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Tantra: Descension & Emotional Continence


Most spiritual paths these days are predominantly in pursuit of ‘love and light’, or what we might call ‘Ascension’.

The fact is – ascension is the easy part! . It’s the descent process back from the heights and through the emotional-body where all the work is. If you ask any mountain climber, it is actually the descent down the mountain which is more gruelling.

Overdoing ascension spiritual practices may actually be a form of avoidance from dealing with our emotional body at times.

For example, how many people seem to leave the country or go out drinking to excess after a relationship break up? Similarly it seems natural to want to ‘leave our body’ in order to avoid feeling emotional pain. The reality is emotions are our body telling us something needs to change!

One example is an office worker performing regular meditations to find some ease (ascended, masculine spiritual practice), which is completely fine…unless this practice has fallen into becoming a “spiritual” way of avoiding the wisdom and messages of our body’s emotions. So what if we actually allowed our feelings to build? And build? And build? And then authentically felt and expressed them from their depths and darkness? And then managed to contain and channel that energy into constructive life change?

Let’s say we allowed those feelings to rise and express authentically – and the emotion of rage arose? If contained and channelled, this rage may actually be a gift – a long-awaited catalyst to fuel purposeful action towards a life which doesn’t need escaping from in the first place!

The key question for authenticity is “am I using this practice primarily to CONNECT with love or DISCONNECT from unpleasant feelings?”

Tantra teaches the balance between Masculine and Feminine – a balance between Ascended and Descended spiritual practice.

We may be familiar with how many Tantra schools teach the masculine to hold physical CONTINENCE during lovemaking and stay in CONNECTION after the physical connection is over…however, how many of us are able to fully CONNECT with our emotional body and holding CONTINENCE with our words during a highly charged situation? Food for thought.

At ELIYAH we say: the Masculine Spiritual Practice asks us to ASCEND. Question: Are we able to ascend fully into spirit and still embody?? Feminine Spiritual Practice asks us to DESCEND. Question: Are we able to descend fully into the body while still holding our awareness?

The Tantric Dance is like a song – the Ascension is akin to the major uplifting chords and the Descension is akin to the tension building minor chords.

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together. Every rusty fragment, every scattered piece could be melted into one rhythm. A note was a whole, and it was in motion, ascending or descending, swelling in fullness or thrown away, thrown out in the air, but always moving…Not separateness but oneness was music.” Anais Nin, 1939

For more interest around the Emotional Body see our workshops or private sessions pages.

Dakini Chantelle and Simon Martin

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Embodied Awakening Academy