.

Now of course, all of this is actually relevant to both man and woman; it is equally applicable for both, because really we all might have a tendency to experience others with perceptual veils, and thus fail to see their spiritual light and its many beautiful colors.

This possibility of perceiving much more of the other than previously perceived has to begin with one's attitude, one's perceptual attitude, which starts with our intentional wakefulness in the very moment of perception. Next, it involves a dropping away of expectation, a freshness of seeing, and an openness to surprise in what is revealed. And this attitude might also include a 'delight in discovering'.

Yet because this new attitude and new way of seeing may not be our usual way of seeing, it will require some intentional practice. This doesn't mean, though, that one has to try really hard or put a lot of intense will into it. Rather, the intention should be easy and gentle, like simple soften the eyes and enter into a receptive state of mind, so the intentionality is a lot to do with simply being more awake, open and receptive in these moments of deeper perception.

Both man and woman can make this a practice, in order to develop this kind of extraordinary perception, or deep perception. Even more fundamentally, it has to begin with a spiritual respect for each other, which then proceeds into an actual spiritual recognition, and then turns into a kind of amazement, a new awakening to the spiritual being that was already there yet had not been seen before that moment.

In the tantra, man is especially asked to make this leap from ordinary perception to extraordinary and deep spiritual perception, or in what is also called 'penetrating perception', in order to see the divine Goddess present in woman, or to at least begin seeing the woman's inner divine qualities that are normally veiled from the man by his own veils of perception.

Of course this is not just about seeing her outer beauty – which could then be recognized as an expression of the Goddess of Beauty. It is not just about seeing her qualities of love – which could then be recognized as an expression of the Goddess of Love. It is not just about seeing her artistic qualities – which could then be recognized as an expression of the Artistic Goddess. Nor is it just about seeing her qualities of wisdom, nor just about seeing her achieving abilities or the power of her will, as expressions of those goddesses. The spiritual perception is about all that, but not just about all that. For the perception can be even deeper – which is to actually see her as the Goddess! Or to see the Goddess actually radiate through her.

It is possible for a man to experience or to feel or to see a Presence or a Power that is moving through the woman and even through the love intercourse. This is the Power of the Goddess, or the Quality of Her Presence. It is a noticeably tangible Power or Presence, that is 'greater than the ordinary', greater than what is ordinarily felt or experienced. Yet so often, the Goddess Power and Quality goes unnoticed because our awareness and our subtle senses are not open enough. This is true for both man and woman.

The energy or power of the Goddess cannot be experienced or felt, unless the man is especially receptive and open in his senses. This is also true for the woman, because she will ordinarily neglect to notice when a greater power and presence is moving through her, unless her awareness and inner senses are more than usually open. By analogy, someone could be taking a walk in nature when an unusual breeze passes through; yet this will not even be noticed unless one's senses are openly awake. So in our routinely ordinary awareness we often fail to perceive or sense much of what is actually present. Thus, in order to perceive, experience, or feel a Goddess Power or Quality; our senses, our feelings, our awareness all need to be receptively open more than usual.

LovePracticing deep perception

At certain special times the lover might be perceived as a Divine Being or as the expression of a divine power - which is felt to be greater than the person themselves. Such a perception may be spontaneous and unexpected, or it may be due to an intentional depth of perception as practiced by the tantric yogi (male or female).

We make penetrating perception, or deep-perception, an intentional practice, because the habitual routine of our ordinary mind is to repetitively see the same, and in the same way, over and over again; which means that the lover is repetitively perceived in a limited way, rather than our mind and heart being open to perceiving much more, or much deeper. Our mental habit (tamas) is to repetitively see the same – the same outer surface or the same veil. Thus, we need to intentionally practice deep perception, in order to perceive through the veils (the very veils that we hold up in front of that person) and deeper into the person's true essences of their soul light.

This is not a 'made-up' perception, but rather a looking deeper into what is the true reality. This experience may last continuously for some time and is one of the higher experiences of the love ritual. This deeper perception is not really too difficult at all, because it mostly requires that one drop down the veil that one is holding up in front of this person. This is what people usually do when perceiving the other; they look at a veil that is held up in front of the other – yet this veil is the creation of the perceiver. It is a veil composed of all sorts of thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and expectations about this other person.

