A Love Affair with Life... To say YES to Tantra means that we also say YES to fully experiencing and diving deeply into life. Being fully present, vibrant, alive and focused through our mind, body and senses, brings us more in alignment and harmony with our natural energy. Instead of getting stuck in emotional, mental and even cultural conditioning, which can bring about guilt and fear, we can move beyond, so that life becomes a flow of energy. Tantra translates as an expansion and weaving and it embraces all that life offers. We learn how to expand consciousness and to become more aware of our spiritual, mystical nature whilst at the same time remaining firmly grounded in the physical world. Tantra is not a religion and is free from dogma. Nurturing our Inner Lover... Before we can wholeheartedly welcome a beloved, we must first welcome our self. Sometimes however, we find ourselves being critical about the way we look, what we do and the things that we think and say. How would it be if we were to welcome ourselves with love, compassion, acceptance and celebration, just as we are, in all our wholeness. We can begin to do this by embarking on a love affair with ourselves - our inner lover. How might we feel when connecting with ourselves in this way? Perhaps you've glimpsed it in moments of peace, joy or laughter. Moments when we are in complete self acceptance rather than in conflict. When we become truly loving towards our self we begin to experience our ecstatic nature. We become the lover and the beloved, creating within, an inner circle of giving and receiving of love. Shiva and Shakti... Another aspect of Tantra is the union of opposites or apparent polarities: yin/yang, pleasure/pain, masculine/feminine, Shiva/Shakti, joy/sadness, light/shadow etc. These things are rooted together and one cannot exist without the other but we tend to deny or fight against situations or the things we perceive as bad or that makes us uncomfortable. Tantra teaches us to see the divine not only in the things we do and think but also in and through each other. You may have seen pictures or statues of Shiva and Shakti in close embrace...this is a symbol of the union of the Divine masculine (consciousness) fusing with the Divine feminine (energy). Shiva is pure consciousness, carrying awareness, stillness, emptiness, spaciousness and peace. Shakti is pure energy, carrying the energy of love, purification, manifestation, bliss, disintegration and creativity. The unity of Shiva and Shakti symbolizes the unifying of body, mind and soul.