We need to learn to see how a person truly is, not how they were yesterday or even a few moments ago, but how they are now in this present moment. For only in the present moment can we see the light emerging anew and revealing what we previously had not seen. This is the light of surprise, emerging out of the dark and in the present moment. Here, light spontaneously reveals new colors and qualities, one's which were already there in potential, or maybe even already manifesting, but which we have yet to see. So this emergence is a surprise to us. It may seem totally unexpected, like in one moment this light, or a quality of this light, just suddenly appears. Suddenly it is there, expressing through this person. This is good. It means the perceiver is in the present moment, because sudden awakenings and immediate surprises only emerge in the present moment.

We must raise ourselves out of the sludge of expectation, where we never see anything new because we live in the presumption that we already know it all, we've seen it all. We already know this person or this lover. There is nothing new about her. She's always the same. That is the great illusion, the great deception. But it is our own fault. It is of our own doing. We are believing that this other person is already fully known and that we'll never find anything new or different, other than what we presume is always there in their personality or self-expression. But this kind of presumption is blinder to seeing a person anew or seeing what we have yet to see.

Sure, we all have personality patterns which appear to repeat themselves again and again. There is an element of sameness to us, and many people feel comfortable with this. But there is also much more in everyone, much more potential as yet unmanifested, and much more beginning to emerge which is not yet being recognized or acknowledged. So, one needs to be open to the Light of Surprise, being open and Recognizing of that which is beginning to emerge, or of that which is seeking to emerge right now in this present moment.

The possibility of seeing or experiencing the Goddess, whether this be a direct experience of Her or through one's human lover, is helped by one's spiritual attitude in both heart and mind. This is the perceptual attitude of openness and receptivity. Interestingly, openness and receptivity are natural qualities of woman, so a man might need to develop and practice these qualities and this attitude; which is one of the great secrets to having a deeper and richer experience of love.

In addition to this attitude of openness and receptivity, involving both heart and mind, the possibility for perceiving or experiencing the Goddess can be helped by an open spiritual imagination. This does not mean that our experience will be unreal or made-up. Rather, spiritual imagination is a kind of instrument of the mind for tuning into the spiritual world and for perceiving the Spiritual Goddess – her qualities, her energies, and powers. Imagination is a divine power in us, which gives us a capacity to step over the wall of ordinary and usual perception. Thus, we can use our spiritual imagination to tune into the Goddess of Love, so that we can then receive Her Love.

LoveSeeing the Goddess

The man can see in his woman one the four love Goddesses – Parvati, Lakshmi, Durga, or Saraswati. All of these, as well as any other goddesses we are familiar with, are like important landmarks in a vast and beautiful Landscape. They are important to see occasionally, and they help orient our understanding about the bigger landscape picture. They also help us understand that there are different perspectives in viewing the Total Landscape of reality, as in having different perspectives from the north, south, east, and west, well as the different feelings and qualities of energy in each of these directions.

But what is most important is to have an open perception to the whole landscape, and to be open to whatever comes into the foreground of our awareness, because in that whole landscape are all sorts of surprising beauties. So be open to seeing and appreciating whatever beauty or spiritual quality is discovered. One does not have to look really hard for something; rather one just needs to be receptively open to whatever is truly present – or to whatever (or whoever) is presenting itself.

Therefore, be open to perceiving whatever goddess suddenly presents herself, open to whatever kind of goddess is revealed through the woman, which does not have to necessarily be one of the four goddesses. Just be open to perceiving and experiencing the Great Goddess in whatever goddess appearance She happens to present Herself as, in whatever goddess quality this is, and in whatever kind of power this is. Moreover, each experience will be unique. Each experience will be a new revelation of the Goddess ...and a new revealing of the woman one is with. Each moment, then, is potentially a new surprise, a new wonder, a new experience.

So when in the actual love ritual and in the intensity of it all, it is then possible for a man to see his woman lover in a much deeper way – in a surprisingly new way, in a way never ordinarily seen. But he needs to be truly open in his seeing, being truly open to seeing her with fresh eyes, even smelling and feeling her with fresh senses, rather than remaining locked into his usual ways of perception. Then, through this fresh and new perception, the man is able to see deeper than ever before, deeper into the reality that is there but normally not seen.

So then what can open up for the man is brand new perceptual awakening of who he is with. And as long as he can refrain from reverting back to his ordinary surface perception of his woman, but instead stay in in the fresh and open perception, there is then a good chance for the Divine Goddess to suddenly appear to him, to be revealed through his lover woman. In other words, if the man is in the right attitude of perceptual openness, he can then perceive and experience his woman as a Divine Goddess. This is not just a thought; nor is it a made-up thought. It is an actual perception, an actual experience, of a Goddess appearing to him, and this Goddess is none other than the woman he is inside of, kissing, and giving himself to.

Then, at this point, the man is making love with an actual Goddess, a Goddess with divine powers. This Goddess can then take the man for a journey into Her and into Her spiritual world. If the man has enough courage, he will go deeper into Her and follow Her into magical energy. He will be so much in Her enchantment that he will be in worship, and he will give to Her everything She wishes. He trusts Her and gives himself completely to her. And in response, She takes him further along the wave of love and into the journey of new awakenings.

This particular Goddess discovered in the woman does not have to fit into any preconceived image or belief of what She is. It is helpful to study the goddess teachings, but at some point in the loving the man must abandon all preconceived ideas about the woman, just as the woman must abandon all preconceived beliefs about herself, so that a fresh new perception is possible.

It is best if the man can simply see afresh, without thought, beliefs, or expectations. Then, he sees what he sees, he experiences what he experiences. This is the best attitude to have; just be open to what is and to whatever unfolds in the experience. Then the woman can be seen as a Goddess; or the Goddess can be seen through the woman. This then is the Goddess present. She is the One Goddess, Shakti, appearing as this particular Goddess.

But the name of this Goddess or having some kind of vision of the Goddess is not as significant as experiencing or feeling Her Power or Her Quality of presence. In other words, the man does not need to know which goddess this is, nor even be concerned about this. At some point, it doesn't really matter. What matters is the man's actual perception and interaction with this Goddess, whoever She is. (But remember that all goddesses are different expressions of the One Goddess anyway). This Goddess is unique, yet she can lead the man to the One. For the man, what matters most is that this is my Goddess, whoever she is, and this Goddess of mine has the power to take me on a spiritual journey that can potentially lead to the One – to mystical spiritual Union.

LoveThe Sacred in each other

The tantra understands sacredness in the love ritual in two basic ways. The love ritual is sacred because it involves Divine Powers or Beings, if we can recognition of such Presence. And, the love ritual is sacred because it involves the spiritual needs and spiritual love of two human beings.

There is divine sacredness both in Divine Beings and in human beings. The tantra doesn't see these as exactly the same, but they are certainly related. A divine Being, such as a Goddess, is a Power or Quality of the universe, and is part of the Unity of Being. A Divine Being is born from the One Divine Being and so is born from Pure Spirit. A human being is born from the Earth. Yet the Earth Itself is a divine Being, a Goddess, so human beings born from the Earth are Her divine children. Moreover, because we are all born from the Earth Goddess, we are all divine as well. Ultimately, everything and everyone there is must be divine, since nothing but divine Beings could have ever been born the the Original Divine Spirit. In addition, each human being has divinely inherited potentials for realizing and manifesting any or all of the divine Powers or Qualities.

So it is important to understand that each human being is as sacred as the Divine Beings, because each human being has been born from the Divine and carries the Divine inside. As well, each human being has an inherited capacity to realize each Divine Being, Goddess or God, and to also express their Qualities in human life. Once this is understood, then we start to see each other as divinely sacred, rather than a usual boring way of seeing each other. This is how we can respect the Great Divine – by respecting the Divine in each other. Moreover, as a person is truly respected for being divine and sacred, the Divine within them emerges more into the open and more into actual expression. This is the magic of sacred respect.

But you’re not inventing the experience, as though one has to imagine what is really not there. The spiritual truth is there, the sacredness is there; it just needs recognition. It just needs to be seen, which is something we each need to do. Thus, sacredness depends on us to perceive it or to recognize it. This then also leads us to respect that sacredness. Or if one cannot yet really see the actual sacredness, then first begin with respect – be careful, kind, and non-manipulative.

To make love sacred, or to make any relationship sacred, we need to begin with respect. For example, if one enters a temple without real respect, then the temple will not be sacred in our experience. We won't experience the sacredness of this temple. Moreover, we could be defiling the temple or lessening its energies by our lack of respect. So the same is true for love, for the ritual of love, for our own bodies, and for one another. Without respect, as a first approach to anyone or to anything, we cannot experience the sacredness, and we may even be harming the sacredness that is there. Thus, first respect sacredness. And note that respect means, in its etymological roots, to re-see or to see-anew.

But can we sincerely respect the sacredness of someone, or a ritual, if we have not yet recognized the sacredness? So perhaps recognition must come even before respect; yet both are intimately related. For if one recognizes the sacredness, as for example the sacredness of a special tree or the sacredness of a lover's body, then one naturally feels to respect that sacredness – meaning to treat that tree or that body with respect, with sacred respect. And on the other hand, if one respects the sacredness of a body or a person – meaning that one is approaching that body/person with an attitude of sacred respect – then one is much more likely to then recognize or directly experience that sacredness.

Recognition itself is a sacred aspect of love and the love ritual. As we recognize the ritual of love as sacred, and then go on to experiencing it as sacred, it makes the ritual sacred. The sacredness is in how we experience it. It's all about how we experience, just as much as in what we do, that makes it all sacred. In fact, the recognition and the actual experience of sacredness might even be more important.

For example, one could be routinely placing flowers at an altar, which is a doing aspect of sacred respect, but doing this without any real recognition or actual experience of the sacredness; while someone else might actually recognize and experience the sacredness of this altar, yet did not bring any flowers to give as respect. The giving of flowers to the altar, or to a woman, is of course a wonderful act of giving; yet an actual recognition/experience of the woman's sacredness is far superior to the mere giving of flowers. The recognition is much more subtle than the bouquet of flowers, and much more profound, for the recognition will actually be felt by her soul.

Touch her body {or his body} with a similar respect as one would touch a sacred altar. And at the same time, be open to a new and spontaneous recognition of the body/person sacredness; be open to a new awakening to the realm of sacredness – which is like a realm of brilliant light radiating from the body sacred. And remember also, that this sacredness feeds the soul of the one who realizes it. The sacredness, or shall we say the recognition of sacredness, feeds the innerness of our heart and gives us an aesthetic spiritual joy.

Then, after respect and recognition, comes the possibility of appreciation and admiration. Just as respect and recognition go together, so too appreciation and admiration go together. These are all important ways of seeing one another, and they are all related in that each way of perception nurtures the other. Appreciation and admiration go hand in hand, like Krishna and Radha. This is why the divine and sacred love relationship between Krishna and Radha is so beautiful. It is because each one recognizes the Divine in each other. And as they each recognize the other's Divinity and lovingly admire that Divinity, then more of the Divinity actually comes forth to play. Each is encouraging and nurturing the Divine unfoldment in one another by way of their respect, recognition, appreciation and admiration.

Respect is a first step, which is why spiritual teachings remind us to approach and enter the temple with an attitude of respect. So we need to approach each other with respect, touch with respect, and converse with respect. Yet appreciation and admiration even go further. These are very high spiritual recognitions. When we admire the other person, we are seeing the largeness of their soul and their beauty. We are seeing the greatness of their spectacularness, rather than seeing the person as small or having a small importance. Admiration is seeing the greaterness of the person, rather than their lesserness. So in our admiration the person's divinity is being recognized; that is, we are seeing the divine being in them. We are seeing the Krishna or the Radha in them, and so their light or their beingness seems larger than usual. Thus, we help bring forth the greater in one another by way of our admiration; rather than make that person 'small' by thinking of them in a small way or by failing to see their blooming divine qualities.

Just take a moment to look closely at a beautiful flower. But really look at this flower and really see this flower, rather than just glance at it in a usual brief way. Then, by taking some precious time to really see the flower, we will have a greater than usual experience of the beauty, and our admiration will naturally come forth to meet that beauty. This is the possibility we can have with one another. Admiration meets beauty and loves her, and beauty blooms from this admiration which she loves.

So this is not just about the relationship of Krishna and Radha, nor is this just about Goddesses and Gods; rather, it's about what is possible in our human perception and in our love relationships. For each of us can be recognizing and admiring the Divine in each other, which is to see and also admire the light and the beautiful qualities of each other. Because the Divine is in us! It's just seldom recognized. Maybe because ordinarily we are not even looking for it, nor even open minded enough to see it.

LoveRespect of the individual

Being able to perceive the Divine in another person is very special; for one is not just seeing the person, but also the Divinity which is expressing through the person. This Divinity might be perceived as a divine quality, a divine power, or a divine inspiration. Or, this might be perceived as a divine goddess. In tantra this is believed to be possible and it is to be valued, but it is not any ordinary experience. Also, one can recognize the divine being within oneself and expressing through the love ritual. These recognitions of the Divine expressing through the other and through oneself are sacred aspects of the love ritual.

Yet all of these Divine qualities can also be appreciated as beautiful human qualities – qualities of our humaness. Respect and appreciation of the other, as a person, as a real human being, is as important in the tantra as having an experience of a Divine Being expressing through that person. In fact, it is often through this perceptual respect of the 'person', as another human being, that the divine perception is made possible.

As one perceives more deeply into the person, and perceives the qualities of this human being, and also allows those qualities to express in their natural spontaneity, then one begins to experience the magnitude of their divine beauty, as well as the divine power moving through them. Thus, the manifested love, beauty, innocence, caring, warmth and sensitivity of this person reveals their divine nature. Both the expressed givingness and the expressed needs of the other, as person, reveal the truth of their divine nature.

We can perceive the other as a person manifesting qualities recognized as distinctly their own, but also, with wider understanding, as reflections of our own essences of being human. Thus, one recognizes the divine essences of both the other and oneself, by perceiving these essences in the other. In other words, at one moment one might be recognizing divine essences in the other; at another moment, one might be recognizing the divine essences of oneself as reflected in the other; and at other times one might recognize the same essences in both and the other, simultaneously.

There is a deep and transforming effect within us when we are truly recognized as being sacred, beautiful, or of value. And whenever one of our inner latent spiritual qualities are recognized, that quality within us knows this and smiles with a happiness for being recognized. Then it emerges out into the open from its inner hiding. The recognition from another opens up a window of trust inside us, whereby our latent spiritual quality, like a virgin young woman, unveils herself openly and revealingly.

In addition, as we love a person with understanding and appreciation for each of their qualities, we heal their fears and wounds of insecurity and self-doubt. Everyone comes to love with some insecurities and fears of not being loved, and these fears can be redeemed through love. As well, each person comes to love with as yet unrecognized qualities of beauty and love, and these can be integrated into the whole self-knowing of the person through their recognition, their appreciation and love by another. This is the beauty and healing of love which intensely comes to force in love-making.

Our recognition of the other, in their most human of qualities, even including their doubts and insecurities, and our love and understanding of these, allows a healing of the heart through the awakening of being loved. The lover just loves, and keeps on loving and giving, recognizing and appreciating, which keeps on healing and furthering the flow of love within the other and in the relationship.

As one recognizes some of Divine Love manifesting and expressing through the lover, then even more of this awakens within the lover and more of it is able to come forth. The recognition of love brightens the beauty of its expression. Recognition awakens the sleeping beauty within and makes this beauty smile with brilliance. Recognition of love awakens more of the power of love, it opens the way for love to unfold. Love begins to come out when it is recognized.

The divine powers come out when recognized. Magic comes alive once you give some faith to it. Begin to look for it and you’ll begin to see it. This is the cosmic rule. Angels only appear to believers. Divine beings, or spiritual powers, will only appear when you look. They’ll make themselves known when they are recognized. They will unfold if given the opportunity, and the opportunity is given when one makes the effort to see. Look into your lover and see.

Look into yourself and find. If we would just look for the spiritual love, the healing love, and allow its presence to unfold and be shared with us, then we would feel loved and be healed by love, and that love would be able to come forth with ever greater brilliance and power. As we form a closer relation and connection with this love, we will feel more in union with it and find that our inner being resonates with this love, recognizing oneself as love awakening, as Divine Love awakening and expressing through us. Such is the magic of Love.

LoveThe light in each other

If we can see the light within each other, their light will grow brighter and it will gradually emerge more and more into manifestation and expression. This seeing is the key to healing and to evoking the light within them. This light is the spirit within them, which we can see with our spiritual perception and recognize with our intuition. Look for the person's radiance. This is the key, and this is the highest form of psychic awareness, as we learn to see the radiance of light within others and in life around us. We might even see the particular qualities of this light, the various qualities unique to this particular person or form of nature.

Each person, in their essence, is an emerging light, with a unique set of qualities or colors, and these unique qualities form the beauty of their emerging essence. Within light are many potential colors. Most of us see seven colors of light, yet in a sense there are infinite possible colors in the essence of light, but normally see so little of what is potentially there. This is analogous to the light in each other and the many potential qualities which we normally miss out on seeing.

Besides this usual limitation of how we perceive, we sometimes have a tendency to try and make someone into what we think they should be, or into a particular color of beauty which we personally like. Then, when doing this, we often justify it by thinking that we are helping them be a certain way that we believe is best. This is kind of subtle manipulation, even if we do it with a good intention to help. We need not create beauty in others, nor create light in them. All the light of which they are, and in which they need, is already within them, just waiting to emerge in brilliance and in various qualities of beauty.

So the way that we can truly be helpful for another, in a healing way, is to help their inner light and spiritual beauty to come out, to emerge from its hidden depths to freely shine and express. But besides this possibility of helping the light of another person emerge, we can also nurture and coax the light in our self to emerge. The same healing principles apply to both our self and someone we hope to help; which include love, respect, recognition, and allowing.

The beginning step of healing is respect, both our own self-respect and our respect for the individual uniqueness of others. Respect is a willingness to see anew, to re-spect oneself or another. To respect is to give the light a chance to come out and be accepted. And this is similar to trust, when we trust the light and the goodness emerging from our self or another. Even if the other person, or our self, appears to be dark, depressed, or in rejection of the light, we need to have some trust that the light is nonetheless present within and awaiting its accepted and allowed emergence. So the light needs love, respect, trust and allowing.

This inner hidden light within us is our soul child. She wants to come out of hiding and unveil her inner beauty. But she will only do this with a lover – or when there is love awaiting her. She will only unveil herself when there is present love and respect. She will not waste herself and be abused by a lack of respectful recognition. She will not come out only to be unacknowledged or suppressed or criticized She only wants to be loved. She only wants to be free in herself and loved for this. She wants to come out of her shell and have sex. She wants to share her love and share in love. She wants to have fun and be free in self-expression. She wants to give and express her beauty, her qualities of light, but she needs a loving receptivity.

She needs to know she will be recognized and loved. Only then will she come forth and shine in her radiance. Then, the inner beauty of the soul child expresses as the glory of the Goddess, for she manifests as the divine and is recognized as the Divine. Man needs to recognize the soul child of a woman, though he can also recognize this emerging soul child within himself, and give respect and recognition to that which is emerging from within.

LoveHealing is freeing the light within

Everyone has a greater light hiding within them, which wants to come forth into brilliance. This light is hiding within. It may be hiding out of some fear or because of previous unrecognition. It may be hiding or veiled for many reasons. It may be suppressed. But it is still there, in essence, hiding and awaiting recognition and expression. The light only emerges when love and trust are present, first present in that person's own attitude, but also needed in whomever is on the receiving end of this potential expression of light.

Healing is an allowing of the inner light to emerge into expression. It is the free unfoldment of the personal seed within, allowing that which is wanting and waiting to come forth into expression and actualization. Healing is basically relieving the frustrated light within, by allowing that light to come out to be and to dance. When the light within is freed to come out and express its many forms and qualities, then the person feels healed. There is, then, nothing holding them back, as the light is free to emerge in its own spontaneity and in its fullness of radiance. This is the fearless, uninhibited light, free because of a right attitude in mind.

Healing for ourself or for one's lover is the freeing of light and beauty that is, for some reason, held trapped within or is still hiding within. In spiritual teachings it is common to hear about the light within, the love within, the divine within. This is one of the most important truths to realize. But seldom does one hear about how the divine is often trapped within us. It's great to know that the divine light and love and beauty is within us. But what good is that, if it's all trapped within behind a closed door? Somehow, we need to find a key to this closed door and open it up – to free the divine light, love and beauty of our own divine soul, and to let it out from its inner prison.

For some people their inner divine love and beauty seems to be locked in the basement of their heart and not allowed out. For other people their inner divine love and beauty seems to be in hiding, in fear of coming out in the open. Each person needs to see which of these is true for them. Is one's divinity locked away and not allowed out, or is it actually hiding for some reason? Or perhaps one's divinity is simply too obscured or clouded over by so many practical concerns of life. However it is, and for whatever reason, one's next step has to be the letting out of what is within.

The way to do this is by deep penetrating perception and by recognition. Deep perception is like a searchlight into the unlit cave of oneself or of one's lover. Recognition is the discovery found there. The third necessary key is our love which will hold out a hand of welcome for the inner to come outward. There has to be a welcoming heart for the inner to emerge out from the cave, or from the locked basement, or out from hiding. Otherwise, she will be too fearful of emerging or too shy to reveal herself.

So first is the penetrating perception into what is truly divine in her. Second is the recognition of this, or the discovery. And thirdly is the love of allowing that will welcome her to emerge, to dance, to sing, to express the beauty of all she is within. Our love is what allows her, welcomes her, and receives her. She knows she is being seen, appreciated and welcomed with love. This is the way to help her feel free to emerge and to Reveal herself. This is her healing.

These inner beautiful parts of herself – hiding, or imprisoned, or obscured – are very often in some kind of fear or else timidness about coming out in the open to be revealed and seen. The imprisoned or hiding or obscured divinity is either fearful or shy about uncovering herself, revealing herself in the light. Afterall, she is so used to living in the hidden mystery within. So this is why she needs to first know she will be loved and appreciated. But the lover and healer has to show her this first, before she will come out unveiled to reveal her hiding beauty.

What the lover-healer does is to unveil her before she even has a chance to worry about it. He does this with his penetrating perception, which sees right through all of the usually obscuring layers and veils, to see right into the naked spiritual beauty of her divinity. With his power of penetrating perception the lover-healer cuts through the various layers or veils of her persona – often based on fear or shyness of her truth unveiling. So he unveils her with this power of perception, to really see her (which is the recognition).

She in turn realizes that she has been recognized. She realizes that she has already been unveiled and seen. At this point she will realize that the door to her hiddeness is already open and that she can might as well come out into freedom. But she still might not actually accept her unveiling and come out into freedom; unless the final key is presented – the final key of the welcoming heart of love. Once she sees that her inner beauty is being welcomed with love, as well as being unveiled and recognized; then she will let the rest of her beauty out from the cage, or out from the hiding. And perhaps she will even go further in her unveiling. Perhaps she will rip away all of her veils and let herself be free without any restrictions, allowing all of her spiritual and sensuous inner self to freely express. This would be her true freedom – and her true healing.

LoveRecognizing love and being loved

The man might recognize the spiritual quality and power of love in his woman. In the same manner, a woman might also recognize the spiritual quality and power of love in her man. Thus, the man can recognize love coming through the woman, just as the woman can recognize love coming through the man. Complementing this, the man can experience being loved by the woman, just as the woman can experience being loved by the man. The experience of being loved is the other side of recognizing love.

What is being discussed here is our experience of being loved; first to recognize the love coming from our lover, which can be especially powerful in the love ritual, and second to allow their love to sink into us, into our heart, and to let this heal us in a very deep way.

Love can be just as beautiful and powerful an experience for the man, as with the woman. The particular expressions of love may be somewhat different for the man and woman, due to their distinctly different body features, but the essence of the love experience is the same. This means that each can experience the essence of what the other experiences.

The difference is just that the man will experience being loved by a divine goddess of love, while a woman will experience being loved by a divine god of love. A man might experience himself as a Krishna being loved by the Goddess Radha; while a woman might experience herself as Radha being loved by the God Krishna. Krishna and Radha are both experienced as very sweet and tender lovers, making the lovers feel very close together, in both a sensuous and emotionally loving way. Or different goddesses and gods can be experienced. The man may perceive, through his woman, the goddess Radha or Parvati, or some other love goddess. He will perceive this Love Goddess through the eyes and expression and feelings of his lover.

A woman who is loving, or giving of her love, is manifesting and expressing the Divine Love (Love with a capital L), the very Love which comes from the One Divine Goddess – of Whom we all are. So for a man with tantra realization, a woman's love is the Universal Being personally loving him. So by way of the Divine Love expressing through one's lover, one is gifted to experience the Divine Love in a very personal manner. In other words, one is given a most beautiful and joyful experience of being personally loved by the Divine – as this Divine Love is expressing through one's lover.

Thus, the Divine Goddess of Love is expressing through the lover. It’s all right here. All of the Divine, all of the Goddess, all of the Love is right here. It just needs to be experienced and expressed; for these are the two sides of love: the experience of being loved and the expression of love. On the one hand is a receptive realization of being loved; then on the other hand is a giving expression of love. On one hand, the lover is receptively realizing the love being given and of being loved. Then on the other hand, the lover is loving or giving of love.

Whenever there is Love involved, either in the realized reception or in the giving, this is Love from the Goddess of Love. She is the giver of Divine Love; yet essentially She is Love Itself. Complementing the Goddess of Love is the God of Love, who is most often understood as Krishna, but others would argue that the God is Love is Shiva. Yet essentially, Shiva and Krishna are the same God – just different, unique reflections of the One God – Who in the most unqualified Essence is called Brahman, understood as the One Self before any qualifications or reflections, and even all of the Goddesses are included in this. Yet Brahman is without any qualified gender and thus could be called either God or Goddess, neither of which would be correct since Brahman is beyond gender and even beyond qualities.

All Goddesses and Gods are just different aspects and reflections, powers and qualities, of the One Self, Who is experiencing it all – experiencing the Dance, the Play, and the Love Dynamic of Tantra (which means divine relationships).

The woman may be expressing the feminine love goddess, or her man be expressing the masculine love god, yet both of these are the Universal Being Itself {as being Oneself}. Thus, we can recognize and even worship our God or Goddess, as coming through the love of our lover. This assumes, of course, that one's lover is actually allowing out or sharing the love which moves within, or that he or she is really and fully loving. But even so, we should be able to recognize some degree of love’s power coming from the lover, which is at least a portion the Whole Love within Universal Being.

LoveBeing loved by the Divine

A man or a woman can especially benefit in his or her heart by opening up to the Divine Love through the Goddess of Love. This is an inward feeling that is receptive to the Divine Presence of Love. It is wonderful if one is blessed with having a man or woman to be loved by – to be held in love by this lover person who is an individual presence of Divine Love, Goddess Love or God Love. This is truly a blessing to be grateful for. However, anyone can open up to and receive the Divine Love – receiving and being loved directly from the Divine Presence. This Love comes into one's heart, or it is realized through one's heart, without being dependent on anyone else.

So in other words, we can experience being loved by the Divine, which is an extraordinary experience of being loved directly by Divine Love, without necessarily having a love partner or another person to be loved by. Having someone special to be loved by {and to love} is truly a gift, but even without having a personal lover one can nonetheless experience being loved – by opening one's heart to the Divine Love that is always present for us. This Love will heal us and take care us. This Love is real.

Some people might experience this Divine Love as coming from God or from Allah, which are just two different names for the same Presence – which is not really male or female, but it's alright too if someone experiences this as a male love energy. Some other people might experience this Divine Love as coming from the Goddess, or even more particularly from the Goddess of Love. Both men and women can experience Goddess Love {Love from the Goddess}; just as both women and men can experience Love from God. And in any of these experiences, the Divine Love could be experienced either as a male kind of God love or as a female kind of Goddess love, or else experienced as just Love without any connotation of a gender kind of Source. Still other people might experience the Divine Love as coming from the Angel of Love, or maybe from one's Guardian Angel. So there are many possible ways to experience the Divine Love. Yet in essence, Whomever we feel is giving us this Love, the Love Itself is the same, and this Love is what heals our heart and nurtures our soul.

Thus, in the tantra, just as in all of life, there is no absolute need for a man or a woman to have an actual physical lover, in order to experience being loved. Having a physical sexual lover or love partner is certainly beautiful and can also be spiritually beneficial, but it's not absolutely necessary in order to experience and be healed by the power of Divine Love, or to experience being loved by the Goddess.

The Great Goddess of Love loves us. To love is her nature; it is Who She is. So from this Divine Love, this Source, we are loved. For Love continuously emanates from the very Being of Love, which is the Goddess of Love. She is always radiating out love. She is always loving us. Included in Her Love are also the qualities of care and healing. She loves us, and through this love She cares for us and is healing for us. Love and caring and healing are all deeply related. Caring and healing are part of the very experience of love. This Love, which is the Divine Love, or Love from the Goddess, is a wonderful experience, a magical experience, a healing experience.